The other day my children and I were standing in the front yard talking to one of my good friends. My 8 year old said to her “Daddy is moving home next week.” She thought “Oh my. Has there been some trouble? Did he move out and now he is moving back?” I have laughed about that little scene all week.
Well, the answer is no.
It’s something entirely different. After talking about this idea for almost 2 years (I looked back in my journal and noticed one of the dates on which we had been talking about it) Matthew, my husband, has decided he is going to move his law practice home. Yes, home. To our house. He will office out of our living room, which is situated quite well for an office. It almost seems like it was meant for that purpose.
Remember, we live in the house that I grew up in.
After my sweet daddy died back in 2005, my mother was ready to move to a smaller home and we thought it would be pretty neat to keep the house in the family. So we bought it and have been here for about 4 years now. The funny thing is, that living room was almost never used when we were growing up, except for a few holidays.
And the same has been true for us these 4 years. It is just sort of “off” the flow of the house. We have tried to make it a functional, useful room, but have simply never been successful. But….it is as if it was waiting for this moment. It is a perfect, very nice, office for him. It is right near the front door and the front hallway. Easy for people to enter. Easy for him to see who is walking up the path.
A lot of people think we are crazy to do this.
They think “how in the world will he operate a law practice with 4 children running around?” (For those that don’t know, we homeschool, so we are all here all day.) Some lawyer friends of his, though, know of those who have done it successfully. One lawyer even told of a doctor he knew that had his office in his home. We have watched our good friends with 8 children (in a different profession and also homeschooling) do this now for several years. We have read about people doing it all over the country in various other businesses. Most people did it several hundred years ago. Why not here and why not now? I haven’t gotten a satisfactory answer to that question yet.
The Age of Modernity
We have talked about and preached about (mostly my husband has), to anyone who is in earshot and interested, the idea that our modern culture (the last 150 years) has come close to destroying the family unit. From about 150 years ago back to 1000’s of years ago, 90-95% of the families lived, worked and learned together; most of them on a farm.
With the very quick advance of the industrial and then informational ages the family became fragmented. Dads left the farm to go to towns and factories. Then children left the home education of their parents to go to schools. With Dad gone to work, Mom could no longer do all of the work at home (the farm) by herself AND raise and educate the children. Little by little, these things became the norm. The changes in society were small, incremental, in the background, silent. Nobody noticed what was happening.
The 50’s and The 60’s
We arrived in the 1950’s and this new norm had been around long enough that nobody questioned it. The generations that did not know this new norm had died out and were probably not listened to if they were still alive because our disrespect for the elderly had begun to take hold too.
Then the 60’s arrived. Sex, drugs and rock and roll. The feminist revolution. Dissatisfied women. Women who felt oppressed. Women who, through several generations, had forgotten their true calling, their true nature. What would bring them their greatest joy.
Women wanted to be like men and their oppressed mothers pushed them into the thought that they should never be dependent on men. And the men were probably scared of them. Society started turning upside down.
The 70’s and Beyond
The 70’s turned into the 80’s with decadence and materialism at an all time high. It seemed as the 90’s progressed, there was a slight hint of noticing that maybe this way wasn’t all that it was purported to be. And then into the first decade of 2000. I, personally, see the pendulum starting to swing back now. I see women and men beginning to realize that they were, indeed, built in certain ways and that the joy of a man WILL NOT be the joy of a women. Or vice versa.
Great Strides in Civilization
And so as a result of all this activity over the last 150 years, what do we have? Well, we do have a very advanced civilization. We have gone to the moon, we can save people’s lives with the art of medicine, we have built magnificent things. But I have to ask the question, at what cost?
If we destroy the family, is it worth it?
We have boys in prison because their daddies weren’t there and their mama’s were too soft on them. We have girls giving their bodies for sex because they are just looking for love. They can’t find that love in their homes. I could go on and on. You know. You’ve seen the stories every day of your life since you were old enough to read.
Is it possible to keep the family intact. Is it possible to turn the over 50% divorce rate back to much less? Is it possible to get back the values, the morals, and the priorities of several centuries ago, yet have our advanced civilization?
Mom And Dad
What about the idea of a mother and a father working out of their home together, raising their children together? It seems to me with the internet, outsourcing and all the other technology we have today, that would not be a difficult task for lots and lots of people.
I’m going to say yes, there is a way to turn this nightmare around. It will be a slow process that will require serious self reflection and prayer for each person to figure out the way God can get them there. And this will probably take generations to accomplish on a large scale, but I have to believe it is possible.
I think, hope, believe and pray that Daddy coming home will be life changing for our entire family. We will be forced to work together. The children will see what their Daddy does. Daddy will be more intimately involved in the teaching and raising of our children. This verse really talks about that idea for all of us; not just the mamas:
5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. – Deuteronomy 6:5-9
We will become more focused on what our calling, as a family, truly is. I believe God has a calling for each family. He wanted a family in the beginning and so He created us, and gave us each a very specific purpose. A hope. A desire. A future. He says it in one of my favorite verses:
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11
And just so you know those plans will be the desires of your heart, here is another one:
Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. – Psalm 37:4
It All Starts Now
Today is Matthew’s last day of work in his old office downtown. Tomorrow he and his guy friends will be moving all of his stuff home. And Monday will be the first day of our new life. Wow! It is scary and exciting at the same time. You know, those two feelings produce the same physical sensations in our body, so I think I will just keep calling it exciting : )
There Will Be Tough Times
No doubt, our schedules will dramatically change. There will be hard moments. There will be times he will want to change the way I do things, and that will irritate the heck out of me. I am expecting this. And my goal is to go with the flow. To chill.
I know God has given him a vision and me a vision and that they are intertwined. He has given him gifts and me gifts. And if we can get it together, work together, bring our gifts together, and be kind and loving in the process – the sky is the limit. The family vision/calling – the reason God put us together and brought these children through us, can be realized. We can accomplish what God set out for us.
Pray for me, please, that I am up to the task! I’m walking in new territory now. I’ll let you know how it goes : )
God Bless You!