Cultivating a Peaceful Home Life

There was a lot of uncertainty in 2020 but the one common thing we all experienced was home. We worked, schooled, and played from home. And things don’t seem to be changing as we enter 2021.

And while I will never claim to be an expert on home, I do have some systems and techniques that I’ve learned through trial and error to make my home a place of peace and enjoyment. Because let’s be honest, without a plan or system in place, the walls can begin to close in pretty quickly.

Tip #1

Shift your attitude.

This tip is 100% free to do and requires no supplies or equipment. Ha But this is a key step. Whether you struggle being at home because you are an extrovert or you don’t like where you live or the type/style of home you live in, we can all find reasons for why we don’t like being cooped up in our houses.

But contentment and joy is not about circumstances, it’s about choice. We can choose to see the beauty in where we live. We can choose to be happy where we are.

Tip #2

Address your stressors.

Being content doesn’t mean you can’t improve the things you CAN control. If the wall color of your living room makes you angry, that’s a $30 fix! If the clutter makes you claustrophobic, take a week and declutter your house and donate what you no longer need. If the layout of your bedroom isn’t flowing, change it up!

I have found that viewing my home as my field of work changes my mindset from one of victimization to one of purpose. If I was working an office job, how would I handle systems that weren’t effective? Would I continue to do the same thing over and over at my job if it was ineffective? If it ain’t working, change it!

Tip #3

Create rhythms instead of schedules.

I am about as “type b” as they come, meaning I do not thrive under rigorous schedules and I’m generally pretty laid back when it comes to organization etc.

And as much as I wish I was super organized and scheduled, that just isn’t my thing. But all of us, no matter our personalities, need order in our lives.

I’ve found (through much trial and error) that I stick with rhythms in my day and not time set schedules.

So what do I mean by rhythms?

For us, it’s a general flow of the day. I try to get up a little before the kids and do my bible reading, they come out of their rooms at 8 (they have clocks in their rooms), we eat breakfast and do our read aloud and character cards.

We work on schoolwork and chores after that, in whichever order work best for that day. After lunch they sometimes do quiet time in their rooms, or will watch a movie in my bed.

Our afternoon is spent either catching up on schoolwork we didn’t get to in the morning, or playing outside.

What’s nice about rhythms if they are so adaptable. On days where the weather is pretty in the morning but it is supposed to rain in the afternoon, we shift it around so that they have outside playtime in the morning, etc. You get the gist.

But I’ve found when I don’t box myself in my a strict schedule, but rather a general list of things that need to be accomplished at some point each day, I feel less stressed and stick to it on days where it all hits the fan.

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That’s about all I have for today. I have so much more I could share, and I may compile some more tips on creating a peaceful space through your decor if that would be helpful? Having a beautiful space that reflects YOU really does help a lot and it isn’t as hard as you think!

Anyways, I hope this helped and encouraged you guys. I hope home becomes a peaceful and sacred place for you guys.

Why Having A Baby is the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me

Why Having A Baby Is The Best Thing That Has Ever Happened To Me

It was 3:45 a.m.

I wiped the sleep from my eyes as I saw the monitor lights grow brighter with the sound of my baby’s cries.

He’s awake.

I rolled out of bed for the second time that night to nurse my ever-growing baby boy. I changed him, swaddled him, laid him in his crib, and fell back into my comfy bed.

This has been my life for the past 5 months. Since the arrival of Rhett, the nights are long and so are the days.

And it is the best thing that has ever happened to me.

This may seem insane. But having a little person who needs me constantly has caused, no forced, me to be selfless in ways I never dreamed. And it’s becoming more and more like second nature now.

I thought I was a selfless person before I had a baby. I cooked and cleaned for my husband, ironed his clothes. I was active in church and tried to be there for my family and friends. I volunteered at my local crisis pregnancy center. I gave of myself a lot.

Pssssh. Boy was that a lie.

I still got to come home and just be still. I didn’t have to think about anything. I could prop up my feet and eat whatever I wanted to and take my time eating it.

That may not seem like a big deal, but I can’t number the meals I’ve had to inhale because I hadn’t eaten in 6 hours and just as I was bringing the spoon to my mouth the baby decides NOW is the time cry.

