Chores- The Key To Smooth Home Management

I would love to say that “I don’t thrive in chaos.” That would be such a poetic, positive way to state my problem: I literally can’t handle mess, cacophony or tripping over small objects. I turn into Grumpy Mom. This would all be well and fine if I had pretty much any other job. But, here I am, mom of six (soon to be 7) and my oldest is 9. Chaos kinda comes with the department.

But for THREE YEARS I have been investing in chores. It sounds so easy: make a chart, buy some stickers, sit back and drink some lemonade while the house cleans itself. Let me assure you, that’s not what happens. For THREE YEARS I have been training, working, living and teaching. And finally- after months of sweat and tears (and one night-long hotel room stay two years ago when my handsome hubby kicked me out after a Mommy meltdown) I think we have gotten it. Here is an article I wrote last year, when the children were mostly responsible for maintaining our home. I didn’t realize then that they still required a great deal of oversight, and that the chores took too long in the mornings and left me cleaning up later in the day. It is helpful if you are just starting out, but here are some tweaks that have made it work, and actually lessened my load. Did you hear that? I am doing less cleaning daily and weekly.


Different Times for Work: Mornings were simply not enough. We don’t have a large home, and though we try be as minimalistic as possible, eight people simply take up space. While the day would start out clean, it all had to be put back together again after bookwork and morning time, and again at dinner. This all fell onto my shoulders, and I often felt like I was cleaning and straightening up all day, but that there was nothing I could do about it. It is so important to me that everything is clean when my HH comes home, though he says he doesn’t care.  I would much rather come home to a peaceful home free of land mines, so I try to give him that. We now do specific chores in the mornings, at 5:00, and on Fridays. The daily morning and afternoon jobs keep the house tidy but Fridays we don’t do morning chores and instead, after school, we do a deep clean. This is my “anchor,” the time I can count on to get everything to rights. If for some reason we aren’t able to do this on Friday, we do it Saturday. More on deep cleaning later.


Prepare the areas: It is very hard for young children to walk in a room, scan, and see what needs to be put away, and what is meant to be left out. Piles of papers, room corners full of toys, and general clutter all looks the same as the stuff that might need to be cleaned up. When we had our home for sale, I really worked at organizing and de-junking, and finding a home for every single thing we own. It took a long time, and there are a couple areas that still seem to be magnets for the squatters (the top of my fridge is always “temporary” housing, as well as my command post in the kitchen) but I am mostly there. All the surfaces- dressers, tables, desks, etc are empty, and nothing is to be left on there. Same with the floors, and everywhere else. No hiding places, just homes. This is something that you can work on as you go- don’t be afraid to start a chore system before you’ve accomplished this, and simply update whoever is responsible as you complete it. Even photographing the area, and how it’s meant to look, can be helpful for some kids.


Clipboards: These are seriously essential for so many things, including car trips! For chores, everyone has their own clipboard with a sheet of page protected paper. On it in easy, clear, itemized bullet points are their responsibilities. For example, I don’t just write “Clean the Living Room.” That’s way too open ended, and doesn’t really give accountability to areas that may be missed. Instead, I write it like this:

  1. Clean up anything on the floor, bringing it to its proper home.
  2. Clean up anything on the couches, and put it where it goes.
  3. If anything got left on a table, return it to its home. Wipe all table surfaces if there are any spills or sticky spots.
  4. Look under the couches- everything likes to hide there to escape from you!
  5. Shake the rug outside if you see any crumbs or little pieces on the floor.
  6. Sweep the floor around the rug.

Because it’s in a page protector, they can choose to check off each job with a marker, and I wipe them when they’re returned. They did that at the beginning, but now it seems to be second nature to just do the next thing on the list. I like that it’s portable, and when they tell me “it’s done,” they can bring me the clipboard and I can see for myself. The lists also make it easier for me to check and see if everything has been completed, and to keep each child’s job straight. That’s the MAIN component of successful chores, that I learned from the Maxwells’ book: Inspect what you Expect.


Mastery over Rotation: We don’t switch around jobs. If you have a responsibility, it is yours for at least six months, but probably a year. This way, if I get lazy or busy with my governance, I know who is responsible and can make sure they put a bit more elbow grease into it. They get to “own” how things are done, and get really good at it. Our six year old daughter is very particular about the way she organizes the bathroom, and I let her do it her way. She likes certain things in certain places- and sure! She’s the one in charge. She actually came up with an ingenious way to store toilet paper, and I am thankful. No more “emergencies.”


Friday Deep Clean: they have always had weekly chores that were extra, but the jobs themselves weren’t as imperative or just not that helpful to me. I am very much my mother’s daughter and like everything to be cleaned and tidied all on the same day. Though the bathroom is wiped down daily, I like everything to be mopped, dusted and CLEANED once a week. It helps my mental health. This is the day that beds, closets, behind the doors- all the hiding places are shed with light, and order reigns again. The children do most of the house, and I do the family closet and kitchen counters because those areas are my favourite. When I’m done, I help whoever has the biggest load depending on the week we’ve had. When the house is turned to rights, and I pray someone will “pop over” (no one does: people only surprise visit after/during school time) we have a special snack. Since we homeschool, I never bought granola bars, cookies or fruit snacks, but now I buy a box just for Fridays. If you’re a super-amazing mom, you can bake something. It’s their highlight of the day, and even though it’s usually lunch time, I let them scarf em down!


