When we homeschooled I was privileged to spend some time with a mom with 12 children. Yes.  You read that correctly.  Twelve. And she was pregnant with another.

Her husband was a violinist in the symphony – I knew this because of the framed music, and photos of him in his tuxedo in orchestra pits.  They lived in a huge old house with wood floors, three stories high, towering maples in the backyard and a kitchen where muffins were always being baked. The youngest child, a baby not yet walking  and still nursing, would disappear with one of the oldest children and the mom would need to search for her when it was time to nurse.

Alex, our son, loved to visit this household. His favorite part was always having someone available to set up a board game and get the younger kids started. The yard was an extension of the house, with leaf piles to jump into in the fall, snow sculptures, or a garden in other seasons.

Posted on their ‘fridge was a list of 100 things to do instead of being bored. (I remember being very impressed.)

This home was organized and neat. But not pristine.  It was filled with art-work, crafts and musical instruments, all in progress of being created/played and then displayed.

Life was being lived in this home – and there was evidence everywhere. Just by walking into the home you got a sense of  lives lived with meaning and purpose.

Why is this important?

Neat or not-so-neat – it doesn’t matter.  Take a look around your home. From where you’re sitting, what can you see?

Do you see a decorated house?

Or a household filled with meaning, where life is being fully lived and documented?

Leaving clues.

I remember the above household, even after 15 years, because it screamed and teamed with life that had everything to do with the people living there. Social scientists sift through garbage to identify what a culture values. What clues are in your home about the life you’re living?

What are you reading?

When I first entered the house we’re currently living in, there was a huge leather chair and ottoman in front of the fireplace. On the ottoman was a Bible and a journal lying open – just as the seller had left it that morning. Clues. I knew that the woman who lived in this house read the Bible before she left for work.  Contrast this with another house we considered purchasing where all the books on the shelves had something to do with the occult. Evidence of a life being lived…

What do you see?

Do you have a library of DVDs? If you do, look at the titles. What does it say about your life with your spouse?  What about your artwork? Does it reflect your values – your pleasures – the direction God has you moving toward? What’s on your ‘fridge?

Do you have any cards displayed from those your love? Does your spouse? Note: If your spouse’s love language is words of affirmation, do they have anything to display from you? If their love language is quality time, do you have something to document the two of you doing something together? (you get the idea)

What stories could a stranger tell about your life if all they did was walk through your house?

If you’re leading a meaning filled life…

It’s a new year. How will you make this year better? More? Is there some way to measure your progress? Maybe it’s time for a new tactic:

Document your Life – don’t just decorate.

A decorated house is wonderful. But wait. There’s more…

Part of living a meaning-filled life with your spouse is encouraging hope for the future. What is your spouse interested in doing? What do you enjoy doing together? Is there evidence of those activities in your home to tell your story?

Maybe it’s time to do a cleaning out of items that no longer tell your current story

and maybe it’s time to add a few?  

Some of us (and I include myself in that “some”) are hung up about Pinterest. Oh, it’s seductive. So many pretty pictures, so many ideas. We’re so busy pinning stuff to our digital  boards, that we may neglect actually  – um – … doing! Turn off the TV. Log out of Pinterest.

What’s missing from your story together? Sometimes it takes one spouse to take action.

Be the one who starts…

What will you & your spouse document doing together -this week – for a great story in 2013?


This is post #2 for the Ultimate Blog Challenge/Celebration.