If you follow me over on Instagram, you probably are already aware that yesterday started out rough. It began with us all sleeping in late and threw off our morning plans, starting the day off in a tizzy. Follow that up with Henry helping himself to a bowl full of chocolate chips for breakfast before I had even made it into the kitchen, and the meltdown that ensued when he learned that was an unacceptable breakfast option…well it was just all down hill so so fast. By mid-day I knew we needed to get out of the house and scrapped our original plans for new and uncharted territory. The afternoon that ensued was precious, creative, entertaining and exhausting in the good kind of way.
But something I said online keeps nagging at me. When I was hiding from the morning nuttiness in the bathroom, I mentioned the idea that sometime home is a haven, and sometimes it’s a circus. And while it may seem like truth that these two ideas are competing and mutually exclusive, it's actually a huge LIE! One of the biggest reasons I feel so passionate about the idea of Haven is to encourage and empower families to create a space that works for them, circus or not. I’m so tired of feeling like my style or my home or my parenting or my children have to be a certain way for our home to exist the ‘right’ way. But I truly believe there is no right way.
Please let me say it again: There is no right way!
And I can say that a hundred times out loud but do I really believe it in my heart? Maybe not as much as I think I do. Our house is often a circus, but that does not mean it is not a haven for our family. Our hopes for our Haven is that it would go beyond the walls of our physical home, to exist wherever our family is. That in the midst of craziness or travel, busy times and boring times, our family would always come together as a safe place for one another. That the bed-head, the sweat pants, the bad moods and melt downs would be just as important to the journey as the days we show up all put together. That clean or dirty, our house would always feel hospitable. That super healthy or super not healthy, our kitchen table would be a place of genuine gathering. That pictures taken here would be for the purposes of creating memories, not expectations.
I know the idea of Haven can be an overwhelming one at times. At least I feel like that. It’s a word that evokes ideas of a peaceful environment. But I’m learning that it’s more about being at peace with yourself and what you want for your family than it is creating a peaceful environment. And somehow I think maybe the two, peace and circus have to co-exist in this season of life with small children, or any season of life for that matter. Having one does not mean you can’t have the other. So, to have a circus on my hands doesn’t mean that my home can not be a haven. It just means that maybe today, our haven will be a little bit louder and messier than usual. Or maybe we’ll get out of the house to create a haven between our souls and get a fresh start to the day. The Haven come when I stop and see my children for who they are and what they’re feeling today. The Haven comes when I stop and really see myself and what I need today.
And if pictures happen on days like yesterday, I will cherish them all the more for the reminder that I still don’t get it all right, but I am always capable of change. Those are the kinds of pictures I love to take.