27Apr

A Peaceful Home Part 8: Revolutionize Your To-Do List

This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Serving Joyfully.

A Peaceful Home to-do list

Yesterday, we talked about the big things in our schedules, and today we’re going to talk about the nitty gritty of our daily tasks and to-do lists. No matter how much we simplify our schedules, there are some things that just need to be done. The way we approach these tasks can help or hinder us when it comes to the overall tone of our homes.

A few years ago, I began something that revolutionized my life. It’s very simple, but it was absolutely a game-changer for me…Pray over your to-do list. 

During my quiet time in the morning, I write out my to-do list for the day. It can be as general or detailed as you like. I am a list maker, so mine might be more detailed than yours. Then I pray over each and every item on the list. 

Prioritize

Nothing ruins your peace (and that of your home) like having a to-do list 20 items long, especially when you cannot reasonably get it all done. Don’t set yourself up for failure. 

If you have too many tasks and chores on your to-do list, you may feel stressed, overwhelmed, and overburdened. This does not make for a peaceful home! The solution? Prioritize your to-do list.

After praying over my to-do list, I make a “top 3″ list. Those are the things that must get done each day. This helps me not feel so overwhelmed, because that list of 3 items is doable. It also helps me to be intentional about which items are completed.

Work before play

This one is tricky because there are some people who should probably lighten up a bit and play more. However, for many of us this is a good way to be more productive, engaged with your day, and to waste less time. Don’t do the fun things, until you earn them. 

How many times have you wasted hours on facebook, pinterest, etc. while your housework wasn’t being done (or maybe it’s just me!) Don’t let that be an option–finish the work first, and you can better enjoy the fun.

Be aware of your personal time wasters and make it a point to avoid them, at least until your work is finished and you’ve earned it.

Action Steps

  • Start your day with something productive. Every morning, I start the day by making my bed. It makes such a difference in the overall “neat” feeling of the bedroom, and it starts my day out, first thing, on a productive note. It also prepares me for resting and relaxing at the end of the day. Maybe you don’t care about a made bed, but start your day with something productive. It sets the tone for the day.
  • Dress for success. Research has shown that people are more productive when they are dressed for it. That’s not to say you should be dressed to the nines everyday, but take a shower and change out of the jammies and yoga pants most days.
  • Finish a task before moving on. Multi-tasking is a myth. In most cases, it doesn’t work effectively. Yes, in some cases it works and is necessary, but there are days when I have “multi-tasked” all day long and ended up with most of my chores being partially finished, and nothing completely done.
  • Make it a family-affair. Just like with meal prep, daily chores are best shared. Everyone in the family can and should help out in some way. There are many age-appropriate chores for little ones.
  • Give yourself a break. We could never be completely caught up on everything involved with housekeeping and homemaking. It just isn’t possible. There is always something that needs to be done. But we have to also make time to enjoy the lives we’re building. For us, that’s usually in the evening beginning with supper time. We relax. We don’t stress about what needs done. Those things can wait until tomorrow.

Give your all to each day. So many nights, I have lain in bed, stressed and feeling guilty about the things I didn’t get done that day, or the time wasted. I have found that when I have truly given my all to the day and worked diligently, then it’s much easier to take that time to rest and relax without feeling guilty.

Additional Articles & Resources

  1. The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle–100 great resources in every area of homemaking! And, you save 97% when you get the whole bundle!
  2. FREE Household Planner–This is one of the best household planners I have seen, and it is completely free. It includes a version with tasks and chores already listed out for you. There are some upgrades available for pay, but scroll down to the bottom and enter your email address to get the free version of the planner. It is very detailed.
  3. Tell Your Time (book)
  4. Filling the Time Jar

Feeling Overwhelmed?

Ultimate Homemaking Bundle-- What a deal!!!

I’ve mentioned The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle this week and I hope you’ve had a chance to check it out. It’s an amazing collection of resources to support your homemaking (and your daily to-do lists!)

You get all of these and more–100 ebooks, ecourses, and bonuses for just $29.97 total!

Get The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle here. Or see why I love the homemaking bundle. And, see the exclusive bonuses I’m offering to my readers.

It’s only available until Monday so you’ll want to get it while you can!

This is a part of the “Peaceful Home” series. Visit the landing page to follow along with all the related posts. 

A Peaceful Home

 Photo Credit

25Apr

A Peaceful Home Part 7: Time

This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Serving Joyfully.

