Monday, August 3, 2009

Managing Your Home...

Home Management and Making a Home
By Crystal Miller

When I think of the word “Homemaking” I think of the word as “Making a Home”. Homemaking is all that goes into making my house a home. Due to my home being a priority to me and perhaps because I have a large family I feel like much of homemaking is good home management. I have felt that it takes a well functioning home to feel like a comfortable home. A home where your family enjoys the time spent and others like to come to your home for refreshment and encouragement. I personally feel like it is hard for me to nurture my family and reach out to others if my life and home are not functioning as they should.

In order to manage a home you have to have a plan. You have to have a basic daily plan on how to keep the home flowing and the work done. A plan consists of routines, good time management, chores maintained, systems of organization, and tools to help you keep it all in order and keep the wheels moving forward in your home. Remember that one of the most important aspects of being a homemaker is creating a loving and peaceful environment for your family.

The housekeeping plan you use needs to be one that works for you and your life. I have read lots of books and read many ideas and used different plans, but ultimately these plans and ideas were not the end in themselves, they were the means to creating my own plan. My home is unique and so is yours. I don’t believe we could follow someone else’s plan exactly and have it work for us. We will tweak it and modify and then find something else and say, “Oh that might work” and try it and tweak that, etc., until after a time what you have is “your” plan.

Obstacles to Planning

Our Attitude
There are obstacles that can make a home management plan difficult. One is our attitude about cleaning a house. Being a homemaker is hard work and it takes a positive attitude and a lot of energy and determination each day. The beauty of it all is that with the right attitude caring for our home can be one of those areas in life where we can learn to get into the rhythm of the tasks and learn to appreciate things like warm soapy dishwater on our cold winter-time hands, the soothing hum of a washing machine going, the smell of dinner wafting through the home, the beauty of a shiny clean kitchen floor, the peace that comes from a home where all is clean and in order.

Any woman can choose to believe that their job is drudgery or they can choose to view it as a service to Christ. I believe that being a homemaker is a ministry of service and love unto Christ to those the Lord has given me to love, nurture and care for. My husband and family are the ones that mean the most to me; they are the closest to my heart. They are the first and foremost ministry in my life. If I begin to think of other things I would rather be doing then laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc., I realize that I have neglected to view my role from God’s perspective and that is as His servant. There is something humbling about serving others, washing the feet of our loved ones in these tasks; something that can, if we allow it, help to put our heart and attitudes in the right place. It can change our view of the work we do each day. If Jesus walked into your home you would do everything possible to serve Him while He was in your home. Well ladies, He IS in your home and you are serving Him each day as you go about your task of raising up godly children and caring for and keeping a home for you husband and family (Matt. 25:40 And the King will answer and say to them, ”Assuredly, I say to you inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me”).

Many years ago when I began my quest to manage my home better I evaluated all the busyness in my life and looked at what things might be preventing me from managing my home better. I decided that if I am not able to take care of my home in such a way that shows that I have control over my domain then I may need to lessen what I currently have going on and not add any more to my schedule.

I have always been a person who would bite off more than I could chew so to speak. I don’t think I am alone with this either, as I talk to other women who deal with the same issue. I would take on more projects than I could handle, I volunteered for more than I should have, and I made plans that were beyond my abilities or time. The end result was always the same; something would suffer.

When I am too busy the first thing to suffer is always my home. It becomes a mess, laundry backs up, and clutter is a big problem. Then my children are next; attitude problems, discipline issues not being handled well, little ones not getting enough mommy time. Of course meals suffer; boxed cereal, instant, expensive and typically unhealthy food is served. All for the sake of not having my home under control.

The dividing line for outside busyness and effectively managing a home will be drawn in a different place for each of us. I am not saying that all outside activity needs to stop, that would be unrealistic. But rather when life has too much going on, it is much more difficult to manage a home as it should be managed. I had to make very different choices in my life in order to achieve my goals.

Time Management
Problems in good home management can also come from our time not being used as efficiently as possible. I know that it can be somewhat depressing for someone to look around and see that they don’t have control over their home or don’t have as much control as they feel they should and think it is hopeless, I might as well just continue on because I can’t ever get it under control. But let me encourage you that my experience is that as I have worked to organize, deal with clutter, create and implement systems of operation in my home and learn to use my time wisely that my skill level in these areas has increased, my efficiency has increased and I am able to train my children to work along side me and eventually move beyond the basics and accomplish other things in my life.

The first thing to remember is that there are only 24 hours in a day. We can’t expect to find anymore time available than this! We need to sleep a certain amount of those hours; we need wake up time and unwinding time and personal time. That calculates into only so many available hours to do all the other things we would like. These available hours should be viewed as precious time to accomplish the work the Lord has given us!

Be realistic about what you can do with the hours you have. Know your limits, your strengths and your weaknesses. I remember planting a huge garden one year. That was great except for the fact that I was due to have my 5th baby at the beginning of September. The same time all my tomatoes were ripe and ready. I personally did not have the energy to go from birth to canning in the same week! I was still struggling to care for my new baby (which was the 3rd baby in less in than 3 years) and recover and regain some energy. I was not very realistic about what I could accomplish. I wanted to do it all and I physically could not.

Recognize the things in our life that rob time from us. Over commitment, the telephone, the computer, laziness, hobbies that need to put off until the house is in order. Once you have a good handle on time management you will find it much simpler to accomplish the basic priorities.

In Summary
Time spent making and managing a home for my family will be a value passed on not only to my children but to future generations too. I think of the legacy left to me by my hard working, home loving, dedicated grandmothers and I know I can leave this same legacy for my grandchildren.

Managing my home is a mission that the Lord has given me. I always want to remember that homemaking is not a job to be avoided but a job to embrace and live to its’ full potential. This is one major area that is so easy to run from. It can be hard work to run a well managed home. This is a challenge that we as homemakers can embrace and be successful. It requires a determination to succeed and a plan. I don’t mind hard work and I don’t mind working towards these goals when I know that my hard work and my goals are for the purpose of something worthy. And certainly raising a family in such a way as to honor Christ is a worthy purpose.

An excerpt from:
Managing a Home: Tips, Organizational Advice and Practical
How-To’s from a Mother of 8

A new eBook from The Family Homestead

1 comment:

oma aka meme said...

thank you for sharing- some very good thoughts-- hugs from Meme


Jeremiah 6:16
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.

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