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Spiritual Home

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Moms how do you make your home a spiritual place? Do you try to have things in the home that point to your faith. Or something else?


Do you do things that are just for your children in the home that if you did not have them you might not do? How do you see your children making your home spiritual? Do you feel like you "homeschool" your faith?


Hope to hear for all different points of view.

post #2 of 15

I try to make my home into a mini church for lack of a better way to put that.   This is a holy place set apart from the world.  A place of prayer and worship (you know, on a good day  ;-) )  


I have holy icons in every room (except the bathroom).  We also have an icon corner where we keep the censor and candles (I don't let the girls burn candles in their room yet.)  This is where we pray together as a family.  It is the focal point of our living room and our home (you can not go from anywhere to anywhere in our home without passing it, you cannot come in our out of our home without being face to face with something holy.  It is constantly drawing our hearts and minds to God.  


I wouldn't say we homeschool our faith.  When we did homeschool our cirriculum revolved around it.  Butt we believe  that being present in church is essential to our growth and is essential participation in the life of the church and the world.   Our children are full members of the congregation and often just learn by being active participants.  


I don;t know that there is anything I specifically do because I have kids.  They keep me committed.  I am terrible about praying as regularly as I should when they are not around.  It is one thing not to pray but it is quite another to be neglectful of praying with your kids.  I have been forced to learn a lot and be participate more (I know without kids I would fall into sloth and sleep my Sunday mornings away) just knowing that my kids are watching and learning from me. (incidently this same knowledge is why I have such good penmanship).  How can we teach our children if we will not so something?  How can we answer their questions unless we know the answers?

post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 

lilyka-thanks! That is very helpful.


I'm trying to make my home more at peace. I want it to be a place where you can see God/Jesus working. The early church met in the homes of the believers and I was thinking about what the homes looked like. What did they do to them(if anything) to make them friendly and peaceful for worshiping Jesus. MAYBE they did make there home's like yours.



post #4 of 15

Sorry, can't figure out how to make that smaller.....


This is my living room.  My front door just to the left and the stairs are to the right.  You cannot miss this.  LOL  Its a mess and need to be rearranged but I am painting soon (hence the yellow paint).  Also I have 100 year old plaster walls so things kinda get hung where ever a nail will still go in the wall and hold its own.  The rose petals on the table are from Holy Friday and decorated the "tomb" of Christ.  Since the flowers are blessed we cannot just throw them away.  My youngest dd asked me what she should do with hers and I said if she did not want them she could put them on the table.  So instead of just setting them down like I expected she sprinkled the petals.  I love it that way. :D  Other things on the table is a basket full of prayer books and small things like jewlery with icons, spare candles etc.  the thing with a pointy top is the incense burner, there is a small box of incense,a bottle of holy water and a candle with a beeswax candle.  


 Some of those icons are heading up to my room but need to get them blessed first (it is best to get an icon blessed.  It sits on the alter for 40 days.  It is sprinkled with Holy water and prayers are said over it.  So you are literally bringing something from the alter and putting it in your home.  Making your home an extension of the church)


The board on the right has a bunch of little icon cards and print outs, prayer rope, palm cross from palm sunday, pictures of people we have committed to pray for.  Pretty much all the odds and ends.  




(icons starting with Christ and going clockwise are:  Christ,  ( 4 little ones l to r) Theotokos, Archangel , St Nicholas, Nativity, my patron saint St Empress Alexandra (martyred wife of Diocletian), Lilys patron, Synaxis of the Archangels, Theotokos of the burning bush (which just has a lot going on), St Veronica (the woman with an issue of blood), St Sofia and her 3 dd, and the Theotokos (Sweet Kissing).  The 3 on the table is Christ, a group of women saints and St Photini (the woman at the well).  On the top right coner of the bulliten board is Ava's patron St Queen Ketavan of Georgia a martyred queen.

Edited by lilyka - 6/30/11 at 9:27am
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 

I do have some pictures. I have pictures of Luke 17:17 and a colorful picture of women dancing to the Lord. I have a painting women standing kind of dancing like a menorah.(it is my favorite picture!) So that is a start.



post #6 of 15

It's interesting that you mention this now as this is something that is on my mind. We are eclectic Christians who also celebrate the turning of the seasons (so, kinda earthy, love ritual (Episcopal), etc). I am putting together our first "home" (we just bought our first house - before this we were more focused on not breaking anything or not putting too many holes in the wall!).


My current focus (now that most of the boxes are unpacked!) isn't the hanging of the pictures or the setting of centerpieces - it's keeping my house open for hospitality. I am not the worlds best housekeeper, but my house no longer reflects that fact. It is clean, inviting. I have iced tea in the fridge waiting for people to drink, fresh fruit and cheese waiting to be snacked on. My table is wiped off at every meal and my napkins (while they have the normal stains of every day use!) are ready to go for each meal. I have emergency side dishes (filling lentils and beans) in the freezer to help stretch a meal should we have an unexpected guest. My floors are mopped and my bathroom is wiped down (quickly) every day. My hope is open and welcoming - which is an extension of who I am in my faith.


