For the Love of Laundry

By Erica, Contributing Writer

Laundry is not always loads of fun but we sure do accumulate loads of it! A friend of mine with four boys always said, ”I’m climbing laundry mountain.” Without an organized system of how to do your laundry, then you may quickly feel overloaded with the mountains of laundry that are piling up in your house.

Is there a Biblical principle for laundry? God is an organized being, keeping everything in order in His own perfect plan. So, tackling the business of laundry should be something that we can also organize as Christian women.

Note from Jami: I have never given much thought to my laundry routine. I throw my clothes in and go on my way. These tips form Erica on forming a thoughtful laundry routine have really helped! This is part of becoming a better homemaker – learning from others on how to better make your home.

Each person has their quirks about laundry, their do’s and don’ts, their preferences of how to do it their way. I want to share with you my way. You’re welcome to ponder how I launder!

Is there a Biblical principle for laundry? While I Corinthians 14:40, “Let all things be done decently and in order,” pertains to the way a church should function, I believe it can easily be applied to all of life. God is an organized being keeping everything in order in His own perfect plan. So, tackling the business of laundry should be something that we can also organize as Christian women.

Tips for Tackling Laundry

1) We sort when we put our clothes in the laundry basket.

We have a divided laundry cart on wheels in my bedroom. Our oldest children have a 3-tiered laundry baskets that stack on one another. Each has a label for clothing colors. One for whites, blues/grays/greens, reds/oranges/purples, and blacks. Our towels all go into one laundry basket in one bathroom, as well as any other bulky items like sheets, rugs, and blankets.

2) Each weekday is assigned a laundry color.

We typically will do two or three loads per day.
Monday – Sheets and Towels
Tuesday – Blues Day (rhymes!)
Wednesday – Whites Day (Both have a “w” in it”)
Thursday – Reds Day (Both have an an “r” in it)
Friday – Blacks Day (Think Black Friday)

3) When I separate laundry I separate within the color.

Bathroom towels: 1 bathroom has white towels and 1 bathroom has dark towels. They get separated into different colors because I like white towels not to have dark fuzz on them.

Dress Clothes: Dress clothes are separated from casual clothes so that fuzzies cannot be made onto nice clothing, thus making your clothes last longer. My husband wears lots of dress shirts to work so it is not hard for us to make a separate load.

Blues: Denim/Jeans go in their own load. Then they are separated into dress clothes and casual clothes.

Blacks: Blacks are a category all their own because if they cause fuzzies on each other, they will be black. This eliminates multicolored threads being stuck to black fabrics.

Fuzzy Items and Sweaters: I will mix colors of fuzzy items, like fleece pajamas, socks, sweatshirts, and some sweaters into their own load. This eliminates shedding on other clothes.

4) Using your washing machine.

We have a top loading washing machine, so some of this may not apply to your type of washer. When I load the washer I put heavy items on the bottom and lighter items on the top. So, if there was a pair of jeans in the load then it would go in first. I do this so that the heavy items do not smash the smaller items. This allows smaller items to wash freely in the cycle.

5) Folding

My husband recently released me from folding the clothes of my boys (6 and 8 years)! I was thrilled. They now have a responsibility to fold all of their own clothes. This has helped me tremendously and is teaching them some character. Other than that, everyone pitches in. Even our younger girls (almost 2 and almost 4) can put socks away for everyone and are learning from pictures on the front of their drawers to put their own clothes away. Our almost 4 year old has the job of folding all washcloths and enjoys folding dish towels as well.

A Good mother trains her children by working beside them.

If you want your children to help you with this task effectively you will need to take the time to teach them how. It may take you several tutorial sessions and some refresher courses when they forget but it is well worth it to have the work divided among the family instead of having mountains of laundry to fold by yourself! A good mother trains her children by working beside them.

I was reading a laundry article the other day and the writer mom was saying she just lets her kids take their stacks of unfolded clothes to their drawers since they all end up in wads in their drawers anyway. I just can’t bring myself to do that… Again, this goes against the idea that God has order, so we go ahead and do just that.

I hope that as you  have pondered how I launder that you have come up with some ideas to help you in your home. Please share any laundry saving ideas with us here in the comments, we’d love to read them!

