Who We Are At Home Is Who We Really Are
On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the most fun – where do you fall on the fun-meter scale?
How about on the nice scale?
Would those who live with you say — you make the home a brighter, happier, more joy-filled place?
Who we are at home is who we really are.
The words “fun” and “nice” are not in scripture – but “joy” and “kindness” are and a joyful and kind woman in her home is a blessing.
J.R. Miller says
“The richest heritage that parents can give is a happy childhood, with tender memories of father and mother. This will brighten the coming days when the children have gone out from the sheltering home, and will be a safeguard in times of temptation and a conscious help amid the stern realities of life.”
The word “enjoy” has the word joy at its center. Creating enJOYable moments is kind.
In our home, I’m the family night coordinator. If there’s going to be a game night, pizza night, movie night, or a social happening, it’s because I planned it. I’m guessing I’m not alone in this.
Growing up, my mother did a great job of creating fun family memories. They weren’t complex or over the top, but they happened! They happened year in and year out, and now the memories of those fun moments give me security, comfort, joy and a bond with my family that will never be broken.
My children enjoy long evenings of playing Monopoly, Trouble (I just won a round this week!), Clue, Apples to Apples (we always laugh when we play this game), watching re-runs of Full House, lots of Chex Mix, and enjoying cuddles, back rubs (daddy is best at these), and reading out loud together. We are currently reading the book Heidi together.
Creating an enJOYable atmosphere will give our family special and warm memories of our home.
In the midst of a world of uncertainty, chaos and coldness — kindness is a balm to the soul.
We can’t purchase kindness in a clothing store, yet we are told in Colossians 3:12 to “clothe ourselves” with kindness.
Kindness is a fruit that comes from keeping in step with the Holy Spirit.
Everyday when we wake up in the morning and get dressed – we must also remember to clothe ourselves with these character qualities: compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Kindness is not natural. Sometimes we need to act better than we feel.
We may feel grumpy but we still must be kind.
We may feel exhausted but we still must be kind.
We may feel stressed but we still must be kind.
It takes great strength to act better than we feel and to do what is right in the midst of wanting to just let all the ugly out, but we reap what we sow. If we sow to our flesh – we will reap a mess in our homes. If we sow to the Spirit, we will reap the blessings that come from our obedience.
Who does your family say you are at home?
Who we are at home is who we really are.
This Week’s Challenge
Keep the candle burning, the music playing and plan a Family Fun Night.
Have a pillow party in the family room and get out every blanket and pillow in the house and be cozy with the kids or your hubby! Even if you live alone you can do this. Enjoy a cozy evening of hot cider and caramel corn. Bust out some old fashioned games and take the time to savor these moments with your loved ones.
Let’s live out the fruit of the Spirit of kindness and joy in our homes this week.
How is the Making Your Home a Haven Challenge going in your house? Do you have your candle and music going?
What is your favorite thing to do for fun with your family?
What is your favorite board game to play with your family?
Walk with the King,
Great post, Courtney. I can tell you make your home a “fun” place to be since you have such a joyful spirit! I try to never use the word “nice” anymore since being kind is part of the definition of love; “Love is patient. Love is kind.” Being sick most of the years my children were growing up, I was determined not to allow my pain to take away the joy from their childhood so I tried to make their childhood a happy one. Thankfully, by God’s goodness, mercy and grace, all of my children tell me they enjoyed their childhood.
Yep, the vanilla candle is glowing, instrumental praise is calming me, and I’m feathering my nest and loving every minute of it, Courtney …
It’s all leading up to a big shout out to hospitality in the next few days at my online home. Because every sacred haven is meant to be shared with others …
My heart can’t say Thank You enough for this post. I’ve done your challenge every year and it speaks to me so much. I feel so convicted on this post especially. Please pray for me. My oldest whose almost 11 seem to be butting heads so much and I see myself losing control of my words. My heart hurts and my soul cries because this is the exact opposite of how I want to be. I sit here with tear filled eyes and I know that I have to get on my knees and ask our gracious Father to once again forgive me for all the ways I’ve fallen short today. It really hit me who we are at home is who we really are. Yikes! My actions have not shown a true representation lately. I’ve written some of these things out and will be posting them above my kitchen sink and on our bathroom mirror so my heart sees them and can meditate on them each morning. My hearts desire is to be this women who brings life and peace, JOY Christ-filled home. I love the Lord and so desire to be the wife and Mother he has called me to be. Thank you for this post and the encouragement it has brought me this evening. Praying for you and all who reads this.
