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The Key To Making Your Home a Haven

Making our home a haven is more than just keeping our homes clean and tidy. Here is the key to making an atomosphere that makes your home a haven. #WomenLivingWell #homemaking #friendship #makingyourhomeahavenWhat makes a home a haven?

Does it have to look like it popped out of Better Homes and Gardens Magazine with unbelievable decorating?

Is it a certain number of square feet, a separate bedroom for each child, or the neighborhood you live in?

No.   It is not the things we have or the things we do not have that make our homes a haven.

It’s YOU!

You are the key to making your home a haven.

It is not the things we have or do not have that make our homes a haven. It's you,. You are the key to making your home a haven. - Courtney Joseph | #WomenLivingWell #homemaking #friendship #makingyourhomeahaven

Which home do you live in?

Home #1

In this home, the woman of the home is distant and distracted. She is pulled into her computer, television, books, or text messages and it’s hard for the family to connect with her. Her calendar is very full and her daily demands are so high it’s hard for her to focus and live in the moment with her husband and children. She is often late and rushing everyone and feeling guilty about being distracted but stuck in this rut of feeling overwhelmed and too busy.

She is crabby.  She is short on sleep, she hasn’t had a minute alone in years and she really can’t see a light at the end of the tunnel to get a break. She is hopeless.

She is discontent. She doesn’t like her home. She doesn’t like her husband. She doesn’t like one or all of her kids. She doesn’t like her church. She doesn’t like her neighbors. Truthfully, she doesn’t even like herself.

She doesn’t pray. It’s counter cultural. She’s never lived in a home with a mom who prays. She doesn’t know other moms who pray. She wants to try praying but doesn’t know where to begin so she never begins.

Home #2

The woman of the home is engaged. She is aware of what everyone is doing right in that moment. If a child needs help or correction – she is right there to give it. If her husband needs a hug or a listening ear she is right there to care. She is playful and makes time to play checkers or read a book out loud with her family.

She is wise with her time management. She guards her family from getting so busy that they lose their connection with each other. She dissects her calendar and eliminates things that are unnecessary. She is prepared when it is time to go somewhere to alleviate the stress that comes from late minute rushing.

She has a pleasant demeanor. She does not stay up late watching television, reading, surfing the web or working. She goes to sleep at a reasonable hour so she can wake cheerfully for her family. She knows that some seasons of life are harder than others so she is patient with her season of life and is confident that she will reap what she has sown. She works diligently trusting God with the results of her labor.

She is content. She knows that no home, husband, child, church or neighborhood is perfect. So she chooses to be content with what God has given her for today.

She prays. She knows that she is weak but God is strong and that she cannot fulfill the role of wife, mother, homemaker and sometimes employee, on her own strength. She is completely dependent on God and practices this dependence by daily praying for all of these things.

She walks in the Spirit

“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

Life is not a bowl of cherries.  We all long to live in Home #2 but Home #1 is hard to escape.

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

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

This is where Christ changes everything.

We do not have to be perfect to please God.  Hear me on this…If you have lost your temper and have lost your way, 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 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.

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

We must be intentional!

While many things that happened in your home this past week may have felt out of your control, there was this one constant.

God.

He was there with you.

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

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.

Let’s make our homes feel more like a warm hug than a cold shoulder this week!

Chime In:  

Are you taking the challenge?  What is your home and season of life like right now and what sort of changes are you praying God brings to your home?

Walk with the King,

*To see the list of weekly challenges, go to this post here.
**If you don’t want to miss a post from this series, Subscribe via email to my daily posts here.

Join us on Instagram at the Hashtag #MakingYourHomeAHaven

#MakingYourHomeAHaven

83 Comments

  1. I am more like the wife in No 1. I feel like things are out of place in my home. There’s a lack of peace and joy and at times the atmosphere is very tense. I am constantly rushing when I’m doing the school run. I do however pray but not consistently.
    I am discontent about where we live and the size of our home. I long for a bigger, nicer home and I have transferred some of this discontent to my daughter and she makes comments about wanting to live in a big house. Please pray for me that God will work in my heart and transform me into the wife and mother that I’m supposed to be. May his peace and joy inhabit our home.

    I was challenged by the study of Proverbs 31 but I have not consistently done the things I learned during the study. I’m in a desperate place but I don’t let people know how I really feel. I sometimes use wine as a way to deal with my feelings especially when I’m upset. I’m so unhappy with myself that I’ve spent a lot of money on a hairstyle that I’m not happy with. I need the Lord to intervene in my circumstances. Please pray for me and my family.

    1. Sophia,

      Thank you so much for your brave transparency. I know that your comment will resonate with other women who feel the same way but don’t have the courage to write it here. I believe that intentional prayer about these very things that you wrestle with in your heart will transform your heart. God may not change your circumstances but if you let Him – He will change you.

      God can give you a heart of joy to replace your sadness, a heart of peace to replace your rushed feelings, a heart of patience to wait on the home you desire, and a heart of self-control for when you feel pulled to drink to drown out your sadness rather than opening God’s Word and letting his living word wash over your soul and fill you up with good things.

      I am praying for you tonight. That God would do a mighty work in your life. Please commit to praying every single day here in the month of October for peace. Peace with God and His will for you. Peace with those who live in your home and peace with yourself and the things you cannot change.

      Lots of Love,
      Courtney

      1. Hi Courtney, Jody and Heather

        Thank you for your kind words of wisdom and advice. I was feeling like maybe I have made a mistake in being so honest.

        Thank you for taking the time to reply and for caring about my situation.

        I look forward to being more like home no 2, most of the time.

