What's all this Romantic Mom jibberish about anyway...?
That’s the question I had been asking myself. I had some thoughts and ideas about this whole Romantic Life, Romantic Mom thing in 2001 and actually captured some quasi-coherent thoughts on paper...or computer. This ultimately vanished into the twilight zone of some computer file—in a galaxy far, far away. The following was written in 2007-2008 when I decided to try my hand at blogging and website creation. Hence, this site becoming 'Vintage' Romantic Mom. I later shifted gears in 2011 and created an updated version of Romantic Mom site more visual in context and dedicated to the l'art de vivre in home and country life. Upon moving to our 20 acre lakeside farm in 2012, I created a site to chronicle that new chapter of our lives in fixing up an 1860's farmhouse and cattle barn. You can find that on Debbie Gallagher | Lifestyle. Enjoy...
So where were we? Back to 2007...
Once we returned to Maine after our hiatus in Florida, I rediscovered this file and began reading—this time from a perspective of several years later. I became thoroughly enraptured, which whipped me up into some writing frenzy lather that eventually culminated into something like a book—or book form, I should say—an unfinished, unpolished, unpublished book form. What I discovered is that I really do enjoy writing (my 5th grade teacher would be SO happy—I always told her how much I hated it!) and also realized how long-winded and verbose I can be! But I had created something that might have just the most minute of minutest seed of possibility. And this is where it stayed for about a year. So what to do…what to do.
Therein lies the rub. It always boils down to time and money--my perpetual opponents who are always havin' a hey-day with me! My dad, my brother and his wife, prompted me to at least get it into manuscript form. They hail from various realms of the publishing field--Dad in the authoring realm, brother and wife ensemble from the editing realm. So I began the tediously slow, angst-ridden process of copyrights and book publishing. And that's where I'm currently mired.
[Note: This is back before self-publishing was as relevant, accessible, and accepted as it is now]
The rub gets even rubbier because, after reading through portions of it a year later, I found that I did manage to convey my Romantic ideals and visions pretty well--and I would really like to find a way to share all this stuff with others. Rather than just twiddle my thumbs and wait, I discovered blogging—and the wide, open wonderful world of the web began unfurling itself before me. Wow! This is fun, and current, and interactive, and has lots of photos, too!
Plus I don’t have to wait on publishers or any of that crazy nonsense. (I know you geeks out there are wondering where I've been for the past 10 years, but there are still slugs like me around who stubbornly bury their heads in the sand and adamantly refuse to go high-tech). The best feature for me was that I could “talk” (write) as I really am— “this-is-me-just-bein’-me” —sorta way as opposed to “this-is-how-you-write-for-publishers-so-they-won’t-fall-over-laughing-at-you” style of writing. They're probably laughing at me anyway, and maybe these two styles can and do mix, but I hadn’t had that revelation at the time.
So, for the sake of not sounding like a total schizzo, I need to warn you that my book-ish writing style is somewhat different from my tellin’-it-like-it-is style that I’m now so fond of and don’t want to abandon for the sake of the publishing world. I’ve included some excerpts from the book on this site and will continue to do so—perhaps doctored up a bit.
Anyway, to sum up in my maniac-ally long and round-about way to the point, I have had these “Romantic” ideas floating around in my skull for way too long and if they aren’t spewed forth they threaten to swallow me up into some “Romantic” purgatory until they are spewed! I’ve put the Prelude & Introduction (and will continue to add more) of the book below. Hopefully this can provide a more coherent idea of this Romantic Mom jibberish I rant on so much about. (I know I'm ending this with a preposition, but I just can't force myself to put "about which I rant...)!
If you find yourself in a state of fanatical frenzy of non-functionality until you read more, then please let me know and I’ll do all I can to remedy your dire situation—I’m presently putting the first 2 sections into an E-book format with links, images, the works. How’s that? Cool? Cool!
The Romantic Life, The Romantic Mom:
A NURTURING APPROACH TO DOMESTIC LIFE AND MOTHERING
This book is designed to help, inspire, and encourage mothers in finding ways to genuinely enjoy the company of their children in addition to providing a means to instill a more profound appreciation for order, beauty, and grace in the lives of their children. This can begin very early in a child’s development and can ultimately translate more fully into their lives as they get older.
