Today is Thursday the 15th Day of January 2015—Floor Day and the 1st Day with Our Bedroom, Closet and Bathroom as the Area of Focus

Today is Thursday the 15th Day of January  2015—Floor Day and the 1st Day with Our  Bedroom, Closet and Bathroom as the Area of Focus

Thursday is Floor Day
Thursday is Floor Day

Each Thursday – Sweep or vacuum and then mop the hard floors in your home.

Today of Area of Focus moves to Our Bedroom, Closet, and Bathroom.  I shared the cleaning checklist yesterday.

Today I found a website dedicated to healthy recipes. It looks fascinating and so I am sharing it with you. http://mixingwithmichelle.blogspot.com/2014/05/thm-crock-pot-cooking-menu-session-1.html

She has a plan to put together a month of recipes in freezer bags that is current. A lot of work for a couple of days and a busy crockpot for the rest of the month. Invite some friends and work together and it becomes a party.

The One Small Area for today and tomorrow continues in the kitchen:01b72d01ea70cce06770af3771b9c44308c124462b

Thursday—Cupboards—do your cabinets store the items used nearby—glasses, dishes, and flatware near the dishwasher. Food storage and preparation conveniently located near the place where you gather items for food prep and put away items after a meal.

Friday—The Black Hole under Your Kitchen Sink—my sweet husband painted the inside of my under the sink cabinet white and installed a battery operated light.

Tomorrow is Friday the 16th of January 2015—Wrap Up Your Week by:

  • Cleaning out your purse, diaper bag, computer bag, backpack, or whatever you carry when you leave your home.
  • Clean out your car
  • Vacuum your traffic areas throughout your home giving special attention to your Area of Focus—Your Bedroom, Closet, and Bathroom.

Love and 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

Thursday, February 19, 2014: Routines, Make an Appointment with Yourself, and Welcome to Philippians

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Bible Reading: Exodus  39-40; Psalm 38

Area of Focus: Master Bedroom, Bathroom, and Closet

IMG_0424

Thursday is Floor Day—Clean Your Hard Floors and don’t forget the baseboards

Declutter for 15 to 30 minutes

Walk in God’s love toward everyone, even your enemies

Make an Appointment

IMG_0390As you plan your week, plan the things you want to be part of your week.

Do you want to exercise? Morning, afternoon, or evening? How many days a week? Monday, Wednesday, and Friday? Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday?

The routines I share with you each day can be tucked into time pockets in your day. When?

Make appointments with yourself, and keep them.

Most activities from housework, to exercise, to taking care of bills and paperwork, can be done in 15 minutes or less. If we don’t have an hour, we assume we don’t have time. Fifteen minutes of exercise in the morning or when you get home from work or even short (5 minutes an hour) exercise breaks at your desk will make a big difference when done faithfully over time.

The same is true of your home. You can even declare commercial time on television as family quick pickups. When commercials come on your family can scatter to different tasks—gather the laundry, gather the trash, move clothes from the washer to the dryer and bring back a load to fold, during the next commercial break everyone takes their laundry to their room and puts it away.

Your family can also scatter to different rooms—bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, living room and do a five minute pickup.

Laugh and make it fun.

Take care to not overschedule. If you do not have time to take care of yourself and your family, it may not be that you have too much to do but that you are doing too much. Examine your priorities and make time for Quiet Time, worshipping with your family, intentional time with your husband and children, and what needs to be done before what you think you should be doing or what you want to do. I believe in planning down time to read a book, have lunch with friends and a date night but unless you are intentional in your planning you will not have time to enjoy your family and your life.

Welcome to a Walk through Philippians: Philippians 1:1-11—Paul Opens His Letter to the Philippians and Shares His Love and Prayers for Them

Paul wrote this letter on joy while in prison.

IMG_0194

  • 1This letter is from Paul and Timothy,
    • slaves of Christ Jesus.

Who was the letter written to?

  • I am writing to all of God’s holy people in Philippi
    • who belong to Christ Jesus,
    • including the eldersa and deacons.

How are the people greeted?

  • 2May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you
    • grace
    • and peace.

What does Paul express about the people that he has written the letter to?

  • 3Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God.
  • 4Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy,
  • 5for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now.

What is Paul certain of? 

  • 6And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished

When will the work be finished?

  • on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

How does Paul feel about the Philippians?

