Tag Archives: sarah mae

A Sarah Mae Giveaway!

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That’s right everybody! I have Sarah Mae’s “31 Days to Clean, Having a Martha home the Mary way” e-book to giveaway!

Many of you have heard me going on and on and on about 31 Days to Clean. Many of you may have no idea what I’m talking about. Let me tell you a little bit about the e-book:

“Life-giving is about receiving from God in order to give to others.” Barbara Mouser, Five Aspects of Woman
31 Days to Clean is about loving others well.
It’s about the “why” and the vision and the heart for taking care of our domains (Mary) with some spring cleaning thrown in (Martha).
The heart of our homes is not in the ability to keep it perfect at all costs; the heart of a home is love. We live in a thing, a non-eternal structure that needs to be maintained. The thing is worthless without the life we bring to it and through it. This book is about bringing life to the mundane in order to love well.

-Sarah Mae {click here to learn more about the book, author, see the table of content, and read a sample “day”

Here are the ways you can enter to win this contest:

  • Subscribe to this blog! Click the “sign me up” button to enter your email address over on the side bar. 
  • Tweet about this post! You can use the simple twitter button at the bottom of this post.
  • Follow me on Twitter! http://twitter.com/#!/JulesRothacher or use the button on my side bar.
  • Share this on Facebook! Again, you can use the simple Facebook share button at the bottom
  • Friend me on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/#!/JulesRothacher
  • Like the asJulesisgoing page on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/#!/asJulesisgoing or use the button on the side bar.
  • Create a blog post on your own blog with a link back to this post!
  • Add my button to your blog! Grab the button code off my side bar.
Don’t forget to leave a SEPERATE comment on this post for EACH of the above ‘shares’  you did. You may do EVERY type of entry, a few of them, or just one. Each comment is another ‘entry’ for the contest. The more you share the better chance you have of winning the e-book 31 Days to Clean by Sarah Mae! The winner will need to let me know which version they would prefer: kindle, nook, or pdf file. There will be a random drawing and then I will announce the winner Friday morning! 
ALREADY HAVE THE BOOK? Enter to win for someone else!
This book would make a great Christmas gift and fun challenge for the new year!
 
——-> Other Post on 31 Days to Clean you may be interested in can be found HERE and HERE! <——–
 
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Thanks for playing and Happy Sharing!!!
 

Homemaker’s Challenge

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Yay, it’s almost time! I mentioned a while back that I was being given the opportunity to be a contributing blogger and now it’s here!

Christin, of http://joyfulmothering.net/, is giving me the opportunity to share and challenge other homemakers. I am a bit intimidated by my fellow contributors who seem much more seasoned in the blogging realm but I’m taking the challenge from Sarah Mae’s newest post, “The thing I’m not going to say anymore”, where she explains that we often “disqualify ourself” by claiming we aren’t _____ {whatever the case may be} and encourages us to “…do the thing, and be the thing, and not be afraid to say it? You are.”

So, I guess I’m a…blogger!

Join me on this new-found adventure in sharing my blogging outside my homey little site over at http://homemakerschallenge.com.

We are kicking off the new site with a series on 31 Days to Clean {author Sarah Mae}. This series is about the book 31 Days to Clean Having a Martha house the Mary way. The book walks you through 31 days of encouragement and challenges both for the heart and taskful cleaning. Click the buttons on my side bar to find your way easily to the new site of the homemaker’s challenge.

Buy the book here  or {use the button on my side bar} to get ready for a challenging and fun-filled month of September:

If you are unfamiliar with who the Martha and Mary the book is referring to you can find a good picture of them in book of Luke:

38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” 41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[f] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Luke 10:38-42

Leave a comment and let me know if you plan to join the 31-days-to-clean community so we can support one another! Follow the challenges on twitter as well by using the hashtag #31daystoclean!

31 Days to Clean: Day(s) #27-31

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31 Days to Clean Having a Martha House the Mary way

Day 27 – Becoming Friends with Goodwill

Mary Challenge: Get a box ready for Goodwill. No wait, get boxes ready for Goodwill.

