We live in a brick house built in the Victorian era. In our front room, two big windows peep and prey light on the ongoing aftermath of moving into our home. An unrolled yoga mat lays parrallel to things we still need a place for. Michael’s mission keepsakes, shoes needing a rack, a BT phonebook I picked up in a lapse of judgement.
We spent a month together everywhere. Some new, some old. From Birmingham, Preston, Lloret de Mar, Bradford, and back again, there’s plenty more places we’d like to travel and things to experience together now we’re married.
At present, we’ll add an A&E date to our ‘list of things we’d like to not happen again (but if it did, ‘cos life happens, we’ll try to come prepared)’.
The other day we followed up on our bucket list, a tradition we wanted to build in our family. Over a month of married life, we decided to prioritise family home evenings (FHEs), to start now and build tradition from habit sweetened by the happiness it can bring.
I’d like to say we were on the ball from day one. That bang on eight o’clock, of Monday evening, we were more than ready and set to sing loud and start strong in our little flat.
We didn’t, but we are getting there.
LOVE IS SHARING
Coming in our third week of FHE, we’re hoping we can fortify it into our family life. You could say FHE is a set time for families to learn about Christ at home, enjoy laughter, and be together without the distractions life can bring like phones, zombies, or yoga.
As much I deeply love my family and the newest addition to mine (Michael, that’s you), I also love things a lot. Like a lot. Some might say obsessively so. I’ve been trying to get Michael to watch the Lord of the Rings trilogy with me since we both realised this relationship could go somewhere.
40 days of marriage in, there is a glimmer of hope. He said he’d start with The Hobbit after enjoying Train to Busan with me.
SPENDING TIME ON A DIME
I wanted to share one more love of mine with him: video games. My sister lent me something very precious. The Last of Us remastered edition. I cried after I completed the game when it first came out and I wanted Michael to give it a go.
On our tiny tv, Michael finally succumbed to the mightiness of the Playstation against Xbox.
Not really a massive gamer like I am, the point is, he tried it out. Like some gaming sessions, we went overtime.
We chomped on our dinner/tea/supper while Michael played. I kept trying to read him as the events unfurled on screen. When it was over, we stared at each other and without a beat, Michael prompted us to start.
IT WAS NO GOOD
It was probably eleven at night when we started.
We sang a verse from a hymn, prayed for a good FHE, and then his eyes were on me.
See, teaching children at church comes somewhat easy. I’ve been in this teaching calling or volunteering as a teacher for a while. And I tell no lie, teaching my peers or grown adults paint me with dread.
But I wanted to try and so I did.
My first lesson was how blogging can be a way for sharing the gospel and keeping a personal record. The Internet can be full of real life sorrow, terrors but we can bring light and joy by sharing the goodness.
Sharing what makes you happy can hopefully bring others joy. I focused on the gospel, on the journey to becoming more Christlike, some practical ways to start and manage a blog. I was everywhere, I could’ve been more organised.
Thankfully, I had one participant in my lesson and I’d like to say it went okay.
Ask Michael, though, and he’d strongly disagree. He’d say I’m being too critical of myself and the forgotten strudel burning in the oven was evidence that it was more than okay. (Photo not included).
While I still struggle accepting compliments gracefully, I am grateful that the gospel gives importance to families and that home is a place for things, like FHE, where families can grow together in love, fun, and faith.
P.S. Thank you, OG Strudel Club for introducing me to strudel. You’ve changed me.