Today’s Healthy Living guest blog

The next blogger to receive my Healthy Living Stamp of Approval is Rachel Anne from Home Sanctuary. I love this blog! You’ve got to check out her donkey, Flash. Too cute! Today Rachel Anne is sharing her thoughts with us on how to focus on Healthy Living by creating our own sanctuaries.

As always, don’t forget to register for the $15,000 prize package from American Standard Heating & Air Conditioning. who wouldn’t be excited about a brand new heating/cooling system (and oh yeah, I’ll come visit you too)?!

Rachel Anne’s post:

Sanctuary – Lord Give Me Some Now Before I Kill Someone

My chance career as an artist and designer has brought me into every conceivable type of home, from the humble to the humongous. I’ve spent years with my head up inside ceiling domes, and ever-so-glamorously reaching behind toilets to paint murals in bathrooms. Note: rich or poor, everyone misses. But that’s not my point here today.

Or maybe it is.

I’ve come to realize that everyone, rich or poor, single or married, tall or short, is after the same thing: we all want, and need “sanctuary” in our lives. It’s why I’m hired in the first place. When you think about it, the multi-billion dollar home improvement industry, every decorating magazine, every relationship therapy book, all the hotels and even half the blogosphere could be boiled down to one single goal: carving out a place in this harsh world that feeds your soul. Nourishes your spirit. Gives you refuge. Feels good to come home to.

We need sanctuary.

I crave it. Don’t you?

I’ll be honest and tell you that the epiphany of sanctuary came at one of the lowest points of my entire life. My husband had lost his nice job and had taken one that made significantly less money. We scrambled to make ends meet by taking extra jobs, and even lived with his parents for a year until we could get back on our feet. Crammed into two spare bedrooms with our small children and a baby on the way made us take stock of a lot of things. That crisis made us realize that “sanctuary” did not depend on our suburban house, but in the way we chose to live and love one another. We had to seriously re-think our lifestyle and catch a vision for what life could be like, regardless of our income or living situation.

What we learned is this: Sanctuary is a three-legged stool.

It has three parts – and when all of them work together, there is magic. But when one part is missing, life just ain’t so good. What are those pieces? They are so simple that many people, rich and poor, easily miss them.

Sanctuary is built on Peace, Order and Beauty. Let’s take a little look at each one.

Peace. Let me ask you a question: what keeps you awake at night? Finances? Relationships? Guilt? Anxiety? Listen, believe me when I say that starting with a foundation of faith in God sets good things into motion. Ask for His help and then begin to look for His answers. They will come, and so will peace. Start working on your own attitude, learn the power of a kind word and the value of keeping your word. Be willing to do the hard work required that will allow you to rest easily on your pillow.

Order. Some of the most gorgeous homes I’ve worked in looked fabulous – for about twenty minutes after the cleaning crew finished. Then all hell broke loose when the family came home. Yeah, it was bad.

Discover the power of five-minutes-per-room pick-ups and the freedom of letting go of clutter. Invest in some cleaning products, storage containers and a cute apron – because a girl’s gotta look good, after all. (Pearls are optional). Your life will be revolutionized by incorporating a menu plan and an uncomplicated housekeeping plan. Check out Hannah’s awesome tips here that will help you accomplish it!

Beauty. It’s tempting to think you can simply buy beauty for your home and your life. Well, ok, that’s partially true, I can’t lie. But beauty encompasses far more than just stuff from a store. It involves all of your senses: taste, touch, smell, hearing and sight. Think of beauty as both the tangible and intangible ways that communicate a sense of well-being to your family members. If you were to ask each person what makes them feel loved, their answers might astound you.

THIS, my friends, is what beauty is all about.

It can be found in freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, roses cut from the garden, tea parties under a blanket tent, playing catch in the backyard and listening to music you can dance to. These aren’t cliches, these are real and meaningful ways that invite beauty into your life. Make your own family list and don’t be afraid to refer to it often. Beauty is all around you, if you take the time to find it.

So, are you longing to experience a little bit of sanctuary at home? Try applying one small aspect of each of its three “legs” into your life every day and then….watch sanctuary start to happen. I’m always amazed at the good things that come about when there is a clear vision and a simple plan to reach it – and you can begin your own journey today, with these tools.

Start small, be patient, and for goodness sakes, be sure and clean your bathroom before hiring an artist to paint it. I’m just sayin’.

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