This week is that transitional week of end of summer to beginning a new school year. It is one more week of summer freedom from strict routine and filled with more fun than work, but there have to be some preparations made before the first week of school starts.
ORDER! Oh how I crave it!! Especially in my home. God has given to women the privilege and responsibility of being the manager of their home. We have as an important a task as the manager of any business. Just as a business can't run well without order, nor can a home. I don't know about you, but I can't run my home efficiently without some order. Here are a few tips on how to have some order in the home!
O - ORGANIZATION
A great sayings is, "Things don't just happen; you have to make them happen." We cannot make our home run efficiently unless we organize. This will be different in every home. Some women are high-powered organizers; others are laid back. Whatever our personality, we must have a certain amount of organization. The blatant fact is that if you just let life happen, chaos eventuates! You must plan your meals, make sure supper is ready in time for your husband coming home each evening, organize your cleaning and laundry, and of course, train your children to do their specific tasks. To organize a home does not mean that you are a slave in the home. You are the organizer, making it happen by getting everyone involved. (1 Timothy 5:14).
R - ROUTINE
Routine is the pattern of the day that the family follows. I don't like strict schedules with no flexibility, but a good routine works well for me. Things like dishes, laundry, meals etc. done every day help keep order and efficiency. Routine established good or bad habits in the home. This is an area that can be constantly improved upon. Nancy Campbell of Above Rubies wrote this about routines.
"In our home I expect everyone to be up in time for breakfast. We have our Family Devotions at 8.00 am. Anyone who has not finished their breakfast before this time misses out on breakfast. It is over. We can't keep meals going all day. We have to clean up and get on with the day. We have lunch at a certain time and supper at a certain time. I am aghast when I hear of mothers allowing their children, and especially their teens, to sleep in and get up whenever they want. This is poor training and does not prepare them for life. It does not prepare them for a career and how to get to work on time and does not prepare daughters for running a home. Children should learn to get up at a certain time. The day is for work and adventure, the night is for sleeping! (Proverbs 6:6-11; 13:4; 24:3-34; 26:14)."" Routine takes diligence, but will reap great rewards!
D - DISCIPLINE
Order can only happen with discipline, firstly in our own lives and then teaching it to our children. Discipline takes much effort and sacrifice. It affects us as we try to get to bed at a reasonable hour so we can get up early and be ready to face the day-to prepare breakfast, put in a load of laundry, organize schooling and each child to their various tasks. It often puts our desires on hold to train our children, give attention to our spouse or spend time on our home. This sacrifice is worth it though as order, good habits and the teaching of these are passed along and will be established for a long time.
E - ENCOURAGEMENT
Keeping a home running smoothly is easier said than done! Children lag behind. They disobey and complain. But they'll get tired of you nagging. Inspire and encourage your children instead. When you train your young children you may need to use some treats to get them motivated. Sometimes you may want to print up a schedule on the fridge. Each child who is up on time each morning gets a star. Each child who does their appointed task without complaining gets a star. The one who gets the most stars at the end of the week gets a prize-something worthwhile. This gives them incentive and encouragement to do what is right and to get into the habit of doing it. Loving and kind words, thank yous and job well done are also great motivators.
R - RESISTANCE
There are times when resistance will come. Sometimes we have to resist the resistance that comes from your children and teens. They may want to keep sleeping. They will naturally be lazy. They will muddle around instead of doing their chores. Don't give in! Consistency is vital! Keep up your plan. Keep the order until it is a habit in the home. Training doesn't just happen, it takes time and doing things over and over, but it will become a habit if you are consistent and don't give in! (Isaiah 28:9-10).
Now we've seen how order times time, diligence and consistency. Much attention must be made to keep order. However, in the midst of keeping order, we must also have freedom; freedom to change our plans if something special is happening; to halt our schedule if someone needs help or arrives at our home and needs encouragement, or freedom to do something unexpected and different, just for the spice of life. Keeping a basic sense of order in the home gives freedom to do fun things.
"Thank you, dear Father, that you are a God of order. Please teach me how to keep order in my home just as you have order in your heavenly home. Amen."
The beauty of my home is order!
For more encouragement on the home, see Above Rubies.