Today is Wednesday the last Day of 2014, December 31, 2014—New Year’s Eve

Today Philippians 4:1-9 –Words of Encouragement—Some of my favorite verses. (See below)

Roy's Desk
Roy’s Desk

Each Wednesday is Desk Day

  • Pay Bills
  • Take Care of Any Personal and Family Business—are there any issues that need to be dealt with? Notes to write? Cards to send? Calls to make?
  • File: Put away any papers you may need to reference in a way that you can locate them when needed.

The Area of Focus for Today is the Bathroom—What needs to happen in your bathroom to make it less cluttered, more orderly, cleaner, and a more pleasant room for use?

Tomorrow is the First Day of January 2015—The Area of Focus from the 1st to the 7th is The Living Room/Family Room.

With first days come fresh starts. Continue to work in your Area of Focus but let’s take one small area of your home each day to get rid of clutter and put into order.

Our HomeThe special declutter begins outside your front door—

  • Walk out to the street and turn and look at your home.
  • What do you see? —this is the first view of your home by family and friends alike.
  • Is there any trash or clutter?
  • What can you do to say welcome before someone enters the door?
  • Put away or throw away clutter.
  • Does your welcome mat say welcome or is it in need of replacing? Do you have anything that you can use to replace the mat until you can budget to buy a mat that iswhat you really want? I moved my front mat to next to the back door when I had the money to replace it. Both mats are functional and in good condition but the mat that was by the front door was strictly functional and I wanted something prettier. Do the best with what you have. Make a wish list and buy what you need when you have the money.
  • Does your front door need paint? Did you know you can use Pledge to restore a gloss to the door? You will need to wipe the door down with mineral spirits to remove the wax when you paint..
  • I keep seasonal wreaths—some of which I have made—and switch them out as the seasons change. I like to use flowers and other things on the table on the front porch. We have an American flag and I have seasonal flags on our front porch that we switch out. Today I will put out the New Year’s flag and take down the Christmas flag.

In anticipation of the change of focus from the Bathroom to the Living Room/Family Room—Here is the Living Room Cleaning Checklist—

DSCN0041My Cleaning Checklist for the Living Room/Family Room

  • 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)

Understanding Areas of Focus:

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

imageWalking Through Philippians: Philippians 4:1-9 Words of Encouragement

This short section, as Paul begins to end his letter to the Philippians, contains some pithy advice.

How does Paul begin to end his letter to the Philippians?

  • 1Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stay true to the Lord. I love you and long to see you, dear friends, for you are my joy and the crown I receive for my work.

What instructions does Paul give to two women who are in disagreement?

  • 2Now I appeal to Euodia and Syntyche.
  • Please, because you belong to the Lord, settle your disagreement.

Paul appeals also to his “true partner”. What is Paul’s appeal?

  • 3And I ask you, my true partner,b to help these two women,

Why?

  • for they worked hard with me in telling others the Good News.
  • They worked along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are written in the Book of Life.

What instructions does Paul give?

  • 4Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!
  • 5Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do.

Why?

  • Remember, the Lord is coming soon.
  • 6Don’t worry about anything;
  • instead, pray about everything.
  • Tell God what you need,
  • and thank him for all he has done.

What will be the results?

  • 7Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.
  • His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
  • 8And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is:
    • true,
    • and honorable,
    • and right,
    • and pure,
    • and lovely,
    • and admirable.
  • Think about thingsthat are
    • excellent
    • and worthy of praise.
  • 9Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing.

What will be the result?

  • Then the God of peace will be with you.

Tomorrow—Final words in Philippians.

Love and Hugs,

Mary

Tomorrow enjoy the day with family and friends

Friday—One Small Area—The Coat Closet or wherever you keep your coats, gloves, boots, and other outdoor clothes as you come and go

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Today is Wednesday the 24th Day of December2014–Desk Day and Dining Room–Philippians Do Everything without Grumbling.

MP900382968Today is Wednesday the 24th Day of December 2014—Christmas Eve—

December 22nd -28th: Dining Room, Entry, and Front Porch

Wednesday: The Dining Room and Desk Day

  • Pay Bills
  • Deal with Paperwork
  • Take Care of Personal and Family Business (Cards, Notes, Phone Calls)

Declutter for 15 to 30 Minutes

Tomorrow is Christmas Day—Get Your Dining Room Ready for Christmas Day.

 

Dining Room Cleaning Checklist

  • The Dining Room
    The Dining Room

    Clean cobwebs (M)

  • Clean light fixtures and replace any burnt out light bulbs. (M)
  • Wipe down window sills and front door (M)
  • Remove handprints and marks from doors, door frames, walls and switch plates (M)
  • Clean window treatments and windows. (M)
  • Clean and straighten china cabinet and buffet. (M)
  • Clean top of dining table (As Needed)
  • Dust chairs including bottoms and legs (M)
  • Polish furniture (M) Dust Weekly
  • Dust baseboards (M)
  • Sweep, vacuum, or mop the floor (move chairs and vacuum under table)(W)
  • What can you do to personalize your dining room? (Centerpiece, table cloth, decorative touches.)

