Last weekend a dear friend came over. Her husband was away for the night on business and I offered a refuge from the sweltering sun. We sat around my table devouring Hawaiian BBQ and later witnessed our kid’s attack each other with water balloons. We were both worn out from a long week and the 97-degree heat did nothing to help us. After dancing in the kitchen with our kids, breaking up countless quibbles between our littles, instructing for the billionth time what sharing looks like, we said our good-byes. Before she left, we stood on the front porch as she shared how a friend told her she’d decided to take back her home. That line, that simple line, “take back your home” had my head spinning. What would it look like to take back my home? 

When everything gets away from us, when we give a grumbly “yes” when we should give a solid “no”, when bickering and raised eyebrows get the best of us… we can take back our homes. It doesn’t have to be like this.

What about for you? What would it look like for you to take back your home? 

Maybe it’s not in utter chaos. Maybe everyone in your home is talking with such love and kindness you could bottle it up and sell it on the streets. Maybe you are pulling your hair out as you stare at your dirty dishes, work with hard and fast deadlines, and all you want to do is take a nap.

If that’s you, consider these five ways you can take back your home:

  1. RELATIONALLY: Where there is relational strife there is a room for resentment and anger to fester.  If you need to apologize in order to move forward from the mess then get to it. Don’t hesitate. If you are in the wrong, cough up the apology that will prompt healing both in your heart and the heart of your significant other, child, or friend.
  2. SYSTEMATICALLY: I’m a firm believer in a schedule and a task list. I lose my footing if I’m constantly surprised or exhausted about what I need to accomplish each day. While this sounds simple, it is pure genius. While you schedule your chiropractic appointment, work meetings, and kid’s dental exam, go ahead and schedule some YOU time. Yes, just you. Share it with whomever you need. Your soul can’t run on empty. You need adequate time to simply be without any obligation or guilt. Want to take a bath? Go for it. Want to take a walk? Slip on those sneakers. Want to stare into space for an hour? Enjoy a hot cup of coffee while you do it. It only seems right.
  3. ORGANIZATIONALLY: Are you tripping over old toys in your kid’s room? Are you searching through your closet for something that fits among all the clothes that don’t? Is your work desk covered in unopened mail, memos, and a thousand other things that demand to be attended to? Purge. Purge what is not useful, necessary, or needed. The small stressors caused by disarray add up relatively quick and provide low-grade anxiety. You’ll find yourself free of labored breathing when your kitchen cupboards, office, kids play area, and closet doesn’t look like a tornado hit it.
  4. SOCIALLY: Community matters. Life is not for the faint of heart and we certainly were never meant to wade through it alone. You don’t have to be in a cheery mood to be with your dearest companions. After all, healthy relationships can fill our emotional cup in, especially draining seasons. All you need is you, the raw, authentic, you. Share your heart: ups, downs, and doozies. It’s the only way to get through this life.

We can take back our homes, one moment, one day, and one month at a time.