  • 7So it is right that I should feel as I do about all of you,
  • for you have a special place in my heart.
  • You share with me the special favor of God,
    • both in my imprisonment
    • and in defending and confirming the truth of the Good News.
    • 8God knows how much I love you
    • and long for you
    • with the tender compassion of Christ Jesus.

How does Paul pray for the Philippians?

  • 9I pray that your love will overflow more and more,
  • and that you will keep on growing
    • in knowledge
    • and understanding.

Why?

  • 10For I want you to understand what really matters,
  • so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return.
  • 11May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation
    • —the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—
    • for this will bring much glory and praise to God.

Tomorrow–Paul’s joy that Jesus is preached

Hugs,

Mary

Friday, February 21, 2014

Bible Reading: Leviticus 1-2; Psalm 39

Area of Focus: Master Bedroom, Bathroom, and Closet

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

My China Cabinet Display the things you like instead of just storing them
My China Cabinet
Display the things you like instead of just storing them

Since the 28th is the last day of the month, make sure to give your bathroom(s) some attention over the next week.

 

Friday is Wrap Up the Week Day

  • Clean out your car
  • Clean out your purse, backpack, diaper bag, computer case, or whatever you carry with you as you go out your door.
  • Vacuum the traffic areas. Give special attention to your Area of Focus.
  • Declutter for 15 to 30 minutes
  • Walk in God’s love toward everyone, even your enemies

 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014: Routines, Storing Paper and Craft Supplies, and Happy 78th Birthday to My Roy

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Bible Reading: Exodus 37-38; Psalm 37

Area of Focus: Master Bedroom, Bathroom, and ClosetIMG_0421

Each Wednesday is Desk Day

  • · Catch up on personal and family business by paying bills, sending notes, cards, letters and emails, and making any needed phone calls
  • · File–Store only those papers you will need in a way that you will be able to locate them when needed.

Declutter for 15 to 30 minutes

Walk in God’s love toward everyone, even your enemies

Organizing the Different Types of Paper in Your Home and Craft Supplies

Today I am going to buy two sweater organizers for the different types of paper that I have—both as office supplies (computer papers, notebook paper, 3×5 and 4×6 cards) and craft papers for card making and scrapbooking. Notebooks of various kinds can also be stored in the sweater organizer. I store my purses in a sweater organizer in my closet.

Each type of paper and notebook can rest in a separate compartment.

For craft supplies, clear plastic shoe boxes are a good solution. I am hunting for a jumbo label maker to label the shoe boxes with their contents (glue, pencils, scissors, punches, crafting tools)

Today is my husband’s 78th birthday. I am making this short and sweet because I want to spend the day with him. I will do my Colossians post later today.

Please be my prayer team as I facilitate the Daniel Plan evening course at our church beginning this evening.

Hugs,

Mary

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Bible Reading: Exodus  39-40; Psalm 38

Area of Focus: Master Bedroom, Bathroom, and ClosetIMG_0422

Thursday is Floor Day—Clean Your Hard Floors and don’t forget the baseboards

Declutter for 15 to 30 minutes

Walk in God’s love toward everyone, even your enemies

Cleaning Checklist for Your Bedroom, Closet and Bath

Master Bedroom Checklist

IMG_0421

Work from Top to Bottom and around the room in whichever direction you want.

  • Is your bed made? (D)
  • Are there cobwebs that need to be removed?(M)
  • Are there any burnt out bulbs in the light fixtures?(M)
  • Do the light fixtures need to be cleaned?(M)
  • Are the ceiling fans clean?(M)
  • Are the windows and window treatments clean?(M)
  • Is the woodwork and walls free of fingerprints and marks?(M)
  • Are the sheets clean? (W)The duvet? The dust ruffle? The Mattress pad?(M)
  • Are the surfaces (night tables, dressers, tables) free of clutter?(D)
  • Does the furniture need to be polished?(M) Dusted?(W)
  • Are your drawers and cabinets in order?(M)
  • What’s under the bed?(M)

The Closet:

The sweater organizer holds my purses.
The sweater organizer holds my purses.
  • Are the shelves in order?(M)
  • Are the hanging clothes in order, clean, in good repair?(M)
  • Are the shoes in order?(M)
  • Are there items stored in your closet that should/could be stored elsewhere like the attic?(M)
  • Does the floor need to be dust mopped or vacuumed? Does the carpet need to be shampooed or spot cleaned?(M)

