During my life so far Christian persecution was something that happened overseas and we were very lucky to be free here. But all of that has gradually changed.
I felt like I would like to stop the world and get off if this is how it is going to be.
I also feel like get me out of the city and on to a farm away from some of this!
My heart and peace were really disturbed. I just never have seen such a fast decline of many things all at once!
I decided to read my Bible and do some study every day. And from day one I started to feel better.
From that day I saw this has always been the way. We are not meant to conform or fit into the world. We are meant to have the Word of God as the light for our feet and keep to that. What the world thinks doesn't matter.
I read and re read Laines Letters. Years ago she shared a story of how her son was the only young man in the Christian Youth Group who would take a stand against pornography! And later how he was given a terrible time at his place of work because he was a Christian. It was awful. You expect it in the world but you don't expect it at Church!
The other day when I saw a Church near us with a sign out the front openly promoting sin that I finally thought... this is it. All is lost.
Now I have had time to think about this. No, it is not new. It is just more up close and personal that it has ever been in my life. So that is confronting. But so far at least we are still free inside our own
homes and no one can take away from you what you believe in your heart. Peace in the home and peace in our hearts give us rest.
Even if you don't relate to this you will probably relate to feeling the news is depressing and that you see things in society you find downright scary. Or that when things are running smoothly at home you feel so much better, happier, calmer. From any perspective the atmposhere in your home matters a lot.
From all of this I know that keeping our homes a place where we feel safe, peaceful, nurtured and relaxed is so important! Our home is our sanctuary! So this year we are going to have a series on keeping your home feeling beautiful, comfy, calm and welcoming. We need that. Our families need it too.
It is also plenty on coming away and having nothing to do with terrible things. Instead we are advised "whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things" (Philippains 4:8-9)
So this is my mission or one of them! If I keep to thinking of good things, reading encouraging and beautiful books, leaning new skills and working on something lovely then I feel happy.
I started my daily Bible and study.
I began re reading Laines Letters.
Immediately I felt better.
I read where Laine said "I don't listen to the worlds words much anymore" and how she found so much peace just trusting the word of God to be true forever.
If you need peace and encouragement just read your Bible every single day!
If you haven't read Laine's Letters they can be found here. They are the best encouragement and guidance I have ever found! They also serve as a very easy way to do a Bible study.
I also have found Jenny of Elefantz (see my favourite blogs on the side) is a place of peace an beauty. There is a Facebook group called Gentle Domesticity that is just lovely and fits the bill for the above verse about whatever is beautiful, whatever is lovely. It is so peaceful! This gives me a daily lift.
Some of the ways we can create a peaceful haven in our homes include:
Deciding what to say yes to and deciding what to say no too! Being too busy is guaranteed to ruin peace in the home.
Your organisation and decor. If you feel a mess and overwhelmed you are getting no relaxation at all!
Keeping beautiful things to look at everyday. This might be flowers, family photos, beautiful words to think on, things you love as part of your decor, childrens drawings...
The way your house smells! haha this sounds bad! But I like things to smell clean and good!
The way your house sounds. Happy music while you work. I mostly hate background noise and never have the TV on in the day. Give me birds chirping any day!
Interruptions. If I let it I would have to answer the phone during dinner every night to someone trying to sell me something. Just no way!
A routine. I like a routine of chaos.
The garden and plants. They are part of my surroundings and give a lot of peace and calm.
We need to work out how to get time for reading good things, learn new things and create beauty? I know I am much happier if I have time to work on something creative. This really increases my contentment! And something else... I find I am thinking lovely thoughts as I work away.
How can each person have a space of their own that makes them feel nurtured and happy?
How can we carve out for ourselves a quiet space or a craft/sewing/writing space in a full and busy household?
If we love feminine things how can we have these for ourselves in a house full of boys!?
Do you feel you should decorate in a certain way because it is fashionable but your don't even really like it? Did you inherit or somehow get stuck with decor that bugs you?
Are there small changes you could make that would make a big difference to how you feel at home?
We are going to consider all these things!
I have known for a long time just what I like and some of what I need. I like light, white, calm.
Quiet, flowers, pantries, baking, the house to smell good. Clutter or a big mess unsettle me.
I struggle to get the "being home and doing things out of the house" balance right. If I am out too much everything suffers. The wheels fall off! haha!
My home is far from perfect. I get in a mess. My spare room is terrible at the moment! The dining room table is my sewing centre right now.
I am really lucky to have a nice house. But I have made each home nice, ordered, clean and pretty. I have painted four houses top to bottom. I have wallpapered, stencilled, gilded, decoupaged, you name it! The truth is most of my furniture is really old. My lounge was Mum and Dad's fifty years ago. My dining table was Nan's. A lot of my stuff came from the side of the road! I have a beautiful dressing table found in an old farmhouse. I paint everything white so completely random things kind of go together! I have collected many mirrors free and I use them to hide bad bits and reflect the good stuff! I do all this knowing that my surroundings affect me so much.
We wake up to, walk into, breathe and absorb it all. So does our family. And it just seems that as women we have a lot of power to set the scene, create a home, set an atmosphere. The world within our walls is mostly up to us.
What is it that makes you feel nested at home? How can you make things feel more like "you" as well as a haven for each member of the family? Maybe I better take some photos of Andy's havens. I will do that as he has a large music room, an office and a "man shed" haha! But these are his personal spaces and he is not drowned out by feminine stuff.
For both of us we need a retreat from the world and we are going to have to have less media or a shoe will go through the televisions screen sometime soon!
How do you quieten things down and feel restored when the world is too much?
The next post in this series will be about choosing what to say yes to and what to say no to! We have to say no sometimes and be good at it. I used to find it awfully hard to say no!
And so ends week one and me posting everyday! I hope we got off to a good start for the year. We have set the scene for several challenges and set up our plans. Tomorrow I will have a slow day, plan the new week and keep myself on track! A little planning on the weekend makes a world of difference! xxx