Enjoy it!/Music: I let them listen to their music of choice. Obviously I have final say, but they all have their own playlists on my phone or Youtube and they love to sing (or in the One With the Role’s case, dance) while they work. I will have to catch a video of him, it’s so classic. It is veeery annoying to walk from room to room and hear a different, loud song in each place, but the payoff is great. I think this goes hand in hand with being a family who “values” work, and doesn’t just try to get it done as quick as possible. I want all our children to grow up with a good work ethic like their dad, so I want to model an attitude that says, “Hey! This is our home. It’s worthwhile to take care of it wholeheartedly.” This means I have to watch my attitude about almost all of my life. They can’t see my whining or putting off chores, or grumbling while I clean something up. Nope, it’s good to work. We often repeat: the family that works together, plays together. And mercy, can we play!


Last Notes: I don’t let them waste time. Chores lasts until about 9, and then I like to start our Morning Time. Obviously, there’s a big amount of wiggle room. If one of the kids is doing an awesome job and just needs a few more minutes, I’ll wait for them. But I don’t tolerate procrastinating. If the chores didn’t get done before school, they will have to be done immediately after books, before they can have lunch or screen time or whatever they were looking forward to. Same with 5:00 chores. If they aren’t done by dinner, they’ll have to do it right after instead of doing whatever the family is doing. This has seemed to be a good natural consequence of a bit of time-wasting we had going on. If the chores aren’t done by  lunch (school is usually done around 11-11:30), their screentime is forfeited for the day. It’s only happened once, and now they see it’s much easier to just get ‘er done. I can’t remember the last time they weren’t done before school, though. THREE YEARS. It took us THREE YEARS to find this flow.

We don’t tie allowance into this at all. They work here, because they live here. If they are saving or trying to get more cash for something in particular, I will offer extra jobs for money that they can do on their own time. We would like to start doing allowance, only to help them learn about money and budgeting, but it will not have anything to do with their chores. I don’t give stickers or stamps. But mercy, they get huge hugs for being such upstanding, invested, members of our family. I also try to really notice the “special touches” they leave to bless the space they care for.


**Chores are important. It’s important that children know how to care for a house, know the ins and outs of managing a home, and are able to clean up after themselves. It’s also the first “work” or “employment” that children can be trained in. They will be working in some form or fashion their whole life, and we need to start believing that it’s not a bad thing at all! Of course we want a good balance between work and play, but if they don’t have those bits of work, they often don’t even appreciate the play. It does our children a favour when we teach them how to work hard, to find fulfillment in the work of our hands, and that they are a crucial, needed member of our family. I also believe it’s important that they know that work needs to be done, and it shouldn’t all fall on Mom. There are no magical fairies that come to clean the house, do the laundry and make the meals. I don’t believe that there is anything wrong with helping your children, or serving them in some ways (I love doing laundry, and keep that job to myself) but if they don’t notice what’s being done, it isn’t much of a gift. I believe it’s my duty to set these children up to be contributing members of society, and its starts at home.**


What chores do your children have? Was it a struggle for your family? Do you do all the work in your home? I’d love to hear from you!



Seeking Joy in a Sad, Dark Place

Last year, I shared my “word” for the year, which was Presence. I really wanted to focus more on being in the Presence of my Savior, as well as being totally in the presence of my children and friends. I always have so much on the go, I felt very scattered. I learned a lot throughout 2014, and I know much more about my shortcomings, believe me.

This year has started out rough in our province. In December alone, there were over 30 people that died in car accidents. In our area, there were so many back to back that every time I hear sirens, I literally run through attendance in my head as to where everyone is. Children died. Parents died. Friends died.

One of the ones close by was a lady my age, from my town, driving an SUV. It puts a lot in perspective when you get numerous texts from friends finding out if it was you that lost your life. In small towns, you know everyone, or at least know someone who is grieving. Although I was not deeply and profoundly impacted by any one accident, I think we were all affected a little by each.

Life is hard. Winter is long. Things don’t go how we plan. Our dreams don’t always become reality. What we want is not always what we get.

But I serve the One. The One who knows. The One who sees how all of this makes sense. How the dropping oil prices, the lay offs, the deaths, the attacks, the miscarriages, the fights, the destruction, the sick babies, all of it is according to Plan.

And we have choices. Not in what happens, but how we react.

This year, I choose joy.

Not in a Pollyanna-look-on-the-bright-side nonsense. Some stuff has no “bright side” and it’s offensive to those in pain to try and find it.

But I will choose to be joyful in a quiet, faithful way. One foot, in front of the other. I will cry, I will lose my temper, I will get it wrong, but I will choose to joyfully accept His grace and forgiveness. I will joyfully start a new day each morning, I will show my children that pain will happen and the world will fall apart, and yes it affects us, and it hurts us, and it wounds us, but we know.

