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!

March – A 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:

WHEW! How are we already 1/4 of the way through the year??? Man the first part of this year FLEW by. We are still working on our routines. I got our Accountable Kids system set back up, finally. We even added a board for the 2-year-old. Obviously, he is too young to do too many chores but I want to get him in the habit of using it. In the past, this chore system has really helped our entire day run smoothly so I’m hopeful it will be the catalyst to get us back into good routines.

I 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.

 

In the Book:

March is all about finding or cultivating beauty in the ordinary. I have to admit I’m not great at this. This chapter is full of ways to cultivate beauty in your home environment and explains why this is important. I love that Sarah uses Anne of Green Gables to illustrate seeing beauty in everything around you and cultivating a sense of wonder. That was the first thing that struck me reading that book. I definitely want to cultivate this sense of wonder in my children.

I love at the bottom of page 88 where Sarah describes this process as finding “the good, true, and beautiful, ” or “whatever is lovely.” I often encourage my children to set their mind on the good, right, and lovely. Sarah goes on to suggest and explain a variety of ways you can find beauty with your family from cultivating it within your house to finding it outside or in activities with family.

 

In the Study Guide:

The study guide seems to emphasize routines and rhythms for the basis of cultivating beauty. Sally also encourages rest during the transition from winter to spring that is characteristic of March.

The At Home In The Word section is full of encouraging and inspiring scripture as well as prompts to get you brainstorming ways to creat beauty! I encourage you to spend some time working through this section if you haven’t yet.

 

What I Tried:

We spent a lot of time this month working on our environment inside our home and outside on our property. I wouldn’t necessarily say we have achieved beauty yet but we are making progress. We got the last of the boxes unpacked, many things put away, and a few items hung on the walls. We still have a good bit to work on but we are getting there and feeling more settled in.

Outside, we worked on cleaning up the yard of sticks, leaves, etc left over from fall/winter. We set up raised garden beds and have started buying seeds and planning our gardens. We planted rose bushes in the front of the house and reorganized that garden bed so it looks nicer. My husband trimmed the fruit trees and did some basic cleaning up. We got the chickens set up in their yard and house and hubby made a bee stand for the bee hives that are almost ready to set up (not necessarily beautiful in the traditional sense but it brings me joy!).

We have also been working on our rhythms and routines. As I mentioned above I got our Accountable Kids system set back up. It is sort of a combination of a chore chart and a daily schedule. I’m hoping it helps us get back on track as well as it worked before.

We didn’t watch or read any of Sally’s suggestions this month but I am compiling all of the suggestions from the book, study guide, and resource website into a wishlist of books, music, and art to acquire over time!

 

My Thoughts and Going Forward:

I didn’t get a chance to try as many suggestions from the book this month as I would have liked. Although we did start several things (like the garden – I am going to let each of my kids plant a small bed or pot with something of their choice as well as the veggies and flowers I’m planning). I really want to start incorporating the Sunday tea time Sarah describes and will be working on that in the next couple months. I will also be looking for some places to take my children on nature walks. Unfortunately, my road is not good for walking so we will have to load up and go somewhere to do that. I am planning to find music to make playlists and incorporate into our daily life more often.

 

Looking Forward (April):

The April chapter discusses the pilgrimage of faith and how life, home, and routines train children up in their faith. I will discuss this more thoroughly next month but I have already picked out a few things I plan to work on in April. I want to be more intentional about family devotions and prayer in the morning and evening. I plan to use Our 24 Family Ways in the morning and Pilgrim’s Progress in the evening for read aloud and devotion before bed.

We already have some special Easter traditions that I think make this month special. The kids seem to look forward to them! I forgot to put out our Lent wreath this year with everything else going on but we will do the other things. I would love to do a traditional Seder meal but that will probably have to wait until next year.

 

Your Turn:

Share your thoughts on the March 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 March 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 April chapters of the book and study guide. Choose at least one suggestion from the book to try with your family. Join us here April 29th 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. I will be discussing it here on my blog when I am finished. Feel free to read along and join the discussion!

February – A 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 February 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:

January was all about planning and routines. I am still working to get my family back in our normal routines. As a matter of fact, that is a big part of my goal for March. So while it didn’t quite happen in January due to baby, and the expected disruption to schedules and routines that brings, I’m hoping it will start falling into place in March and I will be using many of the suggestions of routines Sally made in the January chapter.

 

In the Book:

The chapter opened with Sally describing a situation where her son wanted to share something special with her but in the normal busyness of motherhood she almost blew him off. She didn’t, and her reward was something truly special as well as a child with a full heart. Too often, I do blow off my kids when they are wanting my attention. This is certainly something I need to work on, prioritizing the important over the urgent! In this chapter, Sally describes what she loves about Valentines and how she makes it special for her family. I have never really been big on this holiday but I can see how I could use it to really pour into my family and show them how special they are.

I love Sally’s stop, look, and listen rules as well as her list of manners. She managed to encompass all of the important rules and habits that children need to learn into a short and simple list. The next section describes “ways to say I love you.” She takes The Five Love Languages and expands upon them a bit. These are great categories to keep in mind (and the 5 Love Languages book is a great resource to expand on these) and make sure you are doing for each of your family members on a regular basis. The rest of the chapter describes other ways Sally shows love to her friends, family, and others around her in practical ways.

