The Art of Being a Mother – Part I of 7:

Maintenance

The Artist and Her Studio

I had one of those rare days when I could sit back and look at my clean, organized house – my studio.  (For all of about 15 minutes, of course).  I rather liked the way it looked, and I sat back and inhaled  the quiet – while it lasted, which wasn’t for very long.

Just once, I mused, I wish some would show up unannounced when my house looks like this.  

That was not likely to happen.  With four boys and two girls, you might think my house would stay clean long enough for that unexpected guest.  It rarely happened.

Because you see, my home was really just a studio.  When an artist’s studio is spotless with every palette and brush clean and in its place, you know the artist is either on vacation or has died.

Moms don’t get vacations from being moms. A perfectly ordered house isn’t my idea of a good way to raise kids. That left me with one option: a never-completely-tidy house.

I have a friend whose husband is an artist, and I’ve seen his studio.  Frankly, I have no idea how he can even find anything in there. However, he knows where things are – and his creations are wonderful.

After seeing his creations in the midst of that unkempt studio, it was plain to me that I needed to view my home as my studio. Just like my artist-friend, my studio was usually unkempt. That’s because, inside our castle, we were building lives.

If you’re a mom, that’s what you are doing: building lives.  Your studio is just the place where you are building little people who will grow up to become adults who can change their world.

As a mom, you’re an artist.

As an artist, you have a studio. It’s your home.

Designing Your Studio

There is really no standard way to design your studio.  You fix it the way it works for you.

For goodness sake, don’t try to be like somebody else.  Figure out the kind of artwork you enjoy and the kind that you do best, then do it well.

Don’t compete with other moms, and don’t compare.  (Did you know that scripture says if you compare yourself with others, you’re unwise?)    You really do want to be wise, don’t you?  Don’t compare yourself and your studio with others.  It’s certainly okay to observe other moms and get tips from them; just remember not to try to copy something that isn’t you.

Your studio is your home.  It’s where you create and build and dream and plan.  It’s where you live.

As a mom, you can complete your studio without being consumed by it.  That means your house is a place to function, and not a place to be perfected.

Your works of art are the little people in your home.

You are crafting their character and fine-tuning their gifting. In the daily grind of life, you are teaching by how you live.  Use your home as a backdrop for your most important works of art and not as a showcase for unrealistic dreams.

In your studio, make room for prayer.  

Allow your kids to hear you pray, and pray with them. Let them experience conversations with God in the security of your studio.

In your studio, make room for praise.

Make certain they hear you praising God – and giving credit to Him and to others.  When adults are affirming, kids will become affirming also.  When you affirm your kids, they will feel validated in who they are.

In your studio, proclaim what is truth.

Children do not come to us with  instructions or as finished products. They need teaching, discipline, and training. We are the ones shouldered with that responsibility. Our home is the best place to begin teaching truth.  Simply do it in the daily of life. Model it by being truthful yourself.  When children see their parents lie, they think that’s the way to do life. They  want to model what we do.  So model truth.

In your studio, create a haven from evil.

Our kids are surrounded by influences that can be negative.  Consider these: movies, entertainment, language, social media, literature, and attitudes.  Make sure there is a safe shelter in your studio by having parameters.  Our kids can’t decipher that on their own.  They need borders so they can be safe.  Set up fences – not to keep them from ever going out, but to keep evil influences from coming in.

In your studio, provide a base for service.

Involve your kids in the practice of giving, serving, visiting, and helping others – without any payment.  If you’re serious about this, you can find a way.  When our kids were small, we visited nursing homes with them regularly and allowed them to sing for the residents – even songs that were made up on the spot.  The older folks loved it and our kids got a lot of accolades even when their songs didn’t really make sense. Send them over to help a neighbor rake leaves or put Christmas decorations in the attic for them. Find an elderly person in your neighborhood who can use some help, and then fill that need.  There are so many needy people around us, and if we want to  help our kids learn to be servants, we need to let us watch and help us serve.  Go find the needy people and serve in the name of Jesus. One evening a group of our youth was asked to help clean up a house after a renter had vacated.  The owner was overseas doing mission work, and we were left to clean out the closets in a house that was deplorable.  They weren’t too happy about the mess

Send them over to help a neighbor rake leaves or put his Christmas decorations in the attic. Find an elderly person in your neighborhood who can use some help, and then fill that need.  There are so many needy people around us. If we want to  help our kids learn to be servants, we need to let them watch and help us serve.  Go find the needy people and serve in the name of Jesus. One evening a group of our youth was asked to help clean up a house after a renter had vacated.  The owner was overseas doing mission work, and we were left to clean out the closets in a house that was deplorable.  They weren’t too happy about the mess

Go find the needy people and serve in the name of Jesus. One evening a group of our youth was asked to help clean up a house after a renter had vacated.  The owner was overseas doing mission work, and we were left to clean out the closets in a house that was deplorable.  They weren’t too happy about the mess or the odor. I told the kids they were being missionaries because they were helping a missionary who was telling people about Jesus in the Ukraine.  Since when did Jesus say that serving would be fun? Our kids need to learn that, and guess who gets to teach them?!

Your home is your studio.

Create it in such a way that your children will want to be there.  Design  it so that your children can blossom and create, dream and build, imagine and explore.  Watch them flourish!

One bittersweet day they’ll be gone, and your nest will be empty.

For now, develop your studio and use it as it is meant to be:  a haven and a training ground for little arrows.  One day you will send those arrows out.  Use your studio to help make certain those arrows will fly straight and strong.

As they leave, you will know that the time spent in your studio was worth every splotch and speckle in your heart and in your studio-home.

Pinterest Art Part I

 

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