Walking Through Philippians: Philippians 2:12-18 Do Everything Without Grumbling

imageWow! This is timely for me. My husband has just had surgery and irritable on his behalf is not an adequate description. I needed to hear this, this morning  because I am so tempted to respond in kind. This is a course corrector for my day. Thank you, Lord.

What are we to do? What attitudes are we to have?

  • 12Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,

Who is working in us?

  • 13for it is God who works in you
    • to will
    • to act
    • in order to fulfill his good purpose.

What else are we to do?

  • 14Do everything without grumbling or arguing,

Why?

  • 15so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”
  • Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky16as you hold firmly to the word of life.
  • And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.
  • 17But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you.
  • 18So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.

Hugs,

Mary

3/6/2014–Today’s Routine, The Pareto Principle (80/20), Who Do You Dress For? Nearing the End of Philippians: Philippians 4:1-9

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Bible Reading: Leviticus 15-16; Psalm 46

Area of Focus: March 1-7—The Living Room/Family Room

Each Thursday is Floor Day—Clean Your Hard Floors—Linoleum,  Tile, Laminate, or Hardwood

Thursday is Floor Day
Thursday is Floor Day

The Background of the Pareto Principle (80/20 principle)

In the 1930’s and 40’s, Dr Joseph Juran talked about the “vital few and the trivial many”. Earlier, Vilfredo Pareto an Italian economist, had observed that 20% of the people had 80% of the wealth.

  • Pareto’s 80/20 doesn’t apply to the principle as we know it.
    • The article I read noted Pareto’s Principle sounds better than Juran’s Principle.

The “vital few and the trivial many” are what our lives and our “stuff” are made of. If we can sift through our days, our homes, our relationships and focus on those truly important we can improve our lives.

  • I went to a conference years ago where Ney Bailey talked about “narrowing our nozzle.” When the nozzle is wide open, the water is spread over a large area with little effect but as the nozzle is narrowed it gains force and effect.

I am asking you to consider what is truly important in your life and act on that. I am asking this for things as important as your relationships and as matter of fact as your wardrobe and the clutter in your home that does affect your relationships.

Maybe as we begin to pare down the items in our day and home we will have more time to focus on the important. Maybe as our homes become more nurturing and welcoming it will enrich our relationships. I don’t think these are “maybes” but “for sures”.

  •  The more we have the more time it will take to take care of it.
  •  Simplify and pare down.
  • For example, you wear 20% of your clothes 80% of the time. There are a few items in that 80% that are special and you would want to keep but most of those things can really go.
  • Of that 20% consider the condition of the clothes you wear most often in.  If your clothes are in poor condition they need to be replaced.wear
  • When I am at home I wear a “uniform.” My “uniform” is Dockers and scoop necked tees. I top it with a sweater or a blazer. I keep an apron to cover my clothes when I cook or do anything messy. These clothes are not expensive but they are nice and work well in almost any situation.
  • There is a new trend toward dressing casually for church or other special occasions. I remember being taught by my parents that dressing well for church was a part of giving my best for God. We honor our relationships by the care we take of ourselves.

Who Do You Dress For?

I remember when my small children (now ranging from 32-41) used to ask me where I was going every time I got cleaned up. That cut me to my heart Their comments made me realize that living in sweats might not be the most attractive thing. You can be comfortable and look nice at the same time. Do it for yourself. Do it to be a woman who reflects the glory of God. Your confidence level in working and dealing with others — anywhere — will increase if you are wearing clothes that fit, are clean and mended. Wear colors that look good on you. There are books in the library that talk about what colors complement your skin, and hair colors. The ones that use the four seasons for a guide are my favorites. I am a Winter and I look well in jewel tones. Knowing what colors look best can save you costly mistakes. It isn’t a bargain if you can’t use it.

  • Missus Smartie Pants has a website that helps you choose the right styles and colors. It is a pay service but a three month subscription costs about what a book does and she shows you examples from actual stores and online shops.

Take  a shower before the rest of the family gets up and moisturize your face. I get dressed to the shoes each day and moisturize my feet before I put SOCKS on. I did not like the  idea of wearing socks at all before I started wearing them but it works. My feet are so much nicer now.

I have on Docker denims, a purple sweater, black socks and black Reebocks. I love the Burt’s Bees colored lip balm and a little mascara.

Be yourself but be the best yourself you can be.

Walking Through Philippians: Philippians 4:1-9 Words of EncouragementIMG_0351

This short section, as Paul begins to end his letter to the Philippians, contains some pithy advice.

