Cleaning · Home making · refreshment at home

Getting the Most Done Each Day

It was 10:00 in the morning. I was dressed and ready for the day and I had already:

  • Taken care of the cat (If you’re a cat owner, you know that your cat will make sure that happens first!)
  • Swept the floor in the laundry room
  • Thrown in a load of laundry
  • Made the bed
  • Cleaned the bathroom
  • Wiped off the mirrors in the bathroom and bedroom
  • Made baked oatmeal
  • Emptied the dishwasher

I had also had my time in the Word and prayer, and my husband and I had also been guests on a podcast before 10:00! I was thankful that these things were done, because the rest of the day was also full of responsibilities. Not every day is as busy or productive and “My life is not about checking off boxes!” (I say to myself each day!).

My life is driven by my relationship with the Lord. I desire He direct my steps each day so that I can live my life for His glory. But God is a god of order and beauty, so that motivates me to live out each day in the same way. I don’t want to be driven by the constant demand of household chores and duties, but I desire to be the Keeper of my home so that it runs smoothly and efficiently.

In my years of homemaking, I have learned that the most adequate way to keep that happening is by having a daily routine. Most every bullet at the top of this post is done every single day of the week. I could do most of those things half asleep simply because it’s part of my daily routine.

Getting my day organized by doing the same things every day keeps my meals prepped, my laundry clean and the house in order. Here are some of the other things that I do every single day:

  • Put away my clothes when changing.
  • Clean up the kitchen after each meal.
  • Clear off any clutter from the kitchen counter.
  • Wipe down the stove top after cooking.
  • Spray the fridge, microwave and kitchen trash can with window spray.
  • Empty the trash.
  • Do one load of laundry.
  • Fold and put away the laundry as soon as possible after it’s dried.
  • Empty the litter box.
  • Sweep the floor.
  • Clean the main bathroom.
  • Straighten up the living areas (family room, living room).

The picture of my family room at the top of this post is my view while I’m writing. I did nothing to this room when I came in here today, and we use this room every day. It stays neat and clean, thanks to my daily routines. Without that, things would be a mess!

What do you need to add to your daily routine in order to be more effective as the keeper of your home? Make an evaluation of your “problem areas” then make a routine that will keep things in check. I’ve heard Whitney say many times that she has a routine for each day of the week – a day for laundry, a day for watering the plants, etc. That’s also helpful!

If I can give you suggestions or help, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments, or feel free to email me. My email address is in my contact page.

Here are some other cleaning posts (done in our previous home) that might spur you on to do some deep cleaning.

Refresh your home with routine!

Biblical Womanhood · Discipleship · Women's roles

Your Modeling Career

(Lesson 4 in the Adorned Study)

Being only 4’9″, I never had any aspirations that I would ever be a model, but now that I’m an older woman, I’ve learned that a modeling career is indeed a part of my life! Unlike those who walk the runways, my modeling has absolutely nothing to do with physical beauty. Sound impossible? That’s what our God is all about – doing the impossible!

Paul wrote in Titus in chapter 2 –

But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:

That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.

When older women model the beautiful, winsome spirit of a woman who is filled with the Spirit of God, we also know that this did not happen overnight. This has come as a result of years of walking with the Lord.

What kind of things will we be modeling if we’re this kind of woman? What kind of woman will we be? Paul gives us six characteristics here in Titus 2.

Is this what you think of when you think of a woman who is “grave?”
  1. Sober – The first literal application that comes to our minds is being free from the intoxicating influence of alcohol.  But being sober-minded in a biblical sense is broader.  It involves not becoming drunk on any of the many excesses available to us in the world.This woman has learned what really matters and leans her heart in the eternal satisfactions instead.
  2. Grave – This means to be discreet and reminds us to be honorable and appropriately serious about life. Sounds boring, right? A woman like Katherine Brooks in Anne of Green Gables comes to my mind (see picture above). But this doesn’t mean we live life without joy, because joy is a fruit of the Spirit.  It means we see the seriousness of living with an awareness of eternity.  We realize that heaven is nearer, that our days to live for Christ are shorter and that gives us an appropriate seriousness about how we live out our days. We live out our life with dignity and that is always a lovely thing to behold!
  3. Temperate – This comes from sophron, two Greek words, one meaning saved or sound and the other, meaning a mind. Being temperate is to live out life with a sound mind. Phron is related to the modern Greek word for brakes.  The self-controlled person knows when to stop.  The Holy Spirit controls her.
    What do we need Him to stop?  
    Our words.
    The poor use of our time.
    A relationship headed in the wrong direction.
    Anything we might want to do in excess. A temperate woman will put on the brakes.
  4. Sound in (the) faith – The word sound implies health.  This is so encouraging when it is applied to our lives as older women who are experiencing declining health and strength!  Even as our bodies are slowing down, we should be (and can be!) in the best shape of our lives, spiritually speaking!
  5. Sound in charity – Love – This is having a great capacity for love.  We don’t just have this head knowledge of God and His Word.  We demonstrate it with His love.  This will show itself in how we live out the Gospel.  We will show kindness, sacrifice, and forgiveness. 
  6. Sound in patience – steadfastness

I’ve heard so many older people say, “The golden years are not golden!”  Their reason for saying that is because they are experiencing hardship.  Scripture doesn’t say we won’t have any trouble as we age – as a matter of fact, Psalm 90:10 says, The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off and we fly away.
To be patient is to abide under this heavy load.  We’re not going to cave in under this hardship that might be coming.  We won’t just be gritting our teeth and squeezing by, we will bear up and glorify the God we love and trust.

Sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, charity and patience – what a beautiful model for younger women to watch and imitate. Who comes to your mind when you read those characteristics? Would YOU come to another woman’s mind? These attributes can be a part of our lives as we walk with God, study His Word, and learn His character.

You will become like the One with whom you spend time!

Walk the walk. You are the model younger women need to see in this upside down world.

Bread · breakfast · muffin · Quick Bread

French Breakfast Puffs

French Breakfast Puffs

While visiting my parents recently, I wanted to make a muffin for breakfast that wouldn’t require any “special” ingredients. I thought for a minute, then these beauties came to my mind…French Breakfast Puffs. They require the basics – flour, butter, eggs, milk and spices. The muffin is so fluffy and delicious and it is encased in a crunchy, buttery, cinnamon/sugar coating.
These have been a favorite in our family for years! Here’s the simple recipe:

French Breakfast Puffs

1 1/2 C flour
3/4 C sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 C milk
1 egg, beaten
1/3 C butter, melted


Topping
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 C sugar
1/3 C butter, melted

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg.  Add milk, beaten egg, and 1/3 cup melted butter.  Mix well.  Fill greased muffin tins 2/3 full and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. 
While the puffs are baking, mix the cinnamon, sugar in a shallow dish. Place the melted butter in another shallow dish.
Remove the muffins from the pan while still hot; dip in melted butter, then mixture of sugar and cinnamon.  Makes 1 dozen

These are heaven! What a delicious way to start the day!

Do you have a “go-to” muffin you make? If not, these are a great choice!

organization · refreshment at home · Tips and Tools

Tips You Need to Know!

I love to pick up a book or magazine that has some really good helpful ideas in it that simplify my life. I thought I’d share some of my recent finds with you here. Feel free to share your good ideas; I’d love to hear your helpful hints!

  • Use an embroidery box or a tackle box for your small pieces of jewelry. If you don’t use it at home, this is a great way to pack jewelry for vacation!
  • Place all your shoes in clear shoe boxes rather than shoe racks. They’re shorter and trimmer than standard shoe boxes and stack nicely on the closet shelf. Because they’re in clear boxes they’re easy to find.
  • Put Clear plastic drawers in your closet to store socks and belts.
  • Use a magnetic clip to hold your recipe while you’re cooking. Stick the clip to the stove hood and you’ll be able to see the recipe easily.
  • Wrap a rubber band or two around the ends of a hanger to keep your camisoles and sleeveless tops from sliding off the hanger and into the floor.
  • Pop your medication into a contact case for a handy pill box. This tip is especially good for men who don’t want a “cute” little pill box! My husband keeps a contact case in his pants pocket with his Veritgo meds and a couple Advil.
  • When you get to the bottom of your favorite tube of lipstick, dig out the remains with a Popsicle stick and put it into a clean contact case. Presto! Lip gloss is now at your finger tips!
  • When you’re in the middle of a painting project and it’s time to quit, instead of washing all the paint off your brushes and rollers, simply wrap them in plastic wrap ’til you’re ready to paint later that day or even the next day. This way you’ll only have to clean up the messy brushes once!
  • Keep cilantro fresh by cutting off the bottom of the stems and placing the cilantro in a cup with enough water to cover the stems. Place the cup in the fridge. The cilantro will stay fresh for a couple of weeks.
  • Magic Erasers are great for more than just crayons on the wall! They clean the outside of appliances super well! That grimy covering that can make toasters or microwaves “sticky” is wiped away easily!
  • Lastly, this simple idea came to me recently when I was cooking hot dogs for lunch on the stove top. Spray the hot dog buns with cooking spray, then gently open them just enough to hang them on the sides of a rounded skillet. Brown on one side, then turn them and brown the other side while the hot dogs cook! Nice, crispy buns will be ready when your hot dog is!

Okay, your turn! Tell me your favorite tip!

Refresh your life with simplicity!

Biblical Womanhood · Discipleship · Women's roles

What Do We Teach a Younger Woman?

This is the second in a series, Adorned. We are highlighting the book, Adorned, by Nancy Wolgemuth.

