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Understanding the Areas of Focus: Focus on one area of your home for seven days. Do your basics and spend 15 to 30 minutes decluttering or cleaning in your zone per day week

The first seven days of the month are in the Living Room/Family Room. (1st-7th)

My Cleaning Checklist for the Living Room/Family RoomIMG_0001

  • Have you cleaned cobwebs? (M)
  • Have you cleaned the light fixtures? (M)
  • Have you cleaned windows? (M)
  • Have you cleaned the window treatments? (EOM)
  • Have you cleaned any marks and fingerprints from walls and woodwork? (M)
  • Have you cleaned decorative items? (M)
  • Have you cleaned out the fireplace? (as needed or seasonally)
  • Have you cleaned out the end tables? (M)
  • Have you straightened the bookcases /entertainment center?(M)
  • Have you dusted the lamp shades? (M)
  • Have you polished the furniture? (M) Have you dusted? (W)
  • Have you culled out dated magazines and catalogs from magazine basket or rack? (M)
  • Have you cleaned the phone(s)?(M)
  • Have you vacuumed the traffic areas? (W)
  • Have you vacuumed under, around and behind furniture and drapes? (M)
  • Have you shampooed the carpets? (S)

The pattern in each room is to start at the top and work down and to choose a direction to work and follow it consistently.

We are Heading into the Holidays—As you spend time in each area of focus this month, take time to put that area into order and decorate for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Besides considering how to decorate, are you taking time to prepare your own heart and share that preparation with your family? There are lots of family traditions that you can make a part of your celebration. You can:

  • Have each family member keep a Thankfulness list—to collect their thoughts on all the things they are thankful for. Instead of limiting it to Thanksgiving Day, begin the list today and add to it whenever our hearts notice another gift of God.
  • Ask each family member to tell the others throughout the month why they are thankful for them. Our appreciation is first of all to God but then flows out from Him through us to others.
  • Begin to prepare early for Christmas traditions—new and old. Time gets away from us and adding the things we will need for our traditions to our shopping lists and putting activities in our planner or calendar will help them to happen.
  • Have an Advent Wreath –Here is one man’s instructions for making an Advent Wreath http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-an-Advent-Wreath-for-Your-Family/  This was originally a Catholic custom but I have seen it used in other church settings and for family devotions.
  • Do you have family devotions? Find a devotional online or in a bookstore to use with your family. This is an activity you may want to continue to share with your family after Christmas. Family devotions have fallen by the wayside in many families but it is a lovely way to build your faith together as a family. Some things left by the wayside need to be picked back up again.
  • Have an advent calendar.
  • Set up a manger with a bag of straw nearby. Your child gets to add a piece of straw for every good deed.
  • Hanukah was the celebration Jesus grew up celebrating. Research Hanukah and include some of its traditions in your celebration. Hanukah begins on the evening before Thanksgiving this year. When our children were small we taught them about Hanukah, the Hebrew Festival of Lights. We looked for Scriptures about light from Genesis through Revelation and shared them with each other. We have a menorah and we would light the candles each night while we remembered Jesus as the Light of the world and that we are to be light in the midst of darkness.
  • Share your ideas and traditions of preparation with others

 Be There

image If we do not plan our day, we become victims of everything that comes our way. If you are blessed to be able to stay home and care for your children you can bring the same structure to your children’s lives that they would have if they were in a program. The difference is they are

  • playing with and
  • learning from and
  • cared for by mom.

Even if you are obligated outside your home you are still more than obligated in your home. A parent is every child’s first teacher whether they want to be or not. Your children will imitate you. What is important to you will probably be important to your children, too.

What are you teaching your children?

How do you speak to them and about them?

How do you speak to and about your husband?

Do you care for your children or are they only interruptions to your life?

Love on purpose. Other people can give them stuff or be their buddy. They need a mom and a dad.

Be there.

  • Be there for bedtime to tuck in and pray.
  • Be there when they wake with encouragement for the day.
  • Be there for breakfast.
  • Be there for homework.
  • Be there for meals.
  • Engage. Listen. Be the adult.

It doesn’t stop when they are no longer toddlers. Your children need you in different ways all through their lives and the good news is that the older they get, the smarter you get. 😉

 Hugs,

Mary

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