Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Home as Sanctuary

For the past several months I’ve been pondering on how I, as a wife and mother, can make my home a sanctuary and refuge from the cares and troubles of the world. I can see the end result in my mind but the process of getting there – what to change, what to work on, has been my focus and dare I say, trouble spot. :-D Habits, especially bad ones, are hard to break.

I am an avid reader. I love to wake up in the early morning hours to study the scriptures and Ensign. I read at least three books at any given time. When there are a few minutes to spare, my nose is in a book. I haven’t actively been seeking out solutions to my “home as sanctuary” dilemma, just semi-consciously thinking about it now and again. I can attest that the Lord knows what we are working on and will help us if we pay attention to those signals He sends our way. This past month several talks, articles, and books have come my way from various sources. They’ve all had a focus on “Home as Sanctuary.” I’d like to share what they are.

First, a good
e-friend shared some thoughts from a book she was reading by Katrina Kenison, “Mitten Strings for God: Reflections for Mothers in a Hurry.” It sounded like something I needed to read and ordered it on It came about two weeks ago and I am enjoying it immensely. Mrs. Kenison basically states what most of us already know. We need to simplify our lives, slow down, turn off the T.V. more, and spend time just enjoying simple pleasures with our family.

Another e-friend posted on her
blog comments on an article from the Meridian Magazine. It contained a quote from C.S. Lewis, "The homemaker has the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose only-and that is to support this ultimate career." About a week later I was searching conference talks trying to help Joseph find some good stories to share with the Priests on ‘Respecting Mothers. Pres. James E. Faust at a General Young Women’s meeting in 1998 shared a similar quote by C.S. Lewis, “A housewife’s work … is the one for which all others exist.”

My mother gave me several new books when she came to visit two weeks ago. One contains all the talks from the 2005 BYU Women’s Conference. They are fantastic as usual, but one has hit home,
“Home as Sanctuary: One Mother’s Journey” by Betsy VanDenberghe. (Click on the link to download the talk in pdf file. The title is wrong but it’s the same talk as the book). She speaks of the on-going process she has had in trying to create a sanctuary for her family. And one of the helps she mentions is Mitten Strings for God! How many more times do you think I need to be hit on the side of the head?

So now I have a list of good habits that I want to develop to replace the bad habits that I need to be rid of. I need to relax more, not let precious teaching moments slip away because it’s inconvenient for me at the time, listen more and talk less, be patient with little ones who are still learning how to do things. I realize it’s all a process and that change will come, slowly, but it will come.


Calandria said...

I'm totally with you here, Montse. I've loved Mitten Strings too. I've been reading it very slowly to allow it to sink in. I look forward to reading Home as Sanctuary. Thanks for the link and your thoughts...

Bookworm said...

It's funny, I first heard about Mitten Strings from a Women's Conference compilation book myself . . . thanks for your thoughts. Isn't it funny when we keep hearing something from many places.

Anonymous said...

Monste, I have been having some similar thoughts these past few months. Thank you for the added reading suggestions.