I strongly believe that any decision can best be made through counsel with an individual and God. Sure, others can help and offer input in the decision making process, but in the end, it is God's opinion that matters. It doesn't matter what the nosey neighbor, the overly inquisitive relative, the well meaning friend, the educated scholars and doctors or anyone else thinks (although that doesn't mean these people may have valuable input that may help us realize God's will from time to time). I have found that everything is better when I put God first and do what he asks of me. In a family situation, the decisions are between the parents and God, but the concept is exactly the same, just with another person added to the mix."No one can calculate the tremendous force for good that you can become. You are the keepers of the hearth. You are the managers of the home. . . . I charge you to stand tall and be strong in defense of those great virtues which have been the backbone of our social progress. When you are united, your power is limitless. You can accomplish anything you wish to accomplish. And oh, how very, very great is the need for you in a world of crumbling values where the adversary seems so very much to be in control." -Gordon B. Hinckley
What I love about this approach, is that it is a one size fits all approach and still allows lots of room for individual circumstances. You and I may be asking God the same question, but not get the same answer. This doesn't mean one answer is wrong, just that God knows each of his children individually and knows what will best meet their needs.
For example, after getting a degree in Music Education, I spent a lot of time in fervent prayer trying to know where and what I should be doing with my life. The answer didn't come all at once, but line upon line. First, I spent six months as a live in nanny for an awesome friend. Next I moved to a different area and spent a year teaching elementary music part time. After that year, I felt that the Lord had something in store for me and I needed to keep my schedule flexible so I would be able to take advantage of the opportunities coming my way. I taught private music lessons and substitute taught in the public school system. In November I did NaNoWriMo, and in December I signed up for an internship involving writing. By the end of January, I had a job at an online marketing company and although it wasn't anything I had ever intended to do (especially with a music degree), through guidance of the Holy Spirit, I recognized it as the opportunity I was waiting for and as crazy as it was, I took the opportunity and had a wonderful experience there. I kept working there until I had a baby, then became a full time homemaker.
Of course that isn't the path that every one should take, but it was the right one for me. Whatever God requires is right, even though we may not see why until long after we follow His counsel. If we trust in the Lord, He will direct us for good. Even when it is hard, it is always better to be with God than floundering through life alone.
All that being said, our family has made many decisions that we feel are the best for our home, but I recognize that they may not work for everyone. Here are a few things my family is doing that may deviate from the current trends.
- We rarely go to the store
- We are building up food storage and eat what we store
- Most of our meals are made from scratch
- Homemade bread
- We love fresh produce
- We avoid processed foods when possible
- I rarely use specialized or manufactured cleaning products
- Baking soda and vinegar are awesome
- We have a drum set instead of a TV
- I don't use shampoo or conditioner
- I make my own deodorant
- We use homemade tooth powder instead of commercial toothpaste
- We will use essential oils before turning to medicine or doctors
- I am blessed to be able to be a stay at home mom
- We make family prayer and scripture study a priority
- We believe that little children are born innocent
- Our baby doesn't eat canned baby food
- We use cloth diapers
- We don't feel a need to have lots of fancy, expensive toys for our baby
- We center our family on Christ and His teachings
- In our family, we believe we are building and strengthening eternal relationships, not just until death