Just Because I Can, Doesn’t Mean I Always Do

I can make mozzarella cheese. I can make Gatorade. I can make bread, pie, bagels, and pizza.

Homemade Gatorade

I share all of these ideas and recipes with people here. It’s so much fun! I talk about ways to save time and ways to save money. I’ve figured out ways to put nutritious meals on the table in less than 20 minutes, letting people know that none of us ever has to rely on take-out.

But just because I know these things, teach these things, and have experienced so much good because of all these things doesn’t mean I always do all these things.

Does this mean I’m a hypocrite? No. This means I’m human.

How about you? Human much?

I bet you know a lot of great tricks for saving money and time. But if you’re like me, sometimes there simply isn’t time to execute the time saving strategies (does this even make sense?). Sometimes the extra few dollars we need to pay for convenience is worth it so that we avoid stress and overthinking.

Check out what I did a few weeks before Christmas:

bagel-basket

I bought four packages of bagels (without reading the ingredient labels, if you can possibly imagine). I bought four bags of different varieties of granola. I bought a box of instant oatmeal pouches. I put them all in a big basket in the kitchen and told my kids, “This is breakfast for the next few days. Make eggs if you want. Always eat fruit. Beyond this, I won’t be making anything for breakfast because I have too much to do before we leave for California and I’m trying very hard not to be a crazy mom.”

I felt no guilt over the extra expense and the extra sugar and white flour. (Okay fine, I did cringe just a little bit, but only for half a second until I remembered my purpose.)

Nothing is worth anxiety and stress – not even the occasional ingredient label I can’t pronounce. Not even the extra few bucks I could have saved making it all myself.

Do I know how to make bagels? Granola? Instant oatmeal packets? Yes, yes, and yes. It’s fantastic to have such great money-saving recipes in my hip pocket. It’s wonderful knowing I’ve done all I can to put the best of the best on the table for my family.

But it’s more important to be able to love my family with a peaceful heart. It’s crucial for my mental and spiritual health that I spend as much time as possible each morning in prayer and reading the Word. And just before Christmas, the priority of enjoying the season with my family meant much more to me than flipping whole wheat pancakes and serving them with homemade blueberry syrup.

Just because I can, doesn’t mean I always do. Just because it sometimes works, doesn’t mean it always works. Just because I could, doesn’t mean I should. Just because change is hard, doesn’t mean change is bad. Just because I’m doing it now, doesn’t mean I always will.

just-because-i-can

Our family is home now after over 57 hours on the road and two weeks away from home. Things are starting to settle back down (sort of, if they ever actually do). I don’t plan to make bagels anytime soon. But I bet I’ll find time to make a batch or two of granola.

No matter what, I’ll seek to make the most important things in life the highest priority, remembering that just because I can do something, doesn’t mean I always should.

How about you? What are some things you (should) give up during times of additional stress and extra full schedules?

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On Thursday I Killed the Chicken (so I took pictures)

 

Of course I got excited when I found antibiotic-free, hormone-free, happy-happy chicken marked down for quick sale on Wednesday. I bought a sack full and planned to throw it on the grill to have with salads at lunch the next day. It would be easy, delicious, and nourishing. It was bone-in, so I could cook the chicken slow and low while still getting little bits of work done around the house. Yep. I had it all planned out.

Around 11:45 I fired up the grill. The chicken soon started to sizzled happily. I went back into the house for a few minutes. After all, the chicken didn’t need a babysitter.

Except that apparently it did.

When I went back outside after “letting the chicken cook low and slow” for several minutes, I noticed that the outside of the grill looked slightly discolored. Weird. I also noticed that the air didn’t smell like yummy chicken. It smelled…burned. Weird.

I opened the grill. WHAT????? Noooooooo!

Check it out. I killed the chicken.

burned chicken

I don’t know what actually took place in the few minutes between placing the chicken on the grill and going back to check on it, but judging from the looks of things, I’m thinking the entire interior of the grill caught fire. (I guess the fat from the skin of the chicken was just too drippy?)

