Homemaking vs. Housekeeping

Housekeeping:the management and care of a residence, keeping it clean and orderly.
Homemaking: the spiritual and temporal care and management of a residence, to make a safe and secure place for families and individuals, creating an atmosphere of peace, unity, balance and love that world cannot provide.

I have learned that it does not matter what type of structure we live in. I have the choice to make my house, apartment, condo, or room-in-a-basement a home. Since being married I have lived by this familiar scripture:

aOrganize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a bhouse, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God. (D&C 88:119).

My first priority as a homemaker is to keep the Spirit a constant resident in our home. We have pictures of the temple, the Savior, and other uplifting images on our walls, we listen to good music, we say our prayers and most of all we always talk about the gospel.

My second priority is to try and keep things clean and orderly. I cannot always have my home looking immaculate, but I have noticed that when we are more diligent at housecleaning we feel happier and there is less contention.

It does not matter what type of housing structure we live in. We have the opportunity to create a place for us to dwell that is a safe haven from the outside world. My husband and have lived in the same apartment for almost 4 years, but it is our home because we feel love, peace, contentment, happiness, safety, security, joy, comfort, and most importantly we feel the Spirit.

One of my favorite things to do is to decorate for any holiday that I can. And when I say ‘decorate’ I really only ever decorate with a few things for each holiday (Christmas being the exception). My husband and I feel that those few simple decorations help us feel the true spirit of what we are celebrating.

Better Homes and Gardens Centerpiece

Better Homes and Gardens Centerpiece

Deseret Book offers various home decor for year-round and seasonal purposes.
Here are some Simple and Frugal Decorating ideas for Fall by Blissfully Domestic.
Involve your kids in your seasonal decorating! Kaboose has some great Fall Craft projects.

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The Gifts of the Spirit

General Conference is always so uplifting. I always walk away saying, “That was just what I needed.” This time was no different. As my husband, L, and I were talking about the messages he said to me, “They gave a lot of great advice on how to serve others didn’t they? Almost everyone seemed to talk about it in one way or another.” I had to laugh because I’d been thinking the over all themes had been Prayer and Unity. Later I talked to my mom who mentioned she’d loved all the wisdom given on the principle of faith. Thank heaven for men and women who teach with the Spirit and then let Him do His work.

Conference: An Opportunity to Change Our Hearts

I think the story of King Benjamin in the Book of Mormon is one of my most favorites.  King Benjamin called all of his people together to declare his son Mosiah as the king who would reign after him.  He wanted to tell his people about the promises available to them if they would be diligent in keeping the Lord’s commandments.

In Mosiah, Chapter 2, verses 5-6 we learn how the people responded to this call.

5 And it came to pass that when they came up to the temple, they pitched their tents round about, every man according to his afamily, consisting of his wife, and his sons, and his daughters, and their sons, and their daughters, from the eldest down to the youngest, every family being separate one from another.
6 And they pitched their tents round about the temple, every man having his atent with the door thereof towards the temple, that thereby they might remain in their tents and hear the words which king Benjamin should speak unto them;
This weekend, we have an opportunity to  listen to vital words from the leaders of Christ’s church.  We can learn a valuable lesson about how to prepare ourselves to receive the messages that will be delivered, by looking again at King Benjamin’s people in verse 9.
9 And these are the words which he aspake and caused to be written, saying: My brethren, all ye that have assembled yourselves together, you that can hear my words which I shall speak unto you this day; for I have not commanded you to come up hither to btrifle with the words which I shall speak, but that you should chearken unto me, and open your ears that ye may hear, and your dhearts that ye may understand, and your eminds that the fmysteries of God may be unfolded to your view.
I’m excited to open my ears, my heart, and my mind.  I have faith that the mysteries of God will be unfolded to me, and that messages the Lord would have me hear will be waiting for me as I pitch my tent to hear his servants speak.  I know there will be messages for you, too.

Family Home Evening: Prophets

This weeks Family Home Evening lesson from LDS Living is on Prophets (click HERE for the lesson). Could there have been a better topic for FHE tomorrow night? Nope. The 178th Semiannual General Conference will take place this Saturday and Sunday. My excitement and anticipation seems to grow more the week before conference convenes.

