Everytime I think of “gatekeeper” I think of the 1984 Ghostbusters with Bill Murphy, Rick Moranis, and Sigourney Weaver. She ends up thinking that she is Zulu the Gatekeeper and is looking for the Keymaster. This isn’t exactly the kind of Gatekeeper I am referring too, more of the protector of your home. The past months have been taxing on our routine way of life, and with more time to think, worry, and cultivate anxiety I am am working on becoming the gatekeeper to my family, in fairness I think I have always felt that was my role but these present times have caused me to reflect and reevaluate the responsibilities of that job. My home is one place I have the most control of our peace, so in my quest to focus on my home I found some books that I want to recommend to those of you who like me feel that the job of Gatekeeper has become a greater priority…right up there with changing out the laundry before the mildew sets in!
The first book is: The Lifegiving Home: Creating a Place of Belonging and Becoming by Sally and Sarah Clarkson. Home like many others, is one of my favorite places to be. It is a place of warmth, rest and joy. There is nothing more precious than a life giving home! This book is about cultivating an environment in which your family will flourish. It is a month by month guide to enjoying and celebrating your home and those who fill it. It also has a companion guide that you can purchase separately to help guide you in this quest.
The next book is At Home in the World: Reflections on Belonging While Wandering the Globe by Tsh Oxenreider. This is a memoir about a family who got bit by the wanderlust bug, and decided to take their entire family on a 9 month trip around the world. It follows their travels but the part that resonated with me was her thoughts with the concept of home. She learns what it means to be lost—yet at home—in the world. Underneath the stories about the trips and travels of this book there is an underlying understanding of combining the love of adventure with the love of home.
Then there is A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table by Molly Wizenberg. In our home the kitchen holds some magic pull, its where the best conversations happen. It where laughter fills the air, its where hearts are mended, and we are knitted together…the kitchen is the heart of our home. This book follows the author down the walk of memories after her father’s passing and it leads her down the path of realizing that her memories all seem to have the kitchen at the heart of them.
This is Where You Belong: Finding Home Wherever You Are by Melody Warnick hit a nerve with me. Personally as a family who is called to move often, this book was one I could not only relate to but also get some great motivation, and encouragement. The author moves from Austin, Tx to Blacksburg, Va with her family and in the transition of moving she begins to work on changing her mindset from instead of seeing if there new “home” would be a perfect for them she decides instead to work on falling in love with their new “home”. I love this because phrases like “Bloom where you’re planted” and “Home is where your heart is” are frequently thrown around during our season of transition. Warnick addresses the idea of place attachment—the deep sense of connection that binds some of us to our cities and increases our physical and emotional well-being, and then encourages others to make home where they are.
Lastly is Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House by Cheryl Mendelson. Simply put this book is about the domestic art of housekeeping. This isn’t necessarily a cover to cover book, however it does offer helps on how to manage household chores, find creative solutions to modern day issues and enhance the experience of life at home. I think its fair to say there could be an argument for the importance of the comforts offered by keeping our house.
There are so many things we can’t control. Like being #102 on 3 copies of that book you can’t wait to read. The reality is some parts of this life sometimes feels so big the shadow they cast can block out the sun, but the important thing is to remember you are the gatekeeper to your mind, your heart and you home. So know you aren’t alone, and here is the good vibes to focus on what you can control, and encouragement that you are absolutely capable to keep your gate!