My bitterness at not being able to eat aside, my point is: I still could do whatever the heck I wanted to when I was done “serving.”

Now enter an adorably demanding baby and BAM. That’s all gone.

My life literally revolves around my son. If we are going out, I have to make sure he’s eaten and calculate how long our trip is going to take and decide if I will have to feed him again while we are out.

I also have to guess at how many diapers he will go through, and pack an extra pair of clothes in case he blows through one of those diapers. Don’t even get me started on packing toys, strollers or carriers for him.

And this is all to go to the store.

At home, my days consist of feedings, diaper changes, lots of soothing, cuddles and singing silly songs. And then more feedings.

And on a good day there is some productivity in between those things. Like moving over laundry or brushing my teeth.

When he cries, I go to him. When he’s hungry I feed him. When he wants to be held, I pick him up.

Life as I knew it has been drastically changed.

Now none of this is to make you feel sorry for me or to pat myself on the back, but merely to show you that my days are no longer my own.

And this is good.

Why? Because having to constantly die to myself has made me more like Christ.

    “It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:26-28

When the Lord blessed me with a precious little life to care for it required me to cry out to Him daily for the ability to give of myself. It is no longer a choice for me whether or not I will serve today. The choice has been made for me.

There are no more days off to rest or take a breather and start over tomorrow. No. Every day I have to serve and give of myself, even when I didn’t sleep the night before.

In these past five months I have seen myself grow tremendously. It was such a shock to my system when he was first born. I would just cry and think “What happened to my life!?!”

And now it is becoming easier to me.

I don’t groan every single time I have to wake up at night. I have gotten used to feeding him and making sure he’s happy and then eating my lunch. It no longer feels like a constant sacrifice to care for him 24/7.

Yes there are still hard days. Like really hard days. But it’s usually my fault. Those are the days I take my eyes off of Jesus and focus on what I don’t like about my life–the uncomfortable things–and I become very discontent and grumpy.

But praise the Lord, He is making those days fewer and fewer! He is working in me! He has caused this marvelous thing called motherhood to grow me in ways I never dreamed.

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6

And I am so thankful.

Having a baby has been one of the greatest things that has ever happened to me.

It has made me more like Jesus.

Why I Stopped Telling My Husband How To Drive

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It was only a few years ago.

Chris and I were dating and madly in love. He would drive up to Chattanooga, TN where I lived and spend the weekend with my family and me.

We loved exploring the mountain roads together and Sonic was one of our favorite places to stop to get refueled for our next adventure. We could just whip in there, get a drink, and whip right back out, headed to our next destination.

Needless to say we spent a lot of time in the car driving together. And not once do I remember us getting in an argument over his driving.

Now fast forward to today…And well. You guessed it. We’ve argued over his driving several times.

I laugh at myself now, because when we were dating I remember thinking to myself, “I’m not even really tempted to critique his driving. We must be different than other married people.”

Oh. My. Word.

Well I was wrong. Dead wrong. The number one argument we have on road trips now has to do with his driving. And I know his driving hasn’t changed that drastically since we’ve been married.

Nope. The change has been me.

This is something I’ve wrestled with for months now. I wanted to stop being so critical, but I justified my “helpfulness” by telling myself “Would I rather make Chris mad at me and not die. Or keep quiet while we crash headlong into the car in front of us?!”

So I chose to continue letting Chris know,

“Hey. Those cars are breaking.”

“Watch out they are turning.”

“You need to use your blinker or someone is going to hit us from behind.”

And surprisingly, Chris continued to become frustrated with me every time we went somewhere.

So one night here recently I was laying in bed thinking about this issue yet again. And I decided, enough is enough. I was praying and asking the Lord to show me my heart and what the real issue was. Why is it that I felt the need to be so vocal about his driving?

And like He always does, the Lord revealed my sin.

As a wife, I am to submit to the headship of my husband (Eph. 5:22-23, Col. 3:18). He is my leader. Leader. As in I follow him.

So what about me telling him what to do when he’s driving is me obeying that command? I am wanting to be in control, and I am not trusting that as the leader, he can handle whatever situation arises on the road (and in life).

Also, the Lord convicted me because not only was I not trusting Chris as my leader, but I was not trusting God as my Protector.

