Learning the Art of Discipline as a Homemaker

Self-discipline is one of the biggest things I’ve struggled with as a homemaker. I start off motivated with a brilliant idea that I’m going to start reading my Bible for an hour a day, spend at least that praying, and reading other Gospel-Centered books. The result? I end up burnt out and behind from day one and my new amazing self-discipline quickly turns into feelings of failure. Again.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Discipline is an important part of a Believer’s life and must first start with CHRIST. But then what? How do you start working new routines into your day? How can you be more disciplined in different areas of your life when you fail so miserably at it day after day? That’s what we are going to dive into today!

Discipline is an important part of a Believer's life and must first start with CHRIST. But then what? How do you start working new routines into your day?

Welcome to the next part of our online book study of Say Goodbye to Survival Mode. It’s not too late to jump in and join the fun! You can read the introduction and see the full schedule of topics for the next 10 weeks. Or jump in with today’s discussion!

Gaining Control of Your Home

Throughout this book study, we have been focusing on learning how to say goodbye to survival mode and to say hello to a well ordered home. If you want to gain back control over your home and finally feel in control – then this study is for you! The heart of this study is what we are talking about today: Cultivating self-discipline. 

There are many habits in your life that benefit from strong self-discipline: exercise, cleaning, laundry, cooking, keeping on top of the dishes, faithfully instructing your kids, hospitality, and more! But like we talked about last week, in an effort to seek great self-discipline, your journey must first begin at the feet of Jesus.

Today we are going to be taking a look at the very first discipline you need to work on cultivating: Daily prayer and Bible reading. After you have formed a strong discipline and habit of daily doing this, you can move on to the other areas of your life that you need more discipline in such as exercising or eating healthy. You can take these principles here in this post and apply them to any habit that you want to become more disciplined in.

First Thing in the Morning

I’m not a morning person. I never have been and I doubt that I ever will be. In college, I did all my homework at night, after work and classes because my brain thinks better then than early in the morning. So for a long time I kept trying to develop the habit of doing my Bible reading at night. It just made more sense for me. I saw other people talking about the benefits of rising early – such as Erin from The Humbled Homemaker and Kat Lee from Inspired to Action – and I just thought “Well that’s good for them, but that’s not my personality. There’s no way I can get up even earlier to read my Bible”.

But honestly, it was just too hard. There was always something that came up that would prevent me from consistently reading my Bible every night. I’ve learned (and Crystal talks about in the book) that you should do the most important things first each day. How can I guarantee that I won’t be too tired after a long day and that I actually have the time to read? By building this into my morning routine. First thing! 

Self-discipline is one of the biggest things I've struggled with as a homemaker. But it's so important for accomplishing important things in life and in your home!

My Bible reading is the very first thing that happens in my mornings (after coffee of course). I don’t do the dishes. I don’t check my blog comments. I don’t hop on Facebook. I sit down, open my Bible, pray, and read my scripture for that day. Since I’ve been doing this, my Bible reading has been the most consistent of my life!

Discipline Takes Sacrifice

In order to say YES to  a daily habit like Bible reading, it means you are going to have to say NO to something else. This might mean that you need to cut out scrolling through Facebook in the morning. Or maybe it means cooking breakfast one day a week and storing it in the freezer for easy access (like freezer waffles, breakfast burritos, or an egg casserole).

Learning to be disciplined takes sacrifice and it usually feels really hard to cut out something enjoyable like vegging out to watch TV. But I’m so motivated because I know if I do sacrifice that time, and cook breakfast for the next day and get the kitchen really clean, I will be so thankful the next day. But if I don’t, and watch TV, I know I will regret it the following day when I could have had a clean kitchen and breakfast done.

I love this encouragement from the book:

“Don’t let the thought of working out four times a week for the next six months overwhelm you. Don’t let the seeming impossibility for you to limit or eliminate your Facebook or TV time stress you out. Don’t let the thought of saving for your children’s college fund make you want to give up. Instead of looking at your goal as a whole, focus on one small thing you can do today, this week, or this month to make some headway. I promise you won’t feel so defeated!

“Remember, big progress beings with small changes. It’s easy to want to overhaul your life overnight, but if you want to see success throughout the long term, do yourself a favor and start with little steps.

