We wrap up the week by

  • Cleaning out our car
  • Cleaning out your purse, diaper bag, tote, computer bag or whatever we carry with us when we go out the door.
  • Vacuuming the traffic areas in your home. Do not make it a career. Just vacuum the roads most traveled and then—give special attention to your Area of Focus.

IMG_0405Area of Focus: This is the last day this month focusing on the kitchen. Is there any area in your kitchen that needs the attention of the vacuum cleaner? Those corners where two cabinets meet? Under your appliances? The tops of your curtains? What are the final things you need to do to make your kitchen more pleasant to be in and more functional?

The Area of Focus for the next week (15th to the 21st) is your bedroom

My half of our closet --Roy's half is just fine, too.
My half of our closet –Roy’s half is just fine, too.

, ensuite bathroom, and closet. Recognizing that the 29th and 30th (when we would normally be focusing on our family baths) are the weekend after Thanksgiving, take time to work in your family bathroom. Think ahead!

Another area you may want to give attention to in the next week is any guest room you might have, if you have guests coming for the holidays. I now do my best to keep our guest rooms in order all the time. I am done with letting things slide and then working like the dickens at the last moment when I find someone is coming to stay for a visit. Think ahead! Work ahead!

Saturday is Family Fun Day—play together or work together as a family. If you work together, make sure you do something fun at the end. Make pizza together. Pop some popcorn and put on a movie. Jump in the leaves you’ve just raked and then rake them up again and toast some marshmallows. Play a game that is not electronic as a family. Be intentional about creating family moments to remember.

imageSunday is for Worship and Touching Base with Your Family—We don’t worship for ourselves, we worship God. Worship should take place throughout every day, throughout the week. Worship is “worth” ship. Worship is focusing on the surpassing value and greatness of God in power, in love, in grace, in forgiveness, in knowledge, in wisdom, in everything that is—seen and unseen. When we focus on who and what God is –Someone beyond ourselves—transcendent, we have hope, we receive strength to face whatever challenges we have in our lives, we find power to forgive and extend the grace and forgiveness we have received from God to the people around us. Worship transforms you and your life.

Sunday is also a time for planning:

  • Make sure all the things that are on the calendar of each member of your family gets onto your family calendar. There needs to be one place where people can see what is going on each day in each family member’s life. Our calendar is on the wall in the kitchen. I open my mail directly into the trash can next to our calendar and make note of upcoming events on the calendar immediately. Make sure the blocks are large enough to write in and be read.
  • Will you need anything for any of those events? Special clothes? Refreshments? A gift? Don’t wait until it’s 6:00 on Tuesday to find out there is a choir concert and your child needs to be at the school at 6:30 in black pants, white shirt, and black shoes and there is not a clean piece of clothing of that description anywhere in their closet. Don’t wait until Saturday at 9:00 am to find out that there is a soccer game and you need to provide refreshments for 20. Don’t wait! I think you can think up several scenarios of your own.
  • Plan some fun and relaxing time you and your or you and your husband and children. Put it on the calendar or it will not happen. We are going to Christmastown the Sunday after Thanksgiving with 2 out of 3 of our kids and many of our grands. Busch Gardens is featuring a sale on tickets through the 18th for several days in November and December for $12 instead of $27. Roy and I have annual passes for Colonial Williamsburg so we can just take the beautiful drive down Route 5 and spend a leisurely day exploring our colonial history, having lunch in one of the Colonial Taverns, and shopping in Colonial Williamsburg or the outlets.
  • Check upcoming birthdays and buy gifts and/or send cards so they will arrive on time.
  • Schedule projects and tasks in tune with the family’s activities so you won’t have to drop everything to get cleaned up and out the door for an event in the middle of painting.

Nothing works if you don’t do it! We routinely overestimate the amount of time it takes to accomplish most tasks. It takes me a few small segments of time in my day to bake bread. It is not the overwhelming task I thought it would be. It takes minutes to do most routine tasks. Don’t make it a career—just get it done. . .  and have fun!

Love and Hugs,

Mary

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