When Your Home Does Not Feel Like a Haven

After we've done all we know to do to make our home a haven, sometimes we still feel no peace. Here's what to do when your home doesn't feel like a haven. #WomenLivingWell #MakeYourHomeaHaven #Marriage #homemaking

In 2010, after finishing our very first – “Making Your Home a Haven” Fall Series – I wrote this post.

I wrote this post because I know…I know that there are many who lit candles, prayed, tried to plan game nights and prepared cozy dinners …but you are discouraged.  Your home STILL does not feel like a haven.

There is a self-talk that rattles around inside the brains of women – yes, even Christian women who long to live out God’s word in their homes.  I know because my brain does it too…and here’s what it says…

I turn to Psalm 23…

1 – The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want.

(want. want. want. I want…)

2. He makes me lie down

(lie down…if only I could lie down for just 20 minutes…if only if only if only)

in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters.

(quiet. quiet. quiet…this home is so loud…television, ipods, cell phones, chatter, I can’t get a moment of quiet here).

3. He restores my soul

(my soul. needs. restored. …it hurts).

He guides me in paths of righteousness.

(I am so alone…I have no one who understands…if only I had someone to get me out of this mess. mess. mess. Someone besides me please clean up this mess!).

4. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil

(what if. what if.what if. what if I’m not enough?)

for you are with me

(you are? why are you so silent God?);

your rod and your staff they comfort me.

(comfort. who needs comfort. I am strong. I will pick myself up and press on. I am not weak.)

5. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies, you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

(overflows. overflows. overflows. Dirty dishes overflow, closets overflow, my trash cans overflow, my laundry baskets overflow, my calender overflows…if everything is so full – why do I feel so empty?)

6. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life.

(follow. follow.follow. I feel like difficulties, trials, disappointments, bad relationships and financial problems follow me… goodness? love? follow me?)

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

(put on fake smile. I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever…BUT…I want. I want. I want. if only. if only. if only. my soul hurts. mess. mess. mess. I am weak. no. I am strong. empty. empty. empty.)

Do you hear the self talk? Do you hear what is happening between this woman’s two ears?

She is saying rotten things to herself about her life, about the people in her life, about her circumstances, and even about God. And then she wonders…why? don’t? I? have? peace?

The problem is not out there – it’s inside of her.

Romans 12:2 says, “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

Do you want to see a change in your home? It starts in your mind.

Are you in a storm? Do you need help?

At the core – I am empty, ugly, self-seeking, insecure, questioning myself to death regularly – even to the point of tears over fears and failures. I hurt. I struggle. I wrestle. But then – I lift my eyes up to the maker of the heavens and the earth and this world pauses for just a moment and all my ugly thoughts and self talk are washed away by his love, grace and peace.

Psalm 121:1 says, “I lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”

The storms do not disappear but seeing a glimpse of the sunshine that awaits me, lifts me up when I am weak. He is strong. And so I rest. And he restores.

If you are discouraged – I encourage you to get alone with Psalm 23 for 5 minutes today.

The Lord is indeed your Shepherd and you shall not be in want. You must claim these truths. Let him lead you by still waters…are you thirsty? Sit still. Drink a tall glass of his living word! Let him restore your soul. He is with you. He loves you. You will one day dwell in His house- His Haven – forever.

Walk with the King!




  1. YESSSSSSS!!!! Thank you Lord for this woman. You are good, you know my needs and I needed this post right now. Thank you!

    1. YES Eli!!! Same for me, Thank you Courtney so much for being you and for being an encouragement for women everywhere. I am glad that I was led to you, to learn from you on becoming a better wife! Because I do not have any examples in my life.
      I just wish I was at the conference because I would have LOVED to have met you.

      1. Meeting Courtney at the conference along with Karen Ehman was the highlight of my year!!! She is SO real and remembered me right away when I approached her to say hello and ask for a quick pic. I’ve learned SO much from Courtney by finding this blog. God led me to her before I knew I’d need it but HE KNEW!!!

  2. Wow! Definitely needed to hear this. You are so right. If you do not change your mind, you will always find something to be dissatisfied with. But if I choose to love my life the way that is…mess, chaos, and all…that is something that I think would please the Lord.

    1. I too do a lot of self talk that stems towards the negative side, and I think I do it because I do not understand that there are things in life I will not have control over. I can hear this , but because at time I don’t get it, I wrestle with myself and probably God as well…

  3. I worked to make my home a haven in many ways and no one noticed. The kids said nothing and my husband highlighted all of the things that did not get done. It was not me who was negative. I was hopeful. 🙂 It is my first couple of months as a stay at home mom and wife in many years. I will keep on trying…..Maybe someday….

  4. Oh man this brought me to tears. Sooo needed this. I just asked my hubby for your book for christmas. Thank you for being transparent

  5. I had my husband read the beginning of this post so he could understand how my mind works. I don’t know if it is because I am female, because I am ADHD, or both, but YES! Yes! The small glimpses of the life to come are what keep me going sometimes.