“Small steps might seem minuscule and microscopic. You might feel as though you’re hardly getting anywhere. But keep going. Don’t give up. Press forward. When you do, I promise you’ll start to reap the fruits of your efforts. Someday soon you’ll  look back and realize that all of those tiny, seemingly insignificant changes added up to greater success than you ever dreamed was possible.” ~ Crystal Paine, page 96 – 97

Challenge for this week

Later this week we will be diving into another chapter and we will be turning to a new focus: finances! So I want you to catch up to where we are here and make sure you go through these exercises. Go back through, start at the intro, and do each weekly challenge (such as creating a personal priorities list) and then come back here so we can forge ahead.

This week’s challenge: Read chapter four of Say Goodbye to Survival Mode and start working (TODAY) on developing your consistent Bible reading time. Once you’ve given that a few weeks to really solidify into a daily routine, start on the next thing you want to make a daily habit (such an exercise).

Maximize Your Mornings

One of my favorite bloggers, Kat Lee from Inspired to Action, talks a lot about using your mornings well and strategies for getting up early (and going to bed early)! She actually has a free eBook (which is fantastic) called Maximize Your Mornings which gives strategies and tips for doing this! Download it for FREE HERE!

Maximize your mornings - FREE eBook!

Read More In This Series:

Say Goodbye to Survival Mode Online Book Study!

Feminine, Cute, & Modest Clothing for Girls!

While it’s not a central issue in my walk wit the Lord, Biblical Modesty is an important topic that we as women should regularly be discussing and encouraging each other in. 

While I only have two boys at this point (with hope of little girls in the future), I know how important it is to teach our girls modesty from a young age so that we can install these values when they are young. My goal is to teach my girls to really value and understand the importance of modesty, instead of having arbitrary rules that they grow up resenting. Of course, that is all in the Lord! 5 Things I Love About Joyfully Sewn Designs {and a $30 giveaway!} One thing I think, is that modesty doesn’t have to be frumpy, ugly, or boring! I love finding resources for beautiful, top quality clothes and accessories for girls… and when I find these resources I want to spread the word!

Today I’m teaming up with a few other bloggers to bring to you a fantastic giveaway from Joyfully Sewn Designs!

Sarah’s online shop is a wonderful resource for beautiful, modest clothing for young girls, and this week she’s giving away a $30 gift certificate to one of you!

(Pssst, you can use the promo code SUMMER to get free shipping on any order of at least $50! So even if you don’t win, here’s a freebie!)

The giveaway details are at the end of this post (scroll down if you just can’t wait!), but if you can handle a few moments of suspense before we get there, I’m going to share five things I love about Joyfully Sewn Designs and the beautiful things Sarah creates for her customers!

1) Feminine Clothing!

I just fell in love with this tiered peasant dress.  It just begs for a barefoot, summer time stroll!

I fell in love with this tiered peasant dress. It just begs for a barefoot, summer time stroll!

I don’t know about you, but I’m finding it increasingly difficult to buy truly feminine clothing in most department stores. Simply stated, Sarah’s creations are feminine, sweet, and beautiful. I appreciate that!

2) High Quality Work

Here's a close-up of the denim Prairie Peasant Skirt Sarah sells in her shop.  So pretty!

Here’s a close-up of the denim Prairie Peasant Skirt Sarah sells in her shop. So pretty!

The handiwork Sarah offers is superb… these clothes are made to wear and wash well. And they do!

3) Quick Shipping

This precious little dress makes me wish I had a baby girl to wear it!  ;)

This precious little dress makes me wish I had a baby girl to wear it! ;)

Products always arrive in a timely manner from Joyfully Sewn Designs! On a custom order, Sarah will always let you know the time frame for finishing up a product, and she’s good on her word.

4) Excellent Customer Service

Don't you just love the sweet little bows that come with the Red-and-White Apple Sun Dress?  Cute!

Don’t you just love the sweet little bows that come with this Red-and-White Apple Sun Dress?

Need a specific size? Matching dresses? A bow or pair of bloomers for an outfit? Sarah offers wonderful and gracious customer service.

5) Unique Products

Sarah's crisp, handmade bloomers (or pantaloons) are probably my favorite "accessory" from Joyfully Sewn Designs!  My girls wore these with most of their dresses when they were little!

Sarah’s crisp, handmade bloomers (or pantaloons) are probably my favorite “accessory” from Joyfully Sewn Designs! My girls wore these with most of their dresses when they were little.

Speaking of bows and bloomers, I love the uniqueness at Joyfully Sewn Designs! A few of my favorite “unique” products include-

Are you ready for the giveaway? I am!

