Making Your Home a Haven – Week 4 ~ Decorating
I so desire to make my home warm and cozy for the family. Think for a moment about how God has surrounded us in the winter season with scenery that is just gorgeous! If you live where it snows, the fresh fallen snow and icicles display God’s glory! Think about the crackle of ice and snow below your feet as you walk – the same crackle sound you heard when you were 5 you hear at 55. There is a continuity about the remembrance of the crisp air and the smell of pine that gives me peace. In the same way, our Christmas decorations that we pull out year in and year out bring continuity, memories and a warm glow to our homes.
Though heaven is our eternal home, God has given us gifts of beauty here on earth – there is beauty in the fields covered with snow, in the sunset over a chilled pond, the frost in the morning on the blades of grass and smoke rising from the chimneys.
Our homes are temporary but they are an opportunity to reflect God in a small measure. Genesis 1:26 says “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness.”
We have been created in the image of God and some may be very talented in the area of decorating while others are like me – not the queen of decorating – but we all have the ability to create something special for our loved ones.
Edith Shaefer says “For the Christian who is consciously in communication with the Creator, surely his home should reflect something of the artistry, the beauty and order of the One whom he is representing, and in whose image he has been made!”
God has given you a home whether it’s an apartment you share, a farm house, a city home, or a home identical to all your neighbors – it is your home to reflect God’s artistry in.
Here’s this week’s challenge:
Decorate! The holidays are upon us. Ann Voskamp says “Creating is good theology. In the beginning God created.” Be creative as you make your home warm, cozy and inviting for the holidays. Think about ways you can keep Christ in Christmas even in the way you decorate. Decorate – to the glory of God!
We decorated for Christmas this past weekend. One of my favorite Christmas decorations growing up in our home was a Santa statue bowing down to baby Jesus. So when I found this “Christmas” word art at Walgreens for $6 I snatched it up! I LOVE it!
Up high you’ll see – we hung a mistle toe for fun and to add a little zip to our day – I expect some extra kisses! You might also notice one stocking is not like the others – this is our Jesus stocking. During the month of December, I am encouraging the kids to put money in this stocking and on Christmas we will donate it to the Good Morning Girls Christmas Charity – The Last Well – the goal is to raise $10,000 to dig a well in Liberia – so far GMG has raised $4,300 dollars – we are almost half way to our goal and invite you to join us if you are looking for a charity to donate to this Christmas.
We put candles in all our windows to remind us we are the light of the world.
And lights on our staircase.
Next weekend we will buy a live tree and decorate it! Here’s a picture of last year’s tree.
This is it! The final week! 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 appreciate you joining me on this 4 week journey! If you made it through and did it all – we’d love to hear how God worked in your home! Thank you for joining me! It’s been a blessing!
Walk with the King,
Chime In: Are you decorating this week? How do you keep Christ in Christmas? And how has this 4 week journey blessed you and your home? Share with us.
We have a Santa bowing to Jesus too. My husband’s grandparents passed it down to us so it’s very special. I love decorating for Christmas and appreciate your thoughts and quotes on creating a creative space in our homes to reflect our Creator.
This year I am going to try to do some sort of daily devotional with my family about Christ, His birth, His grace, and all He is to us as a way to remember the reason for Christmas.
Wow Courtney! It’s so wonderful of you to remember to keep Jesus as the focus of this season as many forget to do that, especially when Santa is what most kids think of when they think christmas. But I just love love LOVE that Christmas decoration you got from Walgreens, such a cute idea, and its great that you got to carry on that tradition from what you had growing up! It makes you realize that although Santa may be the sort of ”mascot” of this holiday in a wordly or child view, that bowing down to praise Jesus and his life to save us from our sins is what this season is all about. Just wanted to add, you have a Beautifully decorated home, it looks so cozy just from looking at it! I’m sure both of your children love waking up to their stockings on the mantle, and the extra stocking for Jesus and raising money is such a great added idea! Thank you for this month of making our homes a haven. It’s amazing how far a candle, music, or decorations can go to make you ready for the holidays and focused on Jesus as well as on daily prayer!
Wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas season and can’t wait to see more christmas related posts in the coming month! Thank you so much for what you do! 🙂
I love the wall color in your home.
Thank you Courtney for this challenge! I have loved praying for peace for my family, all the while having peaceful music playing, I will keep this going throughout the year for sure! I have always loved the Santa kneeling down to baby Jesus, it reminds me of my Grandma. This year my husband went ahead and picked out our daughters yearly ornament for the tree. He came home with a Santa kneeling down to Jesus ornament. I had to fight back the tears as he showed it to me. Because my husband is not a believer and I have been praying for him for 13 yrs…little by little step by step God is reaching him!
Have a very blessed Christmas!
I love your word art…it’s so sweet. And I love the stocking for Jesus! Great idea. My kids came over
this weekend and helped put the tree up. Great memories.
I love this challenge we just finished our deco this weekend to! It’s so exciting…..it’s our tradition every year after thanksgiving. I love the extra stocking idea, that is an awesome thing. Do you mind if I use that?
Thank you for all you do!
By His grace,
I love those staircase lights!
I must confess that even though I like to have a beautiful home, I still haven’t overcome some teeny guilt feelings. I guess I equate creating a lovely home with materialism and investing in this world rather than in eternity.
I am thankful for posts such as the one you have written today, because it brings me a step closer to coming to terms with creating a beautiful home being a part of God’s blessing and haven for our family.
Thank you so much for sharing your precious thoughts and beautiful photos.
Love love love it!
You are such a blessing in my life Courtney!
You have a beautiful home!
Thank you Courtney for encouraging me to keep the focus on the comfort of my family. I get so weighed down with the messes of toys, laundry, papers, dishes, etc. that i don’t feel the motivation to decorate. You have made me realize the power I have over the way my family perceives “home”. I want them to cherish memories of home being warm, comfy, and cozy and this challenge along with the Proverbs 31 have really helped me! THANK YOU- you are a blessing!
Courtney, this is the first year in many that I’ve actually decorated for Christmas… and it’s not even December yet! I have a few finishing touches I’d like to get to this week, but I did the majority of it this weekend. What joy it brought to my heart! Usually, we are frantically wrapping presents and pulling our 4 foot prelit tree out of the closet late Christmas Eve night. But not this year! And, though the family didn’t act excited about my decorating this past weekend, funny thing… my 19 year old (college) daughter brought down a decoration from her bedroom and placed it beside one of my tiny Christmas trees, just for fun and to surprise me. They act like they could care less about it, but I know they do. Thanks for your inspiration and your challenges! Love and blessings from Wisconsin
This is so intriguing, Courtney. I have always felt like putting effort into decorating my home was very worldly, so I’ve worked to keep things very simple. It never occurred to me that my home is a reflection of my close walk with God. VERY interesting thought. Thank you so much!
I don’t have a lot (a tree someone gave us and the ornaments given as gifts the last couple of years), but I’ve got it put up. Most of my holiday decorations (which still isn’t much) are in a storage I can’t get into. Oh we’ll. I’m blessed with what I’ve got.
“Beautiful” is too short a word…. Love the way you have done your house! And have to say… The Jesus stocking is such a thoughtful idea… we’ve never had stockings hung in this part of the world… I think I might go with this Jesus Stocking! But pls… Don’t keep Jesus stocking to the corner…. Let it be in the centre! Afterall… ain’t HE in the centre of our lives????
Yes Dhanya!! True!!
My 6 year old and I have been in the kitchen all weekend long. With our candle glowing, our soft music playing, we have been baking and cooking all kinds of yummy smelling things for the family to enjoy. We couldn’t wait to hear what the next step would be. Ahhhh yes decorating! We have some very special ornaments of the Holy Family, made out of olive tree wood, that we bought last summer on our trip to the Holy Land. Can’t wait to get a tree to hang them on! Thank you Courtney for the encouragement you are such a blessing.
