4 Goals for the Purposeful Homemaker

How can we keep our homes running smoothly without getting overwhelmed? Start small...

I look around my home and recognize a great need for order My house is not cluttered (I am so anti-clutter). I would consider it to be a bit unorganized and just plain messy. Granted, I have 7 children and I don't expect my house to look like a museum. It ought to look lived in, but it should be orderly.

In addition, meal times are chaotic and often left "unfinished". Dishes left undone, table not completely cleared, floor not swept.

First, I want to clearly define what a homemaker is: A homemaker is a person who manages the household of her own family. (dictionary.com)

A household is defined as the people of a house collectively (dictionary.com)

The Bible defines our role as homemakers in a couple of places [that I found]: [to set] about her work vigorously (Proverbs 31:17) ...to be busy at home (Titus 2:5) (NIV)

Defining exactly what we are to do helps clarify our purpose. So not only does a homemaker care for the house, but for her family. That opens several more doors of possibilities (and responsibilities), doesn't it? So coupling the above definitions with the needs of my own family, here is my purpose as a homemaker:

To be attentive to the needs of my family, diligent in creating a 'home', and consistent in the everyday essentials. To serve with joy, purpose, ambition and gratitude.

In a more expanded version, my purpose requires that I attend to the needs of my home and family, that I am active (intentional) about creating a home, and that I work constantly at those things that need to be done every-single-day. I intend to do these things with joy, aim, initiative, and thanksgiving.

My goals include [but are not limited to]: to wake up before my children, to create smooth and memorable meal times, follow more closely to my schedule, and be intentional about creating an atmosphere of peace.

As these goals are met, new ones will develop. They are rather specific compared with my purpose. My purpose will generally stay the same.

Perhaps it's a bit simplistic--and that's exactly the point. I don't want anything too complex or too hard to reach for. As it stands, this is challenge enough for me. :)

Here I will expound on my goals and the steps I will take to get there.

Goals:

To wake up before my children

This is probably one of the most important tools [for me] to running a smooth household. I have seen, consistently, what a difference this makes. It takes me some time to "wake up" and I really need to do this before the children are awake so that I am ready for them. Otherwise, I am dragging my feet, making them wait on me. Apparently, one of my "famous" lines is, "Mommy can't even see straight yet." One of my children used to ask me when I wake up if "my eyes were still blind".

  • spend time in prayer and journaling
  • begin VA {Virtual Assistant} work
  • get dressed and ready for the day

Most of this is easy. The hard part is getting out of bed.

To create smooth and memorable meal times

Meal times are one of my biggest challenges. Everything from being prepared with a menu, to having a tidy kitchen to work in. I tend to rush food out and leave the cleaning for "later". Later comes when it's time for the next meal. Who wants to work in a kitchen like that?! Not me! So, it's time to do something about it. Here are the steps--which are just mini-goals--to get me at this place:

  • menu plan
  • serve buffet style (everything on table), rather than serving each child individually from the stove/counter
  • Read Scripture before or after the meal (while seated at the table)
  • Have everyone take part in kitchen clean-up--dirty dishes to sink, table cleaned off, floor swept, load dishwasher
  • Do my part and clean up counters, stove, sink, etc; have kitchen and dining room ready for next meal.

During meal times I want to have fruitful conversations about life. Create memories, talk about God's goodness and pray for others in need.

Follow my schedule more closely

Yes, I have struggled with this since day one. But when I do follow closely to my schedule, the day is bliss! I feel accomplished because I have gotten done [even some] of what I set out to do. It gives me a sense of fulfillment when I follow my schedule. So this is an important area for me. The question is, how will I accomplish this feat? I go back to my purpose and be consistent in the everyday essentials.

  • Start with the basics. Follow the schedule for meals and bed time routines.
  • Reorganize tasks to fit into the best time slots and work through them
  • Slowly add in another task -- one every 2-4 weeks -- ones that are not being accomplished, currently
  • Be consistent. Set hand to the plow.

My fear has been that life will get too redundant, so I resist the schedule. But you know what? I feel myself craving it as the days flutter by with little to show. Ann Voskamp said that fear is nothing to be afraid of--it's just the door we push through to get to the other side.

Be intentional about creating an atmosphere of peace

This was a tough when I had 5 children, 4 of them 5 and under. There was a lot of chaos, whining, screaming, fighting...whatever. That was life. They were in training and were learning, but in the mean time, I was stressed listening to it. In fact, I tended to react as a result.  Don't know if one can ever get used to the chaos.  Now that my kids are older, we have chaos of a different kind. But I need train myself to stop reacting and be proactive on how to cut down on the issues.

