Where is Our Attitude the Moment Our Feet Hit the Floor?

There is a meme making the rounds on Facebook that says:

Have you ever stopped to really think about what this means though?

Often we read these and even repost them thinking they are “deep” or “clever” but giving little thought to the actual message.

What kind of women would the Devil actually fear?

It is easy to point to Proverbs 31 and Titus 2 and say “There! That is the kind of woman we should be!”

It is equally easy to say “I could NEVER be that perfect!”

Stop.

Take a step back.

Let’s start at the very beginning.

God is concerned with our heart.

I, the Lord, search the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give every man according to his ways,
According to the fruit of his doings
Jeremiah 17:10 

Our hearts, what we are committed to, will direct our thoughts and actions.

So ladies, what do our attitudes say we are committed to?

Do our attitudes say we are the Daughters of the King? Or do they say we are concerned with the world?

If someone knew nothing about us other than our attitude and conduct today, would they know we are a child of God?

Ladies, perfection is not the point. God doesn’t call us to be perfect, but he does say through his son to be like him.

He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.
1John 2:6

Often, we get so caught up in whether we should celebrate a holiday, wear certain clothes, or eat certain foods we miss his point: what attitude did Christ live with?

 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:5-11 

Are we humble to God and obedient–even unto death?

I know that personally, this hits my heart deeply and often.

Do I go about my day without complaining or arguing? (Philippians 2:14)
Do I find joy in my work? (Proverbs 31)
Do I rejoice in my children? (Psalms 127:3-5)
Am I a gift to my husband? (Proverbs 31, Proverbs 12:4, Proverbs 18:22)
Do I treat my sisters in Christ with love and respect? (Titus 2)
Do I conduct myself with grace and wisdom? (Proverbs 31:26)
Do I speak faithfully? (Proverbs 12:18)

Others to consider:
Do I choose to uplift my brothers and sisters in Christ, or to tear them down?
Do my words hurt or help?
Do I extend a hand when needed?
Do I joyfully work or avoid it?
Do I humbly take pride in the work given to me?
Do I celebrate all days in Christ?
Am I a good steward of what I have been given?
Am I thankful for what I have?

Ladies, do we begin our days with an attitude of gratitude and joy? Do we get out of bed thanking God for the day and eager to tackle the work to be done or do we get out of bed thinking “Oh great another day, I wonder what will go wrong today?”? 

Blessings,

Audrey

Do you have a mission statement for your family that is simple and focused?

Even a child is known by his deeds,
Whether what he does is pure and right.
Proverbs 20:11

Several months ago, I wrote a post about creating a mission statement.

How do we get from this paragraph or whole page to a simple, easy to remember and apply statement though?

Our family mission statement was a rambling one touching on our relationships with God and family as well as friends and other people around us. Even having it posted where we could see it, how on earth was I ever going to teach a five paragraph paper to my 3 year old?

It was leading to frustration for all of us.

While watching “19 Kids and Counting” with my son, God gave me an idea.

One of the little Duggar children was explaining their family rules and said:

“Amendment JOY: Jesus first, others second, yourself last”

Brilliant.

It’s easy to remember, even the smallest child could explain it!

So we went back to work on our mission statement. It now reads:

In making choices in our family we first ask:
Does this please God and improve our relationship with Him?
Does this help our Family and improve our relationship with them?
Does this serve Others and draw them closer to Him?

Gleason Family Mission Statement: GFO–God, Family, Others

Simple, focused and applicable.

Blessings,

Audrey

My Cleaning Schedule

When I was a very little girl, I was often asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. I would very matter of factly tell whomever asked:

“A ballerina princess mermaid mommy”

It often got a laugh but as I grew, my desire to be a mother never changed.

I loved children and I loved the work that came with them.

Then, I discovered Martha Stewart.

I would pour over her magazines and books. Carefully cut out pictures and articles to save in my dream binder.

I still have much of it today and I still hope someday to be as organized as she.

Inspired by this, here is my cleaning schedule:

Daily
One load of laundry (washed, dried, put away)
One load of dishes (washed and put away)
Wipe counter tops in the kitchen and used bathrooms (we have 4 so I only clean the ones we really use)
Wipe out the sinks in kitchen and used bathrooms
Sweep the mudroom and kitchen (our cats litter is in our mudroom)
Gather trash and take out to the garage
Pick up toys and items laying out (I have a basket I collect the random items in to return to their proper homes)

This is the minimum of what I do to keep my home functioning. In the evenings, I try to prepare for te coming day as much as I can by collecting the laundry together etc.

I also aim to tidy two zones a day if I can.

Monday: Entry areas, laundry room and halls
Tuesday: Living room and play room
Wednesday: Kitchen and Guest suite
Thursday: Master Bedroom and Office
Friday: Dining and Children’s rooms
Saturday: Bathrooms, Closets and car

The goal with tidying these spaces is to put items back where they belong, do a quick dust and vacuum and keep the rooms fresh.

Deep cleaning each of the above zones takes me about a week. It may take me longer, I don’t push myself to finish in a certain time frame and I don’t deep clean a room if it doesn’t really need it.

