Family life · home · refreshment at home · Winter · Work

Making Leisure Days Productive & Restful

Snowy day a.jpg

Tennessee finally got a snow day!  I’ve been waiting for this since Christmas time!  In honor of all restful Snow Days, I’m going to wait to post a video today, but will get one out next week.

Let’s just do a fun post today about ways to make leisure days restful, but still productive. We all know how to rest, but how can we take a rare day at home both productive and restful? Is it possible?  Yes!  Here are a few ideas:

Let’s start with what we need to get rid of in order to rest:

  • Television
  • Facebook
  • Computer “stuff”
  • Texting

Let’s lift our face out of a screen and up around us at the people and place where we are!

Leisure activities:

  • Pick up a magazine and get inspiration for decorating your home.
  • Go through cookbooks and mark new recipes you want to try.
  • Read through an old journal and be blessed at the memories you recorded.
  • Read a book – one you’ve started and not finished or one you’ve wanted to get into.
  • Take a nap – Of course!

Things to do with others:

  • Play board games
  • Read aloud
  • Go outside
    • On snowy days – walk in the snow, build a snowman, shovel someone else’s sidewalk.
    • On warmer days, clean up the yard.  Take a walk.  Sit on the porch swing or rocking chairs.  Read out there!
  • Bake together

Around the House:

  • Work on a project you’ve neglected – hemming jeans, sewing buttons on, crafts like stamping, calligraphy or memory books.
  • Rearrange the furniture – a favorite of mine!!
  • Redo the decor on a mantle or bookshelf.
  • Straighten out drawers.
  • Oraganize something that is messy – a closet, a pile on the counter or floor.
  • Freshen up the kitchen by decluttering the countertops.

Don’t let snow days or leisure days be wasted by just hanging on the couch all day.  A little rest is good, but leisure days can be productive rest!

Have you had snow this week?  What fun things did you do while you were home?

Happy snow days to you, my friends!

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Cleaning · home · Home making

Turn Your Household Jobs into Joy!

swiffer cover a.jpg

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?

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Cleaning · home · How-to Video

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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Cleaning · evangelism · Fall · home · Home decor · Husband · Life

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!

favorites 1
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!
favorites 6a
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!!
favorites 2a
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.

 

favorites 4a
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!

 

favorites 3a
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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Family life · home · Husband · Love · Marriage

Chipped Cups and a Thankful Heart

kitchen sink

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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