        God bless you all.xx

    2. Sophia, I’m sorry you are going through such a time of discontent. I was where you are not to long ago. I will absolutely pray for you and your family. Remember those nasty thoughts and feelings of unhappiness is Satan pulling you down. Yell out loud for him to leave you alone and ask Jesus into your home.
      I joined a small women’s group at my church and that helped me a lot. God will surround you with the people you need.
      My prayers are with you!

    3. Sophia – I appreciate so much your transparency. I am someone who flows between #1 and #2 myself. I am lifting you up in prayer. That you will see the Lord fill those places of discontentment in your life. That you can take small steps in the right direction toward Jesus and getting into His Word for encouragement. Also wanted to suggest perhaps serving somewhere locally with your daughter (or family as a whole) to the extent that it doesn’t add stress to your schedule. It’s a good way to build your relationship with each other and to provide new perspectives.

      God bless, Heather

    4. The best remedy for that is to volunteer at a homeless shelter and see how others do not have a home to call their own.It will get things in perspective for you.I dont mean to be rude or anything.Some people have very little and are still very thankful.They are thankful just to have bread on their table for their children.

  2. Excellent reading, Courtney!
    I feel like I am home #2 until I’m tired, hungry, or things don’t go my way……then I’m home #1. Sad to admit but true. Leaning on God and His grace to make me and my home a haven!

    1. Jody,

      I love your insight here (and the advice you gave above to Sophia). Tired and hungry and things not going my way -YES – those all mess with my mood too!

      It’s a daily, hourly, minute by minute surrender. The ultimate haven in Heaven awaits us and there we’ll never be tired or hungry and we’ll be glad to have everything go God’s way. Until then – keep pressing on!

      Lots of Love,
      Courtney

  3. As I read home #1 I felt like crying. It was like looking at myself in the mirror. I have a toddler and a young baby. I find myself feeling very out control on a regular basis. My husband is Military so we have no family close by. He has a huge amount of stress on his shoulders and tries to help me in every possible way. Yet, I still find myself snapping at him all the time. It honestly breaks my heart to be this person towards my family. I was never brought up with God but I find myself crossing paths with your blog often, I feel this is a sign from God but I don’t know how to start a life with God. If that makes any sense?

    1. Roxy,

      As I read the start of your comment I completely related with you. I know exactly what you are feeling. I have been there and so that is how I know how to write about home #1. Will you read this post I wrote about my husband traveling? I think you will relate to it: https://womenlivingwell.org/2013/02/how-to-maintain-your-marriage-when-your-husband-travels-part-1/

      And then you asked about how to start a life with God. First, let me say – you are in the right place to ask that question! Yay! I’m so glad you are here! This is no accident – God brought you here because He wants a relationship with you.

      There are three things I’m going to recommend you do to start your life with God.

      1.) Recognize you are sinner and in need of a Savior. Jesus died on the cross for our sins and he rose again on the 3rd day proving He is indeed God and able to forgive us of our sins and give us a hope of heaven one day. Place your faith fully in Him today!

      “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

      2.) Open your Bible and begin reading it! I recommend the book of 1 John.

      3.) Find a local church to attend where the pastor preaches from the Bible so you can get your soul fed and find a community that will encourage you and support you spiritually, emotionally and physically.

      And a bonus – subscribe to my blog – I’m here for you 3 times a week to encourage you spiritually and follow me on Instagram – everyday I post spiritual encouragement. http://www.instagram.com/womenlivingwell

      I’m SO glad you are here and I’m saying a prayer for you now.
      Lots of Love,
      Courtney

      1. Thank you so much! I don’t own a bible but I’m going to buy one first thing tomorrow. Again, thank you so much.

      2. Courtney,
        I am so grateful for your blog.I am unfortunately more like home # 1. It makes me so sad to admit that…I am a christian and have a hard time upholding a Christlike attitude these days.
        I first ran across your blog in 2013 when I was looking for comfort for my traveling husband.
        My husband had an affair back then and had another affair a year ago. I truly believe that he is completely broken to true repentance as of last January. Time has passed, but I still have a hard time feeling angry most days when I wake up. I am distant and a lot like home #1. I have forgiven him and I truly believe that he has restored his relationship with Jesus. So I am now looking internally at myself not liking what I’m seeing. Will you please pray for me?

    2. Roxy,
      I am praying for you sweetie! Starting a life with God is more simple then you think. Look up and ask Jesus into your heart. Surrender your cares and sins to Him and that’s it! Your life with the Lord has started!!
      This will be a journey of wonderful grace and peace! I can’t wait to see where He takes you!
      Prayers and Hugs!!

      1. Thank you so much. I have been using the candle suggestion and saying a prayer every time I look at it. It’s just ramblings from my head and more on a conversation line. It probably looks as though I’m going insane but hopefully God hears me. I feel in the last few days God is already teaching me lessons, unwanted lessons but I feel God is bettering me as a wife and a mother because of them. 🙂

    3. Your faith in God is a personal choice. Acts l6:31 says — Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved, AND THY HOUSE. Now the Catholics are teaching AND THY HOUSE and they are claiming their children for the Lord & the Baptist are teaching believe for yourself. BOTH ARE RIGHT. We must claim our children for the Lord but they must believe for themselves. >>>>>And to speak of the Lord Jesus Christ. We must make Him the Lord or Master of our life and we must make him the Jesus or best friend of our life and we must make him the Christ or Messiah of our life.>>> I, know where you are I had six veterans sitting around my table until last month when our l02 year old, world war 11 veterans left us to meet us again in heaven someday. (our Big Daddy) >>> You have much on your plate these days. I have been there. Wish I could help you. But you need to know there is one person in this world that prays for all military spouses including the male spouse. My son’s wife is retired military. May the Mighty God of Jacob bless you. Jesus is my Lord & Savior & Protector Ms. Bonnie P.

