Monday, September 15, 2008

The Simple Home - Create Sanctuary in Your Master Bedroom.

I felt it time to repost (Dec. 07) this Creating Sanctuary in the Master Bedroom. I think it's always good to re-visit the different spaces in our homes as seaons change.

Creating sanctuary in the home is important. I explained my heart about the matter here and in this post I wrote that a well-ordered, uncluttered, clean home is a reflection of a woman's feminine soul. Read the power of the bedroom here.

I believe God intended the home to be a place of comfort and beauty and sanctuary and it doesn't matter how much money a woman has or doesn't have, she can create beauty and sanctuary with what she has, because it all starts with who she is and what's in her heart.

I LOVE my kitchen. It's bright, warm, functional and it says, "family." My kitchen is the hub of our home and it's the place where I create, plan and organize, make the best French Press coffee, spend time with my grand kiddos and their parents, serve our International friends, serve and nurture my husband.

The kitchen is the focal point of a home - life flows into and out of the that space. And, so my kitchen is my starting place to get organized. It's a priority space to create and maintain sanctuary and I think it ought to be the same for other woman too.

The second priority space to create sanctuary, is often the last one where it's created and that's the master bedroom. This space is your personal sanctuary. It's the place where (if you are married) you give your greatest gift, where you relax, you connect, you engage and you bond.

I've had women talk to me about their bedrooms and how neglected they are. I've also had women tell me that their bedrooms had become like an office with a computer or t.v. in them.

For years, I've counseled women to NOT have a t.v. or computer in the bedroom. I have a confession to make. For about a year, Michael and I shared our home with one of our daughters, her hubby and three grandchildren and our master bedroom became my "office." We tried every which way to figure out where else to put my "office" but it seemed as if (for a season) that was the only place it could work.

After they moved to Spain, we shifted things around on the home front and the first shift was moving my "office" to the kitchen. I couldn't believe how peaceful our bedroom returned to being. It was a huge difference in that sense of restoring a calm, peace and rest. It's so imperative to do everything possible to NOT have an "office" in the master bedroom.

The t.v. is another issue in many master bedrooms. Michael and I do have one, but it is a rare occasion (maybe once a year) that we watch t.v. from that room. It's just not turned on. If it is, it's one of the grand kids that want to snuggle up in our big bed and watch a show. During the time our daughter lived with us, we did have Saturday Morning Cartoons with Poppi and Nana in our bed. It was a fun connection with the grand kiddos - but - after we'd had an evening of rest.

How can a t.v. or a computer in the master bedroom impeded creating sanctuary in that room? I'll give you one answer: it creates the wrong focus.

Those two electrical boxes hinder marital communication. Instead of a late night connection with communication, intimacy and bonding, it becomes more important to catch up on the nightly news or answer the last email. It's like inviting strangers into the bedroom when we permit outside influences in the master bedroom.

So, the first step to begin creating sanctuary in your master bedroom is to evaluate what strangers exist in the bedroom. If they are there, is it at all possible for them to go someplace else? (Of course, if you're married, converse with your husband.)

The second step in creating sanctuary in this place is to de-clutter. Get rid of the ironing pile, the ironing board, the pile of magazines and anything else that needs a new place.

Step three involves your closets. Step back and evaluate the use of closet space and how much stuff you have crammed in there. Take note of how clothes are hung and organized. Is there unnecessary stuff in your closet. Are the clothes hung in neat fashion?

A year or so ago, I eliminated piles of unworn, outdated and wrong sized clothes. I thought I needed all that stuff, but with help from my daughters, I found out that I didn't. It was fun to find new homes for anything that I couldn't say was a TEN. If I valued the item as a NINE, it went into the Give Away (Recycle) pile.

Before you do anything else to the master bedroom deal with the closet. If you can't do this alone, get a good girlfriend and go through everything. Place a number value (1 - 10) on what's in your closet (shoes, belts, handbags, scarves, pants, dresses, shirts, skirts, etc.). If you can't say YES! This is a TEN, then get rid of it.

What often prevents us is thinking that we might need/use this article of clothing. . . one day. We think thoughts like: we'll lose the weight or we spent too much money for it. That kind of thinking will prevent us from bring order in this place. You want to eliminate so that you can concentrate and bring order. Get over the guilt and let it go.

After you've eliminated (throw away or recycled) step four is to restructure the closet. I've done three things to restructure our closets: I've replaced all our hangars and I've hung every thing facing the same direction and all clothes are hung by color and item. For example, I have all black tee shirts together, all light colored sweaters together and all black skirts together.

Our closets have a neat and organized look and neat and organized helps Michael and I save time. Everything in the closet should be clean, easy to see, quick to grab and ready to put on. I don't want to spend a lot of time trying to figure out what I want to wear and what should go with what. I need simple and quick and cute and an organized closet is the key.

Step Five is to take a look around the rest of your room. Read your room. What do you need your bedroom to say? What can you do to make your bedroom a cozy, warm haven?