  6. Thank you for sharing this post! Really needed this! Reading your book & working with the companion study too- so enjoying it! So good to know that I am not alone in my struggles & this journey. Thank you so much!

  7. Amen. After having been sick for this year with the little ‘c’, cancer (the big ‘C’ is Christ). I have finished chemo (yay). Now, the task at hand is to create that cozy haven in our home once again. Freah, cleans sheets on beds, fewer dust bunnies under them and the comfort of family finding clean socks in their drawers in the morning is a goal I am aiming for. But I hear that same crazy chatter you described.
    Amazingly, the 23 Psalm was all I could pray ok my sickest days. Now I will look at it in a new light. To let His Word be filling my mind. And as much as these cluttered closits and messy cabinets clutter my mind, I think the first place to start is with His Word, in reclaiming my home, and the trash can, mop and sweeper, will be my second line of offence.

  8. I totally agree. My half hour of worship on a Sunday completely resets the clock of drama in my week to 0. God is soo amazing in His faithfulness to give us rest if we come into His presence.

  9. Ditto!
    Oh how I need to lean on The Lord more – I cannot do all this in my own strength!
    Love your given bible verse – psalm 121:1.. Need that today.
    Will read the 23rd Psalm

  10. A PERFECT post for this particular morning. When quiet time, ended up being a time to tend to the children who “woke up too early” and then wouldn’t be quiet for MY quiet time. God bless my home! =) I’m so glad I can come to God anytime of the day to be restored.

  11. Oh my!! I totally related to number 5!! Sometimes I find it so hard to focus on God and my family because if all of my stuff overflowing. This post was such a great reminder to me that if I will fill up and overflow with God my other issues won’t seem so bad. Thank you!!

  12. I do believe as women we are so susceptible to wrong thinking that sets us spinning off into some other place far from Truth! (I think of Eve here!)…We really must Philippians 4:8 everything!…”let your mind dwell on these things” and if it doesn’t hold up to His Plumb line…let it GO!!!…

  13. I have to say that i do feel that my home ia a haven, when i listened to the Lord! You see, i am a stay at home mom of teenagers, which are all in school full time and are independent and thriving. So the voices coming at me sound like this: why arent you working outside the home? Why arent you helping your husband with the finances? You are an educated, bright , capable wonan why are you staying home? You are lazy, and just want to take it easy! Your children are in university they need your help financially! There is no reason you need to stay home, everyone is ok! Yes, everyone is ok, because i make sure they are. I clean , cook, supervise, budget, administer and manage my home so it runs smoothly. I nourrish my marriage with my time and efforts. I am present every day my boys get home from school with a warm smile, hug and usually a warm snack! Ineed encouragement to continue because society does not see what goes on behind our closed door! There is harmony and extreme authentic love for each other! The voices come at me everyday, but i try to keep focused on the prize, the day i can get to heaven and have God tell me ” well done my faithfull servant” . THAT is the voice that i want to hear most!

  14. Dear Courtney… I truly thank God for you. It was by divine accident that I stumbled upon your blog several months ago and I’ve been hooked ever since. This post… was for me and I see that I am not alone, so I am comforted. There are days when I just don’t know if this is the life I was called to live. Stay at home mom. I barely see my husband as he works on the road – though it was much worse when we both worked 18 hour days – pre babies, of course. Two little ones under two.A mere 5 years into this married life and I am tired. I’m hurt. I feel so weak and powerless – spiritually and otherwise. I long for a blessed home, a blessed marriage, a blessed life. If by chance you read my comment please join me in prayer. Thanks.

  15. Tammy,

    I’m going through the same thing! I’m a stay-at-home mom with a child in high school and one in college. I do some part time work from home but still have the same feelings you are having! You are not alone. I know I need to “Be transformed by the renewing of my mind.” I love that verse. Hang in there, you are doing the right thing!

  16. Courtney,
    Thanks for sharing this post. What eye opening words! It starts in the mind!!!!! I couldn’t agree with you more. What a blessing you are to so many.

    Have an awesome day.

  17. Oh my! This is all me! Those are all my thoughts reading through Psalm 23. The last seven years have been an emotional roller coaster. We were in a church that caused a lot of hurt and we prayed and struggled to know if we were in the right place. We finally knew God was taking us away. We just moved to a new house, town, and church. We should be at peace with our new life, but I feel just as much anxiety and fear I had before! Thank you for this! It starts in my mind! I’m also reminded to take every thought captive like it says in Corinthians. Every day is a new day in Christ!Thank you for this encouragement!

  18. Ah. How crazy is Our Lord. I almost didn’t click this link that you shared today but I thought ‘why not? If I don’t need to know it now, maybe in the future.”. It’s a wonderful thing that I did click. I just finished reading and trying to study Psalm 23 this morning. I was inlighten this morning about this verse. Now after reading this, I realize this is what God wants me to study. He wants me in His Word. Thank you for sharing.

  19. Gosh! This is exactly how I’ve been feeling. My husband told me to memorize this verse last night and then this shows up. And we share the same name….. Maybe it’s a sign.
    Thank you for the wonderful post!

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