Homemaking In Him

Sandy Willoughby

"Grace was in all her steps, Heaven in her eye, In every gesture dignity and love." John Milton

Hello, Homemakers!
I have missed writing so much but our home has been filled with people God sends so often that I must work hard to keep the family cared for, home in order, and much more!

I'm still in awe over the women I "meet" online who are so much more capable than I of keeping it all together. I'm not there. Truly, I am simply not all together. I definitely could get a badge for effort but not success all the way around. The good thing about this (and yes, there is a good thing somewhere in a great many things:) is how much it makes me turn to God.

I'll realize I'm not spending enough time with my husband but won't know how to make it happen so I'll pray to God. I'll ask for HIM to make it happen and to help me figure it out. By and by, He'll show me I can get up even
earlier and get more ready before my husband rises. This way, I can have some things done and my Bible read or at least started when he is up and I can focus more on talking to him over coffee and breakfast.

It will dawn on me that my kids are coming and going with church and school activities and even though we've been together a lot... I haven't really "been" there in the moments with them. I'll feel like I can't change it and
the truth is... I can't. Going to God, I'll pray for HIM to work it out and show me the way. He'll give me an idea like making a time each day to really listen to the kids and "be" there with them ...even if only 15-30 minutes a
day. With meals and other random sharing... this makes for a nice bonding time. To top it off, the Lord guided me to choose one day a month to spend the whole day with one of my kids. This only takes 3 days a month right now
because our two oldest sons are grown and living on their own.

The word "Mother" conjures up cozy visions of homespun life: Mother baking cookies,
mother sympathetically listening to your tragedies, mother as your champion. 
Victoria Secunda

You see what I mean? God can help us and will help with every area of our lives!  With me, this has happened with cooking, planning, and preparing meals, keeping up with the house, serving in hospitality, losing weight, reading, writing, and on and on it goes. God finds a way to fit what is His will in. 

There is in every true woman's heart, a spark of heavenly fire.
Washington Irving

Praise Him!

"Homemaking in Him"

Every need we have is met in the Bible. Even so, as homemakers, many times we will search out books, magazines, online sites, and more for answers to help us in managing our families and homes. We will look up how to clean
this and that, find forms for scheduling, read up on routines, and study tips for busy moms. The information is readily available, isn't it? Unlike less than a decade ago, just about any information we seek on a subject can be found.
I love this as much as anyone.

An example:
I got a gift certificate for Christmas and I ordered, "Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook" and love it as I do just about every homemaking publication I've ever read. This huge volume shares cleaning schedules, how to's for almost anything you can think of in housekeeping, room by room care and much more. I printed out, "SIX THINGS TO DO EVERYDAY" and "WEEKLY HOMEKEEPING" and plan to print more as time allows. Following just these so far has lifted a burden from my tasks because I just do what I can in a given day, check it off, and feel content when night falls that I've done what I could. It keeps me from feeling like I'm running from one chore, job, and/or mess to another and gets me through the basics more quickly than before I started it.

There is helpful and worthy information on every page I've read so far and I have learned more than I ever thought I would on what I've read from other writings on the topic. It still doesn't answer everything. Only the Living Waters from God can wash away the grime of our lives and show us how and only the Light of His Son can shine through our questions and our darkness. In my opinion, it certainly isn't wrong to improve our homemaking by reading and studying things on the subject but it is my desire, dream, and longing to seek Him first and to base all other actions on what I learn from reading in the Bible.

Any verse in the Bible can help in one way or the other for no Word in it is null and void. I love finding anywhere from one verse to a book in my Bible and applying them to my life and even to running my home:)

One section of Scripture I think offers much guidance to the Christian homekeeper is Romans 12:9-21

9. Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil;
cleave to that which is good.

