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!

 

Cleaning · home · refreshment at home

Three Rules That Keep My Home Presentable (not perfect)

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I’m one of those women that has to have things in order at home to be able to think straight.  I feel so unorganized and discombobulated when my house is messy!  Are you like that?  But life is busy and it’s easy for things to get out of whack in a flash! Here’s what I try to do to keep things presentable at my house.

#1 Have a routine. simple-to-do-list-pic1

My best friend in relation to keeping things presentable is one word – Routine.  It’s not so much that I clean the floor on this day and dust on that one (though I try to do that), my greatest routine is with the daily things that happen.  Let me explain. Every day when I get up, I have a routine that goes like this:

  1. Feed the cat then sweep the laundry room floor (where Liza’s things are)
  2. Empty the litter box
  3. Throw in one load of laundry – On the days when there aren’t enough clothes for a load, I try to wash kitchen towels and pot holders or the throw rugs.  This is another way to keep things presentable! In the spring it will also include one room of curtains.
  4. Make the bed – Let me just stop here and say that this is HUGE to me.  The bed takes up so much of the room.  If it gets completely made with the comforter smoothed out and straightened up, pillows in place, and accent pillows arranged, the whole room takes on the look of being clean!
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  5. Clean the bathroom.  I do this as I’m finishing up getting ready.  I actually have a little way that I challenge myself to get it done quickly each day.  Other days I’ll deep clean it, but it generally takes me about three or four minutes to wash out the two sinks, the tub, shower and toilet.  Everything is shiny and smelling clean when I walk out!
  6. Empty the waste baskets.  When I bring the dirty litter out of the laundry room, I immediately empty the trash in the rooms upstairs and set the bag at the top of the steps to go down to the trash can.
  7. Put away any clothes or items that are in the bedroom or bathroom.

With all these things done, when I go downstairs and start my day, the upstairs has been touched and cleaned so that it’s all presentable.  It might be dusty or need a vacuuming, but it’s straightened up and clean!  I love that.

I have another rule of thumb that I say to myself often:

#2 Don’t put it down, put it away. 

This little rule keeps my morning routine much easier.  That way there isn’t a lot of things that are lying here and there that need attention.  That means I immediately put away

  • my jewelry when I take it off
  • my shoes
  • any paper items
  • mail
  • devotional books/prayer journal
  • make up
  • coat

#3 Have a place for everything. bedroom table

I keep all like things together and have a place where they are stored when purchased or not in use.  For instance:

  • Cleaning products
  • Paper products
  • Books
  • Shoes
  • Coats
  • Medicines
  • Extra toiletries
  • Purse

Which of these three rules are the most difficult for you?  Make one little change at a time, if necessary, until you get your house to a place that makes you feel rested.  That’s when you know it’s also presentable, because no one else matters but you and your family!

Refresh your home with three little rules!

denise a

 

 

Biblical Womanhood · Family life · home · refreshment at home

Inside Out Family

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I’m really embarrassed to say this, but the picture above was me one day this week!  Yes, my shirt was inside out…and I discovered it just after returning home from a time out with my husband.  We’d been to

Cracker Barrel,

TJ Maxx,

Target and

Sam’s Club!

If it wasn’t bad enough that I’d been that many places wearing my shirt the wrong side Continue reading “Inside Out Family”

home · hospitality · refreshment at home · summertime · Uncategorized

Full Home ~ Full Heart

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This has been a full summer, and I’m not necessarily talking about how busy it’s been.  I’m referring to the fullness  in my home and my heart.  You see, we have had the joy of hosting many people here.  We have had our church family here in small and large groups.  We hosted prayer meeting, after service fellowship, children’s Bible Club and women’s Bible study.  I’ll share the events via some pictures and explanations.

Continue reading “Full Home ~ Full Heart”

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”

children · Family life · home · Parenting

Family Friday – The Happiest Place On Earth

 

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I just heard a comment from a high school senior on her senior trip to Disney World say, “This has to be the happiest place on earth!” Having been there I can understand her sentiment. With beautiful flowers everywhere, light-hearted music, Mickey and Minnie, fun food, fun rides and fun times. of course it’s a happy place!

 There is another place that should be one of the happiest places on this earth – home. Home should be the most loving, secure and fun place for a child. What will you do today to make it that way for your children? Are you homeschooling? Are you sending your children off for the day?  Dealing with adult children living at home?  What can you do to make this the BEST place to live in or return to? Don’t get so caught up in the day-to-day routines that you forget to make more than a house – make it a home…a place to nurture, love, accept and have FUN!!
For your little ones – Change things around today or even on April Fools Day. Let them eat their dessert first! Have lunch under the table instead of on it. Go to the library and get new books – perhaps books about spring, baby lambs or even a child’s cookbook. Read together in a new place – build a comfy spot on the floor with pillows and cushions or make a tent using all the kitchen chairs as props.
Play uplifting music – Patch the Pirate, The Donut Man, Veggie Tales, etc. Let the atmosphere of your home be encouraging for them. It’s easy to play what we like instead of what they would enjoy.
How about some fun food? Cut their sandwich into shapes using cookie cutters. Peanut butter and jelly can take on a whole new taste when it’s cut differently!

For your older kids = 
be there for them. Sit and listen to them.  Do something fun together.  Cook.  Bake.  Shop.  Scroll through Pinterest for ideas and then rearrange her room. Stay up late with them.  Watch their movie or ball game.  Talk. Nod. Love. Pray.
Make your home the “happiest place on the earth” by taking time to be with your children, using creativity and thoughtful action to make each day one they won’t forget!
What are you doing to make your home the HAPPIEST place on earth?
Denise Signature 150 px
children · Family life · home · Husband · Motherhood · Wife's Role

Family Friday – Family Time

 

Family Time.

Mother-Daughter Time

Mother-Son Time

Date night

Conversation time

We all want to spend time with our family, but we’re so busy with everything else going on in our world, how do we do it?

How do we respond when so many others need/want our moments, hours and days, yet we long for more time with our husband?  More time pouring into our children?  Here are some points to ponder when you consider how yo will spend your days:

  1. Establish an eternal perspective.  How will this decision effect eternity?  If it won’t, then is it pressing right now or should I do something else?
  2. Remember when you say “yes” to someone, you’re saying “no” to someone else. Who should I be saying “no” to?  Is this person in my priority order?
  3. Respond to each opportunity on the basis of how it will affect your ability to fulfill your current obligations. Will doing this make it more difficult to do what I have to get done today?  Will doing this help me accomplish what is before me?
  4. Try to do only the right things for the right reasons at the right times in the right seasons.

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Now, how will you spend TIME with your family this weekend?  Perhaps you should start by asking yourself these four questions, then make decisions about what you will/should do!

Your family opportunities won’t be there forever! Grab them while you can!

Refresh your family time,

Denise Signature 150 px