6 Suggestions for The Overwhelmed Homemaker

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A couple days ago I talked a little bit about being a joyful homemaker, and I shared a few things that I do in order to remain joyful. Now we all know that emotions come and go BUT JOY is something godly that is produced in you. It’s a fruit of the spirit.

 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” (Galatians 5:19-23, NLT)

That’s why I specifically blogged on how to REMAIN and not “How To be” joyful. We have to first receive, and then abide in the Spirit we’ve been given. So if you haven’t read that post I encourage you to go and check that out first because this post is just practical ways to keep your feelings of being overwhelmed at bay. This isn’t a cure for being discontent and overwhelmed. For that you need peace, and you need joy..

But anyway, let’s get into these suggestions.

Number 1. Prayer

Yes, of course I would start off by encouraging you to pray. We really need to grasp the fact that our lives MUST revolve around Him. ALL that we’re doing is being done for the glory of God. We’re not striving to be better wives and mothers (or just decent people in general!) for our own pride (well hopefully not). So with that being said, check in with the Father. And start truly casting your cares upon the Lord Jesus Christ. Not only does he care for you but he will SUSTAIN you.

_ Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee_ he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved._ (Psalm 55_22) (1)

2. Relax

Whatever that looks like for you. A nap, a snack, a hot cup of herbal tea! You are not God. We have limitations. So take a break! I promise that life will go on if you don’t clean the kitchen.

3. Get your priorities in order

In addition to the previous tip, I also understand that most of us would rather relax after all of our tasks are finished. But we have to be honest with ourselves. Is it because we’re struggling with perfectionism (which is sin), or maybe even the pressures of people thinking that we don’t really do anything all day anyway! Whatever it may be, as long as we’re tending to what really matters (like meeting your family’s physical needs) everything else can wait while we take a little break. Also (just a side note), when it comes to planning your agenda, try planning a To do list for the week opposed to daily schedules. This is what I’ve started doing when I get overwhelmed, and it feels so good having that extra space and time as I slowly but surely get everything accomplished.

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TJ Maxx and Hobby Lobby have some really cute and inexpensive To Do lists! I got this one from Hobby Lobby for less than $5. I can’t remember exactly how much it was but I believe that it was $3.99!

4. Delegate

(Speaking of prioritizing) Before I quit my job to stay home full time I was the store manager of a very popular clothing store. So I understand that when it comes to managing anything big (especially our homes!) we have to  be able to entrust some tasks and responsibilities to other people. Even Beyonce’ has a team. And I know that she’s ungodly! I’m just trying to get the point across. What i’m saying is that it’s okay NECESSARY to ask and accept help from other people. Give the kids some chores, and allow your husband to be the true leader that he is.

5. Be encouraged!

When you’re feeling overwhelmed it’s a good idea to start surrounding yourself with other Homemakers. And even if you don’t know any personally, trust me, books and blogs (and YouTube videos!) are sufficient.

And last but not least, Number 6. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF.

And I’m not talking about all of this worldly SELF love junk. I’m just simply encouraging you to be a good steward of your temple. Eat well, comb your hair, shave, give yourself a facial or a pedicure.. These things are revitalizing. And it is true to an extent— that when you look better, you feel better and when you feel better you preform better.

So, I hope that these recommendations help. I love you and I am praying for your strength.

Much love,

Brandi

♥♥

Being a Joyful Homemaker

Let me just start off by saying that I LOVE being a wife. I LOVE being a mother, and I am VERY passionate about Homemaking. But the truth is.. I am NOT always “happy”! It’s like I love serving my little family but sometimes I find myself irritable (impatient), frustrated and just flat out overwhelmed. It’s easy to get lost in the day to day routines but we have to keep our eyes on Jesus. Because when we begin to lose sight of why we’re truly doing this, our hearts will become achy and sinful. So, with all that being said, I just want to share a few things that I do in order to remain joyful.

1. I work wholeheartedly as unto the Lord.

Whatever you do [whatever your task may be], work from the soul [that is, put in your very best effort], as [something done] for the Lord and not for men, knowing [with all certainty] that it is from the Lord [not from men] that you will receive the inheritance which is your [greatest] reward. It is the Lord Christ whom you [actually] serve. For he who does wrong will be punished for his wrongdoing, and [with God] there is no partiality [no special treatment based on a person’s position in life].” (Colossians 3:23-25, AMP)

In a previous post I mentioned how the heart of Homemaking was God’s. And it’s true, because before I came to the Lord my heart was in something else (work!). And yes, there are a lot stay at home wives and mothers of the world but unless we’re truly serving the Lord our motives stem from pride and/or idolatry. So anyway, whenever I find myself in a funk or feeling worthless, I just remind myself that being a Homemaker is God’s will.  The joy of the Lord is truly my strength because at the end of the day, I just want to be acceptable and pleasing to Him.