Dissimulation basically means faking it. Taking care of a family, home, and all God sends to us calls for a lot of love, doesn't it? This verse shows us clearly the love must not be with any hypocrisy and it should be genuine. If someone is in our family or coming to our door and we don't have a real love for them... we can pray to our Lord for the love we need and like all of our needs, He shall supply it. *Philippians 4:19*

Anything evil... anything at all, should be despised and hated. When we adhere and attach to, be true and cling to, and stay devoted to what is good... it should be easier to flee from evil. Many evils are in the world around us and we can't be afraid of them but we must protect our homes from their darkness. When we close our eyes and hearts to evil and embrace all that is good (anything the Bible says is good) ... we can have homes with God's light and no darkness can come long enough to overshadow it.

10. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

Oh, that we could learn to be warm hearted to each one living with us and coming near us! How lovely will things be when we can put the love for others above love for ourselves and how much more holy our homes and lives
will be!

11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;

We have a lot of business in our homes, don't we? We have a lot of duties and we are called upon to rise to the call of them. We mustn't be inactive, slothful, or stagnant in the work of our hands. No! We are instructed to be ardent in spirit! We are led to being devout, earnest, and passionate in spirit so it overflows into every crevice of our lives.  We are to serve the LORD! What an opportunity! What a privilege and a gift beyond what we could dream of! We are to serve the Lord with gladness in our hearts.

12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
What are some ways we read to serve the Lord? Starting us out:

* Rejoice in hope. Every day something comes on the news to chip away at our
hope. Every day something happens to water down the hope we are to have in
our Lord. We will be blessed if we celebrate in hope. Hope in Him and His
provision... in Him and His path and way and will for our lives.

*Patient in tribulation. This is hard, isn't it? Trials and tribulations
come and patience tries to fly out the nearest window. Finances plummet to
all time lows and we don't know what we'll eat in the days ahead or if we
will. Bills become more and more difficult to organize because the stacks
are growing so large. Problems weigh heavily on us from family, friends, and
people we don't even know. One problem after another could be written until
books were made of them but the way we are guided to handle them is all the
same. Patience. Not of our own hearts... goodness, no! Our humanity and
flesh is anything but patient! No, it only comes one way and from one
source... our Lord and Savior.

*continuing instant in prayer; "We should not be cold in the duty of
prayer, nor soon weary of it."

Matthew Henry CommentaryContinuing in prayer throughout our days can be as God guides our hearts. Before meals, driving places, walking, while cleaning, soaking in the tub, and writing prayers in journals are tiny piece of the pathways to opportunities to pray.

13 Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.

Giving them Jesus. This is the number one reason for hospitality and the real reason anyone comes through the doors of our homes. Our offered beverages, meals, comfortable seats, and attention might allow some comfort but giving them Jesus heals and helps like nothing else. How do we give Jesus? We are back in the Bible. We give Jesus by following His Word in our actions and these will pour from our hearts. In other words... the more Word in our hearts... the more our actions will follow Jesus.

Reading our Bibles each and every day fills our hearts, minds, and souls and we need His beauty and fragrance to overflow into every area of our lives. Our families need our hospitality as much as anyone else. When the Bible
says to hate sin... I can tell you it is true. A selfish sin made me not see for years that I was opening up our home to everyone for miles around and even people coming from out of state and they got the best of me. My precious family had what I had to give but I didn't give them nearly as much as I gave others and I was so blind I didn't even see it! I praise God and praise Him endlessly for shining His light on this darkness and letting me see the error of my ways.
Please love your families and make sure their needs are met and lovingly tended to!

14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.

One definition for "persecute" is: "to annoy or trouble persistently" ...www.dictionary.com   Goodness! Are there many of us without someone or more who annoy us? Don't we all know someone or many who trouble us persistently and with what seems to be no end? Most of us know one or two, don't we? Many of us will be called to give to these in hospitality. Sometimes these are people we live with in our own homes and on a continual basis. We learn by verse 14 here to bless them. We are told to bless and not to curse them and lest I sound as though I'm telling you to do something I find easy... I have struggled with this a lot in the span of my life. My flesh has fought with my spirit and I've had to learn that it isn't about what it makes me feel. It isn't about who is wrong. It is about following my Lord with my life. This means I take what I cannot do (blessing when I feel like cursing) and I ask God to bless through me and to give me the power over my flesh. He will work wonders through us we never, ever fathom until we see for ourselves!

