Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Make Your Home a Haven

 Monica over at The Homespun Heart has been hosting "Make your Home a Haven" this week. This is something  that has been on my heart and so I thought it would be fun to join in. I had meant to post about it the last two days but with Internet issues and lack of time that hadn't happened yet. But I will start now with the posting about it.

 I think of Haven as a place that you can go to rest, to get away from the struggles you might be facing elsewhere. A place where love is. A place of peace and joy. That is what I want our home to be. We live in such a busy society- there are so many demands made upon our time, I want our home to be different.

   Our home hasn't always been different, I wouldn't be able to number the times that I have told my kids to "hurry up" we need to get this done or go here or do that. That is one thing that I am trying to work on in making our home a haven.  I have been really working on staying home more and honestly doing less. We had gotten our schedule so busy that I was overwhelmed and I was often pushing my kids. It is my goal to be more fully focused on each moment as it comes rather than always trying to get ready for something else.

Here are some of the ways I am working on this:
  • Prayer. God is the giver of all wisdom and strength. He knows what I can handle each day and I need to go to Him at all times for guidance.
  • Stay home more. I have never been one to shop a lot or do a lot of running but this summer and the beginning of fall we ended up being on the go a bunch anyway. Somethings I have done to help change that are: Stopping our visits to the Chiropractor- this was done after much prayer and I think it is a good thing at least for now. Stretching out our visits to the grocery store as long as possible. Limit the amount of social visiting that we do right now. Asking Ken to run an errand for me every so often as he comes and goes from work.
  • Not saying yes to new ideas for using my time without much prayer and thinking. This one has been interesting for me. I am the type of person that usually gets excited about new ideas- fun ways to decorate places and so forth. Both in our Republican group and at church I have usually been quick to say yes to helping with events or whatever. I have been challenging myself lately to really think: Is this truly necessary for getting our message out or is it simply taking up my time to plan it (or work on it) and then going to take up more of others time later without any real fruit. If the answer is "yes" to that, I am trying to avoid saying "yes" to doing it.
  • Giving my family(God, my friends, whoever I am around) my full attention. I am a huge multi tasker and my mind is also going very fast much of the time. I have had a tendency to "listen" to my kids while thinking about something else and working on something else. I will probably continue to work and listen because that really can work together but I am working to stop thinking about something else while I "listen".

My plan for today in making my home a haven is this:

  1. Get up early. This morning Ken had to leave early so I decided to get up with him at 5:30. It is neat to have all of this morning quiet time to pray and work and get things ready for the day.
  2. Pray and Read the Bible and Meditate on God's word.I have been working on praying for God's help in being patient, gentle and kind and really in tune with my family's needs.  Here are some verses that I am finding helpful:  "So that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored. Titus 2: 4 & 5 This one also was a good reminder to me that we do need to be busy in doing good things but to meet pressing needs not just wasting time: "Our people must also learn to engage in good deeds to meet pressing needs, so that they will not be unfruitful." Titus 3:14 I think it looks like the woman in Proverbs 31 was good at making her home a haven too: "Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future. She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and bless her; Her husband also, and he praises her, saying; "Many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all." Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her the product of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates." Proverbs 31:25-31
  3. Eat fruit and Oatmeal for breakfast (one of my kids' favorites!)
  4. Do some general cleanup to make our house look orderly and inviting.
  5. I have been working this week on fixing up our main living area (kitchen, dining and living room) to look more inviting and fixed up for fall. I had already done some painting (adding new color- I will share pictures later!) but today I hope to touch up the walls that are going to remain cream (or "lantern light" which is what the color's name is!). I am looking forward to the lovely walls!
  6. School work will also be done this morning. It is my prayer to really show patience to my children and that they would be diligent and enjoy learning.
  7. Lunch- Watermelon (from our garden!) and leftover soup from last night. (I love having leftovers for lunch as it makes our days much simpler- I having trouble making enough sometimes of late in order to feed my growing family and have leftovers however!)
  8. Next comes reading together (We love this time!) and rest time for all of us. I love the down time we can have and getting a few minutes to shut my eyes too. In my private reading I am really enjoying some herb books that I got from the library.
  9. This afternoon I want to enjoy the beautiful weather that we have been having with my kids. Explore a little, admire the beautiful leaves. This warm time will be gone fast and I want us to enjoy it while we can.
  10. If I have extra time, some of the projects I want to work on this week are: New pillows- in bright fall colors- for our couch, Doing a clutter purge through out our home, going through all of our clothes and getting rid of everything that we don't really use or care for.( I was very inspired by Money Saving Mom's Vlog showing her very limited wardrobe. I don't think I would ever go that slim but I made me realize that we sure could get by with a lot less!), Finding some stuff in our home to give to others who need it, Arranging wall hangings in our living room, Decorating for fall all over the house.
  11. Supper- My goal is to have it done when Ken walks in the door. I have been running late quite often anymore. The menu: Fruit Salad with nuts and real whipped cream, Zucchini and Carrot Patties and Steak chunks.,
  12. Tonight we have church and I am teaching a kids class again this month. I have everything ready to go already so I am happy about that. I just need to carry my bag out to the van -besides putting together a quick snack.
 My main goals are: To have a joyful and loving attitude. To simplify our lives in the amount of things we do and the amount of stuff we have. To really be focused on those that are around me.  To look to God for Strength and wisdom in everything. I am so thankful to God because with Him even the worst and ugliest house can be turned into a haven.

 Are you working on making your home a haven? What things are you working on?


All in a Day said...

I can sure relate to #7. The poor dog scrounges around under the table and would not get anything if it were not for David. :)

I always enjoy life after soccer season is over because things calm down, but the kids do not. They would go somewhere every if I let them.

All in a Day said...

Every day... Sorry!

horse loving lineman's wife said...

What a great post! I got A LOT from it. Your timing is great. I am trying to pare down in our house. We are overly blessed with many possessions, and unfortunately my kids were raised this way, they are quite spoiled (mee too)! So as my daughter is looking to go off to college next year, I am really looking to get rid of quite a bit of stuff we no longer want or need. :o) It is very hard for me to part with somethings, I am really having to pray and be open minded. I am such a hoarder. And that is not a good thing. So keep the upbeat, positive posts coming. I love reading your blog. Kimberly

Nola said...

This is exactly what I have been learning about/needing to work on in my life, so thank you for sharing! Often I get thinking about something and then it pops up with another woman sharing about it! How neat!

I'm working on me...I get so frustrated that I let that wreck the peace in our home.

A Simple Life... said...

so happy to meet you! Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog and encouraging me in exercise... What a BlEsSiNg this week has been, striving to "Make HOME a HaVeN".
♥ Kelsey

Anna said...

Very nicely written. So much a goal for me too, to have our home a haven. Something you need to always be reminded about to stay focused.

Abbi said...

It is so fun to hear from all of you who are working on the same things I am! Thanks so much for taking the time to share with me!

Abbi said...

Shelly, My kids have almost always wanted to "go" too but lately they have been wanting to stay home some of the times we need to go. It has been amazing to me but I am thankful that they are enjoying being home.

Finding Balance mommy said...

That was a real blessing to read. Those are some things that I've also been working on and some other things that are great challenges. It's soooo neat to be able to walk through life and be encouraged by other moms that are facing the same things....even if it's thousands of miles away. Thanks for your insight for today. :-)


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