Thursday, July 12, 2018

Favorite Classical Music


Often, I enjoy having some classical music on during the day while I'm teaching the children their lessons.  I like something relaxing and not too "bouncy" or distracting.  Some times it can be hard to find a selection that I particularly like and that is conducive to learning.

But this is one of my favorites. I hope you enjoy it too:



Isn't the above such a lovely painting?  Maybe when I am older I will have time to paint such lovely things to remind me of when the children were young, and of all the blessings and joys of motherhood.

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Gender Roles


Gender roles...I think Christians fear them because both sides have been taken advantage of, by and in sin. Masculinity is scorned for its presumed assumptions, femininity for its seeming weakness. But in context and in right standing, they are divinely intended to show God in all of His goodness and love. It takes a strong man to appreciate and desire protection regarding the vulnerability of the women in his life. It takes a truly meek woman to encourage and respect masculinity in all of its determination. Today, we laugh at women who desire nothing more than to keep a home for His glory, and humiliate a man who desires to take charge for Christ's glory where darkness prevails. Yet, I think it's the element we are missing in our homes, our parenting, our love lives. Passion is sparked by these differences. Sin perverts, and don't misunderstand me...the bottom line involves love and a willingness to submit on both sides. Love covers every wrong, and in that sense, there is neither female nor male. But without these distinctions so long as we are on this earth, encased in this very frail, very partial flesh, we will never respect each other in the fullest sense intended by the divine Will.
~Whitney Ann Dotson 

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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Saved by Grace, but We Have Work to Do


It is very true that it is by God's grace that we are awakened to our need of a Saviour, and it is the Holy Spirit that convicts us of our sin.

But once we are given this wonderful gift of salvation, there is work for us to do.  We don't sit around idly by--there is work for us to do to become more like Christ.

Here are some commands given to us in Scripture, as we pursue this walk of holiness.

We are to...
  •  ..."grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ..." (2 Peter 3:18)
  • "Follow after charity...." (1 Corinthians 14:1)
  • "Flee fornication..." (1 Corinthians 6:18)
  • "...exercise thyself rather unto godliness. " (1 Timothy 4:7)
 There are many more commands given in the New Testament for us to follow, and even special commands given to women in Titus 2 and other places.  We must never think that the Lord has not given us direction for all of our lives, or that we are to sit idly by, hoping to become better people.  If we are God's children, we will long for Him to change us into His image, and pray for His grace to help us.

We must keep our souls in mind daily, and have a goal of growing in the Lord, so we will not fill our days with worthless pursuits and entertainment.

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Monday, June 25, 2018

Keepers at Home {Sermon}


"The difference between the traditional Christian interpretation of “keepers at home” and the modern version is considerable. While the traditional interpretation established the home as the sphere of a married woman’s work and calling, the modern understanding says that the term does nothing of the kind. While the traditional interpretation defined a married woman’s “career” as homemaking, the modern view teaches that a married woman may pursue a career outside of the home as long as she does not neglect homemaking. While the traditional interpretation calls the woman to focus her energy, time, and talents in the home in the service of her family, the modern view says that she is not so “restricted” and may go outside the home for her employment. Which is the correct understanding? It is our belief that the traditional interpretation is the correct one. This sermon defends this view by appeal to the meaning of the Greek word translated “keepers at home,” and on the wider Biblical teaching on the roles of the wife and mother."
This helpful and enlightening sermon can be listened to here.

