How I’m (Finally) Keeping Laundry Under Control

Ah, laundry. The endless, endless cycle. I used the once a week method during college. It still worked when I was a newlywed…then my son was born. If you’re a mom, you know babies create, shall we say, urgent laundry.

Urgent laundry does not need to sit for five or six days. Upon this discovery, I moved to washing clothes whenever I had a chance. “Whenever I had a chance” was not often enough. In my year and a half of homemaking, I’ve found that I really need some structure. If I plan to get to a task “some time,” then it never actually happens. Alternatively, it does happen, but it doesn’t happen consistently. Consistency is the key to success.

I’ve experimented with a few different laundry routines, and I’ve finally settled on one that works well for our family of three. I do one load of laundry every day, except for Sunday. Realistically, doing any household project other than cooking and the dishes on Sunday just isn’t going to happen. We’re busy with multiple church services.

Even with skipping Sundays, doing a load each of the other days keeps the laundry pile to a manageable size. I’m more likely to start on a project if I can see myself making significant progress.

I alternate between doing dark loads and light loads. I used to do a separate load for towels, but I don’t any more. Our towels are medium colors and can go in either type of load when needed.

Steps to Conquering Laundry:

  1. Start the washing machine with a load of light clothes.
  2. Move the light clothes to the dryer.
  3. Place the dark clothes in the washing machine. DO NOT START IT YET.
  4. Fold the light clothes as soon as they are done in the dryer.
  5. In the evening, place dark clothes in the washing machine as soon as you change out of them.
  6. The next day, put the detergent in the washing machine and start it. Your dark clothes should already be there.
  7. Repeat the entire process.

Using this method, nothing sits in the hamper for more than 48 hours. Some items never make it to the hamper at all, and instead go directly to the laundry area. The increased efficiency has transformed laundry from an overwhelming task to a simple daily habit.

How do you handle laundry in your home?

If It Feels Like No One Understands, Remember Our Great High Priest

The following is an excerpt for a guest post I wrote for my blogger buddy Veronica Anne. Click here to see the entire post over at her site.

Life can be tough. Medical challenges can shock us mentally and physically. Loss isolates. Rejection discourages. No matter what life throws at us, we can always turn to God with our troubles. Hebrews 4:15-16 describes Jesus as the great high priest. To fully understand the implications of that, we need to examine the historical context of high priests.

The high priest was a mediator between God and the Israelites. He entered the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement. Only the high priest could enter the Holy of Holies. Any other person who attempted to do so would die.

In the same way, we could not come to God on our own. Jesus became the mediator between God and man and created a way for us to come to God.

Read the rest at veronicaanne.com!

 

4 Effective Scripture Memory Strategies

This post contains an affiliate link. This means that I may make a small commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. For my full disclosure, click here.

Awana is a program designed to teach children and teenagers the fundamentals of the Christian faith through Bible memorization. I participated in Awana as a child for five years. I taught Sparks for five years as a teenager and as an adult. Over the course of that time, my Awana kids memorized a lot of Scripture. While Sparks is a program for K-2nd graders, Scripture memory is a discipline that Christians of all ages should practice.

These are some of my favorite methods for teaching children the Bible.

  1. Sing your verses. For most of my Awana kids, learning to recite the books of the Bible is the most challenging task. I always tell my students that I do not care if they need to sing the books to me, as long as they know the information. As an adult, I sing Bible verses to the tune of favorite hymns and other Christian songs. Music aids in retention.
  2. The white board. When teaching a group of kids, I sometimes wrote the entire verse on the white board. We read it a couple times as a group. Next, I erased two or three words. We read it as a group again, hopefully remembering the missing words. The procedure was repeated until the entire verse was erased and everyone could recite it without prompting.
  3. Learning in smaller sections. In the revised Sparks curriculum, kids who are new to Awana memorize John 3:16 in short snippets. By the end of the introductory pamphlet, they can say the entire verse. For an unchurched child, learning all of a longer verse can be daunting. Breaking it up into smaller portions is less overwhelming.
  4. Place the verse where you will see it. Write the verse on an index card and put it on your bathroom mirror. Every time you wash your hands, read it out loud to yourself. It’s a painless way to learn more of God’s truths.

This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. – Joshua 1:8 (NASB)

Budget Friendly Homemade Zevia

sugar free soda, budget friendly zevia, cheap healthy food

This post contains affiliate links. For my full disclosure, click here. 

As a personal health challenge, I’m giving up sugar for the entire month of January 2017. In the last few years, soda has crept into my life. My goal is to get it out of my life for good. It has no nutritional value, and it’s horribly addictive.

The documentary Fed Up is excellent motivation for kicking the sugar habit. Sugar is in so many foods. It’s even in chicken broth! Fed Up details the public health consequences that have come as a consequence of the rise in highly processed foods.

The authors of Trim Healthy Mama recommend Zevia, a stevia-sweetened soda alternative. It’s definitely a better choice than a regular soda, which is laden with high fructose corn syrup. However, Zevia is expensive!

Around the halfway point of my no sugar challenge, I decided to get creative.

My Aldi sells 12-packs of sparkling water for $2.99. I poured a can of the lemon flavored sparkling water into a glass, added one squirt of liquid stevia, and added some ice. The result is reminiscent of Sprite. I quite enjoyed my healthy treat.

What is your favorite trick to make healthy foods more budget friendly?

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, I receive a small commission. This does not affect your purchase price at all, but it does help to support Homemaking for His Glory. Thanks!

Bullet Journaling for the Christian Homemaker

bullet journal

I love planners. I love the sense of accomplishment from marking off tasks, I love having structure to my day, and I love productivity.

