Monday, November 10, 2008

Week I -- Day II -- Laying a Foundation

I confess that I started our Project Home Economics one day early. :) I'm anxious to see what our adventures in homemaking will bring. Be sure to read Sunday's post before this one. Just catch up as you can.

Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain...
Psalm 127:1

Basic Challenge: For beginners and for those of us who find it hard to stick to routine. (Advanced home keepers who already have routines in place can skip this step.)
In addition to basic daily care of your person and also meals, washing dishes and wiping kitchen counters, develop a 15 minute routine of basic chores. Write your routine in your home economics notebook. Commit to following this routine for 90 days or until it becomes a habit. Do this routine every day before you tackle any other project. No matter how alluring it might seem to re-arrange the furniture in your living room, do not do it until you have done your basic routine. Remember, a few chores done consistently go a long way toward keeping a home pleasant. Keep this routine simple enough that you can accomplish it with company in the home, a new baby in the family, or when you're not feeling up to par. (We'll excuse you if you have the flu!)

Mothers: Help your children develop a basic 15 minute routine, as well. Make it age appropriate -- more about that when we discuss the nurturing of children. Even children who are too young to read can follow a simple chart with drawn pictures. Don't expect perfection in the beginning. Patiently teach and train. This is at least an 18 year process!

Here's my routine -- As much as I have time for in 15 minutes: Make bed, clean toilet in master bathroom, sweep kitchen floor and possibly front hall, tidy the living room and/or any other areas that need it, perhaps start a load of laundry. Make your own routine based on your own needs. As Flylady says, "You can do anything for fifteen minutes."

Extra reading, if you are interested: Self-Discipline is the Queen of Everything.
Helping Autistic Children Develop Daily Routines.
Creating Cleaning Routines in the Home

Advanced challenge: Are you a natural born keeper at home? Or, have you gained experience through years of trial and error? If so, how are you passing your heart for your home along to younger women? Younger women must decide for themselves if they will take advantage of the opportunity to learn. Some will and some won't. However, it's great to ponder how you can present yourself to them in such a way that will open doors for training younger women.

Here are a couple of ideas to spur your thinking: 1) Be quick to listen and slow to speak. Let your words of advice be few and well timed. 2) Be the first to welcome any new neighbors to your area. Take a dish or a meal. Invite younger women into your home. 3) Cultivate an aura of warmth about you. As we grow older, this can be challenging. For one thing, the lines in our faces want to droop from gravity unless we make an effort to keep a cheerful expression. Also, we may be suffering from the natural pangs of aging, and this can show in our demeanor. Our look can intimidate younger women without our even knowing it, for they often mistake a look of fatigue on an older woman's face as a look of disapproval. If we go out of our way to make younger women feel appreciated by us, they will learn that we really do care about them. They will feel freer to open up to us and to accept thoughtful training. 4) Post about your cleaning routines on your blog and place the link in the comments section.

Practice and Perseverance: A Lifelong Process

I was in the home of a very new bride. Her husband was a minister, and she seemed quite happy and enthusiastic about their move to our city to help with our church. All of a sudden, however, she burst into tears.

"I wanted to be an excellent wife so badly," she cried.

This tenderhearted bride was coping with a cross-country move, adjustment to a new city, some health challenges, and, if I remember correctly, the lack of an example when growing up of how to be an excellent wife. Yet, she expected that immediately upon marriage to her beloved husband, she would be all that the Proverbs 31 wife is. That was several years ago, and she and her husband have built a wonderful marriage.

Becoming the wife of excellent skill and character takes time. You might even say it takes a life time, because we can always travel on to new heights. Of course, the earlier in life you begin, the easier and better your home keeping will be. But, it's never too late to start.

Learning to obey and to trust the Lord is a process that takes discipline and practice. Paul says, "Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness." I Tim. :7 NASB. This is a daily process.

God will mold us to be women of excellence. The glory will be His, for we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which he prepared in advance for us to do. If we trust that He is working in our lives and if we trustfully follow His word, He will mold us into the image of Christ. He will help us walk like Christ in our homes, as well.

We depend on the Lord's power, because we cannot achieve this life on our own. We trustfully obey the Lord out of love for Him and faith that what He tells us is true. We are confident that if we obey and trust, he will fulfill his promise to make us His workmanship.

This process takes a lifetime. As Linda Dillow says, "If God wants to grow a cabbage, he can do it in a few months, but if he wants to grow an oak tree, He has a decreed that it will take Him a lifetime. God produces oak-tree Christians -- Christians with deep root, who have learned obedience, who have strong trunks that are not easily swayed by winds or trials. Settle on his ultimate objective and purpose in your heart to be faithful to trust and obey now! Trust the Lord to do what He has promised in his own time and in his own way."

A great football player has achieved his skills through countless practice sessions. A great pianist has practiced the scales every day for years and years. In the same way, a great keeper at home becomes that way over years, by daily giving her heart to her Lord, her family, and her home.


1 comment:

Seraphim said...

I wanted to leave a few words of encouragement for you :) Thank you for your time in writing them. I have been making notes in my notebook for yesterday's excercise and I hope to be able to work on todays this evening... prehaps I'll post some pictures of my notebook!

Thank you again :)