Cleaning Checklist for Your Bath

image

  • Wash Area Rug—also toilet seat cover, and shower curtain. (M)
  • Clean sink—I wipe mine out after each use (D)
  • Polish faucets (D)
  • Clean toilet (every Monday) (W)
  • Clean tub after every use. Clean and wax shower. -(Use car polish after cleaning to maintain the shine. DO NOT GET POLISH ON THE SHOWER FLOOR) (M/S)
  • Clean shower door—Lemon juice works. You can even slice a lemon and apply directly to the glass. It will cut soap scum and smell fresh, too. (M)
  • Clean mirror (W)
  • Polish countertop (W)
  • Clean cobwebs (M)
  • Clean window treatments (M or S)
  • Wash windows (M)
  • Vacuum fan grill (S)
  • Clean grout (M or EOM)
  • Wipe down woodwork, cabinets, baseboards, doors, door and window frames (M)
  • Clean blinds (M/S)
  • Clean out medicine cabinet (S)
  • Clean and organize cabinets and drawers (M)
  • Clean brushes and combs (M)
  • Clean scale (M)
  • Wash floors (Every Thursday)
  • Empty trash. (as needed)

 

Friday, February 14, 2014: Routines; Work Quickly and Early; Walking Through Colossians: Colossian:6-23 Freedom and Life in Christ

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine’s Day

Bible Reading: Exodus 29-30; Psalm 38

imageArea of Focus: February 8-14: The Kitchen

February 15-21: Your Bedroom, Closet and Bathroom

Each Friday is Wrap Up the Week Day

  • Clean out your car
  • Clean out your purse (backpack, diaper bag, computer case, tote bag)
  • Vacuum the traffic areas of your home

Declutter for 15 to 30 Minutes

Walk in God’s Love

Don’t Put It Off

I remember being in pj’s at 4:30 in the afternoon along with my pj clad babies. All day long I had thought I had plenty of time and so I put off everything from getting dressed to doing dishes to beginning to prepare dinner.

Then began the mad rush before Roy arrived home. Heaven forbid that my sweeties were not cooperating. I didn’t have time to teach or help them, I only had time to yell warnings and directions. That was not the way I wanted to live but I didn’t have a plan and I thought I had plenty of time. Stress was created all around.

I realized that I needed to change. I realized that if I would go ahead and get dressed, straighten up my home and dress my children in the morning, that I wouldn’t have that mad last minute rush. We would all be much happier and relaxed. Now over thirty years later, without having to get up and get children out the door to school or begin schooling at home each day, I get up, make my bed, get dressed and try to have my home in order no later than 9 a.m. Because I keep up with things, my home is rarely more than 15 minutes from company ready and I think I could be ready for overnight company in around 30. I am not exceptional. I have always struggled with self-discipline. I simply realized my life is way simpler when I get what I need to get done quickly and early. I am then FREE to do projects—fun and/or home related. I am FREE to read a book. I am FREE to help others. I am free to visit with friends. I have lost the stress of avoiding those nagging things that need to be done.

Identify things that don’t need to be done and let them go. Work smarter, not harder. Take time to teach your children both attitudes and actions. Demonstrate those actions and attitudes in your life. Don’t tell others to do as you say and not as you do.

One of my friends mentioned in one of our Daniel Plan discussions that she had heard the question, “Where will you be in five years if you don’t change what you are doing now?

If you don’t make changes in your attitudes, actions, choices about all the elements of your life, where will you be?

I am already enjoying the benefits of small choices I am making in my lifestyle in response to the Daniel Plan. If I continue to make better choices the benefits will multiply over time. This is true in any area of your life. You can have a better life with better choices.

IMG_0371Walking Through Colossians: Colossians 2:6-23 Freedom and New Life in Christ

Having accepted Christ Jesus as Lord what shall we do?

  • 6And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. 
  • 7Let your roots grow down into him,
  • and let your lives be built on him.
  • Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught,
  • and you will overflow with thankfulness.
  • 8Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. 

Why?

  • 9For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. 10So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.

What happened when I came to Christ?

  • 11When you came to Christ, you were “circumcised,” but not by a physical procedure.
  • Christ performed a spiritual circumcision—the cutting away of your sinful nature.
  • 12For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead.
  • 13You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. 
  • 14He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.
  • 15In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.

So what does this mean?

  • 16So don’t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies or Sabbaths. 
  • 17For these rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come.

What is the reality?

  • And Christ himself is that reality. 

What will others try to bring between us and Christ?

  • 18Don’t let anyone condemn you by insisting on pious self-denial
  • or the worship of angels, saying they have had visions about these things.