We know who’s in control.

We serve Him.

He loves us.

He’s on our side.

He’s got this.


“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:8-9

And my prayer for all my friends and family this year:
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. ” (Romans 15:13)

Not that you will have happy circumstances. It’s easy to be full of joy then. But that you will be filled with joy from its Source.

What about you? What are you focusing on this year? Do you do resolutions? I’d love to hear from you!

Conflict: God-Style


Sunday, my mind was BLOWN.

I saw a fight. There were two sides to the story, heightened emotions, children involved: the whole nine yards.

It was beautiful. It was epic. I’ve never seen anything like it.

See, I’m tired of being involved in drama. Who isn’t? We all say it, we all post it, yet we all contribute. And we can all cover it up in “good” ways.


We vent.

You know what I mean. We just HAVE to talk to someone, because we’re upset, and we might say the wrong thing if we talk to them right now, you know? Well, it’s a cop out. It’s gossip, pure and simple. I even take the really high road, and vent to my cousin in ON. I don’t name names. . .  it’s a totally innocent way to get out what I’m feeling. But wait. The Bible doesn’t say not to gossip so that the other person doesn’t hear it, it clearly states: do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building people up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen (Ephesians 4:29). There are three people we hurt when we talk and vent about others: the person we are talking about, the person we talk to, and ourselves. And obviously Jesus, because He is the Father of those three people. We must speak life (a favourite expression in our home right now, thank you Toby Mac.)

We ask others to pray for the situation.

This one is a gooder. We are so thankful for our personal Savior King. And then sometimes we just want more of a corporate group, right? Whether we are asking for prayer for ourselves or the other person, if we reveal too much about an issue it can be nothing more than thinly veiled gossip. Not cool. If you’re going to do something, just do it. We can’t let our “holy attitudes” make it seem like it’s a better way. He is your God. Pray to Him, alone.

We stew. We sit. We ponder.

I hate this one. As a matter of fact, I came across a little gem in my Beth Moore study this morning, “Constantly thinking little of ourselves is still constantly thinking of ourselves.” Whether you’re meditating on how you wrecked a situation, or on the fact that the other person is a lousy wet noodle, the answer is the same. The world does not revolve around us. Our thoughts are supposed to be on whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy. Anything short of this hurts us and our Maker. Obviously, we can’t do this. Or at least I can’t. My HH will testify to the fact that this is something I greatly struggle with. If I think someone doesn’t like me, or is angry with me, it can often consume my thoughts and energies. I’m being very personal, here. I will sit and think on, “Why did I say that? Did she think I meant it in a different way?” This can, and has, consumed my energy. I MUST STOP. This is not the victorious life that God has set out for me. I could go on and on about how we must guard our hearts, and what we are dwelling on, but if you think this is something you are struggling with, ask the Holy Spirit (or your hubby!) and He will reveal it to you.


Then when the time for battle comes:

We bring out past hurts.

‘Nuff said. We can validate our pain with their prior offenses, bring up anything and twist it till it causes the other person to hurt the same way. This does not bring God glory: making someone else hurt doesn’t make our hurt any less.

We run.

We have a chance to work things out, to bring the other person to task, to clear up a misunderstanding: but instead we bury it down, not forgiving, but just hiding it. Or we run, for real. Leave churches, leave community groups, quit the situation that brought about the injury. This doesn’t give us a chance to see God’s redemption, grace and mercy. This only shows ourselves, and often our children, that when the going gets tough, we check out. There is a place for this. Sometimes, it’s the only thing that can be done, and God calls us out. But if it is a one-on-one hurt, as opposed to a group issue, we have to pray about whether the relationship was ever worth it. It almost always is. If it wasn’t, why the heck were you wasting time with that person in the first place?

We refuse to own our mistakes.

I make them. You make them. We all do. Why are we so afraid to just say sorry? Even if the other person saw it in a completely different way, often we can own what we did in a situation. It saves time, hurt, bitterness, resentment and pain, to just SAY SORRY. Even if you have an excuse. Even if you couldn’t help it. Thank you Jesus for your mercy, new every day! Hopefully tomorrow I won’t hurt anyone by accident, or on purpose, because either way, they were hurt.

This is what happened on Sunday:

There was hurt. It was spoken of. Both women were ready for battle, God-style. They both were so busy trying to understand what the other was feeling, they weren’t as worried about themselves.


They walked through the whole situation, letting the hurt show.

There was apology.

There was forgiveness: Spoken, and lived.

There was grace.

Next time, maybe instead of praise and worship at church, they could reenact it.

Who doesn’t want this? Who doesn’t want real relationships with room for grace? Where if we mess up, we can trust the other to forgive, and forgive ourselves? Where our relationships get STRONGER, because of the obstacles we’ve overcome?

This is Jesus living, pure and simple.

And it starts with me, and you.




