Saturday, March 19, 2011


This post is being published at The Christian Home today. Thank you Mrs. White!

Lessons I have learned (usually the hard way):

I am not an organized housewife or a super-domestic engineer. I will never win Housekeeper of the Year, Month, or even the Day. I am learning all the time about what works and not works in my family. And just about the time I feel like we are getting into a good rhythm another season comes along and we start from scratch again. So, and anyone who knows me in person can verify this, I am not the person to give anyone advice on housekeeping.

But, I have learned a couple of things about Homemaking from some wiser women and thought I would share them with you in hopes you can be encouraged in your own home. And that is the key~~Your Home with Your Family.

1. At our church, many many years ago, we had a ladies Sunday School class and there was a group of older women who opened up their lives to us. We could ask them anything and they would answer. One of the questions was on how to manage a house full of little children. As I had a 5, 4, and 2 year old at the time I was very interested in this. I have never forgotten her reply. She said to find one thing that makes you feel like you have accomplished something for that day and do it. Everyone's will be different. Mine was making my bed. If I can get my bed made up it helps me to feel that something is done and then I can go "to the next thing.". (per advice from Elisabeth Eliot)

2. Another lady was asked how she managed to do quiet times and devotions and prepare for Bible Studies when she had many littles. She replied that one day she was asked the very same question by a college student who was staying at their house. At that very same time she was scrubbing the carpet from where her little girl had thrown up. She looked up and said, "I am having my quiet time right now. I am serving the Lord by serving my little girl while she is sick." That has always stuck with me. There are seasons when you may not be able to physically do all that you think you need to do. I know mine were with four pregnancies when I had hypermesis. That's three full years of nausea and vomiting ladies. It was hard and terrible, but I was doing the best thing for my husband and other children by only concentrating on what HAD to be done. Meals and laundry. Is something else got done, then hip hip hooray!

3. Leila wrote this series of, The Reasonably Clean Home, and seriously, it clicked with me like nothing had before. (Well, regarding homemaking anyway). If you are interested you can go and read what she wrote and then how I responded in the comment section. It's too long to summarize here, but Leila has a world of wisdom to share with us.

4. Another thing I heard from an older lady. Find out what is important to your husband and then do it. If having a home-cooked meal is important to him, then make sure you get that done that day. You have to be reasonable about this though. My hubby would much rather me take care of sick children who need Mommy's love and care on THAT day then he would for me to push them aside in the name of a home-cooked meal. Now, this is not a hard and fast rule-it is the nature of service. When you love someone you want to serve them.

Here is an example: Mark loves to have clean underwear and t-shirts when he is getting dressed in the morning. He likes to have them all folded neatly in his drawer. He does not want to have to go search through the sock basket for matching socks.

So, I make it a point to have these things ready for him.

Now, this is my goal.

There have been plenty of mornings when this has not happened. There have been plenty of days (especially with the hypermesis) when he had to do his own laundry if he wanted clean underwear. I could not get up some days and do it. There have been plenty of days when my mom or mother-in-law made sure there was laundry done. Seasons ladies, seasons.

But now that I CAN do those things for him I try to. I want to do that for him. I fail sometimes, but everyday is a new day to try again.

The point is to talk with your hubby and find out what is important to you and to him. Aim for those things. And then you will slowly, but surely, realize that all the other things will fall into place or fall by the wayside completely. For example, I would love to learn how to sew really well, but there is no more hours in my 24 hours. So, in another season, I hope to be able to learn.

I have been married for 16 years and I am still trying to figure out what works best for my family. My home is far from the heavenly retreat I want it to be. But it can be a taste of the good things to come.


  1. I needed to hear this today!!! You have blessed my tired brain!

  2. Great advice here. It is just impossible to have a clean clean house with kids here all the day long day.

  3. i love this post and it so encouraged me. especially the part about serving the Lord by serving your child at that moment. it's hard sometimes to keep a good attitude while doing things that are "getting in the way", wiping a child's behind for 9th time that day for example, but it's so true that doing those things with a good heart attitude is truly serving God. thanks for this post, i'll be thinkin' on it all day today!

  4. That's good advice to do what is important to our own husband. Sometimes we hear what others do and it sounds so much better and we want to try it, but it may not be what works in our house.

    It's also good to remember to be good stewards of our time. Like you said - we go through seasons where it is impossible to have long uninterrupted prayer time every morning. My season like that was short (too short!) and now I can have more time for prayer and Bible study - IF I make it a priority.

    Once again, wise words from The Aunt Mama Hen! This is why I just copy everything you do.

  5. Very wise advice. I have asked my hubby what he deems important. His pet peeve is the counters. He wants them clean. He could care less about the floor. I'm the opposite! So now I try to make sure the dishes are in the washer and the counters are clean. The floors come second.

    I loved what you said about serving the Lord while on your knees scrubbing up puke. I KNOW that would not have been my attitude. I need to work on that. That was very convicting.



  6. Wonderful thoughts! Thank you.

  7. Great post, great title too! (I love Leila! I call her my "internet mentor"!)

  8. So, after this afternoon/morning I need to reread this. Thanks for posting it.

  9. MamaHen, thanks for the link to my series! I really appreciate your kind words, and I'm honored to be in that list.
    I think those ladies who opened themselves up to you were so gracious. It would be wonderful if such an idea would spread all through society.
    We all need each other!
    God bless and keep up the good work!

  10. Thanks for sharing this, and sharing that blog. I've read a couple of articles from it off and on today while I've been working, schooling, cleaning, etc. I want to try to read more of it when I'm not so tired, but you have shared some good thoughts today. :)

  11. this is all great advice! Good post :-) As an er rn, home schooling mom and wife and mom of 5 kids, i am ALWAYS striving for balance. i have to keep telling myself "one thing at a time" and always go for devotions first in the am because time with God makes the whole day go better :-) Great post!

  12. Wise words about figuring out what is important to your husband. Nice post, I'll come back for the links after I tidy up a little. :-)