The sun is setting and you are snuggled on the couch with your family. You are reading from the Bible and sipping hot chocolate as the fire flickers and bounces shadows on the wall. It’s been a hectic day but a fulfilling one. You have accomplished most of what you wanted for the day, so now it’s time to relax together as a family.
Is this what the normal end to your day looks like? Or are you rushing around after finally getting the kids in bed and cleaning the house, only to fall into bed exhausted?
I want my home to be a place my family gathers at the end of a hard day for peace and rest. But how can your home be a place of peace and rest when you are not rested or you don’t feel at peace? Try these ideas.
1. Put God first. It is amazing how much better and more productive my day is when I put God first. It’s not always easy. I have to set my alarm and get up before the kids, because I like the quiet and stillness of the early morning. I like to read the Bible, read a devotional book, write in my prayer journal, and pray. My prayer journal helps me stay focused on what and whom I am praying for.
These Bible verses help me to remember that prayer and Bible study should be two of the most important parts of my day.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33 (ESV)
but his delight is in the law[a] of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
Psalm 1:2-3 (ESV)
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (ESV)
2. Keep things simple and intentional with a plan. Make a plan of the things you wish to accomplish for your house every day. With my sons quickly getting older, I want to make sure that we have as much time together enjoying these precious moments as possible. I want to be intentional about the hours of my day and the things that I allow in it. Since I don’t want to spend all my time cleaning, I have a simple schedule that spreads my chores throughout the day.
Sample daily schedule:
- 6:30- Bible and prayer
- 7:00- Throw a load of laundry in the washer. (Monday-Friday only)
- 7:05- Write/Work
- 8:00- Put dishes away/ Put clothes in dryer. Put another load in washer if doing more than one load.
- 8:05- Eat breakfast and get ready for the day. The kids know to use their morning chart at this time to help remind them of their morning activities. We also clean up our breakfast things before starting school. Put a load of clothes in baskets and another in dryer.
- 9:00- 12:00- School time. During school, we usually take a break of 15 minutes and do a “deep cleaning” chore such as cleaning a closet out or drawer.
- 12:00- Lunch. Then clean up the dishes.
- 1:00- The kids can play or do handwork activities. I try to use this time to read, spend time with the kids, write, and sometimes do a little cleaning.
- 4:00- Put up clothes and then straighten, dust, and sweep for a 15 minutes “quick clean”.
- 4:30- The kids are free to do whatever activities they wish until supper, as long as their rooms are straightened.
- Following supper we have family time which includes a devotional, prayer, sometimes reading a book together, and either playing a game or watching TV. When the kids go to bed my husband and I spend our quiet time together.
- Every day does not look exactly the same, but making the cleaning chores a daily habit helps to get most household things done. The house stays relatively clean, so I don’t stress as much as I once did about surprise visits. And since I do these things every day, missing a day does not make a huge difference.
3. White space or zone out time. I try to find time every day in order to clear my head. This is not Facebook or game time. I have tried that and it does not give my brain the same type of rest. It also does not allow me to come up thoughts or new ideas. Make sure you have time in the day (even just a few minutes) to sit by yourself, sip some tea, and gaze at the world around you. You need time for your brain to process the day and also to think about the next day.
4. Five minutes here and five minutes there. Instead of getting on Facebook when I have a few minutes, I go do some type of cleaning so my house will stay clean. There are so many things you can accomplish when you have a spare 5 minutes. Make sure the dishes by the sink are rinsed and loaded in the dishwasher. Put on a load of clothes, take out a load of clothes, and quickly dust an area of the living room. You can do more chores this way because you are not taking out big chunks of time to do them. You will be amazed at how much you can do! I like to compete with myself to see what I can accomplish in 5 minutes.
She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Proverbs 31:27 (ESV)
5. Include your kids. Let your children help clean. I have always let my children help with household chores. Even when they would fuss at first, they would start to enjoy it one they began. You could see their confidence increasing as they finished up the chores. You can also make chores more fun and use it as a bonding time, or make up fun games together that involve the chores.
You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
Deuteronomy 6:7 (ESV)
6. Look at housework in a different way. Be thankful. Don’t grumble and complain and don’t let your children grumble and complain. I give my children extra chores if they grumble so they will know they need to have a happy heart when doing chores. It has changed their attitudes from “Oh no,” into “yes, mam.” See your housework as a blessing for your family. Thank God for all you have as you do your housework. Think about the fact you are making your house a home and a place of comfort and rest.
Do all things without grumbling or disputing,
Philippians 2:14 (ESV)
I want my family to have fond memories of home. I want my boys to treasure the time they spent at home and long to come back for visits when they get older. I use these ideas to help keep me from feeling as though I am always bogged down with housework. I want to have peace and rest in my home for myself as well as for my family.
by Sharla Orren
Sharla Orren is the wife of Robert Orren, who is the pulpit minister at Cullendale Church of Christ in Camden, Arkansas. She is also a Homeschool Mom to two boys, Cash and Keyton, ages 12 and 8. You can find her blogging at http://www.lookatwhatyouareseeing.com/. Also check out https://r16sixteen.wordpress.com/ where she is Administrator.