A wonderful testimony from one of Blessed Homemaking's readers:
"Great article article. Thanks for standing on truth in this "modern day " when truth is anything but popular. We were the family that couldn't wait until the kids were in school full time so I could go back to full time employment. We needed the money of a second income. When our goal came to fruition it tore our family down. The second income still wasn't enough, meals weren't being made, the house wasn't being kept up and we didn't have time for the kids. My full time employment brought our family to the brink of divorce. The only explanation we have is that the Holy Spirit knocked us up along side the head and woke us up. We discovered that both me and my husband were tearing our family down. He asked me to quit my job and we would step out in faith for once and let God provide for our needs. We have seen due to our obedience, God did open unexpected doors for us and we are now flourishing financially-all on my husbands work, while I keep the home. A year after I quit my job we brought the kids home too and are now homeschooling them. We could go on and on explaining how wonderful it has been since we fully put our trust in the Lord, but not everyone wants to hear or trust. We now see that this is a very basic principle that is at the heart of why our society is failing and why it will continue to fall down the rabbit hole. Found this link that is a text version of this sermon you shared.http://darashpress.com/articles/keepers-home "

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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Music in the House


There is nothing quite like having live music in the home, is there?  I especially love when I hear one of the children singing a beautiful hymn as they go about their day.

We have been blessed of late to be able to find some second-hand violins to purchase for a decent price.  One of our daughters has the desire to teach her siblings how to play, so she was thrilled with the violins we've been able to find.  The children were so excited and thought them so pretty that they set the violins up to take several pictures of them together.

Cherished of God loves to play fiddle, and can be heard most afternoons playing cheerful songs that flow throughout the house.  Now the other end of the house has beginner violinists learning to play, and I am wishing I had the time to learn how to play, myself!  But right now is not that time, so I enjoy my children playing and am grateful they have the opportunity.

I am hoping to get back to teaching the children piano once again, but right now I have other pressing things I must attend to.  I also hope that we will be able to get a better piano some day, as the one we have now is in pretty bad shape, so it will be hard to teach on this.  However, a worn out piano is better than none at all!

This is another blessing of having your children at home--they have time to learn music!  We have so many resources available to us today--some times children can learn music over the internet.  If you are looking for a Christian piano course, there is a lovely one available from Madonna Woods.  I have used the early levels with my children, and we have been very pleased. Even if you have no experience in music, you should be able to use these, as full instruction is given on the included CDs.  It is so much better than the secular music books available, which often have songs included that I'd rather the children not learn.

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Thursday, June 14, 2018

Enjoying the Everday



Hello Dear Ones,

Do you find it easy to get bored, distracted, annoyed, frazzled, etc. with day-to-day life at home?

If so, take a step back and look at your at-home life in the long run.  What is your purpose there?  Is it to be a maid, a cook, a teacher of academics?  Most likely, you do cook meals, clean the house, and hopefully, if you have children, you teach them about the Lord.

However, you are not those above mentioned things.  That is not your title.  Those are things that you do to bless your family.

Instead of thinking of homemaking as a chore, or something to get done so that you can get on with other things, remember that is the Lord Who has put you in this role.  It is Him that you are working for.

Accept that there are some things about homemaking that you do not particularly like, but just do them anyways.  And in all that you do at home, strive to do it cheerfully, and with thankfulness.

Thankfulness that you are at home, looking after your children, and making a lovely home for your husband.  Even if you have no children at home, you are still a housewife and meeting your husband's needs.  How?  By keeping a lovely home for him that is a retreat away from the rest of the world.

Begin every day with time in God's precious Word and prayer.  There is nothing better than this to put your mind in the right spot to serve your family throughout the day. Return to the Lord in prayer throughout the day whenever you feel discouraged or need help.

Do what you are doing at home out of love for your family, and most of all love for the Lord.  What you're doing is immeasurably important!  Don't let the enemy of your soul discourage you or distract you from what you should be doing to bless your family.

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Friday, June 8, 2018

Nine Reasons Why it is Important to Keep a Clean House

Today's post is a guest post from Stephanie from Training Keepers of the Home.

A clean home should be a priority for all homemakers. In Titus 2:5, women are called to be busy at home. One way to be busy is to maintain a clean home. It is not about perfection, but the heart of the home is the people who live there. Do all that you can with what the Lord has given you.



