I've been thinking about writing this post for a long time. I hope you'll allow me the liberty of discussing matters completely unrelated to food (well, kinda).
One of the reasons I started this blog was to encourage other young mothers to make family mealtime a priority. My sister-in-law was prompting me to establish a subscription service of sorts that would include meal planning ideas. I'm not sure why I decided on a blog, but I am really glad I did. I realize that my impact on the world is rather small, but I really enjoy having a writing outlet and you, my readers, are amazing! Your encouragement and comments are so thrilling to me. Thank you.
One of the other reasons that I had been harboring some sort of idea of sharing was inspired by Rob's aunt, Nancy. She encouraged me to develop some sort of medium in which I could spur other young moms to nurture their families. She is very involved in the lives of many young families in her area in CO, and shared that the ability to nurture is not inborn, but rather taught. I am certainly no expert in sociology, psychology, or human nature, but I think I might have an idea why the younger generation seems to be having a harder time incorporating behavior that I assumed would be second-nature. I think this is a result of our culture and the breakdown of families.
I had the blessing of being born into a fully-functional family. My mom, while working full-time, served my sister, my father and I in every way possible. She, while never verbally instructing me, taught me how to nurture. Our culture, maybe not intentionally, discourages this type of "antiquated" behavior. I understand that my way of thinking may be old-fashioned. I may not have a high-powered career or expect my husband to share my chores, but I take pride in the fact that I provide for my family, a soft place to land. What do I mean by that? I aim to make our home a place where my husband and children feel safe, relaxed, comfortable, and well-taken care of. I want them to walk in the door and exhale a sigh of relief. I want our home to be a shelter from the storms of everyday life.
I am certainly not perfect in this area. I admire the women that can "do it all". As I think about my role next year [with all of my children in school full-day], I am conflicted. I want to be productive, but not at the expense of my family. I know my limitations, and I think a full-time commitment would be too much. I do feel the need, though, to branch outside my home and myself, and in some way, to serve others. How this will look is completely a mystery to me. I have not always served my husband and children to the best of my ability. During some of Rob's busiest times, I have not supported him fully, but instead added to his stress-load [by complaining that he isn't home enough]. I haven't always offered myself to him fully, instead being selfish with emotional and physical love. I understand that everyday life can get in the way of serving a family. It's not glamorous work, it's hard, and it's selfless. I do, however, feel it's the highest calling of a wife and mother.
For me, personally, that soft landing always existed in my parents house. Lately, though, I've noticed a shift in my feelings. I'm not sure if this is due to maturity or the fact that I simply love this stage in my life, but my soft landing is now our home. Don't get me wrong, I love spending time in my childhood house, but it's become just a place, not my "home". I also suspect that my soft landing has little to do with material possessions or a place at all, but rather, the people in my life. I do love my kitchen, my bedroom, and my living room, but my memories and feelings are much more connected to the other people who inhabit them with me.
Maybe you didn't have the benefit of being taught how to nurture. It's possible you don't even know how to nurture, or how to translate the abstract idea into your own life. I just want to encourage you, if possible, to make your home a soft place to land. Serve your husband and children. Take pride in the fact that you are their soft landing. Be the woman that God created you for. I will always remember a friend from church saying that she knew of two couples that suffered broken relationships because the husband felt unloved. He went elsewhere. I'm certainly not advocating that adultery is anything other than the offenders fault. I'm just saying that if we're giving our husbands love and support and a soft place to land, how much more unlikely it will be that they will look elsewhere for those things.
I want it to be said of me, at the end of my life, that I took care of my husband and children. That I did it for the Lord and for them, and that I did it well.