Another important component is to cherish and preserve the innocence of our children which will enhance their overall childhood experience. We long for our young ones to emerge into stable, compassionate, responsible adults and the foundation we lay with our small children ultimately reaps the quality relationships and attitudes that are a blessing not only to ourselves but to our society at large.
The Romantic Life, The Romantic Mom--Prelude & Introduction
I love it—I love it.
Who shall dare
To chide me for loving
That old arm chair?
Yes! Please put on the tea kettle, your fluffy slippers, and join me for a long, lazy respite curled up in a favorite comfy spot and let’s enjoy an “armchair afternoon.” It is my heartfelt desire to warm our hearts, stimulate our imagination, and offer some challenge and inspiration for our souls and for our roles as we share in our journey together as women, wives, and mothers. May I also offer some comfort and companionship as we persevere in our privilege and position in stoking and keeping the home-fires alive and burning. It is our blessed privilege and I hope to encourage us all in seeing what a magnificent and marvelous privilege it is indeed. We, as wives and mothers, honestly have no idea what our presence in the home really means—not only for our families but for our generation. Although much of what we do goes rather unsung or unnoticed in many respects, that doesn’t mean it’s insignificant or inconsequential. As friend to friend, sister to sister, we can span the generations, lift each other up, and help each one of us see how invaluable motherhood and our domestic life truly is and what a remarkable influence we bestow—just by being who we are.
The gift of love is never measured
In a monetary way,
For it is only manifested
In the actions we display.
The time we spend with children
Giving guidance, tender care,
Teaching, praising and up-lifting,
And just by being there.
The helping hands we offer,
Small things we do to please,
These are the precious treasures
That leave sweet memories.
Our kindness and compassion
To the aged, and infirm,
The giving of our inner selves
Are lasting gifts of endless term.
Words of courage and encouragement,
A hug to show affection,
No diamond, gold or jewel
Can match the glow of love’s perfection.
When we touch the hand of strangers
Each time we kneel to pray,
And invite our Lord to enter
We can brighten someone’s day.
These intangibles are gifts from God
Priceless love beyond compare
And His love keeps multiplying
If only we would share.
Patience Allison Hartbauer
There are so many variables and intangibles that come into play and so many cob webs that would entangle us to keep swept away, yet we must search the meanings and truth in all, find our step, and ultimately—dance! I have read several books throughout my life that have, in one way or another, become my friends and it is my hope that this book will in some way become your friend, too. At times when you may feel under a barrage of onslaughts or doubts or at times when you need a gentle reminder to the questions “why am I here? Or, “ is what I’m doing really worthwhile?” – you will find some guidance and encouragement from these pages. I sincerely desire that we can all live our lives much more richly within our families and with our children and that this richness can become a lifestyle for us in every sense of the word. Laying a foundation for our children and perceiving what treasures there are during the early years of our children’s lives is such a wonderful and evocative season through which we pass. Each and every family is so unique and carries with it a very special and timely mark for our generation and the generations to follow. We all have our story to tell and each of our particular stories are very much worth the telling. So, let’s sip some tea and allow the story of our families to unfold…
Once upon a time not so long ago, there was a mother with a set of twins just aged two and a little baby girl in tow. They all lived with their father and a big wooly Collie dog in a quiet neighborhood that had lots of trees and cracked uneven sidewalks that ran in straight lines along the row by row of houses—some larger, some smaller—but most of them basically the same. This was an older little neighborhood which once had families with small children who romped and played, but those children had mostly grown and moved away. This mother walked alone along the streets pulling a wagon or pushing a stroller while her little ones bumped along or dawdled, curiously stopping to pick up a rock or a leaf that suddenly struck their fancy. Sometimes great-grandma Cady would saunter along beside, poking at a curious tid-bit with her ‘walking stick’ and coaxing along the stragglers. Once in awhile a car or passerby would stop to admire a little dress or comment on the ‘Lassie’ dog. However, these walks around the blocks were usually quiet and unruffled since most other mothers and fathers had rushed off to their jobs and wouldn’t be home until the evening. So the solitary little group ambled along homeward through the splashes of sunlight dotting their path and accompanied by the birds, butterflies, and the dogs yipping playfully behind the fences…
If you’re wondering what could be meant by the term “romantic mom” let me try to explain. When my twins were only two and my baby was barely one, and our fourth one was yet “a glimmer in our eye,” I longed for a way to put to paper a concept for a budding desire I felt in my heart. It was a desire to describe in a somewhat objective manner how I wanted to live with our children and the kind of mother and wife I truly wanted to be. I have never honestly escaped the overwhelmed feelings I had in facing the huge responsibility placed on parents. It’s our awesome duty to raise these uniquely wonderful little individuals we’ve been blessed with in the way and manner that they should go. Was there some way I might begin to analyze my position as a mother from a place of feeling more empowered as opposed to being over-powered? Was there any way that I could attempt to get my small, completely inept, easily intimidated hands around this looming endeavor set before me? And, if so, what on earth could it be?
