peace and joy as a homemaker





So much to do!  So much to do!

I’ve been having so much fun thinking about my family and my home.  I cannot tell you how content I feel as I concentrate on what I believe is God’s highest calling for me~ to “look well to the ways of my household.”  In my mind, I feel like all the pieces are finally falling into place, leaving me with so much peace and joy as a wife, mother, and homemaker.


Sure, I get tired and I lost my temper several times yesterday. . .but, what I mean is,  IN GENERAL, when all is said and done. . .I have no feelings of discontent here in my home.  However, God has been showing me some areas that I do need to improve on.

First of all, this house is getting cleaned and organized.  I’m sure there are systems in place for women who want to organize every room of the house but I don’t need any system~the children and I are JUST DOING IT.  With seven people living in this house I cannot tell you how much STUFF gets brought in the doors.  It’s enough to frustrate anyone!  I have no mercy right now on extra stuff~it is going right back OUT the door (to be donated or thrown away).  My advice to every young mom out there: DO NOT TAKE FREE STUFF UNLESS YOU REALLY TRULY NEED IT.  NEED.  NOT WANT.  That goes for toys, books, clothes, furniture, and any other stuff.  You will just end up cluttering up your home.


Yesterday’s major accomplishment?  Cleaning Grace’s room.  She did the majority of the work herself and then I went up there to vacuum.  Today we will go through her clothes, toys, and books.  What a sense of accomplishment it was, to get that room clean!  We even vacuumed under the bed.  Every tiny bit was picked up (and she had LOTS of tiny bits).

Today Jacob and Ethan will work on their own room.  Things will get done little by little.  Each small job, done well, is rewarding.  “Rome wasn’t built in a day”.

They are all still doing very nicely with their chores.  Ethan is keeping the livingroom clean and vacuumed, while Grace and Jacob are keeping the kitchen clean.  Having the main rooms of the house clean is a burden lifted off of me.

I owe “naturalmomma1” a big thank you for giving me the link to “forsmallhands”.  I had so much fun on that website yesterday and I ordered a bunch of things for the little ones to use so that they can clean the house, too.  They will be put to work!  I also bought a game that we can play together, a small kite ( it’s “easy to fly”!  we’ll see!) music makers, and some kitchen things just the right size for small hands.

Cooking has always been a huge pleasure for me, so there isn’t much to change in that area, except to continue to cook good, filling, and healthy meals for the family.  I also intend to keep the children IN the kitchen, to help with the work as much as they can.  More than any toy in the world, they want to be with me “doing things”, and helping me cook is so rewarding for them.  When we are together, we are developing that sense of community, family, and unity that makes every mama’s heart sing.


Yesterday I made zucchini bread.  I doubled the recipe and used half the batter to make muffins, and the other half to make a regular loaf.  You can bake any quick bread into muffins, just remember to take them out of the oven after about 20 minutes.  The loaf will take longer to bake.  I also spent time cutting up fresh veggies, because my children need to eat more of those things~ carrots, celery, fresh peas from the garden, etc. . . . . .yum.

Nature is another way in which the children and I enjoy spending time together, but I do want to spend more time teaching them.  There are so many lessons to learn, just by studying God’s beautiful world.  The children know, too, that if they discover something outside, that “mama will want to see it.”  Yesterday, Ethan brought me this to look at:


It’s a teeny weeny bee’s nest of some sort.  When you look in the hole, it’s like another world. 

We thought it was neat, and cute because of how small it is.


And of course, David is constantly bringing me frogs to look at.  I don’t have quite the appreciation for them.  Did I tell you that last week he put one down in the kitchen and it promptly hopped into a crack (by the dishwasher) and he couldn’t reach it?  At one point I saw it emerging. . .only to be scared back in.  Grace finally found it a few hours later, sitting by the piano.  We called to David, and he ran it back down home, to the pond. 

Yes, making jam with a frog in the kitchen is something that keeps my sense of humor alive and well.



I’m happiest when I am serving my family.&nb
sp; I have five beautiful children to teach and train and have fun with.  I have a hard-working husband to help, cook for and love.  I just want to encourage all of you married ones, if you need some inspiration, to pick up some good books that will give you the extra push to “look well to the ways of your household.”  If you aren’t a reader, that’s okay too, just think about these things, read the Bible, pray. . . .I promise you, taking care of your home and family will fill your heart with joy!  Because it’s GOD’s WILL FOR YOU.  His way is truly the most wonderful, and best, way to live.

