Distant or Engaged? Making Your Home a Haven~Week 1

There was an overwhelming response last week to this challenge!!!  Thank you!!!  I am SO excited to begin!!!!!
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 we have or the things 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.

This is the story of two women and their two homes. Which one are you? Distant or engaged. Join me in making your home a haven.  #WomenLivingWell #homemaking #family #makingyourhomeahavenHome #2

1. 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 on Wednesday at the Women Living Well Wednesday Link-Up party!!

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!

*To see the list of weekly challenges, go to this post here.
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  1. Thank you for this humbling post. I see a little of myself in all of those areas. It’s good to see that, now I know where to keep my focus and things that need to be done away with. Thanks!!

  2. This is perfect…just what I needed!! I am excited to start – I have a candle all ready to go! Thank you – this is going to be fun!! 🙂

  3. Unfortunately, I see myself much more in number one than in number 2. I will be lighting a candle tonight and beginning this challenge, with the expectation of great changes in the weeks to come! Thank you, Courtney! Blessings!

  4. I too, see so much of myself in home number 1. Thank you so much for the reminder that it is ME who needs to change the pace and feel in order to make a difference! Thank you!

  5. Count me in for this one! I’ll be lighting my candle tomorrow. I am embarrassed to admit I am a bit more #1 than #2. I so do want to be that #2 woman/home though. Talk to you all on Wednesday~

  6. I wish I could say I am a number 2, but I am so number 1. Hoping this challenge will help me improve!!! Thank you for doing this!!

  7. Thank you for this, I feel you brought it at the right time through God’s work. He has talked to me about my marriage and home the last few nights through the movies we’ve chosen to sit down and watch in the evenings during quiet time and the talk my loving husband and I recently had concerning growing apart. Thank you for being a part of my studying and healing and serving God! Each of us need a “whisper” in our ear and I feel today you are my “whisper”! Much love to all my Christian Sisters out there struggling!

  8. Count me in!! My home is #1 and I am going to pray for God’s help and direction in working towards being #2. Thank you!!

  9. I’ve been lighting my candle for a week or so now, smells so good around here! Our home has definitely been #1 many times but with God’s unending grace he helps me with my daily struggles and I strive to keep my home like #2. Thanks for another humbling post Courtney! God bless!

  10. I see myself in a little of both but really want to be in house #2. My candle is lit and I’m ready for the challange!!!!

    Your friend in Christ

  11. I am really looking forward to this challenge- to move closer to the number two home, and further from the number one home. I really enjoy candles, and have a nice one for fall set up and ready to go, what a wonderful idea to use the candle light as a reminder to pray- such a positive symbol. Thank you for your time in putting this together! ~April

  12. Hi, Courtney – I am going to try this! I’m lighting my candle tomorrow morning. I love the idea of having a reminder to pray for your home! Mine definitely needs it! I’m going to try to link-up on Wednesday, too. See you then!

  13. I’ll be lighting my candle tonight. This is coming at just the right time! I am a little older than most of you girls, but I still have a husband to think of, family in and out of the house, and grandchildren to mentor! I love the ministry you are providing. God’s blessings!

  14. I saw your post about this last week and bought my candle and am ready to go! I love this idea and am so excited to pray for a peaceful home, it is my goal every day.

  15. Wonderful!! I’m a candle lady so turning on candles around my home comes oh so naturally….the other things not always. Thank you, love how you get me to “think” can’t wait to read more!! God Bless.

  16. WOW! This is absolutly perfect for me right now.. We are currently in the process of moving in with my mom, and things are not going as fast as I would like, but i realize it is not the house, it is the way I react (and prepare!)

    I will be def. joining this!

  17. I have been lighting my candle a couple times this past week so it can become more of an easy habit to do throughout this month. I definitely see myself as more number 1 but desperately wanting to be number 2. The 1 John Bible Study has helped me in so many ways and I pray that this challenge will bless all of us and our families to make our homes a haven. Thanks Courtney for all you do, you are truly a blessing!

  18. I fiercely want my home to be a haven for my husband and two young boys. I am thinking that the candle could represent what I know my home can be and that no matter where we live my responsibility is to make it truly home. I will get that candle.

  19. I am a mom to 5 -three teens and 2 toddlers. I have purposed for the last decade or so but even more fervently in the last 6 years to parent the hearts of my children. To fill them up with truth, to hold them accountable without anger, to make sure they are really hearing Gods truth in a way that is relavent to them. Sometimes I am very exhausted. Sometimes I neglect my own soul. I am currently working on a kitchen binder where I am organizing my kitchen life so that i may better serve my family through meals together. As I purpose to finish this daunting project my sense of purpose is strengthened, my motivation renewed and my faith encouraged because I know that this binder idea wasn’t mine, it was HIS. I just took a quick little break here after 4 hours of working –rather intermittently with the little ones—and I came across this article. Absolute confirmation in my heart that I am focusing on the right track! Thank you for the encouragement 🙂

  20. Joining in!! I’m so thankful that I came across this tonight! I’m in between #1 and #2 and believing that as I pray more for the well-being of my home and God’s peace to fill it I will move closer to #2!

