All posts filed under: Home

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 …

Shrove Tuesday + Hot Cross Buns Recipe

When we became Anglican and my husband found out that a pancake dinner was incorporated traditionally into the church year, he knew we had come home. Something like “The Prayer Book, Church Year AND Pancakes: What More Could You Want?” would somewhat convey his exuberance at the discovery. And this year, my (almost) three year old is also pretty excited about the prospect of pancakes and getting to play with her little friends while we set up for our church’s party tonight. (Read more about Shrove Tuesday at Full Homely Divinity). Meanwhile, for the first time,  we made hot cross buns to eat for Ash Wednesday tomorrow. Nevermind that my daughter was still in her pajamas/pull-up and my house was falling to pieces around us, I’m feeling fairly happy about this. They aren’t traditional, since my daughter dislikes raisins. But, our main fare tomorrow will be the hot cross buns and cheese (since we have children and I’m a nursing mother). I know that some people only eat the hot cross buns on Good Friday, but …

Three Kings Crowns (From the Archives)

The Epiphany, or The Manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles, is celebrated on January 6, with the season of Epiphanytide running through Shrove Tuesday.  There are several events in the life of Christ that we celebrate during this time, where He revealed Himself as the Saviour to both Jews and Gentiles.  The first is the visit of the Magi to see the newborn Christ. To mark this day in our family, we usually wear crowns, and dress up as kings and queens, to remember the visit of the Magi.  Some years, we have saved a special present for our children from Christmas, and given it to them on Epiphany.  I created these crowns in case you would like an easy way to remember and talk about the visit of the Magi with your own children. KingsCrown – There are three crowns in different color ways included in the file for you to print at will. We share these resources and ideas with the understanding that celebrations do not always have to be elaborate to be meaningful. …

Advent is for Making: A Reflection

There is a special dearness about Christmas gifts that are made.  Even when they are clumsily made, they are lovely because the loveliness that goes into them is from the heart and the mind and the hands: hours and days of tacking and tying, fitting and pasting, stitching and hammering, chiseling and modeling – all of it with a permeation of love and effort that cannot be priced.  The making of gifts should be a special part of Advent; an outpouring of self into something we make for someone we love, entirely in the spirit of the remaking of our hearts for Christ, for receiving the gift Someone who loves us made for us. With this making go long evenings of work together, wonderful conversations, meditations, evening prayers.  We need only work together to have an early dinner, clear away the dishes, tidy the kitchen, get the littlest ones off to bed, keep the TV and radio turned off, and there – we have a long evening before us.  Perhaps it is not possible to …

Love Calls Us To the Things of This World

One of my favorite poems is Richard Wilbur’s Love Calls Us to the Things of This World. The title sings through my mind when I am hanging laundry out on the line. The poem speaks for itself, of course, reminding us love and true spirituality is not gnostic – “bodiless and simple as false dawn.” Love isn’t found in clothes puffed with wind, but embodied in clumsy flesh and blood. I would like the words “Love Calls Us to the Things of This World” hanging in my laundry room as a constant reminder. So, I asked Bley whether she would be willing to create a “Love Calls Us” printable for the Homely Hours. She painted and handlettered a beautiful piece and is offering it to you – free for personal use. Love Calls Us to the Things of This World The eyes open to a cry of pulleys, And spirited from sleep, the astounded soul Hangs for a moment bodiless and simple As false dawn. Outside the open window The morning air is all awash with angels. Some are in bed-sheets, some …

On Baby Sleep Challenges, Psalm 127, and Monasticism

My first baby was not a good sleeper. During some of her early weeks,  we had sung Psalm 127 at church and it was going through my head during a particularly desperate night. I was pleading with God to help her fall back to sleep, on the basis of verse 2, “It is vain that you rise up early or go late to rest. . . for he gives to his beloved sleep.” I sympathized with that vanity.  I felt like I agreed so much with the psalmist that surely God would give me a good night’s sleep. But then I kept singing the Psalm in my mind. “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.” Before, I never understood this abrupt change of subjects. But then, at that moment, I had a great epiphany. Indulge me in some parental midrash: “… for he gives to his beloved sleep. Here the psalmist, “Solomon” according to the superscription, perhaps hears the cry of his child (or several, it being Solomon, after all). He …

Building Family Culture: Reading Aloud

My husband and I both come from homes where our mothers read to us, where we were shaped permanently by the power of good stories read aloud. Reading aloud means living through stories together. And, I think that knits a family together in shared experience beyond mundane life.  This also plants the seeds for corporate make-believe that goes past the imagination of the individual child. And, it’s life-giving for more than just children. I didn’t anticipate the joy of reading aloud to be so pivotal in our first year of marriage. We married a month after graduating college and moved to the Chicago area so that my husband could start seminary. Due to the random jobs I found as a seminary wife, I ended up having to wake up a majority of mornings around 3:30am. So, I would try to fall asleep around 8:30pm in order to get the sleep I needed, but I would find this difficult. Gradually, my husband started reading me to sleep. In that first year of marriage, we reread books like The Hobbit and …

Building Family Culture: Vacations

Thank you to Sandy McNamara for contributing to our series on Family Culture. Sandy is the wife of our priest, Fr. Wayne McNamara, the mother of four, and a grandmother of four. She is an art historian and an educator and a founder of Dominion Academy of Dayton.   It took root in my own childhood.  My dad is still a history “buff.”  At the age of 85, he’s still reliving the Russian Revolution through the books he’s immersed himself in.  This love of history took our family to places like Washington, D.C., Appomattox Court House, Colonial Williamsburg, and  the battlefields of Gettysburg.  It brought history alive for me. Thus, when we started having our own kids we made vacation destinations one of the top priorities of our family’s year and we structured our life to save for them. When we moved to Dayton in 1986, we bought an old farmhouse (in the city), built in 1875 – its inner city location made its purchase incredibly inexpensive.  We had a used VW “Rabbit” – purchased from …