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5 Steps to Follow When You’re Overwhelmed with the Housework

5 Steps to follow when you're overwhelmed with the housework @mbream

Are you overwhelmed by a messy house?  Sometimes it seems like no matter how hard you've tried, things have somehow gotten out of hand.  It's all so overwhelming that you don't know where to start – so you don't do anything.  You know that's not a great way to handle it, don't you?  I've been there many, many times.  But I've learned a little secret and I'll share it with you.

Here are 5 simple steps to follow when you're overwhelmed with the housework:

1. Put one thing away.

2. Put another thing away.

3. Put another thing away.

4. Put another thing away.

5. Put another thing away.


Profound, huh? Yet this is what I do when I feel like the house is getting out of control. By putting just 5 things away, I am amazed at how much better that kitchen counter looks, and I'm then ready to “just finish cleaning this one counter”. But then that counter looks so good, I want the opposite counter to match, and it only takes a few minutes. I start getting on a roll, and before I know it, quite a bit has gotten done. It doesn't take long for me to realize things weren't as bad as I thought.

Try it next time you think the house is hopelessly messy!


10 Reasons Every Homemaker Can Rejoice

10 Reasons Every Homemaker Can Rejoice -- even on the hard days!


Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.

These are the words of which the Lord kept reminding me.

He reminded me in the middle of the night as my fussy newborn refused to sleep.
He reminded as I cleaned up a {lovely} mess including a perfectly clean diaper and a not-so-clean bed after my toddler's nap.
He reminded me as my tired body ached for a nap and the phone kept ringing.
He reminded me as I finally drifted off to sleep and I heard a little boy's voice calling to me “Mommy, come wipe me!”
He reminded me as my husband came home from work (late again) and informed me that he'll be working 6 days a week for at least the next month. (“No! I'm so tired, and I need your help! I don't want you to be away! I don't want you to be tired because then I don't feel like I can ask you to help me!”)

It's okay. “Rejoice in the Lord!”

WHY should a worn-out homemaker rejoice in the Lord???

Well, there are at least a hundred reasons, but I'll keep it brief and just list 10:
(And can I encourage you to actually read all the words of the verses instead of just skimming over them (cough.  like I know I sometimes do.)  I promise they will be a blessing to you!


1. I'm saved!
Isaiah 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.


2. God is molding me to be more like Christ (Whom I shall see someday soon!)
1 Peter 1:6-9 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:  Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.


3. I don't have to worry about my problems – I can take them to the Lord in prayer.
 1 Thessalonians 5:16-17 Rejoice evermore.  Pray without ceasing.


4. I have peace with God and complete access to Him through the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Romans 5:1-2 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.


5. I have the complete Word of God to guide me, rebuke me, and comfort me.
Psalm 119:162 I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil.


6. God knows all that my day will hold, and he will give me the grace for each moment.
Psalm 118:24 This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.


7. My God is holy and he will never allow anything unjust to happen.
Psalm 97:12 Rejoice in the LORD, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.


8. God is in control of the universe (including my life!)
Psalm 97:1 The LORD reigneth; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad thereof.


9. The God of the universe is MY helper!
Psalm 63:7 Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.


10. Rejoicing is a result of being filled with the Spirit – a state in which I need to be all the time!
Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.


Are there little things piling up that are threatening to steal your joy? Think on the positive, and find reasons to rejoice!



You may also like:

Why the Bad Days are Really the Best Days | Christian Motherhood


For the Homemaker Who Never Has Enough Time


Letting Go of Homemaker's Guilt | Christian Homemaking

Girly Car Seat Canopy Tutorial

I had a boutique car seat canopy when my little girl was a baby, and several of my friends absolutely loved it (I did too!) When I found out my friend was having a girl, I knew I had to make one for her! I found tutorials online, but none of them were quite what I was looking for. I wanted one that was similar to mine, with a peep-hole in the top. I also wanted it to be made from more material, creating more fullness and “girly flowiness”. I think I just invented a phrase, but that's okay.So here's what I came up with:

  • Supplies: 2 coordinating fabrics about 1 1/2 yards each, scissors, thread, sewing machine.
  • Fold fabric in half, and cut a piece 40 inches wide by 24 inches long. (When it's unfolded it should be 48 inches long.) Cut both pieces of fabric to these measurements.

  • Round all four corners of both pieces of fabric. You'll want to take off quite a bit. I actually couldn't find a bowl large enough to trace, so I just eyeballed it. Then I matched the corner I had already cut to the other corners so they would all be the same.

