4 Essentials to an Emotionally Healthy Home

4 Essentials to an Emotionally Healthy Home

When I was a little girl, I had a pink room with two windows—one that looked directly into my backyard and another that looked at our neighbors’ home. I had a rainbow comforter, a Strawberry Shortcake doll, and a couple of Care Bears sitting in a row in front of my pillows. Most of my time was spent in that room—I still remember it so vividly.

My home was not a healthy home—it was pretty far from it—and that room of mine, well, it was more of a hiding place, a place where I could sometimes find the peace and solace that I craved. I always longed for a healthy home, even though I had no concept of what one really was. I just knew it was different from what I had.

But, as for today, I DO know what a healthy home looks like, and I know what it consists of. And, I also know that if my home had these 4 essentials, things would have been a lot different for me—which is exactly why I want to share them with you.

1. Everyone is SEEN. Everyone is seen for who they are. The ones with the big emotions and the ones who barely show any. Mom, Dad, the kids—they all get to emotionally express themselves. They aren’t silenced, they aren’t ridiculed, and they aren’t dismissed. They aren’t told their emotions are unnecessary, over the top, or too much. They aren’t told to stop crying. In fact, their tears are seen as a normal reaction to something hard, sad, or painful. They are seen as more than their emotions, and no one ever feels like a bother.

2. Everyone is HEARD. Everyone gets to have a voice that matters, and, when that voice speaks out—people listen. No one has to agree with what is being said, but that voice, no matter how little, how shy, or how loud and afraid, it is important enough to be heard. Respect can still be instilled without a voice being stolen away. There is simply an environment of freedom to express what is really going on with each person.

3. Everyone feels SAFE. When people within a family know they are seen and heard, it begins to produce safety. Safety is formed out of responsiveness. Safety happens when you can have a hard day, and you are allowed to cry or be angry and still be listened to — instead of being sent away, dismissed, or judged. Safety encourages asking for help and leaning on one another. Safety looks for signs of hard days, sadness, or anger. It says, “I have your back, and you can trust that.” 

4. Everyone experiences COMFORT. Comfort is having a known place to turn to when life is hard. It is a valuable resource that makes sure no one ever feels alone in their struggles. Comfort teaches us that when hard things happen, we need not fear, because we have a resource. We have someone willing to sit with us, help us, and just be there. Comfort says, “You matter.” Comfort doesn’t sweep things under the rug, dismiss, or lash out in anger; it just offers, well, comfort.

As moms and dads, we have a responsibility to create a healthy home. Most of that effort comes from how we treat one another. When we, as parents, have God in the center of our marriage, we will focus on loving one another well, just as He commands. It will be much easier for us to show grace, compassion, empathy, patience, and love.

So, if you need a starting place, start with your relationship. Do you feel SEEN, HEARD, SAFE and COMFORTED with one another? If not, there’s a high probability your kids don’t feel those things either. Prepare yourself to do what it takes to get your relationship in order. Be willing to work on your marriage, so your kids won’t have to work on theirs. 

If you want to see how you’re doing, go check out these tough but necessary questions to ask the members of your family today!

How to Make Use of the Pause

How to Make Use of the Pause

For quite some time now, our society has been all about the hustle. We’ve been running ourselves ragged trying to achieve more, get more, and of course all while we stay in control of our lives. But what if that’s never been what life was supposed to be about? What if is all we’ve done is just indeed run ourselves ragged?

If we’re honest, I think we’re all feeling this fatigue, and even though a contagious virus is not how most of us would choose to pause, some of us have been craving it for quite some time.

But now that we’re here, what do we do with it? How do we slow down and make use of it when we’ve been so trained to constantly run?

Our first step is to RE-ENGAGE. We must re-engage with what is important. What is it that you’ve lost touch with amidst all the hustling? When’s the last time you’ve thought about your priorities in life? Are they making it to the top of your list on a daily basis?

Let’s see…

Here are some questions to ask yourself to make sure you’re pausing well…

Does your relationship with God look as it should? Have you been making time to pray, to be in His Word? This is a foundational part of a purposeful day and a purposeful life. Taking time pausing to ask the Father what He has for you on any given day. Allowing Him to align your priorities; taking the time to sit with him, to converse, to listen, to simply pause. This is always priority number one, and when we miss it, we usually can tell.

What does time with your spouse and your family look like? How long have they just been getting the scraps? When’s the last time you had a conversation together about anything other than the kids or the running of the household… or, about how exhausted you are?

It’s time for a change. Use this pause to re-engage your family. Pull out that devotional that you’ve attempted to do 100 times. If you don’t have one, we’ve got a great one for you HERE. Get talking with one another. Play a game with the kids, have a family dinner where you actually have conversations without heads angled down into a phone. Put some new phone free rules into place.

Engage one another. 

Prioritize your family.

Lastly, how have you been investing in the lives of others? Who is that friend you’ve been meaning to check in on? I personally have a friend who has written me a card with a note and a prayer in it every week for almost a year now. That friend has been a lifeline for me. Are you being that friend? Maybe now you can actually take the time to sit down and write a letter to someone. Maybe someone needs a call, a gift card, or just some contact letting them know you’re there, you’re praying, and you see them.

God always wants us loving others well, and yet our busyness never seems to allow time for that. But now, now we have the time.

It’s time for us to USE THE PAUSE and RE-ENGAGE.

Let’s slow it all down together. Align with God and His priorities…Love Him and love others (Matthew 22:37-39). Let’s take God at His Word and “consider it pure joy when we face trials” (James 1:2-4) because let’s face it, sometimes those trials bring us exactly what we’ve been needing the whole time. Let’s use this difficult time as an opportunity to create some good.

BONUS INFO : In addition, now is a great time to evaluate your greatest stressors to help you identify more areas to address that can help make your life better.

  • How are your finances, if this situation is making you feel vulnerable, is there something you need to change?
  • How is your physical health? Is your body feeling the strain of the stress?
  • What is it you’re afraid of running out of? Why? Are you panicked? Ask yourself why.
  • Are any fears you need to deal with being identified? Now that they’re on the table, it’s time to address them.

Here’s to moving forward, linking arms and making purpose of the pause together! It’s time to grow!