Reflecting on this notion, I decided to view myself and my mothering role from a more creative context like that of weaving an intricate tapestry. Perhaps a better illustration would be that of an empty canvas and the artist standing before it. As a mother, I’m the artist able to create something beautiful and expressive on this blank canvas that represents the childhood and blossoming lives of my children. I began to ask myself what subtle or powerful, colorful or delineated combinations of broad strokes and tiny splashes could I utilize to artfully fashion an exquisite childhood experience. In what ways could I blend and compose all the different elements necessary for enhancing, to the greatest extent possible, the most beautiful or edifying attributes in each child? First I needed to decide what those components would be and how they might come into play at the various ages and stages of my children’s lives. Secondly, how might they compliment the general or encompassing composition of our family? This is not to say that a child’s mind or personality is simply a blank slate. Quite the contrary, each child is very much a little person with his/her unique and individual God-given imprint and we’ll discuss that area in greater detail in the chapters that follow. The blank canvas I’m referring to is simply an attempt to describe the opportunities that unfold as each child progresses through the childhood experience.
One of the luckiest things that can happen to you in life is,I think,
to have a happy childhood. - Agatha Christie
Once I meandered upon this path, a gradual theme began to emerge. The thoughts and images that dominated this theme seemed to greatly coincide with the idea of “romance.” This rather simplistic form of romance entails a sense of beauty, grace, and the feelings of being cherished, loved, and cared for in a very special way. So, with that as a starting point, I began to tentatively write down some thoughts. I also increasingly approached my interaction and involvement with the children in relation to this idea. It was never meant to be contrived, and, as women, we come by much of what I’m describing here very naturally anyway. Rather, I just allowed these ideas to imbue our lives and my attitudes in varying and subtle ways. The overall effect was to in a significant way buoy me up and give me some balance and direction. So, ultimately, I developed an introduction and roughly began to flesh out some topics that could be addressed.
However, the over-riding concerns in life began to demand more of my attention and in the course of subsequent events, I ended up shelving the whole project for quite some time. However, I do believe that God places certain desires and ideas in our hearts and by laying this groundwork in my own heart a new lifestyle began to slowly emerge for our family. I wanted so much to have my children out in the country with animals and a garden and closer to nature with lakes, and mountains, rivers, meadows, and wildflowers. I longed for a change of seasons with beaches and blueberry picking in the summer, apple orchards in the fall, sledding and snow forts in winter, and fresh maple syrup in the spring. I greatly longed for the romantic New England life I had briefly tasted for only eight months when I was single in my twenties.
I reminisce of Spring’s sweet song
And of her vibrant beauty long,
I miss the fragrance of the rose
And velvet grass between my toes.
Catherine Janssen Irwin
In the following three years, I gave birth to another precious baby girl, we rid our home of a major mold problem (which had us living in a hotel for the last two and a half months of my pregnancy), moved back into our house just days before the baby was due, then sold our house in the Dallas metroplex and bought 40 acres in Maine where we’re still in the midst of building a log home. Asheley was only 4 weeks old when we flew to New England to try to find some property (we had 5 days) and the day before we were to return, all of our hopes nearly dashed, we struck gold. We put a deposit down on the land and flew back to Texas where we began showing our house in earnest, bought an old 33 foot RV, a tow dolly for our car, and a twenty foot trailer that would haul all of our earthly possessions 2300 miles across the country. The baby was two months old, Caitlyn was 2, and the twins were five when we spent our first summer in Maine living on our property in an RV for almost four months.
