I’ve been reading Sally Clarkson’s books for a while, and I’ve fallen in love with her idea of creating the kind of home that is a secure and loving place for my children to thrive as we live, learn and share the same spaces. However, sometimes, in the day-to-day grind of life, I find that my idealistic vision of what I want our home to be like gets crushed. So, it was with much interest that I received The Lifegiving Home: Creating a Place of Belonging and Becoming for review.
In The Lifegiving Home, Sally and Sarah Clarkson help give you ideas of how to create a home environment that is a loving, welcoming and restful place for your family members to belong. The first four chapters of the book describe why family traditions and environments are important. Then, after these chapters, there are chapters addressing each month of the year to help brainstorm themes and ideas that you might want to incorporate into your household, using the examples of how they celebrated, relaxed and created an rich environment for their family.
As someone who struggles with the idea of “measuring up,” there were times when I felt a little exhausted by this book. There are just so many great ideas and great things to think about. I found Sally’s wise advice in the third chapter to be a great idea. She suggests just dipping into the ideas a month or a season at a time, trying on what works, abandoning what doesn’t and using your own creativity and your own family culture to create the home environment that will make your family feel at home. As a part of following that advice, I’ve bought the companion book, so that I can go through the book a little more slowly the second time through and actually apply what is written to our home.
In the meantime, I reminded myself not to get overwhelmed, but to make changes in our home little by little. It’s worth it to create the family environment that is right for our family. As Sarah writes, “We must understand homemaking not as a retreat from the fallen world, not as a retrenchment from culture, but as a profound engagement with it.” As we make our homes, we’re doing kingdom work, and this book is a great place to gain a foundation and to get ideas to build the traditions of our family culture.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.