Did you go to church last Sunday?  Did you read your Bible today?  Did you treat your neighbors kindly or go out of your way to make things right after you and
your spouse were at odds?  Why did you do those things?  Because of the soil in which you are planted.  Let me explain ~ 

I love having raised beds in my backyard.  In them I grow a variety of herbs and vegetables.  When we first added the beds to our backyard, my husband made sure to get the right kind of potting soil so that the plants would grow.  We know that all plants have to have some kind of dirt to grow in, and while I don’t know all the scientific facts about my garden, I do know that my plants need good soil that is full of rich nutrients.  A pile of dirt, or a ton full of sand won’t work.  Having a good harvest starts with good soil.

When we talk about being a mentor or a discipler of a younger woman, we understand the “what” of our task.  The Lord has told us to teach – that’s what we are to do.  However, the next question is What are we to teach?  Usually older women ask that with a fearful look on their face, because they don’t think they have anything to tell a younger woman, but be relieved, Paul gives clear direction in Titus 2 – 

But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine.

We are to teach sound doctrine.

You may ask, “Woah!  Wait!  Doctrine?  Isn’t that some deep, theological word preachers use?  What does that have to do with teaching a younger woman?”

Let’s start by defining the word.  Doctrine is simply What we believe.  Everyone lives by some sort of doctrine.  Even an unbeliever in Christ has doctrine that they live by.  In her book, Adorned, Nancy Wolgemuth quotes a man who said,

“At our church, we don’t preach doctrine.  We just love Jesus.”

Perhaps this man’s church doesn’t teach doctrine, but they do have some, and they are living it out, as each of us is.
Nancy says,

“Doctrine is the soil that provides the context for growing character.” 

Just like the soil in my raised beds enables my herbs and vegetables to grow and be beautiful, right doctrine will enable us to adorn the Gospel that saved us.  We will be able to show a watching world how wonderful it is to know Christ’s character and to live a life following His Word. 

It’s important to remember that Paul says we need not just any doctrine, but sound doctrine. We must be planted in the Truth.  That Truth is found in God’s Word and it must be the foundation that gives us deep roots as a believer. 

If the doctrine is bad, what kind of fruit will it produce?  Bad fruit.

Let’s answer two big questions in this post ~ Let’s answer the “Why?” and “How?”

#1 Why do we have to teach doctrine? What’s the big deal about teaching sound doctrine?
Why is it important?  Can’t we just jump to how I’m supposed to love my husband? Can’t we just talk about how to be a Christian woman?
Doctrine is important because all the things we think and do are connected to what we believe about our God.

Wrong thinking and behavior all stem from wrong thoughts about God. That means if we can help a woman have the RIGHT thoughts about her God, her thinking and her behavior will both change!

Our feelings aren’t the boss of us; our Bible doctrines are!

  • If a woman believes that after she’s saved she’s on Easy Street, how will she survive when hardships come?
  • If a woman believes that she needs to work to stay saved, she’ll come close to dying an early death trying to do enough to please God.
  • If a woman fails to understand that Christ lives in her after salvation, she will fail to see that she can have His victory over the sin to which she feels in bondage.
  • If a woman doesn’t know that she’s secure in Christ, she will live a life of fear and insecurity.
  • If a wife doesn’t feel in love with her husband any more, she will think the best thing is to leave the relationship.

However, when women learn Bible doctrine that applies to their lives and to their roles as women, they live lives that show the beauty of the Gospel!  When we do this, we will be living lives that are radically different from the unsaved world.  

Question #2 – How will we learn Bible doctrine?  We learn it as we read God’s Word. We learn it as we sit in a church that teaches sound doctrine.  This is the watering of the soil.  We must put ourselves in places where we will learn the solid meat of what the Bible says, rather than the fluff that sounds good but has no substance.  

When we don’t act on the Bible’s solid foundation, it’s  because we have either not been taught it, or we know it and are not living accordingly.  When either one of those are true, we will have wrong thinking and wrong actions.  However,

Right doctrine is so freeing! 
Right doctrine is applicational to our everyday lives!
Right doctrine is beautiful because it reflects the nature of our God.

Nancy says, “Our ultimate purpose is to make much of God.  We do that as we experience, enjoy and reflect the loveliness of Christ, making Him known to a world that is starved for true beauty.”

Do you know Bible doctrine?  Do you know what the Bible teaches about salvation?  Eternal security?  Forgiveness of sin after salvation? A short study of four essential doctrines of salvation is The Exchange.  This would be a great place to start!

Friends…

  1. We need to know sound doctrine so we can grow.
  2. We need to know sound doctrine so we can think and react biblically!
  3. We need to know sound doctrine so we can teach it to another woman.

If you want to go a little deeper in this study…

  • Start keeping a notebook: What I know about My God. 
    Every time you read a verse that tells about God’s character, write down the character trait and its reference.  For example, God chooses not to remember my sin.  Psalm 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us.
  • Memorize Titus 2:3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;