A few days ago as I walked into my store for a day of work, I was greeted with a significant change in temperature from the hallway I had just left. It was freezing. And, if you’ll recall from my posts earlier this winter, I don’t do cold well. I really hate being cold.
I kept my coat on while I checked my email, returned a couple messages, and went through my usual first-ten-minutes routine. Finally, I could no longer delay the inevitable. I had to doff my coat.
I completed several minutes of work in the uncomfortable temperature before a coworker finally asked, “What’s the temperature in here, anyway?” I walked to the thermostat to check, and, sure enough, it was several degrees colder than the rest of the building. No wonder I was cold.
But knowing the temperature didn’t do anything to warm me up.
Not until I realized that I had control over the thermostat and bumped it up a few degrees did I feel any different. Once I changed the temperature on the thermostat, the room began to warm, and I felt the comforting results of the change. That little box on my wall wasn’t just a thermometer, telling me the temperature of the room; it was a thermostat, with the ability to set the temperature.
And this distinction is not unlike one I’ve had to learn in my role as wife, mom, homemaker, and manager of the home.
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THERMOSTAT VS. THERMOMETER
As I’ve pointed out already, there is a marked difference between a thermometer and a thermostat. A thermometer reads the temperature of a room and displays it so we can be informed of the conditions. A thermostat, on the other hand, actually possesses the ability to change the temperature and make the room a more comfortable environment.
In our homes, we may be tempted to believe we are merely thermometers, reacting to the temperature of our homes. We are happy when our family members are happy, and we’re miserable when they are not. We are pleased when things go smoothly, and we grow frustrated when our home is filled with chaos and unrest. We may even believe that our moods are helpless victims of the environment around us, like a thermometer’s mercury rising and falling from the temperature of the surrounding air.
However, in reality, we are more like thermostats in our homes. We can measure the current levels of peace and harmony, sure, but we also have the ability to change it. We have a remarkable power, as moms and homemakers, to set the temperature of our homes. Our moods, our decisions, and our actions have a profound influence on the moods, decisions, and actions of those around us. And through our influence, we can either create an atmosphere that is cold and uncomfortable or an atmosphere that is warm and inviting. It’s ours to set.
Here are 10 ways you can set a warm and inviting atmosphere:
10 WAYS TO CHANGE THE ATMOSPHERE OF YOUR HOME
- Speak with love and kindness
- Be quicker to praise and encourage than criticize
- Keep a loving tone
- Create systems that help you stay organized and minimize frenzy
- Work to maintain order
- Keep a tidy home (notice I said tidy, not spotless)
- Prioritize quality family time
- Allow your family members the freedom to be themselves, as far as it doesn’t affect anyone else’s ability to do the same
- Extend a lot of grace, and let go of unrealistic expectations
- HAVE FUN! Enjoy life together.
ARE YOU A THERMOSTAT OR A THERMOMETER?
When was the last time you thought about your role in setting the tone of your home? Are you proactive in creating the desired climate? Or have you been merely reacting to it?
Just as I had to realize I actually had control over the temperature in the store before I could do anything about it, we also have to first recognize our potential as wives, moms, and homemakers. It doesn’t do us any good to notice the condition of our home if we don’t realize we have the power to change it.
We are thermostats, not thermometers.
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