Do you use a water filter? (And Royal Berkey Giveaway)!!

This giveaway is brought to you by Positively Real Media – but I have to admit – I’m totally jealous!! I’ve been wanting a Berkey water filtration system for years! I am so excited to offer one lucky reader the chance to win one. Scroll down to enter…

My guess is that you are blessed with access to clean running water. We don’t really worry about getting parasites or other waterborne diseases when we turn on our tap.

But while we are blessed with clean water coming through indoor plumbing, are you aware of some of the environmental contaminants that are frequently found in that water? Traces of heavy metals like mercury and aluminum, pesticide residues, and volatile organic compounds can be found in our drinking water!

Berkey Giveaway Banner from Positively Real Media

This is why the bloggers of Positively Real Media are so excited to be teaming up to bring to you a Royal Berky 3.25 Gallon Stainless Steel Water Purifier giveaway sponsored by United Environmental Solutions!

About The Berkey

Berkey water purifiers are truly unique water purifying systems. According to UES, they are able to remove red food coloring from water while still allowing beneficial minerals to remain!

As free-standing units that put the power of gravity to use, the Berkey systems don’t use any electricity. This makes them excellent systems to have on hand while camping or during power outages.

Positively Real Media is giving away a Royal Berkey

While whole house filtration systems can be fantastic solutions to the problem of residual water contamination, they are simply out of the budget for most families. However, a Berkey system is a fraction of the cost and can filter 4 gallons of water per hour, making it a great fit for families!

If you want to ensure that your family’s drinking and cooking water is as clean and pure as it can be, a Berkey may be just what you need!

Win A 3.25 Gallon Royal Berkey!

The bloggers of Positively Real Media, a network of naturally-minded Christian bloggers, are thrilled to be able to offer one of our readers a 3.25 Gallon Royal Berkey Stainless Steel Water Purifier, valued at $300! Many thanks to United Environmental Solutions for providing this fanatic prize to one blessed reader.

Just use the Rafflecopter form below to get your entries in!

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The Real Definition of a Homemaker (and how this encourages me!!)

Over the past several years I’ve wrestled with what a homemaker is. What does it meant to “keep my home?” How do I decide day in and day out what I should be spending my time on. Where do I turn when I feel overwhelmed by it all??

Going to the roots of what a homemaker is (and really understanding what that means) has time and again given me encouragement. It has freed my up to focus on what is important in life and let go those insecurities that plague us all.

Going to the roots of what a homemaker is (and really understanding what that means) has time and again given me encouragement. It has freed my up to focus on what is important in life and let go those insecurities that plague us all.

What Does it Mean to be a Homemaker?

My focus here on my blog is Gospel-Centered Homemaking and so over time, I’ve received a lot of comments from women who feel like they don’t fit in this “homemaker” box. I hear comments from wives who work full time and express that they can’t wait until they stay home full time so they can finally be homemakers. Single women email me and share that “one day” they hope to be homemakers. And I have discussion after discussion with busy, stressed, overwhelmed moms that they just wish they could be “better” homemakers.

I want to challenge you to think outside the box a little when it comes to being a homemaker. I don’t think that a homemaker is something you become, but rather, something that you are. 

You are a homemaker by definition. You are a homemaker if you are a woman. Whether or not you have kids. Whether or not you work outside the home. Whether or not you are married. You are a homemaker because God has designed your role to be a keeper of your home. 

“And so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive, that the word of God may not be reviled.” ~ Titus 2:4-5

Managing a home, or helping your parents manage a home, is about so much more than dusting and dishes. Keeping a home takes motivation, direction, and a vision of what you want for your home.

Keeping a home means transforming four walls into a place of rest from this world. It means creating a haven for your family to slow down and focus on Christ. Creating a Gospel-Centered Home means crafting an atmosphere of Christ-likeness.

