Wish your home was a place that helped you feel peaceful and refreshed? It’s time to think about making a haven. Havens are important … and possible to create!
After a long day of running from appointments to errands to meetings, not only was I tired, but I also just wanted to get home.
It’s not even like my day was necessarily bad – in fact, all the running errands and visiting with different people and accomplishing tasks I knew I needed to do was actually enjoyable. But I was worn out and just needed the refreshment of my home. My haven.
Stressed vs. stress-free
Havens have a fantastic way of nurturing you when the rest of the world doesn’t. Yet havens aren’t everywhere.
In fact, not every home can be considered a haven. Sometimes, when you get home after a long day, your stress multiplies.
So what is this difference between a home that adds to stress and a haven that helps your stress melt away?
Homes are places you live – or where you proverbially hang your hat. But they may not be all that comforting or comfortable:
- When you head for home, you may know you need to deal with stressful relationships.
- Messes may be piled in every room, yet you have no idea when to deal with them.
- You may be living in a place you never wanted to live – or never chose.
- Maybe most of your belongings dredge up painful memories – or you just don’t like what you have.
Whatever is keeping you from enjoying your home, it’s getting in the way of your peace of mind. And those obstacles are the very first things that need to change before you can enjoy living in a haven.
Peace of mind is one of the most important aspects of creating a haven for you and your family – yet overall peace that you feel is equally important.
If you view a haven as a welcoming place that can nurture and build into all who enter the door, peace is a natural byproduct.
Your haven becomes a kind of a sanctuary where you can retreat from all that you face in the world. Just the mere idea of that makes havens important and worth creating.
The basics of havens
If the idea of a peaceful haven thrills you, the natural question to ask is this: How do I create a haven? How can a haven be part of my life?
While havens are different for every person, some principles are the same.
First of all, the only way you’ll find true peace – and a True Haven – is through a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Believing in Him, asking Him to be a part of your everyday life, and knowing who He is and what He’s done for you is the only way you’ll experience a deep, satisfying peace. Your striving will be gone. Your fears will fade. Your soul will find rest.
Once you experience a True Haven, the peace that He alone can give will radiate from your life and begin to transform your home.
You’ll start to focus on others out of love, and as you do that your home will naturally become a more welcoming place.
What do you see?
While your peace with God colors every part of your life (just like your lack of peace with Him does) – including your relationships – it definitely adds a restful atmosphere to your home.
Just like you can sense tension when you walk into certain rooms or situations, you can sense peace, too.
But aside from the peaceful aspect, what about the way your haven actually looks? How can you feel welcomed, refreshed or content when you look around and don’t like what you see?
One first step is to get rid of what you don’t like to see. Before you add what you’d like to see, make sure to take away what you don’t want to see.
- Think something looks ugly? Take it to a donation center or consignment shop for someone else. Since everyone’s taste is different, chances are someone else might think your belonging is pretty great.
- Does something bring up bad memories? Time to get it out of your house.
- Can you think of something you just don’t like? It might have been a gift or a foolish purchase on your part – it’s also time to get it out of your home.
- What you don’t like to see may look a lot like clutter. If this is the case, it’s time to start decluttering. Don’t be afraid to get rid of things you don’t love or you don’t need. Just make sure to get it out of your home.
What do you like?
Once your home is free from the things you don’t like, it’s time to start adding things you do like.
This step might look like getting your favorite belongings out and displaying them where you can see them every day.
Or, it might involve buying some new things to add to your home. You don’t have to make radical changes – simply think about what a room really needs or what you’d like to add to a space, then try to find one thing at a time.
To save time and money and not be so wasteful, a great idea is to shop from your home first – simply look at all of your belongings in every room and see what you could juggle around. Maybe a lamp in your bedroom would look dynamite in your living room.
Slowly change your rooms until they make you smile. Whatever style you prefer, embrace it.
What should you add to your haven?
There’s always the possibility you just don’t know what to put in your room or how to style it. You may look at magazines or home improvement shows on TV and know that what you see looks nice – but your home looks nothing like it. And no matter how hard you try, something looks a little off in your home.
If and when this is your reality, try taking note of what you do like. Take pictures or write down notes of everything you like – from colors to styles of furniture to what hangs on the walls or windows.
Notice what looks right to you. Google or search Pinterest for décor in certain rooms. Similarly, search for home decorating ideas.
As you begin to notice what you like and take notes – either written or visually with pictures – begin to think about what could work in the spaces where you live. Given the constraints of your home, what could fit in particular spaces?
Similarly, what colors stand out to you? Start using them in your décor or as wall color.
What do you already own that you could incorporate into some of these dream designs? (And if your budget’s an issue, what could you look for at a thrift store?)
If you still feel like you’re at a loss, even as you narrow down what you like, simply copy from a picture that catches your attention. Don’t be afraid to use the same kind of colors, shapes, fabrics, and patterns. You don’t need to create a completely unique space just to have a haven.
The best parts of living in a haven
To fill an important gap in your life by creating a haven, you’ll feel more fulfilled – and your days and nights will be filled with peace.
First, make sure your relationships – both with God and people – are made right.
Then, work on what your home looks like, first in getting rid of what you don’t like, and then by adding what you do like.
As your home begins to look more and more like a haven, all of the peace and satisfaction you experience will make it feel like a haven, too.
What do you want most in a haven? What has helped you create a haven?
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All images courtesy of Deposit Photos.