This is a guest article by Rachel Henderson
The Founders of our country had the enormous job of explaining why they were leaving Great Britain and also articulating the new laws that this country would live by. There is tremendous responsibility placed on the 1st generation of any new thing. For most of us, when it comes to Torah, we are that 1st generation. Therefore we have three enormous jobs:
- To articulate what we are breaking away from
- To articulate the set of beliefs we are proposing to move forward with
- To live it in such a way that it attracts others without having to hard sell
I propose that women are uniquely gifted for this third task. Aren’t we called to be beautifiers of all that is under our care? Our homes. Our selves. Our children. What about a way of life? Introducing and inviting others to something new must be grounded in voluntary participation rather than compulsion. So how do we as women live so that our children and others want to join in?
People’s best connection point to Torah is experiencing the fruit of it. In other words, you. Below I have offered five real-life categories (peaceful home, healthy relationships, real marriage, healthy habits, and rhythm of life) with supporting questions tied to each. Take some time to honestly ask yourself each of these questions. Make note of which are weaknesses and purpose to do one thing to strengthen it. That’s a great place to start.
Are things relatively in order?
What habits have you built to maintain a fresh start each morning?
When do you study?
How are your consumer habits? Are you able to be satiated?
What financial habits do you abide by to be a good steward?
Have you maintained margins in your life? Does life feel constantly rushed?
Functioning, healthy relationships
Are you committed to telling the truth?
Have you erected proper boundaries?
Have you practiced the art of being kind and firm?
Do you know what the Bible says about your role in marriage?
How do you regularly communicate with your spouse on logistical, and household issues?
How do you represent each other in public?
How are you investing in this most important physical relationship?
When there is a conflict, what is your plan to work through it?
C.S. Lewis said that humans are amphibious- part spirit and part physical. I have always found this comical bit of wisdom to be very true. The things we regularly do, our habits, serve physical and spiritual purposes. Often good physical habits enable us to have the brain space and heart space to practice spiritual habits. Every morning before the kids get up, I try to do something for my body, my brain, and my soul (B.B.S.).
How are my eating habits? Does the food I choose act as an effective fuel?
How often do you move your body? Is it a priority on your weekly list?
What is my screen time usage like? The concept of opportunity cost is key here. Every moment I waste on a screen is a moment I don’t get to spend loving the people around me, learning something new, communing with the Father, writing a card to a loved one, etc.
Am I committed to regular learning? Do I read habitually? Am I exercising my brain?
Rhythm of Life
One of the first things I began to teach our children was this rhythm of life: first, we work, then we play, then we rest. Typically we go through this cycle twice per day, every day. Regular neglect of any of these things will lead to a lack of purpose, drudgery, or burnout. When you think in terms of work, play, and rest you will be able to sense when it is time to shift from one to the next.
Work- demonstrate for your children a real love of working hard. It will serve them for the rest of their lives. Yah intended us to work and enjoy the satisfaction of a job well done.
Play- an essential part of life. Yah wants us to be happy! As just one example, He commands us to rejoice during his Feast days. Who would want to join a people group who are unhappy and don’t prioritize fun?
Rest- Prioritize this just as much as the first two. God commands us to rest one out of every seven days because He knows we wouldn’t do it otherwise.
A driving thought in my life is that what we do most often is most important. What we do and how we do it habitually define who we really are. It is also our greatest, most effective ministry. If our lives are in disarray, why would anyone want to emulate it? It matters what we do. People are always quietly watching. Our best and most powerful influence as generational pioneers of Torah is to live life well. Use Torah principles to construct your daily habits, and the peaceful, loving fruit will come to bear.
My name is Rachel and I believe we are put here to have simple and abundant lives. I am 33, married, and a stay at home Momma to 4 under 7. I love my God- and I mean I really love my God. He is the source of all blessing in my life- something I try to remember daily. I believe that if we follow God’s ways and pursue His will on our knees, in our hearts, and through our actions that He will lead us to that simple, abundant life that we long for.