The Mortar of the Family

Family and Kids

A mother is like an island in life’s ocean vast and wide, a peaceful quiet shelter from the restless tide. Author Unknown

Do you consider yourself ‘a peaceful quiet shelter’ from the outside world for your family?
Is your home a place of refreshment?
Do you invite your children to you?
Or does the tide rise and fall at every turn?
Over the past several years I have become very intentional about what kind of environment I prepare for my family and what source of comfort I can provide to them. I have seen when I take the time to watch my words and create an atmosphere of calm the rewards are many.
As I reflect, I can see how truly important and powerful the role of a “mother” is for a family unit, even more so outside the four walls of your own house. It is like mothers are the mortar of our families and we make up the bricks.
God has given us an extremely powerful role and duty to provide stability for our families and a place to always belong.
I can see how this extremely important mortar wasn’t there in my family of origin to keep us all solidified and we flail about now, struggling to pick up the pieces. My mother did a great job while she could, but unfortunately she became ill with Multiple Sclerosis and her last 20 years of life began her inability to provide what our family needed so desperately.
That is rather a dramatic, but it surely reinforced to me how much families need the mortar.
Where should your focus be?
It will be different for everyone, but a few areas that I focused on seemed to help me create that environment my family needed:

  • My words and especially my tone

Choosing carefully my words and more importantly my tone has produced the greatest positive results. We all know how damaging words are, but even more so are the sarcastic or negative tone that can accompany them. Make sure you are taking a pause before you speak, even when you are tired – actually even more so when you are tired!

  • My Home’s Rhythm

I had a rhythm when I was a single mom, we had our routines down pretty well and then I got remarried. It threw me for a loop for a while, but I managed to get my “new” home into a similar rhythm – this is a must for a family to live in harmony within four big walls! I love my routines and systems that make up my homes rhythm.
If your laundry is piled high on the sofa, discord will develop. If you have kids screaming and running through the kitchen while preparing dinner, frustration will ensue. If the TV blares all day and everyone has to speak over it to have a conversation things will become overwhelming.

  • The Also Principle

What can you do to go the extra mile? In the book,The Home Experience Devi Titus and Marilyn Weiher, speak about “The Also Principle” – our attitude and willingness to serve others even when it is inconvenient. I have chosen to become a ‘do-more’ person rather than a ‘do-less’ person, especially with regard to my home. This does not mean I spoil my children or take on all tasks myself and not encourage cooperation, rather the tasks that are my responsibility are done with just a little more of me!
So when I cook dinner, I serve the food in appealing serving dishes rather than setting the pots on the table. Does it take a little more time, yes – does it dirty a few more dishes – yes, but does it give our dinner time more of an appealing atmosphere? You bet.
I challenge you to consider these few points as you reflect on your role in the home. Our actions, words and the stability we bring will impact generations, I guarantee it.
What area can you intentionally focus on this week to provide that ‘peaceful quiet shelter’ you family so needs?
When you take the time to focus on yourself and what you can change, the possibilities are endless.

(photo source)