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What Type of Environment Are You?

As wives and mothers, we seek to create an environment in our home. But have you considered that you are an environment. What type of environment are you?  #WomenLivingWell #homemaking #friendship #makingyourhomeahaven

Welcome to Week 1 of the Making Your Home a Haven 5th Annual, Fall Challenge!

Edith Shaeffer says:

“We are an environment, each one of us.

We are an environment for the other people with whom we live, the people with whom we work, the people with whom we communicate…our conversations, attitudes, behavior, response or lack of response, hardness or compassion, our love or selfishness, joy or dullness, concern for others or self pity – all these things make a difference to the people who have to live in our environment.”

Have you ever considered that YOU are an environment?  What type of environment are you?

Are you the warm and hospitable type?

Are you the cheery, sunshine type?

Are you calm and quiet?

Harried and hurried?

Irritable and angry?

Or perhaps tired and ticked-off?

What type of environment are you?

Life is certainly not all butterflies and roses…but because we are Christians – we are to reflect Christ in our environment.

It’s ironic we are starting this challenge now…because last week was anything but peaceful in my home. So here’s my full disclosure. Lol!

First – my dryer. It is 20 years old (from my husband’s first apartment before we were married) and it died…so we ordered a new one and 7 days later it arrived. Needless to say, a week without a dryer (and hanging clothes to dry) made the sight of this truck a cause for celebration!

dryer arriving

Then my tough guy football player split his lip at football practice this past Tuesday and had to go to the ER to get 4 stitches.

Alex getting stitches

Poor guy!  Four stitches may not sound like many, but by the next morning his lip was puffy and bruised and drinking and eating were a challenge this week and I worried a bit over the entire thing.

Then there’s this landscaping project we began.  The plan was to take out our flower beds in the backyard (since I am not much of a gardener) and plant grass. But the ground is very wet here and the tire tracks have turned the backyard into a mud pit.   So here is what our backyard looks like right now (half of the seed and straw has been spread):

backyard

Did I mention I have this beautiful WHITE little puppy who uses that yard to go potty in?  Her name is Snowball but maybe we should rename her Dirtball? Lol!

Snowball outside

All of these life irritations try my patience deeply.  Life is not always a bowl of cherries.

It is very easy to become frazzled and frustrated and eventually foolish with my words and actions.

“The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.” ~ Proverbs 14:1

And I know that within my own strength, I cannot be peaceful and patient.

This is where Christ changes everything. I do not have to be perfect to please God.  Hear me on this…If you have lost your temper and have lost your way this week, take heart.  Jesus loves us no matter what we do good or bad.  His death on the cross means….he meets us right where we are.  Sinners in need of grace.

“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” ~ Romans 5:8

But we don’t want to stay where we are.  As we mature in Christ, we want to move forward by repenting of our sins this past week and walking in the power of the Holy Spirit this coming week.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” ~ Galatians 5:22,23

Making our home a haven won’t happen by accident.  We must seek and pursue it.

And while many things that happened in my home this past week were out of my control there was this one constant.

God.

He was there with me.

And the flicker of my candle on the counter morning, noon and night reminds me – there is a God who loves me that I can turn to over and over and over with my worries, fears, stress and struggles.

Prayer brings peace.

Philippians 4: 6,7 says: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Week 1 – 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 or whenever is convenient for you.  I will be placing mine in the kitchen – the main hub of my home.

Each time the glimmer of the candle catches your eye, say a prayer for peace and patience within your home.

You are an environment.

Let’s make our homes feel more like a warm hug than a cold shoulder for all those who find refuge under our roof this week!

Walk with the King,

 

 

**Chime In** 

What type of environment are you?

What gets in the way of your peace and patience in your home?

Have you begun to light your candle?  What scent is your candle and does your family like the candle?

Here’s a picture of what I’m using this week – I LOVE the scent of this Glade Apple Cinnamon Plug-in!

October candles

 

***If you are blogging your way through these weekly challenges – feel free to  leave a link to your blog post in the comment section so we can come visit you 😉 !

 Need more encouragement in Making Your Home a Haven
check out my dear friend Karen Ehman’s book titled
A Life That Says Welcome*
it is $1.99 on kindle through midnight Monday!

A life that says welcome*AmazonAffiliateLink

53 Comments

  1. Hi, Courtney! My candle is Mulled Cider. It smells wonderful! I hope you have a better week!
    God bless, Kathy in Illinois

  2. Dirtball…that made me LOL! She’s such a cute little doggie!

    I saw the post about Alex’s lip on Instagram. 🙁 Poor guy, how’s it doing now? It was 2 years ago that my boy had his lip injury (I think he cut it on his mouthpiece) that ended up being an MRSA infection, which required 3 ER trips and ended up with an overnight stay at Rainbow Babies Hospital in Cleveland so a Plastics Surgery Fellow could properly care for it and IV Antibiotics till the culture reports came back. Thank goodness it was susceptible to the Clindamycin he’d been on and we were able to go home the following morning.

