Discipleship · home · Mentoring

Keepers At Home

Adorned Study #10

Isn’t it a comfort to know that God cares about what happens in our houses?  He created the family, and He has a plan for how we care for this ministry! Listen what He specifically says about the home in the Titus 2 passage…

That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home,

I love how the KJV translates it; as “keepers at home.” This is a woman who is devoted to her home, who has a heart for it.  She’s actively engaged and makes it a high priority in her life.

But all too often, home is a place where we come in to get ready to go out to the next event.  Not much is really happening at home.  There’s little investment in one another’s lives.  Rather than it being the hub of life, it is too often just the spare tire.  

In her book, Adorned, Nancy reminds us that teaching young women God’s Word includes teaching them that working at home is in the core curriculum.

When I talk to women and they lament and say they “are only a homemaker”  I always say, “That is a high calling!”  There’s no shame in being in the home so that you can make it your priority.  But there’s also no need to feel ashamed that you work outside the home.  Sometimes it is necessary.  You may have to be more creative in how you make time for caring for the needs and the people in your home, but with the Lord’s help and wisdom, you can still be a keeper at home.

When my oldest daughter was four, we were so strapped financially.  Then a teaching opportunity was opened to me and it seemed like this would be the best way to help our situation.  However, the added stress it brought hardly justified my time away from our home!  Those are nine months that taught me that my heart was in my home and that is where I belonged

Later I had another time in my life when extra funds were needed because we had one daughter in college! Do you feel my pain?! I wasn’t free to go out and look for part time job, because the other daughter was in homeschool, and I also remembered the hard lesson I had learned years before. 

I prayed about it and the Lord brought to my mind a way I could work from home and bring in a little extra income.  I began a home-baking business.  While my daughter did her school work, I baked.  One day a week, I took my goods and sold them at the local banks, hair salons and medical offices.  God provided and I got to stay where my heart was – at home.

If your finances are tight, I’d encourage you to pray and ask God for the best way to prioritize your home.  There are lots of creative ways to earn money from home!

I’m reminded that it isn’t just young women who are needed to be keepers at home.  Nancy says in her book, 

No matter what our circumstances or season of life, home still matters for us women.  And we will diminish the impact of our ministry as believers if we allow home to become an afterthought or resist God’s call to be workers/keepers at home.

I think it’s easy for us to brush aside the truth that our ministry impact is affected if our home is an afterthought.  How can we use our homes to adorn the Gospel if we’re not watching over it? It’s doubtful that we will.

So if we’re keepers at home, what are we to “keep?”

  • Our heart for the Person of Christ. Make sure He is at the center of every part of our home.  Honor Him in your choices of your time, your free time, the way you use your finances, your relationships, people you encounter at the store, etc.  
  • Our heart for the purpose of the home – to display the Gospel.  Live out the Gospel as you love, forgive, show mercy and kindness. Apply that sound Doctrine to every area of family life.  Share the Gospel with your children. Open your home to share the Gospel with any that enter your doors.  
  • Our priority for the people of our home – Husband, children, those outside the home
    • Time with our husband
    • Pouring into our children
    • Reaching out with the Gospel to others
  • Our heart for the plans for  accomplishing the necessary tasks 
    • Meals are prepared – Groceries purchased
    • The home is clean and inviting (not necessarily Pinterest worthy, but managed and clean)
    • Finances – wisely using what God has provided

If this sounds like a lot…or maybe just too much, let me remind you that you have help in doing all of this!  It isn’t Merry Maids or your 7 children or your husband, (though the people there can certainly be helpers), but it’s the third person of the Godhead – the Holy Spirit of God. 

We have a Savior Who is preparing a home for us, and He is able to help you and me to make our homes a place that will comfort those who live there and point each one to the Gospel!

Do you have a heart for your home? With what areas do you need help in being a “Keeper at home?” Ask the Lord these questions and then watch how He directs, how He changes your desires, and how He brings in wisdom to help you be the Keeper of your home.

Here are a few posts about homemaking that might encourage you.

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)

summer mantle 3

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!
    bedroom-rearrangement
  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

Inside out a

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

kitchen counter a

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”