Are You Distracted and Distant or Making Your Home a Haven?

It is week 1 of the Making Your Home a Haven Fall Challenge. Here is this week’s challenge: Go buy an extra large candle and light a candle everyday in your home. I will be starting mine in the morning! But you can start yours at dinner time. Do what makes sense for your family. I will be placing mine in the kitchen – the main hub of my home. Each time the candle catches your eye, say a prayer for peace in your home.

What makes a home a haven? Is it having a home that looks like it popped out of Better Homes and Gardens with unbelievable decorating? Is it a home that has massive amounts of toys, food to feast on, video games stacked high and every movie imaginable to view? Is it a certain number of square feet, a separate bedroom for each child, or the neighborhood you live in?

No. It is not the things that we have or the things that we do not have that make our homes a haven. It’s you – my dear reader – you are the key to making the home a haven.

Let’s compare two women and see which home you live in.

Home #1

1. The woman of the home is distant. She is pulled into her computer, television, books, or text messages and it’s hard for the family to connect with her. She wonders why no one seems to listen to her? The children don’t obey her and her husband is insensitive.

2. The woman of the home is distracted. Her calendar is very full and her daily demands are so high it’s hard for her to focus and live in the moment with her husband and children. She is often late and rushing everyone and feeling guilty about being distracted but stuck in this rut of feeling overwhelmed and too busy.

3. The woman of the home is crabby. She is short on sleep, she hasn’t had a minute alone since the 1990’s and she really can’t see a light at the end of the tunnel to get a break. She is hopeless.

4. The woman of the home is discontent. She doesn’t like her home. She doesn’t like her husband. She doesn’t like one or all of her kids. She doesn’t like her church. She doesn’t like her neighbors. Truthfully, she doesn’t even like herself.

5. The woman of the home doesn’t pray. It’s counter cultural. She’s never lived in a home with a mom who prays. She doesn’t know other moms who pray. She wants to try praying but doesn’t know where to begin so she never begins.

Home #2

This is the story of two homes. One is distracted and distant, the other makes her home a haven. Which are you? #WomenLivingWell #homemaking #family #makingyourhomeahaven1. The woman of the home is engaged. She is aware of what everyone is doing right in that moment. If a child needs help or correction – she is right there to give it. If her husband needs a hug, an encouraging word or a helping hand she is right there to care. She is playful and makes time to tickle, dance, play checkers or Wii with her family. This is a woman whose family praises her (Prov. 31:28).

2. The woman of the home is wise with her time management. She guards her family from getting so busy that they lose their connection with each other. She dissects her calendar and eliminates things that are unnecessary. She is prepared when it is time to go somewhere to alleviate the stress that comes from late minute rushing. She and her family enjoy the slow paced life she has created in her home.

3. The woman of the home has a pleasant demeanor. She does not stay up late watching television, reading, surfing the web or working. She goes to sleep at a reasonable hour so she can wake cheerfully for her family. She knows that some seasons of life are harder than others so she is patient with her season of life and is confident that she will reap what she has sown. She works diligently trusting God with the results of her labor.

4. The woman of the home is content. She knows that no home, husband, child, church or neighborhood is perfect. So she chooses to be content with what God has given her for today.

5. The woman of the home prays. She knows that she is weak but God is strong and that she cannot fulfil the role of wife, mother, homemaker and sometimes employee, on her own strength. She is completely dependent on God and practices this dependence by daily praying for all of these things.

So I wonder – which home do you live in? Home number 1? Or home number 2?

I want so badly to be in home number 2 but I struggle at times and create home number 1 – so this week – let’s work on being a Proverbs 14:1 woman. “The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.”

Light a candle and begin praying over your home every time the glimmer of the candle catches your eye. If you are participating in this challenge leave a comment below with how it’s going – if you are a blogger copy this button into your blog post, write about how it’s going and link up below! Thank you all so much for your accountability. I so appreciate you joining me on this journey!!! We are in it together!

Walk with the King!

I am linking up here :


  1. Great post! I am also joining you on this journey.
    I have lit my candle since Saturday night but need to go get a new candle. This one is an old one & almost finished. I burned it all day today and prayed every time I looked it. Thank you for hosting this and I will post more on my blog once I post with the new candle.