  4. Courtney, I am so excited to join you in the Making Your Home a Haven challenge again this year!

    A couple of weeks ago I received a coupon from Yankee Candle (if you haven’t signed up on their site, you should…they mail out amazing coupons!) for a buy one get one free. I bought 2 extra large candles for the price of one. My daughter was over at our house yesterday for our son’s 15 birthday and I let her choose the scent she wanted from the two. I shared the link to this post with her tonight and let her know she was all ready for the Week 1 challenge. It’s going to be so fun doing this challenge with my daughter for her first time! 🙂

    Sweet blessings to you,
    Laurie

    1. Laurie,

      I know which coupon you are referring to – My mom just gave me the same one! Great moms think alike! Lol! I love that you are doing this with your daughter and that you gave her your extra candle – beautiful!!!

      Much Love,
      Courtney

        1. I am burning Salted Caramel and have on standby Pumpkin Spice and Kitchen Spice. 😉 The Kitchen Spice is red which matches my kitchen so I chose it more for the color than the scent. Lol!

          1. Mmm, those scents sound great! LOL, I was trying to match my candle color to my kitchen too, but Autumn in the Park won out…LOL. It does match my kitchen table decorations though. 😉 I took a picture of it and used it for my blog post graphic for announcing the Making Your Home a Haven challenge on my blog. 🙂

  5. Wow! What a thought provoking post. I mostly live in home 1 these days. I don’t feel like I connect or relate to me husband or children. I am super emotional at times (perimenapause). When I’m not emotional, I live in home 2. I wish I wasn’t so emotional. Then, I am discouraged by the amount of debt we have. We live in Maui and could rent our house as a vacation rental and increase our income, but the house needs a lot of repair. Yada Yada! Pray I can stabilize my hormones. Pray I can pay off debt with more intensity. Pray I can forget about the things I don’t like about my marriage (they are really not big problems; I just feel so selfish) and focus on being a blessing. Pray I can keep remembering that the more I choose home 2, the stronger I will be. Thanks!

    1. Raquel – Praying for you today that God would encourage your heart and show you a light at the end of the tunnel with your debt. Also that you would feel a fresh connection with your husband and kids. This website may offer you encouragement in your financial situation. http://compass1.org

      God bless, Heather

    2. Raquel,

      I am praying for you this morning. As you see the flicker of your candle let it remind you to pray again and again and again. There is power in prayer – even to change our moods, our discontentments, our worries and cares. I am praying that you connect with your loved ones today – next Wednesday I’ll talk a little more about the connection part in my post – until then – keep on lighting your candle and praying this week!!! Not only will it bless you but it will bless your family as well.

      Much Love,
      Courtney

      1. Thanks C!!! I am seeking the Lord for his strength and thanks for the reminder to pray! I’m gonna have a date with my hubby tomorrow Fri. Hope our conversation is fulfilling to him. I’m gonna plan conversations I know he’ll love. Thank you for praying for me!

  6. Hi, even Im like the woman #1.
    I dont have kids yet, married, but still my home is mess. True, I was bought in a home where my mom did not pray, and my dad was a buddhist. Me being the only child was distracted with almost everything.

    And now Im living seprately with my husband, but still my home gets messy as ever, and I never finds a way out of it. I work with my husband in our tourism company. with work load and travelling its some kind of hard to clear the mess at home.

    Please pray for me so I could start this prayer routine mentioned and that I could continue doing it.

    Blessings,

    1. Kishani,

      Do not be discouraged. We all have messes around us during different seasons of life (you do not want to see my dining room table or laundry room right now! Lol!). Start with prayer. Pray for peace and ask the Lord to help you with your concerns today. Then make a list of the areas you need to clean up and then over the next month try to do one a week.

      Keep praying!
      Courtney

  7. Thank you for this! I feel like I am a mix of both homes. Is that possible? I am straining towards Home #2 but feel like I constantly fall short and only getting a part of what I hope for makes me feel like a failure most of the time. Unfortunately, I see myself teaching that to my son. NOT what I wanted. This week there has been a big upset in our home. It is causing me a lot of pain and I have lost trust in my husband.
    As I sit and read your post, I know I am not setting a good environment and wanting to do better is not good enough. I woke up early today to pray. The first time in a long time. I am hoping it will bring a hopeful and much needed change. Prayer for our family this week is appreciated.

    1. Dear Gwen,

      I am sure it’s no mistake that you are participating in this “Making Your Home a Haven” series at the same time that this has happened in your marriage. See how the Lord loves you so much. He is drawing you to him during this time. Keep lighting your candle and praying – He wants to give you His peace in this midst of this life storm. Keep turning to Jesus – He loves you so.

      Saying a prayer for you now,
      Courtney

  8. Courtney,

    Thank you so much for continuing to do this challenge! Fall is my favorite time of year and I always want to make my home cozy for my family. This challenge gives me a Biblical perspective on how to achieve that feeling of peace and comfort in our home I am super busy at work this week and have felt frazzled but remembering the weekly challenge is my way of reconnecting and leaving that stress behind.

  9. I am defiantly #1 and I hate it.I am in peri menopause and my hormones are getting the best of me.I finally went to the Dr. yesterday to get help. I will defiantly be lighting a candle! Thank you

  10. Courtney,
    Thank you for sharing such great encouragement. It is so easy to become house number 1 with all the easy distractions that we have these days. I know many nights I think about what I missed that day from those distractions and tears follow. I love the home number 2! I am excited that today I can try again and little by little stride towards a home that’s full of comfort and love. I know when I can’t….God can help me be with wife and mother I need to be. Thank you for this group and your willingness to share:-)
    Love
    Beth

  11. I am wife number 1. But because of the good morning girls and the reading through the Bible facebook groups I’m slowly adjusting and growing. My desire is to be wife number 2.

