We believe in Home-Centered Living. We believe it’s good for women, men, children, society, the earth. This post is part of an on-going series we are calling, “Making Home” looking at the lives of homemakers and those striving to live Home-Centered Lives.
Today I (Daja) am interviewing Kristina. Kristina and I met seven years ago at church. We were both serving in the children’s ministry. But, we didn’t really KNOW each other. That occurred because our daughters decided to be friends. And they pulled us together. Then one of our pastors started a small prayer group for mommies (which she called *gulp* PMS–Praying Mommies of the Sisterhood) and that’s where we really got to know one another. I’ve grown to respect and love her so much. She’s an inspiration as a wife, mother, chef, health-enthusiast, book-lover, gardener, etc. It was fun to step outside our friendship and interview Kristina. Hope you have fun getting to know her, too!
Daja: This is a new phrase for some people: “Home-centered Living.” What does that mean for you?
Kristina: For my family it simply means keeping our home the central focus of our life and all the decisions we make. We see our home as a haven of peace and we want to be in it. We don’t want to simply use it as a place to sleep. We want to steward it. We want to build relationships in it. And we want our home to be connected to and support our local community.
Daja: Is this something that has always appealed to you or has it been a more recent goal?
Kristina: Home-centered living is a phrase my husband and I have been using for a long time actually. We probably started thinking that way when we made the decision for me to stay home with our first daughter, but I think it was 2009 when we really decided to become home-centered. It was the year we started having discussions about homeschooling and taking our girls out of the public school system.
Daja: Do you see Home-centered Living” as returning to the past or as blazing a new trail?
Kristina: I sort of feel it’s both. I certainly feel the connection to the past in the way we care for our land and have our children with us at home, but in the current culture other people often see us as blazing a new trail, you know, making counter-cultural decisions to homeschool, raise a garden, have backyard chickens…
Daja: But, you don’t live in a rural setting, where perhaps it would be easier to self-sustain and live-off the land. Do you have any advice for those who are trying to live a Home-centered Life in an urban context?
Kristina: Sure! I do think everyone no matter where you live should grow something even if it’s just a tiny pot of herbs growing on a windowsill. It is so important to maintain some connection to the food we eat. But it’s not just about growing things or living off the land. Being home-centered is like looking through a camera lens. It’s viewing everything we do from the place of supporting our home. Home should be the place that fuels us and all our creativity. If you look at it that way your job, your church, your community supports your home and not the other way around.
Daja: Home-centered Living encompasses so much (health, faith, entertainment, energy, education, growing food, etc.) Which aspect do you find the most challenging currently?
Kristina: Most challenging is saying no to all the good things that keep us from our best things. In today’s culture everyone wants your kids, whether it’s sports, dance, music, youth group, just everything! Those aren’t bad necessarily, but if they overwhelm all of our time that doesn’t leave us with any time at home. For instance my oldest daughter swam competitively and it started out fine. A couple of evenings a week didn’t interfere, but then her coaches began to notice her talent and suddenly we were at the pool five nights a week with meets on the weekends. It felt like we were drowning (pun intended!) Her practices were challenging our core values of dinner as a family every night and attending church and resting on Sundays. Not to mention the stress put on her to reach junior Olympic times. Seriously. We talked about it as a family a lot. After a few months she made the decision to stop, because she missed home. She missed down time to be creative on her own. It was an important lesson for all of us to learn. Activities are a constant threat.
Daja: Which aspect are you enjoying the most currently?
Kristina: I don’t think I can pick just one! We enjoy homeschooling immensely! We have never made a better decision for our girls than that one! Being home allows us to eat better, which means that we are staying healthier as we fuel our bodies with fresh garden fruits and vegetables and home cooked meals. And certainly the aspect of our faith as we get to focus on it and make it part of our daily life.
Daja: Speak to that young person starting out in life and laying the foundations of their family and career. What piece of inspiration can you give them?
Kristina: You have to do what you love and love what you do! Work isn’t everything, but home is. You will never regret keeping your family and home as your focus. Making decisions to keep them first will build relationships and not destroy them. The more home-centered you are, the more you are part of the community around you. (That may sound strange, but it’s true!) And lastly, be creative every day.