What's the color of your walls, your bed covering, curtains, etc? Ask yourself if there is something you could do, with little or no money, that would give your bedroom a new look, a different mood or a needed boost . . . to create beauty, rest, a retreat for you and your husband away from the world and life's pressures.

Can you change the color? Color motives, de-stresses, and creates mood and paint is the least expensive way to give your bedroom that new look or needed boost.

Can you add a few big square, colorful pillows to your bed?

Can you add candlelight or fresh flowers?

Do you need to add curtains or new prints for the wall?

Can you purchase a new comforter set?

Is your bedroom too foo-foo so that your husband isn't comfortable? Or if it is, is he OK with that?

Can you rearrange the furniture to create a better flow or feel? Your bed should always be your focal point.

What's on your dresser? Stuff? Clutter? Paperwork? Clothes to put away?

Is your bedding clean? If you're not already into a weekly routine of putting fresh sheets on our bed, let me encourage you to do so. Saturday is my day to do that.

It's Worth It
Your marriage is worth creating sanctuary in the bedroom. If this space needs a new touch, read Hebrews 13:4 and then pray. Pray about how to create sanctuary in this space. Pray for intimate times of communication with your husband. If you're stuck in this area, then let these prayers of mine from my book - Power Prayers for Your Mighty Man be yours:

LORD, You say that the marriage bed is holy and undefiled (Hebrews 13:4). I thank You that this is Your idea. I thank You that You created us to enjoy one another (Song of Solomon 7:6). LORD, You have made my husband a sexual being. You have made me a sexual being.

I pray that You would help me change any wrong thinking I have toward this Celebration of Marriage that is a gift.

Father, grace us to gain an understanding of one anothers distinct physical differences and help us to appreciate these differences rather than be irritated by them.

LORD, help me to completely give myself to my husband and to fully enjoy our times of lovemaking. Help me to release everything from my mind and to enter into our times of lovemaking with one focus-the pleasure of intimacy in this realm of romantic love (Song of Solomon 8:13-14).

Father, bless my husband's sexuality. I pray that he would become strong and healthy. I pray that in this area of our marriage, we will be filled with delight and fulfillment (Proverbs 5: 18 –19).

Father, where trust has been broken and honor dirtied, would you please restore and cleanse. Bring restoration and balance to those things that need restoring and balancing. I know apathy and disinterest can kill intimacy.

Help us fight apathy and show us new ways to nurture our love and protect our intimacy. May we be drawn to each other like those days when love first awoke (Song of Solomon 4:9-10).

Help us to not be so busy that exhaustion and mental ascents rob us of our times of love making (Song of Solomon 5:6).

Help us to never use our sexuality as a tool to manipulate or control. I pray for open and comfortable communication between us regarding our needs and desires. I pray that our minds would be pure toward one another and that we wouldn't use each other but that we'd serve each other. Lust is a destroyer of the beauty of love making. Father, reveal this sin in either of us and show us how to eradicate it permanently. (Proverbs 5:15).

LORD, redeem our sexual desires and make them holy to serve each other. Remind me that "men are like microwaves and women, like crock pots pray that we will learn how to hold one another and capture the moments in the silence. Teach us to listen with our hearts. I pray for attentiveness to feelings and frustrations. LORD, thank You for my own sexuality. Grace me to walk as a woman of grace and femininity.

Father, I pray that our bedroom will always be a place of peace—a sanctuary, a resting-place, a place of holy lovemaking. Help me to find new ways to create a sense of beauty and fragrance in our bedroom. Help me to even be discerning about what and who comes into our bedroom.

LORD of Heaven, commission ministering angels to stand guard at the four corners of our bed during our sleep and our times of celebrating our oneness. May the pleasure of our love be a fragrance before the throne room of heaven. Help me to find ways to be appealing and enticing to my husband. May our times of intimacy be an absolute delight. Remove any distractions from our lives that might inspire temptation to infidelity. I pray for a fresh awareness of this ministry to my husband. AMEN . . .

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HowToMe said...

I enjoyed this post. Thanks :)

The Daileys said...

I am impressed at how much work you put into this post! There are some wonderful tips and solid counsel here as well. Thank you!

Amanda said...

I really am impressed as well! I really enjoyed reading this one especially since I am trying my hardest to make my bedroom a sanctuary right now. Unfortunately, I have to have my office in here. My room is huge there's plenty of room for my office, but I won't be able to take the office out of my room until we buy a home later on this year. Until then I am trying to make it as inviting and welcoming for my husband as I possibly can.

Anonymous said...

Consider a simple room divider/screen. It can be something that flows with your room but helps to partition off the office. My girlfriend did this and it 'saved' their bedroom. At least then you do no see the 'office' from the bed.

Lylah said...

Thanks to each of you for the very sweet, kind comments. I like the bedroom divider suggestion. I totally understand how sometimes there are no options for "office" except bedroom. One thing, though, that I ought to have done while "office" was in bedroom was to shut down my computer each night. I didn't and for some reason after the "office" was moved - that sense of quiet (with no little tower fan) was amazing. So,I'm not sure if you shut things down - but that does make a difference.