Just a few suggestions:

Created to be His Help Meet by Debi Pearl

The Hidden Art of Homemaking by Edith Schaeffer

MaryJane’s Ideabook*Cookbook*Lifebook, by MaryJane Butters

Home Comforts, The Art and Science of Keeping House by Cheryl Mendelson


“I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.”  1 Timothy 5:14



0 thoughts on “peace and joy as a homemaker

  1. thank you Shanda, this is just what what I needed today. Yesterday I had “one of those days” which led me to think how nothing I do here at home is worth anything…oh the lies I believe sometimes!
    The pictures are lovely! and I will be checking out those books =)
    Have a wonderful day hun!

  2. I have all but one of the books you listed. πŸ™‚ I will have to pick up the Cheryl Mendelson book. πŸ™‚
    I have never experienced a greater contentment than being a mother and a wife. I think one of the most fulfilling experiences is when all the kids are in bed- and I walk through the house picking up the last of the days stray toys, turning on night lights and locking the doors… hear my kiddos in their rooms- happy-whole and healthy (inspite of ALL we’ve been through) and to know that the Lord is watching over us- and that we’re all going to bed in love with eachother and with HIM. That has to be one of the best feelings. πŸ™‚ Your post is full of the warmth you fill your home with. πŸ™‚ Thank you for being honest about your feelings and struggles….I always SO love reading your blog- your children shine with the radiance of LOVE……the kind of love that a good momma puts in their hearts and lives. πŸ™‚

  3. What a wonderful post.  It is truly the way I need to be thinking.  I am the type of person who like to find a “system” to get the house organized, plan a schedule, meal plan, etc.  I waste so much time looking up new ideas when I need to just get it done.  I’m sure many years ago there was not hundreds of different systems of ideas, they just did what they needed to do.  Thank you for the encouragement for my day.  Sherry

  4. Such contentment I feel when I read this post… now the frog was another story… I bet that had the kids just bellowing with laughter Thanks for sharing- love the pictures

  5. Such a lovely post!  I am going to go check out the “forsmallhands” site. That sounds interesting. I have little helpers that are always so excited when I do the laundry, sweep the floors and vacuum! * The picture of your flowers is so very cheery!  *  I am purging too. I have a mountain of stuff piled in my guest room that is getting bigger as I go through a drawer and closet one at a time. I think I am almost done actually. I have been working on it the past few weeks. I probably could get rid of a lot more but I just look at it with the thought “I know how much a spent on that!”  I am going to keep my post real and show the mess when I am finished gathering up.  Then the next chore will be taking it to a human society thrift store. *  Enjoy your week!

  6. Aaaah, nothing rejuvenates and energizes my spirits like a good housecleaning and decluttering!!! Just reading about it happening over there actually makes me feel happy! lol I own and love the books by Pearl and Schaeffer, and I’ll have to check out the other ones (heard of them before and never have ordered them…) Thanks for sharing!

  7. Good Morning Shanda…..What a wonderful post. Such encouragement. Thank you! Love all the pictures too. The red pitcher and red flower is just gorgeous!
    Oh by the way. I made Ethans “Dangerous” Brownies! DEEEELIcous!!!!!! LOL! Those were really great. I didn’t tell the children what I was making. A surprise. But when it was all done and on the plate. They were gone. That recipe is a keeper! Thanks for posting the recipe.
    God Bless You and have a beautiful summer day!

  8. Like you, we are frequently offered used toys, clothing, etc. by well meaning people. We sift through things quickly before they become strung throughout the house and integrated into the things we really DO need (not want)! We were offered a crate of Beanie Babies and puzzles (with a gazillion pieces) last Saturday. Jesse kept everything in the garage, picked 7 Beanie Babies (4 small, 3 large) and told our 3 children they could pick two each – leaving the last child a choice of two. The 7th rejected Beanie Baby was put right back in the garage’s “give away” box.The flowers in your Fiestaware pitcher look pretty!The picture of 1/2 a frog in your cabinets made me laugh hard!!! So cute, yet . . . not!

  9. I think you are doing what God wants you to do.   You are doing a wonderful job!   It is nice that the children are helping out so much also.    My kids love to be in the kitchen cooking with me.   I love homemade zuchinni bread!   I will have to remember next time to make them in muffins.   My kids like it to.   That is to funny with the frog:)

  10. Lovely post, Shan.  I’m glad you’re finding so much joy in your blessed vocation…I do, too.  I love the pictures, so nice, as always.  I hope you’re doing well today, and that you have a wonderful day.  Love you.

  11. I have the Cheryl Mendelson book and just love it. I’ve learned more about doing things (detailed things specifically) from that than anywhere else except maybe Martha Stewart.
    I love how peaceful and happy you sound (makes me a teeny bit jealous, but only in the best possible way!)

