About the Author

Melissa Michaels is the NY Times Bestselling author of Love The Home You Have and The Inspired Room book. Her blog, The Inspired Room, was voted Better Homes & Gardens Readers' Favorite decorating blog in 2014 and 2015. Melissa is a church planter's wife and a mom to three human kids and...

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  1. Melissa,
    I just got out of bed this morning thinking…there are so many people to whom I’ve said, “I’ll pray for you,” and short of a pad and paper, I have a hard time keeping up with the many prayer requests. Then along came you this morning…thank you! I can’t stress enough how much counting your blessings when you feel discouraged can be a mood changer! I also love to put on praise music in my kitchen. I used to be a dancer and so dancing around my kitchen and praising God always lifts my spirits…and it gives the neighbors something to talk about lol! Thanks for your uplifting post.
    Blessings,
    Bev

    • Bev,

      I also put on Christian music in my kitchen. Sometimes I dance around like a fool, but who cares if it lifts your mood and makes you happy!

      You go Girl!!!

      Blessings!@

      • I love these tips…off topic, where did you buy the bamboo shades on your windows? I know random ?, but I love them!

  2. I love lighting candles… the lovely scent and ambient light just makes me feel more productive. Listening to music throughout the day also encourages me. Thanks for this post, it was the reminder I needed to start praying with purpose! I say so often “I’ll pray for you” or “I am praying for you” but I rarely take time out to actually sit down and talk to God. Thanks for the reminder! I am going to try to make a list of people to pray for and spend some time with God today. 🙂
    – EmmySofia.

    • I love a great smelling candle! 🙂

      And yes, I feel like I’m always saying the expected “I’ll pray for you” and whispering a quick prayer. It is so nice to go the extra step and add the need to a list and use it to more intentionally pray for someone — and then I can more easily rememberi to check back with the person on how they are doing!

  3. Jotting down your blessings! Wonderful idea!!!!!!!!! And making your bed! Love it! I tell my kids if you make your bed every day then it will make the whole room look better. And if you walk into a room that looks good then you feel better. Yes…..I still get eye rolls! I love them!

  4. I think, for me, the four routines I cannot miss are: cleaning my teeth, washing my hair. It does not matter how pressurised I’m feeling or how ill, performing those two small tasks of self care make me feel so much better. If I’m too unwell to wash my hair then the most amazing gift is someone washing it for me! I also love to keep my daily date with God and finally being intentional about treasure seeking, looking for the evidence of God’s loving goodness and grace in every situation, whether it seems a good situation or not.
    These four habits remind me that I am special because I’m made in the image of an amazing God whose compassion and grace never end.

  5. I started lighting a candle every morning during my quiet time. (Ann Voskamp). It reminds me I have the light in me.

  6. I wake up at 4:00 A.M. everyday, make a pot of coffee and have my time with God. I read the Bible, read my devotional for the day, pray and give thanks to God and I also write in my gratitude journal. If I do not start my day with God in the morning, my day is not complete.

    • I look up to you for waking up at 4AM every morning. I have a hard enough time getting up to work out and most of the time not even doing that. I just continue to push snooze on my phone. I really need to spend more time with God and I know if I do that in the morning, it will make me a happier and kinder person.

  7. In regard to praying for others, I’ve learned to say “let’s pray” and pray with them on the spot.

    You can text, asking “how can I pray for you today?” If God prompts you to pray a certain way for someone, you can text a couple sentences of that prayer so they receive the benefit of “hearing” it too.

    Not too long ago a friend reached out requesting prayer but our signals were crossed. So I knew place and time and a very general idea but had no idea what the actual need was. I asked the Holy Spirit to help me pray. And I waited. Within a few minutes I was praying very specifically. I texted the “meat” of that prayer. Because God is God, it was exactly what my friend needed.

  8. It is wonderful and refreshing to spend time with God in the morning. He only keeps me in perfect peace…my Jesus and my Lord is the only one who can help me run my course or race for life. Reading the Bible and fellowshipping w/ the Holy Spirit who is God

  9. That’s what makes my day the best!! He has every answer to every challenge in life!
    Thank you Ruth for your comment especially and others. Melissa, you thanks for sharing your heart to women:)

  10. When I awake, I pray for God to give me his love for my people. Then I pray about what the day will hold. Sometimes I stretch, there in bed. Then I get up (usually before my hubby) and go in to make him coffee, letting out the dog on the way. I make tea and sit and read my inbox (devotionals), maybe write. Then it’s time to check on my 13 year old and 83 year old! But usually, whether sending the dog out back or sitting at the table, I look out at the weather. I have one little spot where I can see the ocean, down the hill and far away but on clear windy days I can make out whitecaps. On foggy days I can hear the foghorn, even if we have sun here on my hill. (microclimates) I am so grateful for our location, faculty housing at Westmont College.
    I want to check out that prayer app; as I use my iPad so much I think it will be just what I need! Than you.

  11. Melissa, tell me how you pray throughout the day. I often feel frustrated that I don’t sit for periods of time completely focused on my long prayer list without distractions. I need some tips/encouragement on how others manage to pray when there’s limited time for solitude and complete focus. Please share your wisdom! Thank you & Lord bless.

