January – A Life Giving Home Discussion {Link-up}

Welcome to the first monthly discussion of The Life Giving Home (take 2)! I hope you had a chance to read the January chapters in both the book and study guide. If not feel free to catch up and join the discussion later! If you don’t yet have the books click below to order them:

Get The Life Giving Home and The Life Giving Home Experience. (Click the images to go to Amazon)

 

A Life Giving Home book discussion and link up

 

How this study works:

  1. On the last Friday of each month, I will post my overall thoughts on the chapter for the upcoming month and what suggestions from that chapter I plan to try. I will also share how things are going with previous ideas I have tried.
  2. In our Facebook Book Club we will discuss the chapter in more detail and work through the questions in the study guide.
  3. I will check in with everyone weekly in the book club group to see how we are all doing implementing suggestions from the book.
  4. You can also interact in the comments to discuss your thoughts on the chapter and/or link up your own blog post discussing the chapter using the linky.

 

My Thoughts:

Sally describes the new year as a new start, a clean slate, out with the old and in with the new! I agree with this and am excited about a fresh start in a new year. That said I tend to take the approach of wipe the slate clean and plan out a whole new schedule and routine and new ways of doing things and attempt to implement it all on January first. It took me quite a few falls flat on my face to get through my head that making changes that way rarely works. So this year I am making new plans and goals for changes in the rhythm, routine, and culture of our family but I will be implementing them very slowly, one or two changes at a time until they become habit and routine. I expect it will take most of the year to start seeing the changes in myself and in my family that I hope to see. I am learning to be ok with that and am just making a list of things to work toward….slowly. Sally also describes the culture of home as a garden that needs to be planned, cultivated, and worked. Gardens require a lot of work before you see the fruit of that labor. Sometimes it takes weeks or months to see the results of your work but sometimes it takes a year or more. Berry bushes generally take a couple years to establish themselves enough to bear fruit. Trees can take several years. I am viewing 2018 as a year of planning and cultivating and giving myself permission to slowly and intentionally build our family culture. Starting with the most important things we need to work on and slowly working my way through my list of goals a little at a time.

Sally touches on making plans within the limitations of our current circumstance, strengths, weaknesses, personality and the needs and personalities of our family members. This is another lesson I’m learning. My time is limited, very limited. My children have many and a wide variety of needs and my husband’s job keeps him away often. These and many other circumstances are what I need to keep in mind when setting goals and making plans. If I am overwhelmed and frustrated it is because I have overestimated my time and abilities and it is not fair for my family to suffer because of my own poor planning. Improving in my ability to realistically plan is one of my main goals for this year! One thing I have recently heard many times is that God gives you enough time in a day to accomplish all that HE has set out for you to do (not necessarily all that you want to do). If you can’t get it all done there is something there that doesn’t belong. I’m working on removing the things that don’t belong and focusing on His plan for my life.

Sally goes on to talk about planning and give a variety of suggestions to help in your planning. She then discusses routines and rhythms that we could work on in our homes. Making plans for my family, listing the things I currently do and those I want to do and then prioritizing and choosing based on how much time I actually have is one of my plans for January. I will also be setting up chore lists, our ideal daily schedule or routine and goals for my family. But as I said before I will choose one or two things to work on at a time as we develop new and better habits. I will be starting with working on our bedtime routines (and children staying in bed when they are told) and our morning routines. I think if we establish good rhythms at the beginning and end of each day it will set the tone for the rest of the day. I really want to incorporate Sally’s morning blessing into our day. I think that would really help my children feel loved and start out the day on a positive note. Once we have developed good morning and bedtime routines I will slowly add in many of the other routines Sally recommends.

This year I expect my planning and organizing will take most of the year. For example, I hope to thoroughly declutter my home but I don’t expect to get it done in one month. I also plan to overhaul and streamline my meal planning and grocery shopping but again that may take several months. I am also working on setting up a homemaking binder, another project that may take a while. Hopefully, doing these things slowly, intentionally, thoughtfully, and prayerfully will mean future years’ planning will be easier.

 

 

Your Turn:

Share your thoughts on the January Chapters of The Life Giving Home and The Life Giving Home Experience. You have 3 ways to share:

  1. Here on the blog in a comment
  2. In the Facebook Book Club Group
  3. On your own blog via the Link-up below

 

A Life Giving Home book discussion and linkup

 

Link-up Rules:

  • ONLY link-up a post that discusses the January chapter of The Life Giving Home book.
  • Copy and past the linkup button into your post or blog sidebar (or at least create a text link back to this post).
  • Visit at least one other post in the link-up.
  • (Optional) Share this post on Social Media to spread the word!
A Life Giving Home Discussion and Link-up



Facebook Discussion:

I am hosting a Facebook discussion group for this study. We will delve deeper into the book and discuss the study guide. We can keep each other accountable and encourage each other in our goals and efforts in creating our own Life Giving Homes. I look forward to seeing you there!

 

Next Month:

I will post my thoughts on the February chapter and what ideas I plan to try on January 26th. 

