Making Your Home a Haven {Week 2} Plus a 10-Pack of Games Giveaway

We start week two in making your home a haven for your families. Together we'll make our homes a haven of peace and joy for all who enter. #WomenLivingWell #homemaking #friendship #makingyourhomeahaven

Welcome back to the 4th Annual “Making Your Home a Haven” Fall Challenge.

You all are doing great!!!  Let’s keep the candles and prayers going this week and add in this challenge.

Week 2 Challenge: – Plan a Family Fun Night.   Have a pillow party in the family room and get out every blanket and pillow in the house and be cozy with the kids and your hubby! Even if you live alone you can do this. Enjoy a cozy evening of hot cider and caramel corn.  Bust out some old fashioned games and take the time to savor these moments with your loved ones.  Work on gentleness this week.

Game night
J.R. Miller says “The richest heritage that parents can give is a happy childhood, with tender memories of father and mother. This will brighten the coming days when the children have gone out from the sheltering home, and will be a safeguard in times of temptation and a conscious help amid the stern realities of life.”


~An excerpt from the book titled Women Living Well~

In our home, I’m the family night coordinator.  If there’s going to be a game night, pizza night, movie night, or a social happening, it’s because I planned it.  I’m guessing I’m not alone in this.  Growing up, my mother did a great job of creating fun family memories.  They weren’t complex or over the top, but they happened!  They happened year in and year out, and now the memories of those fun moments give me security, comfort, joy and a bond with my family that will never be broken.

My children enjoy long evenings of playing Monopoly, watching re-runs of The Brady Bunch, lots of Chex mix, and enjoying lots of cuddles and back rubs, and even wrestling and nerf gun wars (my husband loves to flip couches and make forts).

A wise mother knows how to have fun and how to be tender. She knows the healing touch of her hands. Jesus used his hands to touch and heal many. There is power in the gentle expressions of love through warm embraces and cuddles.

Mark 10:16 says that Jesus “took them {the children} in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.” 

Bless your family with tender, physical love.
~Page 178

4 Ways to Pursue Gentleness in Your Home

1. When you feel tempted to raise your voice, use a child’s name in a snarl, furrow your brow into a scowl or speak rapidly in anger…purposely lower your voice to just above a whisper.

Proverbs 15:1 says “A gentle answer turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

Focus on gentle words, facial expressions, and touches.

2. Purpose to not let someone else’s anger make you angry.

Many times as a wife and mom, I find myself responding to other’s emotions. Someone in the family is grumpy and two minutes later I’m grumpy too. Someone in the family is speaking harshly and two minutes later I’m speaking harshly too. Purpose to stay in control of your emotions and not let the other members of your family dictate your mood.

3. Yelling at a bud won’t make it bloom.

Your home will not blossom into a haven, if you are not controlling your temper.

4. Continue to light your candle and pray for peace in your home.

Persevere in prayer for your family. James 5:16b says, “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”

**Chime In: Share with us what you have planned for your family fun night. What is your favorite game to play as a family?

Walk with the King,



This week’s giveaway in celebration of my book, Women Living Well, releasing is a 10 Pack of Games including – Checkers, Scrabble, Monopoly, Uno, Battleship, Pictionary, Apples toApples, Candy Land, Risk, & Life.

10 pack giveaway of games 2

Enter to win here.
*The winner must live in the U.S. or Canada.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don’t forget – the fourth FREE Webcast is coming THIS Thursday night!!!!!
We’ll be featuring the Ruth from The Better Mom on the topic of Parenting.
 Women Living Well Schedule 2
The book is now available in most bookstores
and on-line at
3D wlwbook cover



  1. I like playing games! In fact, last night, I played checkers with my son. He’s a poor loser though, so we need to work on that…and yes he is old enough to know better at 9 years old! He started crying, threw the checkers on the ground. That boy does NOT like to lose! Then daddy took a turn teaching him how to play! They played again today while I caught up on laundry from our weekend at camp. And again, when he lost, he got mad. Sigh……..

    I find it hard to stay in a good mood when someone else is being grumpy. It’s SO hard, especially at work.

    1. Our son used to struggle with this, and still does sometimes. We just are very firm and consistent with him. I like to use the verse in 1 Corinthians that says, “I keep my body under subjection.” It means I keep my body under control. We ask him, “Were your actions demonstrating that you are under control?” He is a work in progress. Don’t give up!! You are not alone!