A Peaceful Home Schedule

As busy moms, sometimes it can feel as if we are being pulled in every direction at once. We have soccer, little league, church activities, organizations, serving others, and maybe even a full-time or part time job on top of it all. We have meals to prepare, a house to clean, and the hours in the day can seem just too short.

In the midst of all this, there is a fact that we sometimes forget…You control your schedule. 

If we are so busy that we don’t make time for Him, or that we are harried and frazzled, and grumpy to our families, then maybe we are too busy. 

It’s hard to make our homes havens if we are never there. Even harder if we are grumpy and frazzled when we are there.

Control Your Schedule

Every commitment should be weighed heavily and prayed over. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do anything. It just means that we should be more intentional about it, realizing that every “yes” is also a “no” to something else.

The secret to peace in your schedule is learning to say “no.”

In putting together my Homemaker’s Quiet Time Journal, I ran across this quote from Elisabeth Elliot

“If we really have too much to do, there are some items on the agenda which God did not put there. Let us submit the list to Him and ask Him to indicate which items we must delete. There is always time to do the will of God. If we are too busy to do that, we are too busy.”

Sometimes we need to remove things from our schedules.

Plan & Prepare

Maybe you’ve already whittled down your schedule and there is nothing left but necessary things. Sometimes there really isn’t anything we can remove from the schedule.

I’ve seen many people say that they don’t like to plan because it’s too constricting. I would argue the opposite. Your schedule, routine, or plan is not a restriction. The 24 hours we each get in a day is the restriction.

Having a plan for your day allows you to be more flexible, because you are at the reigns. Don’t let your day happen to you (that’s a good way for me to waste too much time on facebook!). Be actively engaged with your day, and see how much more productive and content you can be, even with a full schedule.

This doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as simple as sitting down the night before, or first thing in the morning and getting a mental handle on what you have coming up, and making any preparations that could help it run more smoothly.

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Action Steps

Here are some more practical steps you can take to gaining peace in your schedule:

  • Pray. Pray over commitments before taking on new things. Pray over your to-do list. Pray, pray, pray. And, for Heaven’s sake, don’t ever be too busy for reading your Bible and spending time with the Lord.
  • Prioritize. You can’t do it all. Accept it. And once you accept it, prioritize. What things are most important to your family? Once you have decided this, make sure your schedule reflects it. If your actions don’t reflect your values, you will feel constant tension in your spirit.
  • Value family time. Family time shouldn’t be what happens only on the rare occasion that there isn’t something else to do. Family time should be something that you schedule around. Something that you are committed to making sure it happens.
  • Embrace Routines. We will never have our lives scheduled out down to 15 minute increments. That just isn’t us. However, routines can be powerful in getting things done. Find something that works for your family and use it to take control of your time.
  • Take care of yourself. If you are over-committed, it can be tempting to forsake your health in the name of productivity. Maybe you skip meals for lack of time, grab processed convenience food on the go, or you stay up too late/get up too early and aren’t getting the rest you need. We need rest to be able to function to the best of our ability, and to joyfully serve our families (a lack of rest brings out grumpy mom!)
  • Leave Margin. If you have every second of your day scheduled with something, you are setting yourself up for failure. Things come up, and we need to leave margin for dealing with those unexpected things.

Additional Articles & Resources

  1. The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle–100 great resources in every area of homemaking! And, you save 97% when you get the whole bundle!
  2. FREE Household Planner–This is one of the best household planners I have seen, and it is completely free. There are some upgrades available for pay, but scroll down to the bottom and enter your email address to get the free version of the planner. It is very detailed.
  3. My Time is Not My Own
  4. The Best Yes (book)
  5. Tell Your Time (book)
  6. Filling the Time Jar

The Giveaway

planner giveaway

A few months ago, I learned about Inner Guide planners. This planner is absolutely amazing! It’s not just a schedule of times and events. It is a life planner. There are spaces for just about everything in this planner, and it includes monthly planning pages as well as weekly. Love it!

And, they are generously giving one away to one of you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

This is a part of the “Peaceful Home” series. Visit the landing page to follow along with all the related posts. 

A Peaceful Home

 Photo Credit

 

24Apr

A Peaceful Home Part 6: Housekeeping

This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Serving Joyfully.

A peaceful home housekeeping

You probably knew it was coming. Laundry. Dirty dishes. Clutter.

It’s hard to be peaceful inside if we are surrounded by a cluttered mess. I’m not saying your home should be perfect, but a peaceful home is neat and tidy enough that we can use our spaces. We should be able to walk from room to room without fear of tripping, sit down on the couch without moving a pile of laundry, or find something when we need it.

