Sunday, July 3, 2016

WAYS TO BRING SMILES INTO YOUR HOME

BY ANGELINE M DURAN SANTIAGO

 


        It's been a long week. It was a week off from work but when you're home, the work is endless. We did make some attempts to have and enjoy family time. Truth is we lost track of trying to complete our "To Do List" and in the midst of wanting to do so much, there was lots that didn't get done. I saw that our kids needed some "us" time. It' easy to see when the smiles begin to turn into disappointment. You see how the sadness creeps in and your heart reminds you that the dishes will be there tomorrow, you can paint next weekend, and there will always be something else to buy.

        Here are some ways to bring smiles into your home, for practically free:


1- Bar BQ Surprise!

You don't need to plan a fancy smanshy Bar BQ menu. Sometimes, just what we have in the fridge is enough to be creative and grill some grub for your family. It was a week filled with quick, easy grilled meals. The kids had their moment to cook and serve us also. I loved it! Music was put on as we gathered on the porch and happy tummies were everywhere, and so were the smiles.


        

2- Play As A Family!

My mind tells my feet to move faster but my feet take some time to obey. Yes, I've gotten older and I'm not fast and amazing on the court the way my kids are. But, oh, the love to see me join them when they are playing. I've always been their cheerleader and this week my kids cheered me on each time I actually made contact with the ball. (LOL) I'm not that horrible, but I did get some hits and had great fun! My daughter also took me on an amazing scenic walk. We walked through what seemed a magical forest filled with trees hovering over us and keep us shaded from the sun. It was beautiful. My husband and I felt like kids again, energized and delighted to be invited to be part of her moment.

3- Move Night!

I don't like scary movies! Period. I believe my home environment belongs to the Lord and I want God's presence in my home at all times. I also believe that what we watch as a family or in private affects us as a family and in our privacy. With that said, I do my best to have movie nights with my kids. We prep snacks, something easy to eat and drink and we sprawl on the floor to enjoy a good comedy or family movie. Sometimes I am not really interested in the genre my kids might want to watch or even what my husband wants to watch. But, I want us to enjoy this time together. So, I will give in to their vote and watch something I would never have chosen on my own, but at the end I am glad for having had the experience with my family. Movie night can be something rented or an oldie. I love old movies, black and white Jerry Lewis, Abbot and Costello or fun movies like Grease. As a family, there are great smiles when we learn to appreciate and respect each other's likes and dislikes and still place God in the center of all we view.

4- Invite Grandparents Over!

Some families prefer to keep their in-laws, aka grandparents far away. They're viewed as boring and someone who will dampen the mood of any party. I say, "Invite them!" Grandparents are full of great stories, wonderful memories, and lots of ideas from cooking, baking, and fixing everything in the house. I truly enjoy my parent's company. They're love, attention and time with our family is something I not only look forward to, but I truly treasure. Some families focus on inviting their friends or those people around them that they can get something from. I prefer the joy of having my parents around because they are amazing people.

 

5- Hugs And I Love You!

If you want to see smiles flooding your home, you have to learn to hug people just because you can. You also need to find it easy to say, "I love you." just because you can. You don't need a celebration or special anniversary to express love, gratitude and thankfulness. Love heals. Love brings people together. Love gives birth to forgiveness and understanding. My home is not perfect as my family is not perfect. We are filled with issues, arguments, misunderstandings and problems just like any other family. Love keeps us glued to one another. Love and hugs melt away those moments when we've said the wrong thing or made a poor choice. Hugs and love change our home environment when it would be easier to argue and tell one another hurtful words. Hugs heal. Period.



6- Keep God in Your Life!

Once more, my home is not this holy place where everyone spends their day in prayer and reading their Bible. We're a regular family with flaws as well as greatness, too. My goal each day is to remind my family that with God, we have the joy and the strength to live each day. We talk about our problems and pray. We discuss our issues and look for scriptures that affirm our faith and help us through those rough patches along our path in life. I'm not going to say we super Christians because I believe only God is perfect and only God is able to keep it altogether. My job as a mom is to provide my family with a good example, try to live right, not be fake and do my best to say, "Sorry." when I mess up. We need to keep God in our family life if we are to be happy and together. God's presence even through the hard times, even through the storms that rise up against us as a family, will keep us from falling apart when life is hard. Keeping God in our hearts, in our mind each morning and making it a priority to fill our minds with God's word will create a faith filled environment in our home where The Lord is always an honored guest.



Done.
There you have it. Some easy and simple ways to keep smiles in your home throughout this week and until forever. I hope you make the effort to use these ideas if you don't already. I'm sure all some of us need is to be reminded of the need for happiness in our home. We already live crazy lives. Life can be full of pain and disappointment. We deal with tragedies and sickness on a regular basis. So, why not turn to the Lord who can always make a way for us to be together, strong and with joy? I pray your home is filled with great peace and joy today and always.

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