I have a blessing that changes every month or so on a cabinet in the kitchen - I print it out on pretty, regular computer paper and place it where I will read it every morning. I'm not good at remembering to pray but if I see something on a regular basis, it's a good reminder about how I should start the day!

post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the picture!

I did not know that you put the picture there till now.....I think that it is interesting that you have so many women. I have been looking at women and Jesus. One of my favorite Verses about women is Luke 8:2-3. Most people don't think about the women following Jesus much less supporting Him with money. Also they are with Him to the Death. Most of the men are gone and the women are right there with Jesus. That shows the way that woman are with Jesus. We see life from birth to death. We feel thing in a strong way. (not to say that men can feel)


post #8 of 15

The women thing happened quite accidentally,  Of course we would have the Theotokos (Mary)  and since we are all  feet with women 3 of us have female patrons (Angelyka has the Synaxis of the Heavenly Hosts).  The Saint Sofia and her dds we got   because she is a mom with her three daughters and my three dd thought we should have that one.  I coun't argue.  In my room I have the woman who washed Christ's feet with her tears and hair because it was on special and I fell in love instantly.  I got Photini (woman at the well) because I love her and if I ever have another dd she will be named Photini :D St. Veronica (woman with an issue of blood) just went well with those two LOL.  There was a gest pastor at a church I sed to go to who spoke on women and to this day it was the best sermon I have ever heard,  he spoke about the woman caught in adultry, the woman with blood and the woman at the well.  So good.  


I do have some men though LOL  St Euphrosinos is in the kitchen along with an icon of the loves and the fishes and the Lords Supper is hanging in my dinging room along with several Paschal icons.  St George is in my bedroom as well.  


Even though that is our official family icon "corner" i have icons on almost every Eastern wall in  my house (we traditionally pray facing East, towards the light, if at all possible.  Your icons are best placed in an Eastern corner.  Its funny how I had never noticed it before but I do not have any corners on my eastern wall.  Crazy LOL  I have a good one in my bedroom and there is one in the kitchen but it is not suitable for icons.  every other corner has a door in it.

post #9 of 15

We're a Pagan family, but a lot of what we do could be adapted to other faiths...



In terms of "how it looks":

I have altars and nature tables in almost every room of the house.  There is a kitchen altar on a small shelf above the stove (filled with things that symbolize fire, abundance, and nurturing since that's what I want the kitchen to reflect), in the bathroom there is a shelf with "water"/"health"/"peace" symbols (like shells the girls collected, candles we can burn during baths, and herbal remedies we "charge" on the altar), in the living room is our primary family altar (the entire top of the piano, it holds our family offering bowl, statues that represent each member of the family, flowers and stones and random things the children have found or made for the altar, and artwork that is spiritually meaningful to DH and I... also a small patchwork banner I made that has each of the nine noble virtues embroidered on it) as well as the children's own nature table (traditionally Waldorf in style, there are a lot of felt animals and plants and found objects that vary with the seasons and holidays), the children's room has a small altar devoted to sleep/dreams/security (a guardian angel type statue, a nightlight, a bowl of herbs and stones associated with sweet sleep, a dream catcher my oldest daughter made, and two felted "dream faries") and our family bedroom has a dresser-top altar that is focused more on the relationship between DH and I.  We live rurally and have a big, forested, backyard... we've enclosed part of it as a playscape for the kiddos and as a hang out space for everyone... within that space we have a family altar built into a tree trunk (a copper offering bowl, a statue of a deva, a smaller bowl for burnt offerings, and banners/windchimes/suncatchers hung from the branches nearby).  Oh, and I make a new wreath for the front door every holy day (so 8 times a year) that reflects the theme of that holy day and acts as a protection on our home and a blessing on those who enter/leave.


In terms of "what we do":

I try to work our beliefs into common, every day, activities.  I add specific herbs to the mopping water and talk with the girls about which herbs I chose and why, I open the windows and doors while I clean and then after cleaning close them back up and seal the space (with a candle, or music) and again narrate the process.  We sing a blessing before each meal, we say our prayers every night before bed, we make regular offerings at the indoor and outdoor altars, and we talk (a lot!) about how and why we do things ranging from the daily/small (turning or reaching clockwise) to the seasonal/big (the holy days, or why people die, or whatever).  Probably like any family Dh and I add our perspective on a dvd being watched, or a news story on NPR, or the reasons why people do what they do and I'm sure our perspectives reflect (to some extent) our religious beliefs.


