How is the mood in your home recently? Is it filled with bickering and unrest or laughter and joy? Maybe it’s like mine where it shifts from one to the other. No matter the season, there is always a rhythm in every home. Here are 5 easy yet effective ways to bring more joy into your home. The good news is that you can start incorporating at least one of these now.
Home should be a place where we relax, unwind and connect with those we love. These days the mood in our house is relatively calm and peaceful. The kids are a bit older (12, 10 & 7) so we are past the diapers, sleepless nights and daily tantrums (most days).
Truthfully, it has not always this way and we still have days when it’s a complete catastrophe. But I’ve found that there are certain habits we have tried to maintain that bring more peace and calm into our home.
I hope that they will bring calm and joy into your home as well. Here are 5 easy habits that have help our family.
5 Habits The Bring More Joy Into Our Home
1.Dinner together: No matter what the schedule, my family and I try to eat dinner together. We have pizza on Fridays but most days I cook dinner at home. There have been days when we are eating at 9pm, due to the various sporting activities but even then we all sit around the dinner table.
I recently started incorporating “Sweet, Sour, Service” into our dinner conversation. It is an idea I first heard about from Jordan Page at Fun Cheap or Free. Sweet is something great that happened in our day, sour is something that made us sad and service is how we have helped our family or someone that day. It’s been a wonderful conversation starter while we eat. I love that it adds acts of service as well, which is an important part to our family.
2. Family Prayer: My 7-year-old is the dinner prayer champ. She loves to lead the prayer before we eat dinner and her prayers are always so sweet and moving. One of my favorite is when she says “God, please let this food be yummy and lead us down the right path.” We all start our dinner smiling at many of her prayers.
If you would like to add prayer before meals to your family dinners, I share a few of our favorites. Grab the FREE download and start by suggesting it tonight and leading with a short prayer. If you are not yet use praying at dinner it might be helpful to write a couple of prayers beforehand or grabbing this useful list to help you get started. Remember to keep it simple!
3. Family meetings/prayer on Sundays: Family meetings are a great way to keep everyone on the same page. We usually do a short prayer and then check our weekly calendar for any upcoming events or conflicts. I share what we are having for dinner that week and any late nights or early morning events I might have for work.
Additionally, Mark and I coordinate drop off or pick-ups for any appointments that week as well. It’s important to keep these meetings short and fun.
We use to check our week and what worked and didn’t work and improvement we would like to see but I found that we all came into the meeting a little defensive so now we keep them light and to the point. They have gone so much better. Each child gets to take turn in leading the meeting and we rotate each week.
4. Mass on Sundays: Service is a huge part of our family life. Whatever activity we do on Sunday it’s almost always after church. I know many people might find the Catholic mass boring, predictable and rigid, I have found it so wonderful recently and even joyful!
Moreover, I see going to church as being personally invited to God’s house each week and I feel His presence every time I enter. My children also enjoy going to mass (most days). This wasn’t always the case and there are still days when the 7-year-old fuss about going but it has become such a part of our routine that it’s no longer a big deal.
It’s just something we do every week. Do you go to mass with your family? If not, what is keeping you away?
5. Sibling Pledge: Are you tired of being the referee for your kids? I know how that is because my kids use to (still do!) argue as well. There was one point where the boys were fighting ALL.THE.TIME! One summer when my mom was visiting, she started this wonderful exercise that has amazed our family. We call it the sibling pledge.
It’s pretty simple really. The kids form a circle and hold hands.
One sibling starts by saying “(name of sibling), I love you and I am so thankful I am your brother. I will lift you up and not bring you down; be kind and helpful. I ask God to bless you and watch other you.”
The other sibling says something similar back to his brother or sister until all the kids have said their promise to each other. If you were thinking of incorporating any of these ideas, I would suggest you try this one. It has been truly amazing for the kids.
Starting something new takes time and patience. But using these simple tips, eating together, praying together and committing to be kind to each other can make your home what God intends it to be; filled with love, laughter and radiant joy!
I hope these have given you some ideas on how to get started. I pray that His peace fill your home always.