Do you ever feel like you just don't have it together?
Are you disorganized and undisciplined?
Are you ever ashamed when your husband comes home because you haven't used your time wisely that day?
Do you snap at your kids and speak unkind words to your husband?
Do you think back over the day with feelings of guilt because you know you should have acted differently in the area of __________(you fill in the blank)?
But you know what? I struggle with them all sometimes. I'm not telling you that because I'm proud of it. I'm telling you that because I'm sure some of you struggle with these things too.
Let me be honest here: tomorrow is the last day of the healthy living bundle, and I was originally planning this post to highlight some of the great books on self-discipline.
But as I began to write, God spoke to my heart and said, “What's more important? What's going to help women more? Books? Or THE Book?”
So here I am to say,
If you're an imperfect homemaker, struggling with certain areas in your life that you know need to change, turn to the ONLY book that can change your life. The author is perfect. The book itself will act as a mirror, revealing what's in your heart. It will act as a sword, cutting out those hidden parts of your life that need to be removed. It will act as a light, to guide you when you know you need to change, but aren't quite sure how.
If I lose some sales because I'm telling you that self-help books won't change your life, so be it. If I've encouraged someone…anyone…to seek God's face and rely on Him to be the woman He wants you to be, I rejoice.
Do I think your health will benefit from the books and resources in the healthy living bundle? Absolutely.
But I know what's far more important, and if you only choose one book to read, study, and follow, choose God's.
Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
I'm a pretty frugal person.
Just come over and check out my beat up furniture, old car, and closets full of yard sale clothes and you'll see I'm telling the truth.
So why in the world would I purposely waste money?
Let me give you some real life examples.
1. Every time I sweep the floor I come across about 13 tiny black ponytail holders that belong to my daughter. I could be frugal and pick them all up and put them away, or I could finish sweeping the floor after being interrupted by 16 other minor emergencies and not give myself cause for one more interruption. Decisions, decisions…ponytail holders in trash or one more gray hair? Trash.
2. When the kids finish a session of coloring, there are usually about 8 or 10 crayons on the floor. About half of those end up broken when the kids get up from the table and start walking around without picking them up. I suppose I could be frugal and save the broken ones to make one of the million craft ideas on Pinterest. Or I could just throw them away and get it out of my already too-cluttered house. Clean house or cute crafts that I'll most likely never get around to anyway? Trash.
3. 2-year-old destructo-man decides to rip a page out of a book. I could tape it back up, but it's highly possible that it will sit on the desk for a while, adding to a really annoying pile of other junk. Or I could waste money and just throw it away. I think I will. Ahhh! No more annoying junk sitting around!
4. Suppertime has arrived, but the lunch dishes are still not done. It's just been a fast-track day with no time to breathe. I could save money and set the table properly or I could waste money and use paper plates that will go straight into the trash, leaving me more time to enjoy playing with my kids after dinner. What sounds like a better life – playing with cute kids or washing dishes while I get annoyed that everybody else is in the other room enjoying family time without me? Paper plates, please. My money-wasting bills are tallying up, but I'm enjoying life and eliminating stress!
5. Most of our grocery shopping is done at local farms and the farmer's market, and we fill in all the gaps at one particular grocery store. I could wait and buy dish soap and tissues at Walmart for probably a good couple dollars cheaper than I could at the grocery store. Or I could spend a couple extra dollars not to have to unbuckle 3 kids, walk to the back of Walmart while wrangling said children to stay with me, check out while keeping children from annoying the cashier by touching the weight sensor on the self check-out, maneuver our way safely back across the parking lot, and successfully buckle all three children back into car seats. I'll waste the money, thank you.
Shall I continue with my examples, or do you get the idea?
While we ought to be good stewards of our finances, we should also remember that time is money. I've never heard the expression “lack of stress is money”, but I know it's worth money to me!
While I will do all that I can to practice being frugal in ways that will not cost a lot of extra time and headache, I will not worry so much over pinching every penny that I drive myself insane in the process!
You all may know by now that I'm not the most artistic person in the world. However, I still enjoy beautiful things and crafts as much as any other woman. It's just that anything I do has to be pretty much dummy-proof or I will find some way to mess it up!
When I found out that I would have the opportunity to try out items from the Martha Stewart Decoupage line, I immediately thought of an easy project that even someone like me could complete.
First, here are all the goodies I recieved:
The supplies I used for this craft were:
Here's how I did it:
First, I found a font that I liked and printed it off on the computer.
I cut it out and used it as a template to cut out an identical piece of black fabric.
Next I used a piece of card stock as a template to cut my base fabric the right size.
I applied a layer of decoupage on the back of the monogram and adhered it to the center of my base fabric.
Then I applied several coats of decoupage over top of the whole thing to seal it. I did this several times, giving it a couple hours of drying time in between.
Finally, I adhered the entire thing to a piece of card stock and stuck it in a frame. I opted to leave it without the glass so that the texture of the fabric could be more prominently displayed. (By the way, this is a great way to use thrift store frames that are missing their glass!)
That was it! Done quickly and easily! If I can do it, anyone can!