You Don’t Have to be a Mom/Wife to Be a Homemaker

The beautiful thing about being a homemaker is that God gave us the tools that we need to fill our role – even if we work full time outside the home or are not married yet. God has made women naturally caring, nurturing, intelligent, and able to balance a million things at once. God has given us the prevision in Titus 2 to look after other women, mentor them, and learn how to grow together.

I want to challenge you to think differently about homemaking. Throw out this old idea that being a homemaker is only about cleaning and embrace the idea that homemaking is about glorifying God in your home, every single day. When I refer to a homemaker, I am simply referring to a woman who spends even a tiny bit of her day making her home atmosphere just a little more Christ-Centered. 

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Embrace the idea that while there are some good practices for homemaking, the way that each of us runs our home is going to be different. Some of us may focus on cleaning more, or cooking, or perhaps you are in a season where you work full time outside the home or spend all of your time homeschooling six kids. In each and every new season, you are a homemaker, it might just look different from year to year.

Realizing that there is no one right way to be a homemaker is freeing to me. It gives me encouragement to know that I don’t have to look just like my friends. I don’t have to be the perfect housekeeper or make gourmet meals to be within God’s Plan.

Knowing How to Be a “Good” Homemaker

So now that we’ve established who is a homemaker, how do we know what a “good” homemaker does? I’ve always found the Proverbs 31 woman to be very encouraging, but does that mean we have to work from sun-up to sun-down buying fields and sewing our own clothing?

Do you have to love cooking to be a good homemaker? Does your house have to be spotless and totally organized to be a good homemaker? Maybe you hate crafts and sewing will never be a hobby of yours. Does this somehow make you “less” of a homemaker.

No, because for the most part these little things don’t matter. In the light of eternity, does it really matter if you know how to sew an apron? No.

And yet – practical homemaking skills can be important. But it’s not so much about the mundane chores of the day or adopting a hobby. It’s about the atmosphere in your home. If your house is knee deep in clutter, is your family able to focus on Christ? Are you able to serve and extend hospitality?

If your family is malnourished, lacks energy, has trouble sleeping, and suffers from sickness due to poor nutrition, is this glorifying to God? If you are so stressed out, frazzled, and completely overwhelmed with the state of your house and responsibilities that you are not loving to your children and husband, is that glorying to God?

So what does it take to be a “good” homemaker? Focusing each day intentionally on God. Choosing your priorities within the home that are Christ-Centered and will draw your family closer to God instead of pushing them away from Him.

Learning How to Be a More Efficient & Effective Homemaker

Knowing what you need to do to become a more effective homemaker, really depends on you, your personality, and your family.

Let things go. If you are really uptight when it comes to your homemaking, you might need to loosen up a bit and let things go. Maybe you need to leave the sink full of dishes and go outside and play with your kids or spend the evening with your husband. Maybe your schedule needs some more flexible elements to it and some days need to be focused less on your house and more on the relationships in your life.

Become more disciplined. Instead, if you are totally overwhelmed and feel like your whole house is falling apart, then maybe you do need to focus a little more attention on your house. Maybe you need to spend some time investing in your homemaking skills. If you feel lost on how to keep your house clean, or cook more nutritious meals, then it might be time to invest a little time and energy into learning some of these skills better.

Learn From Other Women. God knew that women need to be in relationship with one another when He inspired Titus 2. We can’t learn this all on our own. If we keep plugging away each day, feeling completely overwhelmed and lost, we won’t just wake up one morning and know how to juggle it all.

God designed us to be in relationship together. Learning and growing together to create an atmosphere within our homes that glorifies God. 

Investing In Your Homemaking

Real quickly, I want to share one awesome opportunity that ends today. The Homemaking From Scratch online conference pre-registration ends today!

If you want to invest in your homemaking, then here’s your chance! If you pre-register for this online homemaking conference by tonight at 11:59PM you can save $5 on your ticket and get over $200 in homemaking bonus resources!! CLICK HERE to find out more. 