 

In the Study Guide:

On the first page of this chapter in the study guide, Sally describes herself and her kids as a “tight-knit group.” This is really what I want for my own family when my kids are grown! She describes the “culture of love” that their family created and how it is similar to the environment Jesus created with his disciples. And how that is the same type of relationship Jesus wants with us.

I won’t get too into the At Home In The Word section but I will say the questions and verses about how powerful our words are really stood out to me. I am going to make a really big effort to speak positivity, love, live, and appreciation to and in front of my kids.

We didn’t get a chance to read or watch any of Sally’s suggestions this month. In March I’m going to be more intentional about this.

 

What I Tried:

Well once again having a baby made this all take a back burner. I’m hoping to be more on top of things next month. I did ponder love and how I’m showing love to my kids and how my words are affecting them and tried to be more intentional this month about showing love. Sally also mentioned birthdays and how she makes those special. This is something we have never really done well. We did have one birthday this month – luckily he turned two and was thrilled with cake! I am brainstorming ways to make birthdays more special and memorable. If you have any suggestions feel free to leave them in the comments!!

 

My Thoughts and Going Forward:

Although I didn’t get to try as many of the suggestions as I would have liked this month I do have some ideas to carry into next month AND some ideas I am going to tuck away for next time February rolls around. In particular, I want to use Sally’s idea for the vase full of verses pertaining to love next February. I also will encourage my kids to make valentines for anyone they would like to share their love with – including each other – and will make that a bigger event for our family. I also would like to incorporate an idea I saw somewhere else where you write something special about your child on a heart each day from February 1st through Valentines and leave it somewhere for them to find. Next year I WILL do this!!

I plan to discuss Sally’s three rules and list of manners with my kids and make a simple poster to hang on the wall to remind us all to work on these specific behaviors. I also plan to re-read The Five Love Languages and be more intentional about making sure I’m doing each of those (plus the others Sally included) for each of my kids on a regular basis.

 

 

Looking Forward (March):

I’ve discovered that I need to plan for the month ahead BEFORE it gets here, so I’ve gone ahead and read March’s chapters and thought about what I plan to do. I will read them more thoroughly next week and will let you know the specifics of what I tried and how it went on the 25th. But, for accountability, I want to let you know what I’m planning now.

March is about beauty! Over the next couple of weeks, the kids and I are going to finish unpacking and organizing the house. During this, I will be intentional about finding simple ways to incorporate beauty in our home. This will include areas of physical beauty, relationships, music, food, and gardening. I will also be incorporating some of the routines mentioned in the January chapter to bring beauty to our interactions and rhythm of our days. I will share specifics with you and let you know how it went at the end of March!

 

Your Turn:

Share your thoughts on the February 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 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



Next Month:

In the next week read through the March chapters of the book and study guide. Choose at least one suggestion from the book to try with your family. Join us here March 25th 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. I will be discussing it here on my blog when I am finished. Feel free to read along and join the discussion!

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

Welcome to the first monthly discussion of A Life Giving Home! 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

 

In the Book:

Most people think about planning and organizing in January and that is exactly what Sally focuses on in this chapter. On page 45 she gives a list of questions to ask yourself to determine what needs some organizing and how to best accomplish it. On the next page, she gives a handy acronym to help you make sure to think through all areas of your life and come up with a balanced plan. From there, she goes into a list of routines that she uses to keep her days flowing smoothly. Some of these routines may work for you and some may not but they are all excellent ideas and examples of creating habits and a flow to your day.

 

In the Study Guide:

My biggest take away from the study guide for this month was that we need to be INTENTIONAL in our planning for our homes, families, and all parts of our life. A Life Giving home won’t just happen but must be intentionally cultivated.

I will generally not post many of my personal thoughts from the “At Home In The Word” section of the study guide because I feel like they are very personal. But I strongly encourage you to complete this section prayerfully and apply it to your life. Feel free to share your thoughts from this section as you feel led and comfortable.

Bringing It Home: My biggest struggle in January is getting everyone back into a routine after the holidays. Getting our homeschooling back on track is always a bit of a struggle and we seem to hit a bit of a slump in January. The long dark days and cool weather also start to get to me and I have to work to not get lazy and apathetic this time of year.

 

What I Tried:

I had a baby in the middle of this month so honestly, this wasn’t my focus. However, I did spend time planning my year and start to get my kids back into a routine, which has been extra challenging after a move and the holidays. I would have loved to read Little Britches and watched Anne of Green Gables from Sally’s suggestions but I haven’t found my copy of Little Britches yet! Perhaps we will do that in February unless I like some of the February suggestions better!!

 

My Thoughts:


I am generally pretty good about spending time in December or January making a plan for the upcoming year. This year, due to many circumstances, I didn’t spend as much time as I usually do on this task. Next year I hope to be able to take Sally’s suggestion and get away one day for a time of focused planning. I also really like her idea of a game night for New Year’s Eve and will consider trying that next year.

 

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. 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 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



Next Month:

In the next week read through the February chapters of the book and study guide. Choose at least one suggestion from the book to try with your family. Join us here February 25th and share your thoughts from the chapter, what you tried, and what you plan to do going forward.