Creating a Cleaning Schedule

This week we are discussing everyone’s favorite topic: cleaning!

It has to be done and often we dread doing it.

First, I am going to suggest a change in mindset:

Proverbs 31 says “she works willingly with her hands” (emphasis mine)

Throughout the Bible, this concept is repeated. We are called blessed to be keepers of the home! Why then do we not embrace it with joy?

Because the world tells us different.

The world tells us that this isn’t valuable work. That it’s hard, not fun and just going to have to be done again. The world says we should get a “real” job.

Ladies, do not listen to them!

Know that you are valuable and your work in the home is important.

Today I want to encourage you in your daily, weekly and monthly cleaning.

Daily cleaning should be quick and easy tasks that can be done throughout the day in 5 minutes or less. Here is what my daily cleaning looks like:

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
Wipe out the sinks in kitchen and used bathrooms
Sweep the mudroom and kitchen
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)

Doing these simple tasks helps me to stay on top of my home. I can almost always complete these.

Now, more focused cleaning happens in zones once a week. I aim for 2 rooms a day. No more than 15 minutes in each room quickly vacuuming, wiping down surfaces, gathering dirty linens and putting away items. This is what my schedule looks like:

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

Deep cleaning takes about a week and I pick whichever room needs it the most as I cycle through my list. I spend no more than 30 minutes working on each task. If I can’t finish it in 30 minutes, I pause until the next day or if I’m done early I may start on another task.

Moving furniture to vacuum underneath
Wiping walls, doors baseboards and switch plates
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

Lastly, seasonal cleaning. It happens 4 times a year the first weekend of the new season. I usually get my husband’s help with this and this is where I will often add extra projects to. Here’s my “must do” list:

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

When you are looking to create your own schedule and routine, keep in mind how much time you have each day, the size of your home, number of rooms, and people who you may have to help you. Delegating tasks is a great way to accomplish your list! Remember, Proverbs 31 tells us the virtuous woman had help!

Blessings to all of you in this week,

Audrey

Super Simple Veggie Pesto Pasta

In preparation for Pasta Thrusday, here’s a very simple meal you can make!

My style of cooking is experimental and eclectic. I tend to try things and if they work, yay!

This meal is full of good fats, veggies and vegan protein.

To make this you will need

Your choice of pasta (I used spinach fettuccine)
1 yellow squash
1 zucchini
1/2 a small container of mushrooms
1/2 yellow onion
1/2 a small container of cherry tomatoes
1-2 containers of basil pesto
Calamata olives
Pine nuts (optional)
Feta (optional)

Chop veggies except for tomatoes and sautee for several minutes until cooked to desired “doneness”. Meanwhile, boil salted water in another pan. When boiling add pasta and allow to cook.

Drain pasta and fold in your pesto and cooked veggies. Then add halved tomatoes and olives to this mix. Lastly, while serving, top with pine nuts and feta if desired.

(If you want, you could add chicken or sausage to this meal as well)

And that’s it! Done in about 20 minutes and minimal clean up!

I hope you all enjoy,

Audrey

Cultivating a Teachable Spirit

We hear about teachable spirit almost as often as we hear about humility, meekness and love.

Why then is this so hard for us to accomplish?


Creating a teachable spirit in our life is work–hard work and will be a life long process. We will constantly be growing and learning in this journey. God will constantly be challenging us to strive for greater things.

The hardest step will be the first one. Admitting we need to change and learn more. However, God gives us an amazing promise in Ezekiel 36:26

A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

When we surrender our hearts to him we are opened to the life he would have us live. Often times, our own brains get in the way. Set your preconceived ideas aside and be willing to accept what he would have you learn, do and gain.

This is the first and hardest part ladies. So many of us suffer from wanting to know everything, to have all the answers. We don’t and never will–only he does. 

Isn’t that an amazing blessing though? We don’t have to know everything if we trust in him to guide us and teach us because he DOES know all! 

Ladies, I challenge you to surrender your hearts and lives to him completely. I challenge you to pray constantly and to surround yourself with the influences he chooses for you. I challenge you to walk the path he picks for you.


This is the first post on Teachable Spirit. I am so looking forward to talking about this with all of you more!


Blessings,

Audrey

Meal Planning

This week, I am going to share with you very simple meal planning!

If you choose to follow this plan, you’ll be in luck because I will also have recipes from time to time here!

It seems as though we are all intimidated by two things, routines/schedules and meal planning. I promise, neither of these are hard with a little direction, focus and simple instructions.

If you choose to, in CFHShop there is a worksheet as well as a printable for this project. Otherwise, you will need paper and pen (and try to nab some quiet time alone).

