I wish you were here. Today was one of those perfect fall days with rain pattering against the kitchen window while I baked Oatmeal Sandwich cookies. In between loading cookie sheets or spreading filling on the cooled cookies I sipped coffee and listened to Christian radio.
The kitchen was warm and smelled of brown sugar and cinnamon. I love the lighting in the house on a rainy day--all my small lamps seem to make it so cozy in the house. A day when you want to kiss your kids every time they walk by you. :)
Years ago I read a book and the lady pointed out that you can be a woman who always has to have something purchased to make you happy or you can learn to live within your means and find joy in the free things. That struck home since I didn't have anything material but I did have a husband and four little ones that were a great source of joy for me. I began to notice all the things the Lord has given us to enjoy.
I noticed my coffee pot perking cheerfully near the window with the steam being drawn out of the open window in the mornings. I noticed how precious little ones playing in the yard are, and how wonderful clean clothes on a laundry line look. I realized what joy bathing a baby brought me, and how good a clean house makes you feel. I noticed how wonderful baked goods smell on a cool fall day, and the look on my husband's face when he came in the house to the smell of his supper and a counter with goodies waiting. All for free-gifts from the Lord.
I also began to notice what made me unhappy with my life. If I spent too much time looking in magazines, or going shopping, or being around friends that hadn't found how to live within their means, or if I watched the unreal world of television too much then a spirit of ungratefulness would begin to find its way into my heart and life.
We lived on a very small income at that time and my house and its belongings were certainly nothing to brag about. I remember praying to the Lord that people would sense His presence in my home and that they would feel welcome and that my home's atmosphere would be what they noticed not my possessions.
People always did seem to enjoy our home and more than once people I didn't even know that well would comment on the sweet spirit in our home. People would comment on how comfortable they felt or how peaceful it was. My table never lacked for people stopping by for a cup of coffee or a meal.
Dear daughter, don't focus on what you have but instead on the spirit and atmosphere you desire in your home. We can get so caught up with material things we forget that the home is simply a tool that's been put in our house to shelter what really matters-our family.
Use that kitchen table for sewing little garments, for making costumes for your frontiersmen, princesses, and even for George Washington himself. Use it for playing games with your children while they are still at your table. Use it for wonderful mealtimes spent laughing and telling stories. Use it for tea parties, birthday parties and for coffee with friends and family.
Ask yourself what memories you want your children to have and pour your life into that. Ask yourself what memories you want to leave with your beloved husband. What do you want him to remember about stepping in the door? The warm smell of coffee and his favorite foods with a smiling face coming to greet him? Or a scowl and complaints and him wondering if he's getting a hot meal tonight?
Do you want your children to remember you in the kitchen with your apron on making cookies or slouched on the couch watching tv?
Pour your heart and life into what really matters. Get your Bible out and pick a color just for the passages that have to do with the woman. Mark them and make a note of what she's doing and where she is. Find out why things went wrong and why things went right for the woman.
Find out why you were made and where God says your place is. Memorize Proverbs 31 and make her your role model. I assure you it's a lifetime project!
This week begin to notice those things that are yours for free--your husband's smile, your baby's eyes full of love for you, a child that hugs you, the sunshine coming through your kitchen window in the afternoon, a quick nap on a rainy day--just those little love touches from your Saviour that cost you nothing.
Well, till next time your on my heart,