Practical-Tips-for-Tackling-Laundry - Horizontal

*This post was originally published on February 3, 2014.*

Biblical Hospitality Defined: The Art of Serving Others

Hospitality: What comes to mind? Do you picture a beautiful house complete with a gourmet meal, friends around the dinner table, and polite chit chat? Hospitality can be this, but it’s really much more.

what does Biblical hospitality look like

By the way: I have a brand new FREE video series on hospitality! Take a journey through Scripture with me as we explore what the Bible has to say on hospitality, what hospitality can look like, and then dive into practical tips with a beginner’s guide to hospitality. You can access the first video instantly HERE!

Hospitality can look like:

  • Inviting a non-Christian family out to pizza after the soccer game.
  • Sharing a picnic at the park with the single mom down the street.
  • Inviting that new couple at church over for Sunday brunch.

Hospitality can come in many forms but the ultimate purpose is this: To honor and obey God by serving those around us. As Christians we are called to practice Biblical Hospitality…and practice it with joy!

“Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice’ (1 Sam 15:22). The words of John 14:15, 21-24 clearly identify that the primary evidence that individuals are Christians is their choice to obey their Father’s commands….I learned that to please my heavenly Father I need to respond to all of his instructions with an obedient spirit and not just pick those that appeal to me – and that includes my response to what his Word teaches about hospitality.” ~ Practicing Hospitality, Pg 22

Hospitality – A Biblical Command

Why should we be concerned about hospitality and practicing it? Because God commands that we practice hospitality – and we should obey!

Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.” ~ Romans 12:13

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” ~ Hebrews 13:2

Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.” ~ 1 Peter 4:9 -

“First Peter 4:9 builds on the instructions to practice hospitality and reminds me that my attitude is of utmost important – I am to practice hospitality without complaining! This verse challenges me to conduct a heart search to discern what my attitude is and whether I am approaching this opportunity to minister enthusiastically (Colossians 3:23).” ~ Practicing Hospitality, Pg 23

Later this week I will go more in depth into what hospitality actually looked like practiced in both the Old Testament and the New. We will dive into Biblical examples and how we can learn from people such as Abraham & Sarah, Lot, Gideon, and more!

So What Does Hospitality Look Like?

So now we know that Biblical hospitality is commanded {and we will delve into that more} but what exactly does that look like? As I showed above, Biblical hospitality can take on many different forms.

The ultimate purpose of hospitality is to minister to those around us – both believers and unbelievers. Our hospitality is a form of ministry and is a way that we show love, care, concern, and how we can serve others!

“Hospitality from a Biblical perspective is to recognize that God is more interested in caring relationships than the mold behind the shower curtain…It need not matter if we live in a single-room apartment or a split-level ranch, the only real requirement is allowing God to use our lives and our possessions…Our homes and our lives are indeed the most powerful combination of ministry to our world.” ~ Hospitality with Confidence, Pg 9

Hospitality is not about showing off your house, your decorating skills, or your cooking abilities. It is not just having friends over to play games {although that can be an element of it}. It is not about you or your possessions - Hospitality is about God and how he uses you and your possessions to serve those you come into contact with – both friends and strangers, both believers and unbelievers.

Anyone – even the single gal in a dorm room – can show hospitality to those around them. It doesn’t take fancy china or expensive food. Hospitality is about investing in other’s lives and learning how you can best serve those around you.

We could have a revolution within our churches of believers reaching out into our unbelieving neighborhoods and inviting families over, new people to the church quickly getting plugged into church life, and Christians really genuinely caring and serving for one another – through the Biblical art of hospitality!

I am excited you are on this journey with me! We are going to begin tomorrow by diving into what God has to say and teach on Hospitality in the Old Testament tomorrow.

Read more in this series:

Come with me on a journey to discover the Biblical art of serving others in The Joy of Hospitality Series!

All new hospitality Video series

My New (FREE) Hospitality Video Series

I am SO excited that my new video series is finally here and ready! My husband has been working hard behind the scenes to get everything ready for these videos on the technical side. And it’s not been easy…

Hospitality - every believer's command to joyfully serve blog post

Whew – This has been one crazy week! My husband and I left on Thursday for a Christian writing conference while in the middle of wrapping up everything on our new eCourse that launches next week. And at the same time, my site went down for most of yesterday while we were trying to get these finalized. It’s all back up and running now (yay!!) but it’s been tough finding reliable internet up here in the mountains to get everything up and going!

So without further ado, I want to introduce you to my brand new three part video series on hospitality! The first video is up and ready for you to watch now.

Hospitality – Every Believer’s Command to Joyfully Serve

The first video in my series addresses something so important. When I talk about hospitality, I often hear women express that hospitality just isn’t one of their “gifts” – as if it’s only a responsibility for certain members of the Church.