The adventures of those months in the RV could fill an entire book alone. They were delayed in getting electric strung so we had no electricity for almost two months. Therefore we were unable to keep the RV parked and had to keep running into town (12 miles away) to gas it up and empty the holding tanks regularly. On top of that, here I was with an infant and a two year old whom I was in the midst of potty training with hardly any hot water and no washer and dryer—just our weekly trips to the laundry mat. Our refrigerator and ice maker also quit working so we had to keep food in a cooler with ice. As most projects usually do, our log home endeavor took on a whole new life of its own growing into a much bigger project than we initially planned. Once we finally looked up to take a breath, summer was over, fall was on its way out and (panic still overtakes me when I think about it even now after two years!) we found ourselves still living in the RV with the cold north wind rapidly knocking at our door. Although we already had started looking for a place to rent for the winter, we hadn’t realized the prospects in rural Maine were pretty much nill to none.
By God’s grace, we had started visiting the only little church in the village near us and through a family there we were finally able to rent a house only a couple of miles down the road for the quickly encroaching winter. The house was not finished out on the inside. We couldn’t use the upstairs for anything but storage, the walls were still just drywall and most of the windows and doors had no framing and exposed fiberglass. There was only the plywood under-flooring which proved to be quite draughty. The two very small bedrooms that we could use had no doors on them as was also the case for all the cabinets in the kitchen. Plus, the baseboard heating had sprung a leak and needed repair. But can I tell you how much I cared? Not one bit! The house was endowed with a massive flagstone fireplace with wood in the shed out back and the price was right. Most importantly, we were out of that RV!
Each of us in our own special way begins to grasp the unfolding truth that parenting involves heart breaks and suffering along with intense pleasure and joy. I can’t even pretend to comprehend the hardships through which some families have had to walk. The realm and depth of emotion we feel in respect to our children is truly unfathomable until we find ourselves in the midst of it. In many ways, I’m only beginning to comprehend the sheer amount of courage it really requires to love this intensely. God, in his graciousness, has seen us through so many ups and downs, twists and turns of events and emotions that I often still find myself with my head spinning. We’ve dealt with miscarriage, financial difficulties, career changes, the list goes on as do the trials all families face these days (and have certainly faced in the past). Ultimately, God has taken all the scattered puzzle pieces and placed them in the place they needed to go at the time they needed to go there. When I’m able to step back and see the forest for the trees, I can always see His quiet guiding hand in our life.
Quite honestly, I’m scared to think of the person I’d be right now if I’d never begun this quest toward family and parenthood. This journey that I've embarked upon with our children and as a growing family has produced in me a far greater individual with more compassion, empathy, sensitivity, and wisdom than when I was bent on preserving my self-absorbed, self-indulgent pursuits. That’s what it’s done for me and my husband and many others we’ve talked with along the way.Our present culture is loathe to admit this fact and consistently cries the opposite is true—frequently scourging the idea of motherhood and bearing babies. Fortunately for many of us women raised under the shrill dictates of feminism, it became a situation of “thou doth protest too much” while several of its most staunch supporters found themselves recanting in later years. This proves to me that the narcissistic binge our society promotes at large isn’t as fabulous as they say it is and for those who have surrendered themselves passionately into the lives and hearts of their children have found fulfillment they never thought was possible.
When you hearken
To the voice of the Lord, your God,
All these blessings will come upon you
And overwhelm you.
It’s for you intrepid individuals who have bucked the system and chosen to sacrifice and immerse yourselves in the world of your youngsters that I hope in some small way to encourage and lift up. I’m just a regular mom and have nothing new or profound to say. All I really want to say is that I care—and I especially care about mothers and children who are struggling, like me, under the pressures of our culture and society today. My format is mostly anecdotal and far from scientific. It’s just based on some of my own very unsophisticated observations and the experiences we’ve had with our family. I also include several snippets, quotes, and writings by people who have inspired, encouraged or caused me to reflect along the way.
