Have you ever had one of those "This year is the worst year of my life" moments? 2016 was that year for me. And while I won't go into great detail, I have strived to create a happy home in the middle of this not so pleasant season. I want to give my son a place where there is peace, joy, music, and love.
How do you create a happy home for your families when it seems as if your world is crumbling?
I always go to The Lord first. He has always been my strength and my peace. He has quieted the storms. When I don't know where to turn and sadness seems to be all around, He was there.
"Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven." Psalm 107:28-30
Your home should be a haven for you. Your home should be a place where peace and joy abound. Your home should be your lighthouse in the storm.
The world seems to be falling apart, don’t you think? Hatred and death are everywhere and there isn’t enough love and life to be found. Let us strive to create a healthy and happy home. A place we can go when there seems to be no hope.
I have five simple ways to create a happy home in the middle of chaos. I have done all of these things in my home in the middle of the worst season of my life. At the end of the day, I can rest my head knowing that my son is happy, healthy and loved and I have created a space where I can discover who I am.
Step 1: Pray over your home.
2 Chronicles 7:15-16 “Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place. For now, I have chosen and consecrated this house that my name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will be there for all time.”
In January, I went to every room in my home starting at the front door and prayed over each room. Yes, the bathrooms and laundry room were blessed! HA!
In my foyer, I prayed that nothing harmful would enter into the rooms of my home. I prayed for safety to be around the four corners of my home. That nothing could enter that would hurt me or Asher.
In my kitchen and dining room, I prayed that God would never let us go hungry. The chaos of this year brought uncertainty to my finances. In my kitchen, I prayed that I would always have food to feed my son and a table to welcome others.
In the bedrooms, I prayed for rest. I prayed that in the middle of chaos, the rest of the Lord (Matthew 11:28) would be ours. I prayed we would be able to lay our heads on our pillows after a long day knowing that we were safe, that although things looked dark, the sun would soon rise.
In the bathrooms and the laundry room, I prayed for a clean heart. In the middle of a horrible season, it is easy to become bitter. It is so easy to become enraged. I rebuked that in my life and prayed for a clean heart. I prayed that The Lord would keep my heart and mind pure and focused on Him.
#2. Get rid of the clutter.
I’ve never been a clutter bug. My type A personality prevents me from having clutter everywhere. But I still went into my house and got rid of anything I didn’t use or need. I donated a bunch of old clothes and books. I threw away any little papers that were here and there. I donated all of my son's old toys that he no longer played with. I cleaned out closets, cabinets, pantries, and linen closets.
I became an organizational ninja in the first few months of this year and it brought great perspective.
Get rid of the clutter. Take a weekend and clean every nook and cranny. I promise you. You will feel such peace, clarity, and joy once all of the mess is gone.
#3. Turn off the television.
I had to get rid of cable because it was just too expensive. I used to wake up and turn on the morning news shows for “background noise”. What I didn’t realize is that I was being filled with all of the negative news of the day on a constant basis. I didn’t notice that my mornings were filled with “noise”.
Now, I listen to a podcast in the mornings. Usually T.D. Jakes or Sheryl Brady. Other mornings I just listen to worship music. I keep my mornings filled with positivity and it sets the stage for the rest of the day.
At night, I no longer watch the Housewives-type reality shows. I no longer get sucked into the negative news. I read, write, or color.
I am not oblivious to what is going on in the world, but it doesn’t need to constantly fill my home.
#4. Display constant reminders of God’s promises.
Throughout my home, you will find constant reminders of God’s promises. You will find quotes that inspire me. I love to color and have colored beautiful pages full of inspiring saying, quotes, and Scriptures. Rather than keep them in a book, I display them around my home. These reminders of God’s goodness keep my spirit intact even on the worst days.
#5 Create a place that is just for you.
I live with a seven-year-old boy who is constantly moving so keeping a place just for myself is hard. But I have a corner of my bedroom that is just mine. There is a beautiful chair, a cozy blanket, my coloring books, Bible, and devotionals. It is where I go to pray, to hear God, and to unwind.
If you can, find a small corner of your home that is just for you. In my old apartment, I took a spare closet and made it into a scrapbooking room. You don’t need a huge space, but find a place that you can call your own. A place where you can close the door and just sit in peace for a while.
2016 was a year of upheaval for me on so many levels. But through every storm, my home has kept a sense of peace. My home has kept a haven for me and my son through the biggest storm of my life.
I encourage you to make your home a haven in the middle of life’s storms. I encourage you to pray blessings over every room of your home and I hope that you can create a place where like Dorothy you can say . . . “There’s no place like home.”
How do you keep your home happy in the middle of life's ups and downs? I'd love to hear about them in the comments!