A deep clean includes the following:

Moving furniture to vacuum underneath
Wiping walls, doors baseboards and switchplates
Cleaning light fixtures
Cleaning windows
Shampooing rugs
Washing all linens
Decluttering
Cleaning and polishing furniture
Checking to make sure all electronics are working
Replacing bulbs or anything else that may needs to be replaced

Seasonally I check
Lint traps
Clean the dishwasher, fridge, stove, washer and dryer
Fire alarms
Gutters
Garage doors
Exterior of the house
Drains

I hope this helps!

Blessings,

Audrey

Preparing for Christmas Cleaning Challenge: Kitchens

This week I’m working in my kitchen ladies and I hope you will join me.

This room really is my trouble spot. It turns into a war zone every evening. I’m sure many of you can relate!

But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’
Matthew 4:4

Expect this room to take more time and energy. Try to plan to have some time to yourself to do your sorting.

Start by first washing anything that is dirty, get all your dishes clean and have a clean surface to sort on.

Then sort out trash, donations, keep in the kitchen and go to another room items.

Immediately move trash and donations out of the home.

Wipe down your cabinets and maybe lay some pretty paper down before putting dishes away.

As you put items away, match lids to storage devices and check for broken items. You can make note of these in the notebook from the previous week’s challenges so you can keep an eye out for replacements.

Be mindful of how you use your kitchen and how you want it to feel. This is a room of fellowship so maybe have some favorite hymns playing while you clean and spend some time chatting with God.

As you finish up, make note of any organizing items that may be helpful in your notebook and any decor you want to look out for. Remember, look for these at thrift stores and on sale with coupons. Don’t over stretch yourself by paying full price. Your home is where you live, not a place to compete with other homemakers.

I hope to see your before pictures in the group and after pictures on Saturday!

Blessings

Audrey  


PS: These pictures were taken after I did one load of dishes and started to clean some this weekend. I stopped and took pictures for this challenge. Prior to this, every inch of my counter was covered in dirty dishes and empty containers. It’s a crazy life moms live!

Where is Our Focus?

What we focus on with passion is what we get in our lives.

Powerful statement isn’t it?

What we focus on with passion is what we get in our lives. Goodness, what kind of responsibility does this mean we must accept?

Do we need to accept that maybe our poor relationships, debt, illness, etc may be our passions?

Every day we have a choice: we can complain or we can be thankful.

When we complain it does nothing for us except expend our energy. We get nowhere and is does nothing for our relationship with God.

But when we are thankful, oh! This changes our lives. It brings us joy!

Being thankful keeps our focus on God. It keeps our focus on what HE would have us be and do. It creates passion in our relationship with Him.

Wouldn’t it be amazing to have a passionate relationship with Him every day?

To be truly in love with Him. To allow Him to lead us. To be sold out to His plan.

What a difference that could make in our lives.

When our focus is first on Him our paths are directed by Him.

Don’t make Him your second thought, make Him your first!

Your family, job, bills, home, even yourself–those come second. We may not want to think this at first, but we can live without all of those things. We cannot live without Him. He gives us the beauty that is in our lives.

So make your first thought in the morning “What would you have me do today Lord?”. Set your sights on being a woman after His own heart.

When you do this, you will find your heart will change, your attitude will change, your world will change.

When you struggle ladies, and we know that we will, stop. Turn on some hymns. Pray. Reset with some of these verses. (For more verses, click here)

We must learn to accept the responsibility that when it feels like our lives are falling apart, we need to cling to God rather than try to fix things on our own. Dig deep into His Word. Nurture your relationship with Him.

And believe ladies.

Believe that He has you right where you need to be and where He wants you. Rather than praying He take life’s current challenges from you, try asking Him what He is wanting you to learn. Remember, your current reality is only a season. Through Him all things are possible. Your current state doesn’t define you, He does! Rejoice in this! He is your future so make Him your focus!

I hope this encourages you sweet friends!

Blessings,

Audrey

How Can I Serve You?

This blog started out as a way to keep myself accountable but has grown to be so much more than that.

Moving into the new year, I would love to know how I can best serve you?

What would you like to see CFH become?

What would you love to see me write about?

Share your ideas here, on the page or in the group!

Thank you all for reading and blessings in the week ahead,

Audrey

Why Not Today?

What holds us back from starting right now?

That project we’ve been wanting to try? That business we’ve wanted to open? Even something as simple as cleaning up the home….what holds us back?

Is it fear?

Fear that we’ll fail.
Fear that it won’t be good enough.
Fear that we won’t finish.
Fear that there isn’t enough time.
Fear that there isn’t enough money.

God tells us

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
Philipians 4:6

What do we truly have to fear with God on our side?

How many verses are there in the Bible telling us to trust Him?

Here alone, there are eighty!

How can we possibly think we know better than God when he tells us just to trust him and all things will work together for good?

We may not succeed, but he will give us strength to try again.
We may not be good enough but He will love us still.
We may not finish but he will delight in our hard work.
We may not have enough time but we will be with Him for eternity.
We may not have enough money, but He promises to provide.

