Meeting our basic needs with care {Home, Part 2}

{Home is the starting place for lived-out-love, a place where the needs of the whole person are cared for.  This post explores physical needs.}

When I was a child, my favorite book from the library was The Maggie B., by Irene Hass.  It’s a delightful story about a girl who wished she had her own ship.  One night, in her dreams, her wish comes true in a lovely adventure with her little brother.

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As an adult reading this book to my girls, this page stands out to me.  It’s how I feel when I finish cleaning my kitchen or when there’s stacks of clean laundry for each family member.  I feel a sense of joyful accomplishment as tasks are completed, knowing it communicates love to those I share life with.

Creating and maintaining a home requires committed work on the part of someone in a household!  We need warm beds, clean towels, groceries, space to work, a clear table to eat a meal at, and clean clothes to wear.  This is meaningful work; these repetitive and ongoing tasks are foundational for creating an environment where love can flourish!

Developing habits of practices and places has helped me manage our home.  Practices are habits like starting the dishwasher at bedtime and getting out a new kitchen towel when I make my coffee in the morning.  Places include keeping bathroom cleaning supplies under each bathroom sink and having a basket in the pantry to put lunchboxes in when they’re not being used.  For great ideas and encouragement for managing your home, check out The House that Cleans Itself by Mindy Starns Clark.

The physical environment of our homes affects our emotional well-being.  Decorations that fit our personality put us at ease and provide us a space where we belong.  We tend to feel more restful in a place that is tidy and has space for relaxation and daily activities.  While it’s healthy to allow for some messes and the imperfections of daily living, a house in disarray impacts our feelings and outlooks.

We often put a lot of emphasis on caring for other people.  But home is a place to care for ourselves too!  “Love your neighbor as yourself” implies that if I don’t love myself well, I will limit my ability to love others.  Awareness of my needs and habits of care for myself are what I draw on to know how to care for others.  By taking care of myself, I can more fully and healthily extend care to others.  I pay attention to my body and take breaks to eat or take a short walk.  I do yoga when I feel stressed.  I leave kitchen lights on to create the warmth of home when I’m in the house alone.  I tidy a space to make it feel calm.  For me, these actions show self respect and care, and they provide me the energy and state of mind to care for others.

Our homes are a starting place for providing ourselves with rest, nourishment, and self care.  When our plan for meeting these needs is working well, it allows us to give greater attention to our emotions, relationships, spiritual lives, and other meaningful work.

 

What is one way you can love yourself with your home environment and physical care?

When the physical aspects of home are met, how does that enable you to live a life of love?

2 thoughts on “Meeting our basic needs with care {Home, Part 2}

  1. My take on love your neighbor as yourself makes me immediately notice that there is little attention to the need to love yourself but the direction is to love others as we already have the loving yourself down naturally at birth and sometimes it consumes us. There are a lot more days & moments that I consider what I feel like & need to do verses what the needs of others may feel like or be. Of course if I don’t take care of my own survival/healthy needs, I am worthless to others. I also reflect on the scripture from a standpoint that what I love & feel comfortable around is not necessarily what brings the same joy/contentment to others. I love to be noticed enough that others recognize what brings me comfort & joy (even when they find no understanding in why it does). So as long as it does not bring negative or sinful behavior, I try to love others in a manner they like to be treated or cared for. If they are a hugger, give them a hug, if silence & just quiet is comforting, so be it. It take time and effort to love others and it’s well worth every effort! As far as the home environment, I’m completely in your comfort zone of style of loving & living. I also recognize I have noticed others give very little care for the inside home environment but thrive in the living they do outside the structure of their home. Actually, the variety of living styles can be quiet interesting but would not it be wonderful if we all could find a way to reach the heart & love language others need. We know well what makes us feel loved, how can we better understand the needs of others to feel loved? It’s an ongoing adventure of the most wonderful kind!

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    • Yes, so true that there is a difference between proper love and care for self, versus selfishness! And well said that love truly sees others, with their individual ways of communicating love, and needs in different seasons of life!

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