Friday, October 9, 2015

Making Your Home a Haven

Haven.  That word has been rolling around in my head for a while now and as so often happens, it keeps popping up in unexpected places.  Ann Voskamp is famous for her word themes for the year.  I'm never ready to do that sort of thing in January.  Fall is still my New Year and the time  I think about plans and changes and the future.  For me and my house this fall, Haven is going to be the word of our new year.

The events in the past month have shaken me to my core.  I was speaking of the sadness that seems to be permeating our world and two totally unrelated people spoke of the Great Deceiver and what the author of lies is doing to our young people and to our world.  I do believe in evil, but I have a Hope that is greater than that darkness.  "Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him." (Psalm 62;5)  My goal as a mama, wife and keeper of our house, is to make our home a restful Haven where we can find rest in Him and joy in each other.  As we take off our shoes at the door, we leave the world outside, for just a while,  For just a little while, we can enjoy our comfortable home, good food and each other's company.  We can read His Word and nurture our souls and get ourselves ready for another day.

I've been lucky enough to arrange my schedule to have a Home Day.  I now have one day a week that I devote to my home.  I clean, stock the pantry, cook food to freeze for later in the week, putter in the yard, and catch up on any other chores around the house that need doing.  By having all of this work done, I can focus on my kids and be present for them while they're home.  During the week this is so important.  They come home from school tired and hungry and stressed and having a warm, cozy and organized home has made a big difference in the way we all relate to one another.

I am fully aware of what a luxury this is and that not everyone can do this.  But I think each of us mamas can take a little time off from facebook, reality tv or whatever it is that's taking up some of your precious time and spend it making a haven for your precious family.  It doesn't have to be a big, expensive house or gourmet meals.  A loving home is a treasure for all of those who live there, including you.  These last couple of weeks have made me more calm and patient in dealing with my kids (something I'm normally a little short on) and more productive at work because I haven't been worrying about things that need doing at the house.  Being able to focus on work while I'm there because the house work is either done or scheduled for a certain day has been a real blessing.

I sometimes read the Sugar Pie Farmhouse blog, and she said something that made me pause.  "Whatever it is that I decide to invest my time in, I have to be careful that it doesn’t take away from my time with God nor my time taking care of my home and family. " 

Thinking of the use of our time as an investment is a game-changer.  Are we investing in things that last and will bring us lasting returns?  Even "good things" take us away from our families.  We need to be careful of things we say "yes" to, because it always means we're saying "no" to something else.  Take a moment or two and reflect on how you are using your precious resource of time.  Pour out love on your sweet family and take time to take care of yourself.  Our world needs more kindness and gentleness and love--be that for your little corner of creation.

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