How does Paul begin to end his letter to the Philippians?

  • 1Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters,stay true to the Lord. I love you and long to see you, dear friends, for you are my joy and the crown I receive for my work.

What instructions does Paul give to two women who are in disagreement?

  • 2Now I appeal to Euodia and Syntyche.
  • Please, because you belong to the Lord, settle your disagreement.

Paul appeals also to his “true partner”. What is Paul’s appeal?

  •  3And I ask you, my true partner,b to help these two women,

Why?

  • for they worked hard with me in telling others the Good News.
  • They worked along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are written in the Book of Life.

What instructions does Paul give?

  • 4Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!
  • 5Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do.

Why?

  • Remember, the Lord is coming soon.
  • 6Don’t worry about anything;
  • instead, pray about everything.
  • Tell God what you need,
  • and thank him for all he has done.

What will be the results?

  • 7Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.
  • His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
  • 8And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is:
    • true,
    • and honorable,
    • and right,
    • and pure,
    • and lovely,
    • and admirable.
    • Think about thingsthat are
      • excellent
      • and worthy of praise.
      • 9Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing.

What will be the result?

  • Then the God of peace will be with you.

Tomorrow—Final words in Philippians. Coming soon—Galatians

Hugs,

Mary

 

 

3/4/14 –Routines, Cleaning Your Blinds, A Couple of Cleaning Basics, Walking through Philippians: The Priceless Value of Knowing Christ

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Bible Reading: Leviticus 11-12; Psalm 44

IMG_0001_2Area of Focus: March 1-7—The Living Room/Family Room

Each Tuesday is Duster Dance Day—Grab your duster, put on some music, set a timer for 10 minutes and see if you can beat the timer.

Declutter Each Day for 15 to 20 minutes.

Walk in God’s Love

Cleaning Your BlindsLet’s play sock puppet! Put an old cotton sock on your hand and let that sock swipe away all the dust on the slats of the blinds. Better yet put on two socks and let them kiss in the middle! Everyone knows sock puppets just love to eat dust and kiss. If you find some stubborn spots dampen a cloth and apply a little extra energy to remove it. Don’t start with water. Water + Dirt = Mud

Basically True

  • Don’t use a dirty cloth to clean. When a cloth becomes dirty switch to a clean cloth. Use a bucket of clean water to rinse out your cloth to keep the wash water clean.
  • Start at the top and work down unless you are washing walls. If you start at the top when washing a wall you will have trails down your wall from the water that drips.
  • Use both hands as much as you can when cleaning or dusting.
  • Keep a vacuum cleaner handy when cleaning out drawers and cabinets to get the crumbs,  dust and dirt out of the corners.

Walking Through Philippians—Philippians 3:1-11 The Priceless Value of Knowing ChristIMG_0371

Why does Paul write these things?

  • 1Whatever happens, my dear brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord. I never get tired of telling you these things,
  • and I do it to safeguard your faith.

What does Paul warn us about?

  • 2Watch out for those dogs,

Who are those dogs?

  •  those people who do evil,
  • those mutilators who say you must be circumcised to be saved.

What about circumcision? Don’t we still need for men to be circumcised?

  •  3For we who worship by the Spirit of Godare the ones who are truly circumcised.
  • We rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us.
  • We put no confidence in human effort,

Wouldn’t Paul have been circumcised? Hadn’t he followed the Law?

  • though I could have confidence in my own effort if anyone could. Indeed, if others have reason for confidence in their own efforts, I have even more!
  • 5I was circumcised when I was eight days old.
  • I am a pure-blooded citizen of Israel
  • and a member of the tribe of Benjamin—a real Hebrew if there ever was one!
  • I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law.
  • 6I was so zealous that I harshly persecuted the church.
  • And as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault.

What had Paul’s attitude been toward keeping the Law?

  • 7I once thought these things were valuable,
  • but now I consider them worthless
  • because of what Christ has done.
  • 8Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.
  • For his sake I have discarded everything else,
  • counting it all as garbage,
  • so that I could gain Christ
  • 9and become one with him.
  • I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law;

How do I become righteous?

  • rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ.
  • For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.

What did Paul want?

  • 10I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead.
  • I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, 11so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!

Tomorrow—Pressing Toward the Goal

Hugs,

Mary

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Bible Reading: Leviticus 13-14; Psalm 45

 Area of Focus: March 1-7—The Living Room/Family Room

Each Wednesday is Desk DayIMG_0001

  • Pay Bills
  • Catch Up on Phone Calls, Notes, & Cards
  • Bring Current Personal and Family Business Up to Date
  • File

Declutter Each Day for 15 to 20 minutes.