  2. I have to admit 1-3 of woman number 1 was me last week – I was so sleepness & cranky I was yelling for 2 1/2 days.

    I lit my new big candle last week & the kitchen counter is the safest place (no toddler access yet)
    My candle is there for smelling not praying but I can manage a thanks over it next time I light it ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! This is excaclty what I need to "hear" right this second. We had a horrible day here in our home. I have felt like a failure all day. I am on board and ready to reach deep down inside and make our home a haven again, not letting this day defeat me. THANK YOU! Praying for all who are joining and thanking God for this opportunity!

    Thanks and Blessings Courtney!


  4. Oh Courtney – THIS is what I needed to read before this week starts. Even today I was the woman in House #1 but House #2 is where is DESPERATELY long to be. Thank you for spurring us on to what is BEST. Thank you, thank you.

  5. I so need this right now. Will get out a candle in the morning, now it is time for bed. Thank you!

  6. This challenge is a great idea. Like the other women, I was in the wrong house last week! Prayerfully, I will trust God to pull me back into my proper position in House #2. Starting now, I must go to bed! I'll check back later in the week.

  7. Thank you for sharing this. i just ran across your blog from a post a fellow blogger made. I absolutely love your blog. I am following you now. I to homeschool as well. I am linking up with you in just a sec. Thanks again. Very inspiring.

  8. I read your post last week at momstheword, but then forgot. BUT, today I bought an awesome fall candle, now I will remember to pray about being a light in my home when I light my candle.

  9. O so strive to be home #2. I have much work cut out but I am doing better and I know I can do this. I just linked up and made my post. Blessings to you! Thanks again for sharing this.

  10. What a great reminder! We just moved into our house a few months ago and I have been trying to decorate it and make it right… but I am learning it's not about the decorations or how nice it is, it's about the PEOPLE that make it a HOME. And I'm grateful to have a HOME. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. What a great visual reminder to encourage us to pray for our families by having the candle lit.

    I definitely always want to be the 2nd woman, but know that any time my priorities are off I'm going to be treading dangerously close to that other woman. Thank the Lord that I don't have to live in that home!

    Thank you for linking up to Making Your Home Sing Monday today!

  12. Hi Courntey,
    I would love to say that I love the new look of the blog! I have started lighting my candle last week when you posted the different things and it definitely changes the peacefulness in my home. I also struggle going between home 1 and home 2 because we are a military family stationed overseas, so I love to be online connecting with our family back stateside and also on skype with my husband (he's on a mission). I've been very purposeful in spending time with the kids and making sure the house is kept up. I must say though IT IS HARD!!! Thanks for your encouragment blog. It feels good to know that I am not the only one who struggles.

    Sarah Lownsbery

  13. Courtney, thanks for this. Good friends want the best for one another and that starts with God and the home..thanks for the encouragement. I need to work on some things here! Love, Janelle

  14. A very encouraging post! I love lighting a cranberry candle each night before my husband comes through the door:-) I went to see Beth Moore this weekend and her talk was on Treasures, how we tend to miss them. So good to remind us to stay in tune with our home and loved ones and embroider those moments into our hearts. I wasn't able to post the challenge today but I do have a guest post by The Prudent Homemaker who talks about making our homes a haven:-)

  15. Such a practical post, Courtney. It's a great post for Marriage Mondays, and it's a great post for me! I think every day I could have home #1 or #2. It's a daily battle to ask for God's help and to obey. There will always be things to say "no" to and someone to disappoint, and I don't want that to be my family. My candle is all used up, but I've got another one ready to put in its place! ๐Ÿ™‚


  16. To be the type of woman in home #2 is my heart's desire! I am going to light my candle now!
    Thankful for the timely word and the encouragement you are to so many women! I so often fall into the #1 trap…

  17. Thank you Courtney! So happy to be participating in this challenge! I've been in such a slump lately and I think get my mind off of myself and onto HIM, through serving and loving my family is a sure cure! Lord's blessings to you and your lovely family!

  18. I am excited about this challenge! Just lit my candle this morning. I've already prayed 3 times this morning. Just smelling my apple-cinnamon candle through out my house reminds me to pray, too!

    Thanks for the super great challenge!

  19. Courtney, love your challenge. Sadly, candles give us all allergies – any other sweet smelling ideas? I sure need the Lord's help to be House #2 as I feel like I'm messing it up on my own . . .

  20. Ouch. I was pretty convicted by your list of House #1. No need for me to go into details – you summed them up very well. I just kinda slipped into those habits.

    I love the candle idea. In our home, the lighting of candles is significant. Lighting candles in the living room is our signal for some quiet talk time. Candles in the kitchen/dining room are "date night dinner at home". And lighting the candles in our bedroom are lit if one of us is "in the mood" for intimacy.