Well, we have a couple more weeks of school, and then we’re done our first real year of school (I don’t count Kindergarten, because we didn’t have to do it. It was still a lot of work though! That stuff didn’t come naturally to me.) Our Clever One went from slowly, painstakingly, precisely printing a line of A’s, to writing a story that has a joke in it. Always. He can read. The thought makes me cry: Reading is SOOOO important to me, and I was able to awaken that in him. The world is now open. Even if I forget to tell him something about life, love, or the Aztecs, he can open up Google on his own, and search for it. We are currently working on some Internet blocks and filters.

It was a great first year. We went from working around a newborn, potty training a 2 year old, and playing Magic School Bus with the 4 year old, to making our own way of school, where we are all involved. We’ve spent hours in our school room. I am actually quite impressed that he was able to focus as well as he could. He can currently finish a page of math questions with a baby crying next to him, and not skip a beat. We made crafts, though not as many as I’d like. We played. Played. And then played some more. We had tons of field trips including rock climbing, the Rocky Mountains, and we will be going on a train ride soon.

But I know from talking to lots of homeschool moms that this was an “easy” year. I know, because there is always talk of THAT YEAR. You know.

THAT YEAR when the hubby lost his job.

THAT YEAR when we were all sick for months on end, catching every virus and cold that went around.

THAT YEAR when hubby worked for weeks on end, and Mom was alone for days, cooped up all winter, day and night, with the kids.

THAT YEAR when the new baby spent his first few weeks in the hospital, and Mom was away for over a month.

THAT YEAR when Mom lost her daddy unexpectedly, and had to travel out of province to take care of details. Her fifth baby was just recuperating from having pneumonia, all within the same two weeks.

Unfortunately, I know real life moms who have went through all of this, this very year.

It says, “But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:8-9).

He gives us time, although we don’t know how much. For some it’s years and years, and for others it’s over before it starts. But His plan is so good. If we are alive for 70 or 80 years, we can count on some years being hard. Some years will seem longer than the others, more painful, more breaking. But we will look back on these years. Some will still hurt, some we’ll laugh at what we thought were trials at the time, and some we may not remember as they were lost in blissful monotony. But all the years are important and on purpose, for us and our children.

If you are in THAT YEAR, see it as such. It was too hard. It was too much. It wasn’t fair. See it for the trial and tribulation it is. And show your kids that we can choose to rejoice, even when you have no reason. That we can choose to have hope, when no one else would. And that we can love, even when our natural love is gone.

Romans 8:36-39: “As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

You’ve got this, Mama. Whether you’re homeschooling, working, staying at home, or your kids are gone, let this be the year that you conquered the trials, through Him and His love. No matter how the year went, let’s end strong. Life is hard, and seldom fair. I am so thankful we can have hope for the future.

Trans Fats, Conspiracies and Provision

I’m tired. I have been trying to switch our family over to whole foods, as quietly and calmly as possible. I don’t want to hear a lot of whining, complaining or arguing: that’s why I don’t talk to myself anymore. But as I do this, I am fighting the “rules” that I’ve been fed for years by the media. I’m starting to not only trust that butter is better for you than margarine, and that maple syrup and organic honey are better than white sugar; I’m beginning to put my money where my mouth is. Slowly. But it makes me tired. I can’t trust anything. Every other Facebook post is about a conspiracy engineered by big Pharma/GMO’s/Obama.

*I can’t trust doctors. They are out to make us sick, so that they can heal us.

*I can’t trust the GMO’s. And they make everything.

*I can’t trust the government. Ever. It doesn’t matter who you vote for, they are out for their own gain.

*I can’t trust the “systems.” Welfare, criminal, social, school, etc. Basically, if it has the word “system” in in, and it’s not DOS or Windows, don’t trust it.

There is officially no establishment outside my little home in rural AB that I can trust that will not hurt me or eat my children. This has been backed up by research that they are hiding from us. I definitely believe that there is credence to parts of it, but maybe some is reaching. You have to give the conspiracies that are made up a lot of credit. It requires an amazing imagination to come up with some of this stuff. They even falsify Amber alerts. For what purpose? Almost every “share” on facebook can be researched on Snopes to show that it is nothing but a crazy rumour that someone made up.

Sometimes I think of deleting all social networks. So I can live in my little happy place, where no one is trying to kill me and put razors in the baby food (obviously, I don’t use baby food. That stuff is deadly.) I try so hard to do a good job, as a mom, wife, Christian. And yet everywhere I turn, someone is telling me it’s wrong. I’m sure it’s always been that way, but never as passive aggressive, quickly and repetitive as Facebook can be. We can’t even always trust Christian establishments. I know lots of people who’ve been hurt by people in a church (and then turn around and hate the whole church) and obviously the World Vision decision, fallout and reversal, just made everyone hang their heads, for various reasons.

I can trust no one.

But I can trust One.

The One who provides.

The One who heals.

The One who loves.

The One who saves.

The One who has a plan for me, my husband, my children.

Of course, we often pay the consequences of our choices. That’s fact.

But His promises are not contingent on my actions.

I am so thankful for His promises.