Truly, what do we have to worry about? What do we have to fear? What do we have to not trust him on?

In all we do, let us surrender to Him. His plans for us are so much more incredible for us than our own!

So why not start today? Tomorrow is not a guarantee

For more verses to study: click here. and here

Blessings,

Audrey

The Birth of Our Evie

September 27th began like most other days. I made breakfast for Rho and tried to straighten up the mess from the night before. On my list for the day was unpacking the boxes for the family closet and getting everything labelled. As soon as we cleaned up, I got started.

I was 38 weeks. A huge achievement for me after two preemies. My husband had deployed the day before (Saturday) and I was anxiously waiting to hear if he had made it to his base.

I kept myself busy, getting little projects done (I believe I started 16 different tasks haha) before my phone pinged at 4 pm. He had landed! He was safe. I could relax and get things ready for the evening.

My son was overtired at this point, he had skipped nap that day so I opted for an early supper and bath followed by cuddles and a movie. At 6 pm when I put him in the bath though, I went to the bathroom and noticed I was lightly bleeding.

I immediately called my mother. My step father was an EMT at one point and started asking me several questions before telling me to call my midwife. I have a history of very quick labors and at the time, we weren’t entirely sure of the situation.

I chatted with my midwife and we decided I was in the early stages of labor! My contractions were mild and irregular so she suggested I call my family to get everyone ready. About an hour later (it was now about 9 pm) my mother and father arrived at my home to help out.

By this time, my labor was picking up. My back and hips were hurting badly. I had to stop talking and sit during several contractions. Around 10 my contractions were becoming more regular so my midwife had us prepare to come in. At midnight I was admitted to the birth center.

My husband still didn’t know that I was in labor! I had sent him a message, but the time difference is so great, I knew the earliest he would get it was about 5 am our time. I figured things were going so quickly, the baby would be here already and he’d wake up to pictures. However, my body had other ideas.

I was 4 cm upon admittance and about 80% effaced, but at 3 am there had been no change. At 4, my husband was able to get in touch with me and we actually got to speak on the phone! My contractions were painful. I was breathless. I was exhausted. I had been up for almost 24 hours (my son went to bed at 1 am he was so excited). By 5 I couldn’t talk anymore. The assistant midwife suggested I lay down to get some rest. We were all sure the baby would be here very soon.

At 7 when I woke up though, there was still little change. I had stalled. My contractions had almost stopped. I was still exhausted and feeling discouraged. I walked, bounced on the birthing ball, stretched, did everything we could think of. The contractions picked up again and we decided to try for another rest laying in a position that would help me continue to dilate.

But again my labor stalled. It was now mid afternoon. I was hungry and ready to be done. This was my longest labor. Already double my previous birth. I was worried because we didn’t have much at home that we needed (we now knew that sweet baby would not fit into her cloth diapers nor much of the clothing). My husband was waiting for his next flight and we were just praying baby would get here before he was unavailable again.

So Mom and I decided to go shopping. We went to Babies r Us and picked up some preemie sized clothing and diapers. Then went by her school to finish up some work for her students for the week. I walked the stairs and we could see a change. We knew these contractions were working.

We headed back to the birth center to get checked. I was 5 cm, 6 during contractions and 90% effaced.

We were faced with decisions. It was 5:30 pm. We couldn’t break my water yet so I could either go home or I could let my midwife soften and move my cervix.

I was so ready for the second option.

About 30 minutes later I was fulled effaced and 7-8 cm dilated. We could break my water!

My husband was now sitting in an airport messaging with my mother keeping up with all that was going on (very cute conversation haha).  My contractions moved quickly. I was still able to talk but feeling ill (a good sign for me, it means I’m about ready to start pushing).

We got out the birthing stool, hoping to support my back and hips which were now throbbing. I was instructed to start to slowly push when I felt contractions.

And then it happened…my left hip locked up.

I couldn’t feel my leg from my lower back to my knee. I was in agony and numb at the same time. And I was absolutely frightened. (For those who may not know, I was a ballet dancer in my younger days and suffered several back and hip injuries during the time.)

We moved to the bed for more comfort and support, but I couldn’t put any pressure on my left side without excruciating pain. I rolled partly to my right side for the next three small pushes, but baby was descending quickly and we all just wanted her out.

My midwife and assistant got me back flat and told me if I could give one good push, baby would be out. So I tried. I pushed hard. The pain and exhaustion were getting in my way though and this became a problem. Now baby was part way here but not enough. They helped me push one more time and she was here!

Neither of us were completely out of the woods though. My hip was still locked and I had heavy bleeding (I have in the past struggled with borderline anaemia) and sweet baby had slightly low blood sugar.

She was here though! She cried and nursed well (with the help of a little glucose) and a few hours later we were headed home.

The best part: my husband was able to know the moment she arrived!

We are so thankful for our beautiful Evaliene Faith (Eh-va-leen). She is certainly blessed and much prayed for.

For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of him
1 Samuel 1:27


Our rainbow baby. Our sweet girl. She is now with us and in our hearts forever.



I hope you have enjoyed our story!

Blessings,

Audrey