I have never really prepared myself for conference. I just sit and listen, but this time I want to make sure that I get my ‘temporal ducks’ in a row so that I can give my full attention to the speakers instead of thinking about the things I need to cram in to the 2-hour break between sessions.

Two weeks ago our Stake had the privilage of having Elder Bednar speak to us. One week ago I was on vacation in Salt Lake City where I attended a concert by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Utah Symphony – and President Monson was there. 24 hours ago I listened to the General Relief Society Meeting. In less than a week I will be able listen to the words of the Prophet and our leaders again. This mega-dose of spiritual goodness is wonderful!

My sister-in-law once made ‘conference bingo cards’ for her kids to use during conference. They placed a piece of candy in each squre when they heard a specific word…if I can get my hands on it I’ll share it here for everyone to use.

What are some other ways to prepare yourself or your family for conference?
What activities do you prepare for your children to keep them focused on the talks?

The First Presidency

::The First Presidency::

Book Review: No One Can Take Your Place

Many years ago I had the opportunity to attend a LDS woman’s meeting in which Sheri Dew spoke at. She gave an exceptional talk focused on our individual roles on earth, and how no one could take our place. A year later, her book came out on the same subject. I bought it. I read it. I soaked it up. I read it again, and again learning something new each time trying to understand what my place was in my Mormon-single-adult world.

Years later, as a married woman, I had a conversation with Brother Patience (my husband) about his role as a husband and my role as a wife:

Brother Patience, why is it that men and women are so different, and yet we can’t seem to live without each other?”
“If we were the same, had the same roles, same strengths, same weaknesses, then we wouldn’t need each other.”


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Relief Society Broadcast

My Saturdays are usually filled up, and this one is no exception.  The kids are practicing for the Primary Program that will be presented on Sunday.  My husband has church softball practice.  And the to-do list…wants to be done.  At the end of all that madness, though, I’ll be in a fabulous place.

The General Relief Society Broadcast is being held on Saturday, September 27, 2008, at 6:00 p.m., mountain daylight time.  It’s a meeting broadcast around the world for women 18 years and older.  I’ll be with many other sisters in my stake.  We’ll do a service project.  We’ll have some snacks.  We’ll laugh and lift each other up.

And then a meeting will begin where all the secret fears of our hearts will be addressed. We’ll find words spoken directly to us as women.  The Spirit will testify with power and strength about our divine parentage and potential.  Some of us will weep.  Many of us will smile.  And we’ll walk back through the door with renewed strength and purpose…made better by that all too brief time spent together.

I hope you’ll be there too.

The Silent Tragedy

Not too long ago my husband and I watched a conference talk for Family Home Evening. The talk focused on how we are all in need in times of tragedy (death, illness, accidents etc.). It is customary in our small household to have long discussions about our FHE lessons. My husband mentioned one tragedy that had not been part of the talk: loneliness, and how it is the silent tragedy.

I have had the privilage to sit on the stand in sacrament meeting to play the organ, or behind the piano in Relief Society, for many years. Without fail I always steal glances of the pews or chairs to see how is out there, who is new, who is missing, and who is sitting by themselves. Yes, I notice who sits alone. I notice who sneaks in and takes the back set. I notice who gets passed by. My automatic response is to go and talk to them or invite them to come and sit with us. But with my commitment to a music instrument on Sundays it is hard to do, but there are still ways that I can help loneliness vanish.

Have I done any good in the world today?
Have I helped anyone in need?
Have I cheered up the sad,
and made someone feel glad?
If not, I have failed indeed.
Doing good is a pleasure,
a joy beyond measure,
a blessing of duty and love.
(LDS Hymnbook, Hymn 223)

President Monson gave a wonderful talk in 1992 about this very topic of loneliness. I spent some time reflecting on his talk and decided that I have no excuse. The three-hour chuch block is not the only time we can reach out to those who need us. Sister Whimsy has already provided some great advice in her recent post, 6 Ways to Belong in Relief Society. Ward activities, ward temple night, visiting teaching or just visiting (for no reason other than to say hello) are also great ways to reach out to the lonely.

People need other people. We all need to feel loved, supported, included and wanted. I have committed not to let ‘the silent tragedy’ take over my life (and it has in the past), nor will I let another moment pass me by that I can make a difference in the life of another.