There will be 13, pre-recorded sessions of the conference that cover various aspects of homemaking including Biblical motherhoood, fitting God’s word into your busy schedule, hospitality, natural cleaning, housekeeping schedules, and more!

Enter to Win Homemaking Goodies & a Kindle Fire!

***UPDATE: These giveaways are now closed. All winners have been contacted. While the conference is currently over, you can still watch the entire conference at your convenience! Find out more and purchase a ticket HERE!***

In celebration of the fact that my first online conference kicks off on tomorrow and that today is the very LAST day to pre-register, we are giving away over $250 in homemaking goodies!!!

When you register for the conference, you will get access to a private facebook group where a party will be going on all week, a conference notebook with session outlines, resources, links, etc, 13 sessions on various aspects of homemaking including hospitality, growing closer to God, housekeeping schedules, Biblical Motherhood, and more! CLICK HERE to learn more.

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If you missed it, we had a really fun Homemaking Facebook Party last night and we had a blast!! I am already planning another one in the future because we had so much fun and I’ve already had several requests to do another one soon.

During the party, we had 5 fabulous giveaways that are still open for you to enter  (even if you didn’t attend the Facebook party)! Scroll through the giveaways below and enter via the rafflecopter forms.

$50 Restaurants.com gift card & Rekindling Romance eKit

Sponsored by The Homemaking From Scratch Conference 

Are you looking for a fun date night? Enter to win a $50 Restaurants.com gift card (a website that allows you to buy discounted gift cards for local restaurants) and your very own copy of the Rekindling Romance eKit!

Giveaway #1

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 2) 2 Pounds of Organic Coffee (2 Winners)

Sponsored by Camano Island Coffee

The Camano Island Coffee is one of the newest additions to my kitchen but I’m already hooked!! I’ve tried a couple different kinds: Their dark Sumatra roast, a medium roast, a decaf, and a half calf. Their coffee is all organic, shade-grown, fair-trade coffee. I’ve been looking for a good source of coffee for a long time and I’ve finally found it.

You can order all of their different varieties on Amazon and if you enter to win below, 2 lucky winners will get to pick out 2lbs of coffee of their choice!

Giveaway #2

a Rafflecopter giveaway

3) FIVE Winner’s will get the 2015 Homemaker’s Friend Daily Planner

Sponsored by Homemaker’s Friend Daily Planner The Homemaker’s Friend Daily Planner is the planner that I’ve used now for over 3 years and I love it. I use a planner every day for my scheduling, grocery lists, menus, to-do lists, and more! And this daily planner has a place for everything (I’ve never found a planner in the store that has everything I need). Psssst: You can actually get this planner on sale right now if you don’t win a copy!  Giveaway #3

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

4) Modest Bathing Suit Set

Sponsored by Hydrochic Swimwear I haven’t got it yet, but I have the bathing suit on the left coming to me in the mail! I should be getting it any day (I’ll post a picture on Instagram when I do).  I’ve heard wonderful things about these bathing suits and I am so excited to give you the chance to win one of your very own!! Enter to win a bottom AND a top from their Chlorine-proof line. You can mix-and-match  from several sleeve lengths and pant and skirt lengths!

Giveaway #4

a Rafflecopter giveaway

5) Kindle Fire (In your choice of color)

Sponsored by The Homemaking From Scratch Conference  And here’s the biggest giveaway!! Enter to win a Kindle Fire HD 6 in your choice of color!! Pick from black, magenta, white, citron, and cobolt. I picked this to giveaway because my husband and I have a Kindle and absolutely love it!  Giveaway #6

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don’t Forget

The Homemaking From Scratch Online Conference pre-registration ends TODAY!! You have until midnight tonight to register for your ticket and get $5 off your ticket AND over $200 in homemaking bonus resources! CLICK HERE to find out more about the conference.

