My Morning Cleaning Routine

A sweet reader recently asked me if I had a daily cleaning routine.  My immediate thought was, “No, I don’t.  I just clean when I see a need.”  THEN I began to go through what I do each morning, and I realized that I certainly DO have a routine!  It’s so ingrained in my morning, that it’s just natural and doesn’t even feel like I’m working on a list of household chores!

I’ve made a short video to take you through what I do in the first hours I’m awake – just as I go through the regular parts of each day.  I work as I go along, and by mid-morning, many tasks have been completed! Come along and see…

Just as I ended my video by saying, let me repeat – the comment from a reader inspired this video.  If you have a question or comment, let me know and perhaps it can be answered in a future post!  I ‘d love your input!

Happy cleaning!
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Things I’m Loving This Fall

Fall brings some favorite things we don’t have the rest of the year.  I thought I’d share some of the things I’m especially loving this fall (though they’re not all seasonally related).  Look for the ARROW in the picture to see my favorite thing!

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This Kroger Washing Machine Cleaner is really reasonably priced and does a GREAT job getting any residue out of the washing machine.  The rubber gaskets don’t get completely clean, but it’s much better.  Look at that shine inside! My mom recommended it to me, and I’m recommending it to you!
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It’s the time of year for the great flavored creams!  This one reminds me of Christmas because in years past, it was the only time you could get it.  Now it comes out in the fall.  Mmmm, it’s so good in my morning cup of coffee!!
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Yankee Candles have me all  smiles.  I love all their products!  I especially love their fall scents.  This one is Sugar and Spice and it goes great with any pumpkin scent I may have in another part of the house.  I love the apple burner.  You set a container into the burner, turn it on, and it melts in the plastic container.  So easy and no open flame.

 

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I’m still chalkboard crazy!  I had a mirror over my mantle all summer, but  I decided to put the chalkboard up and do a picture.  What is it about chalkboard art that makes a space so cozy?  I don’t know, maybe just the opportunity it gives me to be a little creative.  It might be tacky to some, but I love it on the mantle!

 

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My last love isn’t a thing, it’s a person.  It’s the man you see talking to our sweet neighbors that we love.  That man, my husband…loves people.  He has a burden for people.  Everywhere he goes, he’s looking to pour into people the love of Jesus, and I love that about him!  I snapped this picture from my laundry room window.  I loved looking out and seeing him chatting with the children.  They love him, too!

What are you enjoying this fall?  A new product?  A place you’ve visited?  A person who’s been a blessing?  I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

Have a refreshing weekend as you attend a church that preaches the Word of God in Truth!  Our church will be celebrating its 61st anniversary this Sunday, so it will be a special day, and I’m looking forward to it!

Lovingly,

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Chipped Cups and a Thankful Heart

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There’s a routine that happens in our house several times every day – perhaps it looks similar at yours.  It’s the washing and cleaning up after a meal. Most people don’t relish scraping lasagna off dinner plates, deciding which Rubbermaid container will hold the remains of the tossed salad, getting all the dishes into the already-full dishwasher or cleaning out the drips on the oven floor, but it all must be done.  The blessing of these tasks at my house is that I never work alone.  My thoughtful husband works alongside me until the towel is folded over the edge of the sink and the kitchen light is turned off.  It sounds like a pleasant scene, doesn’t it?  It truly is, and I try to thank my spouse often for his diligent efforts to help me with this daily chore.

But I haven’t always been the smiling spouse and happy housewife during this task.  As ungrateful as it sounds, there have been times when I’ve corrected him for the way he was handling the dishes.  He’s a big guy with big hands, and my dishes have often cringed under the force of being picked up or set down in a not-so-gentle way.

Of course, it was my duty to tell him, right?

Only if I wanted to crush his spirit about helping, when he could have been off doing any number of far more important things than washing my “riches.”

Only if I wanted to hush the chatter we had been having while we worked side by side in our sudsy love.

Only if I wanted to make him feel like my son instead of my husband, my leader, the head of our home, and the provider of the very home in which we were working.

Only if I valued my possessions more than a happy marriage.

