Friday, February 27, 2009

Making My Home A Haven

Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands. Proverbs 14:1

Recently, I've been frequently reading about “making your home a haven.” Usually what follows is encouragement on cleaning, organizing and decorating your home to make it comfortable and attractive for your family.

I have been thinking about what truly makes our home a haven. Is it all about appearance, or is it something deeper?

I've been on a cleaning, organizing streak this winter with pregnancy nesting kicking into high gear! But I notice that the more focused I am on my projects and the looming “to do” list, the more frustrated I become at the little people, that typically are not sharing my cleaning drive! It isn't hard to begin thinking that the thing standing between me and an organized home is my children! Not really a good attitude for a Godly mother!

I recently read an article by a mom who experienced a severe health condition during her tenth pregnancy. She spent weeks on bed rest, knowing that she could be near the end of her life. Thankfully, she fully recovered, but she was writing about the experience and remembering the focus those weeks gave her. She had always thought, if she knew she was dying, she would spend time catching up in her children's scrapbooks and writing letters to her children to somehow leave something of herself for her children. But she did none of that. During her weeks in bed, not knowing the future, she spent most of her time just talking with her children and praying for her children. In reading the article, I wondered how my day's schedule would change if I thought it would be the last I would spend with my husband and children.

Certainly, a clean home is important! My husband greatly appreciates a home that is in decent order. I especially try to keep our bedroom free of clutter to form an oasis in the avalanche of “stuff” that seems to appear in a busy home. My goal is to have the children do a quick toy pick up before dad gets home so that he doesn't need to shovel a path just to get to the couch! A reasonably clean kitchen and bathroom is needed for proper health and hygiene. Having our drawers and closets in a semblance of order saves much frustration in searching for items. An important part of homemaking is making our home a comfortable place for our family.

But what really makes a home a haven? Is it polished floors and immaculate counters? Is it picture perfect decorations and meticulous organization? Is it gourmet meals and picturesque desserts? Or is it place of emotional comfort and safety? A home that oozes love and encouragement to those who enter?

My children recently got into asking, “Do you love me?” I think it is just a phase they are in right now and usually they ask the question in a fit of giggles. But when I hear the question, it pricks my heart. I wonder, do they really need to ask? Do they not know how dearly loved they are? Why else do they think that I'm spending my days changing diapers, potty training, and scraping gunk off the high chair? Do they feel unreservedly loved? Or in my busyness of serving their physical needs, am I neglecting to connect to their inner need to be loved?

With all these thoughts running through my mind these past weeks, it has made me evaluate my priorities. What is more important? The “to do” list or a game of Memory with a four year old. Trying a new recipe or reading yet another Richard Scary book to the one year old. My latest sewing project or a nap so that my husband doesn't come home to an exhausted cranky wife? I count it an incredible privilege to make a home for the family I dearly love. I want my attitude, especially when my plans are turned on end, to reflect the joy of the Lord.

How about you? I'd love to hear how you cultivate joy and peace in your home!

It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house. Proverbs 25:24

Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith. Proverbs 15:17


  1. This is such a good post, I can't believe that nearly two years later I am the first to comment!

    You are right about priorities...a magazine ready home, or listening to my children, reading to them, talking to them, working alongside them...

    I know what I choose!

  2. This speaks to my heart right now. I know this post is old, but I am thankful for it.

  3. I so very much need to learn this. This post is still blessing others even almost 3 years down the road. Thanks so much for sharing these wise thoughts. Your blog is always a blessing and encouragement to me:)

  4. The title of this post caught my eye (the link was at the bottom of a recent post). When you wrote this 6 years ago, I was a new bride and had never heard of Home Joys. Now I have two preschoolers and your advice is so timely for me. Thank you!


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