Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Our Home: Babylon? Or Zion?



One morning last week, I awoke with a question in my mind:

Is your home like Zion? Or is it more like Babylon?

This question startled me. But it also made me think seriously about the atmosphere in my home, and I began to ask myself more questions, such as:

  • What am I spending my time doing? 
  • What activities are a true priority for me, based on my actions, and not just my words? 
  • What kind of media is our family exposed to? 
  • Are there attitudes and ideas creeping in that are leading us down the wrong path? 
  • How do we speak to one another in our home? How do we treat one another?
  • What messages am I sending my children?
I then sat down to write a list of words in my journal that describe the two cultures of Babylon and Zion, and I came up with the lists below.

Words that describe Babylon:

  • Proud 
  • Wicked 
  • Selfish
  • Annoyed 
  • Judgmental
  • Critical 
  • Negative 
  • Mocking 
  •  Rejection 
  • Derision 
  • Impatient
  • Contentious
  • Angry
  • Snobbish 
  • Rude 
  • Mean
  • Unfriendly 
  • Sarcastic
  • Immodest 
  • Lustful
  • Ungrateful 
  • Fearful
  • Worried 
  • Irritated 
  • Vain
  • Materialistic
  • Stubborn
  • Trendy 
  • Haughty
  • Rebellious
  • Filthy
  • Dismissive 
  • Frustrated

Words that describe Zion:

  • Humble 
  • Loving 
  • Kind 
  • Patient 
  • Giving 
  • Generous 
  • Happy 
  • Unselfish 
  • Peaceful 
  • Content 
  • Positive 
  • Encouraging 
  • Faithful 
  • Obedient 
  • Clean 
  • Pure 
  • United 
  • Supportive 
  • Beautiful 
  • Holy 
  • Teachable 
  • Hopeful 
  • Loyal 
  • Courageous 
  • Safe 
  • Honest 
  • Grateful 
  • Joyful 
  • Sharing 
  • Helpful 
  • Forgiving 
  • Simple 
  • Willing 
  • Understanding 
  • Sympathetic 
  • Integrity 
  • True 
  • Service 
  • Righteous 
  • Trustworthy 
  • Christ-like

A Litmus Test

After pondering on this on my own, I decided to discuss these questions with my family, and we came up with a list of things we wanted to stop doing in order to eliminate "Babylonian" culture from our home. We also made a list of things we have been doing that make our home feel more like "Zion-like," that we want to continue doing. And lastly, we made a list of things that we want to add to our family culture that will help our home feel more like Zion, and less like Babylon.

Some things on our list that the kids suggested was spending less time on computers and devices, less time watching movies, and more time playing games together. We also wanted to continue our daily family prayers and scriptures study.

A Free Family Home Evening Plan

If you would like to use the lesson we shared in our home, below is the link to the Family Home Evening plan on Google Drive:






With a prayer for each of our homes,

Mama Rachel




Friday, July 14, 2017

System #2: Old-Fashioned Homemaking Rules

Photos are from the U.S Farm Security Administration photo archives found at http://photogrammar.yale.edu/ .

Now that we have moved to our new home, and we are getting settled in at last, I am excited to get back to posting about the homemaking systems I use to keep my home running smoothly. 

These are the rules that have proven the most successful for me in my personal homemaking journey. It is my prayer that they may help you in your Divine Calling as a homemaker, as well!



Homemaking Rule #1 -

Keep Routines: 

Keep your morning and evening routines EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Your routines are the blessings that keep your home running smoothly and your kids feeling secure, even in difficult times.



Homemaking Rule #2 -

Dress the part: 

Get dressed and prepared every day for your job as a homemaker-- you should be prepared to leave home at a moment’s notice. And alway, ALWAYS wear an apron when cooking or cleaning! Your wardrobe will thank you, and you will feel “official” in your “mother uniform.”



Homemaking Rule #3 -

Prioritize: 


1) Serve the Lord, and follow His guidance for what you should do and when you should do it.
2) Nurture family relationships. Your husband and children should be your highest priorities, second only to the will of our Heavenly Father.
3) Care for the home. Yes, serving your family is very important, but make sure that the way you care for your home doesn't harm the relationships that you have with your husband and children. 



Homemaking Rule #4 -

Tidy Constantly: 

Though the work of keeping a home tidy is really never “done,” cleaning up after ourselves and others as we move through our days is the secret to a truly “tidy” home!



Homemaking Rule #5-

Plan Ahead: 

“If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear.” 