   
 As a homemaker, it is imperative that your home be clean and organized. However, why is it so important?* 
 *A chaotic house = chaotic life: The world is chaotic enough. Why should your home be crazy? Your home should be your sanctuary where your loved ones can find rest. Be the calm in this world. Let your home be a peaceful tranquil place for your family. Your home should be an oasis in the storm. A dirty, unkempt house is not calm nor very relaxing. It creates a feeling of being out of control. If you have no control of your house and the state of cleanliness, there is no control for your family. 
 *Sickness Control: An unclean house is a breeding ground for germs and viruses that can cause your family to become ill. Maintaining a regular cleaning of your house can dramatically decrease the amount of illness within the four walls of your house. 
 *Save Time: A clean and organized home is an efficient home. In an cluttered or unclean home, time is wasted when spent looking for lost items. Or if items are dirty, time is spent having to clean them up. 
 *Save Money: In an organized home you will not have to replace lost items because you will know exactly where they are. Also, in a clean home items tend to last longer because they are being properly maintained. 
 *Hospitality: If your house is clean, you’re more likely to be hospitable and invite others over. What is more inviting than a clean house, snacks, and great fellowship? 
 * Less Stress, Less Anxiety: It has been proven the clutter, chaos, and the level of cleanliness directly affects your mental state. Keeping your house clean and organized will help to eliminate unnecessary stress and anxiety 
 *Sleep Better: Your family will be able to sleep better because you’re happier in a clean room. Your mind is not being cluttered with anything but rest and a good nights sleep. A feeling of accomplishment will add to a restful nights sleep, too. 
 *Good Stewardship: The Lord has blessed you with a home, whether it be big or small. It is still a blessing. Providing your husband and children with a clean home is a way to demonstrate good stewardship in the Lord’s provisions. 
 *Creativity Abounds: By providing your home with a clean atmosphere and no clutter taking up precious space; your family will have the space to be creative. Creativity thrives in an organized environment.

HOW TO EFFECTIVELY CLEAN YOUR HOME IN 12 STEPS


1. Create a List of Zones

Every room in your home becomes a zone. For example, the bedroom, living room, and kitchen are each a separate zone. A large area, such as a garage or full basement may need to be broken up into two different zones. Write these zones down on a list.

2. Determine Your Cleaning Schedule


Let’s say that you have 12 zones, and plan on doing one zone daily; this would give you 12 days of cleaning. Now you need to determine the time each day that you will be cleaning. Do this when it best fits your schedule.

Be realistic about this and don’t overextend yourself, it is easy to get too gung-ho and think that you can tackle the entire house in one day. This will result in becoming burnt out and not completing your cleaning.

On your calendar and schedule include the following:
  • Time of day to clean, ie : 8:00 – 10:00 a.m. spring cleaning in the Master Bedroom
  • Days you will be cleaning
  • How long per day you will be cleaning (how many hours a day)
  • Starting and ending dates

3. Make it Visible

Post your zone list and cleaning schedule in a highly visible place so that it can be seen.

Hiding on the back of your child’s closet door probably won’t work well, but putting in the area where you eat breakfast certainly will.  

4. Prepare Yourself

The thought of cleaning is often overwhelming to many, let alone the thought of actually doing it. As a homemaker, it is our responsibility to ensure that our home remains a haven. In order to have it remain a haven, we must remain motivated to clean our homes. Dirty homes more often than not lead to a chaotic and stressful environment that breeds sickness and lack of sleep. In the long run, a dirty home costs more money and time for your time as well.  

5. Prepare the Cleaning Solvents and Gather the Necessary Tools,

*Stock up on the proper cleaning supplies such as a multipurpose cleaner, window cleaner, vinegar, and so on.

*Keep the solvents and tools close by and in a convenient location so that each day you can just grab them and go.