    • Yeah, I know how you feel. I don’t have long periods of interrupted time either! I like to talk to God throughout the day. I think that is why I love remembering to connect prayer with my routines. As I turn on the lamps at night, I think about my family and the blessing of our home. Driving is a great time for me to remember to pray for needs because I can have complete silence! Starting the day off alone in the shower is another time when I get complete silence! I am glad I can just talk to God as I do dishes, or clean the house, too. 🙂

  12. Great article! Love the prayer app too! And isn’t that our hearts desire as wives and mom’s…to bring more joy to our homes!? Such validity in each tip, but what struck me was that there seems to be a common theme….to get out from ourselves; in head, heart, and action….and to reach to and on behalf of the lives of others. You have so shared the key to a lifestyle of joy…thinking of others before ourselves, and shifting what we do in our day, to not about us…but others. Thank you! ~ Jen Avellaneda

  13. Melissa ,
    Your list sounds similar to mine. Here are a few that I really try hard to follow…

    I like to light a candle for loved ones that are no longer with me and for the peace it brings to me.

    I try to say a quiet prayer each day for those I am thinking of and to count my blessings…..

    I don’t do well with clutter or any mess for that matter so I try to keep on top of that throughout my day and it makes me feel as though I’m appreciating my home more at the same time..

    If I can find even one simple thing to do in a day for someone…. makes it a better day.

    Thank-you for sharing your list with us…..It’s wonderful to see the other ladies routines as well .

    wishing everyone a good day
    Penny

  14. I was trying to think of some good ones that were not already mentioned so I guess for me… – opening the curtains!!! So my house feels as light and airy as possible!! 🙂

  15. O you’re so organized. I just love to spend time with JESUS. The LORD. Talk to the LORD, hear HIS voice. Look up verse and songs in the words HE speaks into my life. Stick up pins with them. Pictures.

    But your advice is very good and I need to keep it up as well, the tidy house and the clean kitchen sink and … stuck in the washing as I need to get ready for winter.

    🙂

  16. After I get the coffee started, I like to take some bird feed out to my bird feeder and throw some extra around the ground outside my kitchen window. It’s one of the habits that gets me excited to start the new day–as I’m making breakfast or doing the morning dishes I look out and there are my little friends! I can’t help but count my blessings while watching the birds dance around so happy. 🙂

  17. A cup of tea to start the day and one to end it is a ritual I rely on to bookend my days. I also light a candle or two every evening because it signals a turning from work to evening rest. Of course, I have kids, so “rest” is relative;)

  18. I have been practicing random acts of kindness…I don’t know if it is so “random”…but I send notes of encouragement to people who email prayer requests to our church. When I send these notes out it makes me feel like I accomplished something good that day, no matter what else happens that day. Many people have told me how much they appreciate their little notes and that they save their homemade cards (our women get together once a year and make the cards). It is a blessing to many people and it blesses me too.

  19. Hi Melissa,
    I really enjoyed your post. I just did a similar one on, “What does your home say about you?” I try to have meaningful things that inspire me and my family in all of the rooms in our home. I always hope that a visitor feels welcome and that they leave knowing who we worship. While it may be messy, I always strive to make it comfortable to all who enter. I love to light a candle when I work too. It represents the light of Christ to me and reminds me to let my little light shine. Thanks for sharing.
    Wendy 🙂

  20. I’ve tried to send out greeting cards for birthdays and anniversaries each month since most correspondence is virtual anymore. Candles at night. Reading my Bible daily. Counting 3 gifts every day (Ann Voskamp’s Joy Dare). Those are a some of my habits. Random acts of kindness would be one I should add.
    Thanks for the encouragement, Melissa!

  21. As silly as it sounds … putting on make-up! I feel so much better. And definitely keeping the house straightened. I may have laundry lurking, but if the house is straight, I’m okay. And just taking time to laugh with my girls!

    Sweet article!

  22. My ideal day is to start off by reading a chapter from the Old Testament and a chapter from the New Testament, read devotional and pray. I also like to try and encourage someone every day.
    My day also seems brighter if my sink and kitchen island are clean and clear. Thanks for your tips; have enjoyed reading them! Blessings to you all.
    Susan

  23. What a delightful connection I have felt reading through the “happiness habits” of other (in)courage readers. I, too, agree with Kathy McClellan, that quiet time and coffee first thing in the morning is the best way to start the day. And then Deb says she opens the curtains–I open the verticals! Melissa, you make your bed–I make mine, too. And while you’re cleaning the sinks, I’m clearing and cleaning the kitchen island. It’s rather comforting to think that sisters across the country are participating in similar happiness habits!

  24. Thank you for sharing this list. I have already implemented some of the ideas in this post, but I need to work on some of the other ones. I hope you have a lovely weekend.

  25. I make the bed daily before leaving for work. It makes room look better and makes me feel not like a slob.

    Also have a thankful journal that I started a few years ago. I will add to it daily–writing down the small, mundane items I am thankful for each day. Great mood lifter.

    When taking a shower I light a smelly candle and turn off all lights. I try to use that time alone in quiet to pray. It is relaxing also.