Would the Lord let us die in a car crash simply because I didn’t bring it to Chris’ attention that the people in front of us were stopping?

I must think I’m pretty important or something.

I had to swallow hard and realize just how wrong I have been in an area that I could have continued to justify because it’s what all married couples do.

It’s part of being married, right?

Wrong.

Part of being married is me continually submitting my life, my thoughts and my words to the Lord and letting His Holy Spirit work in me, making me into the wife I should be. A wife that edifies and builds up my husband. A wife that trusts in the leadership of the wonderful man God has placed over me. A wife that is not critical.

So I have stopped telling my husband how to drive. Or at least I am trying.

Really really hard.

And I hope that I will get better and better at it as each day passes.

I’ve linked this post to:
a-wise-woman-builds-her-home

August Challenge: Two Weeks WITH Make-Up

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Okay, so this month’s challenge may seem odd. Especially with so many women baring their faces for “no make-up Mondays” and posting selfies with #nomakeup.

Well for this bum, every day is no make-up Monday!

Blame it on the fact that I am a new mom. Or a wife. Or a woman. Or a brunette. Basically I use any excuse I can.

Because I hate wearing make-up.

I don’t know why. I definitely like the way I look better with make-up, but for some reason I don’t like the way it feels. I’ve tried every kind of foundation…but I still just don’t like the way it feels.

That being said, my poor husband didn’t realize that when we got married that I would turn into an ole hag and never do my hair or make-up again. I realized this one day when I wore make-up because I had an appointment, and he just stared at me and was like “You are just so beautiful.”

Now, before anyone gets all mad at my husband and thinks he doesn’t think I’m beautiful without make-up. BACK IT UP.

I mean. No, honey, that’s simply not true.

Chris is SO precious and tells me I am beautiful every day. But he’s still a man who appreciates it when his wife keeps herself up and puts a little effort into her appearance, like…I don’t know…showering? (ha…wish I was kidding)

So, this is my challenge for myself this August:

I will wear make-up every day for the next two weeks.

Now my reasoning for this is two-fold:

1) I want my husband to know that I love him and care about the way I look for him. I want to do something a little extra…even if it is something as silly as wearing make-up.

2) I’m hoping (*fingers crossed*) that I will get into the habit of wearing make-up more if I do it consistently for the next two weeks. I feel more put together when I do my make-up, even if I would rather be “clean-faced.”

So what about you ladies? Is this a struggle for any of you?

If so, want to join my challenge? Let me know how it goes!!

August Challenge: Two Weeks WITH Make-Up

image-12
Okay, so this month’s challenge may seem odd. Especially with so many women baring their faces for “no make-up Mondays” and posting selfies with #nomakeup.

Well for this bum, every day is no make-up Monday!

Blame it on the fact that I am a new mom. Or a wife. Or a woman. Or a brunette. Basically I use any excuse I can.

Because I hate wearing make-up.

I don’t know why. I definitely like the way I look better with make-up, but for some reason I don’t like the way it feels. I’ve tried every kind of foundation…but I still just don’t like the way it feels.

That being said, my poor husband didn’t realize that when we got married that I would turn into an ole hag and never do my hair or make-up again. I realized this one day when I wore make-up because I had an appointment, and he just stared at me and was like “You are just so beautiful.”

Now, before anyone gets all mad at my husband and thinks he doesn’t think I’m beautiful without make-up. BACK IT UP.

I mean. No, honey, that’s simply not true.

Chris is SO precious and tells me I am beautiful every day. But he’s still a man who appreciates it when his wife keeps herself up and puts a little effort into her appearance, like…I don’t know…showering? (ha…wish I was kidding)

So, this is my challenge for myself this August:

I will wear make-up every day for the next two weeks.

Now my reasoning for this is two-fold:

1) I want my husband to know that I love him and care about the way I look for him. I want to do something a little extra…even if it is something as silly as wearing make-up.

2) I’m hoping (*fingers crossed*) that I will get into the habit of wearing make-up more if I do it consistently for the next two weeks. I feel more put together when I do my make-up, even if I would rather be “clean-faced.”

So what about you ladies? Is this a struggle for any of you?

If so, want to join my challenge? Let me know how it goes!!