  21. I really despise that most days I am much more like the first woman when I so long to be like the second one. Thank you for this challenge. I am so looking forward to the changes God will work in my home through this.

  22. I’m in! Thank you so much for your ministry! You have encouraged me so many times. I SO want to be the wife and mom of number 2!!

  23. I think as a stay at home Mom my home leans towards the #2, but with school activities, scouting, 4-H etc. it seems like it is tilting the other way right now. But for safety reasons (and maybe my lack of remembering that I have lit a candle when I leave) I’m lighting a battery operated tea-candle- it still flickers and gives a soft glow, but allergies around this house don’t really permit scented candles! I’m up for the challenge!

  24. Already started lighting my candle and music and the times that I have it has made huge difference. Excited to do this challeng!

  25. really need to work on the contentment piece…not being so unhappy with how I wish things were in the home, but just doing my best to be a wise woman building her house. Also need to spend more time bathing my home in prayer. Thanks for the challenge..I’ll be lighting a candle tomorrow!

  26. Thank you, just what I needed. I do see some things in House #1 that I need to pray about to change!
    I am excited to do this challenge!

  27. I did this last year and can look back and see it works!!!!!!! My home is more like number 2 now but still retains some number 1 issues. It really has been the best year of my life (and my family)
    following your inspiring challenges. They are life changing, Thank you Courtney for running this again x

  28. You are SO good with communicating things that are important these days. I love this. I probably need to print it out too. Thank you so much for this post; ) My house is going to smell amazing by tonight (leftover yankee candle)!!

  29. Courtney, will you be doing another marriage challenge? I am just seeing those and wondering should I try cramming one in or wait for your next? 🙂

    1. 🙂 Thanks for asking! I will be doing a 10 day series on marriage in November…but no challenges until the month of Valentines day since I’ll be focusing on the holidays soon.


  30. Loving this one! So excited I started couple days ago 🙂 Thank you for being a godly encouragement! So inspiring!

  31. I took the time this weekend to bring out the candles I had put away over 5 years ago. It was enjoyable to bring out some that had memories . Will light them today and I know it will warm my heart every time I light it! Thank you and very excited to do this challenge! How true are those statements above!

  32. What a fantastic idea! I’m definitely joining in! I just found your blog a few months ago and I just want to tell you how much I enjoy it! Thanks for your encouraging, inspirational posts! God is really using you to build up his Kingdom!!!

  33. My goodness! This couldn’t have come at a better time. #2 is achievable, although #1 is present in my home more than I care to admit to myself. Thank you for this 🙂

  34. Candle is lit! Thank you so much for this challenge. Unfortunately, my home has become very unbalanced towards the #1 home above in the last 2 years and it ways heavily on my heart. Looking forward to shifting that balance back to #1!

  35. Thank you! It is difficult to see yourself in words … I am looking forward to the challenge of becoming more like #2.

  36. Talk about a wake-up call. I see too much ME in home #1 which makes my heart sad. Time for a serious God talk and an evaluation of what’s most important in my routine 🙂

  37. I’ll be lighting my candle at dinner…and praying for my family and home. I love this idea and it’s very humbling to read about the 2 homes. It’s so easy to fall into home #1!! Praying and working harder to be a home #2 mom!! 🙂

    Love your blog and read it everyday. Keep smiling and walking with the King!

  38. In my mind, we definitely have home #2, but when I take an honest (and prayerful) look….home #1 is very familiar…ouch! Gonna light my candle today, remember that there IS NO CONDEMNATION IN CHRIST =0), and purposefully set out to create home #2! “Renewing the mind” may have to be a constant activity this week, but I’m up for the challenge!

  39. I am participating again this year. 🙂 Thank you also for the thought provoking look into these two homes. I desire to have home number 2 but often fall into the category of home number one.

  40. I want so desperately to consistently be in House 2. I feel so far from that. I’ll be lighting my candle and praying peace for my family, because we could use it.

  41. I started the candle challenge last week, and it si amazing how that one little act has changed the atmosphere of my home. Yesterday my daughter and I put a candle in every room, so it was a day of continous prayer. Thank you and I look forward to letting God chaneg me into making a home #2!

  42. Right now we live in home number one most of the time. I want to make home number two our primary residence.

  43. Very good, Courtney! Such great reminders and challenges! Both of my kids are in college now, living at home, and I find this list STILL applies! It never ends! Thank you for sharing this!

  44. What a wonderful post! I have been struggling lately and I so desire to be in house number 1. Cannot wait to get started!! 1st thing.. Turning off the cell phone.

