Q: Melissa, Hi again. I visited The Vintage Homemaker again today and read about your husband pastoring two churches and all that you have going on. I am just curious ~ How do you get it all done? I have thought that a person that has it so “together” must be older or that their kids must be older or SOMETHING! I am 32 and a mother to 5 children- 4 boys and 1 little girl. The youngest is 13 months & is very demanding! Precious as can be – but a handful! Even with all the lists & all the planning ahead, it is very difficult to get it all done! Do you have HELP- as in grandparents, sitters, etc?Life here is Good & we are very blessed, but where is my free time? ha ha ~ and how do you recommend going about finding couple time with all these little blessings running around? I’m just curious to know your ideas! I have to tell you , I don’t think I’ve ever known anyone your age with as much wisdom as you seem to have and as solid a foundation in the Word! You are truly blessed.
A: Hello! I appreciated your email today. Thank you for your kind words. I suppose I am young, but I have been a mom and a wife for a long time! God has blessed me ever so graciously and I am ever humbled by the awesomeness of the gift of ministry. I am so thankful but feel so unworthy of this ministry!
It is a constant juggle to get it all done. I won’t lie! But I do think that for the average mom, a balance can be found and life can become easier. I have five kids at home ages 15, 11, 9, 5, and almost 3. There are days when I am up to my neck in orders and paper work and laundry that I wonder how I will find time to prepare supper for the church members! But then, somehow it always works out.
There are a lot of nights when I write late into the night after everyone else is asleep. I try to set aside one afternoon a week to do scrapbooking or just enjoy myself.
Church takes up a lot of my time. I teach the children at church and am currently painting the Sabbath school rooms. I usually go to Prayer Meeting a few hours early to work on this. Tuesday are my days to focus on church activities/ projects for the Middlesboro church. Wednesdays I do the same for the Harlan church. I do do much work online on those days. I try to do my shipping on Thursdays.
We have potluck at church twice a month which I always have to prepare at least three dishes. And then we have family night supper where I am the one who cooks twice a week (once for each church) for our church families. We try hard to go out at least once a week and knock on doors to share Christ with people in our communities. And we always refrain from work/ housework/ shopping/ etc. for the 24 hour seventh-day Sabbath. Keeping God’s Sabbath day is a tremendous blessing and He will bless your time for honoring His fourth commandment.
I will be homeschooling again this fall and am working on a new schedule today. I need to know what I am doing every minute of the day! I am a work-a-holic by nature so I often have to force myself to stop and relax. I look forward to the Sabbath day when I can simply enjoy my family and my God without guilt that something else is not getting done. On that day each week – nothing else matters!
The kids are required to keep their rooms clean or they do not get the next meal. This usually works pretty well. I have ALL of the toys (aside from the dollhouse toys) in the attic and the children must ask permission and have clean rooms before they get one toy out to play with. This is a wonderful system. I cannot stand clutter and my husband hates it even more, so I try hard to maintain a reasonably straight home. I can have the whole house clean and in order by 9am – 10am (for longer chores such as mopping). If I do not get lazy and remind the kids on a minute by minute basis to put their things away it will stay straight all day.
I believe that my devotion time in the mornings has a tremendous effect on how my day goes. If I neglect God, I am the one who suffers. HE gets me thru the chaos and brings me into the peace. I try to always do two loads of laundry a day. I am not perfect so there are days when I am behind, but I try not to let that happen. It depends on what I have going on and any deadlines I am facing.
Someone told me just yesterday and I completely agree – “Focus on HOME base and the rest will fall into place.” God calls us to be keepers at home and our first and most important ministry is to our families. Even women who work outside the home need to be reminded of their responsibilty to their homes and see that their outside endeavors do not become more important than their home and family. If you are aligning yourself to God’s will for you as a wife and mother He will bless you incredibly.
I have no help other than my husband and he does help as he is able. I am thankful for his willingness to step in if he sees something that needs to be done – dishes washed, etc. My family lives in another state and I have never had a sitter!
As for couple time, get the kids to bed early. Set aside chores for the time you and hubby can spend snuggling, talking, or just enjoying down time together. Try to have everything done before bedtime so your thoughts are not with the pile of dishes in the sink.
Set your priorities. For me, so much of what I do or want to do is ministry related and it all seems important. I am still learning about balancing these projects and not loading my plate too full. I have to decided what will be the most effective project and then look at my schedule and determine how much time I have so that I still have time for my family. Working alongside my children is wonderful. But when I am working, I am not giving them my full attention, so it is important that as moms we don’t forget the importance of giving our children our undivided time – husbands too!
Your day will become easier by simply being consistent with your chores – a clean house is easier to clean than a messy house. And by following the Golden Rules of Housekeeping you will be able to maintain a clean house much better.
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