Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Keepers: Baby Steps

I'm on an adventure to transform bad habits into good.  To revitalize my Keeper at Home heart per Titus 2 and see transformation happen in my life and home.  The Keeper at Home post last week and the Keepers At Home page at top explain it all.

These recent weeks, as I have begun taking action, the message on my heart has been Baby steps.: making small changes as I come across the most pressing areas. Applying those baby steps I have seen some key tips.

Tip #1: If I am noticing a mess or problem, hubby is probably noticing it too!
Often, I will glaze over a little task because, well, it is little and, as-per the laziness I discussed last week, I have gotten into a bad habit of only taking time for the pressing or the surface.  I pick up the house each day, keep the kitchen surface-cleaned, keep the floors generally acceptable.... but those spots and dust and...!

Seriously.  That spot I referenced last week was a real one, not merely an illustration.  I'm too ashamed to give the details, but there have been others.  I noticed it but didn't feel like going out of my way to take care of it... until hubby pointed it out.  Turns out he had noticed it all along as well but just hadn't said anything.  I began to think back on all the housework oriented spats we have had in recent years and realized: most of them were about things I noticed but made excuses to avoid until my husband got frustrated with my lack of care for the house he was working so hard to provide for (my words, not his) and finally said something.... which usually put me on defense, frustrated he was pointing it out, but in truth, frustrated with myself for not beating him to it... and the argument would ensue grounded in my own insecurities, lack of humility and down-right procrastination!

There, the truth is out!!

So.  I have challenged myself:  Manage tasks when they are noticed by me and don't wait for them to be pointed out by others. Not only am I going to either take care of messes AS I SEE THEM (or add them to my list to do the second I get a free second if I am busy when they come up) but I am going to do it with a joyful heart because, honestly, my heart isn't always in the right place.  Which helped me realize something else I had forgotten along the way:

This is the job God has blessed me with so I need to do it joyfully and I need to do it well. Don't let anyone tell you different: housewifing is a REAL job.  It needs to be treated as such by planning, doing and even learning all you can to be good at it and complete it well.  I know this in my core but I so easily let the world demean my position and I end up taking for granted all the little things like dusting, rug cleaning, tub scrubbing and so on. The Bible tells me I should do ALLLLLLLLL things to the glory of God.  ALLLLLL things with a joyful heart because of the One who gives me joy and saved my life.

I need to change my attitude from I have to do the housework - to - I get to serve my family.  Serving them is truly a privilege.

This means, when I see dust piling, it isn't time to frown and groan as I grab the duster. It is, instead, a time to grab the duster and thank the good Lord for the things like shelves and cabinets and trinkets he has blessed us with to make our house feel like a home. As I clean each surface, I also get to thank him for cleaning our hearts with his Savior.  To thank him, with each flick of my duster, for the family I get to help make feel comfortable in our little abode... and thank him for friends and acquaintances who might come and feel cozy here too.

The baby steps also brought me to recognize how my food, sleeping and exercise (lack of) choices were lowering my energy and attitude.  I have begun making little changes in those areas which I plan to add onto as time progresses. So,

Tip #2 is to realize how my health habits affect every other area of my life and ability to be a good Keeper at Home, make changes accordingly.

Eating  I have been making more conscientious food choices and even started tracking my food intake again.  I want to be sure I am getting balance in my diet rather then too much of all the wrong things.  I tend to forget how much of what has been eaten all day and will lazily go to starchy fall-backs for snacking if I'm not paying attention.  I have also restricted my sweets intake to only once a week.  Here is the chart I designed years ago and re-designed recently to give a better over-all tracking of each day's health activity.
Click on image to download PDF
click on image to download pdf

I have my target servings per day listed in the "svg" category on my printed chart.  Mine are based on teh fact that I am pre-diabetic and need to watch my carb and sugar intake.  Consult your doctor or other viable resource to see what healthy eating approach is best for you and fill in this section accordingly. I like how FlyLady points out: you are NOT the number on the scale.  As a recovered bulimic, when I first heard her encouraging words over 10 years ago, it was exactly what I needed to stay focused!  

My goal: not weight loss, rather, feel better.  I'm not in as much pain when I eat healthy (doctors think I may have fibromyalgia), I have more energy AND I am usually in a better mood!  What's not to love about healthy eating when you think of it like that!  I believe this is a vital part to being a good Keeper at home since energy and well being help to do the job better!

Earlier Bedtime: I'm also getting better about not starting tasks too late in the day which would take me past a reasonable bedtime.  Accounting for shower, praying with hubby, settling down and going to sleep; I usually start my bedtime routine by around 8:30 and I am typically tucked in no later then 10, ready for my 5a.m. rise.  I'm working on NOT hitting snooze since it seems to actually add to my tiredness and then, once up, splashing cold water on my face and back of neck.  I also figured out brushing my hair seems to stimulate my brain to start waking up.  I never new hair brushing first thing could do that for me!!!  (The cold water thing is an old trick I had gotten away from.)

Exercise.... well... it is REALLLLLY cold here and I have been battling a bad head and throat thing.  I actually wouldn't mind trekking out in the chill if it wasn't for sickness. Hubby actually stayed home today to help me out because I feel like poop and errands need to be ran (yes, I said... or rather typed the word poop here!  I feel that bad!).  However, I am implementing little things (baby steps!) like: not asking the kids to get things for me and not putting off tasks at other ends of the house.  A sort of, get-up-and-do instantly mentality rather then waiting for no really good reason other then I don't feel like moving or walking there at that moment!  I will be starting a regular walking routine once the mercury can hover above 40 and my head and throat aren't pounding!!

There are so many other baby steps I would love to share with you today but my time seems to be up!  I will be back next week with more.  In the meantime, I would love to hear little things YOU are doing to be a good Keeper at Home!  And I pray you would feel God's guidance helping you along the way.


Scripture references from ESV Bible.  


  1. Amanda, yes, baby steps are good..there is forward movement. Sometimes we tend to want to conquer things all at once, and it usually doesn't work. One of my favorite words of encouragement was from Elizabeth Elliot. She said, 'just do the next thing'. Also, I continue to ask for His priorities, not my own ;) D.

    1. Isn't that the truth? I believe women tend to want to take it all on when we need to do like you said (via Elizabeth Elliot) and just do the next thing! I love your advise of seeking His priorities and not your own, this is a valuable reminder. Thank you!

  2. Baby steps are the way to go!!! I'm encouraged by your attitude of servitude. It is something that the Lord has been working on me too. What a great way to being a living example of Jesus who came not to be served but to serve. A beautiful testimony is one that points others to Christ.

    1. I'm always reminding my family that if our soul purpose in life is to glorify God and make him known, then we ought to tackle every aspect of our life with that intended goal. Thank you for your encouraging comment!

  3. Baby steps are at least progress in the right direction! I find when I take them, I don't get so overloaded that I give up! Thanks for these awesome tips! Joining you today from #ThoughtProvokingThursday!

    1. Ellen, Yes they are! I'm glad you enjoyed the tips :-) Thanks for stopping by!

  4. I love your take on baby steps. Small habits can develop into routines with time and discipline. Thanks for sharing this with me at Intentional at Home!

    1. Thanks for stopping by and for providing a wonderful platform for sharing on!