We all have anchors in our day. Anchors are the daily rituals that remain the same while the activities and work we do in between changes. These anchors are normally food related – our breakfast, lunch and dinner anchors are constants by which the boys know where they are in the day and give us much needed fuel for all the things that happen in between.
At the start of this school year, we’ve introduced a new anchor in our day. This one was inspired by a similar anchor from a book of Sally Clarkson’s called ‘The Life Giving Home’. Colin sends me a text when he is on the bus home from work and we have a crazy 5 minute tidy up of all the toys, then I gather the boys around the kitchen table, we light a candle and sit down on the sofa with their devotional book and we talk about God. Colin then comes in to a relatively calm house and the boys are normally sitting happily on the sofa reading with me. It’s not been perfect every day. Some days the candle gets blown out as I light it, other days one of the boys (I’ll not name and shame) refuses to sit on the sofa but I’ve been amazed how most days it has been magical.
In that difficult half hour when it isn’t yet dinner time, daddy isn’t home yet, I’m tired and the boys are too, this anchor has given us a focus and a calm. It has also allowed us to successfully cultivate a healthy habit we’ve been trying to implement for years, reading God’s word together and having a conversation (as much as you can with a 15 month old and 4 year old with a severe speech delay!) about who God is and what that means for us.
I love that this anchor, if we keep it up, might be something that the boys look back at with fondness, something they associate with our family and this home, and something that made this home a happy place. Looking back at my childhood it was these daily rituals that shaped the feel of the house. The things that I realise were so ingrained in my day they felt like natural moments that just happened and contributed to that home being happy, relaxed and loving.