Life Giving Home Study – Take 2

At the beginning of this year, I tried hosting a discussion of Sally and Sarah Clarkson’s book The Live Giving Home here on the blog but for a variety of reasons I discontinued that series. I felt like I was too busy just surviving during my husband’s deployment to do any of the “extras” suggested in the book.

A Life Giving Home book discussion and link up

In the last couple months, I have come to the realization that cultivating the environment and culture in my home should be one of my top priorities, not an afterthought. I would love for others to join me on this journey, so I will once again be hosting a book study of this wonderful book starting in January and following month-by-month with the chapters in the book but with some changes to enhance the discussion.

This book is really inspiring and a little overwhelming. It is full of so many ideas I want to implement in my own home. I love and have gained insight and encouragement from many of Sally’s books and this one is just as great!

The book is written so that each chapter corresponds to a specific month – moving through the whole year. The companion guide, The Life Giving Home Experience, is also organized by month. We will spend 2018 working gradually through both the book and guide month by month, trying out a few ideas from each chapter in our homes, and sharing about our experiences and challenges as well as sharing additional tips and brainstorming solutions together. 

A Life Giving Home book discussion and linkup

We will read each chapter the month before the chapter title and I will post my thoughts on the chapter here the last Friday of the previous month (i.e. I will post my thoughts and plans pertaining to the January chapter the last Friday in December). Starting in the January post I will include how things went implementing the ideas for that month along with my plans for the next month. 

This year, in addition to the discussion here on my blog and a linky for other bloggers who would like to post their thoughts and experiences on The Life Giving Home, I will also have a Facebook group where we will discuss all of this in even more depth. This group will give everyone the opportunity to share their thoughts, plans, and experiences. It will include weekly check-ins on how everyone is doing with their goals and a deeper discussion on The Life Giving Home Experience study guide. (This group will also host a monthly book club beginning in February, stay tuned for more info on that!)

If you would like to participate all you need to do is:

1. Get The Life Giving Home and The Life Giving Home Experience. (Click the images to go to Amazon)

2. Read the chapter before the beginning of the month it is written and work through the chapter in the companion guide.

3. Pick a few suggestions to try with your own family.

4. Join the Facebook group.

5. Join me here on the blog the last Friday of the month, read my thoughts and share your own thoughts, what you plan to try, what you tried the previous month, what worked, and what didn’t what didn’t. Join me in the Facebook group weekly for further discussion. 

We will repeat this each month of 2018.

Each post will include a linky for anyone else who plans to blog through this journey with me but the bulk of the conversation will happen in the Facebook group.

 

A Life Giving Home Discussion and Link-up

The first few chapters of the book are an introduction and overview, I will discuss these along with the January chapter in the first post on December 29th. Please try to read these beginning chapters AND the January by then. 

Join my mailing list below to make sure you don’t miss any posts in this series!

 

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If you plan to join in this study leave a comment and let me know!

May – Life Giving Home Discussion {Link Up}

Welcome to the monthly discussion of A Life Giving Home! Make sure you read the whole post for important info on the future of this series. I hope you had a chance to read the May chapters in both the book and study guide. If not feel free to catch up and join the discussion later! If you don’t yet have the books click below to order them:

Get The Life Giving Home and The Life Giving Home Experience. (Click the images to go to Amazon)

 

A Life Giving Home book discussion and link up

 

Update on Previous Goals:

 

Our schedule has been disrupted with summer arriving and activities ending, other activities beginning and visitors coming and going. Plus the busyness and unpredictability of a homestead in the spring has made it a challenge. I have just not gotten around to any of my intentions from this book this month.

Life has been rough for my family the last few months. Nothing dire or serious but a LOT of transition. We have had a huge move, a new town, a new baby, some health struggles, and some other things that are more personal and don’t need to be broadcast on a blog. I love what I’m reading in this book and all of the amazing ideas it has but the fact is my family is in survival mode right now and will continue to be for the next few months. For my own sanity and to get my family back to a state of peace and order I am focusing on the very basics….a very basic schedule and very basic levels of obedience. We are basically starting from the ground up. Sally’s ideas in this book won’t be something I can implement until I have that basic foundation back in place. Unfortunately, I’m just not in a place to implement what I’m reading right now.

My Thoughts and Going Forward:

 

So what I need to know from you to decide how and if I’m going to proceed with this series is if you want to continue participating. I love this book and the ideas Sally has, so I wouldn’t mind continuing to read and discuss but, for me, it would be from the perspective of what we may want to try eventually, not things we are trying right now. I haven’t had a lot of participation in the comments or on the linkup so far so if there isn’t anyone wanting to participate I will just discontinue the series and perhaps start it in the future when I am personally ready to put some of these ideas into practice. Please comment below if you would like me to continue posting monthly to discuss this book through comments or linkup.

