Wednesday, August 7, 2013 really does matter!!

It has become fairly obvious to me as we come to the end stage of moving into another house that is not our own (we still need prayer for our own house to be sold so we can move on, if you can help us) that the atmosphere we create in our homes is vital for a strong family environment and thus strong family members.

I think in our culture of fast pace and not spending much time in the home that the atmosphere in the home and how you represent that has been lost. Not only lost but with no real sense of understanding of what is actually missing.

In fact I believe you have to be spending time together in a house to make a home.
I believe you have to be interacting with each other to create memories.
I believe you have to understand the importance of surrounding ourselves with beauty in order to appreciate true beauty, in people and in the world we live in.
Truly the atmosphere of a home can be the make or break part of preserving family harmony.
Family harmony and the managing of that is such a life skill that can be put to use in everyday of our lives outside the home.

The atmosphere we create can be in the physical side of our home but it is also the emotional and spiritual side of atmosphere that is equally important.
However I think it is very hard to be emotionally and spiritually there for our family if our physical surroundings do not reflect the beauty God has created in our environment.
If we cannot be encouraged by the beauty around us it makes it oh so much harder to see the beauty in those we interact with, especially if we are stressed or hassled in any way.

So I think it is important to begin with our immediate surroundings...........our home.
Now the way you may see your home and the way you would create this atmosphere may be quite different to mine. That is fine. That is good. That is how it should be.
We are each created different and thus our hearts and the way we see things is again an individual matter, it just needs expressing.

But I would challenge you that the heart of creating this atmosphere comes from you. It comes from your heart and then pours out into your hands and naturally into your home.
What do I mean creating?
You may be thinking I am not crafty!
I am not arty?
How can I create a beautiful atmosphere for my family?

I would say to you that you do not have to be incredibly gifted with that elusive 'arty-crafty' gene. Frankly I think I missed that one too.
Yes I am saying that!-
No it does not mean you have to be a great sewer, knitter or crafter.
It does mean you need to look for ways of creating the beautiful that is around you. In using bits and pieces from nature and even just in your home, scraps left over, in ways you may have never thought of before.
I would suggest thought that if you have no sewing skills that perhaps a few basic, learn on the job skills might come in very handy.
Just a few and let it roll on from there.

I still remember my first real home beautifying project.
It seems like such a little step now I look back on it, but I think it really was a big step in being creative and looking for cheap ( we really had no spare money at all) and yet beautiful home made ideas that would create an atmosphere of.........I care!

So what was this illustrious project?
It was...ready for it.....a duck door stop! (Sadly this was way before digital cameras, blogging etc so no pictures of it exist.)

I really had no idea what I was doing. I had never made anything like it before.
The initial sewing was not too bad. I did have some very basic ideas of how to use a sewing machine (even if said machine ALWAYS broke down for me whenever I wanted to use it)
The real challenge came when it was time to stuff the duck itself. Sounds so easy right!

I did stuff it but the silly thing kept falling over on me and was not heavy enough to hold the door open.
The whole idea of how to finally stop this stuffed duck from falling over (the instructions for this was not included in the magazine I read it in) - which ultimately stopped it from being a door stop, finally came to me.
I had to weight it at the bottom.

Hmm, sounds easy, but how do I do that with nothing to fill it with?
Well I think I could say I am pretty tenacious when I get an idea in my head so I began a search. I remember searching around the house and still finding nothing that would work.
Then it came to me.
Small rocks! Great idea but again  we did not have any.
Then an 'aha' moment- the gravel on the side of the road .
You must remember this was before the times of little 'beanies' we can could buy so easily now.
And so I went outside gathered up a few handfuls of gravel and brought them back inside. I then un-picked the bottom (literally) of the duck, placed the gravel I had put inside a plastic bag back in the duck, sewed it back up and 'voila' - one fixed duck door stop.

I went on to make another one and we had these for many years before the fabric finally wore out and those little bits of gravel started falling out.
From that basic beginning I have gone on to make many things for our home.
I have made cross stitch pictures, sewed with calico, decorated dinner tables, made quilts, sewed more decorations etc.
The list is quite long and I think I have succeeded in creating a 'homey' atmosphere for the place we called home.

Interestingly enough I have not made anything in a long time for our home.
I have been busy making quite a few homemade toys for our children and indulged in making clothes but nothing 'home oriented' for ever so long.

It wasn't until we moved here and had to keep a door open (with a can of peaches) that got me thinking of making home inspired items again and how I may have let this area of atmosphere slide in the past years.

I also admit living in a rented house makes it harder to keep that feeling of creating atmosphere and homeliness a priority as we are limited in what we can do.
Fro example; It is the first time in, well over 20 years I have not been able to hang the individual hand-print cross-stitches I have made for each of our children up on the walls, and perhaps why I am procrastinating in actually finishing Trahaearns. No visual reminders to help me remember to work on it. Not to mention other favourites that are sitting in storage, sigh!

Perhaps I need to think back to those more inspiring days of decorating and atmosphere and get back to 'grass roots' again. Think outside the box and let my creative juices flow........

Which makes me go down memory lane again!
I remember going out to the back of  Bourke where we lived and picking as many of the wild daisies as we could manage off the side of the road. We went as a family and Stephen and the children would help me gather the flowers and then we would travel home.
I then dried them and put them in vases and they kept for quite a few years to come. I also  made some into little posies to hang off cupboard door handles to brighten up the room.
Truly it simply needs an open mind in how you see the atmosphere you want to create in your home and then trying to physically generate it, as well as working on the nurturing of emotional needs and strengthening the spiritual side of our family circle.

Because we do want to have the family circle be the foundation of our lives.
A welcoming and supportive place that continually opens the door for incoming and outgoing, a continuous circle of love that goes around and around.

So in my opinion to achieve this atmosphere really does matter!

Blessings to you and your homes,


Kim said...

Hello Gae,
I always feel like I'm visiting with a dear old friend whenever I visit your blog! Yes, I completely agree with you, home atmosphere is so important for family life and children. When my sons were young, and even now, I try to bring warmth and beauty into my home whenever I can . . . flowers in a vase, home baked bread or teat, hanging family artwork, are really simple things to do, but go a long way in showing that you care and that the family home is important and very special.
Simply lovely post Gae!
God bless,

Kelly Casanova said...

I absolutely agree with all you've written here Gae, and it inspires me once again to try to find more time to make our house more homely.
I'll pray for you and your family situation, that your house sells and you can move on to the next stage of your lives.
Have you seen my blog giveaway? I'm sure you could get busy with my handmade goodies if you won :)

God bless


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