The Strategic Homemaker

learning to follow the Father, care for the clan, and redeem the resources


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Progress on the Free House Projects

Here’s where we stand on our no-money-spent house projects for the month:

One completed project. Kudos to TSH on finishing the banister, and thanks for our friend Matt for letting us borrow his miter saw.

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(This was what it looked like a month ago.)IMG_7353

One room with nearly prepped walls. Still need to scrub the glue off the top of one more wall for a couple more hours and fill in the holes with spackle.

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(Here’s what this room looked like 2 months ago.)IMG_7194

…and one room that looks worse before it looks better. This is what happens when someone uses stuff called “wallpaper seam repair” and you tries to remove the wallpaper later. There’s nothing like pulling off wallpaper a couple weeks before your daughter’s birthday party to make you get in gear and get the job finished though, so we hope to have it looking good in a couple of weeks.

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(Here’s what this room looked like three months ago.)IMG_7119

Here are two of the workers, scrubbing away!IMG_7500


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Nearly every time I get on Facebook, there are a couple posts in my Newsfeed with links to articles saying some kind of food to avoid, something I should be making from scratch, some political cause I need to take up, some thing I should be doing to save the earth or my family. Last week there was an article trying to get me to convert from paper to cloth toilet paper. I was like, “Cut me some slack, People!” [Besides, I’m not convinced cloth toilet paper actually helps the environment–especially if you have a large family and have to run extra loads of wash.]

I am bombarded with messages about how I should be using my time and concerns. While it is obvious I can’t do it all, some days I don’t make it past cleaning up toddler accidents and getting food on the table.

The message of which I need to remind myself is that Jesus said ONE thing was necessary.

38 Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10, ESV)

The one thing that is necessary for me to spend time doing is listening to Jesus.

The other message of which I frequently need to remind myself is that Jesus said one thing was NECESSARY.

I can’t prioritize other things above time with God’s Word every day and expect to get a “Well done!” at the end. If I do prioritize other things, they may be done in vain anyway.

Unless the Lord builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the watchman stays awake in vain.
It is in vain that you rise up early
and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he gives to his beloved sleep. (Psalm 127, ESV)

We obviously have responsibilities to work hard and take care of our families, but if you put Jesus first, He will take care of the details, and you will get done what you need–what He wants you to get done. Also, it won’t necessarily be the same as what He has other people doing.

So next time I see a Facebook or Pinterest post telling me what I should be doing or concerning myself with, whether it’s good or not, I’m hoping I’ll remember what Jesus tells me is most important, and make sure to put first things first.

Am I the only one who needs this reminder, or is anyone out there with me?


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Family Reunions and Another Room Wallpaperless

August has already been a big month for us. My great-grandmother had her 100th birthday party, hence a family reunion, and we got to see TSH’s family for a few days on the same trip.

Here’s a five-generation pic. The lady in the center is the birthday lady.

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And here’s a family pic from TSH’s side. We’ve added 4 kids since the last family picture: IMG_7466

While we were with all of them, we did a silly string gender reveal on the baby (Verdict–silly string is always fun, but it appeared white at first and only turned BLUE after a minute and gathering it all together, so it was a bit anticlimactic, and everyone guessed we were having a caucasian baby. )

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Then we celebrated our six-year wedding anniversary.  TSH’s pick was to go golfing at an 18-hole pitch and putt.  I was skeptical, given this was about my 3rd golfing experience ever, but I ended up deciding that I really like pitch and putt golfing, although I seriously need to watch some YouTube videos demonstrating correct form :). My pick was The Melting Pot, so that’s coming up soon. Of course, we also got six Dunkin Donuts for breakfast on the day of. We are low-key around here, folks, but we were really happy to have been blessed with six wonderful years together.

Anyway, with these big excursions happening this month, I’ve been trying to refrain from spending money on the house and do some free projects–of which there are plenty. They just require a lot of labor. Below is one. We got the half-bath/laundry room stripped and painted with leftover paint from the dining room. Eventually we need to frost that window straight ahead, as it allows us to creepily watch our neighbors in their pool, or them to see our heads as we utilize the facilities. Awkward. Soon I will get some frosting film, but for now we’ve just been keeping the blinds closed.

Before:

IMG_7377After:

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Next up–organizing the office and more wallpaper stripping…

P.S. I apologize for any inappropriate ads that may appear. WordPress suddenly decided to show their own ads without asking me first. TSH is working on switching everything over to another domain name, but until then, I don’t have any control over what you see. Sorry!