home · Home making · refreshment at home · Women's roles

Refresh Your Family By Being the Homemaker

During the recent health crisis of my mom and her hospital stay, I was reminded of this chapter that I contributed for the Extraordinary Woman Book.  Here’s what I wrote:

She riseth while it is yet night and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. Prov. 31:15

The memory is so clear in my mind, even though the event took place when I was only eight.  My mother had gone to the hospital for surgery, requiring her to be away from home for a week. She left plans for our meals, school outfits, and personal needs in the careful hands of our loving dad.  He did all she had instructed him, and we had no immediate wants unmet. However, her very bodily absence left such a void in my young heart that I felt desperate for her presence. Having no way to remedy the situation, I made my way to the front closet where all our coats were hung. Finding my mother’s coat sleeve with the fur cuff, I buried my face in its soft comfort and cried tears of longing for the one who made our house a home.

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The remembrance of that event brings tears even today, as I recall the short-lived pain that was so real for a child.  I wasn’t used to not having Mom home, and it was a happy reunion when she was well enough to return to our house where she would make everything right again.

It is God’s plan for us as women to make our residence more than a four-walled existence. In verse fifteen of Proverbs 31, we see The Extraordinary Woman stirring about very early in the morning.  Her pre-dawn rising allows her time to prepare food for the day, taking careful efforts to provide for each member of the family. I imagine her household, still comfy in their beds, hearing her stir in the kitchen preparing breakfast, and that truth alone bringing a smile to their sleepy faces.

It’s a sweet comfort when families know that all is well at home because we are there.  Ladies, we are the homemakers; the ones who create a place of warmth, welcome, acceptance and genuine Christlike love.  There are simple ways to accomplish that.

Be there. There are times and situations like my mother’s surgery that temporarily remove us from home, but for the normal days, we need to be there when our children are there, if possible.  We need to be ready to greet our husband with a hug and kiss when he walks in the door.  A full house can’t echo, and an empty house cannot embrace.

Be prepared. Stress is relieved with early preparations. Creating a meal plan will allow us to know what we need at the store.  We will also be able to prepare food early in the day.  There will be time to create a simple, but inviting place for the meal with table settings that include silverware, napkins, a centerpiece of flowers, fruit, or candles to bring warmth.  Imagine the conversations had while dirty dishes wait and silver flickers of candlelight illumine beloved faces. The visions and aromas of even a simple meal prepared are treasures homemakers can provide. Without preparation, it’s just supper; with care, it becomes an event!

Be aware. It’s easy to be disconnected in this day of constant accessibility, even when are at home surrounded by those we love most.  Everyone can get caught up in their own little world, like caged mice running on a wheel. No one is talking or engaging.  Someone must care enough to look up and into faces of the family for signs of need.  That someone is us, the homemaker.  Home is the place for making time to dig into God’s Word together, to pray, and to find answers. We’ll never have the opportunity unless we are alert, and that opportunity comes with the discipline of saying no to self as we put others’ needs before our own leisure.

Be the homemaker that creates the atmosphere your family would miss – even if you were absent for just a week.

  • What would your family say about the atmosphere in your home?  Are you there enough?
  • Are you well prepared for meals?  What do you need to add to make mealtime more inviting?
  • Do you take time daily to look carefully at the needs of your husband?  Your children?

Refresh you home today by being the homemaker your family needs. Image result for tiny heart

denise a
P.S. The book I mentioned can be found in this link.  The distributors are having a buy one get one free sale right now.  They have many titles that would make great Christmas gifts!

 

Home decor · Home making

Kitchen Update and a Homemaking Tip

 

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There’s a project that I’ve wanted to do in my kitchen from the day we moved in.  There was no backsplash, and oh, how I knew I needed one!  Splatters from the stove, sink and electric skillet were making a non-removable mess.  We waited until the resources were available to go ahead, and the time was NOW!

I’m really pleased with the results and think it updated the kitchen and also really gave it a completed look (not that there aren’t other projects on my list!).  I’m sharing some before and after photos on my video today.

Also on my video is my way of keeping the stove and oven clean.  I admit that I have a bit of a fetish about a clean oven (ask my girls!), but to me it’s not only an important safety factor, but a clean stove top and oven help the kitchen look clean and inviting.  I often use high temps when I’m cooking and I don’t want the remaining grease and splatters getting hot.  It only takes me a matter of minutes each time I clean it out!  My tips are easy to do.

