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Homemaking Articles - Imperfect Homemaker

Category Archives for Homemaking

A Wise Woman Builds Her House

Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands. (Proverbs 14:1)

Perhaps when you read that verse, you think something like, “If I want to be a wise woman, I need to build my house. Hmm…how do I build my house?”

I’ve asked for people's thoughts about this verse on social media before, and all of the answers I received were along the same line. Everyone was thinking something like, “A woman can build her house by doing a, b, and c” ; and the a, b, and c were things like:

  • Put others’ needs first
  • Keep my home clean and clutter free
  • Make my home inviting for the family
  • Do things together as a family
  • Have supper together every night
  • Schedule in rest time, family time, chore time, Bible time, and exercise time
  • Control my mouth – speak kindly to others and don’t complain
  • Be organized
  • Be frugal
  • Prepare nice meals for my family


Now, there’s certainly nothing wrong with doing these things. Speaking kindly to your family, spending time together, and using your time wisely are all beneficial things to do for the ones you love.

But if we are not careful, we can fall into a great big trap of believing that our godliness as a homemaker is proven by how many boxes we can check off on a list.


I want you to understand that the “godly homemaker list” only brings bondage. The more things you manage to check off the list, the more things you will think of to add to it. – “I did a, b, and c, but my family would really benefit if I also did x, y, and z.” If you believe that you must figure out ways to build up your home in order to be a wise woman, you will forever find yourself unsatisfied (because you will always think of some good thing that you're not doing!)

When you measure your success or failure by a list, you are setting yourself up to fall into one of two ditches:

1. Perpetual guilt that you can't seem to do all the good things on your list.
2. Pride that you are doing good things better than someone else is.


When you measure your success or failure by how many “homemaker-y” things you do and how well you do them, you've got things backwards.

You see, when you try to figure out ways to build your house and work hard to do them, you are living life out of our own wisdom and strength.

Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it…”

Psalm 127:1

We can never build our houses apart from the Lord, and we cannot be wise apart from him. 

For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. (Proverbs 2:6)

So, my friend, how do you build your house?

You walk in the wisdom of God.

Through wisdom is an house builded: and by understanding it is established. (Proverbs 24:3)

Listen to the words of Jesus:

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. (John 15:4)

And here’s what Jesus says will happen when you listen to his words:

Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. (Matthew 7:24-27)


Do you see? When you try to build your house on any other foundation, it will not stand!

When you try to check the boxes of what you think a “godly homemaker” is supposed to look like, you’re building your house on the wrong foundation.

But when you build your life on the rest that Jesus Christ offers you; when you abide in him; when Jesus IS your life – everything else will flow from that!

The foolish woman focuses on DOING. Yet all her best efforts will fail.

The wise woman focuses on BEING. And because she is not living through her own efforts, but through the power of the resurrected Savior, she can never fail.

A plant doesn’t have to try hard to bear fruit. The only way a plant bears fruit is to simply be. The roots do the work of providing everything the plant needs to flourish and be fruitful. Likewise the fruit we bear can only and ever be a result of simply abiding in the vine.

“As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him…” (Colossians 2:6)



Does it feel impossible to do *everything* you're *supposed* to be doing? 
Maybe it’s time to ditch the checklist and simply abide in the vine.

*Doing* all the things to build your house is not what makes you a wise woman.  That's backwards.

But when your life is hidden in Christ – when you rest from your efforts to do, and you learn to simply be who you are (a new creation, filled with all the fullness of God!) – you will find freedom and rest like you’ve never experienced before!

Be a wise woman, my friend, and follow Jesus’ invitation to abide in Him.

When you do, your life will bear much fruit! You can cease from your efforts and stop living in either guilt or pride, and the people in your home will experience the power of Jesus' grace as it fills your own heart and spills over onto them.



If you want to read further on this subject, here a couple of great suggestions:

Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try Hard Life by Emily P. Freeman

The Naked Gospel by Andrew Farley

Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

One of my all-time favorite hymns is Great is Thy Faithfulness. 
Every line of the lyrics contains such encouraging scriptural truth. One of my favorite lines, though, is “strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.”

 

God gives strength for today

  • The Lord is the strength of my life (Psalm 27:1)
  • God is our Refuge and Strength, a very present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1)
  • I will go in the strength of the Lord God (Psalm 71:16)
  • When my own strength fails, God is the strength of my hearts (Psalm 73:26)
  • He gives strength to those who have no might (Isaiah 40:29)
  • God strengthens us with his might in our inner man (Ephesians 3:16)
  • I can be strong through the power of the Lord (Ephesians 6:10)
  • I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13)

 

God gives bright hope for tomorrow

  • I do not need to worry about tomorrow. If God takes care of the birds and the flowers he will take care of me. (Matthew 6:25-34)
  • The scriptures provide evidence of God's faithfulness in the past and give us hope for the future (Romans 15:4)
  • Christ's resurrection provides a powerful reason to place my hope in him. (I Peter 1:20-21)
  • The God of hope fills me with joy and peace (Romans 15:13)
  • God’s love offers comfort, hope and strength for the tasks ahead. (II Thessalonians 2:16-17)

 

 


Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father
There is no shadow of turning with Thee
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.
 