I always start by planning dinners first as they are usually the most overwhelming. To make this easier on myself, I theme plan. The more broad you make the themes, the easier you will find it to stick to.

Here is an example of what I do

Monday: Red meat
Tuesday: Stir Fry
Wednesday: Winged (poultry)
Thursday: Pasta
Friday: Fish
Saturday: Salad
Sunday: Soup

So this week I made meatloaf with brussle sprouts and potatoes, quinoa and veggies, roast chicken breasts with glazed carrots and stuffing, pesto pasta with white beans and zucchini, salmon with asparagus, a huge salad with apples and nuts, and split pea soup. Super simple and easy to prepare!

Now, for other meals. Keep breakfast quick and simple to alternate. One morning we do eggs with veggies and fruit salad, the next we will do a nutty oatmeal with a smoothie or fresh juice. On the weekend I make a veggie pie and if I’m in a big hurry I grab some coconut yogurt, flax and chia seeds and nuts and a little fruit and run!

Lunches can be a little heavier to get you through the day. I love to start with a salad and broth based soup then follow with a wrap or veggie and cracker platter (with hummus or avocado dip). Salads can be cooked or raw in this house or even protein based like chicken salad or couscous.

Snacks! Make these easy to grab. If you start your week off prepping your snacks you will never find yourself so hungry you cave and give into that junk food craving. I always have nuts and seeds on hand along with nut butters and hummus. I chop up a mix of veggies to dip along with apples and sometimes pears. Popcorn, nut bars (or something like Cliff bars), smoothies, fresh juice with chia seeds, or even a baked potato are awesome snacks!

Having a plan like this makes shopping a breeze and keeping your family nourished fun. I hope this helps to encourage all of you!

Blessings,

Audrey

For more help with this topic: Simple Meal Planning

Changes on the Horizon

In order to better serve you ladies, here are some changes we will be seeing in the near future!

A group dedicated to homemaking mentorship.
This group will have a limited number of ladies added each week to keep the chaos down. Posts will be reviewed by me before posting and there will be strict rules along with a signed honor code.

A study group!
I am excited about this one. This group will allow you to discus the study posts on the blog, books and have guest posts by some of you ladies! Again, strict rules and a signed honor code will apply.

Free Post Group
This is the group you all already know, however changes are being made to keep the drama down. The reply feature will no longer be allowed to make monitoring easier for me. Stricter rules will be added and an honor code as well as reviewed posts for the time being.

Lastly, a local connect group.
This one is further in the future because I’m still working on how to manage this, but here you will be able to find ladies close to you and connect with each other! I am hoping this group will lead to some in person Bible studies and tea dates for all of us.

I hope you ladies find these changes agreeable and are looking forward to them. I have taken all of your advice into consideration when working on these and hope to have them live by the end of next week.

Blessings,

Audrey

On Being Right

We all know that the Bible instructs us to know right from wrong. To think on such things and not be tempted by that which would lead us astray.

We are encouraged to support our brothers and sisters in Christ to do the same.

So how does it all go so wrong?

How do we end up in arguments and pushing others away from Christ?

Being Biblical isn’t the same as being right.

Let us think back to the story of Mary and Martha. A

As Mary sat at the feet of Jesus listening and learning, Martha chastised her for not helping in the kitchen.

Dear ladies, who was right?

For every verse in Galatians celebrating that we are saved by grace alone there is a verse in James that says faith without works is dead.

The idea that a man is the head of the house and a woman ought to submit is Biblical.

So are purity laws and all those found in the Old Testament.

But which are right?

This is where we run into trouble.

Arguments are NEVER a good way to discover Biblical truth.

When two people hold fast to their faith and relentlessly argue over who is right each can find just as many verses as the other to support their side. It leaves no one convinced of anything except that they are stubborn, rude and dismissive.

Being right for the sake of being right avoids doing the right thing.

Is arguing over who is more right worth losing the person you are witnessing to?

Someone you may not know is listening may make a decision about Christ based on what they hear you saying….it is still worth the argument?

Frederick Buechner defines what it means to be a Christian in this way:


Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). He didn’t say that any particular ethic, doctrine, or religion was the way, the truth, and the life. He said that He was. He didn’t say that it was by believing or doing anything in particular that you could “come to the Father.” He said that it was only by Him — by living, participating in, being caught up by, the way of life that He embodied, that was His way.

 

Ladies, I want you all to think deeply on this this year. Who we are online, while we are grocery shopping and when we think no one is watching speaks volumes for our Lord. What are we saying?
 
 
Blessings,
 
Audrey 
 
Please read more on this topic: 
 

Transparency

My heart is breaking.

