Like Mother, Like Daughter‘s subtitle for this meme is “Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life,” and I love that. My own subtitle for my phfr posts this year will be Capturing Contentment and Contagious Conviviality. To have a happy, joy-filled home, I am the one who must be joy-filled. A mother’s joy – or discouragement or frustration or anger – in the home is a contagion, infecting everyone else who must live with her.
How can we pursue joy and pass it on to our family? That’s what I want to explore.
Making a home and a life that is pretty and satisfying is less about outward beautification and more about becoming happy, relishing the funny, and embracing the real duties it involves.
How to Be Happy at Home
I love to add this William Morris quote to the top of my to do lists:
The true secret of happiness lies in the taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life. – William Morris
Rather than just go through the motions of all those daily details, really taking a genuine interest in them – whether it be by planning, by adding personal flair, or by offering them up as service to God – will cultivate happiness instead of the discontent and restlessness homemakers can be prone to.
These daily details are the stuff of life and not beneath our attention and interest. They are the way we shape the bodies and souls of humanity in our homes. And shaping bodies and souls is anything but dull.
Mundane Daily Details
We seem to be down with a never-ending cold. It is the kind that isn’t bad enough to call the day off and proclaim it a Sick Day, but it is enough to make the little ones clingy and whiny and make the older ones drag their feet (even more than usual) in their work. It is enough to make me whiny and foot-draggy about my own work, as the state of the house can attest.
Being interested in the daily details is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it can mean noticing, being amused by, seeing the little things worth attention and wonder and love. It is attitude about one’s work that matters more than the work itself.
On the other hand, there is a kind of interest that is more likely to stress one out more. If interested means all wound up tight about how things look and how they are done, there is no surer way to go insane.
The happiness-giving interest is of another sort. It is an interest that is not too good to think through a better process for sorting and washing the laundry. It is an interest that notices the qualities of an onion while chopping. It is an interest that smiles at the window-smudges, because they tell a story.
The daily small details of life are not beneath us, but given to us by a good God. So, that “small talk” you fall into with other moms is not preventing deep, meaningful conversation and relationship. It is talking shop. It cultivates interest and engagement in your work, as well as knits ties with those other moms, forging community as you share daily, mundane, real life together.
Let us take an interest in what is before us, but let it be an interest that is not seeking tighter control, but an interest that fosters an attitude of enjoying where God has us right now, doing what we’re doing.
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