A well-ordered home inspires a peaceful feeling.

I promised earlier in the week that I was going to share my cleaning secret with you, and here it is–the 10-minute tidy.

10 minutes is a short amount of time. No matter how busy you are, you can find just 10 minutes in your day. But at the same time, it is powerful!

  • You can do a lot in 10 minutes. Yes, it’s short enough to be doable, but it’s still plenty of time to be productive. You might be surprised at how much you can get accomplished in just 10 minutes.
  • Consistency is key. Do this every single day (we do it twice–once just before my husband comes home from work, and once just before bedtime).

Spending just 10 minutes, 1-2 times a day tidying up the house can help you keep your home from getting out of hand. Another bonus is that productivity is motivating! Many times after I finish that first 10 minutes, I’m motivated to do more things that need to be done.

So, make it a point to spend 10 minutes tidying up each day. Get your kids involved and race the timer. Make it fun!

Action Steps

Other things that I have found helpful in housekeeping,

  • Declutter. Most of us have too much stuff! That stuff weighs us down, and clutters up our homes. Get rid of things you don’t need.
  • Practice gratitude. Cleaning can be a bit of a drag. One day, I overheard my son in his room picking up his toys. As he picked up each item, he thanked God for it. What a difference it would make in the tone of our homes if we were to practice gratitude in the midst of the drudgery of laundry and dirty dishes.
  • Listen to music. I love to listen to music while I’m doing housework! My current favorite is this CD.
  • Start fresh. As much as possible, I like to start fresh each day. That means that dishes are washed the night before and rooms have been at least tidied up before bedtime. This makes a world of difference. Starting the day with a messy house means that you’re behind from the first minute you wake up. I love to wake up to a clean house!
  • Maintain. Consistency is key when it comes to keeping house, and slowly I have learned to implement this. Working just a little bit each day will keep your home well-ordered and help make it a haven for your family.

Additional Articles & Resources

bundle cleaning organizing

bundle buy now green

  1. The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle–100 great resources in every area of homemaking! And, you save 97% when you get the whole bundle! (Includes several cleaning and housekeeping resources!)
  2. Do it HeartilyScripture tells us, “whatever you do, do it heartily as unto the Lord…even housework?
  3. FREE Household Planner–This is one of the best household planners I have seen, and it is completely free. There are some upgrades available for pay, but scroll down to the bottom and enter your email address to get the free version of the planner. It is very detailed.
  4. 28 Days to Hope for Your Home (eBook)
  5. Loving our family through doing their laundry (Lessons from the Amish)
  6. 31 Days to Clean (blog series)
  7. 21 Days to a more disciplined life (eBook)
  8. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home (includes free ebook and printables from Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom)

The Giveaway

Epantry Guarantee

For most of us, cleaning is a bit of a drudgery. But, with some new natural cleaning products delivered to your door it can be just a bit better, don’t you think? ePantry specializes in natural cleaning producs–brands you trust like Mrs. Meyer, 7th Generation, Method, and more. Get a variety of items delivered right to your door, and at a great savings. Check out ePantry and get started with a free $10 credit. Thanks to ePantry for sponsoring today’s giveaway!

One winner will receive a $50 customized spring cleaning basket from ePantry! Enter via the widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is a part of the “Peaceful Home” series. Visit the landing page to follow along with all the related posts. 

A Peaceful Home

 Photo Credit

24Apr

The one where I convince you it’s worth it.

This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Serving Joyfully.

This post contains affiliate links.

Bundle custom

Photo Credit

Maybe you’ve seen the posts about this awesome Ultimate Homemaking Bundle, but you need just a bit more convincing. I included some basics in my previous post, but today I have compiled my top 20 favorite things about this bundle.

1. The value! Okay, so I know that $30 can be hard to come by sometimes. But, this library of resources is worth over $1,200!! There are 99 eBooks and resources including audio, online conferences, courses, etc. That is the kind of savings that you just don’t see…ever. {And, see this post for some tips if you want it but don’t think you can afford it}

2. The Bonuses. Nearly $300 worth of product bonuses, including an online fitness course, a beautiful scarf from Deborah & Co., online site memberships and many more. {Plus, I am adding exclusive bonuses just for you).

3. Free print book delivered to you for…FREE. Okay, so this is really a part of the bonuses, but it’s my favorite one so it deserved it’s own number. You get a free print book–of YOUR choice from their generous selection–and with free shipping from Tyndale. And, sign up here first prior to redeeming that bonus for a bonus of 25 points to start out with.