I brought all my Christmas decorations down from the attic Thanksgiving night! Christmas is my absolute favorite time of the year! I love the lights, trees, music, smells, and sounds of the holiday! We have a white, artificial tree since we have 4 kids all ages 3 and under. My colors are blue, white, & silver. I’m thinking that next year I’ll do red and white.
I love making my home look beautiful!
I have a beautiful Nativity scene that I always set out at Christmas time! We had one when I was growing up and I made sure to get one when I married. DH’s parents never had one, even though his mom was a devout Catholic. I LOVE IT! I’ve explained to my son that JESUS is the reason for the Season.
My Christmas stuff went up on Friday. I have a new framed saying that says Jesus is the reason for the season on the mantle with our nativity scene right beside it. Our Christmas tree has 4 sides to it. The front has the true meaning of Christmas ornaments. The back has school and missionary ornaments. One side has ornaments of our daughter (either ones she made or were made/bought for her). The side opposite her side has generic winter and music ornaments. Been that way for years now. I finally got my nativity banner hung outside. We will start Advent with a calendar on Dec. 1. 🙂
Your home looks warm and welcoming indeed! Usually as we decorate, it takes us right up to Christmas Day; there is always some little or big thing that is being added, tweeked, refinished, done over or placed somewhere else. And lots of lights, music and jolly-ness. Cookies that we share with family and friends. Our 2 youngest kids still at home are a joy at this time of year, and being 9 and 7 year old, they do a lot too, crafting and decorating, to make the Spirit of this joyous saeson more enjoyable. We love Christmas and we love celebrating Jesus. I have a table displaying candy canes with the story and poem of the candy cane. The book about the three tress and corresponding table trees and what the were ‘made’ into. Also the nativity scene and the book of Jesus’ birth. We read books, stories, poems and songs about Christmas from the 1st till the 25th of December. We sing Happy birthday to Jesus.
I just wanted to let you know how much I have enjoyed this challenge. I have followed every single one and have seen the overall atmosphere in my home change. It all came together this past weekend when my husband and I spent four days together with no stress or arguing. We even managed to decorate our home for Christmas TOGETHER without fighting! I told him I was taking this challenge and each week what I was doing. He chuckled, but then he commented that he had noticed a big difference! Thanks so much for your faithfulness!
Oh, and PS:
I LOVE the Stocking idea and the candles in the window! I may have to do that!
I had a great time reading through your blog!!! It means so much to see you “young gals” following the Lord and raising your families so deliberately…
I have passed your site on to several of my young mom friends and know that they, too, will learn so much from your wisdom.
Bless you and your ministry!!
oh…putting up our ceramic nativity today that I made years ago AND your little Santa looking at the manger ornament is very special!!
I love reading your thoughts for the day, etc. It reminds me of how much I need to get on the stick. I want so much to decorate and have not had the time to search out my attic or storage bins, but my thoughts are to do it this week — I do have almost all my christmas shopping done, yeah! Blessings to your family and the ministry. Kathy
We collect ornaments everywhere we travel. Each one is representative of the place we are visiting. Sometimes it is just my husband and I and other times it is the entire family travelling so we all pick it out together. Each year as we hang the ornaments we are reminded of that special trip. And the ones that my hubby and I collected before the kids are always their favorites to hear about. Our tree is not perfectly matched but the entire tree is filled with cherished memories. (We also have on there all of my homemade/school-made ornaments from when I was kid and the kids ornaments that they make at school each year).
Today I actually though of your post when i was making breakfast for my little ones…. I lit my candles…and as the pumpkin pie and harvest apple scent hit my nose i though of our blessings! Love your Blog, I actually Incorporate into my morning devotions when I can! I like to catch up on your youtube posts so i made that an addition to my bible reading and devotional… Last night i believe it was the Proverbs 31 post about doing laundry and cooking to the glory of God blessing your family… it really hit home and made that “Laundry mountain ” ALOT easier this morning! If you want to see the post i mentioned you in its right here http://www.faithonfulton.blogspot.com/2012/11/a-good-laugh-good-lesson-good-coffee-in.html
Courtney…thank you for that beautiful imagery of the winter. Some day I hope to see it for myself 🙂 Here in the Caribbean, we have to make do with awesome sunsets, gorgeous rainbows after the rain and the sight of a full moon with beautiful auras which is caused when there is rain in the atmosphere…poor us 😉 Isn’t God’s creation speechlessly beautiful?
