The very first library book I lost as a married person was a book called “How to Make your House do the Housework.” I figured my house was holding the book hostage in hopes that if I bought the book and somehow learned it’s mysterious organizy ways the house would be happy.

I’ve tried fly lady. I’ve worked with friends and without them. I’ve let my husband take over (okay I was on bed rest). I’ve shared a house briefly with my sister and her husband. I’ve had a maid.

My sister placed duct tape down the center of the room, so it would be clear to my mom that HER side was clean. My side was more creatively ordered. My home is clean, but it’s definitely not something that comes naturally to me.

I’m always looking for help to keep my little bit of heaven more heavenly.

Tonight at family home evening we asked our children to draw their version of home. On one side, we asked for what they would do with the property and home if money were no object. On the other side we wanted to know what they would do with our home to make it more heavenly.

The pictures and words came back. I love the little peek into their minds. A third of my family would like to live in a tree house. One would like a roller rink in the front yard. A third of us included a sand volleyball court. There were many fruit trees and gardens and bees and chicken coops. We did spend 2 hours cleaning the garden today so I was not surprised. One child would be perfectly happy as long as she always had a working umbrella when it rained.

Tree house with suspension bridge

Next came the amazing: We had said money was no object. Prayer was on many lists. Speaking kindly, going to the temple, reading the scriptures…one child suggested we pray and play basketball more, or in his words, “pray basketball.” One child suggested we give away most of our money and just organize our home a little more. Another child drew a slightly bigger home and she was standing in front of the home with Jesus.

Although there was mention of pools and dramatic swing sets, in general, children want so little. It’s not about the size of rooms, or decorations. It’s not about the landscaping, though they do have ideas. It’s not about room size or dramatics. Their idea of home is a place of comfort and food and love. Although I will keep working towards order and improving our place, I’ve been reminded by my children about what matters most.

About Britt Kelly
Britt grew up in a family of six brothers and one sister and gained a bonus sister later. She camped in the High Sierras, canoed down the Colorado, and played volleyball at Brigham Young University. She then served a mission to South Africa. With all of her time in the gym and the mountains and South Africa, she was totally prepared to become the mother of 2 sons and soon to be 9 daughters. By totally prepared she means willing to love them and muddle through everything else in a partially sleepless state. She is mostly successful at figuring out how to keep the baby clothed, or at least diapered, though her current toddler is challenging this skill. She feels children naturally love to learn and didn’t want to disrupt childhood curiosity with worksheets and school bells. She loves to play in the dirt, read books, go on adventures, watch her children discover new things, and mentor her children. Her oldest child is currently at a community college and her oldest son is going to high school at a public school. She loves to follow her children in their unique paths and interests. She loves to write because, unlike the laundry and the dishes, writing stays done. Whenever someone asks her how she does it all she wonders what in the world they think she’s doing.

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