Friday, April 25, 2008


I don't believe a woman has to be some sort of multitasking, micromanaging super woman to maintain a happy homeschool and a beautiful, orderly home and family. I am certainly NOT a multitasker. Just ask my kids. They tease me about not being able to carry on a conversation and cook at the same time. My husband however, is amazing in this area. He can Skype someone on the phone, write out business invoices, translate a medical document, text someone in Turkey via Messenger and have ten other windows open on his computer at once and manage just fine. His desk looks a mess but he knows where each item is located and can pull it up in a flash-- and he's never paid a bill late. I wish I could accomplish such feats, but God didn't wire me that way. So I have to keep things real simple and straightforward in order to be a good homemaker and teacher. Here are some decisions I've made that have helped me in this area.

I don't keep elaborate lists. I make simple lists until the habits have been established, but eventually we don't need them anymore because it becomes instinctive. Keeping an elaborate home or school system can eat away one's time. You want to get to a point where the family can function well without a list telling you what to do. If you are not currently organized, then by all means, use some lists, but as you remain faithful in following them, you will find that you don't depend so much upon them anymore because the routines have been established and they have become second nature. You want to be able to make a gourmet meal on the spur of the moment out of nothing but wilted veggies and a few odds and ends in the fridge. There's much freedom in this.

I refrain from buying and keeping many things-- even inexpensive 'sale' items because I don't want to fill up my home with that which must be maintained. The more I own, the more I become a slave to it. I love to make my home beautiful and do what I can with what I have but I keep it clutter free with lots of space. It also helps to keep the children's clothing limited to only what they need. This has saved me so much time and money. Children don't need many toys either, as long as you are feeding their imaginations. I try to do my shopping once a week. I find that if I stay away from stores and catalogs, I don't feel I need as many things. I'm much more content with what I have.

We eat sensibly. It's important to me that my family eat healthy meals. But there's a danger even in eating too healthy. I know some folks who have allowed themselves to become consumed with eating a certain way. This not only takes much time and money but it limits the family's relationships with others because they only eat a certain kind of food. That is not how God's kingdom works. We are to 'become all things to all men.'

I stay home as much as possible. Mothers today receive so much pressure from our society to run here and there in order to be a good mom-- play groups, coops, our dear children's sports events, music lessons and recitals and... the list goes on and on. It's not that these things are bad, there's just too much in our lives. Knowing what to cut out requires wisdom and resolve. Because I have chosen to stay home a lot, I have learned to manage a home well. I have time to experiment with food and become a confident cook. I can be creative and decorate with what I have on hand. I spend less money and I can enjoy a clean home, too. I have gradually learned the art of hospitality so that our home CAN be open often to visitors. I think it is very important that mothers keep in mind that the goal of staying home is to be able to reach out to others--beginning with our children, but not ending there.

There is so much freedom, peace and joy when you choose to simplify some areas of your life. If you have any suggestions to contribute please share them with us.

one step at a time...


  1. I have a husband that can do MANY tasks at once... just like your hubby! But you probably find that he is not a very detailed sort of guy.... like my Hubby!
    My Hubby is VERY messy as well! Love him dearly..... but thank goodness he needs me!

  2. What lovely thoughts. I am a pretty good multitasker, but I don’t want to be! How’s that!?

    I long for simpler. The last 4-5 years I have worked hard to stay at home more. Less outside activity during the day the better.

    I used to think I had to be a part of everything or my kids would not have a good home school experience. I have since learned this is not true.

    I enjoyed your post very much. Thanks, Lisa

  3. It didn't use to be that way, but I have come to endorse the simple way of life. I try to do most of those things you wrote about. In fact, over the past two years since I have been reading your blog, I have gained much of the inspiration that I needed to live in a more simplified way.

    It is important for me to remember that I am not eliminating "clutter" for the sake of feeling better about myself, but it is for the purpose of being able to better minister to the body of Christ and to the lost world around me.

    Thanks for using your blog in a way that imparts useful and edifying material for those of us who are very much blessed by it.

  4. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and practices on this blog. They have helped to steady my heart at times. This year we tried to be home more, and made a conscious effort to invite people into our home. I've learned that being home more has helped us to be more creative, less stressed, enjoy more qualities in each other, and practice hospitality. I have never been able to practice hospitality until I slowed down this year.

