Cleaning · Home making · refreshment at home

Getting the Most Done Each Day

It was 10:00 in the morning. I was dressed and ready for the day and I had already:

  • Taken care of the cat (If you’re a cat owner, you know that your cat will make sure that happens first!)
  • Swept the floor in the laundry room
  • Thrown in a load of laundry
  • Made the bed
  • Cleaned the bathroom
  • Wiped off the mirrors in the bathroom and bedroom
  • Made baked oatmeal
  • Emptied the dishwasher

I had also had my time in the Word and prayer, and my husband and I had also been guests on a podcast before 10:00! I was thankful that these things were done, because the rest of the day was also full of responsibilities. Not every day is as busy or productive and “My life is not about checking off boxes!” (I say to myself each day!).

My life is driven by my relationship with the Lord. I desire He direct my steps each day so that I can live my life for His glory. But God is a god of order and beauty, so that motivates me to live out each day in the same way. I don’t want to be driven by the constant demand of household chores and duties, but I desire to be the Keeper of my home so that it runs smoothly and efficiently.

In my years of homemaking, I have learned that the most adequate way to keep that happening is by having a daily routine. Most every bullet at the top of this post is done every single day of the week. I could do most of those things half asleep simply because it’s part of my daily routine.

Getting my day organized by doing the same things every day keeps my meals prepped, my laundry clean and the house in order. Here are some of the other things that I do every single day:

  • Put away my clothes when changing.
  • Clean up the kitchen after each meal.
  • Clear off any clutter from the kitchen counter.
  • Wipe down the stove top after cooking.
  • Spray the fridge, microwave and kitchen trash can with window spray.
  • Empty the trash.
  • Do one load of laundry.
  • Fold and put away the laundry as soon as possible after it’s dried.
  • Empty the litter box.
  • Sweep the floor.
  • Clean the main bathroom.
  • Straighten up the living areas (family room, living room).

The picture of my family room at the top of this post is my view while I’m writing. I did nothing to this room when I came in here today, and we use this room every day. It stays neat and clean, thanks to my daily routines. Without that, things would be a mess!

What do you need to add to your daily routine in order to be more effective as the keeper of your home? Make an evaluation of your “problem areas” then make a routine that will keep things in check. I’ve heard Whitney say many times that she has a routine for each day of the week – a day for laundry, a day for watering the plants, etc. That’s also helpful!

If I can give you suggestions or help, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments, or feel free to email me. My email address is in my contact page.

Here are some other cleaning posts (done in our previous home) that might spur you on to do some deep cleaning.

Refresh your home with routine!

Comfort · refreshment at home · Women's roles

Five Routines That Will Help During Difficult Times

Maybe with all the stuff going on in the world you’re having a bit of a hard time getting motivated in your home. I want to encourage you today about how helpful it is to keep moving forward especially during these difficult days.

If we can’t have the confidence that home will be a constant place of comfort, where will we go?

If we are also at odds with our loved ones because we are stressed, who else on this earth will love them?

Therefore…

This was supper one night this week. I moved a small side table in front of the fireplace so we could have the ambiance at our simple spaghetti supper.
  1. Keep your normal routines going at home.
    Get up and get dressed.
    Make the bed.
    Do the laundry.
    Vacuum the carpet.
    Sweep the floor.
    Make the bathroom shine.
    You have control over yourself, so be disciplined.
  2. Keep mealtimes delicious, engaging and special.
    Cook good food. That doesn’t mean you have to fix gourmet food.
    I do think there’s great value in fixing a supper meal at home, in involving your family in setting the table, and helping with clean up. While at the table, turn off the television and make effort to create conversation, even if it’s just you and your spouse.
    Turn on some relaxing music in the background.
    Light a candle.
    Set the table.
    Linger after the meal.
    Have a small dessert and coffee and take time to enjoy it all together as the gift it really is.
    It’s hard work being a homemaker, but if you don’t do it for your family, who will?
  3. Be present for your spouse and children. In all that’s going on, it’s so easy for people to feel disconnected.
    Children are certainly feeling some hard things and may need to ask questions or share any fears they may be experiencing.
    What a great time to point them to God’s Word with answers.
    Stop and pray with them over any anxious feelings they may be experiencing.
    My husband and I quoted Bible verses to one another one recent evening as we were drifting off to sleep. They were verses of comfort that did much to stop my worry!
    No one can take your place in the home. Your presence is imperative and irreplaceable.
  4. Make home the best place to be. Create a warmth that draws your family back.
    Plan for game night with popcorn and hot chocolate.
    Keep the house tidied up so it feels welcoming.
    Get that last bit of Christmas decor put away and the tree needles swept up.
    Light a new, fresh candle.
    Make comfy places for people to sit and read.
    Maybe this is the time to change the furniture around for a fresh look in your living room?
    Home is a gift, and the woman is the one who sets the tone.
  5. Make sure you’re spending greater time with the Lord each day. If we ever needed direction and comfort from His Word, it’s now.
    Pray.
    Spend time giving Him your burdens.
    Learn from Him.
    Write down what you learn.
    Stay close through the day by listening to godly podcasts.
    Meditate on God’s Word through Scripture memory.