2. I guard my heart.

That means I’ll cut off anything (or anyone!) that disrupts my peace. And I’m very cautious of social media. I used to be very double minded. I used to covet and fret over evil doers. So trust me, if you’re sitting around watching worldly women build their empires, you’re asking for it. You need to unfollow these unbelievers (immediately!) and start “following” Jesus!

3. I count (and recount!) my blessings.

Sometimes I just look around my house and thank God for a bunch of healthy, laughing children and a fine man that loves me and Him. I remember praying for the things that I despise (or take for granted) now. So learn to live in the moment. Gratefulness combats comparison and discontentment.

I could go on but I want to prove everything I suggest in my own life first. So, I hope that you take these things into consideration and stop letting the world steal your peace and joy in Homemaking.

Much love,

Brandi

♥♥

p.s If you’re interested, I also blogged about when staying home becomes boring and/or stressful!

 

The Heart of Homemaking

So I just want to take a minute to encourage those of you who also stay home because I know what it’s like to get weary in well doing. When we’re so caught up in the mundane things, it’s easy to lose sight of what we’re truly doing. There have been plenty of times that I’ve felt like my life had no value because I couldn’t see how cooking and cleaning (and decorating my house!) bared any fruit for the kingdom. But I’m here to remind you that we as wives and mothers (or just women in general), we may be the heart of the home but the heart of Homemaking is God’s. Yes, homemaking is His desire for us because if we can just be honest, our desires are (or were) to be out in this world making a name for ourselves. But contrary to what society may believe, it is a GREAT work raising arrows and creating an environment that fosters godliness.

Don’t let the world (or your own carnal mind!) corrupt your perspective on Homemaking. Remember that this world despises Jesus Christ, men and apparently children (with all of this abortion stuff)! When we’re abiding in the Lord our presence is light in the darkness and our homes can be a peaceful place in the chaos. In addition, Homemaking has eternal value. So just keep working wholeheartedly as unto the Lord unnoticed (and sometimes even unappreciated!) knowing that your reward will be in heaven..

You are SO precious girl! May the Lord preserve your heart and mind in Jesus Christ.

Your sister,

Brandi Collins

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Here’s to cleaning the kitchen, again.

♥♥

Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar. She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.” (Proverbs 31:10-31)

The Mission of Motherhood Book review

As a mother, reading edifying books on motherhood is one of the ways that I refresh myself. So when Sally Clarkson (the author of this book) began to wrap up her message by explaining how a mother whose well is dry can not continue to give to others (well not without cratering!), I was beyond convinced that this book was (and is!) a treasure.

See Mrs. Clarkson has been more than a mentor to me.  She has served as THE mother of mothers in The Mission of Motherhood although she would probably disagree.

“I am not the perfect mother but my vision and understanding of God’s design and intentions gives me a standard of maturing to grow toward.” -Sally Clarkson, The Mission of Motherhood

I have never read a book on motherhood that was so blunt and unapologetic when addressing the Mother’s role in the home.  This book is filled with so much perspective and TRUTH, which is so supportive and encouraging to those of us trying to be godly mothers in this satanic world. The book is also filled with her (and her children’s) very own personal stories and testimonies. But not in a braggadocios way because I can not stand that! So trust me, their’s were fitting. The personal stories and analogies were very thought provoking and brought much clarity.

But anyway, as I was getting my thoughts together to share my review with you, I realized that I just could not say enough about this book! Seriously, it’s just that good! So if you’re longing for your home to be peaceful and life giving but you’re struggling with finding balance between building good relationships with you children and the day to day chores of homemaking, or if you’re just in need of some creative ideas and motivation to prepare your children’s hearts for the Lord, then this book is for you. In a world that perverts (and belittles!) the mother’s role (and responsibilities!) Sally gives much needed encouragement, assurance and VISION to us who are truly seeking the Lord in all things.

I remember she talked about motherhood being a partnership with God. Which is true. Not only have we been blessed to assist God in bringing human life into this world but we’ve been given the HONORABLE task of nurturing their little precious souls unto the Lord. NOTHING in the workplace can compete with that—truly impacting generations for the better and ushering people into the kingdom. So again, if you’re interested in being a good (godly) mom, please check out this book because this review doesn’t do it any justice!