Oh Stacey – my heart goes out to you tonight because I know exactly what you are saying. I too lose my patience with my 10 and 12 year old and sometimes say things I regret. Thank you for your transparency – I know we can all relate.
I am saying a prayer for you now. We are in this together – we need each other to be iron sharpening iron. I love your hearts desire and I know God is going to bless that in your home.
Lots of Love,
Thank You so much Courtney! Thank you for the prayers and the encouragement!! Today was such a better day. The Lord kept so many things on my mind and I was able to chose my attitude much more carefully! I will be in touch thanks again 🙂
Stacey, you are not alone. I’m in similar situation. I can’t tell you how many times I have fallen short today (and other days) and how defeated I have felt lately ?. The struggle is so real. Please pray for me too! I am praying for you❤️
I’m praying for you too! So Thankful for sisters in Christ even over the internet!! <3
Thank you for your reply, I feel like you where in my heart and head. Every word you said.. EVERY, word you said is exactly how I feel, exactly what im going through. My oldest just turned 11, and she is in middle school now (with lots of mean girls, but thats another story) but for years now my oldest daughter and I have butt heads and I feel its only getting worse. She is always angry, always irritated, yet sorry and loving afterwards. I have the Love of Christ in me and I have and still am changing my ways my words, my actions, but it’s hard, my husband suffers from ptsd and all the bad that come along with it and is not a follower of Christ,” yet”praying for that still. He doesn’t go against my teachings but I also dont have any back up with the loving way I want to teach them. I have three younger children,4,6&9 and 80% of the time they dont want to play with her because of her attitude towards everything. I am at a lost physically on what I can do, but plz join me in prayer for our children. My heart is very heavy and I feel the Lord is trying to tell me something so I pray I can be still and listen, and have discernment through it all…
Thanks, from an awesome mother of God.
Tamara, My heart hurts right along with you! Please know that I’m praying for you and I’m so sorry you are going through the same thing as I. You’ve described my daughter to a T. She is always so sweet and kindhearted and so sorry afterwards its like she is 2 different kids, wrapped up in one body. I have 2 younger children as well and a lot of the time they don’t want to play with our older one either. It’s so hard. My husband is a believer but has struggled with depression and anxiety for most of his life. So much so that last year he was away for 4 months at a Christian treatment center for it. God has done some amazing things through our pain and struggles. thats a whole other story. Please know I’m praying for you diligently and if you ever need prayer please don’t hesitate to reach out my email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m praying for you!
You are not alone Stacey and the other ladies. I have made so many mistakes with my boys especially the oldest who’s 11. Courtney’s word in this article is so true. I’m sorry to say I have sowed in the flesh way more than I care to admit.