More Homemaking Resources:

Join me for a Facebook party? (And How I’m Growing in My Craft)

I’m getting ready to do my next Facebook party! If you haven’t been apart of one of these in the past, it’s a blast filled with hundreds of dollars of giveaways! But read more about the Facebook party below…

HFS Pinterest AD

Before I jump into the Facebook party details, I want to remind you that you only have a few more days to pre-register for the Homemaking From Scratch online conference. When you pre-register you will get over $200 in homemaking resources and $5 off the ticket price! CLICK HERE to find out more.

God’s Calling for the Homemaker

Do you ever feel like you can’t keep up with your housework? Do you struggle to find time for God’s Word in your busy day?

Are you curious about healthy homemaking, natural cleaning, and safe, non-toxic skincare?

Or perhaps you simply want to learn a little bit more about what it means to be a homemaker who brings glory to God from within her home?

These are just a few of the sessions covered in the 2014 Homemaking From Scratch Online Conference

I have partnered with 11 top homemaking bloggers and authors to bring you this transformational conference. If you want to become a more efficient and/or effective homemaker (or perhaps you just want a little encouragement and fellowship), would you pray about joining us for this 3 day, live event? (But all the sessions are pre-recorded so once they are posted, you can listen to them anytime, anywhere!)

10 Reasons Why I Can’t Wait for the This Conference

Because I’ve organized this whole conference, I’ve had the privilege to watch through all 13 conference sessions as the speakers have sent them in over the past few months and I was able to hand select the over $200 in homemaking bonuses that you get if you pre-register for the conference! Yes, I organized this conference, but every time I see one of the new features of the conference, I get all giddy and excited for it to start next week! Here are just a few things I’m really excited about. 

1) Daily, Weekly & Monthly Cleaning Schedules

As part of the pre-registration bonuses, you will get free printable cleaning schedules that allow you to organize your daily tasks, plan for weekly and monthly chores, and even keep track of daily Bible reading, prayer, etc. Read more about both printables HERE.

Pre-register and get FREE cleaning schedules

2) Private Facebook Group for Encouragement

Throughout the conference (and starting now in our pre-party) all the attendees and speakers have access to a private Facebook group. When each conference session starts (you can see the full schedule HERE) the speaker will be available in the Facebook group to chat, share resources, give encouragement, and answer questions! This group is going to be such a source of encouragement – I can already feel lit and gives the conference a really nice “live” feel to it.

3) Teaching Kids to Clean eBook & Free Printable

My boys don’t really do any chores yet (aside from maybe helping Mama put the toys have in the bin…but I turn around and the toys are back out) but I’m looking forward to showing them how to start helping out and doing chores from a young age. But…Honestly? I’m kind of at a loss to know where to start. What is age appropriate? What are good chores to start them out on and how do I change these chores throughout the years as they get older?

I’m so excited to dive into this bonus resource: Teaching Kids to Clean!

FREE teaching kids chores when you pre-register

4) Prioritizing Time with God Session

“Encouragement and Solutions for the Woman Who Wants to Go Deeper” <—- That is the tagline to the session by Katie from Embracing a Simpler Life. Katie just so happens to be one of my contributors for this blog, and let me tell you, she’s pretty amazing! This session is going to be so encouraging, so refreshing, and so needed! I think this might be the session I am most excited about. Here’s the session description (You can see all 13 session descriptions HERE).

“What prevents you from cultivating a rich, vibrant and thriving relationship with God each day? Does the Bible feel inaccessible? Do you lack the habit of daily time with God? Are you simply undisciplined in this area and struggle against laziness? Or perhaps you’re doing this already but could benefit from fresh ideas. In this session provides encouragement, motivation and creative and practical helps for women just like you, no matter where you are on this journey. Start living in the fullness God has for you today!” - Prioritizing Time with God Session by Katie Bennett

5) The Ability to Listen When & Where I Need

In the very beginning stages of this conference, we knew that this couldn’t be an ordinary conference where the sessions are live-streamed for one hour and then done. Why? Because I’m a busy wife and mom and I can’t be glued to my computer all day for 3 whole days! I’m lucky some days if I could have 15 minutes of quiet time to listen to a conference.

