Monday, August 23, 2010

Reflecting on the Completing Him Challenge

If you are here often you will know I participated in Courtney's Completing Him Challenge over Winter (ok, it was summer in the northern hemisphere!). 

Each week Courtney set a range of challenges aimed at encouraging us to think about our husbands and plan for meeting their needs in a variety of ways. 

I really enjoyed the entire series. Being intentional about our marriage, creating time together and doing things just for him, were wonderful ways to strengthen my love for him and to show him how I feel!!

Some of the highlights for me were reflecting on our dating and wedding stories. It was wonderful to remember all the little details! 

Praying for him for a whole week, on things that he himself chose, was wonderful, and a real insight in to the things he considers important in our lives together. Likewise, asking him for his priorities for my time was a big eye opener for me!  I was equally blessed when he asked me for my priorities in return.  I definitely think that using this priority list has helped us to get along better and to avoid conflict. I would highly recommend it! 

Overall, our marriage has never been in a better place. Part of this I think was due to the challenge, but the majority has really come down to us trying to treat each other the way God intended.  In reality, we are selfish people. But taking the time to plan how we want our marriage to be has been a wonderful way to improve the overall quality of our time together. 

So what's next? 

I don't want things to get stale. So I am continuing to plan how to improve our marriage. The first step is prayer. Lots of prayer. I am taking all of September to work through Stormie's The Power of a Praying Wife again, as this book has really helped to enrich my prayer times and allowed me to focus on praying for my husband.
We are trying to plan ahead for regular date nights (something we have struggled to do for a long time).  As money for outings is not so available, we are working our way through
this list. 

How do you plan to enrich your relationships and family life?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Keeping Home

I could have written Brittany's post myself! So I thought I would respond by replying in kind with a post of my own to kick-start my blog once again! Brittany at the High-Heeled Housewife posed this question: 

Do you work?  How do you balance your career with your home?  Where do you draw the boundaries, so it's clear that your home comes first?

I work too, and the balance is something I struggle with constantly. At times I let the little things go, so that I can cope with the big things, but there are days when even that doesn't work!

I am very lucky to have a very helpful husband who is happy to share the workload around the house at this point in our lives, but I still feel that the 'running' of the household is down to me.  

There is no easy solution here, but some things that I have found that help me are:

  • I do not bring work home. Ever.
    I have worked from home for a couple of days when I was contagious with a virus recently, but after 'work hours' I put it all away and focused on being home.  Occasionally this means I need to stay back at work to keep on top of things, but once I am home, I am home.
  • Very well organised cupboards - it sounds silly but it really helps if everything has a place to be. This makes tidying much much easier and allows Mr. Awesome to put away/find things easily too. As soon as my cupboards get out of control, so does the rest of the house.
  • Several nights at home each week to catch up on tasks and to spend time in the house. One of the great pointers I learnt from Elizabeth George's Life Management for Busy Women, is BE AT HOME. I have always been a person with lots on and places to be. But as soon as I do that 4 or 5 nights a week, its easy to feel snowed under. So we let a few things go so that we could both be at home more often. And it works!
  • I have after hours meetings I regularly need to attend for work. I made the decision to make them all on the same night of the week this year (i.e. Thursday nights) so that it becomes a more regular part of our rhythm and is easier to plan around.
  • Pray. I don't get things right. Lots of the time. But when I pray about our home, and our marriage, lots of things seem to run more smoothly. 

What are your tips for balancing home and life?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

20 Minute Laundry Makeover

You might remember that I have mentioned before that Mr. Awesome does the majority of the washing and ironing around here.  That's what works for us right now, so that's how we roll...!

Lately though the laundry has been a bit neglected in my housecleaning schedule.

Pretty much it constantly looks like this:

And we pretty much can't take it anymore! So this afternoon when out shopping I purchased a $5.99 plastic bucket so I could make a cleaning bucket like this.

And then it was on! I reorganised shelves to put the things we use everyday on the most logical shelves and put the less used items on a different shelf.  Then I cleaned everything off, went through all the old clothes I was saving for rags, and cut them into usable pieces. Then - get this - I threw the rest out!! They were the wrong kind of fabric for rags or had massive holes etc that made them difficult to use. I moved all the beach towels to another part of the house where they could be with the swimmers (and be friends yeah?!).

Tidying up made things easier to store - and to get to.  So here is the final result!

For the first time in weeks we actually caught up on the washing too!  Twenty minutes and using only one new bucket and we have a room that almost feels new!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Completing Him Challenge Week 8

We are nearing the end of the Completing Him Challenge - and I have to say I am going to miss it! But having had these discussions and things to concentrate on has been great, so I am going to continue focussing on our marriage each week and blogging about it on Mondays!

This week: R-E-S-P-E-C-T! No complaining, criticizing, rolling your eyes, nagging, or giving him any friction this week. Enjoy a week of peace in your home!

Well... We will see how it goes - a review next Monday! 

In the meantime, will you take up this week's challenge with me? Drop me a line to let me know you are Respectin'!

 Women Living Well