Tiffany we all have!!! God showed me to day that he is so much bigger than all of this and how amazing his mercies are each new morning!!! I’m praying for you!! xo
I too am sitting here with tears in my eyes, this article really cut to the core. I so want my home to be filled with love and Joy but at the moment my 16 year old daughter and I are always fighting. I feel like I am losing this war, it affects my relationship with everyone in the house as they only ever hear our anger. I hate that technology has taken over, the lack of communication and the disrespect that comes from that. We are in such a dark place at the moment. I just pray that The Lord Jesus would pour out his love and strength to all us mums and our children, that these difficult relationships will be healed and a close bond sealed. God bless you all. X
I encourage you to stop fighting with your daughter! I made the same mistake and I regret it terribly. I wish I would have just loved her and loved her deeply; pouring my love and affection upon her. Teenage years are so difficult for girls, especially. They need all the love and support from their mothers they can get. My daughter is now 32 and I have asked for her forgiveness and tell her how I wish I would have done it differently. She has forgiven me but said she wished I had just showered love and affection upon her also since this is what she needed the most. “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21
Thank You! Ive been praying and mediating so much today and I’m so thankful that the Lord has convicted me on this behavior and you are so right!! Thank you
You’re welcome, Stacy! Last night in bed I was thinking about this issue and how common I hear this same thing. I teach women all the time to not argue with their husband and it is the same with our children. The Bible exhorts us NOT to argue and fight but to be peacemakers with ALL men as far as it depends upon us. So I got up this morning and wrote a post about it! Arguing with our teenagers is so common that we don’t realize we are not supposed to, according to God’s Word.
I’m praying for you Lorraine, I’m praying for the God of peace to rule in our homes so that we can be used the way we need to for our families! The struggle is so real and ever so present! Keep searching him along with me and he will move in ways we never thought possible! Praying for you my sister!!
I’m not married neither do I have kids but I love with my siblings and dad. I realise I’m there when they need me or when it’s convenient…. I respond and react to what I feel. Unfortunately, responses tend to seem more sour than initial actions. I can say that’s how it’s always been, that’s the environment I grew up in but I need to take responsibility for my own actions. Making a conscious effort to be a constant source of not will be hard but I believe with all my heart it will make me a more content woman and keep my own home when I have it
Thank you for this. It is a word in season.
(Autocorrect…sorry) I live* with
Constant source of joy*
Thank you so much for sharing this – no matter what season of life we are in – following God’s will in obedience and applying His principles of kindness and joy in our lives – will lead to blessings. I love your desire to make a conscious effort this week to respond in the Spirit!
Saying a prayer for you now,
I too am convicted by your post Courtney. My youngest just started middle school and we are adjusting to that. Additionally, my husband is not walking with Christ so my home feels a bit divided. I have been praying for Gods grace as I strive to set the walking example of Christianity in my home yet time and time again, I fall short! Thank you for the reminder that even in the little things, we can practice joy and kindness!
Thank you for sharing the season of life you are in right now – I know that tensions can mount in the home when there is pressure. Keep walking in God’s grace and intentionally pursuing peace and joy and kindness. God is using you in their lives in a powerful way.
Lots of Love,
You are not alone in your situation. My husband is not a Christian, and like others have said, my oldest is 11 and we are butting heads. I have been reminded by three people this week to be a good Christian example in my home, (talk about God letting me know where I need work!), and my husband will come to know Christ. I feel so convicted by these reminders and this post because I just haven’t been the best example for awhile. I let my temper get the best of me, and I’ve really allowed stress to clutter my time and emotions. I need to work on calming things down and creating a homey environment for everyone. I’ll pray for you Tammy.
The fun things we enjoy as a family are being outside walking or biking. We also enjoy watching old TV shows like I Love Lucy, Full House. Our board game would probably be yatzee. It’s harder now that the kids are grown as when they come home we usually enjoy meals together and just talking.
Oh I love the I Love Lucy show too! I haven’t seen it in many years but it brings back great memories from my childhood! I also love Yahtzee – thanks for reminding me of that game – I need to pull that one back out – my son loves it too!
Next week our challenge will include meals together – so glad your family still comes around the table.
Lots of Love,
I am sorry, I thoroughly enjoyed this post which really convicted me . But I have a question. With doing the Home a Haven Challenge I have gone out and purchased candles, 3 to be exact. I have all ready gone through two candles and my question , is this normal ? I love to see it burning and brings be peace and a reminder to pray for those of my household but my budget is not large and was wondering if there are others that are in the same position as I am and what others are doing about the candles? Could use some suggestions please.