  12. Thank you so much for this focus and encouragement of what we should strive for in our homes…oh how true, that as keepers of the home, we are the attitude of the home….if we have a rushed, hurried, not patient attitude… It will spread to the whole house….but if we have contentment in our heart, our home shall feel that :)….may you have a blessed, joyful day today…

  13. I am one of those people who would forget to blow out the candle before I left the home or before I went to bed and thus have a huge fire hazard, so I bought a few LED ones that are on timers. They still flicker, and some still have fragrance built in them. I able to set them in multiple rooms in the house, turning on (and off) at multiple different times of the day. Every time I see them it makes me smile and recognize how grateful I am for all the blessings that I have been given. Thank you, Lord, for a home to place these in. Thank you for a family who loves me and whom I love. I praise You for a husband and children who know You and have accepted You as Savior. Help us to hourly demonstrate love to each other and to make You our highest priority. Amen.

  14. Good morning! I hope it’s okay to post this…I always buy my Yankee candles at Burlington Coat Factory. $10 for the really big three wick candles. Just FYI in case someone is on a tighter budget. ? and thanks Courtney for hostessing this again this year~ Autumn isn’t the same without this challenge!

  15. I used to be the woman in home #2. I loved my home and taking care of my family and I was very content in my role Now that I have an empty nest I feel I’m turning into #1. I feel my life is in transition and I not sure where it’s going but I seem to be on the wrong path at the moment. I’m discontent and distracted. I’m taking the challenge this morning with a candle.. Thank you for this series and the reminder to pray for my home. I’m looking forward to reading more.

  16. Thank you Courtney for doing this challenge. I’m somewhere in between house #1 and house #2. I have bought my candle and have used it. No one has said anything, but I am praying for more peace and joy in our house. With a husband and three boys (12, 14 and 15) they may not say anything, but I’m hoping they notice anyway.
    Courtney, you have been a great encouragement to me, thank you and God bless you my sister.

  17. I am struggling with how to pray. Did not grow up in a Christian home and ours was a house of chaos. I need to know how to become a Christian wife, mother and grandmother

    1. Dear Grace,

      I love your name – it is so beautiful! I am so glad you are joining us!

      I have a video on how to pray here: https://womenlivingwell.org/2015/03/the-right-and-wrong-way-to-pray/ Please watch it – I think it will be helpful!

      Also, most of my prayers during this challenge happen through out the day as I pass by my candle – it’s a reminder to pause and say a short prayer. God doesn’t require anything fancy – we can talk to Him just like we talk to a friend – only remember you are accessing the Creator of the Universe!!! Yowsa – awesome!!! The video will explain further. Keep praying!!!

      Lots of Love,
      Courtney

  18. I am so excited for this challenge. Currently my home is in a state like home #1 but usually it is a combination of home #1 and home #2. Things at work are really stressful and chaotic. By the time I get home, I am so pooped that I am barely doing the minimum required just to get by. We are ordering delivery more often than I would like, laundry is done only when it’s becoming an emergency and frankly, I am “checked out”.

    I pray that God keeps my heart from hardening and turning into a “why am I the only one that can do this??”… I pray that He continually gives me the gentle reminder that my family, my home and my job is a gift and as such I should be thankful. I pray that God will bring me and my loved ones through this season in life unscathed. 🙂 I don’t ask for much, right??

    I will be burning Salted Caramel as well as Autumn Leaves and I WILL walk with the King!

    Delaney

  19. Thank you for this post. I am in my late 20s and have been married a few months now and expecting our first child as well and I already feel like I am in home #1. I admit I became even more overwhelmed when I read this post because my baby is not even here yet and I already am not at peace. Not that I don’t love my life, husband, or baby – but it is just all so overwhelming.

    It’s hard to enjoy the little moments and embrace this new season when there is so much to do and so much to think about. I procrastinate a lot. I rarely pray, but I have been trying to be more intentional about doing so every day.

    I really pray that I am able to be the wife in home #2 when baby gets here.

    Thank you for your encouraging posts.

  20. Bobbing between Home #1 and #2. It’s always an adjustment of expectations and priorities and communication. But, wow! Does the Holy Spirit ever make an impact when I give him lead! I won’t be lighting a candle as we’re moving to a chemical free home, but I will pray for our home as I smell the aroma of fall coming from our diffuser. Cinnamon, clove, orange, evergreen essence – just like a cozy, warm plaid blanket! Thanks for the inspiration and call to intention living!

  21. I just wanted to post a quick comment and say I’m participating in the challenge again this year! And to say wow! These comments have been so brave, transparent, and inspiring! I’m glad God gave these women the strength and encouragement to post their comments because I’m sure they will bless and inspire the many women who happen to read them. I related a lot with home #1 and found myself longing for home #2’s attributes. It takes an intentional change and a deeper relationship with God, which I plan on focusing on while doing this challenge! Courtney, thanks for hosting this challenge again! And I pray that God blesses every home represented here!

  22. This post resonated with me. I’ve been working on and praying to be home # 2 and God has met me with my prayers on many days, however I’ve learned something about myself and that is, when my home is all pulled together, neat and tidy, I’ve woken up at 5AM, put in full day’s work at our family business, a dinner plan is waiting in the wings, the fur babies are brushed fed and cared for, and I get my work out in – when all of those things aline, I’m content and patient. However when life happens, as it does every day, I then become challenged with patience; like when I’ve left the office later than I should’ve as I tend to put in extra hours to help grow the business and now my evening schedule is pinched on time where I’m up late and serving dinner late due to a mismanagement of time. My mind is stuck trying to figure out the troublesome customer we dealt with that day, who was rude and nasty and no matter what we did for them they were still evil. I so wish everyone was nice – people are very rude these days, it’s almost like they don’t really think the person on the other end of the phone or email is human. The dog and cat are now chasing each other around, nocking things over, ruffling up the carpets, and pulling out a gagillion toys which I’m now tripping on as I’m rushing around, text messages are buzzing and poking at me, the laundry needs to be taken out of the washer and handled, lunches for the next day haven’t been prepared, I have no idea what we’re having for dinner – well, at this point in the evening my nerves are on end and I then turn to a glass of wine or a martini to soften the edge. This irritates me and makes me feel like a failure – I feel the holy spirit nudging me and saying “knock it off, you can handle this pressure by re-organizing and prioritizing the things that matter most in life”. We can’t do it all, but many of us try and in the end, like me, it leaves you feeling unaccomplished, no matter how many things were accomplished that day. When I’m focused on prioritizing my schedule, my family, and what is most important to me and my family as a whole; life aligns and I’m happy with myself, happy as a wife, business owner, and momma to our fur babies. I need God’s hand and influence every second of my day, I’m a failure without Him and am happy to have Him help me through my daily challenges to ultimately make me a better person to serve in His light.

    Like you Courtney, I love lighting a candle in the hub or our home (the kitchen) – I do this almost every evening and think of you and your message to pray when the light catches your eye. I love candles and the seasonal scents, and to me – it adds in making our home feel like a home.

  23. I never knew how a candle could impact my home until hearing about this challenge. Every time I light it in the morning I go into prayer for my family, our home and our extended family. This was a God-send! With my only child being 9 months old I’ll admit that I don’t know what season I’m in. Mornings seem to be different everyday so I try to roll with it in patience. I’m trying to learn and develop some kind of routine, but it is definitely a work in progress. Thank you, Courtney, for this challenge and the insight you pour out!

  24. Courtney, Thank you for this challenge and Thank You for filling it with Grace. We as women know what we need to do and it’s hard when you realize you missed the mark again. I so appreciate you for reminding us that we are covered by Grace and we can go to God over and over again. I so needed this today. I so appreciate you and thank you for this challenge.

  25. Thank you so much for this challenge. God put me right where I needed to be right when I needed to be there. This is my first time to take part of this challenge and I want to do it to the best of my ability.
    Sadly…. my home is more like home #1 than home #2 but only for a short time because I am going to proclaim and take hold of the blessings the Lord has for me. I often let my schedule fill up with outside busyness… I am not only involved in everything that come up I am part of the boards. I tend to overfill my plate as mom then in return I take it out on the family for not doing their part around the house. On top of health issues that restrain me beyond belief. The Lord has shown me to put my family right behind Him.
    My prayer is that not only myself but my entire family will unite in this challenge and we may become more like home #2 as a family and fight against satan and not let him have any opportunity of stealing our joy for the Lord and each other.
    Thank you for sharing your words of wisdom!!!!

  26. Thank you for this challenge!
    I don’t have kids at home anymore…just me and hubby! Life is different! Our home is quiet and at times, tense!
    When kids are around, you tend to make more of an effort; seasonal decorations, baking cookies, playing games, etc.
    My home doesn’t feel lovely, kind, or inviting which is what I’m hoping to change with this challenge!
    I lit my candle and my husband complained of the black smoke saying it was bad for us and the environment…it’s going to be a challenge all right!

    1. Nicole (love your name by the way – that’s my middle name!)

      I had to giggle about the black smoke – I did get a stained wall in one of my bathrooms from the black smoke – so it is real. lol! If it becomes an issue of contention – there are battery lit candles you could purchase and also plug-ins that put a warm cinnamon or vanilla smell in your home. I have one plugged in in my kitchen right now (I bought it at the grocery store – it’s glade brand) and when we leave and come home – the smell when we enter the door is SO good!

      Saying a prayer for you now.
      Lots of Love,
      Courtney

  27. I would say I’m more Home #1 than Home #2, but I’m working on it. This challenge came at just the right time for me. My husband and I are newlyweds, trying to have our first child. We have been blessed with a beautiful home, and good jobs that support our lifestyle. However, we are also discontent with those jobs.

    I transitioned to a work-from-home job during our engagement, and it’s been one of the toughest transitions I’ve ever experienced. The loneliness of being at home alone all day, in addition to feeling unmotivated to work when there are other things needing to be done around the house, have left me often depressed. Since I work where I live, I couldn’t leave these feelings at the door. I am ashamed to say that I allowed my discontentment to suck a certain amount of joy out of what should have been the happiest time of our lives – getting married!

    I’ve started shifting my focus toward living a healthier lifestyle – eating better and exercising. That, in conjunction with following your daily Online Bible Study, has definitely helped me through this dark time. Because of your blog, I started asking my husband a while back about the “ambiance” and overall “feel” of our home. Basically, I wanted to know whether he dreaded coming home after work or if he felt like it was a safe place. A haven. His answer floored me. Here I feel like a hot mess compared to other women who seem to have their homes running like well-oiled machines; I never knew he saw our home that way. It warmed my heart and brought joy back into housekeeping for me.

    Although I do still struggle with finding joy in my job, and often stressing about ovulation schedules and the like, I am slowly coming out of this season of darkness. I have good days and bad, good weeks and bad. But I know in my heart that I am right where God wants me to be. There is something I am supposed to be learning right now. He is preparing me for something. I’m not quite sure what it is, but I’m sure it’s going to be awesome!

