Have you ever had those weeks that leave you ragged? A recent week of mine was like that. A packed schedule with some distractions that left me feeling exhausted and still running behind. Very little time at home had pushed household chores aside, making meals and laundry were the priorities (we have to eat and have clean clothes!!), everything else got pushed to the side.
I only had Sunday to regroup before we had to do it all over again. Sunday is biblically a day of rest and as I struggled not to jump on the undone chores, walked out to the porch. The plan was to sit for a few minutes, but the porch needed sweeping first or I wouldn't be able to enjoy my sitting spell!! I noticed my plants had suffered some frostbite from recent cold nights. Picking off the dead leaves made a huge difference in my plants and began to restore some calmness in my heart. Tending to the plants and then watering them didn't feel like a chore, but rather began to bring fulfillment and peace to the afternoon. I love my plants and just that little bit of tending to them would bring beautiful results. It wasn't like 'work', but tending to them would bring great benefits.
When those busy weeks come, I am learning that 'planning around home' makes home time that much sweeter. Home is that central place where the family comes to unwind and be refreshed. Changing the mindset from what all has to be done to looking forward to being home makes all the difference. Dinner has to come every evening! It can be a cold, quick time of necessarily feeding the body, or with a little planning can be a relaxed time together to share about the day and enjoy some quality time at home. There is no better feeling for a mama than to know dinner is taken care of and will be ready when we are. Slow cookers and menu plans can have you covered! When we leave the house in the morning, by having a plan set in place for the return, it can make for a beautiful, relaxing evening! When we 'plan around home', it centralizes our priorities that are often pulled in many directions.
Through the years of raising boys who were often involved in sports, many evening of the week can be tied up. Mid week church attendance which is a set routine, keeps us out and about other nights. Weeknights at home are limited but with 'planning around home', when we are there, we can be refreshed, recharged and renewed.
Planning begins with a goal - to make home a precious place where the family wants to be. When we plan around home, we center our actions on home first, then outward to the other needful activities in our lives.
A few of my favorite ways to plan around home include:
- Leave the house like you want to enter it. Simply picking up loose items, having dirty dishes dealt with, makes walking in more pleasant than seeing first thing all that needs to be done.
- Have a plan for dinner - if possible, something in the slow cooker, or meat thawed out ready to be cooked. Nothing ruins a mom's evening more than 'dinner hour panic', when everyone is asking 'when will dinner be ready?' and you have no idea!
- Schedule what needs to be done...homework, bits of housework, chores etc. can be done in bite size portions through the week.
- Plan for family time - what does the family like to do together? Carve out time and make it happen!
Running our homes must be done. In most cases, the woman is responsible for the majority of the housework, food and planning. There is no 'getting out of it', if ignored, it will multiply. When we put our heart into the home and plan around our home, it truly becomes a labor of love, with many blessed rewards!