by Emilie Barnes, Keep It Simple for Busy Women
Rewards for Cleaning House
I’m a firm believer in rewards! And I reward myself often when it comes to some of the more mundane tasks of cleaning house.
Discover your idea of bliss, and use it to make those tasks a little less mundane. Let me explain.
Cleaning house is a very personal issue. Start by not worrying about other people’s standards. Decide what clean means to you, and make that your goal.
Establish simple, bite-size priorities. Identify those tasks that absolutely have to be done, ones that should be done, and ones that would be nice to get done.
Work on them in that order-and forget the rest. Set time limits. Do what you can now and be happy about it.
Relish what you have accomplished instead of focusing on what still remains to be done. Finish one task before you begin another.
When you’ve finished, reward yourself for a job well-done. For me that often means a time of quiet-with my Bible, my journal, and a cup of tea-and my feet propped up. Discover your idea of bliss!
*Experience a “lights out” night and live by candlelight.
*Share your favorite book with a friend and then find a quiet book shop to discuss your thoughts over coffee or tea.
*Settle into your favorite chair and breathe a sigh of relief.
We may never look like models or movie stars, but we can honor God’s gift of femininity by taking care of the unique person He created you and me to be.
My daily walks help me keep my figure under control. I look forward to how wonderful I feel after this brisk morning exercise.
It always restores my energy, lifts my spirits, and gives me a sense of well-being that makes it easier for me to reach out to others.
Yet, as much as I believe in taking care of myself, that’s not enough. True beauty comes from within. If that beauty is lacking, no exercise program, eating plan, or wardrobe update can put it there. No interior decorating scheme can give it to me.
First Peter 3:4 defines it wonderfully by telling us that, “the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit… is of great worth in God’s sight.”
Today, take a few moments to reflect on the grace and peace that God offers you every day. Today, seek the beauty that comes from within. Its as simple as that.
*Write your notes with a feathered pen. It’s so elegant!
*Pin a silk flower on your lapel or add it to your hair.
*Create a parlor look with stacks of books and warm fabrics.
The Lost Art of Eating Together
Don’t let our modern culture take away some of the most precious times you can have as a family One of those is sharing a meal together sometime during the day.
Here are some ideas on how to keep it simple. Pick at least one meal of the day when your chances for getting everyone around the table are best. If one meal each day is too demanding, compromise. Set a goal of eating as a family four days a week instead of seven.
Involve your children in planning and cooking those special meals. Preparing foods in a different way can capture kids’ interest. Use pasta in unusual shapes. Draw a smiling face on top of a casserole with cheese or veggie strips. Make it a time of fun and fellowship.
Even teenagers should be involved in meal preparation. It can be an important time for conversation and interaction. Then, when it’s time to eat, don’t forget to offer a prayer of thanksgiving.
Model a heart of gratitude, peace, and warmth around your table. Now, relax and enjoy the meal.
Great memories can come from these daily times of sharing!
*Find some roses today. Buy one for yourself and one for someone you love.
*A fragrance spray can enliven any room in your house. *Draw a picture and mail it to a child with your words of encouragement.
In Just Five Minutes
Are you overwhelmed today by all the projects you feel you must accomplish? Do you find yourself on a treadmill of one thing after another, until you feel you’ll never get off?
How can you have time for the important things you want to do, like prayer time, reading to your kids, or making a special batch of cookies for your family?
Well, you can do it all, but it will take some planning.
First, be ruthless-get rid of extra paper! Almost 90 percent of the paper in your home (or office) is never referred to again. Get rid of it!
And then apply this simple rule, which I call the “five-minute pickup” rule.
Pick up and dust each room for five minutes-time yourself self with a kitchen timer! Discipline yourself to stop when the bell goes off.
Sometimes all it takes to eliminate mess, clutter, and confusion are a few hooks here, a basket or two there, and a bit of reshuffling of items on a shelf. Give it a try and make your life a lot simpler!
*Begin collecting lovely toiletries-powders, unguents, creams.
*Start an evening ritual of herbal tea and a candle. Nourish a sense of calm.
*Pretty new pillowcases add a special touch
🧹 A housekeeping schedule to give you some ideas and to tweak to suit your needs….(not to stress you out!) From Time-Warp Wife.
“As a family, try to lead a hidden life with Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. Through holy Mass, offer yourselves through Mary’s hands as a sacrifice with Jesus; at Holy Communion, you will be changed into Jesus by divine grace so that you may live His life; by your visits to the tabernacle, you will enjoy His friendship in the midst of the many problems of life.” -Fr. Lawrence G. Lovasik. The Catholic Family Handbook (Photo from our daughter’s wedding)
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Filled with inspiration, encouragement, and tried-and-true tips, this book is a must-have for every woman!
The good news is that a beautiful home doesn’t require too much money, too much energy, or too much time. Bestselling author and home-management expert Emilie Barnes shows readers how they can easily weave beauty and happiness into the fabric of their daily lives. With just a touch of inspiration, readers can
- turn their homes into havens of welcome and blessing
- build a lifestyle that beautifully reflects their unique personalities
- enrich their spirits with growing things (even if their thumbs are several shades shy of green)
- make mealtimes feasts of thanksgiving and kitchen duty fun
- establish traditions of celebration that allow joy to filter through to everyday life
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I love the kitty in the first picture! Thank you for the tips!
Doris E Bond said:
I love that picture of your daughter’s wedding at St. Joseph’s Church! That was our parish, we’d attend the Latin Mass there, until we moved to Kansas City. Now we attend St. Rose Philippine! Thank you for sharing this “pep-talk” to get moving on all things important to family and personal life. God bless you!
Just read this post while taking a little break. This was a timely post for me: we just recently moved into a new home, and also just recently had a baby. Trying to set up a new home while also taking care of a baby who needs and wants your constant attention is overwhelming to say the least! Sometimes I look around at how much I still need to do and think it will never get done, but can’t and won’t neglect to nurture the baby in order to get it done faster. So thanks for the encouraging post, it was well needed.
Hello! Do you have a favorite Emilie Barnes book or a particular one you would suggest starting with for home management?