Why do they do this?

  • Their sinful minds have made them proud, 
  • 19and they are not connected to Christ, the head of the body.
  • For he holds the whole body together with its joints and ligaments, and it grows as God nourishes it.

What is true of me now?

  • 20You have died with Christ, and he has set you free from the spiritual powers of this world.
  • So why do you keep on following the rules of the world, such as, 21“Don’t handle! Don’t taste! Don’t touch!”?
  •  22Such rules are mere human teachings about things that deteriorate as we use them. 
  • 23These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help in conquering a person’s evil desires.

Monday—Living in the Freedom of Christ

 

 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Bible Reading: Exodus 31-32; Psalm 34

Saturday is Family Fun Day

Have Fun Working and Playing Together

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Bible Reading: Use Sunday to Catch Up If You Are Behind in Your Reading or Focus on the Verses from Your Pastor’s Sermon

Sunday is Worship with Family and Church Family

Plan Your Week and Coordinate Activities and Needs with Your Husband and Children.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Bible Reading: Exodus 33-34; Psalm 35

February 15-21: Your Bedroom, Closet and BathroomIMG_0421

Monday is Launch Your Week Day

  • Pick up your home after the weekend
  • Clean Your Toilets
  • Check Your Bathrooms for any needed items and add to your shopping list before you run out.

Declutter for 15 to 30 Minutes

Walk in God’s Love

 

Monday, February 10, 2014: Routines; Intentional in the Kitchen; Intentional in Your Relationship with God; Wrapping Up Ephesians–Get Ready for Colossians

Monday, February 10, 2014

Bible Reading: Exodus 21-22; Psalm 34

Area of Focus, February 8-14: The Kitchenimage

Monday is Launch Your Week Day

  • Pick up your home after the weekend
  • Clean Your Toilets
  • Check Your Bathrooms for any needed items and add to your shopping list before you run out.

Declutter for 15 to 30 Minutes

Walk in God’s Love

 

Living Life on Purpose

 

For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord.

Plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

 Jeremiah 29:11

 

This week we are considering being intentional about our relationship with God. First, though, our Area of Focus for the week is the kitchen. I am sharing again the Kitchen Cleaning Checklist:

My fridge
My fridge

Kitchen Cleaning Checklist

  • Are there any cobwebs? (M)
  • Are the light fixtures and ceiling fan clean? (M)
  • Are the windows and window treatments clean? (M)
  • Is your refrigerator clean —inside and outside? (M) Are there fingerprints? (as needed) Are you using leftovers? (D) Do any items need to be tossed?(M)
  • Is your freezer clean? (M) Are there any foods that need to be used before they go out of date? (M)
  • Is your microwave clean inside and out? (M or as needed)
  • Are your stove top and oven clean?(M or as needed)
  • Are your drip pans or grates clean? Do they need to be replaced? (M)
  • Is the stove hood and filter clean? (M)
  • Are canisters and decorative items clean? (M)
  • Are there fingerprints or other marks on walls, window sills and woodwork?(M)
  • Are doors and door frames free of marks?(M)
  • Are baseboards clean? (M)
  • Are cabinet fronts clean? (M)
  • Do your cabinets need to be put in order? (M)
  • Is your under sink cabinet clean and in order? (M)
  • Are your countertops clean and sanitized? (D)
  • Is your sink clean and sanitized? (D)
  • Are your floors swept? (D)
  • Do your floors need to be mopped? (W or as needed)
  • Are the dishes done and put away (D) Is the dishwasher empty?(D)

IMG_0371Today’s Task in Being Intentional in Your Relationship with God

I humbly urge you, my brothers and sister, because of the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice to God which is the gift He truly wants from you. And do not conform yourself to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you might know that good, acceptable, and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:1-2 my paraphrase)

  • Give the gift of yourself to God and He will give a transformed person back to you and the people in your life.
  • Renew yourself continually by living in God’s presence.
  • Expose yourself regularly to His Word
  • Respond to His presence in and with you by knowing and doing His good, acceptable and perfect will. Be a conduit of His love and grace and mercy and goodness to those people He has given you to love.

Do you begin each day with a Quiet Time? Be intentional in your relationship with God by reserving the first moments of your day for Him. Take a few minutes to:

  • Pray (simply talking to God about your day and your concerns. God is bigger than all your challenges; and
  • Read one to three chapters from your Bible.