Simply enter via the Rafflecopter at the end of this post. You’ll find a variety of entry options plus a few extra BONUS entries, so be sure to check them all out! If you’re on Pinterest, hop over and follow our Modest Clothing for Little Girls board (there’s an extra entry on the Rafflecopter for this!)- Follow Kristy’s board Modest Clothing for Little Girls on Pinterest.

Go ahead and enter the giveaway (below), then take a minute or two to get acquainted with each of the lovely bloggers who hosted this giveaway. You’ll find resources and encouraging articles on modesty at each of their blogs, so don’t be shy about dropping in!

Don’t have any little girls either? Then enter to win and give something adorable for a baby shower or as a Birthday present. I can think of many moms who would love some of these designs! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Learning Self-Discipline Must First Start with Christ

Discipline is perhaps my greatest struggle when it comes to being an efficient homemaker and Christ-follower. I deeply lack self-discipline and it comes back to bite me again and again. The largest lesson I’ve had to learn in my life, is how to be self-disciplined so I can effectively and efficiently run my household. Do you ever feel like this? The good news is – there’s hope!

Discipline is perhaps my greatest struggle when it comes to being an efficient homemaker and Christ-follower. I deeply lack self-discipline and it comes back to bite me again and again. The largest lesson I've had to learn in my life, is how to be self-disciplined so I can effectively and efficiently run my household.

Welcome to the next part of our online book study of Say Goodbye to Survival Mode. It’s not too late to jump in and join the fun! You can read the introduction and see the full schedule of topics for the next 10 weeks. Or jump in with today’s discussion!

The things in life that are worth pursuing – your faith, a Christ-Centered marriage, faithful parenting, homemaking, and the other things that really matter – take hard work, determination, and lots of self-discipline. To be a faithful parent, you must constantly be supervising and instructing your children (especially in the younger years). God’s words and His teachings should always be on our hearts and minds and we are to daily and hourly instruct our children:

“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. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” – Deuteronomy 6: 7-9

These verses paint a beautiful picture of self-discipline. It doesn’t come naturally to fall into a pattern of talking about God’s Word all the time – when you go for a walk, as you work throughout your house, at bedtime and when you first get up. It takes constant diligence, prayer, and hard-work to discipline yourself in these areas.

“Many of us long to be more disciplined. We crave order and peace. We want to be better managers of our time and lives. We want to follow through with our good intentions. So we buy the best-selling book that promises to help stop procrastinating and get things done. We listen to podcasts that offer three ways to develop more self-control. We download a printable, household-organization planner and think it will magically whip our houses into shape. We take a workshop and hope it will motivate us to become more disciplined. We pray. We wish. We dream.” – Crystal Paine, page 89 – 90

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Start With Christ

My journey with my lack of self-discipline (meaning I’ve had a hard time staying consistent in memorizing Scripture, exercising, keeping a budget, reading the Bible daily, etc.) has taught me one very important thing: My battle with self-discipline must first start at the feet of Jesus. My first step is recognizing this sin in my life (sin because this basically amounts to laziness in my life) and then repenting of this laziness.

Then I can come before the Lord, broken, and ready to work on my daily habits to live a more discipline life. Why? What is the point of cultivating discipline in different areas of our lives? So we can daily serve Christ and bring glory to Him by being more disciplined in all aspects of our life. 

If you struggle with self-discipline like I do, I want to encourage you to really recognize this sin, confess and repent to the Lord, talk this through with your husband so he can help keep you accountable, and take your first step today: Open up your Bible.

The First Step in Self-Discipline

Before you can focus on steps to being more disciplined with spending money, cooking consistently, exercising often, or other important endeavors, you must first cultivate the daily habit of spending quality time in God’s Word. This habit has to be formed first because you will need the strength that only He can provide to move forward into a more disciplined life.

Living with more discipline doesn’t happen overnight and it isn’t easy. It’s a constant battle of wanting to be lazy and forcing yourself to make wise decisions for your family. It’s starting with one habit (Bible reading) and slowly working on this day by day. It means taking 30 minutes to really spend time in God’s Word and to form that into a habitual daily habit before trying to become more disciplined in exercise.

Slowly, over time, you will form habits and become more disciplined. I’m grateful that I can look back to the beginning of my marriage and see how far I’ve come. I still have a lot of work to do in becoming more self-disciplined, but I’m so thankful that the Lord has taken me as far as He has!