    I need to light all the candles in my home this week. Thanks for the advice.

  21. Courtney I am so blessed that I can start this challenge with you. I already started the candle lighting on Friday however getting a new one today. Have a blessed Monday

    Love ya

  22. I am both #1 and #2. Thank you so much for your blog and for helping me to strive even harder to be woman #2. What great joy I have as I work to make my home a complete haven for my husband and my children. I am going to light my candle right now! ๐Ÿ™‚ God bless you today!

  23. I have posted your link on my sidebar. I hope it is alright if I light a candle that I already have…I hope I am more #2 than #1. My husband is traveling during the week so I try to make the weekend and his homecoming as welcoming as possible..I spend most of the week at home alone although I do spend some time with my grandchildren and my Daughter…when Honey Bear is home, I try not to do too much housework or have any outside activities which don't include him.
    Mama Bear

  24. Thank you so much for doing this challenge! I so need it. ๐Ÿ™‚ I have a huge candle that I haven't ever lit for fall but I just lit it and have it burning in our living room.

  25. Great post! Overall, lately I have been woman #2 and I've noticed a HUGE difference in our home (spent a lot of time as woman #1, that's why I've been making the changes lol).

    Ya know, I haven't used any of my candles in quite some time. Think I am going to go grab one right now and light it. I have an autumn one from last fall still … that'll be a nice smell in the house!

  26. What a great idea and what positive and Christ like suggestions for us as wives and moms to have a home that is a haven. This was very timely as I so desire to continually work at this. Thanks for the reminder!

  27. Thanks for this great post I struggle with home # 1 and am striving for home # 2. I am tryiing your challenge as I love candles and usually have one lit. I am trying to pray whenever I see it now.


  28. I'm so thankful that I have found your blog today. Thank you for this fall challenge and I'm loving it!

  29. I was going to try to do a blog post about this, but I'm starting to realize that, much as I'd love to be, I am not a good blogger.

    I am lighting a candle in my home today. Actually, we light one every day, and normally it's my husband who does the lighting.

    You'd think it would be easy to keep peace in a household of only two people (and one cat), but we sinners find many things to argue about. So, when I see my spiced orange candle burning today, I'll say a prayer that I can be the peaceful, loving, engaged wife that my husband deserves, and I'll pray that that peace permeates all of our relationship.

    Thanks for the challenge, Courtney.

  30. Courtney,

    Blessings to you for leading up this initiative for us to mind our homes as we need to.
    I am joining in the challenge happily!

    I really appreciate what you wrote not too long ago about limiting your blogging time in order to keep your priorities in order. I enjoy blogging, but it can quickly usurp the precious time I have to serve my family and walk alongside my children and love my dear husband. I often wonder how the balance goes for those like yourself….. those that blogging is really a large part of life. So when you made a commitment to step back, you caught my attention (and respect) in a good way.
    Thank you for being real. This fall challenge has real substance to it and so it is worth my time investing in it.


  31. lit candle, but forgot the every time it catches your eye to pray. Will try that more tomorrow.
    Sara S Fargo

  32. I am skipping the blog part of the challenge this time… I started the marriage one, but fell behind…aarrgghh!!

    It was so convicting to read of the 2 home options… I am tempted to print this out and carry it around with me…

    I didn't buy a new candle because I know I have plenty in my house, lit it Saturday and today now I just have to remember to pray for peace in my home when I look at it!! ๐Ÿ™‚
    praying for home #2 this week!!

  33. So I think I am a little of the #1 and #2 woman…but working more toward #2.

    I walked into the house after a LONG 10 hour work day and lit my candles. It was a very stressful day at work but as I walked into the house, I left the stress at the door. My candles are lit and praying has begun.

    Thank you for hosting this!! Your are an amazing woman!!

  34. In response to anonomous earlier you can use Scentsy…which smells the home and gives it a cozy scent but no flame, just wax…we have used those for sensitivities.

    I am joining you in this challenge!! I have been guilty of home number 1 lately and am very glad I am in this journey with you now.
    I work at home doing medical transcription and I have 3 young children, sometimes work can overwhelm me and I just want to get it done, but I have to keep remembering that my husband, kids and home come before work, so praying for God to help me manage my time more effectively and possibly cut back on working, if its His will.
    Thank you Courtney!

  35. Hi Courtney,
    Thank you for this challenge – it's something I can use right now. I posted about our transition time on my blog. Heather

  36. Thank you Courtney for doing this challenge! I have been the very distracted woman and tearing my house down. I lit candles during our meals yesterday not remembering that this is when your challenge started. Now to pray and light candles the rest of the week and start building my home instead of tearing it down.