Score none for Mom. (I mean, I didn’t burn down the entire house, so I guess I’ll take a half a point for that.)

I immediately got mad at the burned chicken. I got mad at the grill. Mad at myself. Mad at the kids (because when I apologized to them and told them what happened, a couple of them came back at me with attitude about “having to eat leftovers again.” Then I got mad at myself again for raising children who would actually complain about leftovers.

It was my finest hour.

I even went so far as to decide not to take any stupid pictures or write a stupid post about it. (As you can see, I’ve chilled out since Thursday.)

Sometimes I can burn chicken and laugh about it. Thursday was not one of those days. I had too much to do, not enough time, and I needed lunch to cook itself. When it didn’t – I snapped.

I know life isn’t perfect and I’ll never arrive at perfect homemaker, perfect mom, perfect wife, perfect chicken cooker. I know this. But I guess I still want the status of practically perfect. Why is that? Why is it that I ruin lunch and get mad? Why is it that after running around for three days this weekend serving people, loving people, and being with my family – I look at my filthy kitchen and get frustrated that I can’t do it all?

I guess where I land is that I constantly need truth checks. What is truth? Am I failing or not doing enough? Most importantly:

What does God ask of me?

Truth tells me that my dirty kitchen and burned chicken are a tiny piece of my daily puzzle and that other pieces are bigger and carry more weight. Truth tells me that many of my daily puzzle pieces fit together perfectly, even without me trying. Truth tells me that I don’t have to do all and be all because Jesus already is. Truth tells me that I’m rocking this job even when I don’t – because Christ’s power is made perfect in my weaknesses.

These thoughts are brought to you today by completely blackened chicken and a sink full of crusty pots and pans with a side of crumbs and sticky counter-tops.

I had to pray over my mess, and these are the truths that rose to the top. I guess it’s a good thing I decided to take a picture of that chicken.

Heavenly Homemaker’s Savings Club – Free Memberships for All!

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Frugal Homemakers Unite! (That sounded less cheesy in my head.)

I’ve been a (work outside the home, stay at home mom, or work from home) homemaker for over 21 years. While I recognize the value of investing in quality food and quality products, I also appreciate saving money in any area I can. How else could I afford to buy pants long enough for my ever-growing teenage sons?

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The good news:

It is absolutely possible to feed a family well and manage a home well without over-spending. It is also possible to do this without spending hours in the kitchen, hours at the store, and hours online.

I come across many good deals because of the connections I have made with a wonderful online community throughout the past eight years. I pick and choose carefully the deals I choose to share here on my blog because there’s only so much time and space and I prefer to focus more on recipes and encouragement here (not that a good deal on coconut oil isn’t pretty encouraging!).

I’ll continue to share great deals here on my blog as I feel they will be a blessing to you. But now we’ve got something bigger and better to offer: the Heavenly Homemaker’s Savings Club.

What is it?

When you join Heavenly Homemaker’s Savings Club, you’ll be privileged to hear about all the great deals I come across but don’t have space to share here on my blog. I’ll compile the best of the best of money saving tips, ideas, and resources – and I’ll send them to you so that you can take advantage of and enjoy them as needed.

Savings Club Free Membership

Savings Club members will enjoy these perks:

  • Infrequent emails that pack a punch. I’m not going to load down your inbox. Neither you nor I have time for that! You can expect to see an email from the Savings Club a couple times each week – sometimes less, sometimes more. It’ll all depend on what great savings tips I come across and how many family activities I’m running off to during the week.
  • Information about great offers on nourishing groceries, non-toxic household and self-care products, and other resources. If I love it and use it and it saves us all money, I’ll let you know about it!
  • Money saving tips. Do you know how many ways I’ve learned to cut costs and save money during the past two decades? (I mean, I don’t have an exact number of ways. That was sort of rhetorical. It’s a lot though.) I don’t plan to stop learning more ways to save, so I’ll share what I know and share what I continue to learn. (Just last year I learned to make Gatorade!)
  • Freebies. You’d be surprised at the amount of free stuff I hear about but have to ignore because I just don’t have space in my blog schedule to share. I want to be able to tell you about these opportunities!