Ordering My Days


Each day we are given 24 hours, or 1 440 minutes, or 86 400 seconds. I’m embarrassed to say that I have squandered a great deal of them. “Presence” is my theme this year. I wanted to spend more time in Jesus’ presence, and actively participate in the presence of those around me. When you have an extremely analytic mind (like me!), a great deal of your time is spent in the the peace and quiet of your own happy space. I love to just think. About everything. You know that meme about an internet browser with hundreds of tabs open? That’s me. I don’t think any good comes of it, I just think that I overthink. And then overthink about overthinking. Sigh.

Five years ago last week, I quit smoking for good! Yay! The anniversary came and went, because I have been battling another addiction. When I quit smoking, I played a game of Scrabble every night with my HH. It didn’t matter if we were out till 11:00 with youth or activities, we came home and played that game. It was super important. I HAD to play every night. Eventually, the toxins left my body, and the routine changed. Especially as we welcomed our precious second son into the world. I never have cravings anymore, and I haven’t had any dreams of smoking (Waking up in a panic thinking, “WHY??? OH NO! I started smoking again! I can’t believe I did that. Oh my goodness. I’m going to be hooked again. My HH is going to be so disappoi- wait. I’m in bed. Ugh. Whew. I’m safe.”) I can’t believe how much smoking, like all addictions, completely prey on your mind.

Now I’ve replaced it. I’m addicted to social media. I’ve tried a few things. An addiction group on Facebook. It didn’t seem to help. Mostly, because it was on Facebook. Seemed to defeat the purpose. I tried an app for IPhone called Limiter. It will only let you on the site for a certain amount of time per day, or a certain amount of times on the site. But you had to use Facebook through that app, rather than the original. Didn’t work. I tried distraction. You know: housework, laundry. That didn’t work. I didn’t spend a lot of time at once, but I would spend five minutes here, three minutes there. When I started keeping track, it made me mad. Imagine having that time to do something that gave me genuine joy- like scrapbooking, card making, reading, chatting with a friend, etc. And if you’ve been following this blog you know that I have struggled with my phone for over a YEAR. Literally. It’s been a year since I rolled my car and contemplated how much my phone takes over.

So, I had to quit all my fun groups. The ones that involve a lot of debating and thinking. I’m still kinda sad. I also had to get rid of the friends who are interesting. So if you saw this post, congrats! You didn’t make the cut! Just kidding. Actually, the only thing that’s going to help me is good, ol’ self control. I wish there was an easier way. I literally have to leave my phone in rooms I’m not in because I’m not strong enough to resist the urge to check my notifications. I have to schedule my day, so that I know what to do next. Same as with smoking. Sometimes I wonder if I get so overwhelmed by all the things I can’t get done today, I decide to start none of them. Makes perfect sense, right?

So that’s where I am. Right now, the laundry’s done. We ROCKED homeschool today, with lots of experiments and tie ins. It was great. The house is clean, reasonably. Don’t look under the couch or anything, but otherwise, it’s in ship shape. The book, “Large Family Logistics” by Amy Brenneman was so helpful in making a routine to get done everything I need to do each day, week, and month. You know, if I do it. I’m reading a book, for the first time in awhile. I think Facebook feels like reading, so then I don’t. I do miss seeing all the exciting things other people do, but I like that everything that needs to be done, is. 

I’ve been meditating on Psalm 90. Especially verses 10-12.

10 Our days may come to seventy years,
    or eighty, if our strength endures;
yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow,
    for they quickly pass, and we fly away.
11 If only we knew the power of your anger!
    Your wrath is as great as the fear that is your due.
12 Teach us to number our days,
    that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

I want a heart of wisdom SO bad. I must stop settling for mediocrity in my time, for that is where my life is.

I will rest when it’s time to rest.

I will play when it’s time to play.

I will work when it’s time to work.

I will speak when it’s time to speak.

I will listen when it’s time to listen.

And the time to listen is NOW.


The Conclusion

Well, it’s been over a month since I started posting about submission. Like most things in my life, it gets harder right when I think I have it all figured out. You know, like potty training. Just when I start to think, “We’ve got this! We’re okay! Perseverance for Mommy, and self-control for Pretty One is totally attainable in 3 days!” someone goes and pees on the floor. But the process is just as important as the result. Sure, she will be potty trained. And one day, I will be lovingly submissive in absolutely everything, including my facial expressions. One day. But I can’t (and she can’t) fast forward through the million baby steps on the way. These little steps are needed to keep us from becoming prideful. To help us to be compassionate with others. And to realize, that we just can’t be perfect. And to feel the forgiveness and love from our Father. The process is as much a blessing as the result. Self control, patience and goodness do not just come overnight. So I’m getting there.

But the original question: Are submissive women as strong as domineering women?

My answer: No, they are stronger.

It makes me nervous to say that. Lori, a commenter on one of the earlier posts, had absolutely nooo qualms about saying so. I am much more afraid of offending someone. But hey, people who disagree have no issue with offending me, so here we go.

I am stronger, because it isn’t just me.