Summer and winter and springtime and harvest
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love
 
Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow
Blessings all mine with ten thousand beside.
 
Great is Thy faithfulness
Great is Thy faithfulness
Morning by morning new mercies I see
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness
Great is Thy faithfulness
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me
 

 

 
 
The phrase “Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow” contains so much encouragement that I made a downloadable print of it and added it to the private resource library (it's free for email subscribers!)
 
strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow artwork
 
Thanks for signing up! Check your inbox for the link to the download page!

Homemaking Update March 2021

It's a new month, which means it's time for me to post some personal stuff about what I've been up to! I'm hearing from a lot of you that you enjoy a taste of “old-school” blogging, so I'll keep it up!

 

What I've read recently:

 

 

1. The kids and I finished listening to the audio version of Never Caught: The Story of Ona Judge. I want them to be exposed to truth, even when it's not always pretty and involves someone that many history books call a hero.

I don't think it's fair to look for ways that we can make everyone out to be a villain, but neither do I think it's fair to present only one side of the facts either. The kids and I enjoyed listening (the book is written specifically for younger readers.)

 

 

2. Someone in my Facebook feed shared an article about Claudette Colvin, a teenage girl who stood up to segregation on the Montgomery buses, and I was curious to know more. When I googled, I found this book, and it was included with my Scribd subscription, so I read it on there.

Here's what I wrote about it on Goodreads:
I love learning about people who did courageous things for no other reason than that it's the right thing to do. Claudette didn't do what she did for notoriety, she did it because she could not live a lie. She couldn't pretend segregation was OK, tiptoeing around society in order to get along. She did what was right, and she held her head high even when others (including those who should have been supporting her) turned their backs on her. I've never heard of Claudette Colvin until recently. She didn't make the history books, but it was her courage that spearheaded the lawsuit that would ultimately change history. We don't all have to make the history books, but we can all do the right thing with our head held high. Claudette's story should be an inspiration to everyone.

If you want to read it on Scribd, you can get a free 60 day trial through this link.

 

3. Adore: A Simple Practice for Experiencing God in the Middle Minutes of Your Day

From my Goodreads review:
I turned to this book when I found my thoughts getting anxious and my mind swirling with the cares of the day. I loved listening in on Sara's self-talk as she intentionally turned her own anxious thoughts toward God and his word. Her prompts helped me apply the word to my own circumstances and find peace and perspective in the midst of my frustrations. 

 

4. The Great Sex Rescue
From my Goodreads review:
This book is intended to help wives (and husbands too) untangle the lies they've believed about God's design for sex. Lies like, “men are going to look, so make sure he looks at you” or that “sex is a duty that wives owe their husbands men have great needs in this area” can put a damper on whether or not couples can enjoy the intimacy of the sexual relationship. Instead of sex being an obligation and wives being used as drugs to keep their husbands off porn, The Great Sex Rescue will help couples discover the joy that can be theirs when sex is focused on mutual pleasure and true intimacy rather than just the act of intercourse.

I shared more about the author's motivation for writing this book here.

 

Something New I Tried This Month:

I got my second clothing subscription box from Wantable (read my full review of the service here.)

 

They sent some cozy clothes for me to finish off the last of the cold weather in (I ended up sending all of these back.)

 

They also have a feature where you can request specific articles for them to send. I got this dress that I requested and it fit well, so now I have a new addition to my spring wardrobe.

 

A Blog Post I Wrote This Month:

I inadvertently opened a whole can of worms when I asked on Instagram if anyone had read any Christian marriage books that had done more harm than good. When the book Love & Respect came up, I had a whole bunch of questions in my inbox. The book is very popular, and many people had read it and had a good experience, so they wanted to know in what ways it had caused harm.

I promised to answer the question, but I knew it would be a major undertaking. I had over 50 pages of notes that I had taken as I went through the book.

To make a long story short, I am now working my way through a series about the problems with Love & Respect, and the main hub of that series can be found here.

 

A goal I worked on this month:

I'm carrying a few extra pounds that I'd like to shed. So far I have struggled with this because learning a new plan like THM felt too overwhelming, and sticking to just eating healthy was not actually taking any weight off.

I'm finally doing something differently that is SO EASY and seems to be working slowly and steadily (I'm down 4 pounds within the first 2 weeks.) I'm not trying to be a tease, but I want to wait to share until I give it a long enough trial to know for sure that I recommend it. I promise I'll update you!