Speaking of Freebies and Deals

Let’s get your membership rolling with some freebies right from the start.

First of all, your membership for the Savings Club is now and forever will be free. Second, I created a free eBooklet for all members, which includes my Top 10 Money Saving Recipes. Plus, within that book, you’ll find a fun surprise coupon (or not so surprise, since I told you about it just now) so you can get another eBook from my shop for just a buck!

Top 10 Money Saving Recipes

I’ve got some great deals and goodies to share with you during the next couple of weeks, so join the club and be in the know!

Sign up using the form below, or click through this link to sign up if the form isn’t showing up for you.

I’m super excited to share that signing up for this freebie will connect you to our new Heavenly Homemaker’s Savings Club. It’s free, of course. You can unsubscribe at any time, your info will never be shared or sold, and being on this list means that you’ll be the first to know any great deals or freebies that will bless your homemaking efforts!

UPDATE: A brand new freebie!

We just added a new free resource for our Savings Club Members to enjoy! Subscribe to become a member and receive this great eBooklet filled with 30 ways Heavenly Homemakers readers have learned to save money on real food.

30 Real Food Money Saving Tips

We’re Hitting Restart – But Before We Do…

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Thank you all for joining me in hitting the restart button this fall. It’s going to be so much fun to settle into the season together! But first, let’s chat…

Once we decide to hit the restart button on our lives, it can be way too easy to get pumped up to jump right into every single bit of every single thing we hope and dream to be and to do – all at the same time. We know changes need to be made, we greatly desire to offer the best to our families, and we’re tired of not quite hitting the mark.

Before we know it, we’ve made a vow to daily scrub our floor boards, have no less than 28 casseroles in the freezer at all times, and never, ever raise our voice to our children again.  We’ve decided to get back into smaller jeans by Thursday, sleep 8.5 hours every night, and hand-craft all Christmas and birthday gifts with recycled materials. Because we feel that we can certainly accomplish all this and then some, in an effort to be everything we can possibly be for our families, we eagerly sign ourselves up for yodeling classes.

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Clearly, once we all master the art of yodeling, we will have arrived. Clearly.

You know how this works right?  We hit the restart button and then start restarting everything at once.  Very soon, we get overwhelmed with it all, end up hating every bit of it, succeed at nothing, and hang our heads all the way to the fast food drive-thru four nights in a row.

Deciding to do too much and thinking you can actually pull it off is just…too much.

You can’t put 28 casseroles in the freezer and then sleep 8.5 hours that night so stop thinking you can. Smaller jeans aren’t the be all and end all, so stop focusing on that and simply work to nourish your body better.   Nobody wants an earring holder made from a toilet paper tube, so if handcrafted recycled gifts aren’t your thing, please do not try to make it your thing.

Am I making sense? Do you know what I’m saying? (Am I the only one who dislikes being asked that?)  YouknowwhatImean?  Yeah, Iknowwhatyoumean. (expressed in my best yodel)

yodel 2

Be reasonable. You have my full permission to be very eager to make positive changes for your health and for the health of your family! I highly encourage it. But be real and be wise. Changes in our lives need to be God inspired, not self inspired. The quickest way to feel defeated is to forget the Source of our strength, and the Purpose behind our choices. Success is determined not by all we accomplish in a day, but by the peace we experience through choosing God’s best for our lives.

I’m hitting the restart button because I need it – mind, body, and soul. I look forward to learning what God plans to teach you and me during this season.

I like clean floorboards, but I like peace and joy more. I like healthy food in my freezer, but I like listening to God more. I like making handcrafted recycled gifts, but no I don’t, who am I even kidding, youknowwhatImean?

So what I’m trying to say is, do you really need to sign up for yodeling classes? Or be a part of another program? Or set 14 new goals for yourself?  Or strive to be what you think everyone else thinks you should be? I haven’t scrubbed my floorboards since #*&$hc&s#*  <—- dropped call static

(Can you hear me now?)