*Wear an apron with pockets. This has been the biggest time saver for me. Often when cleaning I will see the missing piece to puzzle or game, coins, or other random loss toys and I can just place them in my apron pockets until I am done. Then I can place them in their proper spot. The apron pockets also have ample room for holding tools, a small spray bottle, and a few cleaning rags.

Discover the biggest timewasters for homemakers



6. Don’t Waste Time, Instead Plan Your Route

You are only given so many hours in a day, thus it becomes imperative that you spend them wisely. Don’t fall into the time suck that many do by allowing distractions to cause you to lose your focus, and eventually your momentum, which results in nothing becoming accomplished.

*Instead of becoming distracted, devise your route as to how you will clean each zone.

*Work from top to bottom: Ceiling, lights, walls, fans, to the floor.

*Create your system: Dust, wipe, scrub, rinse, and in some cases dry off with a clean microfiber cloth.
 

7. Declutter

Before you begin cleaning in your designated zone for the day, declutter the zone.

*Pick up visible trash

*Have a trash bag handy to put trash into.

*Go through drawers, boxes, totes, under beds, shelves, and such. Every single major area should have a quick once over.

**This is not the time to go through clothing or file drawers, which is too time intensive for now, but that is covered more in detail in my seasonal chore chart.

If you looking for more tips on how to declutter click on the following links below: Cutting the ClutterHow to Keep a Clean Home

8. Organize

Titus 2:5 calls women to be ‘workers at home.’ We are to be ’employed’ at home. Because we are employed managing our homes, we must not sit idle. In Proverbs 31:27, it states that “She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.”

By managing our homes we are bringing order to our homes. By bringing order, it is then that our homes become a place of tranquility and peace. Our children and husbands can relax and feel loved. How do we make our homes tranquil and peaceful?

By establishing routines and schedules our homes become organized and clean. An organized home is uncluttered.

Disorganization tends to breed chaos, which causes stress. Stress then can easily overwhelm us and in many cases almost causes a paralysis of sorts, which prevents us from even attempting to clean or organize our homes.

The central aspect of becoming organized is to put things back in their place.

**Everything should have a home**


Read below on how to become organized:

Stay Organized as a Homemaker

Biblical Homemaking and Organization


9. Pray

*Pray for each zone that you are cleaning it. Pray for peace and love to fill that space.

*Pray for the hearts of the ones that will fill up that room.

*Pray that the Holy Spirit becomes a discerning voice in their life.

*Pray for inspiration as you work along, pray for contentment in what you are doing. Not many may appreciate the hours that you spend on your hands and knees cleaning, but know that the Lord sees your hard work and dedication. You will be blessed.

10. Stay Motivated and Encouraged

It is easy to look at a large or even small house and easily become discouraged at the thought of starting a cleaning routine, let alone completing it. However, below are a few ways to stay motivated as you work along.

*Enlist the help of your children

*Keep the music on

*Open the windows to let that fresh air in

*Listen to an encouraging podcast or sermon as you are working

*Pray as you work along

*Promise yourself a reward when you are done for the day

*Take a picture of your progress as you work along. Compare before and after pictures.

*Realize that you are working for the glory of God and that there is a greater purpose in this.

*You are doing this because you love your family.

11. Visualize the End Product



*This tip is simple because you just have to imagine how clean and fresh your house will be when you are done.

*Having the spring cleaning schedule posted will allow you to see the end date and stay motivated as well.

12. Follow these Tips and Tricks for a Super Clean House

By now you have probably figured out that is not a get ‘er done cleaning list, instead, it focuses on more how to become better organized and prepared for cleaning. Cleaning your home involves your mind, body, and spirit. It can be a tough job, and I am not promising an easy-to-do list, but one that focuses on a good work ethic and logically preparing yourself to look ahead for your household.