The best decorating task I have every year is when I unpack all of the Christmas decorating projects my children have done over the years. I hang them on my stair case and its a beautiful trip down memory lane. Some are getting a little worn after about 19 years of unpacking, hanging and packing back. Someday I’ll be able to hand them over to my girls for their own homes (hope they survive til then!)
Thanks for the inspiration Courtney and for sharing your heart and home with us!
God bless you and yours.
Love decorating for Christmas — last year purchased a nativity set for the grandchildren it sets under the tree – it’s plastic so they can play all they want with not a concern about breaking or them getting hurt.
Never seen a Santa bowing to Jesus before… but what a great ornament! It certainly gives out a wonderful message to children [and adults] re: Jesus being Lord.
You are very organised Courtney.
I’ve wrapped a few pressies and bought a Spiced Cinnamon Yankee Candle today to scent the home for Christmas… that’s as organised as I’ve got so far. Will hopefully gets my cards written out this weekend, and some more presents wrapped.
I took loads of photos and made a digital Christmas scrapbook last year… you can see one of the pages here: http://www.encourage-1-another.blogspot.co.uk/p/hobbies.html I loved doing this and will probably make another this year… it’s a lovely way to record Christmas.
Even though our decorations are in storage because we thought we were going to list and sell the house last year, and didn’t, I still was able to purchase a few new decorations to make my home festive. Those nice smelling candles help too. Thank you so much for this series.
I love this time of the year! Being from a military family, Army Dad, we began collecting Nativities. None are expensive, but filled with memories. I place them in all the rooms. Favorite holiday memory; when my son was a wee fellow, he would play with my Aunt Marian’s ceramic Nativity.They are a good size, the Wise men are about 2 feet tall. She wouldn’t place baby Jesus in the manger until Christmas Eve. Every time he would look for the baby and she would tell him not yet. Christmas Eve before we went to church, we stopped by and she had placed Jesus in his manger. His eyes were like saucers! Running back to tell me, “He’s here! Jesus is here! Happy Birthday!”
I still cry and he’s 20!
Thanks for the encouragement! I am excited this year I get to decorate just a little bit early! (for our family) Though I don’t have many decorations I am excited to use what I have! I hope that as I round our my first full year of being a full time homemaker I can make this year a little more special because I can take time to cultivate love into our home!
I have really enjoyed this challenge. I’m sad it’s ending in and of itself, but I”m definitely challenging myself to keep it going in my home! We sing happy birthday to Jesus, and I found a special figurine of two snowmen holding a birthday cake that says Happy Birthday Jesus on it. It holds a tealight candle, and we light it so that when we sing, we can blow the candle out as a family in honor of Jesus.
I love your staircase by the way!
You have a lovely home! I’m beginning to decorate mine this week and will hopefully get the tree up this weekend! I’m hosting our ladies Bible study this coming Tuesday night, so I’d really like to get it all done by then! This is our first Christmas in our new home! I don’t have lots of Christmas decor but am trying to be frugally creative!
Oh and just a little something I noticed, you’re link to Ann Voskamp goes to Sally Clarkson’s blog! 🙂
Thank you Courtney for this series! I’ve always enjoyed decorating, sharing, and creating new family traditions with our three little ones. Blessings to you this Christmas season! Cathy
Thank you for challenging us all to focus on Jesus and peace as we head into the holiday season. Even though it’s only me in my apartment, the candle, the music and now the decor have made my tiny place warm and special. I’m not finished with decorating…I have balcony to decorate to share with my complex neighbors.
I gifted my daughter and her family with a peace candle when we got together to bake cookies at her home. Such fun with my girls! I bought a nativity craft set for my grand girls to put together and display. Now I think I’ll bring a special “Jesus stocking” this Saturday when they do their own house decorating. I know they will love the whole idea of it.