Make goals based on what God is calling you to be. Improve in areas that bless your family. Hit that restart button in an effort to glorify God. Won’t it be lovely to see what He works out in you through your open heart?

yodel 3

She yodels and she dresses her children in homemade matching outfits.
As if that isn’t enough, they flit, they float, and bid us all adieu in perfect four part harmony.

Unless God has clearly called you to be a yodeler, then by all means, I don’t know how to even finish that sentence. Just join me in simplicity, will you? Join me in making prayerful decisions about God’s purpose for you. Join me in hitting the restart button that offers something better for our families in the form of peace and joy.

All the rest – the healthy eating, the exercise, the organization, and the clean house – it will all fall into place.

I so totally love this platform.  I love that so many of you hang out with me here each day. Thank you, my dear readers, for being such an inspiration to me and to all the others here. Here’s to a fantastic month of prayerfully hitting the restart button together!

P.S. If any of you can actually yodel, I have to know.

Great Homemaking Doesn’t Always Mean “Make it Homemade”

If you desire to be a great homemaker, you must:

  • always have a perfectly clean house
  • always make homemade food from scratch, using the finest ingredients
  • keep your closets wonderfully organized
  • have perfectly behaved children (who never have crusty boogers on their sleeves)
  • never run out of toilet paper

No pressure.

Drop kick it with me, friends! I despise these expectations we think others are putting on us that we most likely are really putting on ourselves.

The real definition of a great homemaker:

  • Loves her family {check}
  • Feeds her family {constantly}
  • Can close the closet doors {thankfully}
  • Relies on God’s grace while raising children {unceasingly}
  • Picks up cheese and apples while she’s making a slightly panicked toilet paper run {might as well be efficient}

Want to see what I made my family for our Sunday Dinner today?

Great Homemaking Doesn't Always Mean Make it Homemade

It’s a take-and-bake pizza from the store. Couldn’t I have made a homemade pizza? Well sure if I….wait – you know what? NO. I couldn’t. That’s why I bought the pizza.  Our weekend has been so full of awesome fun, unexpected appliance break-downs (the washing machine and the dishwasher in the same day, really?), oodles of guests, and because it’s springtime – soccer games. If we were going to make it to church and soccer games today with food in our bellies and a mama who had at least gotten a few hours sleep, lunch was either going to be a package of raw, frozen hamburger – or a store bought pizza. We went with the pizza. (You’re welcome, kids.)

Does great homemaking always mean “make it homemade?”

So let’s consider:  Since I bought a pizza from the store to feed my family for lunch, am I a homemaking failure? Since my new/used washing machine just got installed yesterday and I have yet to use it or clean up the mess the delivery guys left all the way down the stairs while they took out the old washer, am I a homemaking failure? Since my dishwasher was broken and I pulled out the paper plates for our company on Saturday morning, am I a homemaking failure?

Sigh.  I’m pretty sure I am. Woe is me. I failed to be perfect. I may as well throw in the (dirty) towel.

Or not.

Homemaking is homemaking – no matter what it looks like. My heart is for God and for my family. I always work hard and do my best. Today, my best looked like a store bought pizza. Today, I blessed my family by feeding them, worshiping with them, and cheering them on at soccer. Joyfully, I have a case of toilet paper on hand so that I can check that off my list of mama emergencies.

Homemakers…unite! Bring your imperfections, your crusty nosed kids, your broken appliances, and your unmade beds. Be empowered to keep on doing what God is calling you to do. Keep working hard, loving your families, and rocking this homemaking thing.

And if my closet door is ever open when you come to my house, please look away very quickly and act like you didn’t see a thing.

