Tuesday, August 6, 2013
A Bit of a Schedule Makes a Happy Homemaker!
Read this small bit from Stepping Heavenward, by Elizabeth Prentiss, which expresses the thoughts of a girl with no desire to ever marry. Yet her life was touched by a home....and a homemaker.
"Aunty has six children of her own, and has adopted two. She is full of fun and energy, flying about the house as on wings, with a kind, bright word for everybody. All her household affairs go on like clockwork; the children are always nicely dressed; nobody ever seems out of humor; nobody is ever sick. Aunty is the central object around which everybody revolves; you can't forget her for a moment, for she is always doing something for you, and then her unflagging good humor and cheerfulness keep you good-humored and cheerful. I don't wonder that Uncle Alfred loves her so.
I hope I shall have just such a home. I mean this is the sort of home I would like if I ever married, which I never intend to do. I would like to be just such a bright, loving wife as Aunty is, to have my husband lean on me as Uncle leans on her; to have just as many children, and to train them as wisely and kindly as she does hers. Then, indeed, I would feel that I had not been born in vain, but had a high and sacred mission on earth."
I absolutely LOVE this excerpt and is one of the ways I would love to be remembered by my children...."flying about the house as on wings...with a kind, bright word for everybody," being the central object around which everyone revolves; my children and husband unable to forget me for a moment, for I am always doing something for them with unflagging good humor and cheerfulness.
The funny thing is that I never desired to have children, much less ever desiring to be a homemaker. It's absolutely amazing how God can change a heart and place a calling!
It is no less than God Himself who, in Titus 2:5, sounds forth His high calling to you and me as His women "to be...homemakers." While it's true that we live in this world, we are not to be of this world (John 17:15-16). We are not to live as worldly women live. We are not to be conformed to the ways of this world (Romans 12:2). We are not to focus on what worldly women focus on, or pursue their paths. No, as God's women and as women who desire to live godly lives, we are to focus on being "homemakers," "home lovers," and "workers at home."
God has given me such a desire and drive to make a home for my family. And I'm not talking about just a place to eat meals and sleep. I'm talking about a beautiful place where wonderful memories are made and a place of haven for my family. A haven is a safe place. It's a harbor and a port where vessels and wayfarers find shelter. And shouldn't our homes offer such shelter and safety to our cherished family?
Some aspects of cultivating this type of home come naturally to me, and some do not.
I've always loved to make my home a comfortable place for my family.
When my husband and I were first married, we lived in a tiny, one bedroom apartment - and I went to work to make it "homey." I took things my mother no longer wanted to decorate with and was sure there was artwork on the walls. I always had a stocked pantry and a warm meal in the evening - even when I wasn't much older than a child at twenty-two. I learned to cook because I had a desire to make a home.
As we bought our first house and our family grew, my desire to make a "homey" home only increased. We painted in bright, cheery colors and made each of our girls their own inviting rooms. Our kitchen and living room were re-done to reflect our love of color and I continue to add touches here and there, five years later.
I made a deliberate effort to develop a love for cooking and baking so I can not only nourish my family, but so we can create cherished memories with the girls at my side while cooking and around the dinner table as a family. I also want my family to feel loved and cared for by taking the time to prepare handsome dishes for them.
I try to have a homemade sweet treat available for a midday snack or dessert and have begun to always light a candle at the dinner table while having soft music playing in the background during our meal.
I have a vision, with the help from the Holy Spirit, to create an environment of warmth, love and beauty for my family. That's the part that comes easily and naturally to me.
The part that is not so natural is the mundane, every day that keeps our home organized and picked up. Since Haddie has been born, our lives have been very out of order and we have struggled to find a daily schedule.
However, I've been encouraged to find a solution to the madness and create anchors in our daily lives. One of the things I've adopted is a weekly schedule that covers the necessities in our home to ensure everything is cleaned once a week. It was a bit of a struggle in the beginning - but I'm beginning to see fruits of my efforts.
My schedule looks like this -
Monday: Market, laundry (wash, dry, fold and put away)
Tuesday: Bedrooms (give everything a permanent home, dust and vacuum)
Wednesday: Family Room (put everything away, dust and vacuum)
Thursday: Dusting (living room & kitchen), bathrooms
Friday: Floors (sweep and mop kitchen, living room, hallway and stairs)
Everyday: Kitchen (because this is where the majority of our time is spent and many, many meals are made) and pick-up living room
In addition, each night before bed, Emma picks up her room and we all work together to put toys away in Haddie's room, allowing for a fresh start the next day. This also ensures that Emma's room doesn't get too out of hand, which seems to happen very easily!
Before adopting this schedule, I felt that each day I needed to work on every room in the house to keep it under control, but obviously time was an enemy, so little actual improvement occurred.
This simple schedule has allowed our home to be reigned back under control and given me much more free-time throughout the day to play with and enjoy my babies! I'm happier because some organization has returned and my girls are happier because I'm less stressed and more available.
What are some ways that your family is able to not only bring beauty into the home, but also maintain some type of organization?
"Money can build a house, but it takes love to make it a home."
"Home is a world of strife shut out, a world of love shut in."