Blessings to each of you as you seek to make your bedroom a beautiful sanctuary (using simple touches)....

Anonymous said...

Speaking of master bedrooms. I can't wait till you see our sancturary! It has taken me years, but I finally (we still don't have a real bed but you wouldn't know it) have the sanctuary I had in mind, a south seas island getaway, complete with live and artificial bamboo and nothing has cost much, just taken years to accumulate. I agree if the bedroom is cluttered and is an office you won't even be able to slowly work on it like I have because one would never even see the potential. It would just be a cluttered mess and the closet, well, that comes naturally, my cousin calls it a 'department store closet'. I have a personal rule, whenever I buy clothing for myself, be it from a thrift store, consignment store or department store, I have to discard the same amount of items from my closet, to make room for the new, of course! I stick by this rule no matter how difficult at times and it really works! I've also taught the boys to do the same, both in their closet and in their playroom. Stay organized, it is the key to a happy life.

Lylah said...

Glenda! Thanks for being you and for sharing what you do. I, also, look forward to the sweet drive to Prescott to see your sanctuary! blessings.

Anonymous said...

I'm loving your blog!

Lylah said...

Thanks for loving this blog! Makes me smile :-)...blessings!

Daiquiri said...

What a beautiful prayer...thank you. It's a part of our lives that I sometimes take for granted, but with 4 small children I really shouldn't! I'm thankful to be reminded of something so special.

iheartchocolate said...

This touched me in a special way. Thank you!

Lylah said...

Thanks so much for the sweet comments....

I know that moms with little ones are often exhausted physically and emotionally and that sometimes it takes everything just to get to the end of the day and thinking about the bedroom as "sanctuary' is one of the last things you want to think about - and yet, it's so needed to sustain and support and nurture the most precious union in all the earthl.

iheartchocolate said...

Here is the deal. You are SO right, about it being the last thing on earth we want to think of, BUT someone like you out there reminding us of what we need to be to our husbands, our home. SO important. Just when we lose sight of it, there you are, a subtle voice. I really appreciate the time you have put into this, it stirred my convictions in a way that was greatly needed. And, I love all chocolate, I do not discriminate. ;)

Zoanna said...

I needed this post. It's my first visit here, but not the last. I'm in the process of making our bedroom a sanctuary. It's usuall a dumping grounds. I find that when I nurture the space better, we both feel more like...becoming one.
Provided we don't step on Legos en route from bathroom to bed.

Lylah said...

Zoanna - thanks so much for your comment. I'm so appreciating the hearts expressed in the responses to this post. I'm delighted that wives are so desiring to create sanctuary in the place where angels applaud the most.

Jessica said...

I really enjoyed your post and especially the prayers at the bottom. Thanks!

Shash said...

Finding this was timely. Our ladies Bible study group is just about to finish a 30 day encouragement challenge (towards our spouses) and a 30 day de-clutter / sanctuary challenge would be a perfect compliment and help us to continue working on our relationships.

Rachel Anne said...

Found this post through Laura (orgjunkie) and of course had to come over and visit. You're speaking my language...creating sanctuary for the ones we love. This was great to read, thank you! I'll be back.

Rachel Anne @

BreAnna said...

My husabd and I have been married for 3 years and we have never had a "sanctuary" master bedroom. We had a used mattress from my Grandma that didn't have a bed frame we had it on the floor and both of our girls were sleeping in the same room as us. (11 months & 2 yrs) We did have bedroom furniture but was stored in Sandiego while we lived in Portland OR. Finally after moving to Arizona picking up the furniture and selling our car and getting a new mattress there is a 360 difference. Plus the girls are sleeping in their own rooms. I just can't believe what a difference what a peace what a postitive affect it has on your sole & attitude everyday when this sanctuary is created. Especially when your husband is at work all day and he has a place of his own to just relax and feel safe. I love keeping it this way because it makes my husband happy and to me this is a great minitsrty to show him how much I appreciate him and what he does.

Alyssa said...

I really need to do this. My bedroom though we don't have an office in there and our tv like yours is rarely used unless we're snuggling and watching it with the kids on Saturday morning, my room still lacks something, I think it's that feeling of sanctuary you speak of. I sure hope to do better. Our main issue is "clutter".

Lylah said...

thanks for the truth comment Alyssa's so easy for THAT room to be a catch all. I'm boycotting the master bedroom from being the catch all room! declutters unite!

blessings to you! lylah

BarbaraLee said...

I got a bedroom makeover for Christmas from my hubby. It has a Victrian theme. We even have an electric fireplace. I got material for curtains & the rods. We have to get a plywood for the bed b/c the box spring is to big. We found a antique bed frame.
Dh wants to put a t.v. in the bedroom. B/c money is tight & want other projects done. Talk about a mood killer.