All posts filed under: Home

The Sullivan Home and the Moral Imagination

We’re delighted to share with you a new addition to our Meaningful Home Series — a reflection and blessing for a house from our poet friend Helena Nellie Sullivan. Nellie is a former English and poetry teacher who lives in Carson City, Michigan with her husband and two children (they actually live in a funeral home, where her husband works). She begins by interacting with this quote from G.K. Chesterton, the inspiration for this series: “It is the main earthly business of a human being to make his home, and the immediate surroundings of his home, as symbolic and significant to his own imagination as he can.” I depart from Chesterton on this slightly, in that I do not believe that our own imagination should guide so much as a moral imagination *—an imagination beholden to creeds. To keep a home, then, that fosters moral imagination means that the homemaker will uphold certain “enduring standards”** (as Russell Kirk puts it) in a variety of ways. For us, this means that we hang richly symbolic pictures …

A Window Into Meghan’s Home

This post is part of our series on making meaningful homes, following G.K. Chesterton’s advice: “It is the main earthly business of a human being to make his home, and the immediate surroundings of his home, as symbolic and significant to his own imagination as he can.”  If you’d like to contribute, email thehomelyhours@gmail.com with your guest post! Thanks to Meghan Tarsitano for her contribution and be on the lookout for more “windows into meaningful homes” as we continue this series.  Isn’t it marvelous when things material and temporal point toward truths eternal and unchanging?  Even in small ways, it is better than it simply being a “thing.”  A chair has a purpose; a table has a purpose;  decorative items are best when they have a purpose too.  Certainly, beauty is a purpose in this context, and beauty itself can point toward our Creator.  This is partly why in addition to our more explicitly religious decorations, we frequently have fresh flowers.  God designed those flowers; He called them good; He delighted in his creation, and He wants …

A Window into Amy’s Home

This post is part of our new series on making meaningful homes, following G.K. Chesterton’s advice: “It is the main earthly business of a human being to make his home, and the immediate surroundings of his home, as symbolic and significant to his own imagination as he can.”  If you’d like to contribute, email thehomelyhours@gmail.com with your guest post! Thanks to Amy Rogers Hays for her contribution and be on the lookout for more “windows into meaningful homes” as we continue this series.  Above our kitchen table on a 45 inch Mosslanda Ikea picture ledge sits our version of a little oratory. We have very small children (3 and 11 months) and a very small house (728 sq. ft). Our kitchen table, a handmade counter height butcher block table, is both kitchen prep space and our only eating space in our 9 x 12 kitchen. We have icons scattered across the house, in a cube in our 25 square Ikea Kallax bookcase in our living room, in bedrooms, and above desks in the basement. But …

A Candlemas Gift from Hearthstone Fables

Kristin Haakenson is the artist behind Hearthstone Fables. I truly gasped when I opened Kristin’s email with these Candlemas images. What a gift! When I think of Hearthstone Fables, I think of St. Francis of Assisi. In his Canticle of the Sun, he saw all creation as family —  “Brother Sun,” Sister Moon,” Brother Wind…” The legends say that he preached sermons to birds and befriended wolves. In this way, Kristin’s art at Hearthstone Fables seems very Franciscan to me. And, with these beautiful Candlemas gifts, I think we can look to “Sister Swan” and “Brother Fox” as we carry the light in our homes. In her lovely website, Kristin says: “In the magical world of Hearthstone Fables, I’ve sought to express my passion for faith, nature, & mythic storytelling through art.  I aim to create simple, quiet narratives that convey a sense of wonderment at the sacred world, with the various flora and fauna of nature weaving enchanting stories together. I’ve always been enamored with mythic storytelling, both through written narrative and the visual arts.  Humanity so often expresses a sense of displacement…a nagging feeling …

Preparing for All Saints’ Day

I’ve been working on an explanation of All Saints’ Day that my children can understand. We’re going to start reading it tomorrow (Thursday) and read a section each day as part of our family morning prayer time. Here are the sections: What is a saint? (on holiness and wholeness) Lots of Different Saints (on the variety among God’s saints) How to Be a Saint (on The Communion of the Saints and the Beatitudes) Welcoming the Saints (on the question, why do so many saints die for Jesus?) Death and the Saints (on why sometimes it’s not easy to want to be a saint) Dealing with Scary Things and Halloween (self-explanatory) Today is the Day! (on doing small things with great love) Here is an excerpt: “You may think that to be a saint, you have to be big and do big things for God. This is not true. You need to do the same things that all of us followers of Christ are trying to do – whether we are old or young, big or …

