Learn three tools to help you handle homemaking responsibilities with faith and peace.
In Matthew 6:25 Christ says, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?” What are we to do with this when we are the ones responsible for feeding and clothing our children? How can we handle these and many other homemaking responsibilities with faith and peace?
The commentary on verses Matt. 6:25-27 in the Orthodox Study Bible says, “Jesus is warning against anxiety, not against thoughtful planning. Our physical well-being is directly dependent on God, and only indirectly on food, drink, and clothing. Anxiety over earthly things demonstrates a lack of faith in God’s care.”
I know I often fall into this anxiousness and lack of faith. There are so many details to remember, decide on, and take care of. This alone can be challenging, but then sometimes there’s lack of money or time or energy. Sometimes it’s all three!
I want to share three tools to help you handle all the areas of your homemaking in faith and peace.
Simplifying Your Homemaking Responsibilities
The first tool is to simplify. Everything. We live in a culture where most of us can have it all, or at least way more than we need. We have an unlimited amount of choices: what store we want to shop at, what to get at the store, and within our own home. It is overwhelming and complicates things. But we do not have to be a victim to this. We can make decisions once and stick with it. We can own less, do less, and end up being more. When we have less to manage and fewer decisions to make it is much easier to handle our homemaking responsibilities. Let’s take a look at some practical ways to simplify.
- Reduce possessions. I’m not going to go so far as to tell you to be a minimalist, but I’m sure we all have things that are not truly necessary. Things that are taking up space and mental energy. Some examples are clothing, kitchen things, magazines, extra toiletries, or linens. Do a search on Pinterest for minimalism and you’ll get plenty of lists of types of items to go through to help you with this. How far you go with this is up to you. A great YouTube account is “The Minimal Mom.” She has four kids and is super practical without going overboard.
- Plan simple meals. I love to cook and bake, but with all the other responsibilities I have, I can’t afford to spend too much time or energy doing these things. Planning simple meals, and repeating those meals more often makes life so much easier. And it doesn’t have to be forever or every day, but if you’re in a particularly busy season it can truly simplify things.
- Accept that we cannot have or do it all. There are so many standards we are trying to meet that conflict and make things harder. One example for me is grocery shopping. I’d prefer to shop at a place with the lowest prices, the highest quality organic food, with a great app I can use to order and have delivered to my door. Maybe that exists somewhere, but not where I live. So, I settle with the stores to which I have access. Knowing exactly where to shop, and sticking with many of the same products, has simplified my life extremely. This goes for other areas of our life too, such as household chores and our schedules. The more we strive to have and do it all, the more stress and complication we add to our lives. Letting go of certain standards will simplify all the areas of our life.
Planning Your Homemaking Responsibilities
The second tool is to plan. When we thoughtfully plan through the needs of our family and home, we can better handle our homemaking responsibilities. There will be less last minute, stressful decisions to make or things to do. Here are some ways to start:
- Plan Your Meals. I know menu planning is not for everyone, but if deciding what to make at the last minute is stressful for you, then you need to look into this! There are a ton of resources out there. It can take time to figure out a system that works for you and your season, but it is worth the effort to not be panicking at 4:30 while the kids are all asking you what’s for dinner.
- Plan Each Month or Interval. Schedule a time at the end of each month to get ready for the next. Write out ideas for your menu planning, make lists of needs for the month, gifts to get, activities going on, and tasks that need to be done in the home. If you can, have a meeting with your husband to go over the schedule, the budget, and just get a feel for what the month ahead holds for him.
- Plan Set Tasks. Some things just need to be done every week or month. When you plan in advance when to do these things, you can let it rest until the time comes instead of constantly trying to figure out when you’ll do it. For example, my weekly cleaning routine helps me know what day a certain chore will get done, so if I see the floor needs vacuumed, I don’t need to figure out when to do it, I just know I’ll get to it on my vacuum day. Some other examples of things to plan would be shopping, other errands, a library trip, or time with friends. Having these kinds of things planned in advance allows you to make the decision once, ahead of time, and simplifies our lives.
Praying Over Your Homemaking Responsibilities
The third tool is to pray. This is really the first step in handling our homemaking responsibilities, but I wanted to share it last in light of the other tools.
- Ask God to show you what areas of your life you need to simplify and how to go about it.
- Ask Him for the time and energy to work through them in order to simplify.
- When you go to plan, pray for discernment and clarity.
- When you go to shop, pray for guidance and focus.
- Pray about what is stressing you out.
We can pray over every aspect of our lives. When I remember to do this, He always answers by bringing a calmness to my heart and clarity to my mind. It’s so easy to keep plugging along, but when we remember to do this, it helps us in amazing ways and draws us closer to Him. It allows Him to be part of our lives and allows us to give over some control.
Simplify, Plan, and Pray
So, when it comes to all our homemaking responsibilities we must manage, there are three ways we can handle them with more faith and peace: simplify, plan, and pray. I hope these tools help you handle your homemaking responsibilities with more faith and peace.
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say Rejoice. Let all men know your forbearance. The Lord is at hand. Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”Philippians 4:4-7