    Thanks for being a good example,

  5. Wonderful post. I completely agree. There is such peace in choosing simplicity.

  6. Anonymous25.4.08


    Very well said. We've had two months of nonstop doctor appointments and procedures to diagnose celiac in our family. This has meant a complete diet change, not because of trendiness, but because of our autoimmune disease. This has also meant more time spent preparing our foods and planning ahead. My energy is still pretty low, so simplicity is my favorite word. This post was a great encouragement.

    My dh is a multi-tasker as well, pretty messy, but does pays bills late. The piles get the better of him as he is very comfortable with clutter. But when he gets in "cleaning mode" he's a tornado! He can clean a house faster than I can. This has meant, for me, though, a constant challenge to control the clutter and bring some order to our lives.

    I'm trying to do this at the Lord's pace, not mine, as I become a drill sergeant when I'm trying to clean. I want to always reflect Christ, not just when my house is clean. I pray for more grace. A step at a time, as you say!


  7. Anonymous25.4.08

    We sound like kindred spirits. I've taken a lot of flack over the years, since I stopped doing a million lessons and teams. I de-junk the house to the extreme. But I know it is the right thing to do.

    The only things I have a lot of are books and stored food.

    Your list of essential clothing for your children sounds minimal to some, but my children had even less: underware and socks for a week, two pair of pants or shorts, three everyday shirts, one pair of sneakers or sandles, one complete outfit for church, a swimsuit, and a pair of pajamas. I washed daily (except Sunday).

    Most of them didn't care about clothes too much, but I did have one daughter who babysat for everyone at church to get money for more clothes. She worked very hard and had lots of clothes.

  8. Wow! This is one of the most refreshing posts I've read of late concerning being a homemaker. It really is important to live simply. I also am not a natural multi-tasker, and like you, my husband is. He's a police officer and when I've done ride alongs with him I'm always amazed and about to fry some of my own wires just watching him drive a car 20 mph over the speed limit with lights and sirens on, avoid causing an accident, listen to the dispatcher tell about the emergency he's heading to, respond with his radio and punch buttons in his car that make things happen....UH!
    Just the other day I prayed, "Lord, are we really supposed to multi-task or do I just need to live more simply!" The answer for me at least is everything you wrote! LIVE MORE SIMPLY! When I don't compare myself to other moms or let what everyone else is doing with their kids dictate what I'm doing with mine, life is much more peaceful and efficient around here.

    I'm just begining my journey into homeschooling with my 5 and 3 y/o sons and your site has been one of my key resources!

    Thank you a million times over!

  9. So good once again, Lindafay! You so bless me!
    I am a self proclaimed multi tasker and I drive my husband crazy because the house gets messier before it gets cleaner. It was actually a Flylady musing email that gave me the confidence to really give up the *multi-tasking* lifestyle...sounds funny now, but it really is addicting;)

    All of these things you listed are things I have started to implement, so your post is really an encouragement to me. I haven't gotten their closets together yet, but hopefully soon, clothes are a real burdensome thing to me, yet I still keep so many for 4 children...
    Thanks so much for sharing your heart and encouraging so many of us out here. We really are out here;) Blessing to you in your new home and surroundings!!!

  10. I already do many of these things, but it's nice to have it reconfirmed.

    After my girls learned to dress themselves, I quickly realized they had too many clothes. They were all over the floor!

  11. Tracy26.4.08


    Thanks for this article. It puts light to questions I had on one of your other articles. Staying at home more has made me realize areas where I fall short. Although it is tough to admit my inadequacies, I'm grateful for the Perfect Teacher that desires me to be the best equipped for whatever tasks comes my way.

    Thanks for your article of encouragement.

  12. Linda,
    I can so relate to this post, well, most of it anyway and I am inspired and encouraged by the rest of it.

    We only "go" once a week. Part of that is because we only have one car (the 20 year old truck that's used to haul things doesn't count as "reliable transportation"). Most of my "real life" friends things we're weird and some are even annyoed that we don't get out much, live 45 minutes away from just about everything or at least everything "they" consider important for us to be near! But I wouldn't trade our life for all their business! I am happier than I have EVER been before, and we make half the salary we did ten years ago and own less than half the stuff! There is so much to be said for SIMPLICITY!