4. Mother’s Day! Mother’s Day is coming up, and this is a perfect time to treat yourself, or someone else with an amazing library of resources.

bundle buy now orange

5. It’s like having a homemaking mentor. I wasn’t taught anything about homemaking as a girl. Everything I’ve learned has been trial and error. It’s true that homemaking isn’t rocket science, but there are things that would be easier with help. Sometimes it’s nice to learn from the mistakes of those who’ve come before you instead of making your own. With this set of books you can do just that. Let these bloggers and authors come alongside you and share their expertise and camaraderie.

5.  Great Customer Service. I know I mentioned this before, but there is a 30 day refund policy and the coordinators offer some amazing customer service. They truly want to see people’s lives changed by the bundles that they offer.

6. The books come pre-organized! If you can download the entire collection at once, they come pre-organized, sorted into category folders for you! How is that for easy and no-fuss? Plus, you can download all or part of the books–completely up to you. Just get what you need, and you have an entire year to download them.

7. 5 books. For the most part, that is how many books you’d have to purchase to make the bundle “worth it.” Some of these books sell for $5, while others sell for closer to $10+. On average, if you intend to purchase just 5 of these books, you’ll still come out saving money…and getting 90+ more books and resources for free.

Homemaking Bundle

8. GREAT for newbies! This would be a perfect gift for a new homemaker who is just getting started. If you have recently made the commitment to be a stay-at-home mom, or to take your duties as a homemaker more seriously, this is a wonderful investment. Build yourself an instant library that you can download and then turn to when new situations arise.

9. It’s not JUST for newbies! I have been a wife and homemaker for nearly 10 years. I’ve been a mother for 7 1/2. Can I make a shocking confession? I don’t have it all figured out!! There are things that I can learn, things that I can do better, and I am excited to have this resource available to me as I learn and seek to better myself and my family.

10. The Healthy Home Course. This course, all by itself, would cost you $95! One of our goals for this year was to live more natural lives–looking toward natural medicine, home remedies, and real food. This course covers many of the aspects of natural medicine that I have been wanting to learn. It is in depth and the course gives you access to a lot of other material from Vintage Remedies as well. This course alone is worth the cost of the entire bundle!

Bundle highlight healthy home

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11. Be Challenged and encouraged. I love the mixture of resources available. Some of them offer great strategies, tips, and advice. Some offer encouragement, while others bring conviction and inspire us to be better mothers and homemakers. We need all of that, and you can find it in this bundle.

12. It’s not just for grown-ups. In the midst of all the great resources for you, there are a few great ones sprinkled in for your kiddos too, both for homeschooling and to increase their faith.

13. My book! Did I mention that my book is included in the collection? I am honored to be included in this bundle of resources, and I am so very excited about this book and it is my prayer that it will help women to focus on their quiet time and make it a priority.

homemakers journal 3D

14. Your favorite bloggers.  The books in this bundle are written by your favorite bloggers. They are professional and high-quality, yet most of them are also very casual and relatable. They are easy to read and feels more like coffee with a friend.

bundle authors

15. Bible-based healthy living encouragement. Like I have said a few times here, we want a healthier, more natural lifestyle. However, we aren’t looking for fads. This bundle has many resources for doing just that.

bundle buy now green

16. A completely NEW bundle. This bundle is completely different than the ones in previous years. If you have purchased a previous homemaking bundle, you can get all new resources, and several different bonuses with this one.

17. Get a FREE $25 code to my printables store! When you purchase through my link, you’ll get a free $25 gift code to my online store in addition to all the books and bonuses in the bundle. All you have to do is forward your receipt to crystal (at) serving joyfully (dot) com, and I will get you your code. And, you’re going to want that code, because I have some fun new products coming very soon! (I will be delivering all bonuses on Tuesday, 4/28)

18. Printables. There are some great printables included in this bundle, including the awesome Sweet Life planner from my friend Laura.

19. You do not want to miss out. Every time there is a sale like this, the coordinators get tons of emails afterward from people who didn’t know about it in time, or who waited too long and missed out. You do not want to miss out. I did that with the very first homemaking bundle, and I still regret it sometimes! Yes, I need to move on, and my life went on…but don’t regret it. You only have 2 more days, so get yours now.

20. It’s fun. Okay, I might have a bit of an obsession with books. Especially bargain books. So, getting nearly 100 of them for just $29.97 is exciting to me!