  12. Great post!  I feel the same way!  Doing what I do is such a joy and very seldom a burden.  It only becomes a burden when I start to focus on my own selfish desires.  A few other good books to read:  Homemaking by J.R. Miller, Passionate Housewives Desperate for God by Jennie Chancey and Stacy McDonald, and The Excellent Wife by Marth Peace.

  13. @purpleamethyst76 – (I’m logged  into  my private [infertility] Xanga, so I’m under that name instead of gracenglory75! Sorry) 
     Anyways, I agree with you. That’s what I kept telling everyone at the church. . . I don’t agree with EVERYTHING this woman says, but the foundational principles are just so key for a God-honoring marriage, I’ve used them time and again in my counseling office and the results have been amazing!  But I was pegged as legalistic and with a philosophy of being a door mat to my hubby and encouraging women to be the same.  
    By some church people, not all!  Others found as much freedom in the book as I did.
    As one woman put it, to the entire church one Sunday. . .”I know alot of you didn’t agree with this book Melissa introduced to us, but I’m on my fourth marriage. Obviously I did the first three differently than this book. Now I’m living out the principles of this book in m 4th marriage and well, frankly, I wouldn’t be on my 4th marriage if I had lived out my first marriage based on Debi Pearl’s counsel!”
    What a testimony, huh?

  14. Great post Shan!  I was wondering what you were up to yesterday.  I have Proverbs 31:27 written down on 3×5 cards.  One is on my bathroom  mirror and one is on my fridge.  Moving provided the impetus to purge for me.  I don’t remember how many trips I made to the second hand store in the last few weeks.  But there is still more that could go!  I agree about well-meaning people who give us free STUFF!!  The girls recently brought home a huge garbage bag of clothes from their friend.  I promptly went through it, and most of it went right back out the door.  Thanks for the reminder that there is freedom and peace in doing what God has called us to do!  Have a wonderful day!

  15. good books – I’ve found some good truth to glean from in those as well ~ contentment is a good word when I think of lovin on my fam as well. God is so gracious to give us these good and precious gifts and there is contentment and rest and FUN IN going with the flow of what God has called us to be and do. Love it~ hope you’re feeling well! and frogs are good things, even in the kitchen… means some little one is having fun πŸ™‚

  16. Your posts always give me a happy heart.  It always seems too that my little ones are sitting on my lap or walking past as I read your posts and always are intrigued by your pictures.  They love to see your children and the things they do.  “Go back, go back!” they always say.  Isn’t it amazing how we can touch those who we would otherwise not know. 
    I recently moved to an all natural, mostly organic, little to no processed food diet (I even planted my own garden for the first time) and it is extremely rewarding to know I’m doing the best I can to nurture my children from the inside out.  It’s so much more than just the food too.   

  17. Blessings of home….I loved this post…so lovely and rich.  I need to get some things organized here.  Thank you for the much needed inspiration!!
    We had our big sudan plated lizard go up into a cupboard once.  He was a pet of my sons and escaped to a place of “safety”.  He would not come out so we finally begged Dad to do some dismantling of the bathroom cupboard and rescue him.  He was only allowed out on someones shoulder or on the stairs where there were no crevases to hide in after that. Those things make memories. 

  18. I just love coming to your page, you are able to put all of my thoughts beautifully down in words! You truly speak from the heart of a mother. Those books are wonderful, I have a few other’s that I read from that remind me, center me, bring me peace, and encourage me to follow God’s path. . .
    The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace . . . Woman After God’s Own Heart by Elizabeth George . . . A Mom After God’s Own Heart by Elizabeth George. .  .Romancing your husband by Debra White Smith. . . . there are many more, but these are some of my favorites.
    Blessings to you and your dear family.

  19. That frog is so funny! He wanted some of that great cooking that you have been doing in there too! :o) I have to say, I love the fiesta and those flowers! Beautiful! and the first picture! I love it too! I love hearing about mom’s being content to be home and care for their families! It took me a while to reach that point as well! and yes, it is a constant process…and yes!…there are many frustrations as well! But what a blessing to be called to such a task as this! Enjoy and thank you for sharing your joy and contentment with us! :o)

  20. Thank you for your encouraging words. I am really having a hard time finding “contentment and joy” being at home. I feel not myself lately. All that to say thank you. God usually uses your posts to encourage me dear friend and he did just that!

  21. happy you are getting your home the way you want it and feeling content and happy. God has give us an amazing calling to be a wife and a mother, it’s beautiful. I love the red in the pics.. so pretty.

  22. that frog picture was priceless!!
    I too find so much happiness in being a wife and mother.  It is so against our culture to serve our husbands and family but that is what we were created for and it is WONDERFUL!
    Have a great day!

