Managing Your Home Part 2: Yes, Even in Ministry
Welcome back, we began in Part 1 of Managing Your Home. Or, life as a homemaker. We begin this journey with different perceptions of what this will look like. Envisioning homemade waffles, fresh linens, beautiful sunrises with our morning coffee, and/or perfectly labeled storage spaces. Each of us envision the title “homemaker” differently. As a manager of your home, what do you envision? Is homemaking a new thing? Absolutely not. However, it is a thing evolving as we speak. Although that could be an amazing read, that is not what this post is about. It is about managing your home. How God envisions- but also how you envision.
Everyone, whether in ministry or not, wants dinner, clean clothes, a happy home and a beautiful life filled with memories. Balance. Day after day, reality is as it is. You will have good days and there will be days you desire to hit the reset button a few times. Either way, a homemaker does not have a master “job description” or “to-do-list”. Or does she? Better yet, should she?
From cooking, cleaning, homeschooling, child care, training the children, packing lunches, gardening, decorating, organizing, running errands, food preserving and everything in between; it takes an incredible, dedicated, woman of God to properly manage a home AND serve the LORD at full capacity. Add to your task list, the things of God and tasks you have committed to. (Not in the time you spend with HIM, but the Bible studies, Sunday school teaching, and other commitments to assist your pastor husband and tasks at the church.)
Shifting our focus to just the tasks within the home, we touched a bit on scheduling. Have you been able to identify areas that can be tweaked or scratched altogether? Time is precious! If we schedule our time properly to get the most out of our days, it frees up more time for valuable quality time with our loved ones, the things that help our homes run smoothly, and our hobbies. Managing our homes, or homemaking can be a full-time job. Anyone can be a homemaker, as long as they are dedicated to caring for the home all that pertains within.
Although roles overlap, a homemaker does not necessarily have to be a stay-at-home mother. She is a manager of the home. So, PART 1 we kind of just jumped in to give you a taste of managing the home. But, what does it really mean to be a homemaker or an excellent manager of the home? That is what we strive to do, so how do we do that?
To start, think if you will all the tasks you typically need to do in a day. Not that you are able to do everything, but if it were a perfect day, what would that look like to you? With each home having different schedules, sizes and routines; we can all agree this would look different for everyone. BUT, there are some similarities. Grab yourself a piece of paper and jot down all the task you do in a day. Then calculate anything extra you do in the week. And also throughout the month. When you are through, you will know where to begin. Tasks listed below are in every home. Some are greater tasks because of your family size, while some may be very simple because of you structure or family size.
- Cooking- 21 Meals per week & snacks (Typically 3x a day- perhaps 2 if you and your spouse work and 7 days a week)
- Meal planning (those meals above so you can do the next thing.)
- Shopping- groceries for the meals & snack, plus household items needed each week.
- Housekeeping Routine
- Other Household Cleaning (Deeper cleans/room checks/ spring cleaning/etc.)
- Decluttering/ Organizing (wardrobe sizes, seasonal items, daily clutter items put away or gotten rid of)
- Vehicle Maintenance
- Daily Schedules (work, school, sports, commitments, etc.)
- Regular Appointments
- Family Time
- Personal Time
- Time Serving God/ Others
- Creating a Peaceful Home
While homemaking itself is a lot of work, being a homemaker while homeschooling and homesteading adds several more tasks. Last, but not least, be sure to also write your tasks for the church as well. If you are on a cleaning schedule, host a weekly Bible study, teach Sunday School and so on; be sure to write those on your task list as well.
Now that you have a master list of tasks, start comparing your list to the time you actually have to do it. Can you simplify some tasks, lump some together or reduce the work load in any way? Can you plan and shop less frequent to cut out an extra hour each week if you do it monthly instead? As you scroll down your list, focus on one area of management at a time. Is there a way to organize this area? Is there a way you can make this area better in your home and more honoring to God? Is there a way I can shave time in this area? If I invest a little extra in this area, would it hurt another?
It is kind of a game at our house, I enjoy the challenge. We swapped to 6 week meal planning and lumped it into monthly grocery shopping. Only grabbing milk or fresh purchases for a quick super market run instead of a long shopping trip filled day each week. A great way to shave time. Also, the time you shop makes a difference. If you always stop right after work, it probably takes you twice as long compared to going in the off hours when it is slower. You can quickly grab what you need and leave. Lumping this with budgeting as well, is another help. Spending your extra allotted grocery money on items that are on-sale, decreases next months bills. Another thought is, if it really is not dependent on money, can it be simplified?