But today,  I want to challenge you to think outside the box when it comes to hospitality. In this first video, I dive into Scripture, starting in the Old Testament and working our way to the New Testament to discover what the Bible has to say on the subject.

Screenshot of hospitality video one

Then, throughout the next two videos, we will cover what hospitality looks like in the life of the modern believer and a practical beginner’s guide to extending hospitality so you can start TODAY!

To get the free video series, all you have to do is head over here, and you can begin watching video #1 right now!

All new hospitality Video series

All My Favorite Blogs (on Homemaking, Marriage, Natural Living, & More)

This weekend I got a text from my sister-in-law asking for a list of my favorite blogs to read. As I contemplated the list to send back to her, I thought this might be a good list to share here on my blog.

Mockup Scene Creator

As I’ve been compiling this list tonight, I feel  like there are important blogs I’m leaving off (I blame pregnancy brain). So I might be adding to and updating this list as I think of more. And leave a comment below and let me know all your favorite blogs you read!

How I Read & Keep Track of Blogs

First, I want to add a note. Many of these blogs update new posts five days a week and are always putting out great new content. As a busy wife, mom, homemaker, and blogger myself, I definitely don’t have time to read through them all. There are a handful of blogs that I do read just about every post from, but those are few and far between.

For the most part, I use Pinterest and Bloglovin (see below) to sort through all my favorite blogs and find new articles to read. I am selective with my time and only read articles that really seem important. But I will add, there are some truly amazing writers and bloggers out there who have greatly enhanced my life by reading their content. So here’s how I keep track of all my favorite blogs:

BlogLovin’

Bloglovin’ is a website that pulls all your favorite RSS feed subscriptions. It can take a little while to set up (unless you use my list below to make it easier). But once it’s all set up, you log in (or download the app to your phone) and it gives you an updated list each time you log in of all your favorite blog’s newest articles.

With one click you can follow Young Wife’s Guide on BlogLovin‘ if you want! Otherwise you can either search for each blog you want inside the website or paste in their URL. It’s easy to set up. I like browsing through the list of new articles when my husband and I are relaxing at night watching TV. Or if I’m waiting somewhere like the doctor’s office. I find it’s a lot more rewarding to browse through than my Facebook feed ;)

Using BlogLovin' to keep up on all your favorite blogs

Pinterest

The main way that I keep up on all my favorite blogs is through Pinterest. While I do miss some recent articles, I find that it’s the most time efficient way for me to keep up on all my favorite blogs and a great way to discover new blogs I wouldn’t have otherwise.

I follow all of my favorite blogs on Pinterest so that when they pin awesome articles it will show up in my feed (you can follow Young Wife’s Guide on Pinterest here). And I follow several group Pinterest boards where many bloggers can all pin to the same board. I find it very effective for finding great content and articles. Here is a great Christian Homemaking board and Biblical Marriage Board you can follow too.

Visit Jami Balmet | Young Wife’s Guide’s profile on Pinterest.

Email Subscriptions

You will see in my list below, I have dozens of blogs that I love. And like I said, I can’t keep up on all of them all of the time because I have a busy life! But for those few blogs that I do want to get every update on (my very favorite ones), I sign up for their email newsletter. I’m probably signed up for 10 – 15 email subscriptions.

For these blogs I follow via email subscription, it always brightens up my email when their new article lands in my inbox! You can follow Young Wife’s Guide via email HERE if you want (plus you will get my free eBook on Scripture memorization).

All My Favorite Blogs

Now on to all my favorite blogs! I broke these up into categories for you to make it easier, but many of these blogs span multiple categories. Leave me a comment if you have more to add to this list! Note: These are in no particular order :)

Christian Homemaking Blogs

The Humbled Homemaker - Grace-filled, Natural Living by Erin Odom

I really appreciate Erin’s grace-filled approach to homemaking and motherhood. Her posts are always down to earth and so encouraging!

Club 31 Women - A Passion for Husband, Home, and Family by Lisa Jacobson

If I were to think of a women who embodies Titus 2, Lisa would be at the top of that list! She’s a mom of 8 who sincerely blogs about life as a wife, mom, and homemaker. Every single time I read one of her posts, I’m convicted and motivated in my walk with the Lord as in my roles as a woman.

Money Saving Mom – Intentional Finance. Intentional Family. Intentional Business. by Crystal Paine

I started following Crystal several years ago because she shares awesome deals and freebies, but she has recently become one of my very favorite bloggers because of how she shares her real life with her readers. You have to sort through all the deal type posts to get to her more meaty content, but there is this handy little button in the corner of her blog that allows you to skip the deals posts.