    I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for this ministry. Your words, your pictures, and the scripture continues to bless me each day.

    xoxo
    Danielle

    1. Danielle,

      Thank you so much for sharing this struggle and season you are in. I remember having some of those same feelings the years between getting married and having children (we had no children for 6 years). I’m so glad you have shifted your energies to a healthier lifestyle and getting into Bible Study and I love hearing how your husband felt like the home was a haven. Sometimes we are too hard on ourselves. Give yourself grace and keep on praying!!!
      Lots of Love,
      Courtney

  28. Sigh. On the fence here. I usually manage, or at least try, to exhibit the behaviors of #2 with the exception of being disengaged at times but often find myself fighting a very resentful attitude. I recently remarried relatively late in life and find myself back in the role of housewife after 17 years of living alone. I had raised my children but now find myself as daily caregiver to my husband’s grandchildren and a very shall we say challenging live in mother in law who is in poor health. I miss my independence and my autonomy and especially my solitude and peace,and quiet — oddly I was never lonely when I lived alone but find myself very lonely now. My husband is a good bit older than me and between him and my mother in law I feel whats left of my own vitality kind of prematurely dampened. This is also a very free-for-all kind of household, where everyone barges in and helps themselves to anything at all hours of the day and night. I feel at odds with my beloved a bit — he is an extrovert who thrives and is energized when surrounded by people. I an extremely introverted and feel squashed and exhausted when there are too many people around and find it hard to truly relax. My goal is to try to stay focused on Jesus at the still quiet center of things and cultivate his companionship but I have a hard time filtering out the hullabaloo.

  29. This is my first year doing this challenge too. I don’t even understand how I stumbled upon your website but it must have been the Holy Spirit leading me because this is JUST what I need.

    Reading through the comments I am totally amazed at the support from every one of the readers ❤️ It’s beautiful to see sisters lifting up each other!

    I am like so many other stay at home moms that get in ruts of being lazy and feeling overwhelmed and unhappy. I’m learning that by relying on the Lords strength is the only way I can do this successfully.

    Every time I see my candle I will be praying thankfully for blessing my home and asking for peace and rest for everyone who enters. Now my candles will also remind me of all of you with candles lit at home and I will pray over your homes and hearts too!! ?

    I’m excited to see how this challenge will change our homes and lives.

  30. I am in a slightly different place than either of the above homes.
    For all my kids lives, I was a working, single mom. I’ve been married to my husband now for just over a year. I’m now 34, my boys are 14 and 9. In January, my husband got a job that not only allowed me to stay at home, but required me to (he has hours that can change with little notice, so it’s difficult for me to work). Not only have I had to adjust to being a stay at home mom, the support out there for SAHMs is geared for mothers of younger kids – mine are old enough that they don’t need me 24/7, which makes it very easy for me to feel redundant or bored.
    God is new to me. I have only started rediscovering Him in the last year. We have begun to go to church again, which I love, but I have social anxiety, so am still working on being able to go without my husband. I pray for the strength every day, and have started praying for the patience I need with this season of MY life, thanks to this series! My Autumn Harvest candle is lit on my stovetop every morning now!

  31. I loved this challenge last year. My husband and I got married in August 2014, and while we have had a relatively peaceful and stable marriage so far, we have had a couple of big life changes and the future is still pretty uncertain. We bought our first home about six months ago, and have two large and energetic dogs 🙂
    I have a good job that supports my husband through his last year of law school, and we have relatively little debt that will be so easy for us to attack with gazelle-like intensity when he gets a job.
    But at the same time, with all of our seemingly small problems, I constantly feel stressed out. I feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to keep our home clean (dogs are dirty lol), always have clean meals, and I still stress about money. I know that God is faithful and He has shown that to us even in the last month, but we are anxious for my husband to graduate, take the bar exam, and have a job.
    He has a job interview next week with a great firm, but it’s 1,000 miles away. I know I am thinking too far ahead, but it would devastate me to move when we haven’t even lived in our new home for a year, which I love. I love my job, I love our church, and I feel like I am JUST getting settled here, only to move once again. Farther from his family, farther from my family… One of the only good things about potentially moving to that town (much, much smaller than the one we’re in now… I’m a city girl and that would be a huge adjustment for me…) is that my husband’s compensation would be great. So great, that our goal of me being a stay-at-home mom and housewife would be met immediately.
    I feel like I am being so selfish. I would like to ask all of you ladies to please pray for me in this time of “new things” and to help me understand that our “home” will always be what I make of it and my attitude. It’s also not just 4 walls and a roof, but who we share it with.
    Thank you so much for doing this challenge again!! It’s so good for me!

  32. I have always been encouraged by your blog and book, I’m excited to be doing this challenge this year. Will you share on Monday of each week? I want to make sure I keep up. I got married young and have had 3 children in 5 years, homeschool, with a marriage that’s gone through crisis twice while I’ve had young babies early on. My husband also was in the military, to night shifts at a mine to now night shifts as a deputy. I’ve had to parent solo a lot of the time and my home sounds like house number 1 most of the time. I’m Afraid I’m going to mess my children up. Im a Christian, since children I’ve found out I have horrible anger I didn’t have before and impatient. I’m really really wanting me home to be a peaceful atmosphere full of love and joy and a mama that’s intentional and present.

  33. I have my candle and lite it daily as I pray for peace in our home. This house is almost beyond help I think but am praying and working on it. I agree to some point that the wife makes the atmosphere of the home but also I know sometimes husbands come in and start yelling about anything and everything and nothing seems to go peaceful at that point no matter what.

