Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Thursday, June 23, 2011


 Over the years I have been inspired by authors who have written about how we as woman can have influence in our homes; we can create atmosphere! 

 Atmosphere is essential.  How do you want your home to feel, smell, sound?  I love a comfy bed with fresh sheets -

 Fresh picked strawberries from our garden, hot soapy dishwater, 

 the birdbath filled with water after a rainstorm.  I love books read aloud, and read silently while we all sit around in the living room with oil lamps and candles burning - for atmosphere.

 What is the tone in your home?  Is there lots of yelling and chaos, or peace and order?  My home is all of those things sometimes!  But we are always working to check our attitudes and walk in grace with each other.  The atmosphere in our home is seen in home sewn skirts, kids sitting around the kitchen table working on projects and listening to Jonathan Park.  It is my husband calling us all together for family worship, trying to sing new songs, teenagers laughing and having fun with their parents and younger siblings.

 It's a sheet, or coverlet tossed over an old chair, and a family who loves to sit in it to read.  It is taking time to think through what speaks warmth and welcome to your family and guests.  It is music playing on my laptop while cooking in the afternoon.  It's welcoming a young woman into our home, and holding her in my arms when she is missing her mother. 

 It is learning about plants, and finding out how to use them both for health and for beauty, and encouraging my daughters to learn this as well.

 God is an awesome creator, and we being made in His image are creators as well.    I like to have nice artwork in our home.  I like to display the girls photography or paintings.  You can see some of their artwork by clicking here

 While my kids were away tonight, swimming in my parents pool, I vacuumed really well, and then mopped the floors.  I added Orange Sweet essential oil into the floor cleaning solution.   I love to do this and citrus is a good scent to use for the summer!  Lindsay mentioned when she got home that she could tell I had cleaned the floors because she smelled the citrus scent!

 I also had candles lit, and only the string of white lights over the cupboards on in the kitchen when they got home.  They all came trooping in to my room where I was talking on the phone to my sweetheart, who was at work.  I had no electric lights burning, only oil lamps.  Sarah sweet spirit responded to the atmosphere right away. "Oh, Mom!  It's so pretty in here.  I wish we could do away with our electric and just use oil lamps all the time!"  I smiled.  I knew it would speak to her.  I also know that when she is a home keeper one day she will be making a beautiful atmosphere in her own home.

It can seem overwhelming to a busy mom to take the time to do these small things, but I want to encourage you to give it a try.  Take the time to bake some bread or cookies, put music on, read books, talk together, watch a movie.  

I like my house to be clean, but it is often messy...books strewn, socks or shoes left under the table, knitting projects left on a counter, dog hair everywhere! We live in our house 24/7 - it is not just a place we sleep!  It is not a magazine perfect home by any stretch of the imagination.  But we try to keep it reasonably tidy, we all function much better in a non cluttered environment.

What do you want the atmosphere of your home to communicate?  What memories do you want your family to have of home?  Is your home a place where others are welcomed and included? Does your husband love to come home? I'd love to hear about the things that you do that are meaningful to your family, and make others feel welcome!  

Here is a list of books and authors that encouraged me.

The Spirit of Loveliness by Emilie Barnes.

First We Have Coffee by Margaret Jensen

Things Happen When Women Care by Emilie Barnes

Hidden Art of Homemaking by Edith Schaeffer

What are the books that inspire you?


Anonymous said...

Good thoughts and ideas this morning! Have a blessed weekend.

Tracy said...

Beautiful! And knowing you, and your heart, your home is a most pleasant place to be.

I don't burn the candles/oil lamps near as often in the summer...I should!

Rebecca said...

I ☻ the atmosphere at your house! The extra touches make the difference, I DO believe.

Books? The same Edith Schaeffer one you mentioned and most any by Alexandra Stoddard...

sherry said...

.First We Have Coffee.
is a dearly beloved book
of mine - one i refer
back to time and again.

loved this post..

Terri said...

I struggle with making my home a welcoming does not seem to come easy to me, even after 21 yrs. of marriage. Your post has inspired me and made me realize that it is the little things my children will remember in the days to come. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Oh, Deanna! I love it! I'm big into atmosphere, too. Love the candle glowing and always have soothing classical music playing when I'm working at home. I like hiding little "story settings" of books and what-nots, here or there, so that wherever one looks there's a story to be had of good things and beauty. And, thank you - we live in our house, too! Sometimes for the worse of it as I will need to use my dining room as a "staging area" for my speaking programs during the week - but I do try to keep our personal living space all to our personal time. Cats, also, really add to the atmosphere. Though, I'd be a little worried about the oil lamps burning as they are curious and tend to jump up - just a jostle this way or that . . .

Loved my visit with you today!
Miss Kathy

detweilermom said...

I really struggle in this area. I really like it when I get the energy and take the time to do this. Lately we have been lucky to get if we all eat at dinnertime. Hannah, Dave and I do all gather on our bed and watch old sitcoms together.

Anonymous said...

Love the shabby chic sheet on the chair. It's so summery and cozy.

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

Beautiful! I want to come over and spend an afternoon. :)

I love all the books you listed and Alexandra Stoddard's decorating books.

I also love to read Laine's Letter's archives, of which I have printed out most of them (many when they came to me on her e-mail list). She has such practical advice.

My current re-passion is cookbooks with good recipes and lovely pictures. I read someone say that they are the adult equivalent to a child's picture book... how true. :)

Dianna said...

Thanks for the inspiration! One of my favorite things is the scent of baked goods—cookies, cake, or especially bread! When I make breakfast before my son wakes up (I don't do that often enough), he usually comments that "the smell came up to his nose" and his morning goes that much better.

I agree about keeping things tidy too. With two small children, our house can get pretty messy if I don't pick up regularly. But the atmosphere is so much more peaceful when things are picked up, and my kids even behave better! I'm happier too.

Anonymous said...

Great post - think we always need to have a periodic check as to the atmosphere in the home.

Kelly said...

I really need to work on this. It's definitely not my strong suit. I'm never sure what to do.

Vee said...

Oh I so loved reading this post...missed it somehow. I am being gifted with one of those books and I love "First We Have Coffee." It is the last book that my mother read cover to cover because it was the last her mother read cover to cover.

Your home sounds delightful and that you do all these things on purpose is very special. Your family is blessed.

I have some orange something I want to clean something.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE this post! And you make a good point, us homemakers and/or homeschooling families *live* in our homes 24/7 so there will be signs of use. It simply cannot remain 'magazine perfect', nor would we want it to be.

But we can create an atmosphere of *loveliness* and *cosiness* and *hominess*, can't we.

A lovely reminder, thank you....

Gina said...

I so agree! It is such a challenge to turn the chaos of living into a peaceful home - but so rewarding!


  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. We spent Saturday, doing things around the house, and then we swam. Kyle and Sarah left after that...