I’m not strong enough to control my hormones, my feelings, my emotions. I cry at commercials, when the kids say something sweet, songs on the radio (and lately, Adventures in Odyssey). I can’t help it. It’s who I am.

Sometimes, when I’m upset, I take it out on other things, or people. I can’t compartmentalize. If I am upset at home, I take it with me to the store. When someone would make me mad at work, I’d take it home with me.

I am soft. I’m a 2013 Pollyanna. I believe the best, and am always surprised by the worst. I always think people have good intentions, even when they don’t. I know that there’s evil in the world, and in other people, but I am always shocked at it. I get hurt easily.

And that’s just my character, my sensibilities. There’s also me as a physical person.

I can’t even get the lid off a jar of pickles. 

And yet, I am so strong. 

You see, to get to me, or for me to fail, something first has to be allowed by God. Nothing touches me that is not allowed by Him first, and for my ultimate good. Then, when trials and tribulations do come, I give them to my husband. He holds me up. Any issue with the children, finances, family, health, you name it. He shelters me from what he can, and supports me through what I have to do. He makes decisions for me, knowing I have a hard time saying no to people, or that I think too much, or worry about what people might say. As a matter of fact, he reads all my writing first, to make sure that I don’t make myself too vulnerable with people who might hurt me. He also protects the public from the stuff I say that might be too harsh, or come off the wrong way. Mostly, he protects me from myself.

This is how I know I’m strong: I know I’m weak. Yes, I’m strong enough to endure over 50 hours of hard labour with no interventions. But I can’t get over a friend that stopped talking to me without a reason why.

I know that I don’t always get it right. I know that I screw up.

And that’s okay.

I am completely free to be me.

A complete mess, yet prized. Sheltered, protected, and because of that I can love without holding back. I can cry, because my emotions and feelings are so important to the warmth in our home.

I am woman, see me SOAR.

Floating on the wings of eagles, protected by the Father. Covered by my husband.

There is so much strength in ultimate freedom.

Well. I never professed to have it nailed. 

Ok, let’s rehash. First, know that ever since I posted the article on submission, I have done nothing but backpedal. It’s quite embarrassing, actually. But, my closing argument was that submissive women are just as strong as those who don’t. In fact, some might think stronger. I’ll let you decide that for yourself.

Ephesians 5:21-29 22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

Submission: Accept or yield to a superior force or to the authority or will of another person.

What does this look like in the year 2013? Women have made many strides since the Bible was written. We can vote, have high powered jobs, hold government office, and I don’t want to brag or anything, but I am now a person! I know, it’s great. But does the Bible change, even though society is virtually unrecognizable from those days?

I’m going to say, wholeheartedly and emphatically, NO.

So what does submission look like?


For real, I don’t. So why is it so hard to admit that? I mess up around our home every day. I’ll forget to set the timer. Leave a load of laundry in too long. Forget a child in timeout. Forget to pick up something at the store. Drive past the gas station, while on empty. Believe me, I could go on. These are just the things I FORGET. There’s also my mistakes: ignoring a child while I’m on the phone. Getting impatient with the Pretty One. Not following through on discipline when I just don’t want to fight. So why can I not allow my husband to do these things? At one time, and really, my natural state wants to nag him when he forgets his lunch at work. Or criticize him when he doesn’t handle the children like I would. At work, he is trusted with vehicles worth waaaaay more than the equity in our home. But I feel the need to look over his shoulder and say, “Well, you can cut his toast like that, but that’s not the way I would do it.” If we wonder why so many men feel the need to stay at work longer than they need to, look no further than the fact that men, in a lot of cases, are not welcome in their homes. They get yelled at when they help, and yelled at if they don’t. I know I am guilty of it, anyways.


I can count on my two hands the amount of times that dinner was NOT ready when my handsome hubby got home from work. Seriously. He calls me when he leaves, I have it hot and ready when he gets home. The food, I mean. This was important to me, because all husbands want that, and it makes me a good wife. Right? NOPE! I’m realizing, now, years later, that he needs a shower at the end of a long day to ease into the hustle and bustle of our home. He is exhausted, and just needs a few minutes to clean up and get in Daddy mode. Huh. Kinda makes sense. Too bad I completely resented the fact that he didn’t seem to appreciate it. I told him to care and everything! Also, most days (the percentage was much higher before Baby #4, I think we’re now hovering around 70%) I had the house picked up when he got home. As in, nothing on the floors, toys picked up. Well. I can expect all the praise and accolades I want, but he would much prefer work shirts in his drawer, as opposed to still in the laundry basket (They were at least clean, okay?). So, now I write, with toys by my feet, coffee in hand, but, wait for it. . .  clean shirts in the drawer. It’s even easier. By adjusting my priorities to his, life is actually much simpler. Are all men like this? Have no idea. I’m only married to one. But it’s worth the question, “Hunny, what EXACTLY do you care most about?”