I happened to unearth this project having been buried on some computer file for some four or five years and I’ve found it refreshing to gaze back and see a continuum in our lives. Now that I’m in the thick of home schooling in which these concepts are still entrenched in my heart and of even more practical relevance, it seemed timely to pick up the threads and begin anew. Two of my sisters-in-law have new babes on the on the way and have expressed enthusiastic interest in this topic as well, so with new impetus I dove in again. If anything mentioned in this book brings any source of wisdom or encouragement, it’s only by God’s work in my life (when I manage to get myself out of the way!)
“Just living is not enough,” said the butterfly.“One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.”- Hans Christian Andersen
The Romantic Life, The Romantic Mom--Chap.1 Thinking Romantically
The world is so full of a number of things,
I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.
From A Child’s Garden of Verses
by Robert Louis Stevenson
As I mentioned in the introduction, we have four children now ages seven years and younger, the eldest being twins. Upon the arrival of our fourth child, we had for a brief period of time four children aged four and under. Regardless the number, however, having youngsters constantly under toe shelves any thoughts of “romantic” to some other recess of the mind—almost like some fairytale land that, at this point, is too remote to even imagine. The “r” word for the day is “reality” and just merely attempting to avoid suffocating under the avalanche of dishes in the sink, clutter throughout the house, and unending mounds of laundry piled hither and yon expends all the time and energy that any of us have on a daily basis. Believe me, I know. This kind of chaos is certainly not fun. It’s hard work, it’s draining, it’s drudgery—and it’s far from inspirational.
I hear mothers lamenting the younger years of their children saying, “If I can just maintain my sanity until they get older!” Once they are older and are off doing more of their own thing, I hear mothers lament, “When my children were young everything was such a blur. I wish that I would’ve appreciated those years more than I did. I was just so overwhelmed at the time.” I’ve also heard my friends say as their children have gotten older that it doesn’t get any less chaotic or busy. It’s just a different kind of busyness—one that involves sports, part-time jobs, extracurricular activities, and outings with friends. Being a romantic mom regardless of the age or stage is a rather daunting concept. In other words, it sounds great on paper. So given the reality of the situation, how do we begin in some practical manner to add some romance, some fun, some grace, beauty, and serenity to our everyday life and involve our children in the process?
Fair are grown-up people’s trees,
But the fairest woods are these;
Where, if I were not so tall,
I should live for good and all.
From A Child’s Garden of Verses
by Robert Louis Stevenson
First of all, this is not a book on finding peace through solitude (i.e. mother’s day out, preschool programs, coffee with the girls, or gym classes). Some solitude is important no doubt, but this book is designed to help inspire and encourage mothers in finding ways to genuinely enjoy the society of their children in addition to providing a means to instill a more profound appreciation for order, beauty, and grace in the lives of their children. This can begin very early in a child’s development and can ultimately translate more fully into their lives as they get older. Another important component is to cherish and preserve the innocence of our children which will enhance their overall childhood experience. Obviously, the sooner a mother embarks on this sort of lifestyle, the more profound the impact will be on her children. However, beneficial changes in our lives at any time, radically or otherwise, will definitely help our children along the journey to adulthood and will most assuredly have a positive effect on our budding adolescents.
All the pretty things put by,
Wait upon the children’s eye,
Sheep and shepherds, trees and crooks,
In the picture story-books.
From A Child’s Garden of Verses
by Robert Louis Stevenson
If anyone needs a picture of what a classic enchanted childhood might look like, you need look no further than the affluent child of the Victorian era. Although society was quite prim and in many respects very stifling for an exuberant youngster, families did manage to make allowances for the children in the house. Of course, it was also quite the norm for children to be shuffled off to nannies, nurseries, and governesses, yet some of the most enchanting stories and characters come from those raised during that time in history. All the stories from Winnie the Pooh as well as the wonderful characters by Beatrix Potter like Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny, to name just a couple, come from this period. Many families spent long summers in the country where the strictures of society could be more relaxed and children were allowed to run free, play with the animals, as well as spend time with cousins or visiting friends and neighbors.
Three of us afloat in the meadow by the swing.
Three of us aboard in the basket on the lea.
Winds are in the air, they are blowing in the spring,
And waves are on the meadow like the waves there are at sea.
From A Child’s Garden of Verses
by Robert Louis Stevenson
I received a somewhat off-guard validation that I had captured a little of this essence when the young girl from down the street came over with a friend one day to play with our babies. Almost immediately upon coming in the door she exclaimed, “Come here, let me show you their room!” I wondered with mild curiosity what a twelve-year-old would find so urgently in the nursery. As she guided her friend into the room, she said, “See? Didn’t I tell you? It looks just like a ‘Christopher Robin’ bedroom!” Mind you, there wasn’t a Pooh bear in sight—just things like wooden sailboats, lace curtains, soft colors, and plenty of sunshine. I was secretly blushing with pride and she had no idea how her enthusiastic description brought me the sweetest delight. I thought to myself, “Perhaps I’ve got it.”
Let’s also discuss what ‘romance’ is not from the perspective of this book. When I refer to a ‘romantic mom’ I’m not referring to some popularized images of motherhood I’ve heard about on certain lingerie-type ads or web sites. Yikes! My particular brand of romance falls steeply within the confines of the more straight-laced, Victorian definitions as opposed to the ‘Victoria’s Secret’ definition. I urgently want to make that distinction.
Another divergence I need to make is from the “Romanticism” put forth by Jean Jacque Rousseau and his ilk. His romantic philosophies stemmed mostly from his dire refutations toward the ‘Age of Reason’ and those popular assumptions and philosophies of that generation. The philosophers, both of Reason and Romanticism, of those centuries have molded and influenced much of what our current culture, society, and let’s not forget religion (yes, even Christianity) promulgates to this day in all sorts of varying degrees and subtleties. However, as a ‘romantic mom’ I cannot, or shall I say, will not, subscribe to the tenets of a philosopher (Rousseau) who gave all five of his children away the day after they were born yet had some absurdly deep relationship to his dog—no matter how ‘romantic’ he thought himself to be. Anyone who claims to be such an expert on how to raise children and what children need to flourish who gave his very own children away seems rather incongruous and inconsistent at the very least. Consistency in language, logic, living and belief cannot be overstated enough. Consistency in Christianity is imperative and quite difficult to come by in contemporary American society, although this is nothing new either. I struggle in the whole area of consistency in living every day and it is something that we all have to strive for regularly. Getting off the track is so easy and that slope is so slippery! It would be quite beneficial for us all to better understand the correlations and assumptions we operate on to a very large degree today that have their roots in many of these philosophies dating clear back to Socrates—before him we can go back to Cush, then Ham, and ultimately, Cain, and before that, the Garden. We feel that our problems are so modern and in many respects, inexplicable, but a quick glance through history proves this to be otherwise.
So, in order to better understand the ‘romantic lifestyle’ theme expounded upon in this book, I have put together an overview of related topics. These are especially pertinent to the younger years of our children and the establishing or laying down of that initial foundation in which to build upon as our children grow. These are areas and questions we each need to examine and answer for ourselves to guide or balance us as we face this grand adventure into the land of childhood and parenting. There are naturally factors that inhibit or hinder our objectives and those that bolster or enhance them. Take a moment to ponder the following outline:
Organization/Neatness Good nutrition
Routine Involvement/Parental supervision
Scheduling/Advance Planning Doing what you love/Creativity
Child Training Simplicity
Plenty of sleep/Rest Minimizing outside activities
Sunshine/Fresh air Quiet time
Lack of organization/Slovenliness Poor nutrition
Over-scheduling Lack of routine/Time management
Lack of child training/discipline Not enough sleep/Rest
Lack of self-discipline Over-stimulation—noise/activity
TV/Radio/Video or computer games Lack of flexibility/Spontaneity
Too many toys/stuff Never doing what you love/No creative time
The wrong types of toys Noninvolvement/Lack of parental supervision
Not enough fresh air/Sunshine
Components to Leading a More Romantic Life:
Woman is the heart of the home and this is especially true for mothers.
Do I love my life right now?
What aspects do I like/dislike?
What areas would I like to change?
What am I realistically able to handle?
What are my strengths/limitations?
Questions to ask yourself:
What do I love to do creatively?
How do I manage my time?
How do I monitor my children?
How do I cover all my responsibilities?
How do I rejuvenate myself?
What is my overall attitude?
What are the areas in my life that need the most attention?
What are my priorities and how do they relate to my family?