  • Fold the fabric in half lengthwise and make 2 small cuts, about 15 inches from each end. Connect the slits, by cutting a half circle that goes down about 3 inches deep. Do this on both fabrics.
  • Next, cut 2 pieces of ribbon for the ties. They should be about 11 -12 inches long. If you're like me and don't have ribbon handy, you could just sew some out of your fabric scraps.
  • Now, it's finally time to sew this thing together! Place fabric right sides together and sew all the way around the perimeter using a 5/8 inch seam allowance. Leave an opening to turn it right side out.


  • Clip the corners up to the seam and then turn right side out. Fold under the unstitched part and topstitch. Continue the topstitch all the way around. I used the edge of the presser foot as my guide.
  • Now comes the hardest part, and I forgot to take pictures! (Probably because it was hard.) So read closely…

Sew a gathering stitch around each circle in the middle of the carseat canopy. Gently gather each circle all the way around. Fold each circle inward and pin together. Make sure to pin the ties directly in the middle of the front and back sides. Topstitch all the way around. Once you've deciphered all that without any pictures, you're finished! Maybe you can tell from the finished picture what the finished middle circle is supposed to look like.

Now you have a flowy, girly carseat canopy with a hole at the top so that baby has some air circulating and you can peek in to chuck on her without disturbing her should she be asleep.

One Month To Win It

Sewing Tutorial Roundup

I’ve been feeling like sewing lately, and as I’ve scoured the web for a good tutorial, I have found about a million things I want to try.  Here is a (very shortened) list of all those “I want to make this someday” projects.



Monogrammed Baby Blanket

(I actually did make this one.)

Frayed edge burp cloths

(I made these too.)

Embellished Hooded Towels

Car Playmat

Felt Face Activity

Baby Crinkle toy
(I’ve made this too.)



I’m determined to do more “crafty stuff”, but I’m also determined that I’m going to finish a project when I start it.  By looking at the pictures above, I think I’ll do best when I make things as gifts.  All the things that I actually finished were given as gifts.

Sick Mommy With Toddlers


Helpful hints for when mom is sick and the kids are running around
What do you do when you're sick but your ever-so-active toddlers are doing just dandy?! Here are some things that I do to make a sick day go as smoothly as possible.

1. Set simple goals.
I don't kick myself if I don't do any laundry. Depending on how sick I am, I don't even let myself feel guilty if I don't cook supper. That's what peanut butter sandwiches and cereal are for.

2.Focus only on basic needs.
Feed the kids and change their diapers. Don't feel like you have to do any more than that.

3. Try to think of simple things to feed the kids that are easy to clean up.
Peanut butter sandwiches aren't bad; all you need to do is put away the peanut butter, jelly, and bread and put the plates in the dishwasher when they're done. No mess created; not too terribly difficult for momma.  You may also want to have some stuff on hand that they can get out completely independently.  We like GoGo Squeez fruit at our house.

4. Keep the kids in one room as much as possible.
I put the kids in one of their bedrooms where they can play with toys. I sit in the chair or lay on my son's bed while they play. If I try to go to sleep in my own bedroom, they'll be all over the house doing who-knows-what. If I keep them in one room, they aren't able to be (terribly) destructive.

5. Keep special activities on hand that they only get to play with when you really need them to stay occupied. 

By doing these things, I am able to keep the kids from creating horrible messes that my husband will have to clean up when he comes home. It also helps keep me from getting depressed about having a messy house on top of being physically sick.

What are some things you would suggest to mothers of toddlers when they're sick?

(You may also like the post “How to Survive When You're in Survival Mode“)



Potty Training = Not so Good

I never, ever, ever thought that we would not be done potty training Little Bear by now. He 3 years and 3 months old, and he started showing an interest right around age 2. That's over a year we've been at this thing. Every time I sit him on the potty, he's ready to get right back down because he's bored. I make him sit there for a while, but he won't go. Then, of course, he goes in his diaper, pull-up, underwear (I've tried them all) right after that. He really doesn't care if he walks around in a wet or dirty diaper, pull-up, or underwear. He doesn't tell mommy before or after he goes, even though he knows he's going to get in trouble. The cold shower thing – miserable during the experience, but he forgets all too quickly the next time. I've read everything, asked everybody, and tried all of it, but nothing's working.

You know what's sad? After a year of this, I finally realized that this is not something I have prayed about. God knows what it is that will help Little Bear “get it”. But I haven't asked Him for wisdom. I haven't asked him to help Little Bear understand and be willing to stop playing long enough to tell mommy he needs to go potty.

That's going to change. This will be on my prayer list now, and I will wait for answers from the Lord.

Update: Jan. 2018.  After many more years of experience on this topic, I wrote a post called “What to do when potty training is not working.”

What to do when potty training isn't working!

I could have saved myself a lot of stress if I had known then what I know now.