    Our church does local missions, especially at this time of year, and I usually participate. I love helping people feel better about themselves. Also have become intentional about smiling more and trying to make others smile back. Trying to lift their moods as much as possible.

    Blessings! Great post!!!

  26. I try to do at least one good deed a day….cupcakes for a new neighbour,thank you card for the post shop attendant etc

    I have a prayer book …has lists…..and I note down God’s answers and the date…..keeps me encouraged and I want to pray more…

    I arrange the flowers from the garden in a simple vase,basket or pot…..I am reminded of the verse…’.look at the lilies…….do not worry…’

    I start the day with my Bible,Coffee,God and me time……love it!

  27. Dear Melissa,

    today I decorated our living room and the entry for christmas time. I love the summer and would not miss the winter time but as I left a little piece of love at every corner I had decorate I felt more at home. Feeling so cozy and close to the season full of warmth and love is making me a bit more enjoying my life!
    Thanks for writing these beautiful lines.

    *Be home in your heart, and you’re home everywhere.*

    Rosie

  28. I love your tips for bringing happiness into your home. It’s been much too long since I last visited your inspired room blog Melissa! So glad to reconnect as I noticed this one on Facebook. I’ve been practicing waking up each morning and immediately thanking the Lord. Thank you for this day. Thank you for my health. Thank you for a roof over my head. You get the idea. It does set the tone for my day.

    Blessings and love,
    Debbie

  29. I agree with your list but I’ll add checking in with the news of the world then switching to music all around the house. Music puts me in a fantastic mood.

    I also buy a coffee mug every time I travel or have a great experience so when I stumble out to the kitchen in the morning I’m faced with a whole cabinet of memories of the best times of my life. It’s a great way to start the day.

  30. I like to use all of my 5 senses to really focus on the things I am doing. Even if it is laundry, I feel like I am happier and have accomplished more at days end.

  31. Always making time for scripture study makes my day a little brighter, too. Right there alongside your purposeful prayer.

  32. Wonderful ideas, and inspired also by all the wonderful women commenting on here! One of my favorite quotes is “What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?” I try to practice that daily, but my resolve needs strengthening at times. Also find myself saying prayers throughout the day for others — many times a complete stranger about whom something has touched me. I believe our Creator is always listening to sincere prayer. I will many times light candles or incense when praying at home. Like lots of natural light in the house during the day, so took down most all of the blinds and put sheers up with drapes/curtains I can close at night. Some good food — homemade or carry out– always puts everyone in a good mood. Also like living lots of things in the house: plants, flowers, two cats and a dog, along with a teenager. Makes for good energy. ☺️

  33. I can’t go through the day without making my bed and I can’t stand not having my teeth brushed after breakfast. Also I talk to my mom, who is now an angel in heaven, every day. She was so wonderful and had such courage. I really miss her. And I remember when I was a freshman in college, Sister Bertram was the head of the dorm. Many of the girls would feel homesick and her motto was: If you’re blue little girl if you’re blue, go do something for somebody quick”. Thinking of someone else rather than yourself always puts one in a different mood.

  34. Love this post! We can all get a little complacent with our homes. As our place of rest it’s important to find happiness and satisfaction in our dwellings.

  35. Such great ideas! Being happy at home is really the most important thing. Most of the things on your list are also on mine. I agree with some of the others, I have to get dressed and put on a little make up too. 🙂

  36. This is my first time to this blog and I’ll have to say “I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!” I’m a prayer warrior and known through out our community as one….but I’ve just been thinking lately…I need to START each day with prayer.
    I write a daily blog and have since November 2009…I’ve always said since I was just a little girl growing up in the 1950s that I wanted to ‘change lives and influence people’….people would laugh at me when I’d say that because I was such a shy little girl. AND I had no plan or clue as to how I was going to BE that light…in other people’s lives….And then in November 2009 our daughter came out and for my birthday…she had signed me up for facebook and blogger.com…I had absolutely NO IDEA at about age 62…what facebook or a blog even WAS. But I had always loved storytelling and she showed me the ropes and I was off and running.

    My blog isn’t setting the world on fire just yet….but I’m working on it 🙂 And I was just thinking in the last few days….since I blog about 4-5am each and every day….I should start my very early morning with prayer….asking God to give me just the right words and bring the folks TO my blog that really need those words.

    I write about natural healing/living, home remedies, de-cluttering and getting organized, improving our relationships, making our homes warm and fuzzy and just living our best lives now. And I get so many emails that say “Your blog lifts me so high…I don’t even try to start my day until I’ve read your blog”….WHAT a COMPLIMENT!!!!!!!!!! Just puts me on cloud 9.

    I just wanted to say how much YOUR blog has touched me this morning…and I WILL begin starting my days with prayer even before I blog….

    Thanks so much for this post…you have changed lives yourselves….right her and right now!
    And I WILL be back to read more 🙂

    Kay Comer “Bird’s Eye View of the Katydid”

  37. Your blog is so inspiring, I will definitely be back each morning. I have got to pray now, and and make my bed. Love it, thanks again for your inspiring words.