My fourth goal for 2020 is to make our home a haven of love, rest, and connection. I have a picture in mind of what that will look like and feel like for me, but in order to know I have achieved the goal in the end, I need to find ways to accomplish this. I need to consider how to get there.They say “Home is where the heart is,” and I believe it is true. It is for that reason I have decided to focus on the making the following heart changes in order to make our home a haven of love, rest, and connection.
1. I need to have a heart of simplicity. My heart needs to learn to be satisfied simply. I can’t choose everything. Learning this has been a big part of recalibrating life this year. I am coming to realize the chaos of my heart is displayed in all aspects of my life. So I need to choose simply and what I choose, the things we own all have their own place in our home. That way when I walk in the door, I breathe deeply, feeling peace settle over me. Clutter is anxiety-producing. But a neat, clean home, decorated simply is inviting and welcoming. It promotes a restful spirit, putting all at ease.
A home of simplicity is easy to care for, which makes it easy to open the doors for guests. There is less need to hustle and bustle around trying to put things in order. And the peace that brings to my heart touches all who enter. When I feel at ease it is so much easier to be loving, it is so much easier to find rest, and it is so much easier to be open to having others over for connection. In fact, simplicity even allows me more time for connecting with my husband. So I will be continuing my journey into simplifying and decluttering.
2. I need to have a heart of hospitality. Hospitality is not my strong suit. I struggle with feeling like things are never good enough. And I am a naturally messy person. So there are two strikes against my desiring to open our doors.
Hospitality is an attitude of the heart. It’s a loving, open welcoming. It’s about reaching for connection and the joy that togetherness and closeness can bring. And, being hospitable takes intentionality.
Too often I make hospitality hard, I make it a big production of perfection. Perfect home, huge meal, detailed plan for our time together, all of which leaves me filled with anxiety and exhausted. Anxiety and exhaustion do not help me to be loving, or able to connect warmly. And when I am anxious, I have trouble helping anyone else rest easy in my company.
Intentionality in hospitality for me means there must be some acts of preparation in advance. I need some plans in place that take the anxiety out of it all. Here are a few ideas that I think will be helpful:
♡ Make a list of easy go-to snacks and meals. These will make figuring out what to serve easier.
♡ Keep it simple, yet have on hand things that make the house warm and inviting, like scented candles and decorative table setting ideas.
♡ Keep some favorite CD’s grouped together and available for playing.
♡ Make a list of ideas for fun, games to play, movies to enjoy, and/or interesting places to share a visit to.
♡ Keep my home clutter-free and clean.
With those things in place, when family or friends call I can just say, “come on over.” Just putting my mind at ease with these ideas, prepares my heart for hospitality.
3. Finally, I need to have a heart filled with love and joy. This goes back to intentionality in growing in the Lord, and living Spirit-led. This week I am finishing up an old study by Cynthia Heald titled Becoming a Woman of Excellence. It has been very good!
In this study she delves deeply into 1 Peter 3:4, I am sharing the New Living Translation here: “You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.”
A gentle and quiet spirit goes a long way towards being loving and joyful. In order to help myself take the truths she shares to heart and learn to live them out, I have been putting notes from the study on my daily pages in my planner, and writing out a daily Scripture there as well. I am using a Scripture writing plan I found called Cultivating a Quiet Heart.
Daily Scripture writing has never interested me before. It seemed too time consuming, like busy-work I didn’t have the extra minutes or energy for. But, I was so wrong, it has become one of the things I look most forward to in the morning. Writing that verse or Psalm sets the tone in my heart for the day. So, in wanting to grow a loving, joy-filled heart, I will definitely be choosing to continue to write out Scripture daily. There are so many websites that share Scripture writing plans. And you will find lot of different themes to choose from. I look forward to choosing themes that fit my hearts need. I am thinking my next theme will be about gratitude, because gratitude is such an important part of growing in joy.
Anything that draws you close to the Lord leads to filling your heart with love and joy. And when your heart is filled, so will your home be. Love and joy draw people in, they lead to deep connection, and that is something that is very important to me.
So, for me it’s all about heart when it comes to making our home a haven of love, rest, and connection. Growing a heart of simplicity, a heart of hospitality, and a heart filled with love and joy are my roadmap for this goal in 2020. They are the paths I am choosing, paths that help refresh my heart and soul as I go through my days.
Thanks so much for joining me here. I hope you are finding some helpful, inspiring ideas for when you work on your goals.
If home is truly where the heart is, what heart changes do you want to make?
*Photo from Unsplash by Jen P.