Welcome, let’s get to know each other

First of all, welcome! I’m glad to have you here and I pray that this blog offers you some practical advice, thought provoking topics, solidarity while raising young kids, and that you always leave here feeling a little happier than when you arrived. So, let’s get to it.

I’m Hope. I’m a 33 year old Christian, wife, and mom to two young kids (current ages 3.5 and 2). My husband and I got married in 2018 and we’re currently an active duty military family with about two years left until my husband retires and we get to move back near our family. Our daughter was born in the summer of 2019 which means that our world was turned upside down adjusting to parenthood and then less than a year later it was turned upside down a second time when March 2020 hit. Let me tell you, that was a whirlwind.

It was then that the need for systems and peace within our 4 walls became not only a good idea in theory, but necessary for us to survive and still like each other at the end of the day. Living thousands of miles away from the traditional extended family support system and choosing to keep our kids home with me means that we have to ensure our daily habits are sustainable long term. Breaks from the monotony of daily life are hard to come by. Shoot, my husband and I have only had one real date night in the almost 4 years we’ve been parents….(I don’t exactly recommend that, by the way) but that’s reality for us.

       As I’ve navigated life as a stay at home mom I’ve noticed that even just that – being “just” a SAHM – seems to somehow be a polarizing topic. I fall somewhere in the middle. I see those who have the homestead, have their own chickens and cows, who make their sourdough, and who have many more children than I do; but, that isn’t my calling. I see those who are staying at home just for the tiny years and dream of the day that they can send their kids off to school. Who don’t mind living in the mindset of a “hot mess mom” with piles of laundry and running their kids from activity to activity beginning in toddlerhood; but, that isn’t my calling either. I’m in the middle.

       I’m not just a stay at home mom, I’m a homemaker. It’s a worthy calling and vocation. To me, being a homemaker means that not only do I stay at home with my kids, but I take pride in making our home a welcoming place that allows us to learn, thrive, rest, and grow. It’s not just a space filler of 4 walls that provides shelter until our kids are school age or only on the weekends. In fact, we plan to homeschool. So the role of our home will continue to expand as our children age. I have two kids and that is plenty for me. I have no desire to live off-grid. Isolation in a new state without friends with a new baby during a pandemic is as much isolation as I care to do. I’m happiest baking my own bread in the morning and going to the HOA swimming pool in the afternoon. 

       The more I study scripture (which I’m getting more consistent with, that’s for another post), the more I see that everyone in the family has a specific role as God designed it. God designed the family unit and in that, we should glorify Him within our family by how we serve one another, how we work, how we speak, and how we love. If we are truly to bring Heaven to Earth, then we start that in our homes. I obviously have no recollection of what Heaven looks like and can’t begin to grasp what it will be like, but I do know that we have an orderly God and Heaven will be a place of peace and order. My home will never be perfect, nor will I, but my home can reflect our heavenly design by being orderly. We certainly aren’t governed by a “hot mess” God, so I’m certainly not going to use that attitude to serve my family. 

       Now I want to be clear that you’re not a bad homemaker if you don’t enjoy making homemade bread. It’s about your heart in doing it all; using your particular gifts and talents to serve your family just as you would use your unique talents to serve an employer. One of my talents happens to be baking. I’ve loved it as far back as I can remember and I’m fairly certain that if baking were an option on the “love language” tests, then that would certainly be my top contender. Homemaking is the ultimate customizable profession.

       I know that often as moms we can feel overwhelmed by the “I never get a day off” (another topic I’ll cover in a future post) or the thought of “if I don’t do it, then no one will” and although that thought is technically true in some aspects it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It’s true no one else can fill the role of mother for your children that you can. No one else can be the wife for your husband that you are. So we can either sit in it and sulk in it, or view it as a gift. Here’s the thing, if my husband doesn’t show up and do his job, no one else is going to do it either. Our job just happens to be inside our home, but because of that it can feel hard to escape or breathe. That’s where systems come into play. Systems create areas where others can help us out, where we can tackle to-do’s in a manageable way, where we can create margin within our days to allow our bodies and minds to rest and enjoy our family vs constantly seeing the “work” around us. 

       Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not talking about perfectionism here. My home certainly doesn’t look like a museum and my children are rarely seen without dirt on their faces and strawberry stains on their shirts. I’m talking about an attitude of excellence. Excellence calls us to a high standard, but doesn’t expect perfection. It helps us to continuously improve upon things that don’t come easy to us and keep up on the things that are going well. And guess what? We can also be excellent at learning to rest and enjoy the fruits of our labor with those we love and that’s pretty darn awesome. 

  Until next time, 

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