For example, when the children were very little and we had several close in age; I do not have to tell you laundry and dishes could pile up fast. So, being my children did not mind, we kept breakfast simple everyday and had a paper plate for late dinner. It was two things that simplified my world. When we swapped to early mornings, it was cooler in the early part of the day. 5 of the 7 days of the week we ate oatmeal, toast & OJ. If you have read my older posts, you can recall the 50+ ways to flavor oatmeal. It was always rotated differently. Peaches, apple pie, blueberry buckle, etc. But seriously, it made meal planning so simple and saved a ton of money. For the evening, we always had reading/quiet time, afternoon snacks and outdoor time until dinner. Sometimes at the park, down at the lake, in the woods or what not. So, when it was quiet time I would hurry and scrub clean the kitchen, nurse the baby, lay the little two for naps and begin a simple all in one crockpot dinner while snacks baked. Doing most of the chores for the evening.
As they got up and ate hot snacks fresh out of the oven, we got ready to go. We would get home and have crockpot dinner, noodles or hot sandwiches most often. Instead of creating another mess, it was not the most frugal, we used paper plates. We had a fire ring and woodstove so they never made it to landfills. But, after being gifted several hundred one day as a suggestion for evening to eliminate any extra chores upon returning home, I never went back. That time was soon filled with extra laundry, studying herbs, gardening, canning, sewing, bread making, extra animal husbandry, milking, cheese and butter products, making homemade soaps, lotions and so much more. Needless to say, a few extra dollars on paper plates saved a few bits of time that added up quickly for better homemaking skills in other areas. It was worth the trade in the long run.
With that, is there something that may have cost, but be of high value to you. If so, as a manager of your home do NOT go with the world and say “that’s not homemaking then” That is a lie, even many christian women believe. It never said a Godly wife is at home all day, everyday and scrubbing the floors. A Titus 2 woman would have a sober mind and tell the next generation the truth. So I will. Titus 2 was referring to men and women by the way, and being a manager of the home, or homemaker means doing the best with what you have, God’s way.
Although I believe I can mother, and guide my children best by being a stay at home mother, that does not mean all tasks are my responsibility alone. A huge part of managing efficiently as a “great manager”, is working alongside and properly training your crew. That might look different for each of us, depending on your home, your children and your time. Managing your home might mean for a short season, you hire a person to deep clean your home once a month because you do not have the time. Or hiring out a task because it would be better spent with the children. As a manager of your home, or a homemaker, your value in that role (not who you are) is dependent on your managing skills. Remember, all managers have: bad days, good days, unforeseen circumstances, to work with others and their emotions/days, set the tone and attitude, have a system and plan, set realistic goals, have strong self discipline, are always looking for improvement. Striving to want to be a good manager of your home is the first step. Ask the Lord for help. Pray for wisdom.
Last, but not least. If you are balancing your time and finding easy adjustment to your new/ updated schedule, what about increasing your skills? Have you ever tried sprouts or growing lettuces in your kitchen windows? Or thought of gardening this next season? Do you make homemade bread? Homemade pasta or raviolis? Have you ever raised your own meat? If your space is low, what about quail, chickens or rabbits? Do you sew? Do you enjoy canning? Have you ever made your own cleaning products, soaps or lotions? Many skills are not just money savers, but wonderful skills to pass down and can possibly be a source of income for your family if needed.
As a manager of your home, not only is your time precious, but so are you and your loved ones. Remember as you manage your home, it is about balance. Depending on your family size and commitments, there may be a season in your homemaking that it feels like your home will never be spotless. It is balance. Obviously, the needs of every individual are most important. Creating a loving and peaceful space for your family may not look like Martha Stuart living and decked out furniture/fixings. But, can be managed effectively and beautifully displayed, with a modest budget. Allowing you to be at home, have a more flexible budget, a sweet atmosphere, and a growing self-disciplined learning home. Happy Homemaking!
P.S. But, I am knew here, how do you know Heaven is real? How do I know for sure Heaven is my eternal home? –> READ MORE of Travel Down the Roman’s Road or Let Us Travel
P.S. I know I am saved, but I want to live my life on purpose, how do I start that? How do I begin to walk with God? What might that look like if I added that to my day? What would help? Check out Girl Talk!