At the start of this year, I spent a lot of time pondering the atmosphere of our home and homeschool. I tried to develop a vision for 2018. What atmosphere do I want our home to have? What character traits and values do we hold dear and want to encourage in the hearts of our kids? And how do I go from having these ideas in my head to making them a reality in our home? Lots of thoughts going on.
All of this is stemming from Sally Clarkson. I’m a huge fan of Sally. If you’re not familiar with her, she’s a Christian author/blogger/podcaster and her focus is on helping women create purposeful homes. She’s wonderful. I’m so encouraged when I read her books and listen to her podcast…she’s balm for this anxious mama’s heart. The Lord is really speaking to me through her teachings. Her words just resonate with me.
While I find a ton of comfort in the words she shares, I’m not going to lie: sometimes I am a little (or a lot, depending on the day) intimidated by her ideals. I think they sound wonderful and amazing and lovely and wonderful but how can I possibly live up to that standard? I’m definitely not Sally. I don’t have her love of baking. Or hosting guests. I freak out whenever we have company in our small home. A natural hostess, I am not.
Here’s the thing. I definitely need to remind myself during this process of crafting a home that the keyword here is “HER” ideals. The experiences shared in Sally’s books are her vision for her family and her life, crafted through her relationship with Christ. They’re wonderful, but my life obviously isn’t intended to look just like hers. Our lives are different, our families are different, our experiences are very different.
But what I appreciate is her encouragement to TRY. Try to find discipleship moments throughout the day. Try to looks for ways to slowly turn your home into the place you long for it to be. Try to invite others in and help them feel welcome and special. Try to grow in the fruit of the Spirit. And day by day, try to prioritize getting into the Word and spend precious time with God, because growing closer to Him is the key to all of this home-building stuff.
I have a list a mile long of all the Sally suggestions I’d like to try, both for improving my heart and the heart of our home, and I think I’m going to do a little blog series on it: Sally’s suggestions and what implementing them looks like in our crazy, cozy little house. Is this idea a little crazy? Yessssss. I just feel led to do it. So I’m going to. 😉
Sally Clarkson Books
The Sally Clarkson books I’ll be referring to and drawing inspiration from will include:
- Educating the Wholehearted Child
- The Life-Giving Home (and accompanying journal)
- 10 Gifts of Heart
- The 24 Family Ways (Clay Clarkson)
- Own Your Life (not pictured, I own it as an ebook)
- Seasons of a Mother’s Heart
Let’s not kid ourselves. This experiment is likely to turn into something akin to those lovely “Pinterest fails” we all love to giggle at online. I know in trying to craft our home and disciple my kids, there will be ugly moments and missteps and tons of “learning opportunities” that make me want to give up. My hope is that there will be lasting change for the better in our home because of trying some Sally-inspired things.
As to the specifics of what this will all look like, I have no idea. That’s where I’ll be relying on the Holy Spirit to lead and guide and prompt ALL my words and actions, trusting him to reveal what his vision is for our family, and then following his guidance to create a home that honors him. Stay tuned!
**UPDATE: You can read about how we used Sally’s suggestion of an early reader chart here.
**UPDATE: You can read about how we used Sally’s suggestion of implementing daily quiet time here.
Have you read any books by Sally Clarkson?