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.”  - 1 Corinthians 9: 24 – 27

Today we’ve taken a larger view of discipline. And this is where it must start. We must recognize our struggle with self-discipline and know how to first start and then we can tackle how to apply this to our home. We can then take those principles and learn how to better tackle those mounting piles of laundry, learn how to develop a daily exercise routine, and get back some control of our day. Come back on Friday when we will tackle how to start small and start to daily become more disciplined!

Read More In This Series:

Say Goodbye to Survival Mode Online Book Study!

How to Turn Your Homemaking Goals into a Reality

Last week we covered the very important task of developing (and writing down) goals for your life and your home so that you can be a more effective homemaker. Today we are going to take those goals and break them down into bite-sized, manageable pieces so we can take those goals and make them a reality! This is the hard part. Getting down and actually making things happen, but this is also where you can have real and effective change in your homemaking.

How-to-Turn-your-Goals-into-Reality

Welcome to the next part of our online book study of Say Goodbye to Survival Mode. It’s not too late to jump in and join the fun! You can read the introduction and see the full schedule of topics for the next 10 weeks. Or jump in with today’s discussion!

It’s not enough to write down some goals for your life and then carry on with your normal routine. The next step is taking those goals, and breaking them down into actionable step by step items. This way, you can start today on those goals with tiny baby steps and not feel overwhelmed by the enormity of what you are dreaming.

“When you take the time to break down a goal into smaller chunks, it looks doable rather than overwhelming. It’s easier to stay focused if you are only looking at the next few steps ahead of you than the huge mountain you’re aiming to climb. Map your small steps and then take them. Before you know it, you’ll be at the summit.” – Crystal Paine, pg 65.

Developing a Plan of Action

While you can certainly follow along this online study without buying the book, this is one of those chapters that I highly recommend you buy, or find the book at your local library, because Crystal does such an amazing job of describing how to break down your goals into actionable bite-sized items. Check it out on Amazon HERE.

I’m going to give you a sample plan of action for one of my life goals so you can see how this process should work. Since I was in elementary school, and just falling in love with reading, it has been a dream of mine to publish a book. And that dream just might become a reality. Of course, there are other things in my life (such as a my relationship with God, my husband, my family, etc.) that are far more important than this dream, it is a dream of mine none the less.

My Plan for Publishing a Book

  • Start a blog
  • Write on my blog 3 – 5 times a week so practice and hone my writing skills and connect with other women
  • Establish a ministry through my blog and social media where I can encourage other women
  • Dream up an idea for my book and start writing it!
  • Attend blogging and writing conferences to further hone my skills and connect with those in the industry
  • Read books, articles, and listen to podcasts by publishers, authors, agents, and bloggers
  • Acquire an agent who believes in me and my book and who will be a strong advocate for me
  • Write my book proposal and the first 50 pages
  • Have my agent pitch my book to publishers
  • Have a publisher fall in love with my book and get publishing contract
  • Publish my book
  • Further the Gospel and encourage women with the availability of my book
  • Give all glory to God in the process!

Has this process been perfect? Have I always followed these steps? Has this process been quick and painless? No, no, and no. Chasing  a life long dream like this is hard, takes a lot of work, and takes a long time. I may never achieve this goal, and that’s okay! It’s all in God’s hands and for His glory anyway!

But since it’s a burning passion of mine, it’s so helpful have these baby steps that I can take. If I was starting this dream today, then I could look at my list and see clearly what I needed to do. First thing, start a blog! That’s an easy thing that I could start right away, without feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of trying to tackle this huge dream!

Now that you’ve broken down your goals into more manageable bite-sized pieces, here are a few tips so you don’t get burnt out and overwhelmed at everything on your list and burn out.

Be Realistic

We talked about being realistic when originally setting these goals, but it’s important to keep that in mind as we dive into breaking these goals down. I don’t know about you, but I’m a dreamer. I love to dream and plan for the future.

If I’m not careful, my “goals” list can become crazy. I could add so many “good” things to my list that it gets out of control, I burn out quickly, and never really get anything accomplished. My list could easily include very lofty goals such as: write a book, get my master’s degree in Biblical studies, learn Greek, get my Master’s degree in Biblical Counseling, bake bread like a pro, go to culinary school, have 6 kids, home school them all, thoroughly decorate my entire home, practice hospitality weekly, have a highly successful blog, and the list could go on…

While all of those things on my life are good, and many of them will be accomplished in my life, I need to be realistic with my time. Especially as a mother of young kids. My life is going to be focused on them for many years to come and I need to be okay with that and at peace that that’s where God wants me.

