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5 Home-Shaping Tips & a Home Decor Giveaway!

If you popped over here from my Encouragement for Today devotion I have running on Proverbs 31 & Crosswalk.com, welcome!

If you haven’t peeked at it yet, click here to get up to speed on today’s topic & giveaway!!! (Yay!! I love giveaways!!)

And, if you decide you like what you read here on my humble little blog, please consider entering your email address just above the word “subscribe” in the right side bar just next to this paragraph. You’ll receive any new blog posts via your email in-box. So simple!


Don’t you just love Thida’s phrase?

“Thank you for helping me to shape our home.”

Home shaping is serious business. Just take a peek into what God says about a woman’s power to either shape or to shatter:

“A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands.” Proverbs 14:1

Are we shaping or shattering?

Others are watching. What will they see?

Here are 5 tips for shaping your home. For morphing it into a place where others will both see and experience God’s love.

1. Pause before you pounce. Unkind words hurled at others in haste do not show the love of God to a watching world. All they do instead is show our ability to throw what my husband calls “flesh balls”. Remember, we are to walk in the spirit, not in the flesh.

2.  Freely forgive. When wronged, as we all are sometimes, refuse the invitation to get “historical”, bringing up all past trespasses and blunders and such. (Trust me…I am waaaaay too historical waaay too often!)

3.  Frown less. Would it kill us to ask a family member to “please pass the salt” with a smile on our face? Could we pass our child or spouse in the hall and give them a wink and I quick “I love you like crazy, ‘ya know!”? Must we treat complete strangers with more kindness and care than our own flesh and blood?

4. Laugh more. Listen to the young child’s knock, knock jokes. Get out the old home videos and reminisce. Pop popcorn and rent a clean comedy the whole family will enjoy splitting a gut over. (And note to self: Actually watch the movie with them. Put away the laundry needing to be folded. And the over-looked paper piles waiting to be sorted. And other piddly, distracting busy work. It will all wait patiently for you, I promise.)

5.  Saturate yourself  with the Word of God. Everywhere. On your mirrors, on your fridge, on the signature line of your checkbook, on the dash of your car.

Which brings us to today’s home-shaping giveaway.

In this prior post about my recent Christmas holiday decor, I spoke of my sweet, godly friend & co-author Trish Smith. She is a crafter extraordinaire who can whip up a handmade and heartfelt piece of home art with both her eyes closed!


Think HGTV expert with Jesus’ love appliqued on her heart.

One of her most well-known projects is her line of scripture signs.

I have one hanging in my laundry room:  “Create in me a clean heart, O God”.

Our living room wall boasts our family name with a verse stenciled faintly in the background that reads: “Choose for yourselves whom you will serve; As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord”

I have a marriage one in my bedroom.

Another inspirational one in my office.

And now, I want to give one of you a chance to also own a Trish Smith original! You could win today’s giveaway centered around one of her beautiful wooden scripture signs.

One gal who leaves a comment on this post will win the following package (valued at $48!) :

~ This neutral-colored scripture sign, hand-crafted by Trish Smith. (The dot of the “I” in the word light is a little flickering flame. Too cute!)

~ A $10 Kmart/Sears gift card to be used in the stores or online. Are your dish rags too ragged? Need a new pretty casserole dish? How about a decorative scented candle or pretty rustic vase? Get yourself something new for your home.

~ A signed copy of my book A Life That Says Welcome; Simple Ways to Open Your Heart and Home to Others. 1/3 of the book is my story of marrying into a family full of gourmet cooks, decorating divas and even a bed & breakfast owner who was featured in Southern Living magazine—while domestically-challenged me could barely boil water!!

The remaining 2/3 features practical recipes, cleaning & de-cluttering tips, and home decorating shortcuts—all on a budget!

So leave us a comment on home-shaping tips you can think to share.

They can be words of advice to shape your home’s friendly atmosphere.

Or give us a quick or clever decorating tip.

Or perhaps a family-fun snack you serve to your clan.

Or anything that struck a chord with you from this devotion or blog post.

Or, if your day is swamped, simply say “I’m in!”

The winner will be chosen and announced on Monday.

Have a wonderful weekend full of home-shaping love!

Sweet Blessings,

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  1. Greate pieces. Keep posting such kind of info on your page.
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  2. About this time last year I was preparing to marry my wonderful husband, which included a wedding shower. I felt so humbled and thankful that I nearly cried as I thanked the guests for their love and generosity, even though the most important gift- of their friendship- meant most of all. One thing that I am glad we did was send recipe cards along with each invitation for the guests to fill with a favorite recipe and bring to the shower. I can’t tell you how much gratitude I feel when I prepare and share a dish or desert from one of those cards- because I can recall the memories and cherish the friendship of that person.

