Isaiah 32:17-18 (NIV)
The fruit of that righteousness will be peace;
its effect will be quietness and confidence forever.
My people will live in peaceful dwelling places,
in secure homes,
in undisturbed places of rest.
Recently, the Lord started dealing with me personally about the atmosphere of my home. Not saying that we were bad, that inappropriate things were being introduced into our home, or that we had somehow lost a Christian environment in the home. Until He had begun dealing with me, I have always thought of my home as the kick-back-and-relax sort of place to be. That this was my refuge from the troubles of the world outside. While I still believe that to be true, I KNOW that morning, at my kitchen table, with my habitual coffee, journal, & Bible app, what God said. He very clearly impressed on me that, “NO, it is NOT.” My home is a place that should be a comfortable haven from what’s going on outside, that’s true. BUT, my home is a place of HEALING. A place of RESTORATION. It is the place that I can and should be truest to what HE has called me to be. This concept has completely changed how I structure our home life.
(1) If there’s no time to start my day with personal Jesus time, I have too much planned. And, I have stopped pressuring myself to get so much done that I feel like THAT sacred time must be rushed. Describe my daily habit.
Side note: Crazy thing is, when I set this as my intention, even if other things had to falter, the other things came together in easier fashion. Whether it MADE me share the responsibilities or made me more able to handle them well, who is to say?!?
Every day, LEARN SOMETHING NEW. I started this a few years ago, and it has by far been one of the most life-altering habits I have acquired. It has helped me truly discover my deepest interests, beliefs, lifestyles, and convictions like no other thing outside of my personal Jesus time. It enabled me to find my personal list of de-stressors. We all have different interests and personalities, so that list will vary with each of us.
(2) Find your “thing.” Mine is my garden/homestead. Getting my hands in the dirt, collecting chicken eggs, playing with the baby bunnies, and finding ways to incorporate plants that add beauty and function to our home. (I don’t plant things that don’t either provide food, repel garden enemies, or attract garden friends.)
(3) Detoxify my life. Literally & figuratively. This is where I get into my oils! The great thing about the all-natural approach is that each thing I bring into the home can have multiple uses. I use them in my hairspray & gel, deodorant, as perfume, room fragrance, and more.
Some examples of how I use them follow: (Young Living names since those are what I generally use, but other brands have their versions as well.)
Best sleep I ever get is with diffusing Peace & Calming on my nightstand.
If we are home, I am diffusing SOMETHING…. My favorite daytime mixtures usually include lemon, lemongrass, or peppermint. Nighttime is Lavender, Peace & Calming, Thieves, or Lemon. RC during certain seasons of the year.
And the list goes on….
But why would I would combine these subjects in such a seemingly arbitrary fashion? The truth is, it’s anything but arbitrary to me. My study of learning how to garden and care for plants/animals has been extensive, as the skill has not been one that has come naturally or even easily to me. Still, the more I learned of how to care for these things, the more deeply I connected to Jesus’ teachings about stewardship. It goes much further to me now than a financial standard set forth in the Bible. It’s a daily habit of caring for my little section of this Earth God gave us and how to best & most efficiently use these wonderful resources He created to make our lives so abundant. So my hobby suddenly became a way to seek after & connect with God on an entirely different experience level than I had known.
Detoxifying our home has become my favorite job. If that’s the priority job to me as the keeper of the home, it doesn’t matter if life gets crazy, as it sometimes does for us all. It doesn’t matter if I am doing a good job of making sure that the environment stays as that place of healing & respite. We will be restored each day by our environment.
Prov. 17:22 ESV, “A joyful heart is good medicine…” God gave us this life to savor and enjoy. Cultivating the interests He has given us is a big part of that. I believe that God orders every step, and that He gives us our varied desires and interests for a reason.
Once we have our DE-STRESSED home as the place of refuge and encouragement for our family, then it can be that for others. And, we can all agree there is no thing more precious in this life than to be a vessel that God deems worthy to be used for His Kingdom. And it is all to His glory.
Isaiah 61:3 NKJV, “To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”