In Memory Making Mom: Building Traditions That Breathe Life Into Your Home, Jessica Smartt gives encouragement and practical ideas for creating and maintaining traditions in the home. The book deals with a wide variety of occasions and possibilities, in addition to discussing why traditions have value and what they can do in our homes.
Here are a few brief excerpts:
There is something innate in us humans that craves routine. We are made in the image of the One who created the hours and rhythmic seasons and makes the sun rise every blessed day. We find comfort in the repetition and the counted-ons.
At any given point — isn’t it amazing? — we can create a new narrative. We are not victims of our days. It doesn’t matter where we’ve come from or what we think we’ve missed out on, we can change the story through traditions. We just have to keep our memory-making eyes open.
I believe that there is a good and a better. With our limited time, we must be strategic in celebrating. There are so many super-fun traditions for holidays, and I’m going to share lots of these ideas. Yet the traditions and rituals that strengthen our faith and our families are the ones that deserve the bulk of our time and energy.
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A place for everything, and everything in its place.
This is key for organization. It’s not cute boxes and nifty shelves. It’s things assigned to and in places. When they are needed, they can be found and used; when they are not needed, they return to base.
Unfortunately, jazzy systems can only go so far. Putting everything in place, no matter how wonderful that place is, requires discipline. Ugh!
Now, we’re not talking boot camp discipline here. Perfectionism is not required, even though it would keep those shelves absolutely perfectly organized. But that (fortunately) is not the ultimate goal.
Keeping things orderly has several purposes, but none that should be overtaken. Reflecting God’s character is lovely, but obsessive organization shouldn’t become a god. Making the best use of our resources is ideal, but shouldn’t be the ultimate driver. Saving time is great, but we don’t need more time just for the sake of having free time.
Keeping things in place is a way to serve God, your family, and everyone around you. If you make a habit of using things and then returning them to a reasonable location, you will have fewer hindrances as you fulfill your purpose.
- The frustration you feel when your home is a disaster area can be minimized.
- The time wasted searching for necessary books and papers before school can be converted to a calm departure and good conversation on the way to school.
- You don’t have to tear the house apart for a bandaid when the skinned knee comes limping in from outside.
- Guests are welcomed to a home that is lived in but not hazardous.
- Bills can be paid on time rather than lost in scattered stashes of mail.
Basically, it’s not rocket science or out-of-reach creativity. You can do the simple, basic steps needed to bring order to your household and life. Not perfect order, but purposeful order.