The Many Joys and Frustrations of Homemaking

Nothing is perfect this side of Heaven. That’s why we have dust and cobwebs, back aches, lost library books, and challenging parenting issues. It can all draw us closer to God (true perfection!) and help us recognize our need for His strength. We also know that even with all the crazy and frustrating aspects of life, there is also a lot of joy. Hey, if we can’t laugh at our spilled buttermilk

The Many Joys and Frustrations of Homemaking

As we focus this week on remembering that Homemaking is Fun, I want to encourage you with some posts from the archives.

Let’s begin with a few lessons I’ve learned about dealing with some of those less than ideal situations:

~ My best lesson from Grandma…Every Good Cook Burns Herself Sometimes

~ Best (ha!) sleep-over breakfast ever…The Day I Forgot To Sift the Popcorn Out of the Waffle Mix

~ Ugh, picky children!…I Can Now Accommodate Picky Muffin Eaters and Mix and Match Oatmeal Bars

Now let’s talk to all of you who don’t love to cook:

~ This one speaks for itself…So, You Don’t Like to Cook?

~ Donuts, again?…Start the Day With a Healthy Breakfast

~ My favorite “I don’t feel like cooking” breakfast…Instant Oatmeal in a Jar

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And we’ll wrap it up by talking about ways to save money:

~ Freezer meals rock…Loads of Make-Ahead-Meal posts

~ This is a HOT deal right now!…Grab Your Free $10 For Whole Food Groceries

~ Our favorite whole food meals that cost about $1 per plate…Dollar Menu Recipes

 

What? You’re Not Perfect Either?

What You're Not Perfect Either

When I wake up in the morning, I like walking into a clean living room.   I love to see a bathroom empty of dirty laundry. And I feel so peaceful cooking breakfast in a tidy kitchen.

When I wake up the boys, it feels great to see them sleeping in a room that is uncluttered. As I walk back downstairs, I love to see our school room organized, our stash of Legos all picked up, and a hallway that is clear of all toys, clothes, and balls.

Yes, this is what I strive for as a homemaker. It is when my house is cleaned and uncluttered that I feel peace.

So what happens when I wake up to a kitchen that looks like this?

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And a hallway that looks like this?

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And a Lego room that looks like this:

lego_room

Should I then feel like I’ve failed? Should I sigh deeply, let my shoulders drop, frown, and wonder {again} why everyone else has it together better than I?

Sure I could, and I have many times through the years. After all, older women have encouraged me to never go to bed with a dirty kitchen. Books and blogs I’ve read have provided so many organizational tools and scheduling ideas that if I were to only implement them already, I could easily get done what I need to each day. There should be no reason that my clean laundry sits in the hallway for three days before we get around to folding it and putting it away –  after all, I am home all day and I have a lot of boys to help out. I have got to get better organized! I have got to figure out a better schedule! Somehow I must not be doing something right!

What is the matter with me? When am I ever going to get all of this figured out?

Nothing.

Never.

Nothing is the matter with me and I am never going to get all of this figured out. How about you? Now let’s all breathe a sigh of relief.

Let’s stop seeing our personal imperfections and feeling crushed by them. As huge as our laundry piles are, as long as our to-do lists become  – God is so much bigger, and so is his grace. While He does call us to take care of our homes, He doesn’t ask us to be enslaved by them or to make them an idol.

If we are so hung up on creating a perfect home that we lose sight of the heart of our home, ain’t no amount of dishwasher detergent gonna give us peace. Enough about me (or you) as a homemaker. Jesus is the One who makes a home.

Sometimes I wake up to this:

dirty_kitchen_4

It’s great. I love it.  I strive to stay on top of the jobs that need to be done in my home. And I will continue to work hard because that is what I am called to do.

But never again will I feel like a failure when working hard for my family does not achieve perfection. Jesus is the heart of our home. The gunk on my floor doesn’t stand a chance.

What gets you down? What do you need to let go of so that you can accept the gift of God’s peace for your home?

Every Good Cook Burns Herself Sometimes…

I think I was about eleven years old at the time. I was baking chocolate chip cookies – all by myself. It was something I’d been doing since I was about nine, and my mom had confidently turned over all cookie baking jobs to me at that point.

