It has taken me 13 years of marriage to hit my homemaking stride.
That roughly 14,000 meals, 700 + loads of laundry, hours of menu planning, memory making and reading everything I could get my hands on about this undervalued but totally awesome profession I love, called homemaking.
I can’t completely articulate how soul filling it is for me to devote my time and energy into Jesus, my husband, children, home, and community. This is my purpose!
I am on my way to my doctorate in homemaking!
Every blog I read, book I devour, bottom I wipe, pot I stir is bringing me closer to my Ph.D. in Homemaking!
Can I just give you a backstory?
I became a wife at age 20 with no homemaking skill set whatsoever.
We bought a house, fixed it up for a year and moved in on our wedding night.
I went from living with my father with no responsibilities to being a wife OVERNIGHT.
I woke up after my much-awaited wedding day and reality set in.
I am a wife now. I own a home. I have a husband.
“Wait, I HAVE A HUSBAND! I HAVE A HOUSE! I AM A GROWNUP!”
“How do I do laundry?”
“How do I cook?”
“Dear Lord, what did I get myself into!???”
I started sobbing immediately after waking up and told my new husband,” I miss my dad.” ( who lived two blocks away.)
Andy gave me two choices.
He said, ” Krystal, If you want I can drop you off at your dad’s house I will, or I can take you to Disneyworld for eight days on Monday for our honeymoon, you choose.”
Disneyworld it was! I was able to put off “The real world” for at least one more week.
I’m no Suzie Homemaker
My mom was the Suzie Homemaker of all homemakers. She kept the house clean, my bed made, the clothing washed and dinner on the table. Not to mention beautiful flowers beds and just made every day of my early childhood feel like we were living in Mayberry. This was an awesome way to grow up, but it also was domestically handicapping because I didn’t have to lift a pretty little finger.
I kept a filthy room, did not help with chores. My husband who was my boyfriend at the time cleaned my room on a regular basis because he just couldn’t take how messy I was!
What ever made him think, “hmmm, I should buy this chick a house and make her my wife.” is beyond me!
Despite all the red flags, he bought me the sweetest little 780 square foot starter and married me! And that’s where this the story gets good.
I obviously had a horrible homemaking track record, but this didn’t stop me from striving for excellence. Delusional excellence, but excellence.
When I became a young wife and mother in my early 20’s, I had such extremely HIGH unattainable, and downright unhealthy expectations of myself. I had and still do have a perfectionist, driven personality. Despite my homemaking handicap I still had hope that I would come out on top!
If I could just find the right chore system, the right schedule, push harder, read more books strive, strive, strive. I could just hit the mark, and then I would become the “Perfect Housewife.”
These were my goals:
- Keep an immaculately clean house like my mother in law ( Note: I had two toddlers 17 months apart, what was I thinking!?)
- Have a veggie garden plus plant flowers like my very gifted mother and grandmother. (I have a black thumb of death.)
- Bake like Martha Stewert.
- Have home cooked Pinterest worthy meals on the table, Every. Single.Night.
- Exercise and eat right to maintain an itty bitty body with tons of energy ( something I have never had but so desperately wanted! )
- Have a dynamic marriage with regular date nights, devotions and nurture my husband while trying to NEVER get angry at him!( Ok, this is something I do find pretty attainable because he is THE BEST!)
- Get up early, have soul filling prayer and Bible time before my children wake.
- Try to wear cute outfits and put together makeup. EVERY. SINGLE.DAY.
- Be a sex kitten for my hubs in the bedroom. ( Just keeping it real ladies!)
- Have amazing seasonal and home interior decorations like Better Homes and Gardens.
- Budget like Dave Ramsey and be a frugal rockstar.
Ok, let’s just take a moment to belly laugh, shall we? Come on; you can laugh at me.
You are probably asking, ” Is she for real?”
Yes, I totally expected I could do all of the above, and do it well!
Seasons Of Homemaking
Now, don’t get me wrong, all of the above goals were honorable. I was just trying to do the best in EVERY area. But I burned out quick!
I was trying to do things in MY strength and not God’s strength. I still struggle with this every day in my life, But every day he gives me the grace and the energy to do the next thing. Weed out the important from the unnecessary.
My homemaking goes through seasons, each season I evolve in a different way. I hope never to stop learning, creating, reading! I have moved from perfectionism into becoming realistic about my strengths and weaknesses and capitalizing on what I am good at ( cooking, cozy decorating and memory making) and excepting what I am not so good at (immaculate cleaning, gardening, getting up early to read my Bible).
This doesn’t mean I do not actively work on the things I am not good at it just means I accept my limitations and know that that most likely is not my strong point, nor it ever will be!
Are You Striving for a 10 in ALL THE THINGS?
We had a church sermon a few years ago that hit home on the above subject. I will give you the cliff notes version.
On a scale of 1-10 your giftings can be at a five, but with hard work and dedication, you can become a 10. Something you are not inherently awesome at can be a 2, and you can put a ton of work into it, and only every become a 5. So focus on your strengths and become the best at you can in your God-given abilities and don’t focus on the weakness.
Successful people capitalize on their strengths!I would rather be a 10 in a few things than a mediocre 5 in ALL the things!
A Ph.D. in Homemaking
So, how do we make our number 5 strengths a 10?
Mostly READING (and faithful practicing of your learned skills! Over and over and over.)
Mind blown, right?
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Philippians 4:8
I find wise women, with hearts for the Lord and I soak in every word of goodness and wisdom they have! I focus on their good and lovely, life-giving words and encouragement! This always encourages me to create a life-giving home and can then elevate my five areas to a 10.
( Two of these wise women I hold in highest regard are Sally Clarkson and Bonni Greiner. Their Titus 2 mentoring has been life changing in the story of my mothering journey, these are some MUST follow women if you are seeking to walk in the counsel of the wise and be Titus 2 mentored.)
I have read hundreds of books on different areas of homemaking, be it cooking, organizing, cleaning, chores or creating a loving atmosphere. Each one of them I gleaned a different bit of wisdom that shaped me into the confident homemaker I am today.
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10 Homemaking Books I adore
- The Lifegiving Home: Creating a Place of Belonging and Becoming
Each and every one of these books in some form has been a blessing to me. They filled my heart and mind with truth and goodness and have helped me shape a Christ-centered home with an atmosphere of Grace and love. They helped me bring many of my 5 areas up to a 10!
I hope you to can find blessings and wonderful gleans of wisdom from some of these recommendations!
I can be found dog-earing, underlying, highlighting and rereading many of these over and over. I hope to pass them down to my daughters someday.
What are some of the books that have shaped your homemaking? I would love to hear your recommendations!