15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.

When our husbands are happy about something... we are asked by God to celebrate with him! We can be glad with him and smile and hug and kiss him to join in his happiness. This is another lesson I took too many years to learn. I was wretched... truly wretched: ( If I was in a bad mood (happened a lot) ... and he came in telling me something that sounded small to my sinful ears... I would just listen to do it and not really share the moment he brought me. I didn't see what a gift these times were then. I cannot bring back the years I lost and the few years I've changed since
can't retrieve any of those moments but I can seek your hearts. I can plead with you to not be like me and have to realize one day that you were not the woman, wife, mother, homemaker, and so on that you could have been. Now, you can believe I am eager to make up for the years satan took!

When our kids are excited about something... how wonderful we will be if we clap, yell, laugh, and *rejoice* with them like only we can.

"My mother made a brilliant impression upon my childhood life.
She shone for me like the evening star --- I loved her dearly."
Winston Churchill

If we have friends and/or relatives with something happening to make them smile... we simply must smile with them.

If we rejoice with those that rejoice... they will be comforted all the more when we cry with them. If anyone cries and we know about it... I pray our hearts can beat with enough heavenly warmth and tenderness to cry right along with them. I pray we can grow to care to the point of tears when they are hurting or sad in anyway.

16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things,
but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.

This is getting long so I'll start sharing slivers instead of entire blocks:)  We aren't better than anyone else. If we cook, clean, create, play, build, buy, write or anything else better than this person or that... we aren't any higher on God's love chart:) Sometimes we can let a little pride in and it can become this thing that paints us out to ourselves as more grand than someone else. It isn't so... we just start seeing ourselves that way. We are all beautiful to God and there is nothing we *do* to change that.

17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.

No paybacks. The Christian homemaker of any kind and sort doesn't pay back one evil for another. . . we realize that all evil is bad regardless of who performs it. We are admonished to rise to a place in our walk where we are honest in all areas and in the sight of all.

18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

We cannot control what another person feels, thinks, or does. We cannot control if someone is angry with us or how they handle a relationship. What we can do is to be at peace with that person or people as much as it is possible. We can pray for them, show them kindness, and depend on God to take care of it.

19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink:
for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

When someone in our family ... husband, teenager, screaming toddler, or others living with us ... breaks our hearts or our peace, we will do well to feed them good meals and serve things to quench their thirst. If someone away from our homes is doing something to make them feel an enemy ...
we have the power (and it takes power from the Lord!) to pray for them and do good against their bad.

Instead of rubbing our hands together excitedly for the vengeance of the Lord to come down upon them or to envision heaping coals on their heads... we can pray for mercy. Knowing what the wrong behavior is capable of doing in those lives can make us merciful if we let it.

Dear Ones, our responsibilities are great and varied and even difficult sometimes but what a gifted pathway we are placed on! We follow the trails for saints before us, make new roads ourselves, and have many to follow the
steps we make now. May we hold our heads high on our biblical mission to walk as women of a mighty God... The one Master of all. For those of us married... may we march ahead hand in hand and heart to heart with our husbands smiling all the way. May the not married shine like stars in the heavens for His glory. It is my prayer that in our motherhood, as blessed homemakers, and every other role we pour out that our Lord shines through us and marks us as godly ones. I pray we read our Bibles and pray without ceasing and open wide our lives for HIM to breathe through.

Love to all!

Beautiful as seemed mamma's face, it became incomparably more lovely
when she smiled, and seemed to enliven everything about her.
Leo Tostoy

Sandy Willoughby, 2007


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