 

Walking Through Ephesians: Wrapping Up Ephesians—Get Ready for ColossiansIMG_0351

What are Paul’s final instructions?

  • 18Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion.
  • Stay alert and
  • be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.f
  • 19And pray for me, too.

How are we to pray for Paul?

  • Ask God to give me the right words

Why?

  •  so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike.
  •  20I am in chains now, still preaching this message as God’s ambassador. So pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should.

To finish Ephesians Paul shares news and sends greetings:

  • 21To bring you up to date, Tychicus will give you a full report about what I am doing and how I am getting along.

Who is Tychicus?

  • He is a beloved brother and faithful helper in the Lord’s work. 22I have sent him to you for this very purpose—to let you know how we are doing and to encourage you.

What are Paul’s final words?

  • 23Peace be with you, dear brothers and sisters,h and
  • may God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you love with faithfulness.
  • 24May God’s grace be eternally upon all who love our Lord Jesus Christ.

Colossians is very similar to Ephesians so tomorrow we will begin to inch through Colossians.

Hugs,

Mary

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Bible Reading: Exodus 23-24; Psalm 35

Area of Focus, February 8-14: The Kitchen

Tuesday is Duster Dance Day

Dusting is a dreaded task for many people, so make it fun. Put on music. Grab a duster that you can have fun with. Chicken feather dusters are NO fun! They only move the dust around. Ostrich feather dusters are incredible. They capture dust so you can go outside and release it to the world. Lambswool and Swiffer dusters work, too.

Declutter for 15 to 30 Minutes

Walk in God’s Love

Tuesday, February 4, 2014: Routines, If You Have a Home That Welcomes Your Family, Your Guests Will Feel Welcome There, Too. Walking Through Ephesians–A Word to Parents

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Bible Reading: Exodus 11-12; Psalm 29

Area of Focus: February 1-7—The Living Room/Family RoomIMG_0424

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.

Clean for Your Family and Your Guests Will Find a Welcoming Environment, Too.The Daniel Plan Meeting—Number Three

Yesterday I again hosted a large group of women in the morning (around15) and a smaller group of 6 in the afternoon. The women are enjoying themselves so much that some were leaving as the other class was arriving (1 ½ hour gap). It is a joy to me to host them and part of the reason is that I clean my home for Roy and I and our children and grandchildren who are often here. I do not clean for guests so on Monday mornings I put a few things back in order, pull out the coffee mugs, make a huge urn of coffee, and line up all the chairs we have in the living room. I make sure my dishwasher is empty so I can load mugs and dishes as they are used and turn on the dishwasher when the last guest leaves. Clean up is easy, too. I remember when every time I was to have guests in my house it involved a cleaning marathon at both ends. Daily attention to your home can make having guests a joy instead of a trial.

We demonstrated making smoothies yesterday. I simply put almond milk in my Shark 1500 Food Processing System, a couple of scoops of Mango Protein powder from Shaklee and a frozen fruit blend that had mangoes, peaches, strawberries and pineapple and blended. It was scrumptious. The protein powder has 24 g of protein and 6 g of fiber and is very satisfying. One of the morning class members shared the Thrive dried fruit in smoothies. She did a berry blend that she had rehydrated overnight with Vanilla protein powder, and a banana. Having a smoothie for breakfast most mornings is one change that I will not find difficu

Walking Through Ephesians: Ephesians 6: 4 A Word to Parents

IMG_0271What instructions are given to fathers?

  • 4Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger

How?

  • by the way you treat them.

What are fathers do to instead?

  • Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction

Where does that training and instruction come from?

  •  that comes from the Lord.

Usually I don’t comment but I want to point some things today. The instruction is given to the fathers. God usually instructs us to do things that may not come totally naturally to us. These actions come almost naturally to most mothers. God brings to the fathers that they have responsibility in training (discipline) and instruction of their children and that that instruction originates from the Lord. Our children are disciples of the Lord that we disciples of the Lord disciple.

We are not to frustrate or provoke our children. We are to teach, to demonstrate, to show our children to learn all the elements of life, from the spiritual to the practical. We work with our children and give them increasing responsibility as they demonstrate increasing ability and maturity. When we are lax, when we are not faithful, when we raise our children yelling at them because they act their age, do not do what we have not taught them to do, we sin. Our children are a trust from the Lord and we are to nurture them, to love and care for them. We need to stand strongly for right in their lives and stand strongly against evil, even if it means we are inconvenienced, have to turn off programs that we enjoy but that do not present a godly world view, have to say no to what everyone else is doing. We should be able to explain why. We should be able to explain what we believe. “Do as I say and not as I do”, does not cut it. You are not a member of your child’s peer group. You are not a buddy. You are the parent charged with the responsibility to teach and demonstrate godly principles for all of life to your children. You, Mom and Dad, are a representative of God in their life and many children will reject God as Father by the way their father, fathers.