 

Something I've been meditating on lately:

As spring begins its arrival I've been meditating on the faithfulness of God. God has been keeping the seasons in order since the beginning of time. Each morning the sun rises and travels along the same path it has traveled every other day since it was created.

Psalm 104 tells of all the marvelous ways that God reveals himself through creation. I encourage you to read it and see if you can do anything besides thank God for his faithfulness!

 

The kids couldn't resist bringing in the first daffodil of the season.

 

 

If you'd like to keep up with more behind-the-scenes posts, feel free to follow me on Instagram.

Valentine’s Day Bible Verses (with printable)

I've noticed a lot of people land on my blog by searching for Valentine's Day Bible verses. I have a cute little set of Bible verse valentines for kids, but I thought it would be nice to add a set of Valentine's Day Bible verses for adults too!

 

I wanted all these verses to focus on the love of God toward us. These would be great to use for giving to grocery store clerks, etc. along with perhaps a piece of candy. I think a reminder of God's love along with a thoughtful gesture would brighten anyone's day.

Some other ideas for using these Valentine's Day Bible verse cards:

  • Write a note to a friend on the back
  • Display in your home to remind yourself of God's love
  • Keep in your Bible

I'm sure you can come up with even more creative ideas for using these, and I hope they will be a blessing to you.

 

Valentine's Day Bible verses

 

The verses included are:

  • For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

 

  • For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)

 

  • But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

 

  • We love him, because he first loved us. (I John 4:19)

 

  • Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us… (I John 3:1)

 

  • As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you…(John 15:9)

 

  • Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. (Psalm 63:3)

 

  • For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…that ye…may be able to know the love of Christ. (Ephesians 3:14-19

 

 

These printable Valentine's Day Bible Verse cards are inside my resource library. My email subscribers have access to everything inside the resource library for free.

 

If you'd like to join, simply enter your email address below, and you'll receive a link to the resource library where you can download these, along with anything else you might like.

 

You're all set! Check your inbox for the link to the resource library where you can download your printables.

 

How I Stopped Feeling Overwhelmed by Housework

I was recently musing over the past 10 years or so, and it is amazing to me how much of it I spent completely overwhelmed by housework and all the other responsibilities in my life.

 


My journals tell the story of my overwhelm

As I looked through some of my old journals, I saw so much of this type of thing:

“I've gotten so far behind on the housework with the baby teething. I walked around in circles all day because I was so behind and it made me feel overwhelmed.”

“I get overwhelmed by housework very easily when I see how much needs to be done.”

“I feel like I'm always running in circles and not actually accomplishing anything.”


Emails from my blog readers tell the same story


Every day, I receive emails that contain some variation of what I wrote above.

Everyone is overwhelmed!

And oh, how I understand! I understand so well!

But year by year, baby step by baby step, I've learned and grown and changed.

 

I do not spend my days overwhelmed by housework anymore

Bit by bit I have made progress until I no longer feel like the word “overwhelmed” is a central figure in my life.

Yes, I have my moments. But I actually wake up excited in the mornings, and I go to bed at night feeling satisfied with my day instead of feeling like a total failure.

Don't get me wrong. I'm in no way saying I'm now superwoman. There isn't usually a massive list of accomplishments I can point to at the end of the day. Life still has a way of throwing curveballs just like it always has.

What I am saying is this – I'm at peace and no longer overwhelmed by housework all the time. (Again, not that I don't have my moments.)


So…what is different? How did I stop feeling so overwhelmed all the time?

1. Life's circumstances change, but God our helper is always the same

I'm not going to lie. My circumstances are easier in some ways than they have been in years past.  I have much more energy than I've had in years past. Children who are older are (somewhat) more helpful around the house.

But if you're thinking that the only way you can stop being overwhelmed is for your circumstances to change, you're going to be overwhelmed for a long time, my friend. There will always be difficult things in our lives. Instead of looking for better circumstances, look to the Lord. Without him, we can do nothing. Sometimes it takes hard things to help us remember to depend fully on Him.

2. Knowing my priorities means I am okay with not “getting it all done”

I've learned how to set priorities and keep my focus there. I don't get all the things done, but I am clear on what is most important, and I can go to bed satisfied with my day even when other things are left undone.

My goal setting planner enables me to set big goals and turn them into a daily, bite sized to do list. As a result, I know exactly what I need to do each day, and I also know what things won't be a big deal if I don't get to them.

