Yesterday, I talked with you about how making your home a sanctuary can benefit your family. Today I want to share with you a few simple, concrete ways that we make our own little home a more peaceful, beautiful place.
I've shared before why icons are a reminder of home - our heavenly home. Aside from the benefits that that kind of reminder has for the spiritual life of you and your family - icons are just beautiful. If you're looking to acquire simple but beautiful (and affordable!) icons, Monastery Icons is a great place to start!
Coffee, tea, and snacks
I'm not really all that great at this yet, but I've found that some of my favorite homes to visit are the ones that offer you coffee or tea when you step in the door. There is nothing more lovely, more relaxing, that sipping a warm drink with a friend.
So, in terms of hospitality, having these things on hand is important - but it's also important for your family. Of course, you might substitute these items with hot chocolate, flavor syrups for steamed milk, apple cider, wine, etc. But the whole point is have food and drink on hand that isn't merely utilitarian. You need to have things on hand that are meant to be shared or enjoyed when relaxing.
Again, I'm not great at this, but I find that when my family has some snacks to share while we're hanging out together - it makes our home feel more like a home. It helps build up our shared family culture.
I don't think it's any secret to our family or friends that our family loves books. Having books readily available sends a message - come, sit, stay awhile. It invites guests to relax, and it invites family members to do the same. There is just something so restful about looking at a wall of books!
Clean throw blankets and quilts
Again, you're trying to make your home as restful as possible - a place where you can all re-charge and find the silence you need to hear God. Blankets and quilts (even lightweight ones for when it's warmer weather) invite settling and making yourself comfortable. A comfy quilt on the couch invites settling in for a movie, a good book, a nap, or even a family rosary!
Tools for prayer
I don't know what your family's preferred methods of prayer are, but part of creating a domestic monastery environment is making prayer as easy as possible for your family. I'm going to confess that that is super simple for our family. It means having my phone or the Kindle next to my bed before I go to sleep and when I wake up in the morning, so I can pray the Liturgy of the Hours. It means keeping a basket on the dresser so that Andrew's rosary doesn't get lost. It means hanging a crucifix in the girl's room so that we have some place to look when we say our bedtime prayers with them. Super, super simple stuff here. Our girls are so little that family prayer is still incredibly, incredibly simple...but that's okay! Imperfect prayer is a thousand times better than no prayer at all!
How do you make your home a restful place?
Don't forget to check out the new book! Yet another way to help your family to grow in prayer.