So from the very beginning we knew that we wanted to give you the tools to be able to listen to this conference when you had the time and ability. So each conference session is pre-recorded (this also provides for the best possible quality). We do have a conference schedule of when the sessions will be posted to the website and able to be accessed by all attendees, but after that, the session is up forever. 

If you have some time and want to follow along live in our Facebook group as the sessions are being posted, it will be so fun! But maybe October 7 – 9th is going to be a really busy week for you? No problem – grab your ticket and then listen any time that you can!

I love to listen to sermons and podcasts while I cook, do dishes, fold laundry, and drive in my car. It’s a wonderful way to sneak in some Biblical wisdom and encouragement throughout my day. So even if you feel like you are too busy for this conference, reconsider because I bet you could find some time. (Even if it takes you a year to listen through all the sessions – they are there for you to keep – forever!)

6) A Jump Start to Natural Remedies, Cleaning, Beauty, & Skincare

When I first began learning about natural remedies and natural cleaning, I felt totally overwhelmed. There seemed to be so much information out there – and honestly, most of it seemed to contradict each other. As I learned more, I felt like I needed to go through my house, throw out everything I’ve ever bought and spend 100′s of dollars to replace it all.

But that’s not what it takes. Creating a healthier home is all about baby steps! One of the conference sessions is called “Making Healthy Choices in your home” 

“Do you want to create a healthier, more natural home but have no idea where to start? Are you confused by all the ingredients in your beauty, skincare, cleaning, and household products and feel totally overwhelmed? Hilary shares her story and how her family came to realize that the products within her house were toxic and dangerous! She then gives you all the tools you need to identify dangerous products lurking in your medicine cabinet, how to find healthy and natural alternatives, and how you can do all this while saving money!” – Making Healthy Choices in Your Home by Hilary Bernstein.

As part of your pre-registration bonus package, you will also get two amazing eBook guides for FREE! A Beginner’s Guide to Assembling a Natural Medicine Cabinet and The Accidentally Green guide to Cleaning Without Chemicals. Both of these guides are fantastic and I’m so excited to be able to give them to you for FREE when you pre-register for a ticket by October 6

Making healthy choices in your home

7) Exclusive Scripture Printables

Just for our conference attendees, we created these exclusive Scripture Printables! Print them out, frame them, and you instantly have a beautiful piece of Scripture to hang up.

FREE printables with your ticket!

8) The Encouragement to be “real”

It can be really discouraging sometimes to browse through Pinterest and Facebook and see all those other homemakers who seem so perfect. Those homemaker’s who seem to have it all together – the perfectly clean house, the well behaved children, perfect homemade brownies…and she’s in a beautiful dress and heels to boot!

Deep down I know this isn’t realistic. And I’m working on being more real in my homemaking, but it can still be discouraging. So come join our conference and private Facebook group. We don’t have it all together…we don’t have all the answers…and we are definitely far from perfect. But in our imperfections, we can encourage one another on to glorify God in our homes…even if the sink is full of dishes and you just don’t have it all together. In fact, if you do have it all together, this probably isn’t the conference for you!

9) A Conference Notebook with Outlines & Notes

I’ll be honest, as a busy homemaker, I don’t have hours to sit down, watch sessions for hours on end, and take beautiful notes. So we’ve made it easy for you!  Included in your conference ticket, you will get a PDF conference binder that you can print out or pull up on your computer, phone, or tablet that has outlines for every single session as well as places for notes. The notebook makes it so easy to follow along and remember key points and resources for later!