Be sure to follow Plaid for lots more ideas:
You can also check out what other bloggers are doing with the Martha Decoupage products:
Does your home always look messy, even though you feel like you're always cleaning? Perhaps you should consider whether you have too much clutter in your home. By saying that, I'm not suggesting that you're some kind of hoarder or slob. But sometimes, the size of a person's house is just too small for the amount of things that are in there, and it creates a look of constant disorder. You may need to scale back to the absolute minimum of what you need to live in order to keep things looking neat in your house.
1. Start with the worst offenders. The living room and kitchen are usually the two most used rooms in the house, and consequently are usually the rooms that collect clutter the fastest. It's easy to dump stuff on a kitchen counter or toss it on the couch or coffee table when you walk in the door. Remove anything that does not belong in these rooms, and train yourself to put things completely away when you come in the door. If you're having a hard time breaking the habit of dropping stuff as you come in the door, purchase some stylish baskets to keep near the door of those rooms. Make it your goal to keep the baskets empty by putting things where they belong. If you forget, at least the clutter will be contained and won't be such an eyesore.
2. Go through every room in the house (one at a time) and remove everything from drawers and cabinets. This is a time-consuming process but it is easier to start with an empty space and fill it instead of simply pushing things around.
3. Divide every item into categories. You can use heavy duty trash bags or boxes for this part. Everything that you find should go into a category: KEEP, THROW AWAY, GIVE AWAY, and RELOCATE. Items that will stay in that room are to keep. Things that you don’t need or are broken can be thrown away. Clothes or furniture still in great condition can be donated. Anything that definitely belongs in another room can be labeled for relocation when you get to that room.
4. Do not start a new room until you have completely finished the previous room. Once you have decided what will stay in that room, place items in the drawer or cabinet where you want them. Throw away the trash, put the donate box in the car so it can be taken care of right away, and place the relocate box in the next room in which you will be working.
5. Do not completely fill your spaces. Get rid of enough stuff to leave extra room in your drawers and cabinets. If every space is filled to maximum capacity, you will constantly be knocking things over as you get things in and out of the drawer or cabinet. (Tupperware avalanche, anyone?) Leave plenty of room to get things in and out while keeping them neat.
6. Keep as much as possible out of sight. Even with only the essentials remaining in a room, things can still look cluttered when you have random items sitting out in full view. Use attractive containers or baskets whenever possible to keep everything contained and out of sight.
7. Once you have successfully removed clutter from every room in the house, implement the “One in, one out” rule. (Every time something new comes into the house, something else has to go.) This will keep your house from becoming full of too many things and creating the need to declutter all over again.
I always seem to have waaaay more stuff I want to accomplish in a day than I actually ever accomplish.
The solution is actually quite simple if I would just do it:
God doesn't give us more to do than He's given us time to do. The question we must ask ourselves is this: “Is what I'm doing right now what God wants me to do right now?”
Each of us faces life circumstances – some with young children who seem to create endless housework, some with outside jobs taking up their time, some with chronic illnesses feeling like they've tackled the world when they fold a load of laundry. The situation is different for all of us.
But one fact is the same for everyone: trying to fit things into our lives that God didn't intend to be there only creates disorganization, frustration, and a lack of time to do the other things we really need to be doing.
Many things we homemakers would like to do are good and noble things, but if there's not room for them, it's not going to make us happier to try to cram them into our lives.
Tell Your Time, a book I've mentioned here before, is an extremely useful tool for determining what your priorities really are.
As homemakers, the things for which we have to make a place in our schedules aren't really all that glamorous. A good deal of our time is spent in the kitchen preparing meals or in the kitchen cleaning it up. With the remainder of our day's 24 hours, we have to have time to sleep, clean the house, and spend quality time with our family.
Hobbies? It doesn't really seem like there will be much time left over for anything fun.
What we need to realize is that, as homemakers, that is what we do. We make a home.
And a peaceful home where all the members are blessed requires a lot of maintenance. Just because it doesn't seem glamorous doesn't mean it's not necessary and incredibly important.
When you mark hours of meal preparation and cleaning into your schedule each week, you are being an incredible blessing to your family. Don't think you're not doing anything important!
If you plan your time efficiently, you will find time to do some of the things you want to do as well. You won't have time for all of them, and that's okay. You”ll find that it's much more enjoyable to do a few things and be able to savor the moment without feeling like you have to rush on to the next thing.
I've used Tell Your Time to create a daily schedule several times in the past, and it's been the best thing I've ever done.
As life circumstances change, that schedule has to be tweaked, and instead of doing that, I decided I could just wing it.
It just doesn't work.
There has to be structure and a plan in order to manage time efficiently.
So once again, I've re-worked my schedule and I am again happy and peaceful instead of feeling like there's just too much to do and not enough time to do it.
I was able to re-evaluate what actually needs to be done and figure out the best times for it all to happen.
(And I found a few hours in between for some extras too!)
Ladies, if you're finding yourself frustrated with your time management, I highly encourage you to purchase Tell Your Time. (I make a small commission if you purchase it, but that is completely not why I'm suggesting it. I just find it that helpful. And it's only $2.99. It's one of the few eBooks I've ever actually paid for, and it was worth every penny and more.)
Stop ending every day wishing that you could have gotten more done. Start planning for successful time management, and your home will be more peaceful. You'll be happier, and so will your family!
This post hasn't been edited to make sure I'm using just the right words. I've just shared what's in my heart in hopes that it will be a help to you. If it has, would you leave me a comment and let me know?