    2. Our son does the same thing, he’s 6. It must be a guy thing because my daughter does not seem to have an issue with losing. Anyway when our son behaves this way we always play another game which he has to sit out on and watch. This has helped curb the behavior. Last game he lost, he actually began his fit but stopped himself and said “good job” to the winner. I don’t know if I am doing the right thing or not about this, but it has helped so far.

  2. I love family game night! We are planning for Friday with go fish and candy land for the little miss.she loves those games with us!

  3. Big smile on my face. Earlier today my husband and I decided to start a family game night. This was before I just read your post, so yeah big smile on my face. I’m just glad the Spirit is working in me to move us together and strengthen us as a family. Candles are lit tonight and plans for our new Saturday night game night scheduled!

  4. My kids’ favorite game is one my husband made up called “Don’t Make Me Laugh.” We go around to each member of the family; they get to start with a serious face and then all other members of the family try to make them laugh. I never last very long!

  5. We love family game night! My kids are always asking for us to have one. We don’t do it every week, but we should. They love Candy Land, Shoots and Ladders, and Life!!

  6. Oh wow – what an excellent idea! I am an empty nester right now – missing my son like crazy – and could use these games when we visit home this Christmas and use with our daughter and her family right away. Will keep the candle burning!

  7. We play chase all around the house. We’ll start some board games soon. He should be about ready to learn how to follow directions! He is 3 years old.

    I just want to add that your book is AMAZING! I am on chapter 5. I was left in tears at the end of chapter 3. It’s like you know exactly what I am going thru and struggling with! Your book is CHANGING MY LIFE! You are an amazing woman and thank you for writing this. May god bless you and your family! πŸ™‚

  8. My daughter, son and I played many games of Dutch Blitz which is available in Christian book and home school catalogs. A game similar to it is called Oh, Heck. Each person has his/her own deck of playing cards with a special mark so they can be sorted and played like Dutch Blitz and solitaire. Can really bend the cards when playing!!!!

  9. We have a weekly family game night – no television or electronics allowed after 5pm that evening. The kids love it, but hopefully we can keep it up a few years from now when they become pre-teens. I hear those years can be rough/tough.

  10. My 11 month old loves when we read her books, so Tues night she’ll have extra books read to her by her Mommy AND Daddy, then once she down in bed, then my husband and I are going to continue battling it out when we finish a card/dice game we started awhile ago called, Deer in the Head Lights (it’s a long game and so far I’m ahead!)

  11. I’m a lover of most board games! My kids are young (5, 3 and 4 months) but our older two love to bring out all the blocks and build for an hour or two. We love Hungry Hippos, Loopin’ Louie, Don’t Wake Daddy, and Candy Land. All great games for younger ones! In the future we plan to incorporate pizza or another favorite food and of course popcorn. It’s these little building block of their childhood that form the greatest foundation for the memories of their family life!

  12. My children are now teenagers and we have always loved playing games together. One game that I can still get them to play is Apples to Apples. We have had a lot of fun sitting around the table with that game.

  13. Our family has been lighting a candle and praying for peace the last 2 weeks and it has been such a blessing and an enjoyment. We have been lighting the candle around dinner time (as with three little kids under 3, this is the time of day that seems to be most stressful) and it has been so helpful to be able to see the candle and just pray for peace and patience. If we forget to light the candle, our almost three year old says ‘Mum, you forgot to light the candle.’ Then we light it and he says ‘Now we need to pray’. πŸ™‚ It’s just beautiful.
    I am looking forward to a family fun night this week. Thinking we will play a game of animal bingo and read some stories on the pillows in the lounge room and enjoy some yummy food. Thanks Courtney for your points of pursing gentleness too. Just awesome!

  14. I love this fall challenge. Focusing on my home and my family is just what I need to do right now.

    We are just getting into board games. Our daughter is 6 and it’s a great age to start enjoying some games I used to play when I was young.

    Hope I win the bundle!

  15. How fun! My husband and I love to play games, although there aren’t a lot of 2-player games to play when we’re having a quiet evening at home. I hope game night will be a regular thing at my house when we have children!

  16. I love this! My candle from this past week is out, need a new one already! That’s what I get for not buying a Yankee Candle. LOL. I printed out the 4 points you posted tonight and will put them up on my fridge so I don’t forget them. =)

  17. I would love to do game nights!!! It’s going to take some work in this household though because TV has become a little too powerful πŸ™ and I work 4 nights of the week. But this will be my goal to work on. Love having my candle lit though!

  18. We used to a lot of family game nights when the kids were little but not so much now that they are teenagers and very busy…need to make plans for one soon!