Homemaking From Scratch Online Conference

10) The Opportunity to Hone My Craft

If I am going to grow in my homemaking skills, I know that I have to be really intentional. If I don’t choose intentionally invest time and resources into growing as a homemaker, I never will! It doesn’t just happen by accident, it takes forethought, planning, and hard work!

“Caring for your home and meeting the needs of your family are ministries. If you choose to marry, God has given you a special assignment. Keeping a home not only requires time, energy, and creativity, but it also calls for skills and experience. I believe homemaking is an art, and to pursue the development of any piece of art demands time and talent.” – Kelly Patterson

In this busy season of having little kids, I really don’t have any extra time to develop a homemaking plan on my own. I have every intention of getting housekeeping schedules down, practice hospitality, and teaching my kids how to do chores…but it just doesn’t seem to happen. Anyone else ever feel like this?

Maybe I should have done this top 10 list backwards because I think this is the most important one! This conference gives me the opportunity – and all the tools I need – to transform my homemaking starting today!!

So I ask once again, will you pray about joining us? I don’t want you to miss out!

You can find out more about the conference HERE and pre-register before it’s too late! When you pre-register between September 29 and October 6, not only will you get $5 off your ticket, you will also get over $200 in bonus resources!! But hurry…pre-registration is only open for a few more days!

Join me For a Facebook Party!

In celebration of our homemaking conference, I’ll be hosting a Facebook party on Sunday night (October 5th) from 7 – 9PM (EST)!! If you haven’t participated in one of my Facebook parties in the past, it’s a BLAST! It’s 2 fast paced, fun packed hours with fellowship, free resources, and $100′s in giveaways!!

All you have to do is like my page and then head over there a few minutes before 7PM on Sunday night!! Sit in your jammies, grab a cup of coffee, and get ready for a girl’s night party!

You're invited!

Real Life Homemaking (What my day actually looks like)

I’m a blogger. And I blog on homemaking. My life is very public sometimes and people I’ve never met know details of my day. Why? Because I want to be an encouragement to women that what we do every single day matters

But I think throughout the course of blogging about my life, taking pictures of recipes, filming videos for my online conference, squeezing in some time in the early mornings to write, and sharing photos of my boys on Instagram…I *think* it can sometimes look like I have it all together.

What a Homemaker's Day REALLY looks like!

And that’s the biggest struggle of Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and blogs isn’t it? I’ve heard comments from many women that they had to shut down their Pinterest accounts because they felt like such failures that they couldn’t cut out special characters into their kids sandwiches for lunches, or home sew all their own curtains and pillows, plus make gourmet desserts for their weekly Bible study.

It can get exhausting trying to be the “perfect” homemaker and seeing all those other perfect homemakers all over blogs and Facebook can be exhausting and so discouraging.

The thing is, no one is showing the hard parts of the their day. No one is showing the utter mess their house is in while they photograph that amazing brownie recipe. Part of this is pride. What if everyone thinks I’m lazy? Or spending too much time on my blog and my house is a mess….And part of it is practical. If I’m filming a video (like my homemade chapstick video) then it’s going to be a lot less of an attractive video if the stove top looks like dinner exploded all over it and the sink is piled high with dishes.

Here’s a real life example of this. This is a long video so go all the way to the end and watch the last few seconds ;)

It can be hard to be real with each other as homemakers. When you are invited to someone’s house for dinner, you will be glimpsing their house or apartment as clean as it gets. But you don’t ever see what their normal, everyday looks like. You are seeing one small glimpse into their day…not what their house normally looks like.

So nobody shares. Nobody posts the disgusting pictures of their house. The messy pictures. The hard days. Or what I like to call: Everyday Life. 

I Want to Be Real With You

So lately, I’ve decided that I’m going to be more real with you. Not that I was being “fake” before. I just hadn’t thought to post about the dishes piling high in my sink. Why would anyone care about that (and would I be judged for my messy house?). But you know what? We ALL have those days. We ALL have weaknesses in our homemaking.