Here’s the one we’ve all been waiting for. . . . letting him make decisions! We can say that we’re equal and all that, but when it comes to making decisions, especially with money, do we let our husbands? When faced with a decision, how many of us put in our two cents (or whatever it’s worth, the penny’s gone, and if you round down. . . ) and then get angry if they don’t listen to us? Or give them the silent treatment, or wait for them to fail so we can say, “I told you so!” That doesn’t seem like equal to me. I think that puts the pendulum totally on our side: if they don’t follow what we believe to be right, we get resentful. And I don’t know if you know the proverb about that, but a troublesome wife is compared to a leaky roof. Eek. That’s pretty annoying. And expensive. I don’t want him to be annoyed by my “having to have it my way.” I love him. I want him to want to be around me. Of course, in saying this, please realize that I am totally guilty of this. Actually, two days after my original post on submission, I blew it pretty good on this one. My HH made a purchase, without consulting me (he does not HAVE to.) I didn’t freak out or anything, but, um, my displeasure was known to all, believe you me. I gave him a good dose of girly mama attitude, but I didn’t yell or say anything straight out (NOT AN ACCURATE PICTURE OF BIBLICAL SUBMISSION). Well, wouldn’t you know. He worked hard, and ended up not having to pay for the purchase at all. Simple as that. It was given to him freely. Huh. If I would have worked through what I believe and truly feel in my heart before coming to rash judgments and, umm, emoting, I would have left it to him and God, and I would have been so blessed by it. But now, I was wrong and I had to apologize. Living and learning, I guess. I wish I would have knocked that one out of the park, and trusted him enough to mess up. See, I have found that there are TWO end results in letting my HH make decisions:

1. He is wrong. And he’s allowed to be. I am, all the time. I would much rather give him the grace and space to make mistakes in his own right, then ever stand in his way of something he believes in, or to regret something because of me.  If he messes up on his own, he is far more likely to apologize, not do it again, and learn from his mistakes. If I never let him take risks, either he won’t, and regret it, or he will, and will be too ashamed to come to me. I love him. I love him through the good and the bad. The thought of him not coming to me when he’s disappointed, and having to carry it on his own, breaks my heart.

2. He is right. And we, the family, are blessed by his decision, his knowledge and his leadership. ‘Nuff said.

Obviously, I am working on this one. Case in point. I totaled our car, and did NOT want another one. Mostly, I didn’t want to sell our holiday trailer to pay for it, because I love “camping” with the family as much as we can. He found a good deal, and he asked how I felt. I told him, truthfully, that I didn’t want a vehicle for the sake of our trailer. He overruled me. He doesn’t want me out in the country without being able to leave if there’s a problem. With the four kids, we can’t just ask someone to pick us up. So, he bought a car. It cost a little more than our other one, but it’s WAY better. The trunk’s bigger. Less mileage. Both fenders are painted. The speakers boom, almost like my old car. I love it. Yup. I was wrong. He was right. Good thing he listened to what he knew was better for us, rather than me.


I’m not talking about priorities here (although I do have a strong opinion on that too.) I mean, letting him protect us. Not long ago we had problems with someone. It was bad. Our hearts were broken. There were many phone calls, screaming, crying, arguing, fighting. I dealt with it, to protect my HH. I would answer the phone, I would debate, argue, everything, to try and make them see how we felt. After one conversation with our pastor’s wife, I realized that I was trying to do what my HH is supposed to do. I let him handle it. He calmly laid down rules with this person. Problem solved. Completely. The crying, screaming, everything was over. I stopped making the situation worse by trying to make it better. He just eliminated the situation, and all relationships were restored within months. Even on facebook, I have a lot of old friends, and a lot of old guy friends. By putting my HH’s name before mine, I know that some people, guys especially,  think twice about what they say to me. They don’t know who they are talking with. I am not put in uncomfortable situations. I know one would say, just don’t be friends with them! However, I know that a few have been blessed by our family and our relationship, because we are SO MUCH different than how we used to be. I want to be a light to the world. But to do that, I need to be protected and sheltered by my husband. This goes hand in hand with. . .


Especially, from myself. Up until a few years ago, seriously, I will commit to anything. And crying and not sleeping, I will follow through. I love to do things, to schedule things, head up and organize things. At the expense of myself, for sure. So now, I ask him. When I was due for the Pretty One, I asked him if I could organize VBS. I was due on the Monday of the program, and I went overdue with the baby before. . . and he said no. I am so darn glad. Then my mom, the other main leader, had a stroke, and the whole thing was cancelled. You know what? Life went on. My sanity remained intact, or at least at the level it was before. As it turned out, I ended up having our little girl the day before it was to start. Imagine how plain dumb that is? There is so much blessing in allowing him to decide my schedule. Obviously, a lot of it falls on me. But when the going gets tough, if I stop jerking at the chain, it is so much smoother. A couple months ago, when I was still pregnant, we were supposed to go downtown for ministry. I was so tired, and just over my head in life. He came home and said, I already cancelled it. All of a sudden, a weight went off my shoulder with a whoooosh. What a way to prove how much he loves me, and our family. If he would have “asked” me before cancelling, I would have said no. I hate not following through with what I say I would do. But, he knew ultimately what was best. He totally saves me from myself.