Yes – I’m on candle number 3 as well! One suggestion could be to purchase your candles at walmart. I hear they have a great selection that is very affordable and the candles burn beautifully. Here’s a link: http://www.walmart.com/search/?_refineresult=true&_refineresult=true&_refineresult=true&_refineresult=true&search_query=candles&ic=48_0&_refineresult=true&search_constraint=0&cat_id=4044_133012_925499&facet=category%3AScented+Candles&
Another suggestion might be to burn it for just a few hours in the morning and just a few hours in the evening rather than having it go all day.
Hope that helps and so glad you are joining us!
You could also substitute another object for the candle. Whatever reminds you to pray for your family throughout the day. Blessings!
I recently bought the type of candle that has a battery in the bottom with a fake glow . Sure not as lovely as a real one but does the trick for alot cheaper. I got a 6 or 7 pack at Costco for $16 . Mine is still encased in real wax and smells like vanilla.
I too am trying to extend my candles. I light mine in the mornings before my husband and daughter wake up and let it burn through breakfast clean-up. Then I light it again just before he returns from work and it goes through my daughter’s bedtime. So the times when we are all at home together is when I use it.
Really solid post this morning, Courtney. Lots of conviction in there for me. God is working through you! Thank you for sharing your heart.
Thank you for this post Courney! It seems in this culture of texting/twitter/smartphone addictions, it is less and less common for families to spend real quality time together. This post reminds me of my childhood and how we spent our time, and I want my children to experience the same. It’s so hard to get everyone in the home on the same page, spouse included at times. I’m taking this challenge on to pile up in the floor with blankets and pillows and just do something together. My kids and I love to have “sleepovers” in the living room!
Thank you! I love this months challenge:) I need to be reminded on how my mood effects my family! Especially being momma and teacher I need to step it up on days I don’t feel like it! I love the games and cuddling:) I will get to planning and take this months challenge ideas into every month! I love how God designed us mommas to be loving and supportive this way!
I am so thankful for this ministry and the community of women that follow it. This post hits home with me… To the core. Like many of the other women who posted, I have a middle school daughter, a husband who is not Christian and a 5yo. I know in my heart that it is my duty to be a shining example of Christ in my home, to be a mirror of his love. I find this incredibly difficult by the evening hours when my husband is coming home. I am a home schooling mom, and there are days that I just want to fall into bed at 8. But, I have to get a nutritious dinner prepared and kitchen cleaned before getting kids to bed. My husband regularly drinks too much, so he is basically absent from our home time… Spending 90% of his time at home by himself in his shop. When he does come inside…. I find it nearly impossible to be smiling, kind, gracious and loving towards him. I just want to yell at him to wake up and enjoy his family!! But, I never do. I just become silent and spiritually closed towards him. I feel the enemy is working overtime on my marriage relationship since becoming a Christian. I will pray for each of you in my similar situation, that God will provide us with the strength to pull through each day… As living vessels…. So that all of those who come into contact with us will be drawn towards him. In Jesus name.
Great post! I’m probably the mom that wants to do and be the best for her family, but doesn’t quite know how to put it all together. With a full-time job, and my husband working and going to school full-time, it is hard but we must make the most of our time together.
This will definitely point me in the right direction to start planning better and make memories for my children.
Thank you so much,
Thank you so much. I have been keeping the candle lit when I am home and my daughter is loving it. Music not all the time but working on it. This blog reminds me of how well I “used” to be at creating a fun atmosphere in our home. Since our “big” move and me going back to work I have not done well in this area. So appreciate the reminder and pray I can continue to take my eyes off myself during this adjustment time and refocus on doing what I love. Loving my family!
I love this challenge Courtney. I also can relate to the women who are struggling with keeping the peace in their home, especially on busy school mornings. I keep a prayer right by mirror that I read every morning. My mom gave it to me years ago and I thought I would share it with all of you.
Today, I ask you to help me be a godly mother. Please give me the strength I need to face every challenge, the peace I need to hear your voice and patience when I feel angry or stressed. Help me to be kind and caring to those around me. Let me be an example of your grace and love to my family. Help me to not raise my voice, but to raise my children to serve and love you. Fill my life and my home with your joy. I trust in you! Amen”
This is beautiful. Sometimes life gets so busy that we forget to be kind and slow down to enjoy the ride. You have inspired me to find time to slow down and enjoy the music this week.