We, as family, are HUGE fans of get rid of unnecessary things. BUT we have chosen to donate some of our extras in a different way. See:

Martha Challenge: Utility Room – Wash inside of windows and clean window treatments. Wash walls and dust ceilings.

LOVED THIS! My laundry room has one tiny windows and now window treatments so this went fast. The walls and ceiling were recently painted to I skipped the dusting part.

Day 28 – Who Are You Trying to Please

Mary Challenge: Are there areas in your life where you are experiencing a burden of guilt? Ask your husband what he thinks about what you are feeling guilty about.

Relief! LOVED this story and to read the tons of insight in this book get your copy at http://31daystoclean.com/.

Martha Challenge: Utility Room – Scrub sink and clean drains – use Drano or some other drain cleaner.

Once again, YAY for no sink in the UR!!! Check!

Day 29 – To Hire Help or Not to Hire Help

Mary Challenge: Spend some time in prayer thanking God for all that you do have. The areas in your life that you feel like you’re drowning in, ask God to show you where you can find some help.

Martha Challenge: Utility Room – Clean out and organize closet.

Weirdo Alert! LOVED this breezy last week of cleaning and of course the organizing!

Utility Closet Before:

Drug everything out to sort…What I found…

After:

Day 30 – Contentment in the Season of Your Life

Mary Challenge: Write down 10 things you are thankful for today.

1. My Lord who saved me from what I deserve and who desires a daily relationship with silly, mixed up me

2. My God-fearing Husband who is leading my family toward Jesus and loves me in ways I didn’t know I needed

3. Magdalen Reese- my “3-in-June” preschooler whose brain won’t slow down long enough for her to spit those newly learned big girl words out

4. Isabella Ruth- my ~1.5 year old who is the goofiest kid I’ve ever met, never siesting to make me laugh and smile

5. Benjamin Ryan- my 4.5 month old who is a physically strong baby with personality to keep up with his boisterous older sisters

6. My family in blood and law, for raising me, shapping me, and guiding me to be who God is calling me to be

7. Long distance forever friends- always picking up Right where we left off!

8. My church family, Central Baptist Pine Bluff, AR (esp- Journey Sunday School Class): friends chasing after Jesus together-

who knew it could be so much fun!?!

9. My home- HUGE (3000 square foot) BLESSING! Using it to host to the fullest of our ability

10. My Health- not just in a cheesy generic sense but for reals! I have the capability to physically and mentally enjoy the above blessings!

Martha Challenge: Utility Room – Trow away any expired cleaning products or bottles you have lying around. Sweep and mop floors.

Did this while cleaning out and organizing

Day 31 – Balancing it All

Mary Challenge: Kiss your husband, giggle with your kiddos, and soak in the Word of your God.

Martha Challenge: Rest. You’ve done a great job!

I WIN!!! I finished in MAY! Maybe not the way I thought I would but technically done! Thank you Sarah Mae for this amazing challenge!

31 Days to Clean: Day(s) #22-26 Martha Challenges

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31 Days to Clean Having a Martha House the Mary way

Day 22 – Developing a Workable Schedule

Day 23 – Dealing with Distractions

Day 24 – Organization

Day 25 -The High-Low Cycle

Day 26 – Laundry

In case you were wondering why I am posting so many days together it is because we don’t technically have a home office and this series of days was devoted to that space so I’ve decided to use these days to work on my “craft” closet. Sounds simple enough, right?

These are the listed challenges:

Martha Challenge: Home Office – Wash inside of windows. Wash window treatments. Wash walls and dust ceilings.

Martha Challenge: Home Office – Steam-clean carpet or area rugs, wash hard -wood floors.

Martha Challenge: Home Office – Clean out your desk. Clean out and update files. Organize office supplies and drawers.

Martha Challenge: Home Office – Clean off and organize shelves. Shine and protect wood furniture.

