Making Your Home a Haven {Week 4} & A Pottery Barn Giveaway!

We start week four 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

We are to our final week of our Making Your Home a Haven Fall Series…and the holidays are almost upon us!

First up, Thanksgiving and on the heels of Thanksgiving is Christmas!  And typically with the holidays comes 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 fall season with scenery that is just gorgeous! If you live where trees change colors, the bright reds, oranges and yellows on the trees display God’s glory!

Think about the crackle of dry leaves 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 a bonfire that brings joy and peace. In the same way, our holiday 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 ONE home to reflect God’s artistry in.

Here is this week’s challenge:

Imagine – plan – Decorate! The holidays are almost 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.  Give thanks to God for the home He has given you in which to create a haven for your family.


thanksgiving journal

To go along with the second half of this week’s challenge – I’d like to share one of our Thanksgiving traditions.

I started a family “Thanksgiving Journal” 5 years ago. Every year on Thanksgiving, I sit down with the family and have them list some of the things they are thankful for.  Then I write them into the journal. It is so fun to reflect back over the years and see the blessings God has brought into our lives – year – by – year.

The turkey in the picture above is something the kids make each year.  I have them write on the feathers things they are thankful for and I add them to our journal each year.

Some of the things listed give me a chuckle –like when 3 year old Alexis gave thanks for sparkling grape juice…a treat we had with our Thanksgiving Dinner or when 5 year old Alex gave thanks for Ohio State Football! lol!  Also, toys like their pillow pets and Wii made the list along with some favorite books and vacations.  The yearly lists bring back memories of friends and favorite teachers and life happenings – everything is recorded so we can rejoice again and again over the abundant blessings God has given us in our lives.

If you are looking for a Thanksgiving tradition and treasure to implement in your home – this is an inexpensive way to bless your family.

And remember – give thanks to God for the ONE home he has given YOU to make a haven for his glory!

Chime In:  How has God used this 4 week series in your home?

Walk with the King,


This is our FINAL giveaway in celebration of my book, Women Living Well, releasing . It’s a Pottery Barn Wall Art and Throw Pillow!!!

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Enter to win here.

*The winner must live in the U.S. or Canada.

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Don’t forget – the sixth FREE Webcast is coming THIS Thursday night!!!!!
We’ll be featuring the Janelle from Comfy In The Kitchen on the topic of Your Ministry.
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  1. I love the idea of a thankfulness journal! My family loves to write down things that we are thankful for and guess who wrote what! My Popop always pulls out some old hymn books and we sing thanksgiving songs (we are a musical family). ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. What a neat idea! I’ve also seen thanksgiving garland where you write something you are thankful for on a leaf and hang it on twine or some yarn and display it in your home. 1 leaf for each day in November!

  3. Thanks so much for these ideas the past few weeks – my candles have been on FULL BURN, we are planning a game night a little later with the “adult” kids, and I made yummy fudge this afternoon (thanks to Pinterest!). I received a beautiful journal from a few lovely ladies when my granddaughter was born 5 months ago and I think that starting a “thankfulness” journal for all to contribute to, by using this journal, would be a fantastic idea. *Pottery Barn stuff – love it!

  4. I have loved your series! One question about the quote by Edith S. Were you referring to Edith Schaeffer who was married to Francis. I love her example so much and wanted to use this quote but you refereed to Edith Shaefer…is that someone else?

  5. Just wanted to tell you how much I am TRULY enjoying your book, your spirit and all of your wonderful wisdom and examples on making our lives and our homes centered on God. I have found each and every little thing to be so inspiring and so easy to incorporate!!! The best part – my husband loves everything I’ve been doing too! He particularly liked the keeping the candle burning…such a simple and easy thing to do…but so profound in its affect. You are such a blessing to us all – THANK YOU!

    1. I have been burning a candle too and have caught my husband lighting it of I have forgotten or late on doing it! I explained to him why I was burning the candle when I placed it there and he has willingly joined in! Thankful and blessed ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. I love the idea…I am very excited about Thanksgiving this year because I’ve been thinking about how to make it very special for my family (budget) wise, yet simple and a memory that they won’t forget.

  7. Thank you so much for this 4 weeks of Making Your Home A Haven. The 1st week in lighting a candle really did work for my husband and I reminding us to pray all throughout each day.
    With doing a family game night worked well with whenever my grandchildren were with us, we stopped doing busy things and played together

  8. Continued….. Week 3 I did do a lot of baking filling the house with awesome fall aromas, my husband loved it and also got my freezer loaded with goodies. This week my husband and I will start our annual decorating for the coming Holidays so much fun. Thanks again Courtney for sharing you gifts and special God given ideas with us to make our Home a Haven.
    Blessings to you and you beautiful Family!

  9. Love the thanksgiving journal idea. Hope to try that! We’ve been on track for the last 3 weeks. It’s even encouraged us to eat at home (the warmth & snuggly of home) rather that eating out all the time. Much more intimate time. Thanks for your encouraging ideas!

  10. Thank you Courtney. I just love this time of year. We have a large thanksgiving get-together with family and extended family. We write on notes what we are thankful for and they go into a thanksgiving box to be added to every year. What a blessing!

  11. Hi Courtney,

    I’m a recent follower of your blog and goodmorning girls and so on… love them all. I also have been seeing the thursday night videos online, but only can see the on friday, thats me here in Portugal …lolol
    Anyway I try my best to keep up with you girls but I’m a slow one lolol. I’m a divorced mom of 5 kids four out of the house married. The youngest of 18 still at home, the difficult part is to do all you have prosed us to do. So, what I have kept on doing is the candle…light it every morning and ask the Lord for peace in my house , I put it out every evening before going to bed!
    The sad part for me is buahhhhhh no being able to enter all your give aways (at least to try) because I live so farrrr.

    maybe who knows, after all these thanksgiving and xmas holidays I might start something like this here in Portugal, what do you think???!!

    love you girls so much just dying to see the next video…

    God Bless,

  12. What a wonderful idea! How neat to have it all in one journal to look back on and remember. I have been challenged reading your new book. Thank you!