  19. I love board games and so does my 9 year old son. But we also have a almost 16 year son who does not want to join us…any ideas

  20. Thank you so much for the idea. We have frequent family game nights, but family fun night is certainly an interesting twist. Can’t wait!

  21. We love family game night in our home. So many possibilities. Crafts, cards make for others, fun snacks, movies, ice cream sundaes, watching family videos, just talking, even playing outside, then moving the fun indoors after sunset. There are so many fun family games.

  22. I love this one!! I’ve planned mine for tomorrow a day that’s less busy. I let my lil in on it, she is a. Great reminder and keeps me accountable with things like this. She was so excited and tells me everyday she can’t wait to spend family time together. She is a planner like me and has some things in store for us. Bless her heart. We even got a new game for this, while out treasure hunting over the weekend. Thanks for all your ideas and tips can’t wait. I’ll be posting pictures of our game night soon.

    Adrienne R

  23. We love family game night! We’ve gotten away from it since our daughter is college-age and with busy schedules, but Tuesday night after my husband’s men’s group, my daughter will be here so we plan to play UNO and Bananagrams, make coconut popcorn, and have a great time. Plan on doing this more regularly!

  24. We are going to do a “Despicable Me” night πŸ™‚ I found some really cute kid friendly “Minion” cupcakes that we are going to make together, then we are going to have a movie night πŸ™‚ Complete with popcorn and blankets in the living room! I have just loved this series!! I need a reminder to live more intentionally with my family and am so blessed by this!! Thank you so much πŸ™‚

  25. I just found myself struggling yesterday with getting mad because others in my house were mad and wanted to respond in anger. Thanks for this,I needed it today. πŸ™‚

  26. We just enjoyed candlelight with our special breakfast of homemade cinnamon buns for Thanksgiving (Canadian). We LOVE playing games as a family – a favourite is Alakshak!

  27. We have set aside Friday night as family night and our 7yr old daughter always asks, “What are we doing for family night?” Sometimes she has the idea of what we are going to do. Here is a list of things we do, play miniature golf, go to the local high school pool to swim, play board games, “pizza picnic” & watch a movie. The most recent movie was “Ring the Bell” excellent movie with Steven Curtis Chapman and Casting Crowns.

  28. Your post today is just what I needed. With all the stress in our lives the last 3 years, I’ve found myself more short with the kids, responding in anger rather than kindness. Thanks for reminder to do what’s right. With the Lord’s help, hopefully I can worry less and get a sweet spirit back and be more patient with my children.

  29. My kids enjoy laser tag, the guns are inexpensive at Walmart. Also if we shut off all the lights in the house and play hide and seek. In summer we do water fights and in winter, snow. πŸ™‚ they also love when we invite another family to join us for our family nights.

  30. I love playing games with my family. We love to play monopoly! I usually win, but there have been times my son has won the game, but at times I try to throw the game so they have the opportunity to win, too. I find they want to play, again.

  31. We love to play games. I have a 3 and 4 year old. So they are at the age where we can play the games for the whole game! This momma enjoys watching them counting while playing chutes and ladders, or matching colors while playing candy land. I so want to get them trouble and sorry and more games!!

  32. I don’t have any kids myself, but I love your idea of throwing pillows and blankets on the floor and sipping some hot apple cider – maybe while watching re-runs of The Brady Bunch (I loved that show too!). My favorite game as a child was Connect Four and Chutes & Ladders!

  33. My husband and I are young, new empty nesters. So, I am going to just follow your suggestion above and make hot apple cider and caramel corn from scratch. Invite a couple over from church and play some cards!

  34. Game nights are always fun times at our house! We love to play Farkle and watch a movie. My family is looking forward to this weeks challenge….especially the apple cider (We suggest the syrup from Starbucks when serving apple cider. It is the very best!)

  35. We love game night! Funny timing because just this week I’m participating in a blog hop for iHomeschool Network. My topic? Learning with board games πŸ™‚ We love them at our house.

    My favorites from those pictured are pictionary and apples to apples. Not really for our family just yet, but those are my favorite grown-up ones. My favorite that we play right now is scrabble, Jr. But then, I’m an English nerd, so that fits πŸ™‚ We also love Uno Moo, Snakes & Ladders, and The Ladybug Game.

    We’re big fans of board games and pretty much play them daily in our house πŸ™‚

  36. We would love to start a game night at my house since my kida are now old enough to understand the rules. We have family movie night once a month and my kids love it so maybe a monthly game night should be started too!