Embracing a Simpler Life - Moms Finding Contentment in Christ by Katie Bennett

Ever since I first discovered Katie’s blog last year, I’ve been hooked! Katie has such a kind and gentle spirit and has so many wise things to say on motherhood and homemaking. You might also recognize her from being a regularly monthly contributor here on YWG.

Thankful Homemaker - Celebrating the Joy, Freedom and Beauty of Being a Wife, Mother and Homemaker by Marci

If I had to name another Titus 2 role model, Marci would fit that description. In every article, Marci gives so much grace and wisdom – I’m always so encouraged!

The Focused Homemaker – Teaching and Encouragement From Our Home To Yours by

I love Jennifer’s approach to homemaking! As a mama of lots of little ones, Jennifer has so much good advice on balancing a busy household and family. Plus, she makes super cute aprons!

Intentional By Grace – Be Intentional. Rely on Grace. Live for Him. by Leigh Ann Dutton

I’ve been friends with Leigh Ann for years now and I always love her approaches to homemaking, raising kids, and marriage that is always laced with Grace. If I had one word to describe Leigh Ann and her blog, it would be grace!

Kayse Pratt – Real Encouragement for Real Moms by Kayse Pratt

I’m always so encouraged to read Kayse’s articles and love what she has to say on motherhood and homemaking!

Joy Dare Blog – Capturing the Joy in the Journey by Amber

Amber covers a wide range of topics from serving as a family, tips for moms, and so much more!

Raising the Barrs – Our Journey to Wellness on the Last Frontier by Anjanette Barr

Anjanette used to be a contributor to my blog here and is one of my good friends – but lately she’s been on a blogging hiatus. But I love her perspective on homemaking and motherhood.

Joyful Thrifty Home – Encouraging You to Live Better While Spending Less by Ashley Roe

Ashley rocks! You might notice that Ashley is a regular contributor here on Young Wife’s Guide and I am always encouraged with her unique perspective on motherhood and finances.

Mandy J. Hoffman - Connecting God’s Grace to the Daily Grind by Mandy

Mandy is a kindred spirit! She loves to read and I would follow her just to get her book reviews and book recommendations. She also has a really thought provoking book out on social media

Other Great Homemaking Blogs:

Christian Marriage Blogs

Jolene Engle – Equipping Women to Grow in Grace and Truth by Jolene Engle

Jolene is such a dear friend and a wife with such godly advice! Her blog and podcast are always such an encouragement of wise Biblical advice. I know I can always count on her for sound Biblical advice when it comes to all things marriage!

To Love, Honor, and Vacuum - When You Feel More Like a Maid Than a Wife and Mother by Sheila

If you are looking for some humor and someone who will be real with you about marriage and being a wife, Sheila’s blog has what you are looking for! I always appreciate her willingness to be open with her readers!

The Purposeful WifeSeeking to Adopt God’s Priorities in my Home for Our Good and His Glory by Rachel

As a fellow young mom, I love Rachel’s perspective on being a wife and mom. If you are looking for encouragement as a young wife and mom, Rachel is your gal!

Other Great Marriage Blogs:

Christian Motherhood Blogs

Inspired to Action by Kat Lee

Kat runs one of my all time favorite podcasts and is so encouraging when it comes to motherhood! I think I could sit and listen to her all day long and I always appreciate her down to earth advice on mothering.

Christin Slade – Encouraging and Equipping Moms by Christin

Christin was one of the speakers at my Homemaking From Scratch Online Conference and did her session on biblical motherhoood – a hear to heart – and let me tell you, Christin truly has a heart for motherhood and reaching out and connecting to other mothers! She is always a joy to learn from.

The Better Mom - Growing Better Together by Ruth

If you pop over to The Better Mom, you will likely recognize several of the most recent post’s authors. Ruth has brought together a team of amazing writers all giving you encouragement for motherhood and marriage!
Other Great Motherhood Blogs:

A list of all my favorite blogs - From homemaking to natural living to business & blogging!

Christian Natural Living Blogs

Keeper of the Home – Naturally Inspired Living for Homemakers by Stephanie Langford

I have been following Stephani’s blog for years and always appreciate her advice! I actually worked for her for about a year as her social media manager and I was also a regular monthly contributor for a while (until life got too busy)! You will be hard pressed to find a Christian natural living blog that spends more time, attention, and detail on deliver professional looking content that is so thoroughly researched and well informed! This is my #1 favorite go-to natural living blog to read!