Martha Challenge: Home Office – Carefully wash computer and printer (and any electronics) with a damp cloth. Use cotton swabs to clean out the crevices in keyboards. Clean screens with soft cloth.

but this closet has no windows, the floor had already been mopped when the bathroom was done, has no desk (the desk we have is in our bedroom and was cleaned during that challenge), the files were cleaned out and updated when we “closed out” Dec 2010 and started Jan 2011. So for the Martha challenges I skipped straight to the office supplies, drawers, shelves, computer, and general organization.

Ok, I started this project on a Thursday while my preschooler was as “Nanna Day” and the toddler and babe were taking their naps~ 10am

The Befores…I know- GROSS!

Yes…that is a floor under that pile of stuff I like to chunk in the closet behind the door.

                                                                                      Pile on floor                              Shelves

My discombobulated 1st attempt at simi-organizing this closet.

*anyone in need of a wedding gown or formals, I’ll take the best offers! FOR SERIOUS!

My piles out in the playroom…trying to sort

Overwhelming Scrapbooking materials. Pretty sure more than 2/3 of this will be in my Aug. Yard Sale. Come on over!

AFTER!

                                                               On Going Scrapbook Projects  Bow-making Supplies Gift Wrapping Center

Close-ups

                                                                                                   Shelves             Scrapbooking tower   Random Pics to be sorted

I am hoping to finish these 2 scrapbooks by the end of summer, become disciplined at making more quality bows and paci clips to market, sale most of the sb tower, and find homes for all of the random pics so the hanging basket is obsolete.

warning: If you have ever made a single memory with me that happened to be photographed, you may have pictures coming your way, hehehe

                                                                                                Books             Craft Supplies    Scrapbook Tower on top of the filing cabinet

Close Ups

                                                                                 Writing Utensils    Paper         2 shelves of Craft Supplies

Who wants to come over and make something???

I can handle it…I think. Blow it up with “your crazy” or “this is ok, but…here’s a better system” comments. I’m ready and open. BRING IT!!!

31 Days to Clean: Day #22-26 Mary Challenges

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31 Days to Clean Having a Martha House the Mary way

Day 22 – Developing a Workable Schedule

Mary Challenge: Write out a realistic routine for your family- something basic-and put it in a place where everyone can see it.

Ok, I have tracked our day in attempt to figure out where the gaps are that need more structure. We are good about simple parts of our routine like breakfast, lunch, dinner, 3 different nap schedule, and simple daily/nightly chores (dishes, laundry, pick up around the house) but there are definitely more gaps during the day where we could be getting a lot more accomplished! I’d like to set 1 day a week for grocery shopping and errands as well as more structure play with the kids which in turn will hopefully help us get naps in and keep the “mamma, come play with me” to a minimume…maybe ;o) Post a schedule soon but I’m also working on excel budget to make our lives run smoother so, in time.

Day 23 – Dealing with Distractions

Mary Challenge:What distracts you on most days? What can you do to lessen the distraction?

I think feeling the need to be “doing” something all day distracts me. The word tells me that as a stay-at-home mom I don’t have a real job and therefore I spend my days doing things that maybe will justify me to the word. Now, isn’t that stupid. Even typing just now, I can’t believe my brain even goes there but it does, most days. I run in circles attempting to clean things, organize, do yard work, run errands, shower, look nice, dress my chill’ns, basically- accomplish something just like the rest of the world.

WRONG! I know the truth is that I, as a christian who is now living her life for Jesus, is not supposed to seek the world’s approval. Way easier said than done most days. Just ask my husband…or maybe don’t… I can talk a big game in the car while we are having a discussion on a subject I’m passionate about or maybe one I don’t struggle with but when I’m faced with people “liking” me, I cave like a powdered sugar castle. I hate that about myself.

There it is in all of its awkward confession glory. BUT here is what I am continuing to strive for. I do want to accomplish somethings the world also considers worthy of my time but I am Also going to pour more quality time into the eternal souls God has blessed me with. Most days I don’t feel like I am their best option but apparently God did. So, how am I going to strive to meet HIS standards? I’ll attempt to improve my relationship with my hubby and kiddos everyday. Some days I will fail but if I don’t try at all then I’m destined to fail.

