Desiring the Kingdom Book Club, week 8: Lifestyle Matters More Than Lessons

posted in: attitudinal | 7

Desiring the Kingdom Book Club

This week we’re discussing the final section of chapter 3 in Desiring the Kingdom.

Here I really was and am quite curious about what the participants had to say about last week’s reading, but even though it was a break week for us, I was too caught up in keeping life here spinning to go read and comment properly! I still do intend to come visit and chat on those posts, though.

Summary: A Multisensory Orientation to Life

Today is my fourth child’s fourth birthday, and so preparations and celebrations are eclipsing some of my reading and blogging time. I would have to say that if there’s an area in my mothering journey so far that has brought home how bad I am at liturgy, practices, habitus, it is birthdays. Occasions like birthdays bring out the Dr. Spock in me, the Marilla Cuthbert, who has no time for such stuff and nonsense as streamers and fancy cakes.

And so it’s really rather funny that it is the intellectual side of me that is convinced such bodily practices and tangible traditions are actually not a bunch of worthless bother, and I now stay up late on birthday eves putting up a few random, tacky birthday decorations and setting the table with presents and treats so the birthday child wakes up to a transformed house, set with surprises. My husband kisses me and says “Good job,” and I shrug and say, “Well, I guess this is The Right Thing to Do.”

So, helping a three-year-old make his own birthday cake (my tradition, since I am no cake decorator) and his birthday foods all afternoon and then decorating and wrapping presents after he is in bed – making actual liturgies and habitus – is what I have been doing instead of thinking of a coherent post about the university and how lifestyle trumps the classroom.

I think as homeschoolers we know that’s true, and we see it more and more every year as living it bears fruit. So let’s live a lifestyle that will trump any other classroom our children might enter. Let’s build identities that love the things that are lovely – even if we are a little suspicious that streamers on the chandelier and some sprinkles on a sheet cake frosted by a four-year-old don’t really count as lovely. The aesthetics of that life lived together, shared together, is what is lovely, even if our feeble attempts at celebration fall so short of Pinterest, HGTV, or even our own tastes.

Further Book Club Conversation

Visit these other participants’ posts and keep the conversation going in the comment sections! You don’t have to have a blog to participate. Please jump on in.


Next week:

7 Responses

  1. Lisa
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    I feel the same way about birthdays. :) But you’re right, it is right to celebrate and form those traditions that cultivate an atmosphere of love and joy in the home.

    This week will be my last post about the book, but I will probably still follow along an comment on other’s posts. I just need to step back for lent and decrease my online time. Time to start doing instead of just thinking!

    • Mystie Winckler
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      I’m sorry you’ll be leaving our little discussion group, but I understand. Thank you so much for your thoughtful contributions!

  2. Brandy Vencel
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    I really liked this: “let’s live a lifestyle that will trump any other classroom our children might enter.”

    I find myself wondering if I am enough, if what we do here is enough. I might decorate cakes, but over all I think we have a lot in common with your sprinkles on a sheet cake — in other words, we’re nothing fancy.

    I guess I must rest in the fact that God is enough. :)

    • Lisa
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      Yes. God is enough. I find that I become most stressed when I try to be enough by myself.

      The liturgical practices of the home most definitely ought to trump any other classroom. I’ve often heard it said that the home ought to be thought of as a little church. That’s why we have an icon corner in a prominent place – not only as a place to say our prayers, but also as a reminder that we are never really outside of church.

      • Brandy Vencel
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        “We are never really outside the church” — I love that thought, Lisa! I’m going to chew on that one this evening. :)

  3. Mystie Winckler
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    That is true, and helpful to remember. We are never outside the church because we *are* the church, the bride of Christ.

  4. Jen
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    Whew, I’m not the only mom out there that doesn’t do cakes. I always let my kids decorate their own too. :)