HOMEKEEPING

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The Beauty of Daily Rituals

"A clean sink

How to keep a house (almost) clean

I'm sure I'm like you. I want my home to be a comfortable, beautifully decorated, clean and organized home of hospitality. A haven for myself and all who enter here where deep conversation, nourishing food, fun entertainment, and laughter fill the atmosphere. Ane a sanctuary of prayer and fellowship with the Holy Spirit, where good music, beautiful art, and the scent of fresh herbs and florals fill the senses. I want to enjoy and nurture relationships. But I do not want to be a slave to homekeeping. I want to enjoy life. But working full time left only fringe hours for all the rest. 

 

When I was younger, I was organized. It's not that I had more time. I just had fewer priorities. A big block green calendar hung over my kitchen sink which I reviewed every morning as I washed my breakfast dishes. Every 15 minutes was marked on this calendar, from the moment I got up in the morning, to the moment I went to bed, with downtime breaks included. But as time went on activities increased. Bible Studies -- Church activities, volunteer opportunities, new relationships, a dog (A BIG dog), family obligations out of state... Pretty soon all the plates spinning on all those poles began to tumble and crash.

That's when I found two books that changed my life. Living a Beautiful Life, by Alexandra Stoddard, and Sidetracked Home Executives, by Pam Young and Peggy Jones. Both of these books were inspirational and led me down a path of the possible where home organization and home haven could meet.  Both are still my go-to life-on-track course. And for all the tracking systems, notebooks, files, color-coded systems, planners, apps, and software I've tried, they are still the best. Later I found the FlyLady, with Marla _____ and her homekeeping tips have now become a go-to for cleaning projects and shortcuts. Two of her best tips? Never go to bed until the sink is clean. And always dress in the morning before you begin your day, including your shoes. It makes an amazing difference to wear your shoes when you clean your house. Don't ask. Try it.

The secret to an (almost) clean home you invite neighbors in for a  spontaneous cup of tea? Find what consistently works for you. And keep it simple. Or in her own famous words: 

“Life is too short for you to be the caretaker of the wrong details.”
― Alexandra Stoddard

5 Easy Steps to a Beautiful Life

Living a Beautiful Life encompasses more than a list of goals and tasks. Your life is not a one-time project, it is an eternal work in progress. God wants his children whole. "Salvation" comes from the Greek word soteria, which means, "Nothing missing, nothing broken" and it includes salvation for all things that have to do with your beautiful life -- Body, Soul, Spirit, Financial, and Social compartments of life. 

1)   Spirit - First Things First

Nothing sets the tone for the day like offering the first fruits your time to Jesus. Gloria Copeland says she learned early on to present a "tithe" of the day to God -- at least 2 1/2 hours first thing in the morning. She said even with a hectic travel schedule it was a rare day when she did not get up before dawn and make her way to a private space to pray and offer praise to God. Jesus set the example, recorded in Mark 1:35:

 

And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.

Turn on praise music or "soaking" songs and give yourself to the Lord, renewed and refreshed each morning. Blow the shofar or listen to the recorded sounds of victory in the spirit realm. Sounds of triumph, peace, repentance before a holy God. Wake up the dawn with the sound of your voice joining the saints and angels in heaven.

2}  Soul Care - Establish Daily Rituals

One of the most healing and healthy things you can do for yourself is to establish order in your home. To make your home a haven of rest for family, friends, neighbors and yourself! It may take some doing at first to find a place for everything and everything in its place, but it's possible with a few daily rituals.

 

Now, daily rituals are not the same as chores! They have a whole new meaning when you begin to view them as part of life, not just the stuff you have to get out of the way to enjoy life. Daily Rituals are to be just as much enjoyed as a glass infused water with fresh berries and lime on a porch swing overlooking a view of the river. They, too, are "Ahh..." moments.

Over the years I’ve found I can focus on daily housekeeping routines that work for me, and I’m sticking to them. By breaking it into daily bites, I am able to keep up. Some of the techniques I learned from the Sidetracked system. Some were adapted to fit my schedule and temperament. No longer is Saturday "cleaning day" and I am able to manage my life, instead of being driven by chores and tasks. 

There are some basics to my daily rituals -- the must do every day list, like Make the Bed, Pick up/Tidy up each room as you enter it, Put dishes in the dishwasher or wash by hand and always leave a clean sink every night, and

Swipe through the bathrooms after hair and makeup every morning. But the details to organizing and keeping an (almost) clean home are with this secret:

Clean one room per day. 

This is a trick I learned from Side Tracked Home Executives. Pick a room (or two if you have a large home) and clean that room only on a designated day.  It goes a long way in eliminating the guilt of "Oh, I think I'll do that tomorrow!" You can indeed do it tomorrow if Monday is your "Kitchen Day" and you see a project in the Guest Bedroom. 

My weekly schedule goes like this:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3) Body Care - Self Care. Now, I'll admit, this is one I have yet to master. Working full time for all of my adult life, volunteering, study of the word, family obligations -- downtime has been time to collapse, not self care. But I am learning this may be the most important element to a Beautiful Life because not only is it about taking care of the body, but self-care restores emotional and mental health. Eating nourishing meals and establishing a food plan that works for your body and lifestyle is essential. Exercise, I have learned, is not only intentional but comes naturally when the body feels good. Strength is the element which renews youth. Sarah received "strength" to conceive when she was in her old age. Now you may not want to have a baby at 90, but wouldn't you like to feel like a 22 year old woman when you're 90! I say yes to long life!

4) Social Care - Entertaining the people we love and engaging in community love is part of how we're wired. I find that having 5 easy entertaining menus, with supplies onhand, can make for a party at the drop of a hat! I share my menus in one of our FREE GIFTS in later episodes. Stay tuned!

5) Financial Care Establishing a budget and accounting for spending is essential to financial health. Starting early with a savings plan is something we all wish we'd done. And today there are not so many jobs with the benefit of a 40lK matching funds plan, however, if you're that kind of lucky, be sure and participate! For entrepreneurs and wage jobbers, you're not left out! God has a Kingdom Plan which includes you, too! Just remember when God put Adam and Eve in the Garden it was fully furnished. That means there's an Eden for you and me! Self-discipline is important, but so is having a vision. Tell God what it is you want. How do you SEE your life? What is your dream? Can you SEE it? If you can see it, it can happen. Write the vision, make it clear -- and call forth on earth as in heaven the provision -- the "Eden" -- for that vision.

I hope you'll find one or more of these tips helpful toward your Beautiful Life! Please be sure to LIKE and SHARE!

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