  34. I am so want to be women no. 2. Thank you this gave me a reminder to be the best I can be. Here is story. I am a wife and fulltime working mother of two little kids. Right now I have a temporary home due to debt. As much as I want to enjoy and be content I am not most of the time. My husband quit his job hoping to land another job in no time even though I disagree with as he knows our finances. It will be two years now we are living with his mom. She is nice lady and we get along really well and I appreacite all the help she is doing for us with kids. The problem is the house is the mess and I cant do anything about it, it is too clutter and junks and a lot of stuffs there are boxes and more stuffs in the living room. Basement that you have to find a path to walk there a lot of unnecessary stuffs in the house. I thought I could do something to help organize it. I was so wrong everything I suggest or want to declutter I got resistance. Either I will do on my own or no I need that. Now Ive given up. It is not my house. And I am forced to live with it. I am the one now paid the mortgage as my husband is responsible for that and that is part of our huge debt as we couldnt afford anymore to pay for our own rental apartment and same time pay mortgage to his mom house yhat is the reason of moving in with her. I dont have my own pota and pans all our stuffs are in the garage. I hope and pray things will change soon. And we will have our own home. I love to cook and invite friends but I cant do that it is embarrasing even to invite our friends over. If friends stops by I always apologize to excuse our clutter house People who knows me know how I like to take care of my home. Even if will be one bedroom apartment I will organize it well and I am okay and content. I feel bad my kids to be raise in here because this is what they will know and think it is okay. My husband tried but he will get the same reaction. I pray to God to open door for my husband to get a job that it will pay him well. Cut down our debts and find a home that will call ours. I know we will still continue to pay mortgage for this house there is no escape to that cause my husband name is in there. Sorry I think I never open like I did. But any encouragement will help. I always pray and very hopeful person so I know ghis will end but it will take us sometimes. The house is not bad house but I cant make it a home for my family becuse it is not mine it is a family home with stuffs since my husband was a little boy. I cant see why we cant make it clean. Neat. Declutter. The reason I came to settle with it is not our house we need to get our house. Wehn I dont know but I know I dont want yo live here even a single day more.

  35. I definitely identify with wife/mother number #1. My home is in a extremely rough season. My husband and I were married this past August, and less than 3weeks after, my husband fled from home and cut off my line of communication with him. I know he is going through a rough financial time, and at the same time trying to prove himself in his new work position, but I was feeling so discontented and lonely I began to nag and judge.

    It has been about 3weeks that my husband has been away from home, and it has definitely taken a toll on both our 6 year-old daughter and myself ( I have lost trust in my husband.) I have been praying and trying to study the word more often, and I have come to realize my short comings in this current time of storm. I will be moving back to my Dad’s house, but I’m afraid this might set us back. I would love to do the candle lighting challenge, but can I do it from my Dad’s house to send peace into my home with my Husband? I do plan to come back together, but as of right now I am unable to deal with the harsh words from my husband as he works through is obstacles.

  36. I have been feeling so convicted in this area. Thank you for this post. I needed it. I’m taking the challenge. ❤️???

  37. I am taking this challenge – and taking it seriously. I’m in between Home #1 and Home #2. I strive for the second, only to fall short and get discouraged. I do pray, but find I often look back and feel like I’ve prayed for the wrong things. I aim to take this challenge head on and hope to find a peaceful home, a quieter spirit and a more haven-like home on the other side. Thank you for posting this challenge!

  38. My heart is aching after reading this challenge. I feel so burdened by my choices that have led me to be like Home #1. I am always looking on line to find a house that has a bigger yard, an extra room for homeschool and a bigger kitchen with a huge island. It all is so worthless in God’s sight! I know He desires more for me than all my discontent. The worst part is, my husband works so diligently as a missionary in our city and co-pastors a small inner city church. I feel like I fail him everyday! I am committing to this challenge and praying that God will refresh my soul. Lord, help me in my sin, thank You for never forsaking this wretched daughter of Yours.

  39. I am striving towards hone #2. I live alone (with one fuzzy white dog) and so it’s a little different than when I had young children and a husband at home. I am lighting my candle (salted caramel) in the evening when I eat supper and am praying for peace in my home and also for peace in the homes of my children.

  40. I’m so excited about this challenge and am certainly in ?.

    Mercifully God has changed me over the years and I’m more like wife 2 BUT wife 1 still has a voice in my life. She used to have a much bigger role and say in my life but God does change you if you let Him and are willing to let go of the things in your life that are a hindrance to becoming wife number two.

    Bless you Courtney for this wonderful ministry that our Saviour has given you. It makes such a difference in so many lives.
    Blessings in Christ,
    Shirley Ann

  41. I am a single woman who still lives with her parents but I have joined this challenge because I want to help out my school to be more at peace (along with my home as well) but my heart is very sad and broken for the school I work at…. I have been praying every morning before I get out of bed for peace and happiness and working together (we work at a Christian daycare)…… Thank you for this challenge and all that you do for Jesus…..

  42. Wow! I love this challenge so much already. I started lighting my candle Mon evening and have been praying over my family since. I chose 3 verses to rotate thru and it’s amazing how much it’s calmed me. I strive hard to balance full time work, my family and my hobbies and at times its tiresome and difficult. This challenge came about at the perfect time to refocus and renew me!

    Kim
    http://www.thehometeamblog.com

  43. Unfortunately, I feel like I am stuck in #1. I so desperately need to move to #2. I do pray, but I get so distracted by the never ending list. I know I need to let go and let God. The quest for perfection is constantly nagging. Thank you for your words and encouragement. I have my candle lit!

  44. The stage of life I am in is working outside the home doing two jobs, one substitute teaching, the other a ministry assistant for office and marriage work. Financially I have to work. We are praying that God would provide more abundantly through my husband, so I can work only in ministry and be able to have more time at home to care for and be with our family. Our kids are now teenagers, I come home and leave again to take them to places like church, the YMCA, or sports. It’s a joy, however there is little time for taking care of myself, spending extended time with God, planning and making meals, cleaning or concentrating on making our home a haven. During this time, I desire to give all my worries and concerns to God, daily as my calendar is lit, trusting that God will change our situation for the positive.

  45. Oh #1 is so me, too. I feel so exhausted at the end of the day and snap at our kids and my husband on a regular basis. I don’t want this to be me and I don’t want this to be the environment they grow up in. I really, really do love your blog (and your book…I’ve read it once and I’m starting it again)….your approach speaks to me (giving actual steps to help you get closer to God). Thank you Courtney!

