Home making · Kitchen Tips · Meal planning · Spiritual Refreshment

Mid-Week Kitchen happenings

Kitchen is a busy place – not just when you’re cooking. It takes daily work to keep things organized, efficient and well-planned. This is an important part of the work in the kitchen.

I was away last week and then have been quite busy since returning home. That means things were lacking in the kitchen. I have been working to get things straightened up, freshened up and planned for the week ahead.

I love to gather inspiration for meal planning. I find lots of good ideas in the Relish magazine that comes in the Sunday newspaper.

How cute is that board full of fall treats? I’m definitely going to make a version of that this month!

These sliders look so good, too! They’d be perfect on game day, if you have some football fans! They would also be good for a weekend supper.

If you’re in a menu rut, pull out an old cookbook and flip through it for some fresh inspiration. You might even find an old recipe you haven’t made in a while that you need to recreate! Go to the library and check out a new cookbook or a food magazine like Taste of Home. You’re sure to get some good inspiration there! I know the Internet is full of great ideas, but sometimes I find it easier and more fun to use a printed form.

I am freshening up some kitchen decor. I’m removing all the red items in my kitchen and the last things to go were my red rooster canisters. I found clear glass jars at Home Goods and they were exactly what I was looking for! The opening is large enough for a cup measure to fit inside – a must, in my opinion!

I also took some time to clean out the drawers in my island and while I was at it, I changed out the drawer liner. It’s amazing what a little addition like that can do!

I love being in the kitchen, and keeping it inviting is important. It keeps me motivated and happy about being in there!

Let’s use all this to make a spiritual application. It can be so easy to be busy doing all the things that followers of Christ do – attending church, serving others, teaching a class, and attending a Bible study that we forget to maintain our own walk with God. Things get “messy” and overlooked. We must intentionally take time to just be with God. Spend longer time in prayer just enjoying communing with Christ, hearing from Him as you sit quietly and allow Him to speak to you. Sing. Confess. Worship. Fellowship with the God who loves you and rejoices over you because you are His child. You’ll find that you are energized for the spiritual works before you.

So, what is the mid-week activity of your spiritual life looking like? Are you too busy? Stop and focus on the Lord so then you can move forward in your tasks with purpose and joy!

In your kitchen, are you planning and also staying motivated for meal times? Are there areas you need to freshen up? It’s worth it to spend a little time taking care of those needs. You’ll probably find you’re more productive! But if you can only focus on one area, start with your spiritual needs and then ask the Lord to guide the work of your hands.

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!

Home making · Women's roles

What Does a Homemaker Do All Day?

What is your employment?

I’m a homemaker.

Oh.

Enter blank stare.

I have had that awkward conversation in the past.
I think it could be easy for women who work outside the home to wonder…

Is there really enough to keep a woman busy homemaking all day long?

It could be easy to assume that a homemaker has lots of down time, time to just sit and do anything she wants! But just as with any assumption, those statements are far from the truth. May I take you through one of my weeks and give you a little glimpse at the busyness and the joy of being a homemaker?

My children are gone from home, but I’m still their mom, and that means I have the blessing of participating in celebrating their birthdays and our family holidays. So that involves cooking, decorating the table, purchasing gifts and being the hostess.

On Saturday and Sunday I was busy with attending Bible study, doing laundry, preparing Sunday’s clothes and dinner, fellowship with friends, and worship on Sunday morning. Then on Sunday evening we traveled to Kentucky to visit my parents and also get to see my aunt and uncle from Florida. I helped my mom prepare the meal for our family, which was a blessing.

When I got home on Tuesday, I had a half bushel of South Carolina peaches waiting for me. I really enjoy canning, and I really love the reward of opening my pantry and seeing these jars on the shelves! It’s a labor of love that we enjoy all year long!

In case you didn’t know, I’m also a Gigi (ha!!)! Each week I have the boys over for Bible Club. This week it was really hot, so they came over to use the pool that we had prayed for when every store was sold out! They had so much fun and so did I! I got to remind them that we had asked God to provide a pool and He did it!! It’s my greatest joy to point their little hearts to the Lord!

Daily it is my joy to prepare meals for me and my husband. I try really hard to provide food that is healthy and delicious. It takes time and effort, but it’s worth it! We love being outside during the warm days, so this lunch was served Al fresco, as are most all of them during the summer months!

Not pictured is the house work- mopping, wiping, dusting, polishing, ironing, sweeping, gardening, straightening, fluffing, decorating, and folding that happens weekly.

Of course I also have a personal life and a ministry life. As a wife, I try to serve my husband (though I feel like he does a whole lot more serving me than I do him! I take time each morning to study God’s Word, to journal and pray. In an effort to stay active, I walk two miles at least three times a week.

I take time sometime during the days to prepare and study for my radio ministry, my blog and any speaking engagements that are coming up. So I do spend a good bit of time at my computer.

It feels like the days are very full, but honestly, so is my heart. My husband worked three jobs early in our ministry life to provide so I could stay home and be the homemaker. He has sacrificed, because he has seen the benefit of my presence in the home. I am so very thankful!

There were times that I have been embarrassed about telling someone what my “employment” was, but I’ve learned over the years that being a homemaker is a high calling. I couldn’t be more fulfilled doing anything else!

What do I do?

I get to be a homemaker!!!!