Day 24 – Organization

Mary Challenge: Pick one hot-spot in your house and do something to bring about order. It doesn’t have to be huge. Maybe you should figure out how to keep track of bills and school forms. Maybe you should just put a pretty bowl by the door to keep track of your car keys.

If we’ve spent any time at all together (virtually or in person) you Know I love organization! Even what I like to call ghetto organization aka organization on a tight budget. For me, this challenge wasn’t simple. I feel like the bulk of my house is orderly so this sent me to my evil “Monica Closet” which sent chills down my back. The dreaded closet. See more about this huge task in 31DtC: 22-26 Martha Challenges .

Day 25 –The High-Low Cycle

Mary Challenge: Pay attention to the times of the month when you have more energy and are motivated to clean. Get a calendar and spend three months writing how you feel each day; after that time see if you notice a pattern. Perhaps you can better prepare for your days if you know what’s coming.

Well, 3 months hasn’t passed but I am working on “charting my nesting”, as I’m calling it.

Day 26 – Laundry

Mary Challenge: Find a laundry system that works for you and your family. Perhaps you will take on one of the above tips, or come up with your own.

So far, the best laundry system I’ve found for my family is to include it in my chores Every Night! We make our girls clean up ALL their toys before they go to nap and bed. Everything has a general place it goes and even Izzie (~16 months old) knows where things go and can follow “on” shelf or “in” basket commands. Do what works for you family but in ours: Matt does bath with the girls and while he is doing that I start at least 1 load of laundry. I always do at least 1 large load a night. I keep the machine set on COLD, use a color catcher (which I should take out stock in), and I through Everything in that fits. The rest of my nightly routine includes, but is not limited to, collecting all the dishes that hadn’t made it into the dishwasher yet and start it. Then I try to sweep and/or vacuum downstairs/living areas (every other day if I didn’t get to during the day).

I’d LOVE your feedback! Leave a comment and let’s see if we can get a dialog going about some of this. We and combined forces and take over the world, muhahaha…Ummm, I mean…at least conquer this “managing our families/homes” task we’ve been blessed with.

31 Days to Clean: Day(s) #17 and 18

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31 Days to Clean Having a Martha House the Mary way

Day 17 – Your Cleaning Style

Mary Challenge: Take the D.I.S.C personality test (http://www.quibblo.com/quiz/aw8npyx/DISC-Personality-Style) and allow yourself to get to know you better. Descriptions of the different D.I.S.C types: http://www.discinsights.com/cyber/scripts/disc.asp

I’m not so sure this test tagged me correctly overall or just the kind of mood I was in while taking it. hehe Either way, the descriptions were helpful so I can work on my cleaning style depending on what I’m struggling with at the time.

Martha Challenge: Bedrooms – Clean and organize shelves. Shine wood furniture.

We don’t have much furniture in our room so this was quick! (Pictures of our rooms were posted in another cleaning day)

Day 18 – Making Your Personality Work for You

Mary Challenge: Try one of the ideas listed with your personality type.

There were several different areas in all the different “personalities”...humm, does this mean I have multiple personalities???

Martha Challenge: Bedrooms – Clean out and organize closets. Purge baby, purge! (And give to Goodwill)

LOVED THIS TASK!!!

Master Closet

This still isn’t as organized as I’d like it but I wish I had before pics to show the PURGE! It was Packed with nonsense.

We could still use a little more purging before our yard sale but we’ve got a while.

The far right side is now empty except for hangers that used to have shirts on them. The back rod is mine, and the far right is Matt’s. The bin under my side are maternity clothes and sentimental shirts I’ve yet to let go of even though I will never fit in them again. Oh, and the crazy pillow is my amazing J-shaped pillow my hubs got me for pregnancy. WONDERFUL!

Girl’s Closet

This is just sorted by size (24 months-4T, right to left) because they share a lot of clothes. The clothes in the bins on the shelf are hand-me-downs or sale items we found for the next season or size. The clothes on the far left bar of the closet are long sleeve items or jackets for next season. The shoes on the self below are shoes they aren’t wearing yet. The couple of pairs they wear stay downstairs in a basket in the entry way. Oh, why do I always have some randomness I feel the need to explain…the fan is waiting to be installed in the girl’s room. This house had NO lights in the ceilings…Wierd!

