Sally Clarkson is one of my favorite authors. I love her practical advice on parent-child relationships, schooling, and home-making, so when I was offered her and her daughter, Sarah’s new book, The Life Giving Home, in exchange for a review I was excited for the opportunity.
I feel like the art of home-making is not my strong point. My husband and I have moved a lot in our sixteen years of marriage because of overseas ministry involvement. We’ve lived in ten different houses and have moved more times than that. I feel like we’re often in the settling-in stage and yet never quite settled in. Even now, we’re looking ahead to a new move within the next few months. So I feel like I need all the encouragement I can get in making our home a special place for our children.
In the Life Giving Home, Sally and Sarah Clarkson talk about what makes a house a home and how influential the home atmosphere is to our children. As the book title says, we as parents are trying to create “a place of belonging and becoming.” We are making a place where our children can feel safe and secure and grow in their knowledge of their heavenly Father. Sarah Clarkson writes that it was in the cozy details of home life that “[she] tasted and saw the goodness of God in a way [she] couldn’t ignore.”
In the book, Sally and Sarah Clarkson share practical ways for us to make our homes that safe haven for our children. These suggestions are loosely tied in with the different months of the year.
As the authors shared in the book, not all ways will be suitable for all families but there is plenty of inspiration within the pages to help any family celebrate life, home, each other, and the people God puts in our paths.
And I love how Sally lifts up Christ as our example of service and hospitality. It was through servanthood that God Incarnate, in Christ Jesus, chose to bring His message to the world. Sally writes,
It is not the indoctrination of theology forced down daily that crafts a soul who believes: it is the serving and loving and giving that surround the messages where souls are reached.” (pg. 197)
I encourage you to read the book The Life Giving Home. I know that no matter how different your family culture, you will pick up practical tips for making your home a special, secure spot for your children, but more importantly, you’ll pick up a vision for making your home a life-giving haven for those who live there and for those who enter its doors.
And maybe I’ll have to try a tablecloth and candles at dinner sometimes and see if it really does calm down my sometimes rambunctious four boys.
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