Richly Rooted – Natural Living in Abundant Grace by Elsie Callender

Elsie is one of my good friends (in fact, we even wrote a cookbook together) and she always has excellent advice and knowledge when it comes to healthy living. I love how real and transparent she is with her natural living journey.

Little House on the Valley – Create. Nourish. Love. by Denise

If I’m looking for natural cleaning recipes or how-to’s on essential oils – Denise is my gal! I find all of her latest articles and tips to be so practical and helpful!

Intoxicated on Life – Raising Healthy Families – Mind, Body, and Soul

Trisha brings a little bit of everything to the table – marriage, natural living, raising kids, homemaking, etc. If you are gluten-free then I especially recommend that you check out her blog and resources!

Other Great Natural Living Blogs:

Business & Blogging Blogs

Amy Lynn Andrews

Amy is a Christian blogger who offers great blogging and website advice! I love getting her weekly Useletter and always find her tips to be super helpful. if you are interested in general blogging advice, I recommend you check her out!

Michael Hyatt – Your Virtual Mentor

If you are doing any sort of online business or are interested in writing a book, Michael’s advice is golden! He is a Christian author who used to be the CEO of Thomas Nelson (a Christian publisher). He has written one of my favorite books on blogging and growing a platform.

Smart Passive Income 

Pat Flynn’s website has become one of my very favorite authorities on building an online business. I listen to every single episode of his podcast and I love his commitment to bringing the best possible content to his readers. I learn so much from him every single day!

What blogs would YOU add to this list? Leave a comment and let us know! 

One of the Best Books of the Year: Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full (Book Review)

As a busy mom who quite literally has my hands full with toddler twin boys and another set of twin boys on the way, I have found a new favorite book. I feel like Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full was written for me. It’s a very short, small book and perfect for reading in those small little breaks we can sometimes find throughout the day.

Treasuring Christ Book Review

This last year I published both my Summer reading list and my Fall reading list and have received several requests to go back and review those books. So the first book up off my Summer Reading list is: Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full ~ Gospel Meditations for Busy Moms.

This book has been really impactful on me this year as I feel like I’m walking through a messy and weary season of motherhood. I read this book over six months ago, and while I don’t have a 10 step plan to perfect parenting or anything memorized from reading this book, one powerful lesson lingers on in my mind: Treasuring Christ when your hands are full all begins with God’s abundant Grace! 

Gloria really encouraged me through this book to turn to Christ, to cling to Him, and to daily be in God’s Word – even when it feels like you can’t find another second. The entire book kept pointing back to the fact that we need to be in constant prayer and to really treasure Christ amidst our busy lives as moms.

“The Christian mother’s hands are full with every spiritual blessing in Christ (Eph. 1:3) and her work in nurturing children in the fear of the Lord is her privileged participation in God’s work in uniting all things in Jesus (Eph. 1:10). This Jesus, whom we gladly serve, offers rest to mothers and fills our hands with his blessings. Day and night, moment by moment, we must choose to rest in Jesus. That’s what it means to treasure Christ when your hands are full, whether you have one child or a dozen.” – Treasuring Christ, page 17

The Verdict

Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full has definitely landed on my top 10 Christian books list. I felt so encouraged and drawn closer to the Lord from reading this short book and I will definitely be reading it again soon -because those lessons of always striving to draw closer to the Lord are unfortunately, easy ones for us moms to forget in our busy days!

If you are a weary mom, who feels tired and a little burnt-out (or a lot!) then I highly recommend you get a copy of this book. I am so thankful that Gloria wrote this book with such love and I felt like she was constantly pointing me back to God’s Grace! What a wonderful encouragement in the middle of everyday, busy life!

Buy the Book

You can find Treasuring Christ When Your Hands are Full on Amazon as a regular print book or for your Kindle. (I keep waiting for the audio version to come out!)

Treasuring Christ Book Review 2

“When your eyes are fixed on the horizon of eternity, it affects your vision for motherhood. We need to have eyes to see a view of God that is so big and so glorious that it transforms our perspective of motherhood. In the context of eternity, where Christ is doing his work of reigning over the cosmos, we need to see our mundane moments for what they really are – worship. In the daily (and nightly) work of mothering, we’re given dozens of invitations to worship God as he reminds us of the hope we have because of the gospel. My prayer is that you would see that the gospel is good news for mothers, not just on our “born again birthday,” but every single day.” – Treasuring Christ, page 18 (emphasis mine)

Have you read Treasuring Christ? What did you think? Share in the comments below!