Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The words don't matter

I do some of my best praying while I'm scrubbing a floor on my hands and knees. Prayer doesn't just make the time go faster, it gives me an even more precise sense of purpose for the task at hand. I'm not just scrubbing a floor, I'm asking God to be present, however He is needed, in that home.

I encourage all of my employees to pray for each of the families they serve. My hope is that, if and when they do so, they will be blessed by what happens in their lives as well as the lives of the families they serve.

If I have cleaned your house, I have prayed for you.

One day this week though, my prayers for one client didn't go as usual...

She greeted me with a teary smile. She had a scary newly diagnosed health problem with no answers yet. Just waiting. A little teary myself, I gave her a hug and told her I would be praying for her... and went about my routine.

As I scrubbed the kitchen floor and started praying, I knew I hadn't quite said what I was supposed to. I wasn't supposed to pray for her. She needed someone to pray WITH her. I continued to clean and pray, all the while thinking, maybe I could come up with something else. Surely I can't just come out and ask her if I can pray for her... and do it... right there in the living room. What if she says no? Maybe I'll send her a card... or just give her an extra hug on the way out.

To be honest, I wasn't worried that she would be offended. I knew she wouldn't say no. Which means I would have to pray for her, out loud, where I could be heard, and where she might hear me stumble over my words, misquote a Biblical reference, say the wrong thing, mostly just mess it up...

As I was getting ready to leave she again brought up her fear of what might happen... and I knew I had to.

The prayer wasn't long. I asked for peace and healing for her and knowledge for the doctors and thanked Him for being in control of the situation even when it seems like nobody is. Then I gave her one more hug, and I left for my next house.

I always have two worries when it comes to praying out loud. First of all is the fear that if someone hears me pray they will hear the mistakes and the stumbles and the way my mind works faster than my mouth and how I confuse myself, forgetting to say things I should and repeating things I've already said. The second fear is just that general fear of unworthiness... who am I to be praying for others?

But as I was driving away, a thought occurred to me. The prayer that had just been said in that house had very little to do with my words... it had very little to do with me at all.

God used me to remind her that she is loved and He is in control.

When it comes to prayer, the way the words came out aren't important. The words themselves are not important. The people are important, those who are willing to do as He asks and those they are ministering to. The obedience is important. The love is important. The faith is important.

And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.' No other commandment is greater than these.” ~Mark 12:30-31

I ask you again, does God give you the Holy Spirit and work miracles among you because you obey the law? Of course not! It is because you believe the message you heard about Christ. ~Galatians 3:5


~Mark Batterson

Monday, March 3, 2014

Loving Our Kids is Hard Sometimes...

Recently I spoke to my church's mom group, RC WOW, about how loving our kids means disciplining them. I would love to share it with more of you, so I thought I would type it up and post it. Feel free to leave comments.

I will be the first to tell you that I am no expert in the area of child-rearing. I've learned a lot of what I know through trial and error. As you'll read, even those results aren't conclusive. Still, I know how much it can help to know that there are other parents out there, going through the same struggles.


The love that I am talking about here is not the connection most people feel to their babies. It isn't the empathetic tears we get when they cry or the automatic smile we get when they laugh. Love is a verb. Love is something we do for them in spite of what we want to do or what would be easiest for us to do. Love is discipline.

The verse I was given to speak about was Proverbs 31:28. 


"Her children arise up and call her blessed..." 

I have to tell you, I have always believed that if we went back to some of the early manuscripts of Proverbs, we would see that someone left a word out in translation. That word is EVENTUALLY. Because, let face it, if the children arise in the morning and call me blessed, I am in the wrong house! My first clue isn't even the blessed. It says they arise. There is no mention of dragging them out of bed kicking and screaming and whining and moaning.

 I decided to do a little research.

Strong's Concordance defines the Hebrew version of Arise that is used in the this verse means "to be established" or to "take a stand." In other words, when her children grow up, when they become established, they will look back on their mom and call her blessed.

So let me start off by saying, YES our goal is for them to call us blessed... eventually. To get there we need to love them... and part of the way we do this is through our discipline.

Proverbs 13:24 (NLT) says, "Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children. Those who love their children care enough to discipline them."

What love means is different for every child. Raising them to grow into the people God wants them to be takes a lot of tough love, but "tough" is different for each child. It is rarely easy.

By the time I got to child number four, I had the trip through the grocery store without whining down. Every child had thrown fits at some point. Every child had been dealt with the same way. When they started to throw a crying fit in the store, I told them they couldn't act like that with me. I then left them standing there and walked away.  

I would get no more than 20 feet before the howling had turned into sniffles and they were walking with me again through the store. They were not only scared to be without me, but also not happy about the looks they were getting from strangers.

Not number four. Lauren and I were walking through Hy-Vee when she was three or four and she started throwing a fit. I tried to use the same strategy I had used with the others. I was about fifteen feet away when I turned around and saw her, flanked by three strangers who were asking her if she was okay and glaring at me. One of them attempted to buy her candy! Lauren was not only, not afraid of strangers, but she was instantly thriving on the attention.
I'd love to say this was an isolated incident, but it has happened again and again… even as recently as last summer. Strangers are drawn to my youngest when she cries. 

One day last summer I did something rare and took all of the kids inside a fast food restaurant. They all started arguing, so I told everyone to get back in the van before an order had even been placed. They were shocked. 

