Monday, October 3, 2011

The Haven of Home: Light a Candle!

I was inspired to join the "Making Your Home a Haven--31 Day Fall Challenge" on Women Living Well.  A haven is exactly what a home should be, and who doesn't want that?

But do you have to live in a certain type of dwelling, with everything decorated exactly the way you want it, for your home to be a haven?  Must you have a spouse, and even children, for your dwelling to be a home?  Do you have to be there all day for it to be home or a haven?

Or, let me put it this way:  Could a dwelling which looks like the pages of a magazine possibly not feel like a haven?  Might there be a husband and wife and several children who don't feel "at home" with one another?

Let's face it.  There are always changes we want to make to the appearance of our homes.  Even when we like what we've done, the contentment wears off as we think of other ideas or see what someone else has done.  Or people who haven't yet found their true love might envy those who have, or might put off creating a true home out of their space until they have a spouse.

As long as we are off the streets and safe from the elements, the sense of home and haven have little to do with whether or not we have our dream house.  A haven can be achieved no matter where we hang our hats or whether or not we have someone with whom to share that space.

It's an attitude!

It's saying, "No matter where I live, I will do my best to live at peace there.  I will do what I can afford to make it look the best it can, and, more importantly, I will treat every person who walks through the door, whether or not he/she lives with me, with respect and honor.  I will dare to put others' needs and wishes above my own and serve others whole-heartedly!"

I personally don't physically live in my dream house.  The three of us live in a fairly tiny house on a lovely acre of land.  With just the three of us and our big lug of a dog, Theo, we aren't the slightest bit cramped or lacking privacy when we need it, yet there are still many changes I want to make to our house, inside and out.  I don't actually know, though, what my dream house would be like because, although I'm not living in my dream house, I am living my dream, and I don't have much time to think about what other options are out there.

My dream is to be a wife and mom, to cultivate a close-knit family similar to the one I grew up in, to make a difference in the lives of others in whatever ways God wants to use me.  I'm living it!  Not perfectly, but I'm showing up each day (or most days) to give it a try.

Would my little family say our home is a haven every minute of every day?  That's simple:  NO!  Sometimes we bicker over dumb things or speak unkindly.  We have selfish moments (or hours, or days!) and stinky attitudes at times.  But the more we focus our efforts away from these things, the more of a sense of peace is present.  Like a haven.  A haven is peaceful.  A haven protects.

For this week's Making Your Home a Haven, the challenge is to light a candle every day.  That's something I like to do anyway!  We are enjoying a "mulled cider" candle right now. :) But this week we are challenged to pray for peace in our home every time the flame catches our eye.

I love that!

Click here for challenge


  1. Thanks for the challenge. I just read that Martha Stewart's daughter has written a book about growing up with Martha. She claims that her mom made her wrap her own Christmas gifts, she never got to trick-or-treat because they turned off the lights and pretended they weren't home (we have been known to do that!), and her mom just didn't have a nurturing side. So, you're right. Just because you have a dream house doesn't mean you have a dream home!
    I will try to remember to light a candle. I am so not a candle person, and we don't need any more warmth around here yet, but I will get out the fake ones!

  2. I love the "It's an attitude." I agree. I love your log candles. I try to have a candle lit when my husband walks through the door.


  3. I too am enjoying this challenge, I love lighting my candle and praying throughout the day for my family. Such a wonderful reminder! ~April

  4. Laura: I'm so not surprised by the Martha Stewart thing. She's brilliant for sure, but I've always sensed a sort of coldness or aloofness about her. And I would imagine most people building an empire like that would be sacrificing their families. It's sad. But I hope you're enjoying your fake candles. They count just as much as the real ones--it's the heart behind it that matters! :)

  5. Pamela: Thanks for stopping by! Our husbands probably appreciate the ambiance more than we, or even they, realize! :)

  6. April: It's been such a blessing, hasn't it? I'm so glad you stopped by. :)

  7. Soo true! What little thing are you doing to make your home feel special.

  8. A home (no matter the size) on an acre of land IS a dream house. ;) Can you tell I'm a country girl at heart? I was raised in suburbia and my dh built our dream house (not to be confused with "pricey upgrades and lots of square feet; it was a simple 1800 sqft 3br colonial) on 3½ acres in the country back in Ohio. We lived there for 7 glorious years until his job forced us out of state and back into suburbia. We now have large house, but my heart is back in the country and I miss it so much. But as you stated so well, no matter where I live, I will do my best to live at peace there." Amen. It's the old, "Bloom where you are planted" ringing true. Thank you for this wonderful post. I too am participating in Courtney's "Making Your Home a Haven."


I love knowing what's on your heart and mind! Your thoughts, opinions, questions and ideas are welcome here anytime. Differences are respected as long as they are written respectfully! :)