  • keep to my schedule, which will cut down on some of this issue
  • teach peacemaking before a problem arises (Young Peacemaker is an excellent resource)
  • have "face time" with each of my children daily (1-on-1 time with each child)
  • don't allow too much free time

This will be a start. Once I put these into practice on a regular, consistent basis I can reevaluate the situation to see if further action needs to be taken.

By no means will I be able to tackle all these goals at once. It will be an ongoing process, probably for months before it becomes more "second nature". But now that I have a clear direction of what my purpose is and some definite needs to fill, I have plenty to do.

Homemaking is not meant to be easy. We can simplify it, but it is still a very challenging role. Resisting and trying to work against our role will only result in more challenges and frustrations. Instead, let's embrace this role so we are free to own it and live it out.

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Living Intentionally

Today's guest post is by Ashley of L.I.F.E. by Ashley Pichea.

___

Living intentionally.

It goes against every fiber of my being. My nature is to sit back and let life happen to me.

If I had my way, my kids would parent themselves, my blog would write itself, my marriage would magically be perfect, my house would always be clean, and I would be able to sit in front of the TV all afternoon watching Gilmore Girls on DVD or curl up in a chair reading the latest Karen Kingsbury novel. Life would not require work or be stressful in any way.

Life, according to Ashley, would require little effort and would be all about responding and reacting.

And yet, this is not life. And if I am honest, this is not what I really want my life to resemble. It’s through struggles that we grow, and growth is what makes life interesting.

 

'Bible Study 2' photo (c) 2008, George Bannister - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

 

James says it this way:

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” {James 1.2-5}

We are not to run from struggles and trials, but rather, we are to welcome them, knowing they are for our maturity.

We are all called to live intentionally.

“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” {Philippians 3.14}

Our daily walk with God and with others is to be met with intentionality. We are not to let life pass us by, but we are to make the most of every opportunity.

“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” {Ephesians 5.15-16}

As I have journeyed with God over the past year, He has lead me in a path of intentional living. From focusing the content of my personal faith-based blog to co-founding the 3in30 Challenge, God has led me to begin doing life intentionally - to begin living intentionally by faith everyday.

In order to live intentionally, though, I need help. On my own, I will quickly fall back into default mode and simply be content to sit back and watch as life passes by.

I need accountability, and this fits in with how God has designed the Christian life to be… one full of relationships that spur us toward righteousness.

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works...” {Hebrews 10.24}

Doing LIFE {living intentionally by faith everyday} is not something we can do on our own. We need accountability, encouragement, and community. We need to set goals for ourselves, tell others about our goals, and work toward our goals with the help of the Holy Spirit and our faith-based community of friends.

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How will you live intentionally today? Do you have a friend who will keep you accountable? Do you need a community to encourage you?

 

Ashley Pichea invites you to join her in living intentionally by faith everyday and making your goals reality. Connect with Ashley on Facebook and Twitter.

My Purpose As A Homemaker

breakfastnook by sisterlisa, on Pix-O-Sphere

I look around my home and recognize a great need for order (no, that is not my house in the above picture, lol). My house is not cluttered (I am so anti-clutter). I would consider it to be a bit unorganized and just plain messy. Granted, I have 5 children and I don't expect my house to look like a museum. It ought to look lived in, but it should be orderly.

In addition, meal times are chaotic and often left "unfinished". Dishes left undone, table not completely cleared, floor not swept.

First, I want to clearly define what a homemaker is: A homemaker is a person who manages the household of her own family. (dictionary.com)

A household is defined as the people of a house collectively (dictionary.com)

The Bible defines our role as homemakers in a couple of places [that I found]: [to set] about her work vigorously (Proverbs 31:17) ...to be busy at home (Titus 2:5) (NIV)

Defining exactly what we are to do helps clarify our purpose. So not only does a homemaker care for the house, but for the family. Yes, that opens several more doors of possibilities (and responsibilities), doesn't it? So coupling the above definitions with the needs of my own family, here is my purpose as a homemaker:

To be attentive to the needs of my family, diligent in creating 'home', and consistent in the everyday essentials. To serve with joy, purpose, ambition and gratitude.

In a more expanded version, my purpose requires that I attend to the needs of my home and family, that I am active (intentional) about creating a home, and that I work constantly at those things that need to be done every-single-day. I intend to do these things with joy, aim, initiative, and thanksgiving.

My goals include [but are not limited to]:

to wake up before my children, to create smooth and memorable meal times, follow more closely to my schedule, and be intentional about creating an atmosphere of peace.

As these goals are met, new ones will develop. They are rather specific compared with my purpose. My purpose will generally stay the same.

Perhaps it's a bit simplistic--and that's exactly the point. I don't want anything too complex or too hard to reach for. As it stands, this will be challenge enough for me. :)

Here I will expound on my goals and the steps I will take to get there.