Nursery Closet

Jamin’s clothes are sorted by size (current and next size so we transition easier) as well as dressy or casual, long or short sleeve. We store everyone’s diapers in here, the humidifier, and the clothes on the shelf are the hand-me-down items or sale items we bought of the next size/season (crazy, I know).

Guest Room Closet

I don’t really want to confess this but here it is…

WARNING: This is not a before picture

scary stuff, right!?!

Excuse: this is my hold area for my consigning, yard selling, ebaying stuff, then donating. I hope to soon post pictures of this neatly organized closet with all items hung on hangers to consign at the Duck Duck Goose Sale, sorted for my yard sale during the White Hall Trade Days, and my huge donation pile. Ebay stuff is in the Wally World bags, have already been posted and sold!

More confessions…this isn’t all of it…there is another HUGE pile in my basement and another in my garage of  house hold items we purged. Although I am a huge fan of donating we also feel we were given this stuff to steward to the best of our ability. At this time, we feel like we can sell some of this stuff, rather than just donate everything, and the cash can be significantly multiplied to use to further the gospel overseas.

Ooops, sorry. That needs to be another post. When you’re passionate about something, it tends to eek out in every avenue. Let me know if you’re interested in and would like to hear more about that adventure God has been and is continuing in our family’s life!

Have any passions you need permission to let eek out? Share it here!!! I wanna hear!

31 Days to Clean: Day(s) #15 and 16

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31 Days to Clean Having a Martha House the Mary way

Day 15 – I’d Rather Do Anything But Clean (Motivation)

Mary Challenge: Write up a lesson plan for your children about the eternal value that taking care of your domain has. Find scripture, inspirational quotes, books, anything, that will reinforce the “why” behind getting ourselves in gear to clean. There is just something about teaching our children that will dig truth deeper into our own hearts.

Martha Challenge: Bedroom – Wash mirrors, walls, and insides of windows. Wash window treatments.

Yay, we don’t have mirrors in Any of the bedrooms!!!

Confession: didn’t do it (wash walls/windows)…yet. Upstairs time is scares at my house with 3 under 3. I haven’t figured out a way to work upstairs while they are not sleeping in their rooms. I did wash window treatments and finally hung the ones in the girls room (rather than the sheets blocking the light). I hate washing/dusting blinds though…any helpful hints?

oh, and I’m 5’2″…ceilings…prolly never happening. Maybe the cobwebs in the corners with a broom ;o)

Day 16 – Willing Hands

Mary Challenge: What’s your block? What’s holding you back from allowing your ideals to guide you in the day-to-day? What can you do about it?

IRONY: I just wrote a post about my ideal. I still believe letting go of it and letting God reshape it is best right now and totally agree that I can accomplish {close to} my ideals with God’s help and with “willing” hands!

Martha Challenge: Bedrooms – Steam clean carpets or area rugs, wash hard-wood floors.

I think I’ve given up on steam-cleaning any of my carpets this month…in the near future. Not because of inability. Just not the priority right now. Renting one, moving all my furniture, waiting for it to dry, and doing all this in 24 hours would be asking too much of our budget (this month), too much of my hubby to either watch the babes while I did it all or did major moving things for me, it would be a huge inconvenience for my family to be displaced while I attempted this mega goal in their space, and on top of all that, they would have to deal with the mad women that came with that. I vacummed…does that count?

Have you found a trend? I seem to be picking and chosing what works for me, my family, our lives. How are you adjusting this challenge but also allowing yourself to be stretched?

My Day

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I walk downstairs into my immaculately clean home that is tastefully decorated, already showered, fully dressed in adorable mom clothes, hair look’n great, with a full (modest) face of make-up, ready to take on the day. I grab a cute coffee mug of coffee and cozy up in this cute comfy nook in the corner of my kitchen with my adorable Bible, Bible study notebook and a cutesy pin. I delve into God’s word for a refreshing, inspiring, meaningful time with just me and God as my handsome hubby and gorgeous children remain asleep in their well-decorated, clean, organized rooms upstairs. As I wrap up my motivating time with my Lord, I move straight to cooking a beautiful breakfast for my family. As I begin to bring my well-balanced meal to the table in serving dishes still hot, they (my 4 children who are evenly spaced two years apart and cheerful hubby) all enter the dinning room with smiles on their faces, fully clothed, and ecstatic to see me and the rest of the loving family. After we enjoy our meal together, as the morning sun glimmers in through the clean windows, I go around clearing the table as everyone goes immediately to grab their things, neatly prepared the night before by the door in cute cubbies, and head out to work and school with kisses and hugs from me, their God-fearing, put-together, beautiful, amazing in all ways, Proverbs 31 wife and mommy.

UGGG! You KNOW where I’m going with this…

This has been my ideal day. As a new believer in junior high I would fantasize about having this life. It was inconceivable idea that there would ever be a day where a shower wasn’t possible. If the lady in the commercial can clean up that giant mess her baby just made with just one  paper towel  in an adorable comfy looking skirt and button down then I could pull that look off easy; ya know, ’cause my child’s not gonna even make messes. I don’t even like coffee (no offense Sarah Mae) but everything looks more grown up in a cute coffee cup rather than my simple can of cold Dr Pepper. If I love Jesus and I’m working hard enough I should be able to pull of being a “Beth Moore” every day of my life. If I’m not serving my family a wholesome meal out of serving dishes then I don’t care about them enough. I don’t know what I thought I’d do before my gorgeous children could actually dress themselves or much less walk down the stairs by themselves. When was I going to prepare their things with night before? After feeding, bath, bed, chores, or finally getting to chat with my hubby before passing out?

Today, MY plan: accomplish my idea. This was actually yesterday’s plan but that was a big FAIL! When I finally made it up, 30 min after my alarm (on my phone- who would have ever thunk it?), I showered way too long, put on a t-shirt and long cotton shorts (which had become my mom uniform), and with wet hair and a little make-up on, I slugged my way downstairs to greet my simi-clean home (thanks to 31daystoclean), grab a poptart and a can of DP, add some items to the grocery list, sit down for a quick devotional thought(provided by someone else), began typing this to get it out of my system just in time to hear my 4-month-old crying to be fed, hoping my handsome hubby will grab him for me before his crying wakes the two girls, (almost) 3 years old and 16 months old. ______ Ok, fed my little man and am currently super jealous that the day I chose to wake up early rather than my husband everyone is sleeping well past 8:00am rather than 6:45 or 7. Rrrr Oh well. The rest of my day will probably be a fight between trying not to be frustrated because I am not accomplishing my selfish goals and that of being the loving idea wife and mom I desire to be already. I want my children to love the Lord and follow Him closer than me, which right now will not be a challenge. God is messing up my ideal. He knows what is best for me! He is refining that desire of my heart to look more like His for my life. Not all of it is bad/unrealistic. But I cannot do it. ALL things are done through Christ who gives me strength.

God is doing a work in our family’s life and I don’t want to be left in the dust! I am seeking to joyfully follow the leadership of my husband who I see is chasing God at a quick pace. It would be nice to have that ideal day but I’d like to focus on the seeking God for God right now. Learning to hear Him. Excited about new tools for this adventure that have fallen into my lap: 31 Days to Clean, Radical (aka The Evil Orange Book), and Brave, Honest Questions Women Ask. I have never considered myself someone scared to say yes to what He is calling me to but it’s been easy things so far. I think my world is about to totally change.

surrendering my ideal today

*8:30 and still no peep from the girls, the hubs, or my little man who went back to sleep after eating. I’ll take this as God’s gift for allowing Him to begin this work in my life.

*Disclaimer: That was not a slam on Beth Moore. Feel free to insert you ideal, amazing godly women who has inspired you and whom you have possibly put on a pedestal hoping to one day be like.