As I reached in to pull the pan of cookies from the oven that day, somehow my right arm brushed the inside of the oven. Ouch! I’d had little burns before, but this one was a biggie. Or so it seemed at the time.

Mom helped me try to find some relief for the burn as she finished up the cookie baking chore. I remember being in a lot of pain – and feeling really frustrated with myself. How could I have been so dumb? It is not hard to take cookies out of the oven without burning yourself. Why hadn’t I just slowed down and done it right? I must  not be a very good cook, I woefully lamented to myself.

Later that day, my grandma came over to drop something off. She took a look at the burn on my arm, winced sympathetically, and said, “Ah, the sign of a good cook…”

What? Good cook?!  I had been thinking exactly the opposite. As I got teary eyed, Grandma continued, “Laura, every good cook I know burns herself every once in a while. It’s not fun, but it means that you’re working hard to help feed your family. Take care of your burn, then get back in the kitchen and keep on cooking.”

It’s a good thing my grandma gave me that advice. Otherwise, my husband and sons would be pretty hungry by now. Just kidding. I’m sure I would have found my way back into the kitchen eventually. But Grandma’s words dried my tears, and got me off the couch and back into the kitchen that very day.

Every good cook burns herself sometimes. Every homemaker occasionally flings a spoonful of flour into the jar of salt.  (As in, I did this just last Wednesday.)  Sometimes, when you open the refrigerator, the plastic bottle of ketchup will fall to the floor, break, and shoot ketchup all the way into the living room, up your pantleg, and into the leftover pie. (Again, last Wednesday.)

Every parent says the wrong thing to her child at one time or another. Every person puts his foot in his mouth occasionally. Everyone who has ever done laundry has found that a red shirt with a white sock will create a pretty shade of pink.  Or in my case, I learned that my green kitchen rug would turn my light blue guest towels the color of puke. (If only Grandma could have come over that day.)

Afraid of failing?  Nervous about trying something new?  Scared that you don’t know enough about cooking, serving, parenting, homemaking, working, or you know…taking cookies out of an oven? Not to worry. Every good cook burns herself sometimes.

Trying and failing, spilling and splattering buttermilk onto the ceiling, overbaking the muffins, dropping and breaking an egg into the silverware drawer – all of these are signs of a good cook in the making. Who knew?!

Um well, that would be…Grandma.

I’d love for you to share about a homemaking task you feel afraid to tackle. What’s something new that you’re not sure of trying? Have something you’re afraid of tackling?  Don’t worry. Every good cook burns herself sometimes. That’s how we learn! Share with us!

How To Make it To Church On Time

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I sure hope you didn’t read the title of this post and assume I would be giving you my secret formula for getting my family out the door to church each week without being late. I wish. Although I will say:  Sometimes we actually are on time!! 

And then there are the other times.  Do my boys not have a hurry mode? Do they not acurately comprehend my words when I tell them to put their shoes on? Which part of “stop talking so that you can stuff food down your face” do they not understand?

From what I hear, this seems to be an issue in many households. Today is our chance to share the tips and tricks that work for each of us to help get our families up and out the door to church on time – or shucks, maybe even early. 

Oh – and since we are, after all, going to meet with our church family so that we can worship our Creator together, I’d love to hear how you encourage your family to be on time, while maintaining joy and smiles!    Nothing like good ol’ family chaos to put us in the correct frame of mind to praise God. {cough}

Here’s what works for our family…when it works:

  • Do as much on Saturday to prepare as possible. Showers and baths taken, clothes laid out, Bibles and shoes by the door.
  • Make breakfast easy. Either we have oatmeal, or I bake something the night before so all we have to do is grab and eat.
  • No Sunday morning down time allowed. If you’re not completely ready to leave – with shoes on your feet, contribution money in your pocket, and teeth brushed, you sure as heck better not be shooting baskets in the hallway with a Nerf basketball. (Don’t they know I’m trying to keep that joy and godliness in my Sunday morning routine?!)
  • Mom gets up earlier than normal, allowing for twice as much time as it normally takes to get ready. (And sometimes it’s still not enough.)