    Anyways, in preparation for this post, I visited the Yankee Candle Outlet on the way home from my Training Academy. They had a sale on the large jar candles. Four for $44! So, I’ll be using one of them. Likely the Autumn Harvest scent. My favorite is Autumn Wreath from Yankee Candle but they were out that day 🙁

    Our household is harried, hurried, irritable and angry. I started a new job last month. Two weeks last month I was out of town 5 hours away at training. Now I’m on day shift for another week. Next week, I have to do a week on night shift. Then I’ll move to second shift, 2pm-10:30pm which will be my permanent shift for awhile. 🙁 which means that during the week, I’ll rarely see my son and husband. I also have to work every other weekend. I’m gonna TRY to get to 3rd shift asap, because then I’ll get to see them both.

    It’s Sunday night so I haven’t lit my candle yet and won’t in the morning. It’ll only be lit when someone is home. I also have a Scentsy Warmer that I have on frequently as well! I had the Pumpkin Buttercream candle on last night in our garage when we had friends over…you could smell it as soon as you walked in 🙂 Smelled nice as my friend commented on it as soon as she walked in and asked what I had burning 😀

  3. I love Scentsy products to make my house smell good and make it welcoming. I am all about nice smells! It is incredible how much we can affect the tone of our homes!

  4. My post is up! Thank you for the encouragement and such perfect timing. My husband’s schedule will be changing this week and I struggle to adjust when his hours change up. Candle is Autumn Leaves — so timely as I hope to whisper my prayers while watching the leaves falling from our trees.

  5. I’ve been looking forward to this challenge! My candle scent is Farmer’s Market and I have one in my kitchen and one in my living room.

  6. My Candle is Vanilla because it’s my husband’s favourite scent and after his long days at work I want him to come home and relax. It seems to have worked today.
    I even blogged about it.

  7. Peace and patience was especially trying in our home last week. My husband had to leave for Iowa on a 10 day trip and it really threw off the rhythm of our family. He hadn’t traveled all summer so it feels like he has been gone forever and I still have 3 days to go:( Thank you for this challenge, I am praying it brings some peace into our week!

  8. My 96 year old grandma moved into our home last week so it has been a trying time while getting things set up and settled for her. It has been easy to lose patience, get frustrated and overwhelmed and even a bit anxious as to how it’s all going to work out, but thank God He is there to walk me and my husband through every step. She is coming from a home that was anything but peaceful and our main concern is to show her the love of Christ here.

    I bought a large, white unscented candle (unfortunately, I have scent sensitivities!) and am excited to light it this week as a reminder to pray for peace and patience in the home!

  9. We have a lot of really big changes happening right now and it is stressful. We are an army family and while waiting for our next assignment, got pregnant with #4! We were trying so it wasn’t a surprise, but our assignment isn’t what we wanted or what we thought we were going to get so it’s been stressful. I just want to be close to my family. I miss them so much. I even miss my husband’s family! I know it is God’s hands…he has a way of timing things *just* so, doesn’t he? If we had gotten our assignment first, I probably would have been too scared to try for a fourth, even though I felt like that was what God wanted. Honesty, I thought we were going to quit after #2, but God had other plans. It is wonderful, but having such a large family is maybe not my natural state, lol!

    Anyway, I am super excited to pray for peace because I know that is where my heart should be as a Christian. I want to just give everything to God and let him carry me though this stressful time. My 4 year old randomly picked out a candle for this challenge at Hobby Lobby and it is called “Autumn Twilight”. Her name is Autumn Grace so I know that was God’s hand too 🙂

    Thank you for this blog Courtney. You are SUCH an example for me!

  10. I picked up a new candle Raspberry Sorbet. Smells really great. I normally use Scentsy and I have tons of great scents I’ll be switching between the candle and my warmer. Cappuccino or Apple Pie are some of my favorites.

    So excited to do this again this year!!! Blessings to you Courtney and prayers you have a better week this week.

  11. I have a candle in my kitchen today! Cinnamon Apple or Pumpkin are my two favorites. I also have a secret sister that I buy for all year round I bought her a Candle and taped your idea on it. I participated in this last year…I did continue on with it after October what a wonderful idea. Have a blessed week!