As a student, the standard planner format worked well. However, as a homemaker and the mother of a baby, I need more flexibility. Homemaking often consists of doing the same tasks every day. Being the mother of a baby means that plans often change, and tasks don’t always happen at a consistent time. I also need a section for blogging and writing tasks.

Enter the bullet journal.

 

The concept of the bullet journal was developed by Ryder Carroll. It’s an extremely flexible system that can be as artistic or as minimalistic as you want.

Bullet journaling doesn’t require any expensive equipment. Some people get fancy with calligraphy pens and washi tape, but it’s definitely not required. I started with a blank, lined notebook that I already had.

Bullet journaling is flexible. Sometimes life happens with a baby. If he has a bad day and needs more help, there is a designated symbol for moving a task to the next day. It looks a lot cleaner than having to circle the task and draw an arrow to the next day.

Recommended Sections:

An index.

A key. After you’ve been bullet journaling for a while, you probably won’t need this, but at first it’s helpful for remembering what the various symbols mean.

Weekly spreads. Some people do daily spreads, but I’ve found that a weekly spread works well for my needs. I have a columns for appointments and events, housework, and writing. I also keep a sidebar with a list of my meal plan for dinners, a sidebar with tasks to complete and notes about my goals, and a daily gratitude log.

Collections. Collections are the most fun part of bullet journaling. I have my 101 in 1001 list, the Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge, my workout plan, Jami Balmet’s Christian Reading Challenge, a place to fill in the titles of my 50 books, a list of business resources, my blogging goals, and a page of my top priorities during this season in my life.

Trackers. I track my daily habits and monthly blog statistics. My habits tracker includes spiritual disciplines (Bible reading and prayer), parenting (reading to my son every day), intellectual disciplines (working on my reading challenge every day), health (exercise, no sugar), and daily homemaking tasks. Do I actually accomplish all of these things every day? NO. Having a habit tracker does show me what I need to improve. For example, this month reading the Bible has gone well, but I’ve only exercised twice. Embarrassing.

I also keep a running list of blog post ideas. If I don’t write my ideas down, then I don’t remember them during my writing time.

If you’d like to see more examples of how I use my bullet journal, follow me on Instagram.

How do you use your bullet journal?

Nurturing Your Soul While Nurturing Your Baby

This post contains an affiliate link. This means that if you make a purchase, I receive a small commission. Using an affiliate link does not change the price for you, but it does help support Homemaking for His Glory. Thanks!

Having a baby changes a woman’s life. In the early weeks and months, the focus turns primarily to survival. If you’ve showered and eaten, it’s a good day. If you’ve put on makeup, it’s a really good day. My son had colic until he was 3.5 months old, so I spent most of my days unsuccessfully trying to soothe him. Fortunately, he eventually outgrew that stage!

My little guy is 9 months old now, and in the midst of this season of life, it’s so important to nourish myself by reading the Bible. He’s at an age where he is into everything, so the most effective time for me to do this is while he is nursing. If I attempt to read while watching him, I only consume sentence long snippets at a time. It’s hard to get the full depth of the passage by reading that way.

As Christians, we are called to focus on “whatsoever things are true” (Phillippians 4:8). One of the best ways to do this is by focusing our minds on God’s Word. Reading the Bible helps me to keep my life in proper perspective and to keep sight of what truly matters. Parenting a baby consists of doing many of the same basic tasks over and over again, and it’s easy to feel as if my work doesn’t matter. The Bible says that children are blessings (Psalm 127:3-5) and that we should raise them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). These verses encourage me to keep going when my work feels fruitless.

I’ve found that I can usually get through 4 chapters of the Bible during his first nursing session of the day. Having this set routine has gone a long way towards enabling me to be consistent with reading the Bible. I usually read on my Kindle Paperwhite, but reading from a traditional paper Bible would also work.

There are 1,189 chapters in the Bible. At a rate of 4 chapters per day, I should be able to read the entire Bible in 298 days.

Of course, I’m not necessarily able to get through 4 chapters every single day. However, this leaves me with enough wiggle room to realistically be able to get through the entire Bible by the end of the year, which is one of my 101 in 1001 goals.

“Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, if there be any praise, think on these things.” – Philippians 4:8

How do you make time for reading the Bible as a busy mom?

10 Dairy Free Breakfasts for Trim Healthy Mamas

I started following Trim Healthy Mama in November of 2015, when I was halfway through my pregnancy with my son. It worked well for staying healthy while I was pregnant. When my son was 12 days old, I had to quit dairy because it was giving him problems. Dairy fixed the issue (which was great!), but I was left struggling to replace my dairy-containing Trim Healthy Mama foods with other recipes that were still healthy.
All Trim Healthy Mama recipes are sugar free, and many are also gluten free. However, it can be more of a challenge to find Trim Healthy Mama recipes that are also dairy free. Here are 10 great breakfast options for the dairy free Trim Healthy Mama!
Breakfast
1. Scrambled Eggs and Turkey Bacon (S)
2. French Toast in a Bowl (S) – substitute coconut oil for the butter
3. Blueberry Baked Oatmeal (E)
4. Old Fashioned Oats (E) – NOT instant oats, as those are not on plan
5. Baked Fruit and Nut Cups (S)
6. Apple Cinnamon Waffle (E) – substitute unsweetened applesauce for the Greek yogurt
7. Kate’s Spinach Eggs (S)
8. Coconut Yogurt (S)
9. Coconut Cream Berry Crunch (S)
10. Pumpkin Pie Smoothie (S)
Note: I have included some recipes that contain butter. Coconut oil is a 1:1 substitute for butter, and that is what I use in such recipes to adapt them for my needs.