I am really excited for you to share on this topic!! What do you do to help your family make it to church on time? All ideas are welcome. If it works for you, it may work for someone else. Even if it just works sometimes. Or on the days when the kids don’t play basketball in the hallway before getting out of their pajamas….

Regarding this question, and many others, I have really enjoyed reading the eBook:  4 Moms of 35+ Kids Answer Your Parenting Quesions. In this eBook, these wise moms address topics like:  How do you get your family to church on time? How do you teach children to be still and quiet in church? How do you keep your patience in the midst of chaos? How do you teach your children to do chores?  How do you deal with sibling squabbles? And so much more.

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What a valuable resource for all who are raising children. I encourage you to look into 4 Moms of 35+ Kids Answer Your Parenting Quesions

Gratituesday: Who is a Homemaker?

Who is a homemaker?

Hi. I’m Laura. I have a husband and four kids. I am a stay-at-home mom. I work a full time job from my home. I homeschool my children. We eat whole foods. I don’t like cleaning. I have a big garden. I am a homemaker.

Allow me to introduce you to my friend Gail. She is a college professor who spends many hours in a classroom and in an office each day. She has blessed thousands of college students through the years. She and her husband are empty nesters, enjoying their children and grandchildren when they have a chance to see them every few months. Gail doesn’t like cooking – never has, never will. Last I heard, she pays someone else to clean her house for her. Her home is always open, and I always feel comfortable and welcome when I am at Gail’s house. Gail is a homemaker.

Please meet my friend, Michele. She is single, with no children. I often see her serving those around her, particularly those with many small children. She involves herself in many ministries at church, at camp, and in the community. She frequently invites people into her home. She knows how to feed an army, and does so regularly. Michele is a homemaker.

I have to tell you about my dear friend Madge. She is in her late 80’s (or early 90’s?), a widow after enjoying a lifetime of marriage to her sweetheart. Madge is lonely. She can no longer drive on her own. Her adult children and grandchildren, as well as some Christian friends, help her get around and make sure she is always at church and involved in other activities. Each time I see her, she has a smile and words of wisdom to share with me. “Let go and let God.”  That will always be my favorite quote from her. Madge always cuts out my newspaper articles from the weekly column I write and sends them to my Nana. Madge is a homemaker.

Have you met my friend Brenda? She just received her masters degree. Her three kids are teenagers (one is in college) which has her frequently on the go with their public school events and extracurricular activities. She hates to clean, and claims that her housekeeping skills leave much to be desired. I beg to differ. I’ve seen her piles of “clutter.”  They resemble my own, helping me know that I’m in good company. She has people in and out of her home daily – particularly her kids’ friends and neighbors.   Brenda is a homemaker.

And then there is my friend Lindsey, who, unlike Brenda and myself,  loves to clean. Loves it.  Her house is always spotless, and her smile is beautiful. She is so much fun to be with, and she is intentional about keeping her marriage and family strong and growing in the Lord. Her two little girls go to public school, and she is very involved in their classrooms. Even though her daughters are young, I see Lindsey instilling in them a desire for purity, love for others, and love for the Lord. Lindsey is a homemaker. 

I wish you could meet my friend, Margaret.  She gives the best hugs. She and her husband are retired, and loving every minute of it. She used to work full time outside of the home. Now she can often be found at her grandkid’s sports activities or serving at church. Margaret is a homemaker.

So who is a homemaker? A homemaker is all of us. A homemaker is you. A homemaker is each person who works to make a home heavenly. A person who serves, gives, loves, and cares.

Whether you work outside the home sixty hours a week or stay home full time – you are a homemaker. Whether you homeschool, public school, hate cooking, love cleaning, have too many piles of mail in your kitchen, can’t remember when you last washed your windows, decorate your home with elaborate handmade crafts, or wouldn’t know a piece of raffia if it hit you in the face – you are a homemaker.

Thank you God for the beautiful gift of homemaking – in all its forms. We are blessed!