Do you wish you were a homemaker but have to work out of necessity? Pray. Ask the Lord if He would give you the desire of your heart. Wait and watch what He will do! In the meantime, do what He has called yo to do with a thankful, contented heart.

Are you a homemaker? What do you love most about it? What do you dislike?

Here are some other encouragements about homemaking!

canning · Home decor · Home making

Easy Does It!

Sometimes it’s the simplest changes or additions that bring the greatest blessings! I’m starting a new series, Easy Does it, that I’ll feature every now and then of easy things that have made life better or a little easier in my home.

Let’s get started!

  1. After being gifted a bushel of cucumbers, I decided to try my hand at 14-Day Pickles (wish me luck!). I attempted to gather all my ingredients, except I couldn’t find pickling salt on any store shelves! While I was on the search for the missing salt to make my first round of homemade pickles, my husband came across this Mrs. Wages 1 Step Pickling brine. It only takes 5 minutes to cut up the cucumbers and slide them into a clean jar! You let them set overnight and they’re ready to eat!

The result? They are delicious! The package costs a couple of dollars and makes one quart jar of pickles. They offer several different kinds of pickles and also salsa! If you’re not into canning but enjoy a good pickle, you need to try these! No canning is necessary. They’ll keep in your fridge a week. They do all the work and you get to take the credit! Five minutes work and eight hours to wait is it. That’s lots easier than my 14-day recipe!!

Mrs. Wages Pickling Brine makes making homemade pickles 5-Minutes of easy prep!

I’m laughing at my caption…it sounds like a commercial! But hey, they really are good!

2. It’s amazing to me how long I’ve had some of the items I use daily. Age does that, I hear! I’ve had a basket that I have used on my patio for probably more than 30 years. It’s super sturdy and is great as a tray for outside entertaining I usually set it in the middle of the patio table and keep a centerpiece on it, but I also use it to serve beverages and desserts. Recently I looked at it and realized that it had seen better days. I couldn’t get rid of it because the bones of the basket are still in great shape! So, I went to the utility shed and found a can of black spray paint…just the thing to give it new life! A few coats of paint and a couple hours later and it looked brand new!

That was easy!

Sooo much better!

3. Our outside back door rug also got my recent attention one day this week. Its cute little bicycle print had worn off of the surface, leaving just the bristles and dirt. Not long after, I was in Hobby Lobby and found their Spring decor marked down 75% off! They had all kinds of outdoor rugs to choose from! The one I found was only $5! It’s bright colors are perfect for the back porch and the design is still in season! It brightened up the doorway so much! That’s was a simple back porch improvement!

Liza approves, too!!

4. One morning this week when getting coffee cream out of the fridge, I noticed an area on a shelf that needed to be wiped off. An hour later the entire fridge had been completely emptied, shelves taken out, washed and returned to their places. Been there?
When I returned the vegetables and fruits to their drawers, I thought how much better it would be to put something instead of paper towel there to catch the drips from berries and veggies. I had already placed two vinyl place mats on the bottom shelves and decided that would do the trick in the drawers, too! During my next trip to The Dollar Tree, I purchased two more vinyl place mats, cut them to the size of the drawer and placed them at the bottom where the drips will be easily wiped off simply by removing the place mat. The perk is that they’re colorful and pretty! That will be easier to keep clean!

These were four little ideas/changes that were so easy and made me smile this week! Is there one that inspired you?

Refresh yourself by being part of a solid Bible preaching church this weekned!

Biblical Womanhood · Home making · Wife's Role

Homemaker Encouragement

As we finish this short series on Home Management, I wanted to leave you with a few thoughts about your work as a homemaker.

  1. Prepare your heart for the day. Talk to the Lord about your day and your work.  Give it to Him. 
    Ps. 90:17 And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.

Proverbs 16:3 Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.

As you look at your list of “To-do’s,” give it to the Lord and let Him order your steps. You’ll be amazed at how much more you’ll accomplish that lines up with His will instead of your own!

  1. Deal with only today. Matt. 6:34 Take therefore no thought (Don’t worry) for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. 

Be not anxious about tomorrow; today has its own challenges! Augustine took Psalm 90:12 So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. and said, “Number each day as your last day. (One day it will be).  

I can remember a few years ago I let myself get so stressed out about some company that was coming at a very busy time. Guess what? They ended up having to cancel! I had stressed and worried for naught! So often that is the case. Dealing with today will relieve those worrisome situations and help you do the next step…

3. Value each minute of today. Make each moment count for eternity.  Think about the eternal, not the temporal. 

We remember moments not days.

Make your home more about the people than you do the place.  People – not things – create the memories in your home.  People are eternal; things are not!

Here are three last helps as you manage your home – 

** Keep moving. Like the law of inertia,  A body in motion will remain in motion! A body at rest will remain at rest. Keep going until your work is done.

** Develop a routine – same place, same thing, same time. Do the worst first. If you do that, it will make your day more productive!

** Say “No!” Make your plan for the day, then unless you are sure that God is moving you to Plan B, the answer is going to be “No” until that plan is complete. Say no to people, to yourself, your own indulgences and rash things.

She looks well to the ways of her household and doesn’t eat the bread of idleness. Proverbs 31:27

A refreshing look at our responsibilities can give us a right perspective and a determination to give it our all! I trust this has refreshed your attitude about being a home manager and has also shown you what a blessing it is to wear that title!