Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Heart of Home as a Natural Resource

The day after I wrote about putting our Heart into our Home I was pleasantly awarded a day at home with no outside obligations. I slept too late and felt miserable the rest of the day. I was embarrassingly lazy and dull and the day (void obligations) peetered before me with lack of motivation.

My oldest son came through and made coffee to get us going. I put a load of clothes to wash in hopes of feeling a sense of accomplishment. Nothing.

After putting the girls to do their math, I tidied a bedroom and balanced the checkbook.

Then I put the girls tidying the living room and cleaning grubby handprints from around doorknobs. I clicked Scentsy bowls onto fragrance, did a quick mop and quick vacuum, thinking about supper the whole time.

By 1:30 I was no closer to supper plans than I'd been at 8 AM.

I had my doubts about how much Heart I had put into my Home this day.

I had not baked anything. I began to declutter our bedroom and stopped in defeat.

I did what many 21st century women do when feeling unconnected and void motivation and inspiration. I picked up my netbook and opened it.

Kniting the Wind has been speaking quiet solace of late and words such as these are the truth I need to hear today:

"I read yesterday that humans are social creatures. I disagree. I believe we are spiritual creatures, reaching. Because we're in this together, we naturally cling to each other from fear and uncertainty. That doesn't mean we are each other's answer. If we find love and life through other people, how wonderful. The light has shone through skin and sorrow; God is visible in our friend's face. But if we find only fear and blockage, then we must remember - look to the sun, the sparrows, the small grasses growing.

"We are given all we need. We simply must reach."

I have often mucked around at this phrase that we are "social creatures". I've seen it and said it myself. Truly we need others. I've also noticed with blatant honesty how much downtime I need in this overly socialized world of media and work commands. Too much stimulation blisters me. I am fine with family and friends and home is my security.

Social extroverts are often placed on a pedastal and lauded over quieter introverts. If we keep going at the rate Nazi Germany went, self-proclaimed introverts will be labeled on the outcast list. 

Hearts change nations. Hearts are our nation's largest natural resource. From hearts spouts generosity, charity, love, hope, and faith. Home is where this natural resource is tended, cultivated, nurtured, and nourished. Our society depends on it. If we fall as a Christian nation, it will be the hearts that suffer and yet the hearts that win over.  I think that's one of the things I appreciated about this article "To Be Catholic is to be Countercultural".

Kristi McCabe writes:

"For women, balancing work and family is perpetually a pressing matter. It isn’t easy, and we all have choices to make. Too often, women who choose to cut back on work or stay at home with their children are made to feel like they are giving up their own dreams and “rights,” and that their accomplishments in the home do not matter as much as achievements in the workplace. What could be more important than being a mother?

"Mothers—particularly Catholic mothers– are entrusted with the awesome responsibility of raising their children with a love of God and imparting morals and values, and our actions will echo throughout eternity. We need to support mothers who choose to stay home with their children, as well as those who work outside the home. Motherhood is perhaps the toughest job there is, and it is of ultimate importance.

"Our values are under assault, and it is up to us Catholics—particularly Catholic women—to defend them! If we don’t, who will? It’s easier to keep our opinions and beliefs to ourselves at times, but this is not what we are called to do. We are called to gently, but firmly, profess and defend our Catholic beliefs, without regard to the consequences, and stand firm in our resolve. Our children, born and unborn, are counting on us."

This is my own meek way of "gently, but firmly" standing firm in my resolve that home and the hearts therein still matter. My faith gives me permission to be who I am and love the person God created me to be, as well as accepting my children to be who God made them to be. And to never apologize or feel inferior because for who we are. That's a nice way to look life in the face and be forever content and at peace.

Which is something I dearly struggled with growing up...apologizing for being an introvert, constantly trying to escape it, never feeling good enough, feeling inferior to those around me who claimed that loudness and vocalizing and crudeness were the only way to be.

I now know there are other ways to be. Quiet self-assuredness speaks volumes and I've come to see that often loud vocalizing and crudeness are often a person's covering up a sense of insecurity. We need the extroverts in public. We do. We also need the introverts at home. We really do. Without them, this whole planet is on a fast, furious spin of demanding, loud, brut, demanding, out-of-control madness.

Someone needs to put the lid on this spin.

Without the quiet, no one can hear the voice of the Holy Spirit.

Writing, not talking, is the means God gave me with which to speak. I've scaled back on that even, feeling there are too many voices out there. Voices better, and holier, than mine.

And, in all humanness, I question that. What is my voice in the sea of many voices? Especially in this rabid vortex of many voices? I've pondered my place here. Many times.

It was almost a sigh of relief to know that I wasn't wasting my time writing and blogging and scouting my voice amist an ocean of predictions. Evidently the Holy See believes in what we (a small voice) have to say, even encouraging us to use our voices, no matter how small, because "the presence of Catholics on the Internet is essential."

The Catholic faith is misunderstood and misrepresented too much.
Mommyhood is misunderstood and misrepresented too much.
Home Life is misunderstood and misrepresented too much.
The Cajun Culture (which is a gumbo pot rich with family and the Catholic faith) is misunderstood and misrepresented too much.

Any contribution I can offer to clarify and edify and enhance these areas of life is holy if done with God as the navigator.

In the unveiling of the wonders and guilt of, I believe it's always holy to look for the positives and avoid the negatives. Power of Positive Thinking, ya know. From Mundane to Marvelous Thinking in just 30 days? It's about a's own mindset. I'm sure it has something to do with being intentional with everything God sets before you. I've looked for use of another word and can't escape this one.

Being intentional means serving wherever we are placed at that very moment. This type lifestyle does not mean we never leave home nor work to assist others. My job working with our religious education department that was placed in my lap two years ago at our church has given me this perspective. It takes me out of myself and places me within the presence of God. It takes me out of the comfort of my home and puts me on a path I never would have wandered down on my own while, at the same time, making me more aware and more appreciate to have the elements of home. Knowing it is for a "season", being intentional of the seasons within the church year, sets the rhythm humming that which is so necessary to my home and soul. God wants me here...for this season.

A heart in the home lifestyle has become a lifestyle for minorities. It is not the norm any longer. It is viewed with skeptism and curiosity. Yet it is very real and very tangible and very wonderful. It is not a fossil but, rather, a natural resource that can be salvaged, renewed, and brought forth, gushing with life.

Next week I hope to share with you some thoughts about what we do when we find our hearts on paths where we do not belong and which threaten to steal our spiritual life from us.

1 comment:

  1. Cay, thank you so much for writing this...these words are ones that I have been feeling within my own heart in recent days and weeks...


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