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Creating Joy in Our Home

     After becoming a mother, I quickly learned that my attitude each day completely influences the minds and hearts of my children. If I am happy and upbeat about something, they follow suit. Even if we have “work” to do that isn’t considered “fun,” if I have a good attitude about it, they work with me without complaining. If I am sad or discouraged about something (despite doing an excellent job of hiding it), there is a tangible, palpable change in the atmosphere of the house. The children become frustrated easier, lose focus, become “bored” and start to quarrel. 

      I have learned that when I start feeling down or discouraged, I am losing sight of the blessings right in front of me.

      The Bible states, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine, but a broken spirit drieth the bones” Proverbs 17:22 (KJV). My heart (spirit) has recently needed some medicine! Even worse, I knew my attitude was affecting my children and I didn’t want to be the cause of “drying their bones!” What this really points to is a lack of joy. Visible joy is what children understand and receive into their spirits. So, I decided to create visual cues and reminders all day. These visual reminders help me to refocus my thinking and become thankful even in the middle of a mess!

     I created a wall in our living room full of purely candid pictures of our family – just the kids, my husband, and me having fun. Many of the pictures were taken with the web cam of my Mac laptop. These are funny, up close, facial shots of all of us, just messing around with the cool camera on mom’s computer. We never intended to actually use the pictures! But I combined them with words built into the picture frames such as family, love and laugh.

     I hung the pictures in an arrangement directly around our television. Although we don’t have cable, we do use the television for the kids DVD’s. So, we are forced to look at these pictures each time the television is on, which helps us to stay in reality and focus on the important things. This is also the room we spend the most time pla

     These were frames that I bought at Wal-Mart (large retail discount store), not from an expensive specialty store, and cost less than five dollars each. The most expensive part is the little rectangle-shaped sign that I found at a furniture store for nine dollars! I didn’t have any frames when I saw the sign but I knew that I had to have that sign in our house because it read “It’s a wonderful life.”

     I share those details because I know many of our readers out there have more creativity in their big thumbs than I have in my whole body! (I’m not just saying that to make you feel good either.) I am not a decorator. I create when I write and teach. I create through research and reading.  Things outside my mind that involve my physical senses are totally secondary. Some of you are so artistic it makes my head spin—in everything from music, art, acting, dance, working with kids, to cooking and of course decorating your “space.”

     So, here is an idea of how to use your space to cultivate an atmosphere of joy in your home (if you artsy people haven’t already). This always helps me to stop and laugh at the little things that try to steal my peace during the day and helps me to practice being truly thankful for the blessings God has given me.

Copyright © 2008-2015 Dorena DellaVecchio, Ph.D.

Reader Comments...
2010-10-04 22:54:58
"Makes me happy to see all the smiling faces. Keep believing and growing in faith with that precious family of yours!"
        - Decie

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