Category Archives: Homemaking
“You have to be home to be a homemaker.” Those words have left on an impact on my heart even four years later. I was a senior in college and the students in one of my classes had the privilege of attending a brunch hosted by John MacArthur’s wife, Patricia.
I don’t remember much about that brunch. I do remember the cozy feeling you got from being in their home. I remember the food being delicious (even though I can’t recall exactly what it was). I honestly do not remember everything that we talked about, but I do remember those words.
Mrs. MacArthur shared that it was hard to be a homemaker if you were constantly running around to this soccer practice and that social event. In order to be a homemaker, you have to spend time at home.
The longer I have been a wife (and now as a new mom) the more I have found this to be true. Yesterday, my two-month old and I spent the majority of the day out running errands. By the end of the day, we were both cranky and tired. My house was a disaster and we had nothing ready to eat. When we are not at home, our lives tend to be more chaotic.
This does not mean that you have to be home full-time to be a homemaker or that you can never go out. It is simply a reminder to dedicate time to caring for the home. When we designate time to be at home, our lives are more orderly.
As a ministry couple and especially during the holidays, we are out of the home a lot. We have to work hard at making time to be at home. We sometimes have to turn things down so that we can stay in. We have found that all of us do better when we have time set aside to be home as a family and time to care for our home.
In a culture that emphasizes activities and a full social calendar, let us be counter cultural and make our homes a priority. An article I read a couple of weeks ago urged believers to make our homes a ministry hub rather than a refuge from ministry. We can’t do ministry in our homes if we are never there.
Let us cultivate our homes in a such a way that they reflect the orderliness and beauty of our God. Let us create a refuge for the hurting or lonely. Let us display the Gospel to those who do not believe.
But you can’t do this if you are never there.
That’s great, but what if I am single? Well, hospitality isn’t just for married people.
I understand, but what if I work full-time? You can still be a homemaker.
Maybe if I keep my eyes closed I will fall back asleep, I think. I try to slow my breathing. I listen to the gentle breathing of my sleeping husband and the fan buzzing to keep us cool. Soothing sounds, but not enough to keep my head from spinning.
I have a thousand things running through my mind. Do I have enough bread for sandwiches? What was I making for dinner tomorrow? Oh, I need to call the insurance company. I cannot forget to make a dentist appointment.
I would be willing to bet that many of you women go through this same thing every night. I don’t know about you, but I often feel the stress of trying to balance working and managing my home.
I was a Home Economics major in college. I was raised by a woman who is an incredible homemaker and discipled by women who have written books about homemaking. Homemaking is in my blood. It is what I have been trained to do my whole life. I am passionate about it. I love cooking, grocery shopping, doing laundry, and decorating.
But I work full-time. The majority of my time is spent outside of my home. I am learning that I can’t always have fresh homemade bread on hand. I wish that my house was always clean, my husband’s clothes were always ironed, and I had a nice homemade meal every night. But I don’t. And with my husband’s patience, I am learning that…
I have wrestled with guilt over the fact that I am not a “better” homemaker, but he patiently reminds me that that is not my full-time job right now. I am a full-time wife, but not a full-time homemaker. My husband points out that right now (un-ironed clothes and all) I am fulfilling my responsibility as a wife found in Titus 2:4.
I am serving my husband.
He has asked me to work full-time, so by doing so I am submitting to his leadership. He hasn’t asked me to iron his clothes or have fresh cookies available. Those are extras. If I have time to do that after I have done what he has asked, then it can be a blessing to him. But those things aren’t worth it, if it is just going to make me a stressed out, grumpy wife.
I am loving my (future) children.
At this point in our lives, the Lord has not given us children. But my husband wisely pointed out that I am caring for my future children by helping us be in a financial position that we can care for kids when they come.
I can’t compare myself to women are in a different season of life than I am. Right now, my season is working. I honor my husband and my Savior by doing what I have been called to do. Working outside of the home doesn’t negate the fact that I am a wife and homemaker. It just means that I have different priorities and different limitations.
I am thankful for a wise husband and a gracious Savior who help me navigate through this season.
When things don’t go the way that you planned, it is tempting to question the Lord. I am guilty of this. When we did not get to go to Albania, it was a little confusing to us and a bit painful. But we trusted that the Lord had another plan. But we did not think that we would know so soon why He did not have us go.
We thought that we knew the reason why the Lord didn’t have us in Albania when my husband got the invitation to speak at a camp in Alaska. And now we realize that He had something else in mind too.
Within the past two days, the Lord has given us a new place to live! We are trading our busy street for a quiet neighborhood and our apartment for a cute little guest house. This probably would not have happened if we had still been in Albania. We are marveling at the way the Lord has worked things out. Seriously, we are undeserving of His blessing and to be able to see so clearly how He is working.
We will miss our old place. I think there is something special about your first place together. It is where we had our first Christmas, our first party, our first everything. But we are so excited for what the Lord has in store!
The top two pictures are of our new place! The bottom picture is the mantle that I will miss decorating with the changing seasons.
But we are so thankful! The Lord has done some amazing things in our life. We cannot help but praise Him for the wondrous ways that He works! All praise and glory to Him!
I live in an apartment. In Southern California. With one wall-unit air conditioning. That combination makes for some pretty hot summer evenings.