The group I have worked so hard to create is falling apart before my eyes.

It is hard not to take all the comments and losses personally. After all, I have spent countless hours doing research for the ladies, supporting them, getting to know and love them.

But the group does not belong to me–it belongs to God.

He gave me the conviction to start it.

He gave me the terms with which to run it.

It is his and he can take it away as he sees fit.

The accusations I have faced today are serious and I will be addressing them to the best of my ability.

First, I am a Christian. I came to Christ at a Billy Graham convention when I was 7. My brother was saved the same day. We received signed Bibles that I still have and treasure.

I was baptized when I was 11 and completed my membership at First Baptist Church of Park Street when I was 14. Since then I have struggled in my walk, leaving the Church for awhile but returned while pregnant with my son.

I am currently exploring several churches including my mother’s Catholic church. Whatever church God ends up leading us to be members of will be His will and a blessing to our lives I am confident of this.

I do not share many pictures or even stories of my children because they deserve their privacy. They do not have the ability to tell me they don’t want something shared so I try to keep them sheltered for now. They are 3 and 3 months, a boy and a girl named Rho and Evie respectfully.

My husband is in the Army Reserve and works as a military intelligence contractor. There is not much else I can say about him other than he is currently deployed, I’m not sure where and I’m not sure when I will hear from him again.

I have a different last name on my account for my protection. We have faced threats in the past and we decided to keep our social media as separate as possible. When bad things happen, my Facebook will often shut down for a day or two until we are certain things are safe again.

Lastly, my policy remains the same here as in the group: I do not delete posts or people. You are free to delete your post at any time but are still held responsible for what you have said so please choose your words wisely.

I strive to encourage and support all of you. Today has been a very hard day for me to continue to do that. I have doubted myself, my faith and what God has asked me to do. I work very hard to offer all that I can to all of you in the manner God has convicted me to.

God placed on my heart over the summer to strive to be a Proverbs 31 and Titus 2 woman: to have a humble and meek spirit, a mild manner, a gentle voice and above all love and respect towards all that I meet. He convicted me to lead you all with kindness and gentleness. I have given my very best to do this while pregnant, going through marriage trials and PPD.

I am sorry if I have let any of you down, it is the furthest thing from what I want to do. I hope we can all recover from this, forgive each other and move forward as God would have us.

Blessings,

Audrey

New Year, New Plan

Monday starts the first week of the new year and it’s time we give ourselves a fresh start.

From this point forward, give yourself permission to let go of last year. Pray without ceasing that God will help you to learn from your past, not obsess about it. Pray that He will give you wisdom in this year.

This week we are going to work on our Personal Mission plans, Family Mission plans and Goals. The worksheets are available in the CFHShop but you can also make your own following along here if you prefer.

Beginning with our Family mission plan: sit down with your spouse and map out where you would like your family to be in the next 5, 10, 15 etc years. Pray together and take as much time on this as you need. What verses inspire you? How do you each view God’s idea for family? What roles do you see God placing in your lives? How is God speaking to each of you? Include your children in this process and encourage them to all work together moving forward.

From here it would be advisable to each work on your personal goals. Spend time in your Bible and talking with God about his purpose for your life. Then, using your work sheet, list your roles and Bible verses that God has shown you. Expand upon this by thinking about what you want to be known for as a Daughter of the King. In order to achieve this, give yourself a list of 3-5 steps you can take in the near future to be on the right path.

Now for our Goals for the new year: I have always been told that one does not have true success if one is not well rounded. This is a good opportunity to sit down with your spouse to discuss where you would like to achieve this year to keep you on the path to success in your Family Mission. Break down what you each need to work on personally (children can do this too) and spiritually. What can  you work together on financially? How can you improve your physical wellness as a family? Are there other areas you need to work on this year to keep moving forward?

Ladies, give yourself time to work on this. Take the whole week to lay a good, stable foundation. Allow yourself to slowly ease into this new year. Do not let yourselves to become overwhelmed by trying to do everything at once.

Next week we will examine another basic homemaking foundation skill!

Blessings,

Audrey

For more help, check out a previous post here

Homemaking Mentorship

This year I want to offer 5 ladies a free year of one on one homemaking mentorship with me.

I would like for you ladies to help me with this project. If you know someone who deserves this service then please head over to the group nominate them on the thread. If you feel you could truly benefit from this, please nominate yourself!

I would like to keep this nomination open for the next few weeks and discuss with you ladies who else I can help this way.

I will also be offering mentorship sessions in the CFHShop as a package so keep your eyes open for it this month.

Blessings,

Audrey