Great Prayer Book Online Resources

During Lent, I (Amanda) started a practice of knitting while listening to the Cradle of Prayer, recordings of the 1928 Prayer Book daily offices. I was surprised by how much joy and peace this practice brought to my days.  (And, I found my three year old would sometimes even quietly play and listen!) The possibility of listening to the Daily Offices — though it seems so obvious, like “why haven’t I always done this?” — has been rather revolutionary for me. So, we’ve put together a list of some great online resources and apps that may help you to “dwell richly” in the Scriptures through prayer, by means of the wise ordering of the Prayer Book. The Cradle of Prayer The Cradle of Prayer uses the 1928 Prayer Book (for those of you who aren’t Anglican, this is the version that sounds like the KJV Bible — “vouchsafe,” “succour,” and lots of “beseeching”). The best thing about the Cradle of Prayer is that they include a hymn and the canticles are sung (she cycles through the …

Daily Prayer, “By the Book”

Thanks to Fr. Isaac Rehburg for submitting this guest post to our BCP in Daily Life series. Fr. Isaac is the curate at All Saints Anglican Church in San Antonio, TX, where he lives with his wife and daughter. When out of his collar, he works as a residential real estate appraiser, or plays music with his family.  As a bi-vocational priest, I spend at least as much time “in the world” as I do working in the Church. One of my favorite aspects of the Book of Common Prayer is how its pattern of living out the Christian faith is designed to work equally well for folks in “regular life” as for folks who spend most of their time in and around the church building. While one of my duties as a priest is to pray the Daily Offices, I have long found them to be much more than a duty; they are a means of grace whereby I meet with the Lord and hear from him in the Scriptures, Psalms, and formal prayers of our tradition. …

There’s a Prayer for That

Thank you to Kelli Ann Wilson for submitting this guest post to our series on Family Prayer. Kelli Ann lives in Walpole, NH with her husband Damian and their two children. She works as a writer, and in her free time enjoys reading, gardening, and photography. Kelli blogs at OurCommonHours.com, and shares her family’s faith journey through the seasons and the Christian year at AroundtheYear.org. My dad has always been great at off-the-cuff prayers. No matter what the occasion—Easter dinner or just a family meal—he can pull together a prayer on the spot that is both authentic and meaningful. I am not blessed with my dad’s talent for spontaneous prayer, but I can still offer up words of praise or petitions for intercession, thanks to the Book of Common Prayer. It may seem like a non-sequitur to link my inability to pray with the prayer book, but I assure you that the “Prayers and Thanksgivings” section of the BCP has saved me from myself many, many times. Sometimes it feels like the authors were anticipating my …

A Productive Home

When my oldest two children went to school, my unspoken daily goal was to bring my home back to a “showpiece” state every morning after they left.  Problem was, I still have several young children and babies at home, so you can imagine the tension this created.  Our visual culture tells us that to be a “successful” homemaker (and this does not just apply to stay at home moms, but any person who has a home), our home needs to look Pinterest perfect all the time. Home in our culture is no longer a place of production.  The only “meaningful” things that happen at home anymore have been relegated to hobby status: cooking, crafting, the cult of organization.  All of our modern conveniences have ensured that housework can be done in the minimal amount of time, so we can move on to more important things.  And I enjoy the benefits of this, as we all should. But what if Home was meant to remain productive?  What if the messes that are created daily at home …

Family Prayer: An Uncommon Habit

Thank you to Andrew Brashier for submitting this post to our series on family prayer. Andrew volunteers as Chancellor for the ACNA Special Jurisdiction of Armed Forces and Chaplaincy and is an attorney at the Beasley Allen law firm in Montgomery, AL. He blogs about family oratories and the impact they can have in reigniting Anglicanism at https://thruamirrordarkly.wordpress.com/“ Habits are common, but a good habit requires discipline. One does not fall into a good habit, but falling into a bad habit is as easy as rolling downhill.  Discipline is what makes good habits uncommon.  Perhaps the most uncommon habit, yet the most important, is prayer. Prayer is sadly neglected all too often in the life of the average Christian, I myself being no exception.  Therefore, I rejoice at the great resource that is the Book of Common Prayer.  Its prayers are directed to the Triune God, in gentle rebuke to my inwardly focused prayers.  As a tool, the Book of Common Prayer (BCP) can develop the uncommon habit of prayer.  The regular use of the daily offices …