    1John 1:9
    9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

    Thank you for challenging us in areas that we need it!

    God Bless,
    Sherry Lauser

    PS I have never done buttons or linked up to things. I will see if I can get my computer son or husband to help me. ๐Ÿ™‚

  37. Kinda funny attempt at this:
    So I very enthusiastically dug out a few candles with a lovely ocean scent (my husband and I love the beach, but live in the Midwest). Anyways. So kids are in bed so I don't have to worry about them knocking over candles. I go to light the candles over the fire place in the room dh is in. I need his advice to get the lighter going. Then he fears me setting fire to something other than the wick. I did succeed. But the man still worries about me (as he knows I have a chronic case of the drops and held the candles to light them). Then he is taller and blew them out for me before bed. Then he's telling me the smoke alarms will go off from the smoke. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I told him I was trying to make a nice ambience and home for him and he's worried about fire and smoke. So now I must ask, will it bring him more peace to light the candle or not to light. ๐Ÿ˜‰ We had a laugh over it all. Maybe I'll put the light on my fake candle someone gave me and pray when I see that. It's safer and more worry-free. Hee. hee. I hope I score in dh's book for at least trying! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Cher

  38. What a wonderful post! I must admit I spend much more time in home #1 than I would like, but I am joining you on this journey… I have the perfect candle that my sister gave me, off now to find a safe place to put it out of reach of small hands. God Bless!

  39. I will be joining you on this journey as well. With all that life throws at me I seem to fall more into house #1 and #2 is something I am forever attempting. Sometimes I get it spot on, and others not so much. I love my God and my Family more than anything and I WILL create a haven first. I will do it before doing all the other things that go on in life.

  40. I stumbled across your blog today. I know exactly why I stumbled across it.. I needed to read this. I am going to join in with you.

    Stumbling upon your blog today was a God thing for sure.

  41. I came across your blog through Courtney at Money Saving Mom, and I'm so glad I did! I've been lighting a candle most days lately just because it's so "fall-ish" ๐Ÿ™‚ Now I have a reason to light it – and hopefully I can remember to pray! I, too, am living my "dream" – being a SAHM. I love it, but I know there are areas I need to work on. Thank you for the encouragement, I look forward to reading more!

  42. I just stumbled upon your blog today, but it turned out to be less stumbling and more of God reaching out to me…He is so Good! I'm going to do this with you all! I am not good at keeping a peaceful demeanor-okay, I'm uptight! I <3 the candle idea, such a visual reminder to keep God CENTRAL!
    …walking! :o)

  43. I enjoy your blog so much! I've been lighting my candle daily…and reflecting on the home and blessings God has given me!! Thank you so much for the encouragement!

  44. What a great post! I just found your blog, and I'm glad I did. ๐Ÿ™‚ I love the idea of the "prayer candle". That's a great way to remember to pray without ceasing for your home and family. Thank you for the encouragement.

  45. I'm so glad to be participating. I got my new candle yesterday. It is called Harvest and is made by Wood Wicks, as it has a thin wooden wick instead of a normal cotton wick. We all love it!

  46. I really appreciated this post. My blog officially launched this week and it's been very busy. Your post today was convicting, yet inspiring. Thank you for the reminder!

  47. I'm a little late starting but plan to have a candle burning everyday for the rest of the month. Very convicting post!

  48. I was so excited about the challenge… and I was even more excited that I already had a nice big candle that someone blessed me with (candles are soooo expensive)… but here I am – it is already Sunday – so I've had a full week of the challenge and… I keep forgetting to even light the candle (leave alone praying for my home when I do)… I guess that is what my challenge is all about – decluttering my own self first… focusing myself on my home and my husband even in the midst of my busiest season in life… I am planning to try again this week.

  49. Hi Courtney – it's me – the Anonymouse who has given you such a difficult time already this year. I'm so sorry.

    I wanted you to know that not only am I in a GMG group, but I am doing your "Making Your Home a Haven" challenge…a little late but still. I think I could use it. Thanks again for being so loving and patient to me when I was crabby.

    I'm sorry if I hurt you.

  50. Anonymouse – Wow you go girl!!! I pray that God blesses your desires of your heart to seek him and to open your heart to transforming your home.

    You did not hurt me ๐Ÿ™‚ – I think you asked honest questions and I gave you honest answers. It's okay to ask those hard questions…:-)

    That's what sisters in Christ are for!

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