There is no place like home. Really. After four days of being gone for what seemed like all day long, I am thrilled to report that we have nothing of consequence on our schedules for the next several days. Vacation Bible School wore me out and tossed our schedules out the window, so I'm ready for a tiny shred of normal around here.
When Phoebe was small (and there wasn't a Nora around), I tried to get out of the house daily. We both enjoyed our little outings, and it somehow simplified our days. I felt overwhelmed at "entertaining" my busy Phoebegirl, so that was some time that she could ride around in the shopping cart or the stroller and be, well, entertained. Days spent entirely at home seemed interminably long.
But with the arrival of Nora, going out became a chore. But something else happened, too. I started to be content here, at home. I didn't feel a daily need to "escape" our walls and do something; there was plenty to do and explore and learn at home. And I found out that we were all happier when I started staying home more, too.
Phoebe was happier because she knew what to expect. We've generally figured out a routine that works for us, and we generally stick to it. Boundaries are clear for her, and so are the expectations. Meals and naps and independent play and structured play and all that is predictable for her, and I feel like kids really thrive on predictability. Nora's happier because she gets her naps and meals on time when we're at home. When we're away from home? The naps don't so much happen. And Michael's happier for a lot of reasons: I'm not spending money, the house is more "kept", the kids are happier, and most importantly (to him), I'm happier.
And I'm happier because of all of the above... but also because I feel like God has really done a work in my heart here. I'm taking delight - a lot of the time - in the dishes, or in a freshly scrubbed toilet. I'm investing daily in my husband's well-being and my children's lives by doing small things that, prayerfully, add up to big things. God's giving me a new vision for home these days, and it's a work that this former education and career-junkie can only attribute to the Lord.
"...and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled." Titus 2:4-5
There's no place like home. There's no place like home. There's no place like home.