Making Home a Haven

This week I am linking up with Monica at The Homespun Heart to share the different ways that I try to make my home a haven for both my husband and our children.  Today, we are sharing ways that we organize and plan our days to experience both efficiency and peace in our sometimes hectic, fast-paced lives!

Please feel free to join us by either linking up with Monica and sharing your own post, or leaving a comment here with other ideas for creating a haven in our homes and in our hearts.

In our home, our mornings used to be both chaotic and rushed.  Breakfasts were served at the counter.  Milk cups were often overturned.  Conversation was nil.  I knew that something had to change.

As our home was built to resemble a traditional farmhouse, we don’t have a huge “country kitchen” like many of today’s more contemporary homes can boast.  Rather, we have a small “working” kitchen that meets our family’s needs, but does not provide for a large eat-in area.  To overcome this challenge, I recently rearranged our family room furniture, removing a large coffee table that took up a lot of floor space.  By opening up the family room, it allowed for a small pedestal kitchen table with four chairs to be placed in the space between the kitchen and family room.  It is the perfect solution to a not so perfect floor plan!



Our kitchen, freshly painted this past Spring.



Our new kitchen table and chairs.



I added the table runner and candle to warm things up.



Creating a haven for breakfast time.


(Please excuse the poor images!  My husband has taken our DSLR camera with him on business and I am using an old “point and shoot”.  Clearly, that camera has seen better days!)

Our newly-created “eat-in” kitchen area has made such a difference in our mornings.  The children actually look forward to breakfast; especially our oldest as she loves the sense of unity that the table provides and gets to lead us in grace at each meal.

A few other efforts at creating a haven for breakfast time and the start to our busy days…

  • reviewing the family calender the night before so that we know where each of us is coming and going;
  • setting the alarm clocks one half-hour earlier for each member of the family and their respective “awakening” times;
  • setting out the bowl and spoon or plate and fork at each place setting the night before;
  • turning off all electronics (t.v., radio, phones, computer, etc.) at the start of breakfast
  • lighting a candle and beginning our breakfast with grace;
  • sitting at the table and eating with the children.

It just seems that by beginning our day at a slower-pace, the rest of our activities flow more smoothly from getting out the door to drop off our kindergartner and preschooler, to arriving on time for scheduled appointments, and finally to sitting down as a family for dinner!

I won’t lie though.  Not every morning runs smoothly, we still have our hiccups or bumps in the road! Today is a perfect example.  I wished to follow Monica’s lead and start my day a half-hour earlier by preparing for my upcoming Bible study lesson and I just could not get up when that alarm went off!  While our newest blessing is such a welcome addition to our family, his “breakfast” schedule is just a wee bit off from the rest of ours and that 3:00 AM nursing session sometimes interferes with a 5:30 AM awake time!

So how do you begin your mornings?  I’d love to hear any tips and tricks you use to get yourself and/or your little ones out the door in the AM!




About gracioushomeliving

Welcome to her Little Ways, my blog dedicated to gracious home living. I invite you to join me as I chronicle our daily happenings that nurture my faith and family, heart and home as I strive to do ordinary tasks with extraordinary love.
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9 Responses to Making Home a Haven

  1. Hi Valerie,
    Thanks so much for visiting my blog. And thank you so much for your kind words.
    I am in love with your home! It is a dream to me. Just lovely!
    Although I am a big planner our mornings don’t go so well. Yours sounds much more relaxed. I like the idea of us all sitting down together. At least me and the boys(husband leaves too early). Thanks for sharing your day…..I am going to try breakfast with the boys tomorrow at the table!
    Have a great week!

    • Thank you, Tasha!

      Eating breakfast with the little ones has been such a joy. Previously it was a rushed meal that provided little in the way of conversations, table etiquette, and peace. Now, it is a much more joyful experience and my kiddos let me know when I skip our breakfast rituals!

      Wishing you a wonderful week to from the Heartland!

  2. Valerie – I am so glad to “meet” you. Your house is just lovely. I live in a town with lots of beautiful architechture – lots of Greek revival mansions from the antebellum period. The farmhouse is my true love though! We have a lovely home in a subdivision, but if I could turn it into a farmhouse, I sure would!

    • Hello Shannon!

      We sure are kindred spirits! We too live in a subdivision. I hate it. Not the house. Not even the neighbors. Just the crowdedness of it all…the “rules” (not that I would ever be one to paint my house pink or electric blue, but I hate having to get “approval” to change my mailbox! good grief!!!)…the sameness.

      Looking forward to getting to know you better!


  3. Monica says:

    Thanks so much for linking up today – I hope your haven was blessed for the efforts you invested! May God bless you in your desire to honor Him in your home!


  4. Thanks so much for sharing how you start the day in your HaVeN ♥ Our family of 6 lives in a 1,000 sq. ft. home that we were blessed to be able to build with our own hands. I share your experience of being “cozy” in the kitchen/dinning area. We love having breakfast together as a family. My weekly menu helps so much to get breakfast and lunches made. I usually try to make a hot breakfast most mornings and the more I can do the night before the smoother that goes. I have heard the concept of setting the table before going to bed… but never tried it. I loved the photo of your table runner and candle ~ so warm and inspiring!
    BlEsSiNgS, Kelsey

    • Hi Kelsey!

      We too built our own home…literally. Well my husband and I and about 18 of our closest friends through the fire department that my husband works for. Did you know that just about every fire fighter has a 2nd job! It’s true and most do some type of day labor…tile/carpet/dry wall/framing, etc.! I always joke that if my house starts to fall down around me I’ll know who to call!

      I too use a menu to map out my meals for the week. Kudos to you for doing a hot breakfast most mornings! I’m still working on that, but even having the cereal boxes already out and ready to go cuts down on less “to do” item in the AM.

      Looking forward to getting to know you better!


  5. Clorissa says:

    Hello Valerie,

    Just stopping by from Monica’s haven post. I love your home…very beautiful and cozy!

    I love all of your ideas for beginning the day.

    I am bookmarking your blog. Love it!

    Blessings to you and yours,

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