"The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way: but the folly of fools is deceit."  Proverbs 14:8

Cleaning Tips and Tricks


*Use natural ingredients whenever possible

*Use multipurpose cleaners

*Eat a hearty and healthy meal prior, one that will sustain you for the task ahead

*Avoid distractions

*This is the time to go a little deeper than your normal daily, weekly, or monthly cleaning chores. For example, pull out the refrigerator and clean behind and underneath it, as well as the washer and dryer. Pull everything out of your cupboards and pantry and clean them thoroughly, too. Move your furniture and clean under them if you never include this in your regular cleaning routine.

*Don’t forget to clean your ceiling lights and fans. Using a ladder remove all the parts and pieces, and the ones that be cleaned immerse in hot soapy water. By the time you are nearing the end of cleaning that particular zone, the fixtures should be clean.

*To clean walls: First take a broom or duster and wipe in a downward motion. Then using a spray bottle of cleaner, spray along the top near the ceiling, and allow to sit for 3-5 minutes. By now the all you need to do wipe down with a microfiber cloth or a Swiffer-type broom.

*To clean mop boards or trim, use the same method, but instead you will be on your hands and knees.

*Wash the windows inside and out as well, this gives the finishing touch to each room.

*Wipe down all wood furniture and polish

*Thoroughly vacuum each cushion on a couch or chair and also inside the couch with the vacuum attachments, too.

*Clean cobwebs out of each corner and hard-to-reach areas with a long-tailed feather duster.

*Use a steam mop if you have access to one in areas with large amounts of tile to save time.

*Hang out blankets, rugs, and pillows for the day. Shake off the winter debris and dust, allowing them to freshen up in the sunshine.

*Clean air vents

*For more tips and inspiration, check out. Cleaning Tips and Helpful Hints

    
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Thursday, May 31, 2018

Conversation



Hello Dear Ones,

In our conversations...

It is so easy to criticize others, even loved ones.
It is easy to make assumptions about someone's intentions or motives.
It is easy to interrupt instead of letting someone finish what they are saying.
It is easy to get defensive instead of really listening to what someone is trying to say.
It is easy to accuse someone of something we don't even know is true.

Instead, we should love in thought, word, and deed.
We should watch out for our little member, our tongue (James 3:5), and remember the fire it starts that is hard to put out.
Words can be so very painful to the hearer, and we cannot take back what has been said.

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Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Very Early in the Morning


The last few days I have been woken up by myself coughing.  I, and most of the rest of the family, have a cold, that maybe is a cold, or maybe something worse. It's the kind that leaves you so tired, that you just want to lay down and sleep.

When I've woken up these past few nights, however, I am kept awake by the strangest thing!  A little bird is singing its morning song, at the time when everyone should be sleeping.  There is just the slightest bit of light coming in to what I think should be a still-dark sky.  But nevertheless, it is not, here.  Summer is approaching, and I must get used to this new occurrence of long, length of days in the northern part of the world.  The little birdie and the approaching sunrise keep me awake for awhile.  The time ticks on, and more birds join the one little songster, and my mind is tricked into thinking it is later than it is.

Eventually, I fall back asleep, only to find myself waking up much too late!  But nevertheless, it is a new day, a day from the Lord, whether it started much too late or too early.  So on I must go in this new day I've been given, praying for the Lord to help me to do what is right.

Spring is here, and it is beautiful in all its green plant life and glorious flowers.  Curious Pup has come to join us too.


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Tuesday, May 1, 2018

One Day Your Daughters will Grow Up



In day-to-day life, in the busyness of the home, we may have a tendency to lose track of what is most important. There is laundry to wash, fold, and put away. There is mending to be done, academics to teach to our children, three meals to provide for hungry bellies every day. There is shopping to attend to, meals to be planned, husbands to support and encourage, and of course spend time with. Not to mention all the unexpected things that pop up in our every day lives. These things are a part of our homemaking duties and are good, worthwhile things. We should be happy to do all of these things and more at home, even if we do not find each one of them pleasant.

But in all of our toiling and sacrificing for our families, we must keep the future in mind.  You can read the rest of today's post at Raising Homemakers.

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