In terms of "homeschool":

Well, we attend Unitarian services when the community has an active children's RE program... when we can't we use the online RE materials the UU community provides.  So I guess in a sense we "homeschool RE" that way.  We also homeschool for academics (using Sonlight of all things!  LOL) and simply swap out the Bible readings and Christian Religion elements for readings from the Eddas or Sagas or Wisdom Sayings or whatever might be appropriate.  If Sonlight asks how a story reflects, say, the Ten Commandments, we instead ask how it reflects the Nine Noble Truths for example.  So again, I guess in that way we "homeschool" our religion to a certain extent.  (however, since Pagan religions don't have the same sort of relationship to specific texts that Christian religions do, it's not exactly the same thing... for instance, we don't believe the Eddas are "true" in the same way a Christian might believe the Bible is "true").


As for life with children... I certainly do some things differently "just because" of the kids.  We don't attend religious gatherings that don't have a children's program and we attend gatherings that wouldn't have appealed to us as a child free couple.  We do more morning/afternoon/evening rituals and fewer late night rituals.  I "narrate" what I do and why as I do it, which would probably be a good sign of insanity if i didn't have young kiddos.  Our altars and nature tables are much more organic and a lot less "formal" now that kiddos are around to break/rummage/rearrange/add/remove things... and open flames are a lot less common and a lot more "observed" than they were before kiddos.  And DH and I have a deeper faith too since we're called on to explain or expand on things... pre-kiddos we were more "bookish" in our faith maybe while now we are constantly aware that we need to be aware and active in our beliefs so that the kiddos can /see/ as well as hear what it means to be Pagan.

post #10 of 15

This made me giggle :)

Originally Posted by wombatclay View Post

  I "narrate" what I do and why as I do it, which would probably be a good sign of insanity if i didn't have young kiddos.  

post #11 of 15

We just moved into a new rental home and subsequently are having visitations with our 3 foster-adoptive children (ages 2,3 and 4) that we will be bringing home soon. I prayed over and blessed this house as a house of peace and healing when we moved in. We've only had the kids for 2 nap times, but when they nap I pray/meditate on the couch (while I listen out for them). The kids are having a rough time with everything they are going through (namely they woke up from their last nap and literally cried and terrorized each other for 3 hours straight) so I was praying about what to do.


I had the Divine idea to fill our home with scriptures and affirmations. Make artwork with them to put in each of their bedrooms and every room of the house. Make little books for them to keep and we can read to them whenever they want.


I also realized I need to worship and pray during their meltdowns (it's beyond normal toddler stuff...it's spiritual and psychological as well) and bring "the opposite spirit". I will start breaking out my guitar and playing the few chords I know. Maybe they will join in, maybe not. I will play worship CDs, etc.


I will also attempt to make this house a place of joy, freedom and expression. I will turn on music and we will just dance and dance together.


We are part of a Christian community/home church. We all are attempting to share our lives in a holy way. We meet in each other's homes. I called out to my sisters and they want to support us and the kids, so we will have people over all most every day sharing life, struggles and triumphs together..and just playing and being kids. Simple meals of PBJ even, no entertaining going on here.


DH and I were homeschooled our whole lives and raised in Christian homes, so it was very much part of our curriculum. I remember at age 10 my 11 year old cousin getting mad at me for something then deciding to rip me for being homeschooled. She said, "you NEED to go to school! I'll be you don't even know what Vesuvius and Pompeii were!". I actually did, I had recently seen a documentary on it I told her. I then asked her if she knew what the definition of "omnipotent, omniscience and omnipresence were". She just glared at me and changed the subject haha. Bible was part of our daily curriculum and I knew the Old Testament front and back by the time I was 10.


Anywho, DH and I are far from conservative now and we may or may not homeschool, but we do plan of course to have lessons to guide our children spiritually in the Christ path. I plan to do something with the 52 Virtues, they are still a bit young to understand that but maybe we will make artwork and post it on our fridge each week, we'll see.


The children were already taught at mealtime to thank Jesus for their food, so we will continue that.


So with that I'm off to start making that art work =)

post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 

THANKS! Wombatclay ,nicolelynn &captivatedlife for sharing. It see things that I can do.


nicolelynn-I love that you use music/dance that is something that I do.

post #13 of 15

Thank you Clay for your inspirational post.joy.gif


I have been more "bookish" with my faith and I am trying to be more active and intent for both myself and my childrens sake. I love the idea of a children's alter in their bedroom, especially as they are having issues with sleep.

post #14 of 15

I am Pagan as well, and you have some wonderful ideas!


My little one is too small for much formal spirituality. I sing her bedtime songs that are pagan hymns and chants. But this thread has given me some wonderful ideas for when she's older.

post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 

bump.gif I thought that maybe new moms would like to add...

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