Walk in God’s Love

3/3/2014–Routine; Decluttering and Cleaning Your Living Room/Family Room; Walking Through Philippians: Paul Commends Timothy and Epaphroditis; Cleaning Your Ceiling Fan

Monday, March 3, 2014

Bible Reading: Leviticus 9-10; Psalm 43

Area of Focus: March 1st to March 7th: Living Room/Family RoomIMG_0001

Declutter for 15 to 30 Minutes

Walk in God’s Love

Each Monday Launch Your Week by Picking Up around the House to Bring it Back into Order After the Weekend and Clean All Your Toilets

Check Your Bathroom(s) to Make Sure You Are Aware of Anything You Will Need to Buy – Paper, Personal, or Cleaning Products

Area of Focus: Your Living Room and Family Room

Get ready for a major declutter in your Living Room/Family Room

  • Spend 15 to 30 minutes each day going through a small area in these areas this week.
  • Pick a place to begin and work your way around or out.
  • Either start at the door and work your way around the room either to the right or left.
  • OR begin in the far corner of the room and work your way out of the room.
  • Deal with each drawer, shelf, cabinet, or surface as you come to it.
  • Remove everything from one small area at a time. Replace only what you decide to keep in that area.
  • Keep like items or items used for the same purpose together.
  • You must decide where you will keep each item. If every drawer is a miscellaneous drawer you will continue to have cluttered, messy drawers.
  • You can find drawer dividers to corral small items at Walmart, Target, Dollar Tree and specialty stores as well as online.
  • Don’t over organize. Don’t buy organizers until you have identified a need for them. Organizers can become part of the clutter.
  • Each item is either a Keep, Put Away Someplace Else, Donate, or Toss. Things that belong to others can be put in a basket near your door to deliver to its rightful owner on your next errand day.

Cleaning Your Living Room/Family Room

I will post the Living Room/Family Room Cleaning Checklist Again separately but here is the pattern

  • Start high and work your way down.
    • Are there any cobwebs in your corners or on your walls?
    • Do you have ceiling fans that need attention?
    • Don’t forget to dust your window treatments and curtains as well as your blinds and window sills.
    • Dust the surfaces in your living room. Again, start high and work your way down. The answer to “Do I dust or vacuum first?” is –Dust first.
    • Check the storage areas (shelves, drawers, and cabinets) in these rooms and put them into order.
    • Vacuum thoroughly—behind, under and around.
    • When you clean under the cushions of your couch use care. You may encounter sharp objects. I can honestly say you never know what you will find there.
    • Finally, take out the trash. Stand back and look around to enjoy the work you’ve accomplished.
    • Maintain, maintain, maintain.
    • Keep a basket for quick pickups. Empty the basket soon to keep it from becoming a catch all.

Walking Through Philippians: Philippians 2:19-30 Paul Commends Timothy and Epaphroditis

Paul Commends Timothy

IMG_0351What are Paul’s Plans?

  • 19If the Lord Jesus is willing, I hope to send Timothy to you soon for a visit.
  • Then he can cheer me up by telling me how you are getting along.

How does Paul speak of Timothy?

  •  20I have no one else like Timothy, who genuinely cares about your welfare.
  • 21All the others care only for themselves
  • and not for what matters to Jesus Christ.
  •  22But you know how Timothy has proved himself.
  • Like a son with his father, he has served with me in preaching the Good News.

What more does Paul say about his plans?

  • 23I hope to send him to you just as soon as I find out what is going to happen to me here.
  • 24And I have confidence from the Lord that I myself will come to see you soon.
  • Paul Commends Epaphroditus

What are Paul’s plans for Epaphroditis?

  • 25Meanwhile, I thought I should send Epaphroditus back to you.

How does Paul speak of Epaphroditis?

  • He is a true brother,
  • co-worker,
  • and fellow soldier.
  • And he was your messenger to help me in my need.

Why is Paul sending Epaphorditis back to them?

  • 26I am sending him because he has been longing to see you,
  • and he was very distressed that you heard he was ill.
  •  27And he certainly was ill; in fact, he almost died.
  • But God had mercy on him—and also on me, so that I would not have one sorrow after another.
  • 28So I am all the more anxious to send him back to you, for I know you will be glad to see him,
  • and then I will not be so worried about you.

How does Paul instruct the Philippians to treat Epaphroditis?

  •  29Welcome him with Christian love
  • and with great joy,
  • and give him the honor that people like him deserve.

Why does Epaphroditis deserve honor?

  •  30For he risked his life for the work of Christ,
  • and he was at the point of death while doing for me what you couldn’t do from far away.

Tomorrow—The Surpassing Value of Knowing Christ.

Hugs,

Mary

Cleaning Ceiling Fans

Take an old pillow case (I think cotton works best) and slip it over each blade of the fan. Slide your hands over the blade to collect the dust into the pillow case. Finish by dusting the main housing with your ostrich feather, lamb’s wool, of Swiffer duster. Occasionally remove the light shades and wash. If the bowls are extremely dirty, run them through your dishwasher