I never realized the haven a home could be until this year. I mean, now I am working as an intern at the local hospital and my schedule is hectic, I am beginning to understand the importance of having a restful corner ;). When it comes to household management, my role model is my mom. Through good and bad times, she always made sure the family ate together, at dinner time, and always thought home should be a place, a haven where her husband and children, after a long day at work/school, would be able to rest and have a good time as a family.
Whether she prepares the most basic dish or something more elaborate, I always felt, because of her love, her warm smile, and devotion to her family, that every dinner was a banquet. Literally. As my friend’s mother told me (she reminds me of my mother in lots of ways), “You can prepare the most rudimentary macaroni, as long as it is done with love”. There is nothing like a mother waiting for you at home, greeting you with kind words, and doing her best to create a environment where her family feels love and warmth. We went through good and bad times, and in spite of this, my mother always trusted the Lord, and thanked Him for His provision- needless to say, it had a big impact on me.
Here are a few things my mom and my friend’s mom, who I greatly admire as well, taught me…
Set the table, even when you are eating alone
“I learned from my mother to always light candles
at the dinner table and put music on every evening,
whether we had a piece of toast or a banquet fare for our dinner.
It calmed down the children and soothed all of our souls.
Even when my children were little, they were drawn
to the beauty of flickering candles and rich music.
Bringing them pleasure also brought me fulfillment.”
It does not have to be expensive
At the end of the summer, my friend came over (yes, the one whose mother has wise sayings-by the way, she is the one who made me the lovely butternut-chestnut cream, pictured above), and she wanted us to make a DIY project for my appartment. She is the kind of girl who is very crafty, and we spent, one time, one or two hours cutting out butterflies out of soft cardboard. Those two hours- without involving Ipads or Iphones or I-whatever-exists-and-starts-with-I… Were just beautiful. We talked, laughed, had a good time, and today, she sticked the butterflies on my walls and I ended up with this:
As I looked at the wall, it made me think; wow- cardboard is probably one of the most inexpensive things you can find in an Arts and Crafts store, we had such a good quality time together- chatting over tea and scattered butterflies, and I now have a oh-so -cute wall… It does not have to be expensive, it just takes a bit of creativity 🙂 (And guess what ? My friend is an accomplished seamstress as well- she made me those liberty fabric pillows !)
My mother, my best friend and her mother excel at something: hospitality. I always thought, for a long time, that hospitality was the art of entertaining your guests in a fancy ways- fancy food, elaborate parties, etc. There are so many etiquette books and lessons and today, with Pinterest and social media, we often feel like we can’t measure up to others if we don’t have the perfect Instagram living room or Shabby Chic garden party, but watching those three women taught me something: it’s not about you. It’s not about impressing people. It’s about others, and about God. Those women always made me feel at home. They made me feel as if I truly was a member of their family. We sat and ate lunch as a family, had tea and a slice of cake and, sitting in the living room, we talked about the Gospel. And it triggered off something in my. Those women were hospitable, the food was good, but ultimately, I left their house mainly not impressed by that but encouraged spiritually.
It is then that I realized what home could be to our families and other people gracing it of their presence: a safe shelter where the Gospel could be proclaimed, in words and in deeds…