Creating a Joyful Home

We have had more drama around here this week than should be allowed in a 72-hour span. From failed math tests to testing limits to the dog deciding to scatter the full kitchen trash can all over my living room, we've had plenty of frustration. We've shed enough tears this week to sink the Titanic. My kids are physically and mentally exhausted, and I'm not far behind.

So, today, we're taking the day off. The girls are out of school for conferences, and we're spending the day doing fun things. Do I have work that needs to be done and a house that needs to be cleaned? Yep. But tomorrow is soon enough for chores and work. Today, we're going to play games, laugh ourselves silly and check out the new trampoline playground with some friends. We're going to forget the drama of the week and focus on refreshing our souls and our minds.

Sometimes our families just need to hit the pause button. Our schedules get crazy, life gets overwhelming and we forget that we can have fun. We forget to enjoy the moment. We forget to rest.

Proverbs 17:22 says, "A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." We've had a lot of crushed spirits around here this week, and when that happens home becomes a gloomy place. Mom and dad get stressed. The kids are quick to get frustrated and burst into tears. Everyone gets stuck in a general malaise of unhappiness.

When you find your home filled with crushed spirits, it's time to lighten the mood. It's time to set aside some time to be deliberate in creating some joyful hearts. It's time to remember the things you love about your kids and the things they love about you. Intentionally creating joy in your home creates those cheerful hearts.

If your home is full of crushed spirits, try a few of these ideas to intentionally create cheerful hearts:

1. Set aside some time to do something fun. Take a break from the seriousness and frustrations of life, and create a day or an afternoon to focus on having fun. Be present and available to your kids.

2. Create laughter. Tell jokes, look at funny pictures, make up funny stories. Create reasons to laugh even when you might not feel like it. Just one bark of laughter can get everyone smiling.

3. Declare a moratorium on complaining and criticism. Any time someone is tempted to complain, ask them to pray before opening their mouths. If someone does complain, create a funny punishment like singing "Happy Birthday" while hopping on one foot.

4. Get out of the house. Go for a walk around the neighborhood, take the kids to the park, go window shopping at the mall. A change of scenery does a world of good for those crushed spirits. Be intentional in looking for things to smile about while you're out.

5. Focus on being thankful. Have thankfulness moments throughout the day where everyone has to list three things for which they are thankful and no one can repeat what someone else has said. It's nearly impossible to be grumpy and thankful at the same time.

When our families' spirits are crushed, we have to be intentional about creating an atmosphere for a cheerful heart. Sometimes our kids just need us to take a break and create a new atmosphere. Create a joyful home today.

Linking up today with Denise in Bloom.