‘nuff, said for today. Faithfully fulfill this commission of God.

Hugs,

Mary

 

 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Bible Reading: Exodus 13-14; Psalm 30

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

Each Wednesday is Desk DayMy Desk

  • Do you have any bills to be paid?
  • Do you have any phone calls to make? Notes to write? Emails to send?
  • Do you have any cards to send?
  • Do you have any papers that need to be put away in a manner that will help you locate them when needed? (Filing)

Declutter for 15 to 30 Minutes

Walk in God’s Love

Wednesday, January 22, 2014: Routines, Walking Through Ephesians: Ephesians 3:1-13; Priorities and Disciplines

 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Bible Reading: Genesis 41-42; Psalm 19

Area of Focus Wednesday, January 22nd  to Tuesday, January 28th :

The Dining Room, The Entry, and The Front Porch

My File Box for My Simple Filing System
My File Box for My Simple Filing System

Wednesday is Desk Day

  • Pay Bills
  • Deal with Any Paperwork, phone calls, emails, or notes that have to do with your personal business or family business. This does not mean a business as a job but you are the manager of your family and manage your personal affairs. Keep up with it regularly. Not dealing with personal and family business can be very expensive.
  • File—Put away papers you will need in a way that you will be able to locate them

IMG_0194Walking Through Ephesians: Ephesians 3: 1-13 God’s Marvelous Plan for the Gentiles

Who is writing this?

1For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles—

What does Paul ask us we have heard about?

2Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you,

What does Paul tell us about the mystery of the administration of God’s grace?

  • 3that is, the mystery made known to me
  • by revelation, as I have already written briefly.
  • 4In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ,
  • 5which was not made known to people in other generations
  •  as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets.
  • 6This mystery is that through the gospel
    • the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel,
    • members together of one body, and
    • sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.

How did Paul become a servant of the good news of God’s grace to the Gentiles?

  • 7I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power.
  • 8Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles

What was Paul to proclaim to the Gentiles?

  • the boundless riches of Christ,
  • 9and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery,
    • which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things.

What was God’s intent?

  • 10His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms,
  • 11according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.
  • 12In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.

What did Paul tell them regarding his suffering?

  • 13I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.

Priorities and Disciplines (Sounds Like Fun, Doesn’t It?)

IMG_0001Each morning, before I sit down to write to you, exercise discipline to fulfill my commitments to the Lord on behalf of myself, and my husband.

The way I care for myself and my husband and my home and also for my grown children and their children is an “as onto the Lord.” The people I love are sometimes more or less popular with me based on their actions and attitudes. When I love them intentionally because of my relationship with Jesus, their actions and attitudes become less important to me and I can attempt to love them unconditionally and forgive them quickly.

My first discipline is to get up, brush my teeth, wash my face and moisturize, take a shower every other day, fix my hair and get dressed to the shoes. When I put on my shoes and socks I moisturize my feet.

My second discipline is to make sure my home is in good basic order as I head for my chair where I have Quiet Time. While I am reading the Bible and praying, my washer, and my dishwasher are hard at work. After I have had my Quiet Time and written to you, clothes are ready for the dryer, and dishes are ready to come out of the dishwasher. Roy is ususally up my now ( I can hear him moving around upstairs) so I can make the bed when I go up to move the clothes from the washer to the dryer.

At this point it is usually around 8 am and I have my day ahead of me to enjoy whatever the day holds:

  • I am dressed
  • My heart is lined up with My Savior’s
  • My home is in good basic order—dishes done, laundry on the move, rooms in order

This gives me tremendous freedom.

I am easily distracted. Becoming organized was WORK for me. These are disciplines (trainings) I have developed in my life that pay big dividends in freedom, time, peace of mind, and so many other things. Once these basics are done I am free to head out the door or do things that I enjoy or need to be done in my home. I can declutter, serve at Bible Study and in other groups, visit with friends, work on projects in my home, read, or take off for the day with my husband.

Get up—take care of the basics—and then schedule what needs to be done and some things you enjoy. Mix times of rest in with times of focused work.  Mix time outside your home with friends with time in your home caring for your family. Maintain balance and put first things first.

