Monday, March 26, 2012


My in-laws gave our children a terrific Casio keyboard for Christmas. It was one of those gifts that wasn't on a wish list anywhere, but has proven to be a real hit with our family. It has light up keys to teach novice players, but its primary appeal is a song bank of 110 tunes, predominantly classical, that can be put on autoplay.

On the rare evenings when we do not have activities to rush to and from, it has become our pre-dinner routine for the children to spread out on the sun porch adjacent to my kitchen, reading, while the keyboard fills my home with beautiful piano music. It all feels so lovely and provincial to be cooking (a tenuous pursuit for me) while they read and we all listen to classical music. It is a relaxing departure from the level of wild cat, verbose, giggly, wiggly energy that usually permeates our home. It gives me a small taste of the Norman Rockwell-ism that is so appealing and simultaneously elusive in my real life. To be clear, this generally only happens once a week for about 20 minutes, but it is heavenly for me. It is the 'place of peace, love & rest' I aspire for my home to be.

Saturday morning, my husband took K to swim practice while the boys enjoyed vegging out to screen time and I prepared a flat of quickly ripening strawberries for freezing. I had inadvertently left my laptop on Ann Voskamp's blog and the gorgeous piano music from her site filled the air. Behind it, I could hear the early Spring songs of the birds in my yard. My heart was so full of joy. This is the storybook picture of what motherhood was like in my dreams. And it was due largely to the soundtrack.

My real daily life is seldom this peaceful. It includes the stress of hurt feelings, obligations, chores, bills, errands, selfishness, pride, hormones, exhaustion. There are so many things that we encounter everyday that are outside our control...the actions of others, the consequences of sin in the world, illness, accidents, demands...but I am reminded that we do have control over a lot more in our homes (and the hearts of the people living here) than we often realize.

The mood of our homes is something many Moms can absolutely affect. We can't always make up for the moods of the other inhabitants, but we can be good role models. We can influence the soundtrack. Is it chaos, bitterness, sarcasm, yelling, contentiousness, silence...or is it love, joy, peace, patience, kindness.

I want to be intentional in choosing to turn the volume UP on the fruits of the Spirit and DOWN on the temptations of the flesh. I hope the ultimate soundtrack that is ingrained in my children's hearts will be a song to the Glory of God.

25-26Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives. Galatians 5:25-26 The Message

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