Keep Your Goals in Mind

I hope by now that you have written down your goals. If not, go back to the previous challenge, do that and then come back here. Now, print your goals out and hang them somewhere you will see them everyday. Maybe on your fridge so you are reminded of them each time you are in the kitchen. Or perhaps on your bathroom mirror so you see them in the morning and again at night. I like to have my goals hung up in my home office so that when I sit down to the computer, it’s easier for me to stay on task and be focused.

It’s also important to regularly review and modify your goals if needed. Did you start out this year with very specific goals and a month into them find out you are pregnant? It’s likely then that this year is going to turn out very different than when you first started it. Be flexible with your goals, they will change!

More Resources

This is a really big topic, one that I cannot fully cover in one blog post. To really dive into this topic, and to learn all of Crystal’s time saving and goal keeping advice, go buy a copy of her book right now: Say Goodbye to Survival Mode

She also has some awesome articles on her blog (for FREE) that can help you with this:

Read More In This Series:

Say Goodbye to Survival Mode Online Book Study!

 

The Key to Modest Summer Fashion

Dressing modestly during the hot summer months can be a challenge. As I write this post, it’s currently over 100 degrees and it’s sweltering. The last thing I want to do right now is cover up and wear more clothing but I know that modesty is important…no matter what time of the year it is!

Thankfully, dressing modestly during the summer doesn’t have to be too difficult if you approach it with a little intentionality! Thanks to Leelach, an online Modest Marketplace, I’m excited to share with you these keys to dressing modestly all summer long!

The key to modest summer fashion

I’m also excited to share that Leelach has offered a special discount to all Young Wife’s Guide readers! Now through September 30th you can get 10% off your order with coupon code: youngwife054!! woohoo!

1) Let me Introduce You To…

The half cami. It’s a spaghetti strap cami without the bottom part. Sometimes I need that bottom part of the cami for extra coverage under my shirts, but normally it’s just too much fabric, especially under dresses.  I currently have a cream colored half cami and I’m drooling over these lace white and black half cami’s! Leelach also carries a half tank – check it out HERE!

The half cami and tank

The half cami gives you the coverage you need but doesn’t feel like you are putting on another layer!

2) Skirts & Dresses are Your Friend

During summer, I pretty much live in dresses and skirts. I love to wear light and fluffy skirts that are comfortable, modest, and so airy! Like this skirt from LeeLach – Cream Pleated Skirt.

skirt_copy_

Pssst: Leelach also offers skirt extenders in average and long stlyes! I love these because then you can still get that skirt or dress that is just a bit too short and make it modest!

3) Stick by the Pool

When it doubt, on a hot day, just stick by (or in) the pool to cool down! I love taking my boys outside to play in our kiddy pool. I can sit in it, play with my kids, and cool down on these 100 degree days!

If you have been searching for a really modest bathing suit, Leelach has got you covered!

Modest Swimsuits

 I’m going to have to check out Leelach again in the Fall because they have some super cute dresses and shirts that are quarter and long sleeve…but it’s just too hot here right now to even think about those. If you have more of a mild summer though, check out these adorable dresses!! (Look closely at the photos…some of the dresses look like they are long sleeve but it’s because the model is wearing a long sleeve undershirt…many of these would be perfect for summer!)

Get Your Summer Wardrobe Ready!

Summer is in full swing but there are still tons of hot days left until things cool down for Fall. Get some summer basics (and a cute dress) from the Modest Clothing Marketplace Leelach! You can also follow them on Facebook to get all their latest updates, new designs, sales, and much more!

More about Leelach: LeeLach is an online modest fashion marketplace. Leelach.com Provides modest fashionable clothing to women of all cultures & religions around the world. We are servicing every women who wants to stay fashion forward while maintaining a modest look. Leelach is aiming to feature modest clothing by thousands of designers who give a new perspective on modest fashion. Our purpose is to spread a similar wave of inspiration to all women of the world, despite their different backgrounds, and to unite them through their common goal of living a modest lifestyle.  And don’t forget – you can get 10% off your entire order when you use coupon code: youngwife054                                                            

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written for Leelach. All opinions and thoughts are my own.