So, what are you waiting for? Get yours now.

bundle buy now purple

 

 

24Apr

A Peaceful Home Part 5: Meals

This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Serving Joyfully.

a peaceful home meals

By the time a woman dies, she will have spent approximately 1,938,485 hours in her kitchen.

Okay, I completely made that up, but 3 meals per day, times 7 days per week, times 52 weeks per year…well, you get the idea!

Meals are a huge part of a homemaker’s life. Whether you love cooking or hate it, you need to make peace with it, because the responsibility isn’t going away any time soon. It’s one of those non-negotiable things.

Our families want to eat. 3 times a day.

Because meals are such a huge part of a homemaker’s life, it can easily make or break the peace in our homes. Mamas, we need to master this.

The secret to mastering mealtime

The good news is that in order to master mealtime, we don’t need to become gourmet chefs. Your cooking skills can be completely average and still provide a peaceful home. In fact, Proverbs 15:17 tells us,

Better a small serving of vegetables with love, than a fattened calf with hatred. 

Your family would rather have a simple meal prepared with love and served with joy, than a fancy meal and a grumpy mama.

You can do this and the secret is amazingly simple…plan ahead.

When I found the photo above, I was immediately struck by the joy on the woman’s face. This woman is peaceful and content. She finds joy in serving her family.

I don’t know anything about this woman, but I can tell you this–she had a plan.

This woman did not procrastinate and run into her kitchen at 5:00 or 6:00 in the evening, throwing around frozen meat and vegetables.

I know this isn’t the first you’ve heard about meal planning, but I want to tell you a few things you might not know:

  • It will save you money. Being intentional about your meals saves you money. It decreases the amount of food wasted, helps you work with sales and your pantry, and it helps you plan for busy nights to eliminate eating out.
  • It doesn’t have to be complicated. Your meal plan can be as detailed or as general as you like. You might plan every meal for 2 weeks at a time, or you might just wing it for some meals, but sit down on Sunday night and plan your dinners for the week. Maybe you evaluate the night before and decide what you’ll eat. You might even practice freezer-cooking and prepare complete meals in advance. It can be as detailed or relaxed as you want, as long as it works for you. [Learn how to meal plan]
  • It will bring peace to your home. Yes, I will make that bold statement. Meal planning can bring added peace to your home.

There is no one size fits all method to anything, but if you aren’t planning at all, there is probably stress involved at some point in the process, either in deciding what to eat or actually preparing it. I said above that any type of meal planning is fine as long as it works for you. Is your current system working for you? If you’re stressed about mealtime, maybe consider trying a different system.

Action Steps:

In addition to having a plan in advance, there are some other things we can do to bring peace to our meals.

  • Give yourself enough time. This goes hand in hand with planning, but you need to be sure that you are allowing yourself enough time at meal times to do everything that needs to be done without feeling rushed, hurried, or stressed (those things bring on grumpy mama and we don’t like her–nothing kills the peace in your home like grumpy mama!)
  • Family Dinners. It is so important to take that time to connect with your family. Even if you are busy and running all day long, make it a point to stop, sit down, relax, and eat dinner together.
  • Involve the whole family. Yes, I do the cooking. However, the entire family should be involved in the process. My boys help with washing/drying dishes sometimes. They help with prep-work as they are able. They set the table and clear the table. There are many things your kids can do. These small chores teach them responsibility, and also provide a time of working together. Your children may need some encouragement at first, but it’s worth the effort.
  • Eat better foods. Okay, I’m still working on this one myself, but I truly believe that eating better quality foods–real food instead of processed junk–is helpful in so many ways to our families.

Additional Resources:

bundle cookbooks bundle kitchen

  1. The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle–100 great resources in every area of homemaking! And, you save 97% when you get the whole bundle! (Includes several finance resources including Crystal Paine’s grocery university, a 21 day savings challenge, and more!)
  2. Effective Meal Planning 
  3. Why we don’t eat out
  4. Tips to avoid eating out
  5. Printable Meal Planning Sheets (many more options to be found with a quick pinterest search)
  6. Sample Meal Plans from 100 days of real food

Giveaway

If you’re still apprehensive about planning meals, this giveaway will be perfect. I am giving away a 90 day subscription to She Plans Dinner. Get menu plans, recipes, and grocery lists.

a peaceful home meal plan giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is a part of the “Peaceful Home” series. Visit the landing page to follow along with all the related posts. 

A Peaceful Home

 Photo Credit

 

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