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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Help! Homemaking! Where to Start?!

In this season of life, I am currently not working outside of the home, and I don’t have kids. I would love to make the best of this season by getting our home in excellent order. This area of life is not a natural gifting for me, nor did I take the time to learn these things as I grew up. I’m looking at getting organized as far as daily cleaning routines, meal planning, budgeting, time management, health, hospitality, family traditions, etc.

I’m not sure if anyone reads this blog, but if you do…Do you have any tips on where to start? Do you have helpful resource suggestions (books, websites, classes, etc)? Do you have other advice? Do any of you have any stories to tell about your own successes, struggles, and/or growth in this area? How have your loved ones benefited from your growth in this area? Is this something that was hard for you to start up at first, or are you a natural? Did you start working on this stuff as a single person, or after marriage, before kids or after kids? What has Scripture taught you about this area of life? I’d love to hear from you here. You can post by clicking on “comments” below.

Here’s a little inspiration:

Proverbs 31:10-31
10 An excellent wife who can find?She is far more precious than jewels.

11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,and he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good, and not harm,all the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax,and works with willing hands.
14 She is like the ships of the merchant;she brings her food from afar.
15 She rises while it is yet nightand provides food for her householdand portions for her maidens.
16 She considers a field and buys it;with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17 She dresses herself with strengthand makes her arms strong.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.Her lamp does not go out at night.
19 She puts her hands to the distaff,and her hands hold the spindle.
20 She opens her hand to the poorand reaches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes bed coverings for herself;her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gateswhen he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them;she delivers sashes to the merchant.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women have done excellently,but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,and let her works praise her in the gates.


Anonymous said...

I love Real Simple's Web site. Great advice and it's free! Here are some tips for clean kithens:,21863,1086310,00.html

Kathryn said...

Thanks for sharing your blog, Bina - this is fun! I should really be taking homemaking tips from YOU, but here's one that I've been trying to implement at our place - I made a list of general household cleaning tasks that should be done at least weekly - cleaning the toilets, mopping the kitchen floor, vacuuming, etc. Then I broke the list down into 6 x 30 minute groups of tasks so that I could do a little bit each day, so ideally I would never get overwhelmed by a filthy house and then waste an entire Saturday cleaning. 30 minutes a day seems much more manageable...yeah, I should take my own advice too!

Bina said...

Thank you so much for the great tips! Real Simple is awesome. Kathryn, I LOVE the idea of 30 minute increments! My friend Keisha also sent me a tremendously helpful cleaning/organizing list.

I just read the book "Shopping for Time" by Carolyn Mahaney and her daughters. It has some great concepts about planning your day and being intentional (i.e. living life with priorities in mind, letting go of tasks that don't fall within those priorities).

Each night, Kristian and I have been going through goals together for the next day. That has really been helpful because I get a sense of what kinds of things are important to him.

I'm learning to be more prayerful about this stuff. It's sad that I don't think to pray about the small things of my day--as if I could do anything in my own strength! Not only do I need prayer to be successful in this work, but I also need prayer so that I can do the work with the right heart.

I'm also learning about how to live in grace with all of this, rather than in legalism and condemnation. Kristian has been wonderful in helping me with this.

The McFarlane Family said...

I thought this cleaning schedule on Real Simple was also helpful -,21863,1216146-2,00.html

Is that the same one that was already posted?

I have to admit I really lack in some of these areas but I do have some ideas for budgeting and meal planning. Perhaps we can get together and share ideas? I do miss you!

I love that you and Kristian are going through goals. That is a wonderful idea and one I think Brett and I should learn from.

Don't you love the Proverbs 31 woman? Although, she does intimidate me a little. :o)

Amber said...

Maybe you could send me that cleaning list you got Bina? I myself became a mother at 19 and never had a chance to know anything else. I learned how to become a Mother before I learned how to be a wife. I feel like I'm still learning how to be the homemaker everyday. So i guess my best advise to you is to never stop learning and exploring new things in the role God has you in for this time.

Much Love,

Bina H. Ellefsen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bina H. Ellefsen said...

Thanks everyone for such awesome tips! I posted a link to the cleaning routine from my friend Keisha today. I also wanted to post this great series on the Proverbs 31 woman: