Thursday, April 25, 2013—Floor Day and Night Lights and Other Touches of Care

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Every Thursday is Floor Day—damp mop, Swiffer or otherwise clean your hard floors.

Our area of focus this week is our entry, front porch, and dining room. Today spend time making your dining room a little less cluttered, a little more functional.

If you do not have the room we are working in or it is in good general order—decluttered, orderly, and clean–then choose an area that is in need of love and begin to bring it to being orderly, functional and beautiful.

You are the family manager. You are your home’s manager.
You are the heart that keeps the blood of family life circulating. Ask God to give you a vision of family life as it should be in His economy.

As a crafter of your family’s life and your home think through each room
. Add touches of love throughout your home
• Night lights for rooms people navigate at night so they will not have to turn on all the lights when they wake during the night. I keep a light on in my entry 24/7 as well as one in the kitchen, our upstairs hallway, our bathroom, and the room our grandsons use when they sleep over.
• Soft and warm throws for when those you love need a little more warmth—a throw on each couch and an extra blanket in each bedroom.
• Touches of beauty to nourish the soul—pictures, floral arrangements, scented candles.
• Pens that write and pencils with points along with note pads to jot messages, phone numbers, or the thoughts of the moment.
• Good books and magazines to read. Family friendly videos.
• Lamps placed where light is needed
• Healthy snacks in the pantry—nuts, popcorn, fruit
• Plenty of toilet paper
Your home is a work of love.

Pray and work. See in your heart before you see in your life. Be a woman of faith and live that faith authentically before your family. Early each morning read the Bible and pray for your family and the day ahead.
• Today I pray that I gain favor with my husband, children, grandchildren and each person I encounter. I want to gain favor not for myself but so I can direct attention to my Savior and Lord by what I am as His and how I live Him. I want to be a credit to my God and my family.
• Today I pray that each of the people who occupy the deepest part of my heart after God will see Him active in their lives—that their faith may grow and they may come into deeper relationship with Him.
• Today I thank the Lord for all I have and ask for what I need and a little more as He sees fit so that I might both share and enjoy.
• Today I pray for the participants and mentors for In His Garden (the gardening Bible Study I am involved in).
• Today I pray for my church, that people would come from all around to hear the Word of God and that they would respond by coming to faith or growing in faith that they would be transformed and become an ambassador of the Lord wherever they are in life—at home, school, work, and play.
• Today I pray for our President and all our government officials at every level—national, state, regional, and local. I ask that they might come to know God in truth and that their actions and attitudes would reflect that relationship.
• Today I pray for my friends but even more for those who hold no affection for me. I pray God’s best into the lives of everyone around me.
• Today I thank God that He is more than able to accomplish all that I ask and that the One who knows the end from the beginning will hear my heart and answer my prayers as if I prayed with the full knowledge of each situation that He has.
• Today I pray that God’s will will be done on earth as in heaven, fully and completely. So be it (amen).

Bonco went well. Of course I know where every imperfection is—every smudge, ding, and dent. I prepare as best I can and then do my best to put my focus on the people instead of what they think of me and my home. True friends will be forgiving and realize we can’t have everything exactly right all the time. Only God is perfect and I am not, nor will I ever be, God.

Within 30 minutes of the departure of those fabulous women everything was back in order, food put away, and dishwasher running. Did I feel like cleaning up afterward? NO! I did it anyway and came down to a peaceful and clean home for coffee, Quiet Time, and sharing with you this morning. I am ready for another day.

Have a lovely Son shiny day!
Big Hugs,
Mary

Wednesday–April 24, 2013, Desk Day and More on Papers and Files

Each Wednesday I try to give at least 15 minutes to making sure my filing is up to date and all business is current. I use Quicken to download and reconcile my transactions DAILY. I never have to go searching for a transaction or try to find where I am off by a few dollars or cents. I also can immediately alert my bank when something is incorrect—an unknown transaction or an altered tip.

In dealing with paper my questions are:
 Do I need this paper?
 Why do I need this paper?
 Can I find the information somewhere else?
 If I was trying to locate this paper where would I look?

I have a small action file—To Do, To Pay, To File, To Read and a file for each month of the year where I put receipts I may need.

I have my archive files where I keep records like insurance policies, mortgage papers, income records—pay stubs, social security. I use the Homefile filing system. http://www.homefileorganizer.com/ I have used it for years and I love it.
I have a topical file where I keep tourism information of places I want to visit, information related to groups I participate in, game rules and directions, and other things of interest to me and my family.

The goal is to be able to quickly locate information when it’s needed. I try not to clutter up my files with unneeded papers and to purge a file or two when I have time left on Desk Day.

Tonight I am hosting our neighborhood Bonco group. I am a last minute fill in for a friend who had a family emergency. My home needs a light cleaning—dusting vacuuming and mopping. I will shop for food this morning, have my nails done with my friend Cathy during her weekly beauty day, and fix the food this afternoon to be pulled out tonight. I like Mason canning jars and my home is very slightly country so I am using a country theme for our menu:
 Emeril’s recipe baked chicken wings
 Pigs in a Blanket
 Potato salad
 Fruit kebabs
 Strawberry shortcake with real whipped cream for dessert
 Lemonade and ice tea
 Nuts and bridge mix on the tables.
The table tents, score sheets, and name tags will have Mason jars on them.

Did you notice I am taking time to have my nails done? When your home is in order from the inside out you can take time during a busy day to relax and be with friends. The way I declutter, organize, and clean my home gives me freedom to do other things instead of being tied down to endless drudgery. Caring for my home is not drudgery but a way of expressing gratitude to God for all He has given me, and love for my family and friends by providing a welcoming place for them (and me, too).

Saw something in one of my favorite groups that got me thinking: I am a welcome mat, not a doormat. I want my home and my life to say welcome to all who come here.

Love and Hugs,
Mary