Don’t let something as mundane as laundry keep you from enjoying a special outing or take up precious weekend time.
Setting up The Home
Beauty and comfort
Decorating with children in mind—Babies/Toddlers
Arranging for activities
Try to invest richness into the things you do everyday to keep daily life from seeming bogged down or frustrating.
Knowing Your Children:
How well do you know your child—each child individually?
Underestimating the intelligence of your children
Paying attention to details
Preserving your children’s innocence
Children are a miracle and a blessing that, like a delicate flower, unfold and blossom in the most amazing ways.
Time with Your Children:
Praying with and for our children
Planning our day/week/month/year
Planning vacations/Field trips/Special events
Planning for Holidays/Birthdays
Allowing for spontaneity/Relaxation
Allowing time each day to enjoy and giving thanks for our children
Finding ways to make work fun /Necessary and useful tasks each day more enjoyable
Train your children today so that when you are old they will bring you comfort not tears.
Instructing Our Children:
Monitoring our children’s time/activities/behavior and attitudes
Learning how to play
Learning how to spend quiet/rest time
Understanding the importance of fresh air and sunshine/Nature
Understanding the importance of good attitudes/A grateful heart
Understanding service/Giving without receiving
Appropriate behavior in public—restaurants/libraries/parks/museums/transportation
Choosing appropriate toys/games/books/videos
TV/Videos—How much/What’s appropriate
Why Home School?
A love for nature/botany
A love for cooking
A love for gardening
A love for art
A love for writing/literature
A love for animals
A love for textile arts
A love for old-world crafts
A love for the elderly
A love for living “romantically’
If this list seems rather overwhelming, just keep in mind that many of these topics you have already started tackling or are progressing in quite naturally without hardly a hiccup. It might be helpful to make a copy and check off a specific area you would like to give more focus to or one that needs some development or attention. There may be topics you’re dealing with or have thought of that aren’t on this outline that you might wish to add or which coincide with one of these on the list. The whole idea is to just get us thinking and give us a starting point. The main objective to keep in mind is to treat this phase of our lives as an adventure, as a time to grow, as an opportunity to grab onto, nurture, and cherish with the realization that we will never have this unique opportunity again in our lives or the lives of our children.
How am I to sing your praise,
Happy chimney-corner days,
Sitting safe in nursery nooks,
Reading picture story-books?
From A Child’s Garden of Verses
by Robert Louis Stevenson
There are some general headings or sections that I would like to address. The first section discusses how we are dealing with ourselves as mothers and wives and as a woman who at one point in her life was rather autonomous and independent. Some women may, like me, have chosen to reject God and His ways in their earlier life. And some women may still have many unanswered questions and are looking for more direction in their lives. The next section is the home and the manner in which we ‘set the stage’ for our children’s lives to blossom and grow. The third section deals with the raising and rearing of our children. Teaching them, instructing or educating them, being an example for them, loving them unconditionally, encouraging and inspiring them to be the best or make the most of who they can be. The final section examines the ways we can go about building a strong family that can triumphantly face the challenges and onslaught of our times.
My personal wanderings have brought me back whole-heartedly to my Father in heaven, personified in the loving arms of Jesus, our Good Shepherd who loves His little lambs. I am convinced that His ways are life-giving, life-enhancing, and full of the highest wisdom and love in its purest and most wholesome form. He is here to show each one of us in a very personal way how to love and nurture our families and provide a Godly heritage for the next generation. There’s absolutely no reason why we can’t have a nation full of strong, successful, loving, close-knit families and even enjoy ourselves in the process. I earnestly believe to the depth of my being that God provides through His holy spirit working in the hearts and lives of each family the ways that we can accomplish this goal—and I pray that you join me in the hope of this quest.
Except the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; except the Lord keeps the city, the watchman wakes but in vain.It is vain for you to rise up early, to take rest late, to eat the bread of [anxious] toil—for He gives [blessings] to His beloved in sleep.Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.As arrows are in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth.Happy, blessed, and fortunate is the man whose quiver is filled with them! They will not be put to shame when they speak with their adversaries [in gatherings] at the [city’s] gates.
Psalm 127: 1-5 (Amplified)
The Romantic Life, The Romantic Mom--Chap. 2 Chasing Dreams
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