  • Relationship with God—times of prayer, reading, study, living continually in His Presence
  • Relationship with my husband—time talking, enjoying each other’s company, caring for him by caring for our home
  • Relationship with my children—spending time with them and helping them as I can
  • Relationships with friends and neighbors—helping and sharing life with them
  • Being a member of my church—serving and being aware and involved
  • Being a citizen of my country—being informed, sharing information, serving, voting

What are your priorities—what comes before what?  Are your husband and children coming in a poor last to others? What about me? I sprinkle me time throughout my day and I enjoy all I do including the things I don’t necessarily like to do. Cleaning toilets does not thrill my heart but having a clean bathroom and providing a pleasant environment for myself and Roy does.

What are your priorities? When you are asked to do something do you consider those priorities? Are your priorities out of order? That is a road paved with misery for you and your family.

There are times and seasons in your life. Enjoy the season you are in. There will be time in the future for the things that are part of that next season. As a young mom, don’t overload yourself with obligations. Learn to say no with a smile recognizing that in the future you will be able to say yes. I miss those years of struggle with small children, then homeschooling and then teens in conventional high school. Don’t miss the joy around you now and then look back with regret. God will give you strength for what He has called you to in this season. If you do not have the strength or the energy, something is out of kilter.

  • Ask God what is supposed to be part of this season
  • You are God’s woman where you are first.
  • Only you can be your husband’s wife. Only you can be your children’s mother. Do not let them feed on relationship leftovers
  • Carefully consider each other obligation in your life. You may need to make some hard changes to fulfill the primary commitments in your life.
  • Think about it, pray about it, talk about it with your husband, and then build the life God has for you.

Love and Hugs,

Mary

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Bible Reading: Genesis 43-44; Psalm 20

Area of Focus: Your Entry, Dining Room and Front Porch

My China Cabinet
My China Cabinet

Each Thursday is Floor Day:  Clean Your Hard Floors

Wood, laminate, tile, linoleum

Declutter each day for 15 to 30 minutes

Friday, January 17, 2014–Routines, Ephesians 1:1-14, and It Only Works If You Do It

Friday, January 17, 2014

Bible Reading: Genesis 33-34; Psalm 15

The Area of Focus is The Master Bedroom, Closet, and En Suite BathroomIMG_0422

Each Friday is Wrap Up Your Week Day

  • Clean out your purse, backpack, diaper bag or whatever you carry with you when you go out the door
  • Clean out your car
  • Vacuum the traffic areas in your home—just the traffic areas in all but your Area of Focus. In your Area of Focus vacuum behind, under, and  around—a more thorough vacuuming.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Bible Reading: Genesis 35-36; Psalm 16

Family Fun Day—Work and Play as a Family and Make It Fun!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Bible Reading: Catch Up If You Are Behind or Take Time to Reflect on This Week’s Readings or Scripture from Today’s Sermon

Worship Our God and Savior with Your Brothers and Sisters in Christ

Meet with Your Family to Plan the Week

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise to Me!

I am purposefully , intentionally remembering that whatever God calls us to do, He will give us a good provision for that purpose. I am facilitating a study of The Daniel Plan at my home for the next 6 weeks. I thought maybe 6 to 10, 12 tops would sign up. I am blessed with 24 wonderful women coming to my home each Monday for the next six weeks. When I began to see that the group might be larger than I had thought, I spoke with my sweet husband to ask him if I might be able to have a morning and an afternoon session (10-11:30 and 1:2:30). He was gracious. The size of the group still exceeded my wildest dreams. I have a comfortable home but not palatial . I can seat 16 in my living room if I bring in all the chairs in my home. So pride to the side, I will make coffee, turn on the DVD and let the ladies talk and learn together. God knew before I did who would want to take part in this class. It is no surprise to Him. I work for Him, I am His servant and He has graciously provided my home and all that is in it.  Is there anything holding you back from a call God is speaking to your heart? Launch out into the deep with me and let’s see how He meets our needs. I am fully relying on Him.