Ouch!!! Convicted!! I might have to tag this to refer to this many times over. This was a fantastic post and so well timed for my circumstance. I knew it was time to make some changes, and now my eyes are WIDE open, and heart willing to get back on the path I wandered away from. <3
Thank you Courtney for this beautiful post! I really needed to read this today. Its true “who we are at home is who we really are” and I want to bring my family closer together, and I want them to feel the love of God in our home. I want to do more activities with them together! I love them very much and I pray that God will work in me every day so that I can bring joy and kindness in our home. I live with my Step Father and my Mom, and my two younger sisters, and I am the only one who goes to church, my Mom will go with me sometimes, however I would love for all my family to be believers in Jesus Christ. I pray that God continues to guide me in His perfect path, and help me bring my family together having faith in Jesus Christ.
It can be difficult in my home because we don’t all share the same faith in God. It makes me sad, however I trust that the plans God has for me are beautiful.
Thank you for being a good example in my life.
God bless you and your family.
It is comforting to know I’m not alone in the day to day struggle of trying to make your home a happy place for your family.
My teenage daughter is currently struggling with her faith. It breaks my heart. She has had many heartbreaks in her young life. Does anyone have a bible study or particular books in the bible that will help me bring her back to the Lord? I have always read daily devotionals some bible studies with my her. I feel like the words unfortunately fall on deaf ears now. I need something that can break through and reach her heart. Any recommendations would be so greatly appreciated.
Wow! This really hit home! But I have read the comments of the other ladies, and feel ok that I am not alone. I fall short every day and just this past weekend I used some language that was not right! I cried, and I appolozied to my 11 yr old daughter we hit heads all the time. But reading thru some comments here I feel ok that I am not alone. Thank you Courtney for your post and for letting God use you in such a great way for His Honor!
Thank you for this powerful and convicting post! I have a 15 month old and a 2 month old, so my stage of life is different. I can quote pull out the board games with them yet, but I know I need to try to instill kindness and goodness into my children. I read 20 minutes a day with my 15 month son -this is one of our favorite activities! He is a boy though and very active and sometimes mischievous. I need to work on when I’m exhausted from being up most of the night with 2 month old daughter still being kind and patient with my son. My husband is disabled from work injury and can’t help much with the children so the responsibility falls (rather heavily) on me. I really enjoy your posts of encouragement Courtney! You have spoken to my heart and showed me what I need to do! Thank you so much!
Thank you for sharing this TRUTH…..I was recently reminded by two of my adult children that they cherish their childhood and draw from it even though their children are almost adults now…memories of holidays and family times with their father and me seems a bolstering for them and I am so happy when I hear such lovely comments….I have just recently celebrated my 75th birthday…am a widow twice, but I am still very close with my four biological children, six inherited children (when I married their dad, Bill, we were together twenty years before he died); twenty-three grandchildren and sixteen great grandchildren…in all of this the words FAMILY and HOME are highlighted in my mind…..my second family children tell me they were thrilled when I married their dad and did such homey wonders in decorating and bringing joyful light into the house in which they grew up…they felt at PEACE knowing their dad was cherished by another as they cherished him……life is FAMILY always in some way…and the beautiful family I have been blessed with has been a win/win situation…..the priority is always acknowledgement and appreciation of each other and THAT provides the positive domino affect that reaches through with love and kindness toward a stable and growing future…thank you again for this post!
This really hit home. Beautiful post and thank you so much for sharing. It’s a reminder that by being kind to others we are being kind to the Lord and His children.
I am 51 years old with two grown kids and about to become a grandma, and this message is till relevant. It is so important to be mindful of the relationship you cultivate not only with your kids, but with your spouse. One day you will be an empty nester and this is when it all comes together. What we invest is what we will reap. Thanks again for your post, reminding us to make our house, a home.