  13. We do worship a God of beauty. I love fall – especially the changing colours. I never stop marveling at the artistry! A Thanksgiving journal – what a great idea!

  14. I have enjoyed your fall challange these past two years. Thank you for taking the time to encourage women to do simple things that can make such a difference in our homes. Love the Thanksgiving journal idea.

  15. Thank you so much! This challenge has made such a difference in ME and my home is more peaceful because of it!! Thank you for all you are doing. I hope you feel better since your accident. Been praying for you.

  16. Love the idea of the thanksgiving journal. I have been looking for something, a new tradition to do for it and this is perfect. Thank you for sharing the idea and for giving us ideas to draw our families closer to Hod and each other. Truely a blessing!! Oh and thanks for the giveaway…I was able to enter in!! Yay!!


  17. I love that idea. I should make those turkeys with my girls. I never looked at my “current home” as being a blessing / gift from God and that I should make it look like a haven for my family. I have started to read your book and I am loving it. Thanks for doing this. By the way, thanks for the great giveaway.

  18. I have enjoyed this challenge.It has made me be more intentional about what goes on in my home.
    Congratulations on your book.
    monk5 at charter dot net

  19. I so needed to read this today. Had a struggle getting the kids off to school and was really blessed to put things back into perspective with my role in the atmosphere of gratitude and thanksgiving in my home. Thank you for sharing.

  20. Thank you SO much for these challenges! My home is SO cozy now with the candle always burning, something baking almost everyday and Fall decorations everywhere! I can’t wait to start on our Thankfulness tree! This has truly been a Blessing!

  21. This has been a great series and my first to follow! I have my candle going almost every day…I bought a new game and had the whole extended family play this last weekend for my husbands birthday and definately want to try out the Thanksgiving Thankfulness Journal! Thank you for all the time you’ve devoted to this!

  22. Have really enjoyed the past few weeks ! This may be by far one of my faves!!! Have yourself A Merry Lil Christmas is my all time fave Christmas Song and with the new home God is blessing us with in a few months this would just be the perfect addition ๐Ÿ™‚ God bless you and your family!

  23. When I adopted my daughter (she was 8 yrs) I started making new traditions we could share together as a family… For Thanksgiving, I cut out different colored Fall leaves – each day in November we write what we are most thankful for and hang them in a tree design in our hallway. She’s 18 yrs now and still persists in continuing our Tree of Thanks tradition – makes my heart sing! Happy Fall!

  24. Well I have done the candle. And it was really awesome that after a while my kids asked if I wanted them to light it for me. With everyone’s schedule right now we haven’t been able to play games. Kind of bummed. After this week thing will slow down at their school. End of the marking period. I am so happy that I saved some money on coffee and was finally able to buy your new book and then downloaded the companion study. Can’t wait to get my smiling box from amazon. We’ve also been slowing down by reading books every night. It’s really cool to hear what they are reading and their favorite part of the story. I’m not really a holiday person. Growing up it’s always been fighting between my parents or my sister. So I never looked forward to this time of year. Then losing my dad, my favorite person in the whole world two years really put a damper on things for me. But I can tell you that I got an email for free shipping from oriental trading and they have some really cute stuff to decorate. So I’ve been saving up and this year I told the kids we are decking the halls. You should of seen their faces. I think they think I have lost my mind. But I have my countdown chalk board of “how many days til Christmas” up and they take turns putting the new number up. My kids are getting excited and so am I this year. I want to thank you for doing this challenge. It has been a great experience.

  25. I love the turkey idea! My kids will usually make a Thanksgiving turkey like that but I never thought to have them write on the feathers what they’re thankful for. I’ll have to give that a go this year! =)

  26. This series has been awesome! I’ve burned through my candle. Well, actually not completely through it. I still have a couple of inches, but the wicks are low and won’t remain lit. ๐Ÿ™ I’m going to fix that though, I’m going to warm up the wax and pour some out! I love how seeing that candle DOES remind me to say a prayer for peace in my house. How awesome something so benign as that keeps me mindful. Our planned family fun day is tomorrow. I know we couldn’t do it last week. My husband only has 1 day off a week and he had a to do list last week that he gave himself. So we’re going to truly have a blast at the pumpkin patch and decorating our pumpkins! And my son is 4, almost 5 (as he’d say), and he’s never taken an interest in cooking before but we baked cupcakes together and since then, he’s helped me make pizza, taco soup, and breakfast! ๐Ÿ˜€ And we have planned a big fall decorating thing next week, he and I. ๐Ÿ˜€ This is just too great! Thank you so much. Oh and I’m going to totally snag your Thanksgiving Journal idea! I think it’s wonderful!

  27. Wonderful giveaway! Thank you so much! And I am in love with the Thanksgiving journal. What a great idea! ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. Thankfulness Journal is so great! I think I want to try adding a video of my kids and us saying also what we are thankful for that year too.

  29. I love the Thankfulness Journal idea! Brilliant! I’m going to start one of those this year! Thanks so much for sharing this idea!

  30. I just know you make Jesus smile. I love watching you on webcasts and on some interviews on TV. You are great and you represent our God so well with your joy, humor and wisdom. You are keeping it real. blessings to you and your sweet family.


  31. I love the Thanksgiving Journal idea. We will be starting one this year. Thank you for this challenge and helping me to make my home a haven.

  32. I love the Thanksgiving journal! We have also enjoyed game nights and movie nights as a family. The candle has been burning and when I forget my husband reminds me!

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