Group hugs,
Brandi

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And I am not going to blame my messy hair on being a Mom! ( well at least not this time lol)

♥♥Ps. When looking through books that I might buy (or check out!), I always skim through the Table of Contents. This gives me a brief overview about what will actually be talked about. In case any of you are like me, I’ve taken the time to list the sections and chapter titles. I hope this further encourages you to check out the book out. Seriously, it will bless your life that much 🙂

The Mission of Motherhood (Touching your child’s heart for eternity)

Part 1: A Mother’s calling

  • 1. A Journey like no other (Discovering the mission of motherhood)
  • 2. Beautiful by design (Exploring the meaning of biblical motherhood)
  •  3. The Undivided heart (Committing our lives to God’s design)

Part 2: A Mother’s heart for her God

  • 4. The servant mother (Mothering with the heart of Jesus)
  • 5. The discipling mother (Reaching children’s heart for Christ)
  • 6. The teaching mother (Training children’s minds to think biblically)

Part 3: A Mother’s heart for her children

  • 7. Strong friend (Building loving relationships with our children)
  • 8. Gardener of souls (Cultivating and enriching our children’s lives)

Part 4: A Mother’s heart for her home

  • 9. Keeper of the domain (Embracing God’s call to homemaking)
  • 10. The creative mother (Opening windows to God’s artistry and greatness)
  • 11. The ministering mother (Bringing God’s purposes into our homes… and beyond)

Part 5: A mother’s heart for eternity

  • 12. The faithful mother (Finishing the journey with endurance and grace)

♥♥

DIY Lavender Body Butter

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Last week I shared some of my natural beauty tips as well as my must have beauty products. So I thought that I would also share how to make my DIY body butter that was mentioned. I do not buy lotion or use anything other than Shea butter (or carrier oils) on my skin. So here’s the recipe and of course, you can tweak it to your liking.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup of each raw Shea butter and unrefined Coconut oil

1 Tbsp each  Jamaican black Castor oil, Avocado oil, Extra virgin Olive oil

About 7-10 drops of 100% pure Lavender Essential oil 

Directions:

Melt all of the ingredients (accept the essential oil) in a double broiler or in a glass Pyrex boil on top of a medium sized saucepan (with about an inch of boiling water).

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When everything has melted and blended together, turn off the heat and stir in your drops of essential oil(s). When the bowl is cool enough to handle, store in the fridge (or in the freezer if you’re in a hurry!) to solidify for a couple of hours.

When your mixture is solid. Bring it to room temperature. You don’t want it completely soft but you should be able to leave a little finger indent. Then, whip your mixture on high speed until you’ve reached your desired consistency. For me, that’s about 10 minutes.

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Again, you can adjust this recipe to suit your needs. Each and every ingredient in this mixture works wonders for my hair and skin (together and separately). Also, I like a creamy (and slightly oily) body butter because I have thirsty hair and skin. So if you find this recipe a bit too greasy, don’t use as much of the carrier oils or just keep your body butter stored in the fridge. Anyway, I hope you try it. And if you make any homemade hair and body products let me know. I’m looking for a good DIY deep conditioner.

Your sister, Brandi

♥♥ By the way, here’s some relevant posts:

My natural beauty tips for Christian women

Why I don’t wear any makeup or fake hair

How I dress now after my encounter with Jesus

How to choose modest apparel

My Headcovering experience

When staying home becomes boring and/or stressful

Homemaking is a blessing but it can be challenging so I want to briefly share 5 things that I believe can help combat that burnout.

#1 Staying connected

Community is everything! Even if it’s just chatting online with bloggers and YouTubers. Surrounding ourselves with other homemakers keeps us focused on what it true and important. You are not alone. We are each other’s motivation and inspiration.

#2 Getting rest

Whatever that looks like for you. It could be reading, working on a hobby or literally taking naps.  The point is, we have to rest on the regular and being at home gives us the liberty to do so.

#3 Eating well

To piggy back on #2, whole foods and good sleep are necessary. They go hand in hand. Try meal prepping the things you like (so all you have to do is grab and go).  We can not afford to skip out on what gives us energy.

#4 Getting dressed

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Hanging out in my pajamas!

To be honest,  this is something that I am still working on. Sometimes I don’t even get dressed at all especially if I don’t have any errands to run. But we all know that we feel better when we look better. So perhaps we’re only feeling as crazy as we look. For some, getting dressed is a must. And I’m sure that they’re much more productive (and attractive to their husbands).