Your Turn:

Share your thoughts on the May Chapters of The Life Giving Home and The Life Giving Home Experience and let me know if you woul like to continue this discussion. You have 3 ways to share:

  1. Here on the blog in a comment
  2. On the Facebook discussion
  3. On your own blog via the Link-up below

 

A Life Giving Home book discussion and linkup

 

Link-up Rules:

  • ONLY link-up a post that discusses the April chapter of The Life Giving Home book.
  • Copy and past the linkup button into your post or blog sidebar (or at least create a text link back to this post).
  • Visit at least one other post in the link-up.
  • (Optional) Share this post on Social Media to spread the word!
A Life Giving Home Discussion and Link-up

 



April – Life Giving Home Discussion {Link Up}

Welcome to the monthly discussion of A Life Giving Home! I hope you had a chance to read the March chapters in both the book and study guide. If not feel free to catch up and join the discussion later! If you don’t yet have the books click below to order them:

Get The Life Giving Home and The Life Giving Home Experience. (Click the images to go to Amazon)

 

A Life Giving Home book discussion and link up

 

Update on Previous Goals:

We are finally starting to fall into a decent routine. It seems like things have been constantly changing since we moved. Babies, visitors, extra activities, and activities ending and beginning keep interrupting our routines. That is still happening and will continue to happen as we approach summer but at least our core “at home” routine is down and can take the interruptions a little better. Now we are focusing on diligence and obedience and actually getting chores and school done when it is time for those.

We have continued to work on our property and the beauty outside. I still need to work on organizing and beautifying our inside environment; I’m hoping to make progress on that this month. I have updates coming up with more details about our projects around here.

We found a state park where we can go on nature walks and hikes. In fact, we were able to go on a “fossil hunt” there and discovered a lovely little alcove the creek runs through.

I still (STILL) need to discuss Sally’s three rules and her list of manners with my kids and incorporate those into our behavior expectations. I just haven’t had a chance to do that but I hope to this month.

I did manage to try out the Sunday tea-time idea. It didn’t really go all that well the first time but my kids loved the idea and we will continue to try it.

 

In the Book:

April is about the heritage of faith and passing on that heritage to your children. It likens faith to a pilgrimage and home to a training center for the journey. Sarah describes what Sally and Clay did in their home to prepare children for the journey including daily family devotions, teaching children to have their own quiet time, nurturing their souls by surrounding them with good music and beautiful art, and celebrating the holidays and seasonal traditions that are part of the Christian faith. She explains that all of these build up children so that when they are grown they are strong enough for their own journey.

 

In the Study Guide:

This month Sally focuses on Mom’s relationship with God and how that is critical for being able to lead your children well by words and example. She gives several ideas to help busy moms find time to have quiet time during different seasons and life circumstances. This is always a challenging thing for moms with little children but Sally has some geat ideas in this section of the study guide.

 

What I Tried:

April was sort of a disaster in my house. The kids and I are still going through a major transition and my health is not at its best (I’m working on that). We spend the month just trying to get back on a basic school schedule and I didn’t manage to add in Our 24 Family Ways or Pilgrim’s Progress like I had hoped. It is still on my list of things to do and hopefully, I can incorporate them in May. We ended up not really doing anything special for Easter either which I hate but we were more or less in survival mode. We went to church of course but that was pretty much it.

For my own time with God, I am reading through the Bible chronologically. I hope to start a more in-depth study soon but for now, my daily reading is keeping me sustained.

 

My Thoughts and Going Forward:

I still plan to start Our 24 Family Ways or Pilgrim’s Progress with my children as we continue to work on our routines and rhythms for the day. As I said before, I would like to begin a more in-depth study and hope to be able to do that soon. I will also continue working on the beauty of our environment and adding in music and art to inspire my kids.

 

Looking Forward (May):

The May chapter is about Days To Commemorate. Sally specifically discusses graduation, weddings and babies. She also talks about how they recognize and celebrate accomplishments when children preform (and gives some ideas on worthwhile endeavors in this area). This is something I struggle with- I am not that great at party planning. I like the ideas of celebrating better and will be digging into how I can incorporate this into our family. Come back in May to see what I tried or plan to try!

 

Your Turn:

Share your thoughts on the April Chapters of The Life Giving Home and The Life Giving Home Experience. You have 3 ways to share:

  1. Here on the blog in a comment
  2. On the Facebook discussion
  3. On your own blog via the Link-up below

 

A Life Giving Home book discussion and linkup

 

Link-up Rules:

  • ONLY link-up a post that discusses the April chapter of The Life Giving Home book.
  • Copy and past the linkup button into your post or blog sidebar (or at least create a text link back to this post).
  • Visit at least one other post in the link-up.
  • (Optional) Share this post on Social Media to spread the word!
A Life Giving Home Discussion and Link-up

 



Next Month:

In the next week read through the May chapters of the book and study guide. Choose at least one suggestion from the book to try with your family. Join us here May 27th and share your thoughts from the chapter, what you tried, and what you plan to do going forward.

Want to read more from Sally? I am currently reading her new book written with her son, Nathan Clarkson, Different. (Yep, I’m still working on it!) I will be discussing it here on my blog when I am finished. Feel free to read along and join the discussion!