Please know, I am not a theologian. But I can read, and this is what it says to me. Now, to me, this is only the first part of the verse. As in, “Submit yourselves to your own husband.” There’s more to it than just a few nice and easy bullet points. It says, “as unto the Lord.” Oh boy. Also, this does not talk about what it means if you positively know that your husband is not listening to God, or have your best interest at heart. And mercy, that makes me sad. I’m praying about it.

What do you think? What areas do you struggle with? What irks you about all this? Love to hear your thoughts! Please, fight me. I don’t know everything. How many times do I have to say that?!?

Press Submit to Enter

A month ago, when I was phoneless, I watched CTV Newsnet to remind me of life outside my spaghetti speckled walls. No, not wallpaper. Genuine spaghetti sauce. I’ll get to it. Anyways, they were discussing the entertainment news, and right after the highlights on the Beib saga, they mentioned a new autobiography by Gabrielle Reece, a pro beach volleyball player. I was only half listening at first, reading the scrolling news on the bottom. But then I heard the word “submissive,” and my ears perked right up. The pretty, blonde, blowhard of a news anchor was discussing Gabrielle’s status as a role model. “Here you have a beautiful, tall, powerful woman who talks in her book about being submissive to her husband. In this age of feminism and equal rights, this is not someone you want your young girls looking up to.” She kept talking, but the blood was rushing to my face so bad I couldn’t hear anything else. Now, I don’t know much about this Gabrielle lady, but she has at least one gold star in my book. She seems to have accomplished quite a bit, but the anchors or mouthpieces or whatever they are completely discounted everything she’s done, because of that one simple fact.

I have been through a lot. My teen years were a complete mess. I struggled with suicide, depression, drugs, drinking, partying, and I was even arrested (not for a big crime, but still. It was scary.) I absolutely hated myself, and the relationships I had certainly fed into  my despair. I liked anyone who would give me attention. I was afraid to be different. Now, I have a relationship with Jesus. I know who I am in Him, and that’s all that matters. All my bonds have been broken. I have total and utter freedom, and I feel like I have something to share with the world. I feel like I am a good example of redemption. I try and be a good mommy. I mess up, but I always want to do what’s right. I’ve sacrificed for my family. But according to the media my own children, and especially our daughters, cannot even look up to me as a role model, because I both put my husband before myself, and submit to him in leadership.

Don’t get me wrong, I mess up. Just two weeks ago, I started a fight, based on a legitimate issue I had. I won, I was right, but I felt awful. I knew I didn’t do it the right way, and I felt completely stupid knowing that I was researching and praying about this post. So, please know that I am quite aware of my own shortcomings. I have been praying about this for over a month. Please hear my heart. My heart as a woman and as a wife is all about submitting to my husband. Now, before you start freaking out, forget everything you’ve heard about submission in the past. And then double check every single thing I say against God’s word. People (admittedly, probably men) have really wrecked something that can be the difference between happiness and strife, peace and conflict, marriage and divorce.


So what does the Bible say? These are some main ones:

Ephesians 5:21-29 22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church.

Most of us (even the unchurched) are very familiar with that first verse! But there is so much more to it. Just as Christ loves his church, covers his church and sacrifices for his church, so our husbands are to do for us. Just as we are to submit, obey and respect our husbands, they are to love us, cherish us and take care of us. Now, that may go against the grain. I know that gender roles are a thing of the past. But just as I don’t expect him to breastfeed our babies, he’d better not expect me to “man up” when I’m hurting or upset. It’s not part of my makeup. I feel things much more deeply than he does. I need him to protect my feelings and my heart. I need to feel wanted, loved and safe.



What if you don’t feel safe? What if your husband is abusive? What does the Bible say about that?

1 Peter 3:7 says “Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.”  There are two parts here I want to touch on. First, “heirs with you.” That denotes equality under God. Women are not second class citizens. We are equal in worth and in heritage. Second, “so that nothing will hinder your prayers.” That’s big. He’s saying here that if you aren’t considerate, and you don’t treat your wife with respect, your prayers will not be answered. As a Christian, and someone who believes that you must have a personal relationship with Jesus to be saved, this tells me that if you treat your wife badly, Jesus will not have a personal relationship with YOU. He won’t answer your prayers. He may not even listen to them, until you deal with that huge problem you have (and mercy, He will help you through it if you ask.) That’s huge. God does not condone wife beating. Anyone who has used this excuse in the past while beating their wives into submission is in a whole different ballgame. And they do not have God on their side. It is incredibly dangerous to enact injustice in the name of God. And man, does it make me mad. Anyone who has used the verse, “Wives must submit to their husband” in an evil, degrading or abusive way will be in big trouble. I think they will be in more trouble than those who beat or abuse their wives out of fun. Our God is a God of love and justice. He often speaks about the broken-hearted, the captive, and the defenseless. See what happens if you try to use His name and His Word for evil or to hurt someone else.

So, the next few posts will be about just that. Submitting to our husbands. And why submissive wives are just as strong as wives who do their own thing.



Believe me. I want to hear what you’re thinking. Comment on here, or facebook me. But either way, let’s chat.