Friday, September 25, 2009

A few thoughts on Autumn in our homes

"In the garden, Autumn is, indeed the crowning glory of the year, bringing us the fruition of months of thought and care and toil. And at no season, safe perhaps in Daffodil time, do we get such superb color effects as from August to November."

- Rose G. Kingsley, The Autumn Garden, 1905

Are you nesting during this new season yet? It's hard work right, but someone has to do it.

At the end of a busy workbee day, reward yourself with a lovely bubble bath and some soothing moments to allow for rejuvenation wellness to rekindle your body and weary soul.

A few simple aesthetic placements can really freshen up your home for some seasonal changes as our days begin to grow shorter and the natural process begins for spending more time indoors.

Begin to rekindle and offer fresh and appealing items to your home environment by scattering the interiors/exteriors of your home with sweet reminders of the season; colorful arrays of decor from the autumn palette and harvest gathered reapings from a local farmer's stand.

There's nothing like a gradual stale air quality developing inside of our homes as we buckle down for colder weather ahead. Open up your windows as often as possible, especially in the morning to freshen up the rooms throughout your homes.

Or, why not find yourself a few scented candles to burn in your prayer corners. Careful for small children passing through, be fire safe at all times.

Diffuse your home with essential oil scents your family will grow to request and truly appreciate. Our family favorite is an orange blend for a super fresh and joyous lingering scent, lavender anytime, and a cranberry or pumpkin spiced scented candle. My husband loves the air diffused slightly with the true scent of pine or even with balsam fir smells, but I can't say I feel the same with those two. Since we all tend to find familiar and delightful scents inviting in our lives, why not allow for everyone to share their requests even if you yourself aren't partial to them. That's what we attempt to do over here "in the east". :)

Check your pantry stocks for a variety of hot drink fixings, various teas, hot cocoa and assorted coffees for those shorter day afternoon tea times and later evening savoring moments where everyone comes together during that huddle moment shortly before retiring for the night. With a hot cup of something, conversation naturally ripples through those taking time for sipping and simultaneously chatting together. Make time for this, be prepared with a splendid array of tempting offerings.

Savor the moments of this same timing by day's end with a warmly hued ambiance in your home, lighting a candle and filling the air with soft music. Browse through your music CD collection and gather a few selections to burn one or more special disks for the purpose of the "unwind" at the end of your day.

My personal musical preferences during the evening is music variations from classical background music (I have many mixes for evening or rainy day listening), Dan Gibson's "Solitudes" classics mixed with nature sounds, jazz (Kenny G), Gregorian chant is always soothing to the very core of anyone, a variety of assorted piano tunes (my favorite is "Lorie Line") and basically any assortment of music that fast becomes soothing, calming and preferably does not include any lyrics, just harmony to lull my busy brain, granting me a sweet timing reprieve from an often hectic pace of life.

Not enough music selection to throw onto your computer to create personalized mixtures of evening music to fill your rooms with? Never fear, why not try swapping cds you're tired of with a friend for a while, borrow a few from the library (reserve the ones you've been wanting to listen to), or buy a few new tunes off Itunes to keep you and your family entertained this autumn and winter.

No one else at home with you, or already in bed? Don't be shy! Go ahead and grab a steamy hot cuppa, and a warm blanket if appropriate to cuddle up into and take time to linger within the pages of a good book until the a deep yawning session takes over and the thoughts of a great slumber begin to call your name.

If I may divert here for just a moment, I'm going to go ahead and mention something which has grown dear to my heart. I find as a mother, my evenings for the most part MUST include a mental dejunking period and overall unwinding time allotment. There are often times when I'm plumb tuckered out and physically exhausted but my mind won't turn off right away. Allowing for a gentle yawning session by candlelight with my tea, a hushed chat catching up with my hubby before he retires (he heads to bed earlier than I), or even just a great soaking in a really warm bath for a while, I know I'm not alone with this absolute motherly necessity in life.

In particular, since the schooling year is now in progress, a homeschooling mother requires a personalized time carved out every evening to call her very own for she has been in ultra high demand the entire day and when mentally reviewing her priority list after the dinner hour, somehow, somehow she might find she's fallen down to the bottom of that checklist....again. Why is that?

An understanding husband will assure his wife gets what she requires at the end of such a day, even if that means he takes the baby and/or the young ones from her to ensure she has this time if they are still awake during bedtime hours.

I might preface this thought cautiously though first by saying, not all men can read a woman's mind and begin to recognize what their wife may require at the end of the day, so a bit of coaching may be necessary in advance. He wants to unwind after a hectic day just like you do, however he's not the one with the children all day long being pulled in every which way straight up to an evening frazzle.

If this is the situation in your home, two adults requiring down time at the close of a day, then why not just consider training and then tucking your children in to bed a little earlier at night as winter begins to approach, and then subsequently begin to quiet down the house soon afterward, but then seriously - off you go to do whatever it is you require by nightfall ..... wisdom words from an older mother offered here.

I will lie down in peace, and sleep; for You alone,
O Lord, make me dwell in safety

~ Psalm 4:8

Regardless, I cannot stress this point strongly enough; be sure to find your own evening "moment", claiming it as your very own, alone or with your husband present. It easily becomes a prelude to an evening prayer time and a fitting end to your day so why not end it with a calm spirit, and a thankful heart for the blessings given unto you.

A mother of little ones well knows the big blur hour when feeling a hopeless physical exhaustion at the end of the day. A mother to older teens/young adults knows well the feeling of mental and emotional exhaustion. BUT, a mother of many who has a wide range of ages living in her home thus shoulders all combined.

For myself, I've had babies and adults living under my roof at the same time. Through trial and error I've learned to stop struggling with the guilt feelings associated when thinking it somehow selfish to continue pursuing this time I so dearly require, and I've learned how to allow myself the luxury of my own moments to melt away the stresses and cares of the day.

Admittedly in the midst of a busy life and so many family members to care for and love, I've used this time involuntarily to spill many silent tears at the close of extra tough days as the reality of what has freshly occurred that day still lingers and fills my weary heart with the weight of a heavy burden. Through grace and a little refreshment, our spirits can definitely become renewed quicker and our batteries recharged again.

I've said my evening prayers surrounded by bubbles, and lifted up many prayer intentions amidst candlelight in between sips of my evening brew.

I've had mighty talks with God during my evening rituals, and hearty and incredibly deep examinations of my conscience ... however they all choose to appear during my "unwinding" moments before I crawl into bed for the night. In the still of the night, all of my cares are eventually offered up and cast heavenward, and very slowly I can begin to be still to listen for His voice.

In the still of the night, if you carve out this time, your guardian angel will surround you with the assurance of a heavenly love. A quiet reprieve under any heavenly mantle is a wonderful place to take refuge, so go there, and be sure to linger as long as you need to. First though, develop the habit for including it - on purpose, every single evening and always remember, even Jesus went alone into the desert to pray. Our fuel tanks cannot run on empty. A mother becomes terribly worn out and can easily suffer from the consequences of burnout if they don't carve out time as necessary for refueling. Since she is the heart of the home, it becomes a priority to ensure she gets it. As any mother ages, they'll require more time, believe me. It's a rare evening when I actually miss out on "my time".

How about you?