Bears on TreeToday is Monday the 1st Day of December 2014. Each Monday launch your week by quickly putting your home back into order after the weekend. Each Monday, clean your toilets and while you are in the bathroom(s) to clean the toilet check to see if you have all the cleaning, paper, and personal supplies you need. If you shake a bottle to see if it has anything in it and it doesn’t, quickly put it into the waste basket.

Area of Focus

The Area of Focus from the 1st to the 7th is the Living Room/Family Room. Today look high to see if there are any cobwebs lurking in the corners. Are your ceiling fans clean? In the winter the blades should rotate in a clockwise direction to bring the warm air down. There is a button on the side of the housing to change the direction the blades rotate—counter clockwise in warm weather, clockwise in colder weather.

We have been REALLY busy the past several days since picking up my daughter Our tree topper 2014and her family from the airport. My dishwasher and washer and dryer have been in constant use. I realized that when my family was home I kept the laundry going all the time. This week there have been seven people including two little ones in our home and so my memory has been refreshed about the challenges I faced when my children were growing up. Bottom line—a little done constantly is better than major campaigns to clean and organize sporadically.  Keep the dishwasher emptied of clean dishes and put the dirty dishes directly into the dishwasher. Keep the laundry moving—each time you have a load, start that load.

Making your bed makes a huge difference not only in your bedroom but in your entire house. An unmade bed tells you it doesn’t make any difference if you drop your clothes on the floor, leave trash in the room, and allow all the flat surfaces to become cluttered. The clutter somehow spreads out throughout your home. You feel that small things don’t make any difference—but they do. A made bed makes you want to keep the entire room cleaner and more orderly. The same is true of keeping the kitchen sink and counters empty of dirty dishes. If those dishes go directly into the dishwasher the kitchen stays cleaner. Another important element is the example you set for your children. Developing the disciplines involved in keeping a clean room and helping to keep a clean home will affect them in other areas of their lives—it’s developing self-discipline and the adults need to set the example. The older children set the example for the younger children, also. This attitude of letting everything slide is affecting our entire society. If you don’t already, begin to hold yourself accountable and set a standard of excellence—not perfection, excellence.

Yes, I cut off the top of the tree in the picture but I make no claims to being a photographer.
Yes, I cut off the top of the tree in the picture but I make no claims to being a photographer.

We celebrated Christmas and Thanksgiving  as well as Nicholas’ 4th birthday which is coming up in a few weeks. Believe me it has been a flurry of activity. As I watched our littlest grandchildren getting gifts it occurs to me that we need to teach them to both receive and give. Thank you notes are important for them to learn to express appreciation for gifts and acts of kindness. Giving to those who have less should be built into their souls. If nothing else, clearing out their toys, clothes and other things and donating them to make room for what will be coming in is a good idea. But even further, even those of us who don’t have a lot can usually find someone who has less and share what we have. God doesn’t intend for the government to take care of our neighbors, He wants us to care for people in need. Neighbor helping neighbor is better than any government program ever created. We are able to learn each other’s needs and meet them one to one.

Please be thinking about the meaning of Christmas and don’t get caught up in just shopping and decorating. My heart breaks as I see the loss of value happening in our society. Often:

  • We don’t worship God and seek to lead lives pleasing to Him.
  • We don’t respect ourselves and our God created bodies. We misuse drugs, alcohol and the intimate relationship that God gave us to celebrate within marriage.
  • We don’t value our spouse and our marriages.
  • We don’t value our children.
  • We don’t respect and care for our parents as they age.

Fireplace with Christmas swagOur God is ourselves and we have idols on sports teams, television and movies. Gossip is accepted as the norm.  Take time to think about not just today but eternity. What legacy are you passing on to your family. Is it a tradition of being first in line for the best deals on Thanksgiving Day or is it sharing being truly thankful for the many ways we are blessed.

God put on skin and came down and lived as a person. He experienced pain, loss, rejection, and other suffering even to allowing Himself to be nailed to a cross—a humiliating and excruciating death for the Son of God who is God with skin on. I don’t mean to start the week on a down note but I am asking you to consider your life and the lives of your family in light of eternity and to have a heart to celebrate God’s greatest gift to us—Himself and forgiveness for the ways we have missed the mark, fallen short, and failed to do the good we ought to do. As we celebrate His entry into this world, please consider the greatest Gift.

Love and Hugs,

Mary

Does your To Do List need to be refreshed after this past holiday? Pace yourself between now and Christmas.

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