Plan menus, holidays, days, weeks, and even years using planners or apps-- the choice of "how" you plan is up to you. But please PLAN! Your life will run more smoothly, and you will have peace in your heart if you are prepared.



Homemaking Rule #6 -

Don't Procrastinate: 

Whatever it is that you know you should be doing, DO IT NOW. Putting things off until later causes regret and frustration. 



Homemaking Rule #7 -

Remember Your Divine Calling: 

NEVER forget that God has called you to be the mother of your children, and the keep of your home. The humble service you give to your family every day is a way to show them that you love them, and that their happiness and sense of well-being is important to you!



Homemaking Rule #8 -

Let Go of Guilt: 

Every day, every moment, we can begin again and improve! Don’t allow feelings of discouragement or guilt to bring you down and keep you from trying again. Satan uses those tools to keep us from becoming the mother and homemaker God wants us to be. If you stumble, ask forgiveness from your family and from God, and then move forward with a “brightness of hope.”


We can do it!

Never forget that the Lord will give you the strength and ability to care for your home and family in a way that is pleasing to Him. You do not have to be just like your neighbor, and you don't have to follow the world's standards for homemaking. If you seek the Lord in prayer, and follow the answers He gives you through His Holy Spirit, you WILL be the successful homemaker that He has called you to be! 

With love, Mama Rachel

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Routines and Habits



There have been numerous studies done and articles written on the power of daily habits and routines. Our mothers and grandmothers had daily habits that helped them work through the duties of the week. In this modern, busy world, why would we ever try to go through our days without habits and routines?
“We are all mere creatures of habit. We think our accustomed thoughts, make our usual small talk, go through the trivial round, the common task, without any self-determining effort of will at all. If it were not so– if we had to think, to deliberate, about each operation of the bath, or the table–life would not be worth having; the perpetually repeated effort of decision would wear us out.” ~ Charlotte Mason

I want to keep this post short and sweet, but I also want to share a few things that have helped me create daily and weekly habits to get through the busyness of life.


Daily Routines

It is not a difficult thing to sit down and make a simple morning and evening routine for yourself and/or your family schedule. It will take a mother about 10-15 minutes to think through what they'd like to accomplish each morning upon waking, and each evening before bed.

Now, mamas: BE KIND TO YOURSELF! Don't make these lists so long and ambitious that you could never complete them! Be practical and realistic about what you can do every morning and every evening.

To see what my personal morning and evening routines look like, check these printables out here:


Tools for Getting Things Done

My husband, teenagers and I are all having a LOT of fun working together to get things done by using the website and application at www.habitica.com .

Essentially, it is a role-playing game that is also a way to get things done and solidify habits. I have been AMAZED by how much I get done each day-- and how little I forget these days! 

I have been known for spacing appointments and important events in the past, but using technology has really helped me to be more dependable.

Along with Habitica, I also use the alarm on my phone and Google Calendar reminders to help me remember the commitments and appointments that I have scheduled.

It feels really good to finally be a mother that is where she needs to be when she needs to be there!

So, yes; the irony of this "old-fashioned mother" using modern technology to finally become organized is not lost on me! 

(ahem...)




One Less Daily Decision

If you've been following me on Instagram or Facebook, then you have seen my posts about our new family color-coordination.

I stole the idea from a wonderful homeschooling mama on YouTube named Andrea Mills. I found her idea right at the moment when I was overwhelmed with all the laundry of our family of 15. I had had enough!!!

(insert angry emoji here.) 

But instead of throwing everything away and starting over, I went through EVERY. SINGLE. ITEM. of CLOTHING. that each person owned, and I decided on a color for us to all wear for each day of the week. (And yes, that was partially based on what colors everyone already had.)

I did end up getting rid of lots of clothes-- six garbage bags full! But each person has two shirts in each color, and a few pairs of pants. I keep everyone's (except the grown-ups) shirts in the boxes you see above, and we fold them Kon-Mari style, so everything fits beautifully. 

PLEASE NOTE: If my teens are doing their own laundry, I do not require them to match with us. Some of them do, just for fun, but I only do the clothes-matching thing for the people whose laundry I have to clean and fold.

This idea has REVOLUTIONIZED the way I do laundry. I only have to do ONE load a day, and the colors of the loads is timed perfectly according to who wore what on which day.

It's been working beautifully for us!


To close...

You don't have to do all the things that I have suggested above to create good habits in your home, but I love sharing what has been working for our family, and I hope these ideas might inspire you to try something new to establish habits and routines in your home! 

HAPPY Homemaking,
Mama Rachel

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