  46. I used to be mostly like #2 when my kids were all still home but now that I’m an empty-nester and my kids are off on their own, I’m more like #1 because they don’t keep in touch and I don’t want to bother them. I send them texts and messages every week or two but they rarely reply. I know they’re busy but I think it’s made me a little bitter especially considering that after their bio dad neglected them for the first 11 years, I was the only one there for them. I try to stay positive but more often than not I’m crabby. I still pray all the time. I love my husband and my mom has moved in with us which has been a blessing and I mean that seriously. They are both the most kind people I know. I just think maybe since my kids have moved on I’m trying to deal with the rejection and find my new rhythm in life (crazy hormones don’t help. lol) So that’s my current season.

  47. Thank you so much for this post Courtney. Just like many other women here, I admit I appear more like home1 than 2. God led me to cut my working week to 3 days as a teacher a few years ago and O firmly believe it was to make me more like the woman in home 2. The world puts so many expectations on us and it’s just the enemy’s way of distracting us from the Lord and His will for our lives.
    I’ve got my candle on my kitchen window(out of reach of my toddler) and I am a person who needs visual reminders and this constantly reminds me that Jesus is the light of the world and He is with us in our home. The Lord bless you and keep you x

  48. Hi Courtney,

    I honestly feel I’m in the transition between home #1 and #2 (to put it nicely, lol). I feel God has put in my heart to not only exercise the art of biblical homemaking, but to also enjoy it! lately, my attitude has been terrible. I think it could be the over-use of social media and comparing my life to others.’ thank you for this beautiful website that gathers women from all over, to connect and encourage one another. this day and age, we definitely need it.
    blessings!

    Shannon 🙂

  49. I’m in!! Courtney, sorry I am late in joining this as we have just moved in with our daughter and son in love, but look forward to doing it beyond this month. Can’t burn candles here so am using a battery powered flickering candle.
    Blessings and love,
    Suzi

  50. So excited for this challenge! I thought I already missed it. That’s how chaotic it’s been here. It seems I get on top of things for a while, and then something happens out of our daily routine and I fall into a pit of overwhelming clutter and full schedules. I procrastinate about doing everything joyful and instead focus on keeping up with the cleaning and mundane tasks. Not sure why sometimes those things keep ahead and other times they seem to be so overwhelming. I can relate to both homes, but unfortunately I felt myself nodding more to Home #1. I want to be present with my family so much but struggle with feeling tired and selfish lots of times just wanting some quiet and alone time. I feel my to do list just keeps piling up and just looking at it exhausts me.
    Looking forward to this challenge pushing me to focus on the moments in life, not the movements.

  51. I am number one. I love my son, and my home. My son has ADHD and we’ve had a lot of challenges along the way. We haven’t necessarily had a peaceful life. His behavior has been less than desirable. No kid is perfect but it used to take hours to get out of the house when he was smaller, certain clothes he wouldn’t wear, he won’t listen still about shaving, brushing his teeth. I wish I could say that I’ve had a lot of joy raising him but I haven’t. My heart breaks saying this, but it’s true. I love him so much but there are things about ADHD that are annoying and disruptive to your life.

  52. In my heart I truly want to be like home #2. I pray for that all the time. But it seems like I get up and I’ve just prayed for peace and joy and patience and almost immediately it’s chaos. I have 3 kids – 8,6,1. I am so very blessed and I know it! I am thankful. I just don’t know how to actually make that home a reality and not a dream. How do I control my frustrations, anger when I’m trying to keep the house and it’s a constant loosing battle? When I can’t plan ahead enoigh. No matter how much planning I do, it still seems to turn to chaos. When it’s a school morning and we cannot seem to get ready in time not to be so rushed and eventually turn into a grouch and send the kids rushing out the door to catch the bus? It gets so frustrating. I want more than anything to have that peaceful home and it seems like the more I want it, the more I pray for it, the worse it gets. ?

  53. Oh my goodness– DO I NEED THIS? I’ve been a wife and full time stepmomma for 4 months and going crazy when it comes to the home and making it into a haven. As a single woman, my home was pure heaven on earth, quiet and calm. Now, not so much. So I am late taking the challenge but I am jumping right in.

  54. Courtney,
    I just seen this challenge this morning, I am going home to start this today. I need this most of all. You are so correct about how the atmosphere in my home revolves around me, everyone in my home and that visit a my home had a loving inviting feeling if my attitude is in line with the attitude of Christ. I have let my work, stress, and lack of organization. Make me feel less of who I really am. This is such blessing.

    Thank you.
    Anna

  55. I fall in between the wife in Home # 1 and Home # 2. I recognize both scenarios. I know my family and I are much happier with the wife in Home # 2. Sometimes I feel like I have a dual personality but I really know I can be lazy at times & procrastinate. I can fall out of my routines easily if things happen that were not expected.
    When I keep up my routines, I feel content and peaceful. I then have a lot of energy which makes me feel good. I keep up with my exercise, eating right and make time for my prayer life.
    Thanks for addressing this challenge. I do pray about this but not always consistently. I want to change that and with his help to do the right thing at the right time.
    Sometimes I fake it & it helps me get out of a funk. I put a smile on and force myself to be cheerful & then it happens and I am.
    I do try to give thanks everyday for all the blessings I have received. I try to watch my speech and make sure it’s kind and compassionate before I open my mouth.
    I’m so glad I found you as I believe this will really help me to keep my commitments and make my home a haven, I love that word.
    I’m going to light my candle and make it happen.
    I like Psalm 54:4
    Behold, God is my helper;
    The Lord is the sustainer of my soul.

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