Crystal Miller

I was prompted to think about motivation this last month when talking with someone on the subject. I was talking about how to have motivation for each day and each task that needs to be done in the home. I have struggled with this off and on over the years myself. I am sure each of you has also. I could not imagine any woman who jumped out of bed daily ready to tackle the world! I know there are times when looking at the jobs to do in a day could make a person want to throw the covers back over the head and ignore the world… but perhaps there is a the baby crying and diapers to deal with, siblings fighting over nothing, and children arguing over who should clean up the big mess that they just made while attempting to make breakfast! :) So despite how I may feel on any given day for the last 20+ years, more or less with the exception having babies and sickness, I have gotten up and out of bed and dealt with my day.

I have found needed motivation in many forms. One of the most motivating things for me over the years has been talking or reading about the lives of other women, I like to know how they do things, how they manage things. I have learned much from real-life examples. Because this is such a blessing to me it is one of the main reasons I created my web site. I wanted to be a real-life example for someone else who may need motivation or to be shown how someone else deals with life. I have read many books about homemaking, organizing, scheduling, cleaning, etc… These also would help for a time or where full of things that I could learn from and try and apply in my life.

But without a bigger picture, without a bigger thought in mind, all of these methods would be temporary and fleeting. They would last for a time and then I would be searching for new motivation again and perhaps feeling discouraged and lacking purpose. So what is that bigger picture?? I believe the bigger picture is to know that being a wife and mother is God’s plan for my life. A husband, children, and a home to care for are the things that the Lord has given me in my life. This is my calling. Serving God in this realm is my ministry, a ministry where I can glorify God through my life. This view can and has resulted in a whole change of attitude and the underlying basis for my motivation. I can embrace my job, work to improve my home and create a loving environment for my family.

That is what I would desire to share with you; the great joy and motivation that can be found in recognizing and embracing the bigger picture. Our homes can become a place of ministry. The home can be a place to love and comfort our family, hug and wipe away tears, nurture, teach and help our children to grow all the while leaving a lasting legacy of the value of the home. It is a place where we can provide a haven for our husband from the dealings with the world, bosses, co-workers, etc.., creating for them a place that they want to be, a place of refreshing and renewing.

The scope of this ministry is very awesome. From our homes we can not only minister to our husband and children, but neighbors, friends and the church as well. When we understand our role and the importance that the Lord places on this position we can deal with the ups and downs that come in our lives. We can always be striving “to have a walk worthy of the calling with which you (we) were called” (Eph 4:1). This is the bigger picture that we can look at for purpose, motivation and joy! This is the kind of motivation that we must have to go the distance.

Another important aspect of motivation is make sure that we take time to seek the Lord daily for His strength and guidance to teach us as we live up to this calling. Spending time each day with the Lord will bring refreshing for weary souls and a motivation that can only come from Him. ( Psalm 121:1&2 I will lift up my eyes to the hills- from whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth).

I know that encouragement and motivation are also important on a day to day basis in order to do the all the spiritual, emotional and physical work that is involved in being a homemaker. Now before you think that I have a very Pollyanna view on all this I want you to know that I have my ups and downs, I have difficult days, I have days that I pray for strength and motivation. It is such a blessing to see how the Lord can answer in a multitude of ways. I have especially appreciated all the many wonderful women that have written books, articles, made web sites and newsletters and shared so many tips, helps, and spiritual refreshing for the homemaker. These assist me in doing all I can in this walk. Then there are the little daily things that I do to help with motivation. An example of that would be the saying from my Mother-in-Law, “The first 5 minutes of any job are the hardest”, meaning that once we get into the job at hand we forget that we did not want to do it to begin with.

I made up a list of other things that motivate me day by day. Some serious, some silly but they can motivate me when I am tired or feeling down or just not “with it”.

Top of the list:

1. Someone coming over! Boy can we really fly around here when someone is coming and even more so if we see them coming up the driveway unannounced! :)

2. Knowing that a clean house is very important to my husband. It is motivating to know that I can be a blessing to him in this way.

3. Preparing for any holiday!

4. Homemade curtains. Sounds funny I know. But I have these cute matching, homemade curtains hanging in my dining room, sunroom and kitchen which are all adjoining. If the area is a mess it takes away from how nice these humble little curtains make my home look! LOL… :)

5. Rewards. A great smelling candle is a great reward to me. If I clean the room until it sparkles I will light the candle to enjoy! Flowers. I will buy or pick some pretty flowers to put on the table when the room is clean. Outside work… I will finish the housework so I can go out and enjoy my garden, animals and the sunshine (sunshine is a HUGE motivator for me!) Or better yet, when I complete my tasks I will spend some time working on my web site or this newsletter! :)

6. A good book (or website, article etc… ) on homemaking. I am encouraged by reading ways to improve and to learn new things that will benefit my homemaking.

7. A list of completed tasks which I enjoy looking at much more than then a “to-do” list. :)

What would you put on your list? What are the things that motivate you each day? If you are feeling like you do not know or perhaps are not finding the joy in this calling that is there for you, I would like to encourage you to pray that the Lord will give you a desire and a heart to see your ministry and to embrace and love the calling of being a homemaker! (Psalm 16:11 You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.) For only when we do will we truly see the motivation necessary for the bigger picture, and be able to appreciate the day by day motivation that the Lord will bring our way.

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