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The Real Toxins That Made Our Home Unhealthy {and how I got rid of them}

I remember the first time I realized that some of my homemaking methods needed to change.

I was a newbie wife and mom, on a quest to embrace natural living at every possible level.

I read that bleach was toxic, so I poured out the remaining contents of my bottle and never bought the stuff again.

Someone said that the chemicals in my store brand laundry detergent were likely contributing to the skin allergies that plagued my little ones, so I started making my own laundry soap.

I got rid of my plastic containers, quit using a microwave, went paperless in the kitchen for years, switched to cloth diapers and raged a war on anything that might compromise the health of my precious young family.

Today as a somewhat seasoned homemaker and mother, most folks would probably consider my home a pretty healthy place to live.

Unless you start talking about the chickens running around in the back yard, or the kitten who are carried in and out of the house most days.  But that’s completely off topic… 🙂   

A glance around our house would reveal essential oils on the kitchen and bathroom shelves, a soy candle on the dining room table, eco-friendly products in the laundry room, natural body products in the shower…

I’m not a purist, but I’d probably pass as a “natural living” mama in most books.  I’ve made a lot of changes over the years, and this natural living thing has truly become a way of life for our family.

We have freedom to discard what doesn’t work for us, but we’ve seen a lot of fruit and rewards from our efforts to live “clean”.


But, somehow, this pursuit of a perfectly “healthy” home hasn’t always felt satisfying.  

Despite my hardest efforts (trying too hard?) at creating the perfect home life I longed for, I felt like I was still falling short. 

For years life felt overwhelming, I struggled to enjoy the children I was trying so hard to take care of, and I carried an inexplicable burden of unhappiness and negativity every single day of my life. 

It took me a while to put my finger on the issues, but the Lord has been gracious enough to shed some light into my foggy vision.  Slowly, the truth sank in that I was only addressing one dimension of creating a “healthy” home… and I was totally overlooking the most important part.  

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It’s true that I’ve done a lot to make sure that my loved ones aren’t exposed to harmful elements in our home via cleaners, personal products, or even food.

But in all my worrying about having a toxin-free home, I never once asked myself if I had a toxin-free heart. 

One spring afternoon about eight or nine years ago, the Lord commenced heart surgery on me.

Jeremy and I had just moved our little family (three kiddos back then) onto a five-acre tract of raw land, and we had more roots and rocks than workable soil in our “garden”.

As I was straining to dig up wiry roots and yank out weeds, my mind was engaged in a heartfelt prayer.  I had been asking the Lord to change me… please change me.  I was so sick of battling negativity and unhappiness in my life; somehow, despite how well I excelled at making changes in my home, I felt powerless to change myself.

My daily prayers became a litany of begging God, Please change me!

God must have known that I was truly desperate for a change, because He didn’t waste any time letting me sit there in my misery.

As my fingers dug at the stubborn roots of another unwanted weed, the Holy Spirit spoke truth into my heart: 

“Kristy, you’ve been pulling weeds out of your life for years.  

I want to remove the roots, so you don’t have to keep battling those same weeds.”

Tears rolled down my dirt stained face as I let the words sink in.  As I dug out weeds from our own garden soil that afternoon, the imagery of God’s hands reaching into the soil of my heart and removing “root” sins was so vivid.

Even as I sit here typing these words, my heart still turns with emotion at the memory.

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I can honestly say that God has been faithful to keep His word. 

As I look back over the last decade of my life, I see His gentle hands at work, digging deep (sometimes painfully) and removing root sins out of my life.

As the roots have gone, so have the weeds.  Then God digs deeper and finds more roots, and the process of sanctification continues.

I never want this process to stop, because I believe that God, like any skilled gardener, always desires to cultivate more beauty, abundance, and fruit in the soil of His children’s hearts. 

What does all this have to do with a healthy home? 

I told you that my efforts at creating the perfect “healthy” home fell miserably short at bringing me lasting satisfaction as a wife and mom.

Do you  know why?

It wasn’t until the soil of my heart was rich, fertile, and healthy that I could even begin to cultivate a truly “healthy” home for my family. 

Think about the many attributes of a spiritually and emotionally healthy home:

  • unconditional love and acceptance
  • emotional transparency
  • shared interests, dreams, and struggles
  • apologies and forgiveness
  • grace (“a favor or benefit bestowed on another with no expectation,” Clay Clarkson)
  • gratitude and contentment
  • freedom to be yourself
  • purpose and eternal perspective

How can these beautiful, vibrant fruits ever survive in an environment that is sterile and negative? 

How can my loved ones thrive and grow, and reach their spiritual and emotional potential, in a home where strife, negativity, criticism, harsh tones and impossible expectations create a toxic atmosphere?

I could remove household toxins from my home with a simple act of will, but it took God’s grace and restoration to remove the heart toxins from my home.

I remember the last time I realized some of my homemaking methods needed to change… it was this morning.  

And the morning before.

And the morning before.

Daily, in those beautiful places with God,

He continues to remove the “roots” and “toxins” out of my life

and gives me renewed hope for a truly healthy home. 

"A new heart will I give you and a new spirit will I put within you, and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and give you a heart of flesh." Ezekiel 36:26

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  1. This post absolutely spoke to my heart. My journey led me on a similar path. I began on the real food, natural living kick, then God convicted me about our spiritual well being. Wow! My life has never been the same since. Thank you for sharing this.

    1. Thank you so much for reading and commenting here, Veronica! Sometimes it’s such a challenge to find the balance we need… thankfully, the Lord is a gentle and faithful guide!

  2. Toxins come in many forms! The best approach is to not only get rid of the physical toxins, but the emotional ones, as well. This is certainly the key to a healthy home.

    1. So true, Brenda. Emotional and spiritual toxins are just as poison as any chemical under our kitchen sinks, and have much greater consequences on the health of our families.

  3. Thank you, Kristy! What a precious testimony. I believe also there is balance in all things. And the most important thing of all is our relationship with our Father. I have been going through a similar process of God removing roots from my life (and my husbands!) for almost a year now. This has been a special season in our lives. It’s a difficult and somewhat emotional process, but I am so different from the woman I was a year ago, and I want the cleansing process to continue! Not sure if i have commented here before, but thank you for your encouraging and anointed posts. They are refreshing!

    1. Thank you, Rebecca! Letting God “dig deep” isn’t always comfortable, but it is such a beautiful part of growing in Him. Thank you so much for reading and commenting, my friend.

  4. Thank you for putting words to something I haven’t been able to pin down! Like many things, there is a way to honor God with natural pursuits, but it must begin in the heart. There is a tension in those pursuits when our hearts believe that WE are somehow sanctifying ourselves or our homes with our efforts. Or when we start from a place of fear and trust on our own efforts rather than trusting in God’s care for us.

  5. Thank you Kristy!
    Another timely read!
    God is so gracious & merciful to me & continues to take me through the “sanctification process”….something I want to remember when I feel the pains of “dying to self”:}