But I did it and I regretted it. I confessed it to my God and to my hard-working, strong husband.

I decided after that that it was far better to work together, each of us happily humming, talking, teasing, laughing, and loving, than to be doing this triple-day duty by myself just so I could keep my dishes – my riches – without any nicks.

God knew I would need this reminder and He put it in the form of a proverb –

Better is little with the fear of the Lord than great riches and trouble therewith.

Proverbs 15:16

Yes, it’s better to have plates with a hairline crack, a bowl put in the wrong cupboard, or a set of eight glasses that only number seven now, than to have a perfect set of dishes without the comradery that happens when we work together with right hearts.

My dishes were my “riches” that proverbs mentions.  What’s yours? What form of perfection or higher standard comes between accepting gracious help or refusing it?  If your husband attempts to help you at home, do you appreciate his efforts, or do you demand perfection?  Do you accept his help, or ask him to go do something else so the task will be done the way you want it accomplished?  Maybe you need to remind yourself, as I had to do, of the blessing of a man who will be kind enough to offer a hand.  Think about whether you’d rather be sitting at home alone with your “riches” around you, or  living happily as one, with a little less “riches.”

I think many wives must come to grips with this truth.  So, if this rings true in your heart, know that you’re not alone.  Our sinful heart wants our way, instead of the wonder of a sweet marriage that comes when two people work together with happy hearts.

When it’s all said and done, what’s left of my dishes may only be chipped cups and splintered saucers, but if my heart is full of gratitude instead of grumbling, there will also be a whole lot of love that got splashed up in the soapy process.

That’s what I’m going for.

How about you?  What are the “riches” that are causing you to be demanding and critical instead of thankful for your spouse?  Ask God to help you exchange that criticism for gratefulness. Then smile while you sip your coffee from that chipped cup!

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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.

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Kitchen Table Centerpiece Ideas

As a follow-up from my recent video on setting the table, I thought I’d share a few photos of simple centerpieces for your kitchen or dining room table!

Are you ever stumped at what you could put on your kitchen table as a centerpiece?  It doesn’t have to be an FTB bouquet to be pretty!  Sometimes we just need a few photos to inspire us to pull out what we already own and make a pretty embellishment.  Here are a few examples…

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The only thing purchased for this grouping was the fruit!  Included in my silver holder is a blue Mason jar with a battery operated candle, a glass gourd, copper strainer to hold the fruit, a glass acorn dish with a lid and some fall leaves.  Add a variety of heights for a good visual effect.

 

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These flowers were part of a $5.99 bouquet that I made into three separate bouquets!  A short, square glass  holder with a glass frog to keep the stems in place is holding the bouquet.  A charger under the bouquet adds another dimension to the centerpiece,

 

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Another part of the $5.99 centerpiece was placed into a mirrored holder, giving it a dressier and taller look.  I put a fabric runner under the arrangement to add softness to the table.
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A tiered stand makes a great centerpiece.  I layered different textured pumpkins, some fruit and silk fall leaves, then placed the stand on a fall fabric runner.

 

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This rustic bouquet was all gathered on my morning walk and put in a mason jar glass with a burlap ribbon tied at the top.  It’s perfect for the patio table.  When I edited the picture, I added some mini pumpkins to show what else you could add to make it even cuter!

Look around your house for items to use for the table.  Consider:

  • Taper candles
  • A basket
  • Cloth napkins or a charger for under the centerpiece
  • Trays – Wooden, silver, black
  • Fruit
  • Fresh vegetables
  • Stems of  tree branches
  • Silk leaves
  • Fabric pumpkins or real ones that are miniature
  • Tea pots, pretty jars or pitcher to hold the flowers or stems

I hope this inspires you to gather some of the things you already own and refresh your kitchen table!  Even if it takes days for your family to notice, you’ll see it and it just might bring a smile to your face!

Refresh your heart by being in a Gospel preaching church this Sunday.  Christ loves the church and gave Himself for it!  Ephesians 5:25  Since He loves it that much, we should, too!

Which centerpiece was your favorite?

Lovingly,

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