  23. You’re so right! I should politely decline freebies that I don’t really want/need, but I just can’t bring myself to do it! I have actually accepted stuff that I knew I was going to carry over to Goodwill or put in a yard sale as soon as I got it. What’s wrong with me?! πŸ˜‰

  24. I so enjoyed all the pictures, especially the first few!  I really need to organize my house more.  I just can’t seem to have enough time to do it.  It seems like the weekends and week day spare time are full of weeding, mowing, family get togethers, church meetings, cooking meals . . . Maybe I just need to take a few days off and tackle it?  Sorry I’m kind of talking to myself here.  I learned well how to clutter a house and now am trying to declutter, ridding the house of junk and unneeded things.  I love you and hope your day goes well.  Love, Lish

  25. Shanda, I LOVE this post!  My heart is where yours is, exactly.  I am a born homemaker, and it is such a high calling.  I lose it too (mentally, daily), and I have been convicted so much lately of the damage my “short fuse” does to my kids and husband, BUT I have a Savior who is merciful and forgiving, and I start anew each day.  And I’ve been reminded of how patient and long-suffering He is with me, therefore how can I be any less with my own precious family??
    I loved what you said about free stuff and clutter.  Because we are a pastor’s family, with one not-so-large income and four kids, people give me free stuff all the time.  Some of it (3 large boxes full of nice boys’ clothing) is greatly appreciated, but most of it (extra toys!) is simply not needed.  My boys have all the toys they need, and they are happiest wielding their homemade “stick” bows and arrows in the backyard anyway.  They LOVE helping me in the kitchen like yours do, and I need to remember that and do more of it with them.  Because I don’t have a daughter, sometimes I forget that they too like to hang out with me in there and help.  And I truly want sons who are somewhat adept in a kitchen and can do things for themselves! 
    The frog in your kitchen makes me smile and laugh too. . .how like my own life this is!!  We have “lost” lizards multiple times, only to have them appear in very unexpected place, like my bathroom counter, at the least opportune times. . . πŸ™‚ 
    I have been out of town, and have a “to-do” list (including distressing two older pieces of furniture, getting my older boys ready for camp, and making jams) a mile long and haven’t been able to “catch up” on my blog reading, so I decided to just start with today and keep going.  I’m so glad I did, as this post was a real blessing to me.  How are you feeling, by the way???

  26. The frog in the cupboard just cracked me up! But the little boy glee on David’s face was even better. “Hidden Art”, changed my life as a young moma. I loved the zucchini bread and makes me want to get the ones in the freezer out for tomorrow morning. I have to tell you AGAIN, that we eat the roasted veggies multiple times a week. B made supper last night and made them again along with her own basil and feta-stuffed chicken breast recipe and couscous..(It is a good thing to teach your kids to cook~) ANOTHER great post. love and hugs in SC

  27. I miss those days with my children at home!  I never had frogs in my kitchen and I guess I didn’t  miss that experience!  !  Love the red pitcher and flower picture.
    Have another great day!!

  28. What a wonderful post!Thanks for sharing with us!You are a blessing and encouragement to me! ÜThere is always so much to do, isn’t there?But it’s a wonderful work and that makes all the difference!I have all but the Home Comforts book and I definitely need to pull these and out and read them again!Wishing you a blessed day!

  29. Wow, this really stirred up the comments (unless you always get this many) I wanted to comment when I first read it, but I was eating the bread of idleness, so I took a break from computer time and did some housework, cuddled with my kiddos and nursed my baby. Thank you so much for the reminder of the importance of looking unto my household. I have a hard time with that some days.I am also working on decluttering some of the free stuff that has been given to us!! thank you for the book suggestions, too!!

  30. @mymeanderings – Oh Joanna, I had no choice about the frog (I’m laughing as I type this)—it all happened, you know in the midst of craziness—here comes David and before I could say one word, down went the frog and poof! it was gone. . . . .LOL . . . .I was just so relieved when Grace found it. . . .in the livingroom, by my piano!  Glad you saw the red photos~I’m partial to them, myself!  They are so bright and RED  xoxo  πŸ˜‰

  31. Hello there..another comment on an ancient post:) Yes I am reading your archives little by little…I read a few posts a day:)Anyhow…I’ve been totally in a homemaking slump. Everything is undone so fast I rarely feel like it’s worth it to do ANYTHING lately!!!!! I’ve never really thought of taking care of my home as Gods will for me. I mean selfishness, lazyness etc..I know are sins and extend into homemaking for sure…BUT…now that I think of it…God has obviouly chosen to put me in charge of this home and gave me 9 children and a husband…OF COURSE its his WILL that I take care of um…why else would  he have placed me here? It’s late at night now…but tomorrow I’m going to have a better outlook around here. Doing GODS WILL…afterall….taking care of my home and family is UNselfish!!! Good night dear friend!

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