31 Days to Clean: Day(s) #11 and 12

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31 Days to Clean Having a Martha House the Mary way

Day 11 – Limitations (Life is Hard)

Mary Challenge: Let grace cover the areas you cannot change. Don’t beat yourself up or think you aren’t doing enough. God knows where you’re at; His grace is sufficient.

LOVED this! I am a “Martha” type personality so I need to hear and meditate on this often!

Martha Challenge: Living Room – Wash your walls and dust the ceilings.

Washing my walls seemed silly. I put it off for several days then finally caved. It took less than 20 min to do this room. Thanks goodness for big windows, french doors, wide doorway, and a fireplace on washing wall day but not on window day, ugg. I have a hard time cleaning things if I can’t tell a big difference. vacuuming, organizing, washing off a grubby table, etc I see the need in. I’m sure it’s a great idea to wash your walls every so often, just not motivating.

This is a panoramic view of my living room (minus the fireplace wall behind me) taken with my handsome hubby’s iPhone. I finally found a benefit for all the silly free apps he has ;o) Sorry the colorings a little weird by the windows because of the sunlight.

hehe and the adorable (almost) 3-year-old blurring through the middle of the room. 

*Thanks for letting me play with your phone, hunny!

Mary Challenge: Think about some areas in your life where you have been striving to be perfect (or nearly so). Perhaps you are comparing yourself to another mom, or putting unnecessary burdens on yourself because of what someone has said or written. Take these areas before the throne of grace and ask God to replace any lies you are believing with the truth.

Very similar to several other “Mary” thoughts. I am learing to let go of my ideal day, person, way of doing things and learning to search/listen for God’s ideal for my life!

Martha Challenge: Living Room – Clean and organize shelves and electronics. Shine wood furniture.

Again, my amazing hubby helped and (more importantly) approved of me PURGING our electronics and movie collection! We have several “lots” listed on eBay now and more for our yard sale pile. I know Sarah Mae encourages you to just rid your house of these items (ie Take them to the Goodwill) but I am attempting to balance necessary purging with our “Dave’n It” (what we call Dave Ramsay’s FPU plan). We will (and have been) trying to sell things at a consignment sale, yard sale, or eBay and then donating what is left over in several different ways, friends in need, pregnancy crisis center, goodwill, salvation army, etc.

Sorry didn’t get before pictures of our entertainment center where all of this was stored.

31 Days to Clean: Day #10

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Mary Challenge: Picture your home in all its clean and organized glory, and then burn the image into your brain and heart. Now grab your journal (or notebook, or scrap of paper) and write down your big picture. Ask God to help you physically create the vision for your home life.

I am having a hard time with some of these Mary challenges. They have me doing more physical doing than I expected for it being a “Mary” challenge and then it’s also having me do a lot of me discovering what I want. This life I live is no longer mine but Christ’s…I feel as though I should be re-evaluating the importance I place on my picture of what I want. Yes, if Christ is in us, He will give us the desires of our heart but I also know that Satan’s main way to weezle his way into our lives is with deception. Satan can use something harmless (ie the ideal clean home), twist and manipulate it until we are fixated on it and truly believe that is what God is asking of us.

I went the opposite direction in this challenge and have been trying to sweep the ashes from my burned in “big picture” out of my mind and heart so there is uncluttered abundant space for God’s “big picture”. I don’t just want His help “physically create the vision for [my] home life”. Right now, in my life, He is fixing my gaze on a larger world view outside my windows rather than inside.

Don’t get me wrong. I fully believe my home is a gift from God to be used for God but I don’t want to get caught up in what I want to accomplish here.

 

Martha Challenge: Living Room – Clean your window treatments and wash the inside of your windows.

Windows…WHY did I say I loved lots of window to let in natural light.

Mags thought it was hilarious to be “sprayed” on the other side of the windows and then apparently I missed a few spots ;o)

 

Izzie was a scrub’n machine. She’d say, “wa wa wa” the entire time she was wiping the windows. Then she came to show me all the grime she’d cleaned up and when back for more. Love having my girls help with cleaning!