Here’s the video and pics of my kitchen update!

Is there a project you’re wanting to do in your kitchen?  It’s worth the wait!  Keep dreaming but then also praying for God to provide!

denise a

 

Dinner · home · Home making · Lightened Up Recipe · Meal planning · refreshment at home · Tablescapes

My Kitchen Table – Settings & Sustenance

We all have to eat.  But what we fix and how we serve it can make a huge  difference in how much enjoyment we give ourselves and those with whom we share the meal. I can remember growing up that my mom always made the table and the food a special part of each day.  I don’t go overboard on a regular day, but I try to make the food and the table inviting.  Today’s post is just a little glimpse into how I set the table and what meals we’ve been enjoying recently.

Al Fresco Dining – Once the weather turns warm, we eat outside as often as possible!  One morning recently I took breakfast outside to the front porch where the sun was shining and ate sitting in a rocking chair.  That’s even better than Cracker Barrel! Continue reading “My Kitchen Table – Settings & Sustenance”

Cleaning · home · Home making

Turn Your Household Jobs into Joy!

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We often view household chores like a fire breathing dragon waiting to be slain. They’re breathing down our necks and we would like to run, but we know that killing that beast is necessary and needed. I’d like to give you a different perspective of those tasks, because God created our work at home (and outside our home) to be done for His glory. You see, with just one little change, we turn the word

JOB

into

JOY!

So, too, we could make just one little change in our household work and turn it into a joy, rather than a drudgery.

What picture would give us a right view of dusting, laundry, washing dishes and mopping the floor?  How about an artist standing before his canvas!  Let me tell you why.

  • An artist has to have an end in mind.  He has to know what he’s going to have when he’s finished!  Is it a painting of a sea, the mountains or a vast valley?  Is it to be a portrait?
    • As workers, we need to know what our goals are.  What do we want to have accomplished in the end?
  • An artist has to have the right tools.  The right paint brush can put leaves on a tree with a simple stroke, or cover the canvas with the background color needed for a sunset.
    • As workers, we need the right tools to accomplish each job.  It will make it easier and more effective!
  • An artist has to have a time table to complete the work.  He may have a time limit because of the person for whom the work is to be done.  He may have time limits because of the mediums with which he is working.  Clay hardens!  Acrylic paints dry quickly!
    • As workers, we should use our minutes wisely, not wasting time by making the work more difficult, or by distractions.

So, artist, let’s think about our housework and how we can apply these principles!

  1. Tasks 
    1. Each day have a plan as to what needs to be done.  Don’t try to do it all in one day.
    2. Divide the weekly chores into the days of the week.
    3. Write down what you need to do.
      For daily chores, like beds being made and dishes washed and put away, you may want to write that into your goals as well, but not necessarily each day unless it’s not a habit yet.  If you need to get into that habit, write it each day!
      Know what your desire is – should the beds be made right after rising?  Should the dinner dishes be put away before you head to bed?  Seeing chores written down will help you to accomplish them, and then have the satisfaction of checking them off!
  2. Tools
    1. Dusting – Don’t use the nastiest rag you have in the house. Use a cloth you’ll want to see, like a swiffer duster, or a microfiber cloth to dust your home.  Get an extension duster to use on the ceiling fans and behind the headboard of the beds.
      Invest in a dusting spray.  I love the Pledge multi-surface anti-bacterial cleaner. multi surface everyday cleaner antibacterial
      It helps pick up the dust and it leaves everything smelling fresh and clean!
    2. Mopping –  Swiffer mops are my favorite.  I made my own covers for dry mopping and I can wash them and reuse them!  But I do buy the Swiffer brand for wet mopping.  They, too, make the house smell nice and clean!
    3. Cleaning Windows and mirrors and bathrooms – Put your mirror/window cleaner as well as your bathroom cleaners in pretty little spray bottles from the Dollar Tree.  I have several – one in each bathroom, and one in the kitchen ready for use!
      I use my own recipe for windows and mirrors – 50% water 50% white vinegar and a few drops of Dawn Dish Soap.  Shake it up and spray it on!  It works great and doesn’t leave streaks!
    4. A cleaning caddy can carry all your supplies without you having to run from room to room gathering the needed cleaning sprays and cloths. You can buy something similar at the Dollar Tree.
      Clear Tote Caddy - 18
  3. Time
    You don’t have to spend hours cleaning!  As a matter of a fact, you could spend less than 30 minutes a day and get more accomplished than you can imagine, but you have to be diligent.  Here’s how:

    1. Set a timer.  Play a game with yourself (sounds silly, but this works wonders!).  Set a goal to try to accomplish a,b,and c before the timer goes off in, let’s say, 15 or 30 minutes.  It’s amazing what you can accomplish in a short amount of time!
    2. Set aside distractions.  Put your phone in another room, or on vibrate and vow not to touch it until you’re finished!  Turn the television off.  Focus on the work at hand.
    3. Do the least liked job first!  You hate cleaning the oven, but it got splattered from the roasting chicken?  Do it first.  Then you can move on to the easier jobs!

With these three simple ideas, you can complete that work like an artist and you’ll end up with the beauty of a home that no painting could capture!  The audience will be your family and friends.  There’s no embarrassment of people seeing an unfinished project on the easel!  Oh, and the

A JOB can be turned into a JOY
with just one little change.

What change do you need to make in your housework to change it into a joy?

Denise Signature 150 px

Christian love · home · Home making · memories · refreshment at home

Happy Imperfections

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I’ll never forget the day we moved into our country home where we are now.  It had just been finished being built! We were moving into our very first brand new house!

It was surreal.

I wasn’t moving into someone else’s mess or used home that needed work – this one was new and perfect!

We had many strong men helping us on move-in day lifting, carrying and lugging all our possessions into our new abode.  One kind man set down a box in my kitchen and I began to slide it closer to the place where it would be unpacked.  His response echoes in my ears even today:

These hardwood floors will scratch up even by a box being slid across them; you better lift that instead.

I followed his wise advice, fearful of causing some imperfection to come to my new and perfect home.

Those words guided the careful application of pads to every chair, table, foot stool, and anything else that was going to be rubbing across the hardwood.  I couldn’t stand the thought of a scratch ruining the looks of my perfect kitchen, hallway or living room.

But alas and alack, over the four years that we have been here, it has happened.  What would that man say if he could see where a can of green beans fell in my pantry and dented the floor there on a day when I was preparing a meal?  Or the heels that have walked across the planks causing scratches, or the other little nicks and bumps that have happened just because people live here, visit here, eat here, spill here, and do life here?

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Perfection isn’t a word that would describe my home, but I’m good with that now.  I’ve come to see those scratches as reminders that people are more important than my perfect standard.  If we lived here alone there would be far less imperfections, but oh, the blessings of belly laughs, happy shedding of tears, playful frolic, nurturing visits, prayerful conversations and loving of souls that we would have missed!

Thank you, sir, for your good advice.  I’m grateful you shared that with me – I really am.  I’ll keep the pads in place and care for my home as a gift from the Lord, but when the marks are added to the hardwood, fingerprints to the glass, or smudges on the walls, I can smile instead of grimace at the happy remembrance of the people that have helped make memories – not imperfections.

Last week when I mopped the floor, I saw a scuff on the floor and started to sigh, but then was reminded of the truths that God has been teaching me about living more for people than perfection.  Instead of sighing, with every stroke of that Swiffer, I thanked God – by name – for the different people who had been in our home.  It made my heart so happy – happy for my perfectly wonderful memories made in my imperfect home.

Do you ever get caught up in wanting your home to look perfect, and feel frustrated that it isn’t? People are more important.  Look at the people, instead of the imperfections, and you’ll have the freedom to use your home to glorify God!

Refresh your heart about your home.

Denise Signature 150 px

Dinner · entertaining · Family life · home · Home making · How-to Video

Setting the Dinner Table

A part of every day life is eating a meal.  So, too, is the need to set the table.  I’ve heard many women say they don’t really know how to properly put the silverware and tableware out.  Is it just being too fussy to set the table?  No!  But if you don’t know what to do, fear not; it’s not something that requires lifted pinkies or tea cups!

My video today will show how to set a simple table, making it pretty enough for company, but also perfect for your family.  Don’t let them have your leftovers (no pun intended!). Make them feel special by making mealtime an event.  It’s really up to us to make the table pretty, and this simple video will give you a few ideas to show how.

 

What centerpiece do you have on your table right now?

Refresh your family’s dinner table!

Denise Signature 150 px