Goals:

To wake up before my children

This is probably one of the most important tools [for me] to running a smooth household. I have seen, consistently, what a difference this makes. It takes me some time to "wake up" and I really need to do this before the children are awake so that I am ready for them. Otherwise, I am dragging my feet, making them wait for breakfast. Apparently, one of my "famous" lines is, "Mommy can't even see straight yet." My five year old now asks me when I wake up if "my eyes are still blind".

  • continue in my HelloMornings group (#hellomornings on Twitter - for accountability)
  • shower in the mornings (to wake me up and keep me refreshed)
  • spend some time in prayer and journaling

Most of this is easy. The hard part is getting out of bed.

To create smooth and memorable meal times.

Meal times are one of my biggest challenges. Everything from being prepared with a menu, to having a tidy kitchen to work in. I tend to rush food out and leave the cleaning for "later". Later comes when it's time for the next meal. Who wants to work in a kitchen like that?! Not me! So, it's time to do something about it. Here are the steps--which are just mini-goals--to get me at this place:

  • menu plan
  • serve buffet style (everything on table), rather than serving each child individually from the stove/counter
  • Read Scripture before or after the meal (while seated at the table)
  • Have everyone take part in kitchen clean-up--dirty dishes to sink, table cleaned off, floor swept, load dishwasher
  • Do my part and clean up counters, stove, sink, etc; have kitchen and dining room ready for next meal.

During meal times I want to have fruitful conversations about life. Create memories, talk about God's goodness and pray for others in need.

Follow my schedule more closely.

Yes, I have struggled with this since day one. But when I do follow closely to my schedule, the day is bliss! I feel accomplished because I have gotten done [even some] of what I set out to do. It gives me a sense of fulfillment when I follow my schedule. So this is an important area for me. The question is, how will I accomplish this feat? I go back to my purpose and be consistent in the everyday essentials.

  • Start with the basics. Follow the schedule for meals and bed time routines.
  • Reorganize tasks to fit into the best time slots and work through them
  • Slowly add in another task -- one every 2-4 weeks -- ones that are not being accomplished, currently
  • Be consistent. Set hand to the plow.

My fear has been that life will get too redundant, so I resist the schedule. But you know what? I feel myself craving it as the days flutter by with little to show. Ann Voskamp said that fear is nothing to be afraid of--it's just the door we push through to get to the other side.

Be intentional about creating an atmosphere of peace.

This is a tough one because with 5 children, 4 of them 5 and under, there is a lot of chaos, whining, screaming, fighting...whatever. That's just life. They are in training and are learning, but in the mean time, I get stressed listening to it. In fact, I tend to react as a result. You'd think after 5 children I'd be used to it by now -- but no. Don't think you can ever get used to it. Maybe not, but I think I can train myself to stop reacting and be proactive on how to cut down on the issues.

  • keep to my schedule, which will cut down on some of this issue
  • teach peacemaking before a problem arises (Young Peacemaker is an excellent resource)
  • have "face time" with each of my children daily (1-on-1 time with each child)
  • don't allow too much free time

This will be a start. Once I put these into practice on a regular, consistent basis I can reevaluate the situation to see if further action needs to be taken.

{Don't count. I actually listed 4 goals}. By no means will I be able to tackle all these goals at once. It will be an ongoing process, probably for months before it becomes more "second nature". But now that I have a clear direction of what my purpose is and some definite needs to fill, I have plenty to do.

Homemaking is not meant to be easy. We can simplify it, but it is still a very challenging role. Resisting and trying to work against our role will only result in more challenges and frustrations. Instead, let's embrace this role so we are free to own it and live it out.

My Goals for 2011

I was going to share a rather lengthy list of goals here, one or two for each month, but the truth is, I really believe God is calling me to simplify even more than that. I have a bad habit of getting into a cycle of all the things I need to "fix" so that my life will be better.  But I can't make my life better. And even if I could, what have I gained? More comfort? More pride?

Am I saying we don't need goals? No. What I am saying is that I need Jesus FIRST and I need to be absolutely certain of what HE wants for me. He is the potter, I am the clay. He is supposed to mold me.

So while I am going to continue to focus on Joy as my word for 2011, I am not going to focus on anything other than Him. And I'm going to focus on nothing other than leading my children to Him, and the only way I can see that happening is by saturating our lives with Him. Allowing Him to invade every part of it, because honestly? I see no other real way for us to serve Him and for my kids to know him, then to give Him all of us.

He cannot be just a 15 minute devotional a day, or a 10 minute Bible story, or a 5 minute memory verse. That's not enough. I want more of Him - for me & for my children. I want less of me and my filthy works. Because who am I really doing them for?

Me.

Not Him.

So, to sum it up, [since I'm still feeling ill], my word is JOY. My goal, is HIM.

If you have posted goals for this year somewhere on your blog, please share your link here.