 

3. I work with, and not against my personality

I've learned that trying to force myself to fit into a mold that's not my personality only makes me rebel against it and makes things worse. So instead I maximize my time in a way that works for my personality. For example, I might know that having dinner on the table promptly each evening would help with getting everyone to bed earlier, which would in turn give me an earlier morning and more time to reach my goals. However, cooking is not my favorite thing to do, which means I can tend to procrastinate. I keep a list of quick and easy meals that are still nutritious, and I make them very frequently with no guilt. Just because some moms cook a certain way, that doesn't mean I'm a bad mom if I don't make the same meals they do. I just do what works for me. Trying to force myself to make more complicated things or have a certain number of side dishes might allow me to pat myself on the back for feeding my family the “right” way, but in the long run it would contribute to feeling more overwhelmed.

 

4. I've learned to rest in who Jesus says I am.

I spent too many years of my life feeling like I had to try harder.

The fruit of the spirit felt like something had to produce…had to put forth the effort to be kind, to be diligent, to be good.

But if being good is something that is produced from my own effort, then it's not actually a fruit of the spirit; it's a fruit of my own prideful self-sufficiency.

God has lovingly taught me that his invitation is to rest in him.

A plant doesn't have to try hard to bear fruit. The only way a plant bears fruit is to simply be what it is. The roots do the work of providing everything that plant needs to flourish and be fruitful. Likewise, the fruit we bear can only and ever be a result of simply abiding in the vine. Colossians 2:6-7 reminds us that the same way we received Christ Jesus (through faith, not by our own effort) is the same way we are to walk in him…rooted in him. He is the vine, and I am the branch. It is by abiding in him that my life becomes fruitful (John 15:4-5.)

I am loved by God just as much on the days when my house is clean as I am when it is a disaster. I am just as much “accepted in the beloved” (Ephesians 1:6) when I make a gourmet meal as when I serve cereal for supper.

When we do not properly understand our identity in Christ we will fall into one of two ditches: Either constant guilt that we're not doing the Christian life good enough, or pride that we're doing it better than others. Either way, the devil loves it because we're living like cats chasing our tails, seeking approval we already have, when the life of Christ could instead be springing up from within us, flowing outward and watering the seeds of the kingdom of God.

(A book that was a particular blessing to me in this regard was The Naked Gospel.)

 



There are obviously many more details that go into my journey of becoming less overwhelmed, but since I can't fit 10 years of my life into one post, I do hope these main takeaways will help you like they have helped me. 

I can't promise to help you become less overwhelmed overnight, because learning to depend on the Lord and learning how to better manage our time is a lifelong journey. We should never stop learning and growing, but I hope that this article will be an encouraging step along the way.

For more information on the goal setting planner that I use, visit this page right here. It truly makes so much of a difference in my life!

 

 

Keep reading:

 

 

 

How to Keep Your Cup Full, Even When You Don’t Have Any ‘Me Time’

With all the pouring OUT that we do, we homemakers can feel empty and burnt out pretty easily.

It's important to keep our own cup full. (Read: 13 Free Ways to Take Care of You)

And while we all can benefit from a cup of coffee drunk in silence, a few minutes of exercise, or a few hours out with a friend, there are some much more important things with which we ought to be filling our cups.

It is certainly true that you cannot pour from an empty cup. However, what is it exactly that your cup has in it?

My point here is in no way to discourage doing things that bring you joy and energize you. However, no matter your circumstances — no matter how difficult it may be for you to spend dedicated time reading a book, sleeping in, or taking a long hot shower — it is still possible to keep your cup full.

 

Consider the following:

 

1. When you live in God's presence, your cup is filled with joy.

Psalm 16:11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

2. Your life can be full of the fruit of the spirit.

Ephesians 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

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.

 

3. Your life can be filled with the fruit of righteousness.

Philippians 1:9-11 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ. Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.

The fruit of righteousness is a result of knowing your identity in Christ — to cease from striving to follow the law and to rest completely in the righteousness of Christ.

Philippians 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

I Corinthians 1:30-31 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

You cannot produce the fruit of righteousness by your own effort. Only when you abide in the vine, Jesus Christ, can his life flow out of you. Any branch that is connected to a righteous vine will by its very nature produce righteousness.

 John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

 

4. You can be filled with the knowledge of God's will.

Colossians 1:9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

Ephesians 5:15-17 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

Do you know how to understand what God's will is?  By renewing your mind with the word of God.

Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

(Are life's demands so difficult that you're unable to dedicate the time you'd like to reading the word of God? Read How to Find Time For God When You Can Hardly Find Time to Breathe.)

 

5. Fill your mind with good things.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

As you go through your day, you can fill your mind with scripture on audio, you can listen to Christ-centered music, you can take time to notice the blue sky, the fluffy clouds, and the song of the birds.

No doubt as you continue searching the scripture you will think of more things with which you can fill your cup.

It certainly provides a lift to your spirit when you can take time for an activity you enjoy. But no matter how often there is opportunity for you to do that, I pray you will still keep your cup full — full of the spirit, full of the joy of the Lord, full of the fruit of righteousness.

May you keep your cup full of the love of God, and may it spill over onto every one you meet!

 

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