  37. I really enjoyed the candle and so did my family. My six year old even asked that I turn it on. I can’t wait for Friday game night. My 11 year old loves to play board games. I think I will try some new ones mention here.

    Thank you!!

  38. We are in the season of life where it’s just my husband & I (our son lives in a different state). We are also both unable to do a lot of physical things (chase, pillow fights, etc.), however, we do enjoy playing board games & electronic games (xbox, wii, computer). Due to being in ministry, we make sure we take time to “play” so that we don’t get so overwhelmed with various challenges of life. We have done this at previous church & will do so here soon… we plan to have a “Game Night” with our church family to which we will set up a variety of board (& maybe electronic) games. In regards to this week’s challenge, I continue to light my candle & pray. This week is one of our busy weeks with have a couple of appointments, my husband has eye surgery (laser), we have our quarterly association meeting (at our church), & a few other things going on – to include the 1 year anniversary of my husband being ordained as pastor. While we may not be able to have a specific “game night” (as per this challenge) this week, we definitely take care of each other.

  39. Fun, fun, FUN! Even though our daughter is just 19 months old, we love game night! My husband and I have a chance to unwind and simply enjoy each other, while our toddler sits in our lap and sees and feels the joy! We also have a great time when we invite our friends over, and the fellowship always draws everyone closer!

  40. I have to tell you that lightening the candle has really put my brain and heart into a different gear. I see that flame and I say my prayer and it softens whatever anger I was feeling or if I am down it picks me up. So thanks for that challenge.

    this challenge will be just that. Some of my kids will fight during games. I haven’t played games with my kids in a long time. Mostly due to myself and dealing with the sudden loss of my dad. some of the games you mentioned oh my goodness, well some of my board games have moved on. Either the boards have torn or we are missing pieces. I had to laugh because I was just thinking about replacing our candyland and battleship. We used to also play hangman and guess who. When my 3 oldest were younger I would pair off then winners would play each other. We had so much fun. I miss those days. Now I have 7 children and games are a little hard than before. Plus my poor hubby is in overdrive to get us caught up on our bills. He was in a motorcycle accident and was laid up for two months. He is our only working person. I will try to do this weeks challenge some how. Thanks so much for this.

  41. It’s rare to find a game that a three year old can play and adult and older children will also LOVE! We absolutely adore the game called SOCK MONKEY. It can take as long as you want it to, or as short as you want to, played in teams or separate. LOVE THIS HILARIOUS GAME!!

  42. With an almost 3 and 5 year old, games can be a tough family activity. But my 5 year old has recently gotten into jig-saw puzzles and word searches so that’s been a lot of fun. Even my littler boy, we search for the first letter in the word and just circle that so he can get involved in word searches too. And pillow fights. I don’t think that our home would be complete without them πŸ™‚

  43. My son is almost 5 and he’s not gotten the concept of not cheating down. *L* So we don’t get to play many board games. We play matching games and Operation Mater. I’m wanting to get him Chutes and Ladders for Christmas this year. πŸ˜€ My husband and I were just looking over the selection of games this year and many of them didn’t look nearly as fun as the ones we had when I was a kid. I wonder why that is?

  44. We love family game night. We’ve had some of the board games for a long time. I think this Christmas it’s time for some new ones. πŸ™‚

  45. I would love to enter this giveaway, but I don’t do twitter or facebook so that leaves me out. πŸ™

    Great post, family game night is just what we need to do weekly also.

  46. I ordered a set of Family Fun Nights from Dr. James Dobson, several months ago right before my daughter fell so ill and was hospitalized and in rehab for 4 months. We came back and I had a baby, so I haven’t dug into the books yet, but plan on setting these up for Saturday’s for some fun. Plus, I love to do board games with them, but it is hard to get hubby into the board games.

  47. We LOVE games in our home. I am also loving your book! Unfortunately this week we will not get to have a family night, but we will be hosting a homeschool preteen night at our home, complete with hotdogs on the firepit, Nerf battle, and flashlight tag .

  48. LOVE ~ LOVE ~ LOVE Game Nights! Game Night to us means lots of snacks sitting around, food, and usually Mexican Train which takes about 3 hours to play πŸ™‚

  49. I am single and I live alone, so for my fun night I will pop some popcorn, make some hot tea or hot chocolate and bundle up on the couch for a good movie!