#5 Having an agenda

Speaking of being productive, we all know that a day started without a plan will most likely be wasted. So if you are an inconsistent person, start by writing down the tasks that you would like to accomplish within that week. As long as you’re getting stuff done you don’t need an overwhelming detailed daily planner or calendar.

So, I hope that these tips help. I’m praying for you all because I know that everyone’s situations and families are different.

With much love,

Brandi

Strawberry Chia Jam recipe

As I transition into a more “homesteadish” lifestyle, there are some things including fruit preserves that I have decided to stop buying. This recipe is not only good (and easy!) but it’s guilt free! So I hope that you try it and if you do let me know what you think.

 

Ingredients

2 cups chopped strawberries (or mixed berries)
1/2 cup honey
3 Tbsp chia seeds
2 Tbsp lemon juice

Directions

Heat the berries in a medium sized saucepan over medium-high heat stirring occasionally until the berries begin to caramelize and get all syrupy (about 10 minutes). Mash the strawberries with a potato masher to your desired consistency (I like chunks of fruit in mine).

Turn the heat off and move the saucepan to another burner then pour in the lemon juice and the honey (feel free to add more honey to your liking). Now, stir in the chia seeds and allow the mixture to cool down completely before canning.

This recipe makes about 10 ounces (a little over a cup) which will last my family about a week but you can definitely store it in the refrigerator for up to a month. Also, this jam will not thicken as much as those with pectin (and loads of refined sugars!) would but the chia seeds will swell and thicken it up good enough. Yum (just thinking about it). Don’t believe me just ask my son!

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(My son)

Being a homemaker: Why I quit my job to stay home full-time

“She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.”(Proverbs 31:27)

In a generation where being a “boss” chick takes precedence over assisting your husband and raising children, it’s no surprise that quitting my job to stay home full-time seemed to be anything but noble.

I remember old friends and family members being a bit concerned because financially speaking, we shouldn’t have been able to make that move. But that’s the thing, I didn’t become a stay at home wife or a homeschooling mom to try and keep up with the Joneses. My husband and I understood the seriousness of fostering a godly family.

We knew that there was no way for me to truly be attentive to my husband (or available for my children) working a full time job with crazy retail hours. And for me, the solution wasn’t to just get another job because taking a step down (or working part-time) in some ways still meant neglecting my God-given responsibilities.

You see homemaking is so much more than just lounging around in your pajamas all day long, and it is certainly more than just cooking and cleaning or doing NEVER ENDING laundry. So I want to share what it is that I actually do at home, and I hope in the midst to encourage some of you who are either new to homemaking or weary in well doing.

So first things first, being suitable for the kingdom and for my husband.

Now I married a man who loves God and is seeking His kingdom and His righteousness, so that means that he is often a target for hatred and ridicule. My job is to not only BE but to create (and maintain!) a peaceful, loving and godly place for him to rest and to regroup after a hard exhausting day.

Now I don’t know about you but there is NO peace or love or gentleness or GOODNESS in and of myself. I get these qualities from walking very closely with the Lord. If I were still out  working some stressful and unfulfilling (or exciting and “fulfilling”) job, I wouldn’t have the time, energy or even the desire to spend my extra time praying and reading the Bible or marriage blogs. And I’m just being honest! Staying home allows me to go as deep as I want with the Lord, without any vain distractions or divided loyalty between Him and work . The Lord is my foundation. So first of all, I spend my days at home seeking Him and His ways. THEN I can begin to built or “make” my life and marriage pleasant with a renewed mind and with fruits of the Spirit.

“Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.” (Proverbs 14:1)

Discipling my children

Before I got married I was a single (and working!) mother of 3 children, so I understand that you have to do the best that you can do. But now that I am married with a working husband there is no need for me to work or to desperately allow my children to be raised by daycare providers and teachers unbelievers.

This world is blatantly pushing Satan’s agenda and I would be a fool to just volunteer my children over to the system. Mothers have been given such a big and awesome responsibility to primarily raise the children upright in the fear and admonition of the Lord. And I don’t care what the world says,  I know from experience that you can NOT do that wholeheartedly at work.

It’s like we’re always looking for some grand opportunity to witness to somebody as we overlook our very own children who also need to hear AND SEE the gospel. And by no means does this mean that my children are perfect (or exempt from anything) but that’s okay because I’m not raising them upright for my own pride or glory anyway.

This life is not a game. And even though ultimately they have to live their own, my job as a parent is to lead them (by example!) onto the right path in hopes that they’ll go on to follow Jesus.

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)

So yeah, basically, that is why I quit my job to stay home full-time. And what a blessing it is to be able to serve and to commit like this!

Much love,
Brandi