If you wish to know God, you must know His Word. If you wish to perceive his power, you must see how he works by his Word. If you wish to know his purpose before it comes to pass, you can only discover it by his Word. ~Spurgeon

Without a relationship with God, we can do nothing that is effective for eternity.

These five things will not change the world, but they can change the people that live inside your home…including you! I pray that these simple steps will help you bring some joy from the home that our loving God has entrusted to you. You can make a difference, dear friend.

Refresh the atmosphere of your home,

Home making · Women's roles

What Does a Homemaker Do All Day?

What is your employment?

I’m a homemaker.

Oh.

Enter blank stare.

I have had that awkward conversation in the past.
I think it could be easy for women who work outside the home to wonder…

Is there really enough to keep a woman busy homemaking all day long?

It could be easy to assume that a homemaker has lots of down time, time to just sit and do anything she wants! But just as with any assumption, those statements are far from the truth. May I take you through one of my weeks and give you a little glimpse at the busyness and the joy of being a homemaker?

My children are gone from home, but I’m still their mom, and that means I have the blessing of participating in celebrating their birthdays and our family holidays. So that involves cooking, decorating the table, purchasing gifts and being the hostess.

On Saturday and Sunday I was busy with attending Bible study, doing laundry, preparing Sunday’s clothes and dinner, fellowship with friends, and worship on Sunday morning. Then on Sunday evening we traveled to Kentucky to visit my parents and also get to see my aunt and uncle from Florida. I helped my mom prepare the meal for our family, which was a blessing.

When I got home on Tuesday, I had a half bushel of South Carolina peaches waiting for me. I really enjoy canning, and I really love the reward of opening my pantry and seeing these jars on the shelves! It’s a labor of love that we enjoy all year long!

In case you didn’t know, I’m also a Gigi (ha!!)! Each week I have the boys over for Bible Club. This week it was really hot, so they came over to use the pool that we had prayed for when every store was sold out! They had so much fun and so did I! I got to remind them that we had asked God to provide a pool and He did it!! It’s my greatest joy to point their little hearts to the Lord!

Daily it is my joy to prepare meals for me and my husband. I try really hard to provide food that is healthy and delicious. It takes time and effort, but it’s worth it! We love being outside during the warm days, so this lunch was served Al fresco, as are most all of them during the summer months!

Not pictured is the house work- mopping, wiping, dusting, polishing, ironing, sweeping, gardening, straightening, fluffing, decorating, and folding that happens weekly.

Of course I also have a personal life and a ministry life. As a wife, I try to serve my husband (though I feel like he does a whole lot more serving me than I do him! I take time each morning to study God’s Word, to journal and pray. In an effort to stay active, I walk two miles at least three times a week.

I take time sometime during the days to prepare and study for my radio ministry, my blog and any speaking engagements that are coming up. So I do spend a good bit of time at my computer.

It feels like the days are very full, but honestly, so is my heart. My husband worked three jobs early in our ministry life to provide so I could stay home and be the homemaker. He has sacrificed, because he has seen the benefit of my presence in the home. I am so very thankful!

There were times that I have been embarrassed about telling someone what my “employment” was, but I’ve learned over the years that being a homemaker is a high calling. I couldn’t be more fulfilled doing anything else!

What do I do?

I get to be a homemaker!!!!

Do you wish you were a homemaker but have to work out of necessity? Pray. Ask the Lord if He would give you the desire of your heart. Wait and watch what He will do! In the meantime, do what He has called yo to do with a thankful, contented heart.

Are you a homemaker? What do you love most about it? What do you dislike?

Here are some other encouragements about homemaking!

Biblical Womanhood · Home making · Wife's Role

Homemaker Encouragement

As we finish this short series on Home Management, I wanted to leave you with a few thoughts about your work as a homemaker.

  1. Prepare your heart for the day. Talk to the Lord about your day and your work.  Give it to Him. 
    Ps. 90:17 And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.

Proverbs 16:3 Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.

As you look at your list of “To-do’s,” give it to the Lord and let Him order your steps. You’ll be amazed at how much more you’ll accomplish that lines up with His will instead of your own!

  1. Deal with only today. Matt. 6:34 Take therefore no thought (Don’t worry) for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. 

Be not anxious about tomorrow; today has its own challenges! Augustine took Psalm 90:12 So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. and said, “Number each day as your last day. (One day it will be).  

I can remember a few years ago I let myself get so stressed out about some company that was coming at a very busy time. Guess what? They ended up having to cancel! I had stressed and worried for naught! So often that is the case. Dealing with today will relieve those worrisome situations and help you do the next step…

3. Value each minute of today. Make each moment count for eternity.  Think about the eternal, not the temporal. 

We remember moments not days.

Make your home more about the people than you do the place.  People – not things – create the memories in your home.  People are eternal; things are not!