  45. As an older mom of 8 children (ages 2 years old up to 24 years old), I am definitely growing toward #2. But, it is a constant daily (or moment by moment) commitment to God that moves me to be that #2 mom. I love God and I love my family. My home is the hub of it all and it is a daily joy (if joy is what I chose)! Last year this challenge was a huge blessings to my home and I am excited about starting it this year. Thank you so much for the opportunity to grow closer to God and my family!!

  46. Thank you so much for this post. I see my self in both #1 and #2 but I very much want to do away with the #1 and become all #2. I will light my candle and pray for my home, thank you!

  47. This has been something weighing heavily on my heart. I see myself totally in house number one, but feel overjoyed to know that I am not alone. I am mire than ready for this challenge and appreciate the opportunity to make my family home a happier place!

  48. thanks for this. i needed to be reminded today to make MY home a haven, regardless of whats going on around us.

  49. Oh, this is so beautiful. I loved the encouragement this morning. My candle is burning now and this is exactly the challenge that I needed to read this morning. I love that God is raising up the women of Faith to be what He’s called us to be. Thank you for having such an obedient heart sister. xo

  50. Thank you for this. I have been feeling scattered and lost and my home has felt that effect. I needed this reminder that its up to me to make the needed changes to bring peace to my home. My husband works so hard for what we have and he deserves this.

  51. I am covered by grace and today is the day I begin to move closer to God’s design as ‘2’. Past mom is behind, beginning with prayer today!

  52. As many of the other comments said, I am humbled by this post. I think I fall into each category in the #1 home, and I so want to have the home described in #2. Will light my candle when I come home today and gaurd my time with the Lord more.

  53. My candle is lit and I am praying whenever I glance at it. My children are grown, so it my husband and I and our dogs. Today is a difficult day, as we had to put our oldest dog down yesterday. Having the candle lit and praying is helping me greatly. Thank you!

  54. Courtney, this is exactly what I needed today! I have my candle out and am heading to light it! We are going through a tough time in our family right now (hubby is in stage 4 lung cancer) so having this visual reminder to continue to pray for my family, no matter how tough things are, is going to be a huge help! Bless you!

  55. I am so #2. I was taught by a wise grandmother that you were the keeper of your husband and children. She meant that I was to be with them, know them and to know what they needed and when. I can read my husband like a book. If he’s unhappy I see it right away. If one of the boys has a bad day at school, I see it right away. We laugh ALWAYS!

    I am a bit on the overly organized side and I love it. I can be out the door at a moments notice and very rarely forget something or someone. (did leave a kid at school once, but realized before I left the parking lot. I’m human) Calendar is planned with enough time to study and enjoy being a family.

    We are in bed with the sun on most nights. We rise with the sun. I’ve always been that way and I was lucky enough to pass it onto my kids and MacGyver adjusted very well when we got married.

    I’m human and have four boys who think they can out wit me. Not! No ones perfect.

    I pray myself to sleep every night. I thank God for those four boys of mine and my husband. Without them “who” would I be. They are my world.

    Thanks for today’s post. I need to realize that I’m on track even though there are days I wonder what is going on around here.

  56. As a family we are joining this challenge–whether they know it or not. We are mostly a #2 house these days, but still have many days in the #1 household (when i place us #1 instead of Christ). We have had the candle burning for the last week or so since we saw the outline for the challenge. Our focus is on the prayer and thanksgiving. (my husband is not saved, but has a tender heart. the Lord is definately working on him) Thank you for this challenge, and the blessing to our family.
    In Christ,

  57. I am a little of both, but this really made me stop and think. I am lighting my candle now and will linking up on Wednesday. Thanks for putting this challenge together for us.

  58. I am going to light my candle right now! I am humbled and convicted by reading those lists…too often I fall into Home #1!

  59. This came exactly when I needed it. I have been struggling with this issue so much since we moved back to our hometown after living away from family for 8 years. It has been so hard being here with old habits and lots of drama. I am so thankful that you put this on here and that God led me here to this. Thanks.

  60. Wow, did already a year go by so quick?! I learned so much since I lit my candle the first time! So many things happend. Good and not so good but in the end, it all turned out wonderful. So I am lighting my candle again and say thank you for all your support and all your great advices and helps from your blog. You are amazing!!!

    Greetings from Germany

  61. Wow….this hits a bit hard…and sadly true. Thank you for the encouragement…and reminder of praying over my home and family. Thank you.

