I was blessed to have a mother who was home most all of my growing up years. I remember her presence in our home and what a warmth and security it created for me. When she wasn’t there, things just weren’t right. She created the cozy atmosphere, set the tone, kept things running smoothly and made it lovely.
A woman that has to work outside the home can do all those things; it will just take much more energy and effort. Some who ARE home struggle with loving it. It seems more like a cruel taskmaster that is breathing down their necks. Indeed, there is always something that needs our attention! But how do we deal with those responsibilities with joy, rather than dread?
Last week’s post on homemaking dealt with our heart. We cannot change our attitude without the Lord’s help. Maybe rereading that post will encourage you about your response towards being a homemaker. Today I want to address the practical side. What steps can we take to make homemaking less of a drudgery and more of a joy? Ready? Here we go!
- Know what you need to do each day. For me, that means keeping a list of my tasks. It’s too easy to forget all the details of what I need to do because of distractions that come into my day. If I don’t write it down on my planner, I’m sunk. I write out what I want to get done and I try to stretch myself.
- Pray about that list. Psalm 90:17b “Establish the work of our hands.” Realizing that God’s sovereign rule over my life can allow interruptions that I need to accept, and also grace and strength to work, I know I must rest in His help for each day.
- Do the least favored task first. Go ahead and do that task you like the least first thing in your day. Getting it over with will help you move on with relief!
- Use the right tools for your tasks. When you’ve been making do with a faulty broom, or a half-way working vacuum and then you finally replace it, you realize that the right tool makes ALL the difference! If something isn’t working effectively, seek to replace it. Use newer brooms, an effective mop and cleaning solution, or a good blind cleaning tool. Get a squeegee for the mirrors and windows. The right tool makes the job easier!
- Update your old cleaning products. Ditch the old rag you use to wipe out the bathroom sinks and get some fresh cleaning cloths. Put your window cleaner into a cute little spray bottle from the Dollar Tree. Get a pretty, seasonal bottle of hand soap for the kitchen sink. Use a dusting spray that smells amazing.
- Make it easier to work in your kitchen. I recently poured the olive oil out of the big bottle I get from Sam’s Club into a pretty bottle that can sit on my counter. Not only is it more convenient, it’s also a pretty decoration in the kitchen! Look at the things you use in your kitchen daily and see if you can put them into containers that make cooking and baking simplified! Glass or plastic jars for oatmeal, rice, brown sugar, powdered sugar or granola make it easier AND more fun to cook!
- Set the timer and work in 20 minute increments on bigger projects. I often need to empty out my pantry and clean every inch. That would be a task that could take all day, but if I set the timer and work on it for 20 minutes for five days, it seems less daunting. Break down a big task into smaller work times so you’re not overwhelmed.
- Allow yourself a little time for a break. When I take 20 minutes to take a nap, to sit and enjoy a cup of Chai Tea, or to work on a watercolor, I am truly refreshed and ready to get up and get busy again!
Which of those eight things do you need to do? I challenge you to put your mind to it today and see the transformation it can make in the way you approach your daily routines.
Refresh your heart for home!