Here are three last helps as you manage your home – 

** Keep moving. Like the law of inertia,  A body in motion will remain in motion! A body at rest will remain at rest. Keep going until your work is done.

** Develop a routine – same place, same thing, same time. Do the worst first. If you do that, it will make your day more productive!

** Say “No!” Make your plan for the day, then unless you are sure that God is moving you to Plan B, the answer is going to be “No” until that plan is complete. Say no to people, to yourself, your own indulgences and rash things.

She looks well to the ways of her household and doesn’t eat the bread of idleness. Proverbs 31:27

A refreshing look at our responsibilities can give us a right perspective and a determination to give it our all! I trust this has refreshed your attitude about being a home manager and has also shown you what a blessing it is to wear that title!

Home making · refreshment at home

Managing Your Laundry

I’m half way through the day and I have done two loads of laundry, ironed linens and put them away, and also pressed our clothes for the weekend. Then I got brave and peeked into the clothes hampers in our closets. I saw more dirty clothes wadded and waiting for the the Laundry Lady (that’s me!) to rescue them from the basket and repeat the process of my earlier hours.

Laundry Never Ending Story Wall Quotes™ Decal | WallQuotes.com

It’s true, isn’t it? Laundry never stops. It could be really easy to get cynical and resentful, but as I shared recently in this post, we need to make sure our heart is right in regards to our home. Having a right heart will safeguard us from attitudes that can make us begrudge the work that is so repetitious, but also God-given.

Home began In the Garden of Eden. As a matter of fact, the only thing we have left from the Garden of Eden is the family. What a gift!

And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. Gen 2:15

The word, “dress,” literally means to work it; for though a paradise, the garden still had to be tilled and planted. Seeds needed to be sown. and the cultivated plots kept in order; but all this really added to Adam’s happiness, because Adam hadn’t sinned yet and responded willingly to the husbandman’s care. 

“To keep it.” The animals weren’t all so peaceful and domesticated that Adam did not need to fence his garden against their plundering. Ever had deer eat your garden?! 

God made the family – Adam and Eve. He provided the place for them to live, and also gave them the responsibility of caring for it. They were to WORK. Work was not a result of sin.  Sometimes we treat it as though it is a curse, but work is a blessing. Work is necessary in order to keep a home a suitable place to live. Someone needs to oversee that the work is done – they need to manage it all.

As the wife, it is our responsibility to be the manager – keep the order. That involves training our children to help, but we are to be busy managing the home so that those that live there can serve God best. If our home is only confusion, we will be hindered in serving God or doing what he calls us to do.

But how do we get it all done? Let’s look to the practical side of this management.

What kind of atmosphere do you want it to have? 

Inviting?

Restful? 

Peaceful?

None of that can happen if it’s mayhem.  

In her book, A Woman After God’s Own Heart, Elizabeth George gives a checklist for managing your time and your home. In today’s post, we’ll just elaborate on the area of laundry. I hope to give you some practical help here!

1. Plan! Nothing grand just happens – you have to plan. The more detail the better – the more you’ll get done.

A goal without a plan is just a wish.


Do you have goals for your home, or are they only wishes? We plan our work, and then we work our plan. How do we plan?

  1. If you don’t have some type of daily planning book, get one. It can be a spiral notebook or a formatted daily planner. If you use a plain notebook, list the days of the week on the page. 
  2. You will plan in the three areas – Maytag (Laundry), Messes (House cleaning) and Meals.
  3. Write down the major things you want to accomplish each day under each category.
  4. When the task is finished, check it off.
  5. Stay focused on your list and don’t get sidetracked by other chores. The list will help you do that!

Let’s start today with how you can plan for getting the laundry done

Maytag –
Plan when will you do the laundry.  Will you do one load each morning? Will you designate one day to do it all for the week?
Plan when you will fold the clothes. Note that if you leave the clothes in the dryer for hours after they’re dry, they will wrinkle. Help yourself by setting a goal to get to them as quickly as you can. This will keep your family from searching for their clean clothes and finding them still in the dryer, or spilled out on the living room couch.
Plan when you will put the clothes away, or who will put them away. Will you take each family member’s clothes to their bedroom? Will they each find their pile and put them where they belong?
Plan to teach your children to help. When they’re little they can help you sort. Folding wash cloths and sorting socks is another task they can do. As they grow older, make them more and more responsible for their own clothes. I know a mom who taught her girls to do their own laundry by the time they were ten years old. #smartmom

Whatever your Maytag goals are, keep moving forward and don’t check that chore off your list until it’s all been folded and put away. Seeing that chore on your plan will remind you that it still needs to be tossed into the dryer, or that it’s ready to be folded and put away.

Plan your work and work your plan.

Don’t just wish you could get caught up on the laundry – have a goal AND a plan about how you’re going to tackle it. As with all of life, ask the Lord to help you have the right attitude and to do even the laundry for His glory. He gave you that family who dirties up all those clothes. If we could think of our laundry as a blessing because it represents the people who live there, would we have a better attitude? Pretty sure so.

Refresh your Maytag responsibilities and your attitude about it.