  12. Well, while I am NOT proud to say it, if I’m being honest with myself and God, I think I’m the irritable/angry AND tired/ticked-off environment. At least that’s how I feel inside more times than not. Our son is 1 yr old and he’s still waking every 2 – 3 hrs overnight (darn breastfeeding!) so after not sleeping well for over a year it’s definitely taking its toll. We also have a 5 yr old daughter and I feel very sadly that she gets the brunt of my unpleasant environment as does my husband. Which is why this challenge is SO wonderful! I need to work daily on being aware of the atmosphere I am creating for our family and our home if I want to bring God’s love in and allow him to work his wonders in our lives.

    I’m burning two candles…one small Glade scented candle (Fireside scent?) and also a large unscented candle which will burn all day. I will snuff out the scented candle around mid-afternoon as my hubby does not care for other scents mingling w/our dinner 😉

    Courtney, thank you for bringing this challenge to so many families this season! It’s a true source of comfort and love straight from our Father in Heaven <3 God Bless!

  13. I am so excited to be going on this journey with you this year!! My candle is currently Creamy Pumpkin Pie…Although it is kinda making me hungry LOL.

  14. I have a coffee candle I started lighting! It was from our ladies conference at church this weekend. The theme was grounded in love! I thought it was perfect because it is a reminder of all the lessons I learned Specifically the one about what is on the inside coming out! Praying that I can have my heart at peace so I can show peace this week.

  15. NEEDED THIS today ! And need it to “cover” my week that is arriving .
    Thank you Courtney for your great words of encouragement in having a house of peace . Praying that your week goes smooth and well . I know a bit what you were feeling about your dryer going out . We had 3 weeks of low water pressure and then 3 days of nearly no water ( before it finally got fixed )…it sure does make me thankful for the “little” things in life . Blessings to you !!!

  16. Good morning, girls!
    It’s so nice to be reminded that I am not alone. I can sometimes feel overwhelmed by my daily struggles (ok, a lot of times), but when I hear what so many of us are going through, I almost feel embarrassed. I am newly remarried and blending 9 teenage children. My marriage to my best friend is strained because we did not prepare for ALL this change! Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all get a notification that major change and stress and challenges are on the horizon? Wouldn’t it be nice if we really took the time to prepare our hearts and homes? I spend a fair amount of my precious time thinking these things…and it doesn’t help at all! Thinking about what I coulda-shoulda done yesterday saps my time and energy.

    I so needed this post today as the Lord’s gentle reminder…”Repent and follow me.” Oh, how He loves us! May we make the most of every opportunity today. I am the environment in my home today. It’s not about perfection. It’s not about being Supermom or Wonderwife. It’s about loving The Experiencing and sharing the love of Christ, first to our own family and then to our neighbors.

    Lord, be near us today and fill us with your Spirit and transform our hearts and minds that the world may know we are your children.

  17. I am currently using Scentsy burners with Peach sent, but will be changing it this week to something that smells like pumpkin. I wasn’t going to burn a candle since I have so many scentsy burners, but after reading so many comments that said the flickering flame was so peaceful and relaxing, I will be getting one to burn.
    Several years ago I had some ladies from my church to my home for a time of fellowship, and one of the younger ladies commented as she was leaving that as soon as she walked into my home, she felt as though she was being hugged. That was the most amazing thing anyone has ever said to me about being in my home and it is exactly the way I want everyone who enters my home to feel.
    I want that for my husband and myself as we live their daily. I want that for our grown children when the come “home”. I want that for our grandchildren. I want that for my “blood” family most of all, but I also want that for all who enter my home ~ all of my “God” family, because we are all family in God’s eyes and God’s plan.
    So whenever I feel that my home has lost it’s “hug”, I search myself to determine what is “off” and I do my best to fix it immediately. Everyone loves to be hugged and everyone should be hugged.
    Thank you so much for all that you do for God and for all of us “Girls”, you truly are a blessing to us.

  18. Love, love, love this challenge, because I adore Fall & all things pumpkin! Along with designing, homemaking is one of my passions & this challenge will surely help me to grow in this area! My chosen candle(s) is/are actually tea lights under various diffusers throughout my home. In them I burn pumpkin and fall fragrances via the Glade & Febreze wax melts…….heaven! I created a blog post featuring this challenge in hopes that it will direct other women to your blog so they can be fed & spiritually nourished as I have been (& am being)! I also shared it on my social media accounts! Thanks Courtney.

  19. So excited for this challenge, I went to bath and body works this past weekend, not looking for fall candles. I took my daughter and some of her friends bday shopping and they wanted to go there and I could not resist some really cute, yummy smelling candles. I’m posting on the log today @ http://www.reina4jesus.blogspot.com. Be sure to subscribe to be notified of future posts. I so love this time and thank you again for these challenges.