We also all have strengths. Is my house a mess all the time? Nope. Some days I do have it together. Some days the boys play happily and the kitchen is spotless until Daddy gets home. Some days I can make a wonderful dessert for Bible Study and work on a DIY project. And because I’m a blogger, I want to share those things with you too.

But I also want to share the messy parts of life with you. The hard days. What my normal routine looks like because I want to be an encouragement for you – especially if you have little kids! 

My real life kitchen

I shared this photo before. On a whim, when I was in the midst of *trying* to Spring clean and my house just seemed to be getting messier and messier, I decided to share this photo of a semi-normal day. And you know what? The response I got on Instagram and Facebook was overwhelming!

I got comments like “Thank you for sharing real life!” and “So glad I’m not alone” and “That pic makes me feel so much better!!! Thanks!” and so many more encouraging comments. And you know what? I didn’t get a single negative comment. No one told me I was being lazy. Or that I just needed to work harder to get my house under control or if I could just implement such and such cleaning routine then I wouldn’t deal with this…

I whole heartily think that as homemakers, we need to invest in our homemaking stills. Laziness is a real problem I deal with as a homemaker. And sometimes those housekeeping tips, advice, and programs are exactly what I need to get motivated to keep an orderly house! I’m not perfect and often my messy house is because I’m not working hard enough.

But sometimes…my house is a mess because sick kiddos need cuddle time with Mama while watching a movie. Sometimes…the dishes are left un-done all day because I needed to fit in my Bible reading time. Sometimes…grocery shopping is more important than vacuuming. Sometimes…having coffee with someone new at church is more important that dirty laundry. Sometimes…life is messy and so is our house!

My mom died almost a year ago, in November 2013. I feel like I am just barely getting back to a new normal in my life and the last year, my house has reflected that. My life has been more scattered, messy, and disorganized since we moved into a brand new house 2 months after she died than I ever have had before. I’ve been mourning and other things have been more important in this season than keeping the sink free of dishes.

And I’m okay with that! It’s the season of life I am in right now. This minute. As I type this, my sink is, you guessed it, full of dishes. But right now, this minute, encouraging you is so much more important.

The realities of trying to "spring clean" with toddlers!

The realities of trying to “spring clean” with toddlers!

None of this is an excuse to let your house go. To live in filth and be fine with it. I think there are some very important things to be said for creating a peaceful and loving atmosphere in your home, but in some seasons, you just can’t simply do it all. So I want to give you (and myself) permission to be okay with the mess. Do what’s really important this minute (which might just be the dishes!) and walk in Grace knowing that you are doing the very best thing for your family.

Let’s Create a New Normal

Instead of Pinterest-perfect houses, groumet desserts, and perfectly fashionable children as the “norm”….let’s define a new norm. 

A norm where it’s okay to say the dishes didn’t get done today because Bible study was more important.

A norm where we can encourage each other when our houses are messy instead of judging each other.

A new norm where we can celebrate homemaking wins with each other!

A norm where we can cheer each other on when we share a new room that we actually got organized and de-cluttered…without assuming that person is bragging or showing off.

A norm where we can invite a new friend over to our house even if it is a bit messy. 

Because really – we don’t all live with perfect houses everyday. Instead of stressing out, yelling at the kids, and frantically running around the house for 3 hours before having guests over - let them see a little bit of the mess. Because I can guarantee that if you popped over to their house unexpectedly you would see a bit of mess too - Paperwork on the counter, dishes in the sink, laundry clean, folded, and never moving closer to the dresser.

I want to create a new norm where it’s okay to live a little messy if you are instead focusing on things that are more important (i.e relationships)!! And a norm where we can celebrate those days when we dug in, cleaned like mad, and are proud of the atmosphere we’ve created! A new norm of honesty – and acceptance – so we can all live a little more “real”. 