  13. Anonymous27.4.08

    Thanks for your comments on eating sensibly. It is very likely that my family will be entering another culture within the next year. I tend to be a "food obsessor" and I've been considering what another culture will mean to our dietary preferences. I too came to the conclusion in recent weeks that we will most likely need to be more flexible in our diet to be "all things to all men". It's nice to hear this confirmed. :)


  14. I have to say no to things so that we can maintain some peace. It is a hard balance.
    Be in prayer for my Emma, please. She was diagnosed with benign cyst in her left femur down by her knee. We have yet to see an orthopedist but we will be soon. Thanks!

  15. I agree, but as in everything, I'm finding "balance" to be the key word. Both my toddler & I enjoy our times out with friends once or twice a week to socialize, minister to each other, etc. & sadly, I am simply not creative enough to be a mom! I wish I were blessed to just know what to do at the drop of a hat when boredom or frustration sets in, but I don't - at least not right now.

    So the mom meet-ups, for me, are crucial because I get to find out how other moms "do" things, handle things, see them with their children & I get ideas from that.

    I, too, am constantly de-cluttering; we purposely bought a smaller home (1200 sq ft) so we wouldn't be spending our free time as a family cleaning & buying STUFF to fill up a huge home.

    My only source of true angst at the moment is what in the world to do with all the photographs...I used to be an avid scrapbooker but now I neither have the time or space to continue. Most days I think it would be fine to sell or give away all of the scrapbooking "stuff" I've collected over the years, but then I think about the future when I'll have 3 hours at a time to myself - will I want for that again?

    What do you do with photographs? Just curious.

    OK - this post is WAY too long - thx for listening & thx for your encouragement & suggestions!!

  16. Wonderful post. I completely agree. Simplicity is what we're missing nowadays because everyone has to be off doing something and there is no peace. Very wise and encouraging words!


  17. Thanks for the great "simple" ideas! Just what I needed to read to give me the extra boost to do my deep cleaning and decluttering. I long for a much simpler way of doing things around our house and am always eager to hear how other moms have found peace.
    God Bless,

  18. Very good list! :) Sounds a lot like us.
    We do multi-task, but I am seeing that multi-tasking certain things is not always beneficial, because it really ends up taking longer and the job is not as good as if you concentrate on getting it done.

    We have been trying to simplify 'stuff' for months now, and it is refreshing to know that we will have less things to worry about and keep track of when we are through!

    We will be coming your way in a couple of months.... : )) Maybe we can get together!

  19. Cassandra29.4.08

    This is a wonderful post, and so close to my thinking as well. I would love to hear your thoughts on opening up our homes to others. This is a ministry I am asking the Lord to help me grow in! God bless.

  20. "Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated." ~Confucius-
    I enjoyed reading your post.
    I love staying home and definitely out of stores...where there is always something that we need or want, (out of sight-out of mind!)

  21. this is such a great post for so many reasons. Mostly I like it because it confirms for me what I've been telling people all along, yet still felt guilty. The running around and keeping things simple. I've done that for years and believe me: I've felt like an oddball.

    Thanks for writing this.

  22. That's great advice, Lindafay!

    I don't keep much in my house either. I'm always throwing stuff out. Even stuff that I might need one day.

    My mother, on the other hand, keeps everything. If you need to wrap a present or freeze ninety pounds of chocolate or label your binders she'll have the labels and the ribbons and the Tupperware for you.

    She has more stuff for just one person than I have for four. But I know if I ever need anything, I can get it from her. So out stuff goes from my home!

    Visit To Love, Honor and Vacuum today!

  23. Beautiful post. Happy early mother's day to you, my Turkish-English friend. ;) You are such a good mom. I loved the story about your angel-cowboy. I can't wait to hear about your garden - and better yet, to see photos of it! I wish we had land and a garden - and an angel-cowboy for a neighbor. What fun!

    Here's a quote for your copybook (which I love - you'll have to tell me how you did that!)...

    "One reason for doing the right thing today - is tomorrow." ~ Anonymous

    - Love, Sprittibee

  24. I couldnt have said it better myself!

  25. Great Post- I have been to this blog in ages (and I am not sure I will come back if I have to view that snake :) This was a wonderful reminder of why we are on earth!