Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Book Series: Women Living Well - Chapter 17



Making Your Home a Haven

     "Home." What sentiments does that arouse within you? Is it a place you delight in and eagerly anticipate returning to at times. Or, is it a place you detest and returning met with fierce resistance? The home has a powerful impact on one's life. I'm mindful of the kind of home my child will grow up in, and if it is/will be the kind of place that will bring joy to his life long after he is grown and moved out. 

     I want my child to think fondly of his home, and enjoy being here. I want my husband to find rest and joy at home upon his return at the end of the day. I also want friends to feel welcomed in our home. It's tempting to think that more pleasing decor or elements of entertainment would make the home a haven. However, even with all these elements in place a certain depth would remain missing. I could have all the decorative elements, utmost style and entertaining gadgets or toys in our home, but the space would remain empty without meaning presence of people. 

     That presence begins with me. Courtney says it perfectly when she says, "It is not the things we have or the things we do not have that make our homes a haven. It's you ... you are the key to making a home a haven" (pg. 173). My demeanor contributes significantly to the well-being of my home. As Courtney says, "When I am tense, the rest of the family is tense. When I am crabby, my family is crabby right back at me. I want to have a peaceful home, and I have learned that it starts with me (pg. 172). My attitude, energy and overall character will either build up or tear down our home.

      I'm not always mindful of this truth. Today was a prime example as it was one of those days which started two steps behind and then battled exhaustion, stress and meltdowns. My attitude, energy and overall character stunk, and consequently so did my home. Fortunately, this goal of a positive and pleasing presence within the home is always one that can be worked towards. Tomorrow is yet another opportunity to make my home a haven for my family and guests. 
    


*Note: Reviving Homemaking is not an affiliate of www.womenlivingwell.org or the publishing companies (Thomas Nelson & HarperCollins Christian Publishing). No compensation has been received by either of these entities for the review of the book. All opinions are my own. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Book Series: Women Living Well - Chapter 16

Juggling Homemaking, Ministry, and Work

I was fortunate to grow up with a mostly stay-at-home mom. My mom stayed at home with my brother and I until I entered junior high. She then went back to work part-time, but it was flexible so it was something which could work around our family's schedule. When I went to college, she went back to work full-time as a nurse. Working outside the home was necessary as we got older and our household expenses increased, but my mom found a way to juggle both work and family. Likewise, my husband grew up with a mom who worked part-time, but worked as a nurse so it was only on the weekends. 

Going into marriage, our backgrounds have certainly impacted the decisions my husband and I are making now, in light of a future with children. We are currently buying a house on my husband's income only in light of my desire to be a mostly stay-at-home mom. I am also exploring ways I can supplement our household income while still putting our family first.

Each of us wears many hats in one day. Some days it seems as if our best efforts are never enough and we can't please anyone around us. It is easy to feel overwhelmed and exhausted all the time. However, I don't think God desires for us to live our lives overwhelmed and exhausted.

I am learning it is okay to say "no" sometimes in order to be available to say "yes" to the specific things God has called me to do. In order to know which things I am called to do, I must ensure I am making time for quiet times with God a daily priority.

I love this quote and graphic Courtney Joseph shared on Facebook:



Proverbs 31:

The Wife of Noble Character
10 A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. 11 Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. 12 She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. 13 She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. 14 She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. 15 She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. 16 She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. 17 She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. 18 She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. 19 In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. 20 She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. 21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. 22 She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. 23 Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. 24 She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. 25 She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. 26 She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. 27 She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. 28 Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 29 "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all." 30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. 31 Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

I don't know about you, but this list seems daunting and unable to attain. However, I underlined part of verse 30 which is my ultimate goal in becoming a godly woman. If I am to be a good wife to my husband (and all the other hats I wear in my life), I must seek to seek God's will first in my life. I must keep my eyes focused on who I am willing to please...God. He is watching me and notices all the little things I do for my family even when it seems like no one else does. 

THINK ABOUT IT:
How can knowing “who you work for” help you to obtain a godly attitude as you go about your tasks at home? Write out a two or three sentence mission statement that sums up for whom and why you tackle your work at home.

In Christ,
Arin
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