Plunging in to EphesiansIMG_0371

Yesterday I asked you to read through Ephesians just as the letter it is. I mentioned being alert for the “In Him” statements in the letter. When you read the Bible, asks yourself questions:

  • Who
  • What
  • Where
  • Why
  • When
  • How

** below indicates my comments.

Today, let’s begin to walk through this letter that tells us how to walk in this world, in our relationships and in relationship with Him. Today  Chapter One—the greeting plus verses 3-14, Paul wrote:

Greetings from Paul

Why is Paul an apostle? chosen by the will of God to be an apostle

Whose apostle is Paul? an apostle of Christ Jesus

An apostle is an emissary of a person in position of leadership who is sent to represent that king, emperor or other person. The words that person speaks are to be the words of the person he is representing so Paul carries the responsibility to speak Jesus’ words, convey God’s message to whomever he is addressing.

1This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus.

Who in that specific time is Paul writing to?

I am writing to God’s holy people in Ephesus,a who are faithful followers of Christ Jesus.

How does Paul greet them?

2May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.

What is grace?

Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance—grace, favor

From chairo; graciousness (as gratifying), of manner or act (abstract or concrete; literal, figurative or spiritual; especially the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life; including gratitude) — acceptable, benefit, favour, gift, grace(- ious), joy, liberality, pleasure, thank(-s, -worthy).

**For us grace is God’s unmerited favor. It is a gift, not anything we deserve.

What is peace?

Strong’s one, peace, quietness, rest.

Probably from a primary verb eiro (to join); peace (literally or figuratively); by implication, prosperity — one, peace, quietness, rest, + set at one again.

**The Hebrew concept of peace is whole and complete, nothing missing, nothing broken.

**(In the Greek verses 3-14 are one sentence)

Spiritual Blessings

**Paul opens with praise in response to what God has done for us

Who does Paul praise? 3All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

What has the Father done for us?

  • who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms
    • Why? because we are united with Christ.
    • When? 4Even before he made the world,
  • God loved us and
  • chose us in Christ
    • What? to be holy and without fault in his eyes.
  • 5God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself
    • How? through Jesus Christ.
  • This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.

Why do we praise God?6So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out

  • To Who? on us who belong to his dear Son.b

What also has the Father done for us?

  • 7He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom

What did God use to purchase our freedom? with the blood of his Son

  • and forgave our sins.
  • 8He has showered his kindness on us,
  • along with all wisdom and understanding.

What has God revealed?

9God has now revealed to us his mysterious plan regarding Christ, a plan to fulfill his own good pleasure.

What is God’s plan?

  • 10And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth.
  • 11Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he
    • chose us in advance, and
    • he makes everything work out according to his plan.

What is God’s purpose?

  • For the Jews: 12God’s purpose was that we Jews who were the first to trust in Christ would bring praise and glory to God.
  • For the Gentiles: 13And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth,

What truth?

  • the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own
  • How? by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. 14The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people.
  • Why? He did this so we would praise and glorify him.

If you think you can’t, you’re right. If you think you can, you’re right.

IMG_0403I believe I can do anything God has called me to do in His strength. In days past, when someone told me something that would be effective to help me to be better organized, use my time better, or any number of things I longed for in my life, I was resistant. That might work for them, but I was different. It wouldn’t work for me. Then one day I realized that if I never tried anything new I would stay where I was. I think it’s Einstein’s quote that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

I resolved to try wearing shoes, getting up and getting dressed in the morning, having basic routines—daily, weekly, monthly. If it didn’t work for me I would try to adjust plans that had been effective in other’s lives. I cannot begin to tell you the number of books I have read since the 1970’s on time management and organization, cleaning, or any number of topics to make a difference in my home. I see the same basic concepts repeated over and over. There is no magic bullet. There are ways to work smarter and to enjoy and be more effective in caring for your family and home. No fairy is going to drop down from the sky and sprinkle perfection dust on all you touch. Unless you have the finances to hire organizers and a cleaning team, you will probably have to do the work. If you hire people to clean and organize, unless you learn how to maintain what they do, their work will only last for several weeks maximum. You can do this. I cannot imagine anyone who is any more of a mess than I have been in my life. I am a dreamer, easily distracted, inclined to want to sit, sip tea and watch the clouds roll by (interpret that: at least a little lazy). If I can have a clean, orderly, and pleasant home, you can, too. I have not always had the cooperation of husband and children. You can come up with a reason (excuse) why just about anything will not work for you. Unless you try and give it at least a few weeks, you will be in the same place, next week, next month, next year. You can get a job or go shopping to get out or your home but you will come home to the same mess. You can by doing a little consistently, change yourself, change your home, and change your life—and the lives of the people you love. Start small and build. Maintain. Be tenacious but loving. You can do this.

Hugs,

Mary