    If I could share a decorating tip, it would probably be this: I really like doilies and anything lacy. At the dollar store clearance aisle I found a bunch of sets of doily/lace placemats and table runners. I got them because they were only like 50 cents each and I just couldn’t pass that up. I had no idea where I was going to put them all. But one day I was trying to arrange photos and stuff on a standing bookshelf and a thought came to me to put one on each shelf, draping over the edge an inch or so…and I love the way it looks! I used the longer table-runner ones to lay on the top so it flows off the sides a bit. Just something that works for me!

  3. “Flesh Balls” – gotta love that one. Thanks for the reminder to smile. I don’t do it often, and I need to as soon as I get in the door after working 8.5 hours. It really does determine the mood in the house for the rest of the day.

  4. Thanks for the giveaway, Karen! We do family dinner nights, once per week. With 2 of 3 children grown and living on their own, it is hard to get together. But we try for once a week. They both aren’t always available as they both work shift work, but usually one of them is. It’s always extra special when both and their significant others shifts are in sink (sp?) lol

  5. This is a great giveaway!!

    A fun dessert to make: refrigerated crescent rolls, sprinkle triangle with chocolate chips, roll up into crescent, bake according to directions on package, mix powdered sugar with milk and vanilla to make an icing to drizzle over crescents when they come out of the oven.

    These are quick and easy and my daughters love them. A fun snack to make together.

  6. I subscribe to your blog and also have your book but would love to win another one to give my daughter as it has helped me tremendously. Thanks for the giveaway.

  7. I am trying to be more relaxed and joining in on the littles games. One of our favorite snacks when watching a movie is popcorn (preferably the kind Daddy makes on the stove, but mircrowave will work) and M&Ms sprinkled in the bowls. The kids love this treat on movie nites!

  8. I love your 5 tips for shaping your home. Always good to be reminded that we can do better and that God wants us to build up our home with Him as the foundation.
    God blessings to you!

  9. Thanks so much for your encouragements!
    The thing that’s fresh on my mind to share is to be ever cautious of ‘tearing down your home with your own hands’ like the foolish woman described in Proverbs 14:1. Like someone physically taking a sledgehammer to their own living space, if we gossip about our husband or unnecessarily share the faults of our family members (including our children) we are foolishly destroying our HOME… not shaping it.
    May we be those who speak words of blessing and edification to those who are both in and out of our homes.
    Thanks again :)

  10. I’m not a home-keeper yet, but it’s really one of my biggest dreams. One thing I’ve noticed about grace-filled, welcoming women is that they keep their houses neat, but don’t panic and run around shoving things into closets if someone comes over unexpectedly. They focus on their guests, not maintaining their illusion of perfection.

  11. This is first time I visit your blog. What a nice post and a fun giveaway!
    We strive to keep our home open to others…Just today, as we sat down for lunch, I saw two friends walking over to our kitchen. My first response ‘Oh no, I have nothing fancy to serve, just sandwiches!’. But even sandwiches in Jesus name can be a blessing. We also keep our home open to our children’s friends. I do not like a messy house…but Jesus Himself welcomed little children into His presence, so I am happy when children like to come play in our home and yard.
    I would love to learn more from your book!

  12. I like to have either Christian radio or CD music playing, to keep my spirit uplifted. Sometimes loud, when I need to overcome stress and be encouraged, or to sing along and rejoice. Sometimes soft, to soothe and not distract, yet enable me to do all things as if for the Lord. And sometimes not at all, just total quiet, better to hear the still small voice of my Lord.

  13. Greetings,
    Just a quick note…for the 3 of us(husband, son and me),a favorite home shaping is keeping the tradition of Sunday morning breakfast together.
    No matter what else happens during the week, we have set aside that time to cook,eat, and share.
    So nice :) my single 25year old son offers to bring the bacon with him once in a while. I don’t think this Sunday “date” will ever change…even after he gets married someday.

  14. We have just put our house on the market to move to another state. Half of our stuff is in storage now and the house looks so good! I sit and think–I wish we could have had it this way all along! I have so much less to pick up (after my three small children) and dust. So my tip isn’t new–I think I am just convinced now that I should do it. When I bring something new into my home, give something I have away. Having less is actually more! I will have so much more time to be with the ones I love, and the ones Jesus loves.

  15. I had surgery this week and my husband was cleaning house today. When he brought the vacuum into our bedroom he said ugh, we need to declutter and left with the vacuum. I guess I need that book. I will be laid up for a while so I’m going to subscribe to your website so maybe I can learn a few things. Nanci at [email protected]

  16. Karen, Does your friend Trish Smith sell her scripture signs? I would love to buy one of these, but I couldn’t find anything when I googled her. Thank you so much for your blog. I saw you speak years ago at a Hearts at Home conference, and I loved seeing you again recently on Lysa’s MTC webcast. You are such a beautiful, Godly woman!

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