That being said, during the summer, I avoid turning on my oven. I try to do all of my cooking without using my oven. I thought that I would create a list of recipe ideas for those of you who avoid the oven in the summer. These 60 meals should get you through the summer!
- Grilled Cheese
- Chicken Caesar Salad
- Green Chili Chicken Pozole
- Pioneer Woman’s Pan Fried Pork Chops
- Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers (buy canned sweet potato instead of roasting it in the oven).
- Salmon Croquettes – I serve them on a bed of lettuce with a garlic aioli on top.
- Carrot Curry Soup
- Carbonara Pasta Recipe
- Black Bean Soup
- Butternut Squash Soup
- Hot Dogs
- Scallop, Mango, Avocado Salad (cook the scallops in a pan)
- Chicken Fiesta Salad
- Taco Salad
- Rigatoni with Broccoli and Sausage
- Pulled Pork Sandwiches (Just put a big pork roast in the crockpot and pour a container of bbq sauce over it. Let it cook all day.)
- French Dipped Sandwiches
- Slow Cooker Baby Back Ribs (skip the baking step)
- Slow Cooker Chicken Tandoori with Rice
- Slow Cooker Chili
- Chicken Club Sandwiches
- Green Apple Curry Chicken Salad (super easy recipe! Mix curry powder with mayo. Stir in some chopped green apple and some walnuts. Mix with chicken and put on sandwiches or a bed of lettuce).
- Slow Cooker Cabbage Rolls
- Black Bean Burgers (still have not found a great recipe for this one!)
- Slow Cooker Stew (Just google for a recipe. I use the one from the Slow Cooker Bible.)
- Garlic Butter Tilapia
- Grilled Salmon (I don’t have a grill, so I use my griddle.)
- Slow Cooker Lasagna (I have not personally made this, but I have eaten it and you would never know the difference!)
- Pasta Salad
- Bean and Cheese Burritos
- Grilled Pizza
- Gnocchi with Summer Vegetables
- Red Beans and Rice
- Manhattan Fish Chowder
- Slow Cooker Lentil Soup
- Spinach and Orzo Salad
- Zesty Quinoa Salad
- Chicken and Rice
- Sausage, Pepper, and Onion Sandwiches
- Summer Corn and Tomato Pasta (making this one tonight!)
- Chef Salad
- Chopped Salad with Bacon and Fried Garbanzo Beans
- Pioneer Woman’s Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing (haven’t tried the following recipes yet, but I think I need to!)
- Chicken Burgers
- Grilled Open-Face Ham, Brie and Argula Sandwiches
- Grilled Chipotle Chicken Quesadillas
- California Sushi Wraps (not sure if my husband would eat this, but I would like to try it!)
- Chicken Fajita Wraps
- Thai Chicken, Mango, and Pineapple Salad
- Zesty Zucchini Pasta
What are your favorite “no-oven” recipes?
- Love is tireless – My mom constantly serves her family. She displays Christ-like love through continuously putting others before herself.
- To notice the person who is alone – My mom taught us to notice who might be alone in youth group or at a social event. She taught us to reach out to them and to befriend them.
- Life-on-life discipleship – I grew up watching my mom disciple young girls my bringing them into her home and including them in whatever she was doing. They would make a meal together and talk about their walks with the Lord. As a mom of seven kids, my mom did not always have time to “formally” disciple girls. They did not sit down and study a book. But she would teach them about Christ and life skills while they cooked together.
- To put my husband first – My mom is her husband’s helpmate. She constantly puts my dad first, even in the little things. She always honors him by giving him the best portion of food or by choosing meals that he likes. She has taught me a lot about what it means to be a helper to my husband.
- To encourage my children in their pursuits – I am amazed how my parents have always encouraged their children in their pursuits. When we have told them what we wanted to do with our lives, they never questioned us. They always helped us to attain those goals.
- The priority of serving – At about 18 years old, I remember listening to a missionary friend ask my mom how she taught her kids to be servant-hearted. As my mom answered her, I was shocked that my parents had thought through how to teach their kids that. But as I listened, I realized how intentional my parents had been about exemplifying serving and by giving us opportunities to serve.
- How to be a hostess – My mom has not only taught me pretty much everything I know about cooking, but she has exemplified how to be a gracious hostess. She has modeled how to plan and prepare in such a way that anticipates the guests needs and makes them feel welcome.
- The importance of fervent prayer – When we were younger, we used to laugh at my mom for crying all the time. She would cry at the end of a good book or at the end of praying. Back then we thought it was funny, but now I appreciate her sensitive heart for the things of the Lord.
- To not be ashamed of making different choices – My family has made a lot of choices that were different from other people’s. My parents had seven kids and homeschooled all of them. Just right there, they were different from most people. My mom always has stood up for her convictions and has never been afraid to make decisions that were different. But at the same time, she has never made other people feel bad if they made different decisions than we did.
- To always be a learner – My mom is constantly learning and trying new things. It is incredibly inspiring!
- To honor Christ in all I do – With my mom, it always comes back to honoring the Lord. In anything and everything that we do, it is about the Lord.
I could list 100 things that my mom has taught me. These 11 barely scratch the surface. With Mother’s day approaching, I want to honor her for the incredible mother, wife, and servant, she is! I hope that when I am a mother I can be as giving, intentional, and driven as she is.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! I love you!