Ladies, I invite you to sit with me a bit. I'd fix you a cup of tea, but for these moments together I am unfortunately going to have to ask you to fix your own and visit with me in my home. We're going to chat about having a heart for our homes, about bringing a little bit of beauty in the every day and living intentionally.
Being a keeper of your home is an important role the Lord has called you to. He has given us the responsibility to cultivate a sense of order, peace, and beauty within these four walls. We need to be mindful that we are to create a God-glorifying environment in our homes and serve our families with eternity in mind.
I love my home. The feel, comfort, smells and especially the people in my home. Cultivating a beautiful home takes a lifetime and is worth every moment we choose to pour the love of God into our families and the lives of others. Let me give you a little glimpse into some of the ways I have learned what it means to have a welcoming home.
Before I even begin sharing ways we can bring beauty and blessing into the everyday lives of our families I want to address our hearts.
What is the attitude of your heart in your home to your own family? Do you take delight and joy in serving them? Do they look forward to coming home knowing it is a place that they are loved, welcomed and appreciated? Are they greeted with smiles, hugs and an “I'm so glad you're home”?
It is pretty hypocritical to greet outsiders with more graciousness than our own families. Before our homes can be a place of beauty, we have to allow the joy of the Lord to permeate our hearts and minds. The first step of cultivating beauty in your home is to start in your own heart. Pray that you would be filled with God's love, peace, and joy. We can't be a blessing to others until we are aware and thankful for God's blessing to us.The first step of cultivating beauty in your home is to start in your own heart.
The Importance of Order
It is hard to find comfort and peace amid chaos and disorder. Our homes are all going to look different, and some of us may be more organized and orderly than others, but we all need to have some sense of order in our lives. Our God is a God of order and being made in His image we tend to function better in an orderly environment. I know when my home is in chaos because of circumstances or trials I can't wait to get back a sense of order.
Having order takes work. We have to clean, set some goals, develop schedules that work for us and just roll up our sleeves and get busy. We can make up dozens of excuses why we are living in a cluttered mess, but it comes down to dealing with it. Make a plan and take steps to work at having a daily schedule. Getting organized doesn't have to happen all at once. I can attest that I am continually reorganizing and changing my systems as I go through various seasons of life. My now all adult home is going to look and function differently than a home with small children.
Having an orderly home makes life easier. It is welcoming to come home to, and it's easier to cultivate beauty in an environment that is already tidy. It frees up our time for more important matters like relationships with our own family and reaching out in hospitality to others. This shouldn't be, but it seems to be the case that you are less likely to open your home to others if you are living in chaos.
Pray and ask the Lord for help in this area if you are struggling to have order in your home. Is there a friend or older woman whose home life you admire and could glean from a bit? Remember you can't organize clutter and my favorite quote from Elisabeth Elliot to remind myself when things get overwhelming, and the to-do list seems to build is just, “Do the Next Thing.”
A Joyful Heart
Is your home a fun place to be? It's hard to cultivate a beautiful home amidst crabby and grumpy people. Moms, we have such power over the attitudes in our homes. Is the joy of the Lord present in your home? Is the atmosphere a relaxing, pleasant place to be? Laugh, have fun, enjoy every moment the Lord has blessed you with this beautiful family of yours.
A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
Cultivating Beauty Everyday
This is just a list to get you thinking of creative ways you can bless your home with a touch of beauty that lets your family know you care about the little details. We have the gift to make things lovely in our homes. I love celebrating the fact that God made me a woman and I can enjoy my femininity by bringing a little beauty and love into my family's life every day.
We are not all out of the same mold and our ideas of beauty and how we express it will look different to each of us.The list below is just to get your creative juices flowing on ways to bless your home. Pray and take the time to seek out fun ways to add that extra special touch of warmth and caring to your home.
– Take the time to tidy your entryway and enter as a guest to see what they see when they first walk in your door.
-Fresh flowers are a favorite, either from your garden or even an inexpensive bouquet of daisies from the grocery store. Get creative with containers and spread that bouquet all over the house in various rooms.
– Scented candles are always burning at our home and lighting inexpensive tea lights at meals adds a special touch to the table.
– Music is playing through the house. Classical and instrumental hymns are a favorite.
-Decorate with family photos
-Decorate your walls with scripture.
-Set a pretty but simple table for dinner. Involve your children in helping set the table. Invest in some beautiful tablecloths and inexpensive cloth napkins. Let the kids have fun making place cards – a favorite way to display them is here and learn some simple napkin folding designs. Our favorite addition to the table has been a big lazy susan that we can fit pretty much everything we need for the meal on and it makes it within everyone's reach.
-A little spray bottle filled with distilled water and your favorite essential oil is a treat to spray on your pillows and sheets before bed, use as “perfume” or take when traveling to freshen the hotel room.
– Get on the floor and play with those little ones. Take some time to get into their world and enjoy every minute.
– Cinnamon and sugar mixed in a shaker container is such a favorite special treat on toast.
– Add a pinch of cinnamon to your coffee grounds basket before brewing. Smooths the flavor and it smells lovely.
– Every home needs a peppermill.
– Take the time to make your bedroom a special retreat for you and your husband. Remove the television and declutter, tidy and clean. Add some candles, music and fresh flowers.
-Prepare for your husband's arrival home from work. Freshen up, tidy the house and tidy the kids 🙂
-Always greet family members when they come home with a hug and a kiss. Do the same before you leave them.
– Keep all your quiet time materials in a special bag or basket, so it is always handy for those moments with the Lord.
– Eat as many meals a day as you can as a family. Work hard at it to do breakfast, lunch, and dinner together if possible with your schedules.
– Wake up with your husband and see him off for work. If you pack him a lunch, always send a note.
– Pack notes and surprises in your husband's suitcase if he travels.
-Pack notes and surprises in your children's bags if they are on a trip or outing without you.
-Write scripture on your mirrors with a dry erase marker. Also, a fun way to leave notes for family members.
-Keep favorite family games accessible in a basket or area where they are quick to play when it's game night.
-Keep a basket with read-aloud books and rotate them every week or monthly.
-The family dinner table is a great way to teach manners, conversation, and social skills.
-Laughter is such good medicine. Enjoy each other and tell jokes, have fun, share funny stories and play games together.
-Write notes to family members. Examples are things you love about them, write out a prayer to them, share all the reasons you are thankful for them.
– Enjoy family traditions and create new ones.
-Serve tea from a teapot.
– Wear an apron when you are working in the kitchen or cleaning house.
-Bake chocolate chip cookies and leave them on cookie racks on the counter for your family to come home to.
-Learn about the constellations and have a stargazing night.
– Picnic and eat outside as much as you can in cooperating weather. Too cold for an outdoor picnic……have an indoor one by the fireplace.
-Send a love letter to your husband or children through the mail.
-Keep various types of cards, blank notecards and stamps on hand to send out a note of encouragement to a friend.
-Buy travel mugs and learn to make favorite coffee drinks at home to take with you as you run errands.
-Frame your child's artwork to display.
-Take the time to Romance Your Husband.
“We are homemaking –literally “making a home”. We are working to create a lifestyle that says “welcome” to ourselves and everyone around us.”
What are some ways you add a touch of beauty to your home?
Have you joined our Thankful Homemaker Facebook group yet?
Simple Secrets to a Beautiful Home by Emilie Barnes
The Lifegiving Home by Sally Clarkson