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Organizing and Prioritizing ~ Emilie Barnes

I consider Emilie Barnes one of my mentors throughout my married life. I am very happy I stumbled upon her works in my search to become a better and more mindful housewife. She taught me how important the little things are…and how important it is to keep a semblance of order and beauty in our daily lives in order to lift the spirit and set our feet on the path of spiritual order and beauty.

Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her…

From Keep it Simple for Busy Women by Emilie Barnes

More of everything please

“More storage, more time, more money!” It’s the cry of most every frustrated homemaker!

There just never seems to be enough cabinets, cupboards, or shelves, enough time to get all our projects done, or enough money to do all we want to do. But stop! Is it really more that we need, or less?

Try rearranging your existing space. Look for wasted “air space” and organize more efficiently Things you use often should be in easy-to-access places. Save your difficult-to-reach places for what you seldom need.

Give one item away every day It’s tough, but it will give you more room and cut down on the “stuff” you have to manage.

Today, determine to think outside the box. Assume that you have plenty of everything, and think about how you can make your life less cluttered, less time-consuming, less costly.

The idea is to organize your life so that you have time for the important things. Remember that by using small amounts of time and resources faithfully, you can accomplish great things!

Simple Pleasures

It is the first mild day of March; Each minute sweeter than before… There is a blessing in the air… -WILLIAM WORDSWORTH

All these things

Unless you have unlimited resources, you can’t have everything. Here are a few tips to help you maximize what you do have.

Remember, the key is simplicity. If you want to save money and time on redecorating, try adding small, round end tables with table skirts and overdrapes to your living room. They’re much less expensive than most end tables, and the fabric will add color and interest to your room.

Buy in bulk when items are on sale. I receive so many catalogs that I now shop by phone. It’s amazing. Smart shoppers take advantage of clearance sales after Christmas, Easter, and the Fourth of July. You’ll find bargains galore during end-of-season season sales. Make a day of it with friends!

Above all, keep God’s comforting promise in mind as you trust Him for your needs: “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33 NASB).

Simple Pleasures

Hang out in the stacks at your local bookstore for a cozy evening. Buy a porch swing or hammock-and then use it. Be on the lookout for the first signs of each season

A Memorable Meal

Oh, how I long sometimes for the good old days, when our family gathered every night around the dinner table and shared events of the day. Life seemed a little less busy then and there weren’t so many options to keep us away from the ritual of evening meals. It’s sad to see family meals becoming a thing of the past for so many.

Tonight, buck the trend. Plan a memorable mealtime with family and friends. What makes a mealtime memorable? The attractive way you set the table says, “I care enough to do a little extra.”

A simple centerpiece can establish a mood, especially if it includes candles, creating a spirit of warmth at mealtime.

Obviously, food takes the starring role, so healthy, tasty fare is best! Think of Jesus – even He chose to share a special meal with His 12 disciples during His final hours. The fellowship with these dearest of earthly companions must have given Him great comfort as He prepared for the trials ahead.

Make the most of these times – they are times to cherish! And they nurture more than the body; they feed the soul and prepare us for living full, productive lives.

Simple Pleasures

Cooking is a bit like painting; strong herbs are reminiscent of oils; delicate ones, of watercolors. -MICHAEL GUERARD

Can We Make the Kitchen a Spiritual Place?

I might be walking on theological eggshells, but I think the answer is yes! There’s something about that room of the house that reveals – and sets – the tenor for the entire household.

Keeping kitchen clutter under control is the first step. It can be a frustrating task – but it’s not impossible. Starting with the cupboards closest to the sink, pull everything out. Wipe out the shelves and refresh them with contact paper.

For all the things you’re not using – either put them in a “throw away” bag, a “give away” bag, or a box marked, “kitchen overflow.”

Put the things you don’t use very often on the highest shelves. Items you use daily go back into the cupboards in easily accessible places.

What about gadgets and utensils? Put them in a crock and tie a bow around it. It looks cute and keeps your counters uncluttered.

What’s so spiritual about all this? The next time your husband or children need a hug or a listening ear, you’ll be ready, with the heart of the home under control.

Simple Pleasures

Create an herbal nosegay to scent your towels. Crawl into a warm robe for that first cup of coffee. Place a few roses in small bottles beside your bed.

Don’t Answer the Phone!

It couldn’t be simpler just don’t answer the phone! “But how can I just let it ring?” Here’s how…just let it ring. Or purchase an answering machine and let the “mechanical secretary” protect your time until you’re ready to make your calls.

There are only a few things in life that we can truly control, but we can control the phone. In our day, we’ve become slaves to the telephone – in our homes, our cars, and everywhere we go. The ringing phone triggers a knee-jerk reaction that compels us to answer.

Unfortunately, for just that moment, it also robs us of focus and, in a small way, disturbs our peace and tranquility.

How often does the phone ring just as you’re sitting down to dinner? Don’t answer the phone at mealtimes. Let your family know that they are much more important than the unknown caller.

Certainly, there are times when we need to answer the phone-but you decide when. Don’t let others control your life and alter your activities. You have the power to decide. It’s as simple as that!

Simple Pleasures

 People who live in cities need tranquility most. -CHRISTINE GUERARD


“The wise mother, having an eye to the future, will at once seek to initiate her daughter into the mysteries of housekeeping. Most young girls are interested in domestic affairs, and are never happier than when allowed to have their finger in the domestic pie; but in this as in other things a thorough grounding is the most satisfactory.” -Annie S. Swan, Courtship and Marriage And the Gentle Art of Home-Making, 1894

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This graceful necklace can be worn every day as a reminder of your devotion to the Blessed Mother. Get it blessed and you can use it also as a sacramental.

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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

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