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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!

 

acceptance · aging · Women's roles

Embracing the Season

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I took a trip recently and saw some beautiful foliage in the trees.  The picture above was part of my drive and I have to say, it made me smile at the onset of fall!  How beautiful it is!

Change of seasons from summer to fall is all about acceptance. After all, there’s nothing we can do to stop its approach.  So, rather than screaming, pouting or even moving south, we decide to decorate the porch, build a fire, sigh at the beauty of the colors, and just enjoy it.  It’s all about embracing the season.

Continue reading “Embracing the Season”

Biblical Womanhood · Wife's Role · womanhood · Women's roles

“Just a Housewife”

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This past week I had two conversations that stuck in my mind and heart.  One was when  dear lady told me that after holding many responsibilities with titles, she was now “Just a housewife.” The other woman told me she was a part-time housewife and wished it was full-time.

Every woman probably has her own definition of what a housewife does and how she Continue reading ““Just a Housewife””

Christian love · Family life · Women's roles

Hiding the wind

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The storm that blew through our back patio left evidence of very strong winds. The porch swing was now in our neighbor’s yard. Chairs and outside decor was scattered in the grass and tall weeds across the road. We never saw the wind herself, of course, but its destruction left ugly reminders that she had passed our way.

As we stood at the door and watched the storm blow through, is it possible that we could have stepped outside and stopped the wind?

No way.

Proverbs 27:16 tells us that whoever can hide a contentious wife can also hide the wind. In other words, just as impossible as it would be to stop the wind, so it is impossible to stop a contentious woman from her unbridled actions. The next part of the verse also tells us it’s like oil slipping through fingers – you cannot stop it.

This descriptive picture is such a good warning to my own heart. I can cause much destruction in my home and in the lives of those around me if I don’t stop the contentions – the irritations – in my heart from being turned into actions and words.

May each of us guard our hearts and our tongues today so that when others around us hear our words and watch our lives, they won’t be fearful of the destruction left in their path, but they can rejoice that they were in our presence.

I love beautiful clear skies and sunny days! I pray that my influence in others’ lives will be that kind of refreshment, rather than the stormy winds that are dreaded and destructive!

We each need to ask ourselves if we are leaving devastation like the wind or delight like the sun (or perhaps we should ask those that spend time with us each day)!  We’ll need to listen with a humble heart and a willingness to change, if necessary. It wouldn’t do to blow up like an unpredicted storm!

With whom do you need to be especially careful ?  Ask the Lord to help you respond in love towards them today.

Denise Signature 150 px

 

children · Christian love · Family life · home · Motherhood · Parenting · Wife's Role · Women's roles

In-Laws and Outlaws Part II

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Jokes about mothers-in-law…there are many.  I remember hearing one about a Greyhound bus going over the side of a cliff, but there was no worry, because the only passenger was the man’s MIL.  Ouch.  Where do those punches come from?  Maybe from people who have gotten fed up with that female in-law who crossed the relational boundaries.  But it’s so easy to do, isn’t it?  We may reason that

  • we only want to help!
  • we’ve been where our children are and we think we need to  give them some good advice.
  • we see our kids getting ready to make the mistake of a lifetime.
  • they need help raising those grandchildren of ours.

The reasons for mother-in-laws interfering are many, but for the most part, they may be very unwelcomed  from our birth children and our in-laws.  It can do far more damage than it does help when it’s unsolicited.

What is a mother-in-law to do if she desires to have a good relationship with a son or daughter-in-law?  Here are a few things I’ve learned (and am still learning!).

  1. Only give advice when it’s asked for.  If you see your kids doing something you think is wrong, pray about it instead of speaking to them.  Trust a sovereign God to direct them just as He directs you when you’re heading down a wrong path.
    That would include little “hints” you might want to drop about your DIL’s housekeeping, lack of meal prep, or careless parenting skills.  Or your SIL’s need to turn off the television, get a job, lead his family or attend church.  Take it to God instead.
    I’ve had to ask both of my girls to forgive me for stepping over that boundary once they got married!  We’re so used to being “mom” that we scold, advise and reprimand our grown kids as quickly as we used to throw our arm across them when we came to a sudden stop in the car.  Let’s fold our hands in prayer instead and ask the Lord to give them wisdom to make right choices.
  2. Don’t demand your children’s presence for ANYTHING. would mean Christmas, Thanksgiving, your birthday, Mother’s Day – you get the idea.  They have lives of their own.  They have a family to care for.  They have burdens to carry.  They have jobs and ministries.  Let them live their lives.  Again, if you feel neglected, take it to the Lord in prayer.  Even if you don’t demand their presence, but you pout because they weren’t there…it’s just as bad.
    Also, be sure you’re building that marriage relationship with your spouse.  Have so much fun together that your kids will know that if they’re not able to come home, you both are fine just being together!
  3. Never drop in to your children’s home without calling ahead.  “Yoo-hoo!” at the front door as you walk in could make an embarrassing situation for you and your children.  It can also turn you into the lady that might be given a ticket to ride that Greyhound bus!
  4. Consider your child’s spouse.  Think to your own MIL and how you liked or disliked when she left you out or included you, as the case may be.  Love them.  Talk to them.  Send a text.  Call them occasionally just to say hi.  Pray for them.  Treat them with respect and give them those kind of words.
  5. Allow your children and their spouse to be adults.  Treat them as such, remembering that you raised them to be independent. Don’t see your son as your little boy.  He’s a man.  Let your daughter be a grown woman. Let go of those early days and let them establish a home as adults.

Remember the story of Ruth and Naomi?  Ruth was said to have been kind to her mother-in-law.  We may cry out – “My daughter-in-law needs to take a lesson from her!  My son-in-law needs to learn to be kind to me!”  But what made Ruth and Orpah want to go back to Bethlehem with Naomi?  She had been gracious to them!  Someone has said,

Maybe if we were more like Naomi,

there would be more Ruth’s.

If you’re guilty of something in this post, be humble and ask the Lord to help you.  You might even need to ask your children and in-laws to forgive you for the way you’ve treated them.  A humble spirit of repentance could be the very thing that will turn those difficult relationships around.

Let’s be more like Naomi today.

Denise Signature 150 px