It’s been a rough few weeks in our home. A dreaded medical procedure lingered over me — everything’s fine by the way — but it really affected my mood and attitude.
You know that saying, “When Mama ain’t happy, no one is”?
Well, in case you didn’t know, it’s true!
The stress and anxiety overflowed into every area of my life.
I was grouchy, grumpy, jittery and just plain mean. I turned into a yelling mama, which is something no mother ever wants to do. I let certain routines fall to the wayside which in return, opened the door for chaos and stress for my family.
One morning recently as I was preparing for the day in my quiet time, I realized I had had enough.
I didn’t like what I was seeing in our home. I didn’t like the way my attitude was negatively affecting just about every area of our home.
So after some time in prayer and confession, I made a decision right then and there that not only did I need to do a better job at self-care, but I needed to change the atmosphere of our home too. So I wrote out a list in my planner of some physical things I could do to help not only change my heart and attitude but also the entire atmosphere of our home.
I kept the list on the kitchen counter and I immediately began to go through the list by physically doing each thing. It was no surprise but after just a few minutes of my commitment to change my heart, everyone else followed suit too.
So if you are also in a rough season or if a bad case of the grumpies has invaded your home, work your way through the list below and I promise, the atmosphere will change.
After all, it’s hard to stay in that negative place when the door has been opened for God to come into our homes!
15 Ways to Instantly Change the Atmosphere in Your Home
Invite Jesus In
It seems obvious, but how many times do we actually pray the words, “Lord Jesus, come in and invade our home”
I’m reminded of the Watermark song Invade
Jesus, come and walk the halls of this house
Tread this place and turn it inside out
With Your mercy…
Jesus, teach us the prayers that open these doors
Until Your light floods in and illuminates these floors
And let Your truth be on our steps and in these rooms
Spend some time right now, praying over your home. If you are new to this and don’t know where to begin, use these prayer prompts.
Extraordinary things happen when we open our doors and hearts to Jesus!
Leave the Bible Open
I’ve been listening to the free course Joy in Your Homemaking by Jami of YoungWifesGuide.com (it’s fantastic by the way… you can listen for free here) and one practical suggestion she gives is to simply keep your Bible open on the kitchen counter for the day instead of tucking it back into my Bible book basket after I’m done reading.
This week I kept it open to Isaiah, what I’m reading through with She Reads Truth.
Specifically, I kept it open and continued to read the words found in Isaiah 54:10,
but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my convenant of peace shall not be removed,’ says the LORD, who has compassion on you.
Throughout the day, in my comings and goings, I was able to glance down and see the Word of God.
Not only was I able to see it but kids began to ask why I had my Bible out and open which gave way for special conversations.
Having the Bible open also gave me a place to turn my attention when I would begin to feel my blood boiling or when I was about to lose my temper with a child.
God’s Word captured my heart allowing me to reply with a gentle answer to turn away wrath. (Proverbs 15:1)
Display Bible Verses
Having God’s Word displayed throughout our homes is such a simple way to change the atmosphere.
Whether it be simple handwritten index cards or beautiful Scripture artwork, when you can see Bible verses in each room of our homes, it immediately allows our attention to turn to His grace.
Turn on Music
We recently purchased a fancy-schmancy SMART TV that allows us to stream apps. I’ve been turning on my favorite Pandora station and allowing praise and worship music to softly play in the background.
The effects have been dramatic!
It’s been a rainy few weeks so we haven’t been able to get outside much so recently I turned on some kid-appropriate dance music and initiated a mandatory dance party to help all of us let out some energy. Let me challenge you to keep a straight face and grumpy attitude when you are watching your kids wiggle about it unbridled glee.
As in don’t just tell your kids to go play, actually play with them.
Do you know the calming effect play-doh has? Or entering into the imaginary world of your children as you sit cross-legged in front of their dollhouse and listen to their commentary?
Don’t have young kids? Join your older children for a game of hoops in the driveway. Or do something else you love that makes you feel like a free spirit for a few minutes.
Open the Windows
Let your homes, and your weary souls, breath a bit.
It’s spring as I type this, so the weather has been perfect for a little fresh air to breeze through.
One of my favorite things is to sit next to an open window on a rainy day and listen to the rainfall and smell the rainy air. Crisp cool days of fall and winter are also refreshing to breathe in a little fresh air too.
If weather or allergies prevent you from opening the windows, pull back the curtains and open the blinds to let natural light illuminate your home.
