The other day, I was watching my little munchkins shove Lego people inside of old collectible model cars that once decorated my grandpa's bookshelves. As they rammed the cars into walls and shot them fast and furious across the carpet, I chuckled a little. 'Cause, clearly, I wasn't keeping those heirloom collectibles as sacred possessions. They are memories of my grandpa, to be sure, but, since I don't fancy keeping cars on my own bookshelves as untouchable decorations, I figure they might as well be enjoyed as toys. They can be special reminders - and they can also be used.
It made me wonder, what do I hold sacred in our home? I can be pretty relaxed about a lot of things. Like - when we have a fancy tea party, I let the two year old have a fine china cup. And if it breaks, I don't stress about that small loss. I let my kids play outdoors in whatever clothes they want. If Grandma just bought a flouncy satin Christmas dress and they want to wear it all day, every day, that is fine with me. They don't have to save it for a special occasion. I also let them wear my clothes, tightened with safety pins, if they are in the mood. Mama's closet isn't sacred. :) Those art supplies I bought specifically for Raina's kindergarten art program? They are mostly used up. I couldn't say no! Art supplies didn't seem like sacred ground, and I can always buy more. The baby items we have begun to store up for our new little one? They're not sacred either. Baby dolls can be wrapped in swaddle blankets and if Hope wants to swing her stuffies for hours in the hand-me-down swing, that's fine! Do my kids want to jump in the pond wearing their clothes - just because it's 75-degrees out? Okay. We'll do some more laundry. I don't fret about stains, or dents, or broken dishes. I throw away a lot of school projects and little girl art because I don't like to store it. I save "special" projects and pictures, but I don't hold every creation as sacred. But, there are lots of things I do hold sacred in our home.
Like family meals.
And bedtime stories. There are nights when we don't do stories - like when we have AWANA and don't get home until past bedtime. Or, when we choose to stay up late playing Settlers of Cataan instead. Or on our once-a-month or so family movie nights. But, most nights, story hour is truly sacred ground. It might just be a Bible story from a picture Bible, or it might be a few chapters of a cherished read-aloud, or it might be a stack of picture books. But, we read.
Outdoor play. That's pretty important around here.
Afternoon rest. Even the big girls, when home on off-days or weekends, know that 1:00 is quiet time. It's been tradition for so long, they just do it - even though I don't ask or require it. They find a snuggle spot and a book and spend 45 minutes or an hour in quiet. This is our anchor - our reset button. And it is sacred.
Praying before school. I forget occasionally, and someone usually pipes up, just as I am turning into the parking lot, "Pray, Mommy!" You know it's a sacred family habit when they call you out on it.
Having the dishes done before I go to bed. That is a sacred habit I can't break. I think I wouldn't sleep if I knew my sink was full of dirty dishes. :)
What is sacred in your home? What specific traditions, habits, or rules tether your family? I know some of ours are silly and personal and not necessarily universal. Like, it's really OK if you leave the dinner dishes to just do with the breakfast ones. But we all have our negotiables and our non-negotiables. Our sacred and our common. Folded laundry on the back of the couch? Sure, all the time. But, dishes? Never. :)