As I look around, I realize that it isn’t only the dust bunnies that annoy me, but also the clutter cats! Don’t be surprised! They live at your house too! Most people that come into my home wonder how I keep it looking presentable…well, it’s all in ones perspective! Now, this is not a blog about keeping a clean house, but it is one about creating an environment conducive to peace, tranquility, open communication, and growth. Your home is your haven. Is it really? Or is it more of a whirlwind hotel?
My sweet husband has been under a lot of stress lately with his job, more so than normal. The other day, I was convicted by the Holy Spirit about the environment of my home. Was it really a place for him….for me….to unwind, chillax and enjoy peace, tranquility, and rest? Ouch! With my busy schedule and his unpredictable hours, our home is often a place of chaos scattered with a binder for this, a tote for that, a folder for this, a stack for these, a pile of papers on the stairs to take up to the office, this project on the table, that project in the studio, and the extra bedroom (a place to stash everything out of sight in a moments notice) ……you understand! Come on, confess, you’ve been there too!
It’s been a few weeks since I wrote to you about my table and how I like a pretty table that is inviting and ready to dine. Well, that just went out of the window this month! Instead, my table has been full of papers that need attention. Demands from everybody, everywhere, throughout everyday, (and my phone doesn’t stop either)…for my time, my money, to give gifts, to make decisions, and to pick my brain about all sorts of things! Now, I do like a good brainstorm session, and like to help people out, but that’s not what I’m talking about. It’s the drain of constant bombardment of things that really, in the course of eternity, don’t really matter! I’m not ranting, though it may seem that way. But our lives have become entangled with the seemingly “urgent” to the point that we all respond or react instead of being proactive and intentional. My home, like yours I’m sure, has been negatively invaded. What happened to the peace, rest, and tranquility? It has no longer become a stress-free zone. It is a battleground for sanity and calmness. I can’t even sleep at night for the stressful things running through my mind.
Many times we feel like we are about to snap! Is this what God has in mind for the home or our lives? I think not!
We need to realize that our family, our home, our friendships, our livelihood, and our emotional and spiritual state are all under attack. I believe more now than ever because the days are drawing nigh until Jesus’ return.
Your home should be a haven, a place where you shed the stressors of the day and kick back and relax, enjoy one another, grow your relationship with the Lord, and provide refuge for friends and family. Along with foul bombardments and stresses, the sensory experiences in your home impact your mood, your stress level and how you feel.
What should we do?
The answer is simple but the solution is not as easy.
I would love to have this sign on the front of my house!
How does one begin to create a stress-free zone?
I’m not an expert, but this is what I have found to be true.
When my home is more of a stress-free zone, a haven, I find it easier to hear from the Lord. It becomes a place that is inviting, warm, and people notice it! In the late 80’s, the message of Mary Crowley, Christian owner and CEO of Home Interior & Gifts, Inc., sank deep within my heart, which led me to open my own business, Cottage Collectibles. Her message was simply: A Christian woman’s responsibility is to make a house a haven for all of those who enter it. Create an environment that reflects Christ and provides warmth and love.
“She carefully watches everything in her household…” Proverbs 31: 27
Not only should we as women watch over everything (physically) in our home, I think this also pertains to the environment of it. Please note that I am preaching to myself here! Even though I know the importance of creating such a space, I find it difficult to keep up the daily routine with the demands and pace of my life. This huge elephant must be eaten one bite at a time… and sometimes I need a little help! Brian is so good to help me out! Men, if you are reading this and you are married, she will be so appreciative if you pitch in and tell her how much you appreciate her efforts to keep the home front a happy place to dwell.
Our homes are an important sacred place! When I begin to feel like it is simply a whirlwind hotel, that’s when I have to step back and remind myself of the stresses I’m adding to my life and home environment and how that rolls off and plays out on those who enter my home or Brian who lives here too! Tension dominates and my little home becomes a pit of chaos. I find myself not even wanting to go there and the pit just gets bigger and deeper. Not good!
What has your home become to you?
If you are already aware of the battles and fight to protect it, I commend you. Keep fighting because every day is a battle for it! If you are struggling to “get it together” or feel like it is neither a stress-free zone nor place of tranquility, I encourage you to turn it over to the Lord and ask for help. The few suggestions I have written above will also give you a good boost. I might add that when I seek God first, all of the other stresses fall away. There’s just a certain peace that He provides; after all, He IS the Prince of Peace! Invite Him to move in with you while you are here on this earth, to help you with the struggles of daily living. He says He will abide with us.
Let me also encourage you with this little reminder…Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us! It’s the ultimate stress-free zone and full of boundless beauty and peace. No dust bunnies! We will reign there with Him forever one day! He also says that we will abide with Him!
If you need a jump start to restoring order in your home, it first begins with yourself. How can you possibly take care of others and your home when you are depleted, weary, and worn? I encourage you to consider taking time away from the stresses of life and join us for a time of restoration, refreshment, and put a little joy back into your life! Sign up today for the next Restore Retreat, October 10th - 12th. Remember that change first begins within your own heart. Click here for more information.
Working toward a Stree-free zone with the Father's help,
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