  50. I live with my 5 year old Granddaughter Simone. The only game we own right now is Candy Land. She loves playing!!! She has her own rules for the game!!! Thank you, Barb

  51. I love the idea of Family Fun Night! I especially like how it gives EVERYONE a break from technology like smartphones, tablets, etc!.

  52. So excited for the chance to win. We have 4 kids and we ate blessed to foster 5 others. Our kids love games and some are wearing out. How awesome this would be for any of us ladies to win for our families! Lighting my candle and asking God to do a work in our home and in me! Thank you and I thank God for your ministry! God Bless.

  53. I love family game nights. While I was living at home, my parents often bought new games for Christmas. Scrabble, Taboo, Gestures, Trumpet and many more soon became favorites. After my sister got married, Mom, Dad, and I would spend an evening playing Scrabble. Now that I’m married, my husband and I enjoy playing games together. We have chocolates and grape juice with romantic lighting and music. Of course the game doesn’t go as quickly, but who cares – right?

  54. I love your blog!!! I just found it this week and thank you so much for your advice, ideas and words of encouragement! Going to start family game night this week!

  55. Only one of our 3 kids is actually able to play games (due to age, my 22 month old and 7 month are too young) so we are planning a pumpkin decorating night this weekend. I am going to bust our our paint, stickers, glitter, markers, anything I can find to beautify some pumpkins! My older daughter (age 3) loves to play games so I hope her younger siblings follow suit!

  56. I want in!!! I am so glad I found ur site… I am craving gentleness in my life right now!!! I am on maternity leave with my 7 week old Jillian and I have a two, almost three year old, named Dylan. To be honest I feel so unraveled and harsh all the time ;/ certainly doesn’t make for a gentle and peaceful home. I’m lighting my candle RIGHT NOW! Thanks.

  57. Since I have teenagers it’s sometimes hard to engage them in game night so my plan is to make a s’mores type dessert bar on a blanket & grab some board games etc… Hopefully it works! All the blankets & pillows should grab their attention!

  58. Playing games is always the best way to re-connect with your family after a long hard week of work and running around. πŸ™‚

  59. We love playing games with our 5 year old. Her favorite game right now is Mouse Trap. She’s also very good at Memory. Games get a little more tricky with a 2 year old though. Family nights tend to include wrestling or having a “snowball fight” with our son’s foam blocks. Then snuggling up to watch a movie together. We give each of our kids a special night with Mom and Dad once a month so game nights are currently reserved for special nights with the older one only.

  60. We like to play Wits and Wagers Family Edition and Apple to Apples as a family. My oldest son and I like to play Rummikub together too. We try to get a new family game each Christmas.

  61. Thanks to everyone who posted all their great ideas, and also thank you to those that posted their struggles – it helps my struggles feel a little lighter! πŸ™‚

  62. We just had our family fun night – work will preclude us from all being together the rest of the week. My daughter wanted a bonfire – so we said, ok! So tonight at 4 we had a fire in our fire pit, roasted hot dogs and ate dinner on that patio and followed up w some marshmallows and a little T-ball before bedtime! So much fun and laughter.

  63. We had our family game night tonight and played the Disney’s Scene It ? 2nd Edition. I thought I knew more Disney movies , but I was left in the dust. Great night with the kids.

  64. I love playing games but a few years ago my “baby” about 1 year and my second about 2.5 destroyed all the games in our game box, we have never found all pieces to even one game so play time is usually building lego now but would love to start game nights!
    Thank you for all your words, i look forward every morning to see what you have posted:)

  65. We’ve been saying the last few years, now that the kids are old enough, we should get some board games and do family game nights. I would LOVE to win this!! And get to doing family games nights before they’re too old for family game nights!

  66. Would love to win these board games for our family! My daughter just learned how to play checkers πŸ™‚ Thank you!

  67. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the idea of all the pillows and blankets – one big slumber party complete with a whole bunch of games and goodies!! Talk about memories that will warm their hearts and last!!! πŸ™‚

  68. Comfortable blankets, pillows, bowls of popcorn and a good, clean movie are favorite family times. Game nights are also a hit, and our favorites are Monopoly, Uno, Life and Scattegories (sp??).

  69. We love playing games in our home. Every Friday is family night! Last Friday, we played a new board game we bought at a Toy Convention called Eat to Win. So you throw the dice, you move the amount of spaces, you can land on a space that has a big slice of pizza and pay $300 to the bank because one slice of pizza has 300 calories or you can land on a space where you have to pick up a card and the family has to do an activity together, like make a train and go around the room or swim like a fish around the room…it’s so much fun!

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