    Blessings,
    Adrienne

  20. Just lit a lavendar/rosewood candle tonight. Purposefully turned off the computer to spend time with my husband. Thanks for the inspiration! It’s encouraging to read how so many women are taking time to improve their homes and hearts.

  21. Liked the first night. It set such a nice tone to the environment to the home. The TV wasn’t turned on once tonight. Shared this with others on Facebook as well. Thank you for doing this its a great reminder to be very intentional about how our home environment feels. <3

  22. Thank you so much, Courtney! I love your statement that “Making our home a haven won’t happen by accident. We must seek and pursue it.” I need reminded that my demeanor sets the mood of my home…I love how you called it the environment. I think that most of the time I’m a warm hug, but oh do I have my cold shoulder moments and even days. I hate that the ones I love the most see my cold shoulder the most. And honestly, this really made me think about my current relationship with my 10-year-old son. It’s strained, to say the least. I need to seek and pursue peace and patience through the power of the Holy Spirit on a daily basis. Thank you for the guidance and encouragement!

  23. I just had to tell you that your puppy could be my doggie’s twin! When she needs a bath, I always justify by telling folks, “Well, you know, white shows dirt easily, but she doesn’t shed!” Her name is snowball. Enjoyed your post. My candle is Autumn Woods.

  24. It’s been crazy here so I haven’t had the time to buy my candle yet. My Week 1 blog post is up now and I explain all about it there – – – we’ve definitely experienced peace and patience today. 🙂

    Follow this link:
    http://grace-filled-moments.blogspot.com/2014/10/peace-and-patience-making-your-home.html

    Thanks again, Courtney, for hosting this challenge! It couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. <3

    Walking in His Grace,
    Laurie

  25. It is a lovely challenge!! Thank you. I will be getting our candle today!! 😉
    Many blessings on your family and ministry.

  26. Just wanted to add that the past couple of days when things get hectic aroun here or I’m about to lose my cool or my kids are fighting (I have a 1, 2, and 4 year old) I stop and say, “ok, time to light our peace candle and chill out”. My kids kind of laugh at me, but it really has made a difference in my attitude! I’m hoping to keep this up all year long 🙂

  27. Courtney you are such an inspiration for my heart and life!! WE are so much alike!!!

    I pray for you and your ministry. I am a stay at home mom now. I had written you about a year ago about wanted to stay home I was pregnant with my fourth baby and working feeling so over whelmed. I am a stay at home mom for now a year and trying to learn how to be a house wife, never been home worked my whole life!! Its exciting and exhausting!! I love it!!!!
    Love love Love your blog. Praise the Lord for your life and for obeying Him!!!!!

  28. Thank you for this post. I know I’m a little behind but this was the perfect post for me tonight. I came home from work in a bad mood. My home was far from a haven tonight. It’s just my husband and I, the kids are grown.
    I am having a hard time with working full time and wanting to be home full time. I come home from work and don’t want to do any cleaning so I am behind on all of that then I have my granddaughter every weekend so I don’t want to do any cleaning then either.
    Please pray that I can find a balance of work and home. I want a haven for my family not a disorganized mess.

  29. My candles have been burning all week…pumpkin in the living room,,,pear in the kitchen and gardenia in the bedroom. Yum…and such peace has always flooded my soul when burning candle.

  30. we had a bichon for 10 years – Sammy – miss him bunches. he would turn brown with the mud and had bright green paws when the grass was mowed! thanks for your posting this fall – good reminders – and the book is an excellent read!

  31. This was just the encouragement I needed this week. I had no idea things were going to be so bone crunchingly chaotic for me this week when I read your “peaceful” post over the weekend. I bought my candles on Tuesday and have been burning them ever since. You can check out my quirky post at choresofopportunity.blogspot.com I am fighting my way out of postpartum depression and previous challenges of PTSD and depression going along with several miscarriages and traumatic births. My blog is how I encourage myself. If I can encourage others as I go along, then it will all be worth it!

  32. Great tip for all you ladies using candles! If you put out your candle by dipping the wick into the wax, it will keep it from smoking, which eliminates soot on your candle jar or smoke in your home. I use an old bobby pin for this, works like a charm. 🙂 Happy Homemaking!

  33. Thanks so much for this. I just found your page and am looking forward to going through it piece by piece. I was raised by a very strong women who was very much in charge of our home. I have never felt comfortable in following this role in my own life but really didn’t know how else I should do things. Thank you so much for all the information and suggestions you have give here. Truly life changing for me!!!!

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