Pull Out a Game or Puzzle
Play a favorite family game with your kids (so long as it isn’t a gateway for negative attitudes if someone loses) and laugh together with a little friendly competition.
My daughter has recently become a fan of puzzles, so we have been putting those together too. It’s actually incredibly therapeutic to use your brain in challenging ways 🙂
I also keep a free Sudoku app on my phone for when I just need a minute to do something other than reading or scrolling through social media.
Listen to the Bible
I have shared about my favorite app YouVersion before but I can’t stress enough how amazing it is!
First of all, it is FREE!
Secondly, you literally have access to just about every Bible translation you could ever want and Bible reading plans and short devotionals (some do have a small fee) at your fingertips.
But my favorite feature is that a few of the Bible translations also have the option to listen to the Bible for free. No need to buy an expensive, bulky CD set or download something else on your phone or computer.
I listen to the ESV version and the man reading has a very soothing and engaging voice. I’ll listen in the morning while I’m fixing breakfast, working around the home, or on those days when my eyes just won’t stay open to actually read the text!
An added bonus is my kids are also hearing the Word of God too!
Count Your Blessings
It’s hard to stay grumpy when you are practicing thankfulness.
I make it a priority to write in my gratitude journal each day by listing 1 or 2 things I’m thankful for or a sweet memory and blessing from the day before.
It takes a few seconds but really does put your heart in the right place.
Entice Your Sense of Smell
Lighting a candle or diffusing some essential oils is a simple thing yet allows you to engage your sense of smell.
Let’s be honest for a second… if you have kids, you probably have a stinky home regardless of the age 😉 (I’ve been told stinky diapers are replaced with stinky shoes)
Bake a Special Treat
If cooking or baking is therapeutic for you, turn on the oven and get to work!
Invite your kids in after school to bake an afternoon treat during what I like to call the “witching hours” which always feel like the hardest part of the day in my book.
If messes only add to your grumpy mood, load the kids up and head out for a special treat at a nearby bakery, coffee shop or ice cream parlor.
Recently we had an unusually warm March afternoon so we stopped at the grocery store on the way home from school to pick up some popsicles.
It’s simple, out of the ordinary things that not only produce sweet memories but also invites a little laughter in.
Add Seasonal Decor
Simple touches to our homes help make them feel like a haven and one super easy way to do that is to bring a little bit of the season in.
It can be as simple as a decorative bowl filled with plastic eggs, or a patriotic banner on the shelf, or a group of small pumpkins on the mantel.
The dollar spot at Target is my favorite place to look for inexpensive, yet pretty, seasonal decor items but you can use natural objects found in your own backyard too!
Setting a pretty vase of flowers on the table not only looks pretty but can smell good too!
Whenever I’m at the store, I always look for an inexpensive arrangement of flowers or a plant that would make a lovely addition to our home. For a few weeks every summer, we have a beautiful blooming bush in our yard that I clip from.
I don’t know what it is, but having a vase of fresh flowers on the kitchen table just makes me smile and our home feels more special.
Set the Timer
Play a game that is not only motivating and gets everyone moving but will also be productive too. Set the timer for a short amount, like 5 minutes, and give everyone a task (like cleaning or decluttering a particular area).
Once the timer goes off, the area should be picked up. Repeat as needed and then offer some sort of fun reward.
I have young kids who are still easy to convince that cleaning is fun 😉 but this works for my motivation too! If I’m working against the time and know I have a reward waiting for me, my motivation to get to cleaning kicks in!
Look at Photo Albums
Ok this can go one of two ways… you will laugh and talk about such sweet memories, or you will cry 🙂 I’ve done both (word of advice, don’t look at baby pictures while you are nursing your last baby. It doesn’t end well!)
My kids love to pull out our photo books and look through them. It’s fun to look back and see how much everyone has grown and changed, as well as remember those simple everyday, ordinary moments that were so cherished at the time.
And of course, PRAY!
If your heart and attitude are just really in a dark place, pray to God. His perfect peace is real and comforting.
Our prayers are not always answered in the ways we think we need but His ways are best.
If you have no idea where to start with praying, try simply praying through your home room by room or print off this prayer calendar to pray for your children while they are at school. Or you can use one of these marriage resources to pray over your marriage and husband.
But the best prayer to pray is to pray God’s Word over your heart and home. It is life-changing.