Making Your Home a Haven: Week 4

It’s the 4th and last week of Women Living Well’s Making Your Home a Haven: 31 Day Fall Challenge.  Here’s the challenge as written by Courtney of Women Living Well:

Decorate! The holidays are upon us. Ann Voskamp says “Creating is good theology. In the beginning God created.” Be creative as you make your home warm, cozy and inviting for the holidays. Think about ways you can keep Christ in Christmas even in the way you decorate.  Decorate – to the glory of God!

I’m finishing up some cleaning today and Munchie is eager to decorate for Christmas.  The candle is glowing, the Christmas music playing softly and Munchie’s happy squeals and giggles fill the house.  How thankful I am that I have a home to call my own–a place to create traditions this season.  Wherever your home is, whatever the size, you can decorate it to fit YOU and make it all yours.  Take a little time this week to decorate for the season and feel the spirit of Christmas grow around you.

I’m a bit sad that this is the last week of the Making Your Home a Haven series.  It has encouraged and inspired me.  And, in some ways, calmed me.  Those close to me, know I can be an anxious and nervous gal.  That’s a huge part of why I started my organized Christmas series this year and why I strive to be as organized as possible.  It truly helps calm my soul.  I plan to keep up these challenges all season and into the new year.  Won’t you join me?

As Courtney said, it’s not the things you do or don’t have that make your home a haven–YOU are the key to making your home a haven.  🙂  Light your candle, turn on the music, and let Christmas into your home with home cooking and decorating.  ♥

Have you joined this challenge yet?  It’s not too late to begin!

xx ~Danielle

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Making Your Home a Haven: Week 3

It’s week 3 of Women Living Well’s Making Your Home a Haven: 31 Day Fall Challenge.  Here’s the challenge as written by Courtney of Women Living Well:

Focus on the kitchen, the heart of the home. Cook things with pleasant aromas – like homemade bread, pies, and cookies. Don’t wait to have a reason to make something special – do it simply to show love to your family. Invite your kids and/or hubby to cook along side you– make memories in the kitchen – test tasting, being creative, laughing and loving. Remove discontentment and give thanks to God for the home God has given you in which to create a haven for your family.

This might be my favorite challenge to date.  I love an excuse to be in the kitchen.  My little girl is always asking to help in the kitchen and although there are certainly days when I just want to cook alone and not clean up additional messes, I like this reminder:  I create my home, I create my haven.  Letting my daughter help in the kitchen is a wonderful way to help her feel nourished and create memories.  Sacrificing a clean kitchen for the sake of building traditions, instilling a love of home and caring for family, while working together in the kitchen, is worth it to me–I just have to remind myself that some days. 🙂

Because many of you are traveling for the holiday, staying with family or friends, you can take part by helping out in the kitchen wherever you’re calling home this week.  When you return home, keep up the challenge by warming up your home with something freshly baked or something simmering away on the stove top.

As Courtney said,it’s not the things you do or don’t have that make your home a haven–YOU are the key to making your home a haven.  🙂  Keep that candle burning and the music playing and let’s get cooking! ♥

Have you joined this challenge yet?  It’s not too late to begin!

xx ~Danielle

Making Your Home a Haven: Week 2

It’s week 2 of Women Living Well’s Making Your Home a Haven: 31 Day Fall Challenge.  Here’s the challenge as written by Courtney of Women Living Well:

Play soft music everyday in your home. Choose worship, classical or another form of peaceful music that the family enjoys. I’ll be playing Christmas music! Focus on using peaceful words and maintaining peaceful relationships. Work on gentleness this week.

Like Courtney, I  played Christmas music yesterday and for most of today.  In the morning, when I’m the only one up, I choose classical music to ease me into my day.  I could certainly use reminders to focus on using peaceful words and being more gentle.  I am one crabby lady some days.  I’m already loving this challenge and plan to keep it up even when the entire challenge series ends.

Courtney speaks of Proverbs in this challenge and I find it a wonderful companion to the challenge.  Here are two of my favorite Proverbs verses:

Reckless words pierce like a sword but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Proverbs 12:18

“A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered.” Proverbs 17:27

I’m practicing being more gentle with my daughter.  I often tell my husband that I hate to see her spirit broken by harsh tones and a rough manner.  This challenge assists my focus in this area since I can be quick with the tongue and regretful just moments later.

What a difference my candle (Week 1’s Challenge) and this soft music makes.  As Courtney said in her post last week, it’s not the things you do or don’t have that make your home a haven–YOU are the key to making your home a haven.  🙂  Keep that candle burning and the music playing!

Have you joined this challenge yet?  It’s not too late to begin!

xx ~Danielle

Making Your Home a Haven: Week 1

Yesterday morning I saw that my very organized friend, Erin (you are, don’t say you’re not!), who blogs over at My Mommy World joined Women Living Well’s Making Your Home a Haven: 31 Day Fall Challenge.  I love these types of challenges because 1) I’m competing against and pushing myself and 2) My family as well as my soul benefits.  So…I’m in!

I’m a week behind, but no worries.  I started Week 1 yesterday and will start Week 2 right on time.  See?  No one to scold or  shout at me to “RUN, RUN HARDER!” (That’s how I picture a personal trainer challenging me and I cringe at the thought.)

For Week 1’s challenge, Courtney (the gal behind Women Living Well) suggests we get a large candle, choose a spot for it in your home, and light it daily.  Each time the candle catches your eye, say a prayer for peace in your home. 

I love this challenge.   I like the reminder to take a moment to say a prayer during the day.  And, as Courtney states, it’s not the things you do or don’t have that make your home a haven–YOU are the key to making your home a haven.  🙂

I chose to put my candle on my mantle for the weekend.  As we pass through our family room a gazillion times each day, we have a gentle reminder of the blessing of our home and I can say my prayer for peace many times a day.  I strive to make my home a haven for my family and for those dear friends who stop in.  But I often find myself frustrated with piles of clutter or rushing to clean up quickly when someone calls to say they’re stopping by.  I like this simple gesture, the tangible reminder–the lit candle–telling me that I have control over the mood and feel of my home.  And I’m choosing to make it a warm, welcoming haven for those I love and those in need.

What makes YOUR home a haven?  What do you do to make your home a comfortable place for those you love?

xx ~Danielle

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