Introducing: Real Life Homemaking Thursdays

This has been on my mind a lot lately. Just the other day I posted this picture of my sink. I didn’t do the dishes the night before because after dinner my hubby and I were both exhausted, so we relaxed together and bonded. Being with my husband at that point was way more important than the pile of dirty dishes in the sink…even if that did mean I had no clean forks or plates in the morning!

Dishes everywhere

I think the fact that I had over 230 comments on this picture within a matter of hours shows that I’m not alone in this. So I’m starting Real Life Homemaking Thursdays!

I’m going to post the photo below each Thursday on Facebook and Instagram and I want YOU to participate. Here’s how you can join in and encourage each other so you know you are NOT alone in your real life homemaking!

  • On Facebook you can share a photo of your own real life homemaking by sharing it in the comments on that thread and/or posting it on your own wall with the hashtag #RealLifeHomemaking and tagging Young Wife’s Guide Facebook page if you want.
  • On Instagram share a real life homemaking photo with the hashtag #RealLifeHomemaking and tag me @jamibalmet if you want so I can follow along with your real life homemaking journey as well!
Real Life Homemaking Instagram & Facebook

Thanks to everyone who voted and helped me pick the picture for this – the vote came really close!

Things to share:

  • Your real life. In that moment. Stop on Thursday morning, take a quick photo (DON’T move anything) and snap a photo.
  • What does YOUR REAL life look like today?
  • Share your set up for breakfast
  • Did you practice hospitality the night before? Share the realities of what your house looks like the next day
  • Did you take on a big organization project and knock it out of the park (or maybe fail miserably like I did in the photo above)? Share your results!
  • Did you make a big dinner and dessert and your actually really proud of getting that accomplished? Share with us so we can celebrate with you!
  • Don’t hide, don’t pretend. Share what your real life homemaking reality is!
  • And if this inspires you to start working on some organization/decluttering/cooking projects in the meantime…well then I call that real life motivation! :)

Need Help in Your Homemaking?

Of course, sometimes we just genuinely need help in our homemaking! Sometimes we DO need advice on organization, decluttering, or natural cleaning. I firmly believe that as a homemaker, we should take our role seriously and treat it like a career - a career that takes life long investment of time, energy, and resources so that we can always be growing and learning in our job as a keeper of our home.

That’s why I’ve put together the first annual Homemaking From Scratch online conference 2014!! I’ve brought together 12 amazing homemaking authors and bloggers to give you this unique learning environment. Learn from real life, Titus 2 women, as they share advice, experience, wisdom, and failures they’ve had in their lives as homemakers. CLICK HERE to find out ALL the details about the conference.

Homemaking From Scratch Conference

Here are just a few of the conference sessions (out of 13 total):

  • What is a Homemaker? Discover the Biblical definition
  • Biblical Motherhood – A Heart to Heart
  • Keeping Marriages Strong & Growing
  • Decluttering – Tips and Tricks that work in ANY home
  • Prioritizing Time with God: Encouragement and Solutions for the Woman Who Wants to Go Deeper
  • Practicing Hospitality: The Biblical Art of Serving Others
  • Making Healthy Choices in Your Home
  • The Benefits of Homemaking Routines
  • And more! CLICK HERE for the entire list of sessions & Speaker information

My favorite thing about this conference though, is how we designed it! We knew we were making a conference for busy homemakers, so we made it easy for you to listen! Once the conference sessions are posted during the conference (October 7 – 9th) you will have the ability to listen to them anytime, anywhere, and on any device. The sessions are yours to keep – Forever! You can pause a session, stop it, and return back to it later at a time that is convenient for YOU.

AND – if you pre-register for the conference (between September 29th and October 6th), you can get $5 off your ticket price and over $200 in homemaking bonus resources!! Pre-register here and download your bonus items instantly! I hope to get to connect with you during the conference in our private Facebook group for attendees :)

Will you be joining us for the Real Life Homemaking Thursdays? Leave a comment and let me know if you will!