  62. Im joining the challenge and i want to make my house more of a haven, Im seem to tried to have time for everyone except myself but i do my best to take care of my house and kids and husband but i need to pray more for the overall vibe and spirit in my home, to be comforting and peaceful. Thank you for this challenge i need to take time to do particular thing each day to making my home better

  63. Count me in!
    Just found out this blog en kept reading… I am still searching for that woman in me that God wants me to be, but sometime it’s so hard. Struggeling with an depression, it’s sometimes hard to see The Light. This all came at the right time.
    Love Sandra (the Netherlands)

  64. What great timing- lit the candle in the kitchen, prayed and then thought…. What in this room is cluttered and chaotic? It was the pantry- I’ve been avoiding the clamming of it for about 2 weeks now. It stressed everyone in family. Now it’s peaceful, and organized. I think I may light the candle in a different room each day- pray- and then tackle a little project- even if it’s just a quick dusting of the room to bless my family. This way each room in the house is prayed over, and the sense of peace is all around.
    Thanks for the great idea.

  65. Hi!!
    So happy to see this!! God does send things and people when there is a need in our lives.. This is a wonderful thing you are doing and a “God Send”!!
    I have also been participating in the Bible study on your sister-blog. What a blessing it has been!!
    Ok, I have my candle, and I am lighting it !! Let the prayers begin!!
    Blessings!~Kelly Maria

  66. Thanks for this! I have a one month old and a two year old, and I’m hoping to help us get back to a better sense of order as we adjust to baby. Perfect timing!

  67. Thank you for this! Sometimes with a house full of all teenage boys, we can lose sight of what is really important, and what is not! I’m wishing I wasn’t like the #1 house, but the truth is I am most days. I also believe to make change you have to admit you have a problem, and I do have a problem with dealing with stress. (I am also helping take care of my Grandma with Alzheimers). I’m going to light my candle now! Thank you again!! What you are doing is a “God Send”

    ~Blessings to all~

  68. PRAY FOR ME!! My heart’s desire is to be Woman #2. I have studied the Proverbs 31 woman for many years. But for some reason, I always end up being the Woman in #1….especially the one that is “distant.” I usually just don’t want to be bothered and I hate feeling that way. Then I feel guilty, which for some reason makes me do it even more.

    Please pray that I become #1.

    I am definitely doing the candle thing! That would be a good reminder of what you said for #2!!!

  69. I am so excited to begin this with you! Just to see so many ladies working and struggling with the same daily things encourages me. I am looking forward to being a Home 2#. Thank you for giving us all this great way to grow in the Lord.

  70. I’m currently leading a study on Sarah Mae’s book 31 Days to Clean and this challenge fits in so perfectly with what we’re doing. In fact, my mission statement is that My home is a haven. I’m really excited to participate in your challenge as well! I just wrote about this yesterday, so I thought I’d share the link with you! Perfect timing for me to join in on what you’re doing! http://lifefordessert.com/2011/10/03/my-home-is-a-haven-treasuring-the-doing/

  71. Thank you so much! What a perfect reminder to pray for our family! Thank you also for the 2 homes description….#2 is my heart’s desire, but #1 is where I often slip. This will be a great challenge to so many of us who struggle daily.

  72. Thank you for creating this challenge. Around this time of year, I want to get everything all cozy, but it never really gets that way and I always end up feeling so rushed!!
    You’ve put a new kind of way to get the home all cozy, but putting a spiritual twist on it, that not only helps me, but also my family.
    I try to get my family going in prayer and try to get them to just take time to relax. But it’s really hard with chaos in every room!!! So, I’m going to definitely make this challenge work!!
    Home #2 here I come!!!

  73. Awesome, this post REALLY convicted yet encouraged me! Thank you so much for this. I am a young wife and mother of two sweet boys and I have found you to be a Titus 2:3-5 woman to me 🙂 Thank you and God Bless!

  74. This is such great timing for me. I’ve really been struggling in Home #1 but striving for Home #2. Unfortunately, I can’t do the candle challenge because firefighter hubby won’t have it! But I’m in for the rest! Thanks!

  75. I am sooooo a #2 wanna be!!!!
    Today is the first day I read the challenge this week! I bought my candle over the weekend and have been burning it.
    I made a hard phone call last night , to pull us out of a commitment that was so good, but was putting me in the danger of staying a Number 1 mama.
    I read this now and smile, at the confirmation I feel inside that I did the right thing. I am gonna be working on being a number #2 mama this week with The Lords help! Thank you for the encouragement!

  76. Brillilant! Thank you for this contrast & comparsion! It’s like you can know their may be a disconnect emerging –this helps put your finger right on it and gives a simple picture to identify it with clear simple direction & encouragement to improve it and keep our face upon the lord to right the ship with him for our families, so to speak.
    BTW –I just came across your blog — I wish I had something like this when I was a young working mother -after husband sustained a life long injury from work. A sense of peace came to me as I know these things and see how they can be readily applied.
    Love and Blessings to you for reaching so many! Your enthusiasm and love of Christ is contagious.

  77. Ohhh, OUCH! *cringe*. This caused me to do some self-evaluating and I did not like what I had seen. Thank you SO much for this.

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