Lauren started sobbing on the way out the door and a woman coming in squatted down to Lauren's level and started trying to get her to stop. Then Lauren managed to get out that I wasn't letting them have any food. That's when I got that look that I have come to know so well. The other kids were mortified that I was making them leave the restaurant without ordering. and even more embarrassed that I told a stranger on the way out the door. Lauren was soaking in the attention.

What would have been the easiest thing to do in the Wendy's situation? I could have just gone ahead and ordered and glared at them all through dinner. Disapproval will honestly affect one of my four. The other three would have been un-phased. Lauren, obviously needs to be disciplined in a way that does not garner her any attention from strangers.

Instead we left. They continued to fight in the car about whose fault it was that we left. So, while I showed some grace and went through the drive-thru when they were finally repentant (and frankly, it was my birthday, which is the reason we went out), our evening out was over.

Ecclesiastes 8:11 says, "When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, people’s hearts are filled with schemes to do wrong."

While many people will debate actual punishments and methods for discipline, the Bible shows how God used three main steps when loving His children through discipline.


Loving Our Kids Means.
1. Telling them the rules
2. Telling them the consequences
3. Sticking to those consequences

It's hard. But God gave us this example right in the beginning of the Bible.
He told Adam and Eve that if they ate the fruit from the tree they would die. They did. He didn't say, "I know I told you. Why didn't you listen? Lets have a time-out and then you can come back and try again." He kicked them out of the garden. He immediately made them accept the consequences for what they had done.

My older two children have their own cell phones.  They both got them when they turned 11. They are smartphones, but when they received them we also gave them a long set of rules and consequences that went along with the responsibility of keeping a phone. These include making it clear that they could have to hand over their phone for inspection at any time and that texting history/browsing history would be verified with the phone bill/known usage to make sure things weren't being periodically deleted before we saw them.

Just before my oldest turned 15, her father checked her phone and found some questionable emails from a boy as well as some texts to someone she wasn't supposed to be talking to. He called me and we made a decision. Alexandra immediately lost her phone and internet access indefinitely.
Did I want her to have a phone? Very much so. As a single mom, it was hard on me for her not to have one. We did not have a home phone, and as my babysitter that summer, it was difficult to communicate at times. She also wanted to be involved in school activities, but it means planning way in advance if she needed a ride home or if she would be gone while she was supposed to babysitting for me. Their father uses the phones to stay in touch with the children as well. It was hard to get a hold of them at times. Still, my ex-husband and I stuck to our decision and made her earn it back by showing that she could be respectful and follow the rules. It took 7 months for her to get her phone back. It took several more months for her to earn back her iPhone apps. She didn't have access to an internet browser for almost a year.

Taking the phone away and sticking to it was hard. But we proved that we love her over our own inconveniences.

Your challenge this next week is to 1.) Find the place where setting a boundary for your child is hard for you. Something that it is easier to ignore than to deal with. Something that you have let slide 1000 times, but something that you know will make them a better person if they learn the boundary.

You can’t all of the sudden come down on them with a sledgehammer. But saying “I’m not going to tolerate --- anymore. The next time you do it, this will be the consequence, no matter what.” in ONE new area is fair.

The second part of that challenge is 2.) Pray that God shows you the areas where you need to love your children more in this way, so that they can grow up to be the people He wants them to be. This is not easy. 

Remember that you asked God to show you, but you can't tell Him HOW to show you. So, when your mother-in-law says, "It drives me crazy seeing him get away with that." or your best friend says, "She shouldn't be talking to you like that." don't get angry or frustrated with them. Take it as an answer to your prayer for direction and do something about it!

We do want our children to eventually arise up and call us “blessed” … but sometimes, for today, we have to be okay with growling, grumbling, glaring, and an occasional declaration of "I hate you." If we do what is right, it will all work out in the end.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Bring joy to your home in just 15 minutes a day

What horrible, nasty, exhausting, awful things might you be willing to endure if you thought that the end result would bring something good into your life? REALLY... Think about this!


I don't know about you, but I didn't think childbirth was that fun. At least none of mine were! But, you know, I kinda liked that ending part where they handed me a baby!

What about exercise? Well, if I could quit the second I felt too tired and still get the benefits... but I can't... so that goes in the "not fun" category as well. Now, 70lbs lighter than when I started, I'm pretty happy with the benefits.

Today my pastor posted a picture of himself in our church dumpster after he had to go in to look for something thrown away by accident! Unplanned dumpster diving? Yuck! But what was lost has been recovered. :-)

(Thanks for some inspiration Pastor Chuck!)

But what if I told you that if you were willing to endure something that is likely not as bad as any of those things for a small amount of time... it could drastically improve your home? I'm serious.




You have one of those in your home, right? Just about everyone does. If not, you likely have something similar. Microwave timer, cell phone timer, neighborhood dog that barks every five minutes? Surely everyone has something...

What if I told you that this timer could solve a large portion of your clutter problems?

It can.

And it doesn't have to be difficult either. Are you ready for this amazing, mind-blowing plan?

Pick a spot in your home that has been overwhelmed with clutter. Maybe it is a bookshelf. Maybe it is a closet. Maybe you have an entire guest room full of stuff that you have been intending to deal with "later."

Set your timer for 15 minutes.

Get to work.

What!?! There is no magic involved? There is no secret trick?

No. You actually have to go through it and decide to trash, recycle, donate, or keep everything you touch. But don't get discouraged, because while thinking about that mess, you might have forgotten something.

You only set the timer for 15 minutes.

So what are you supposed to do when it goes off? Whatever you want. Drop what you are cleaning/organizing/sorting and walk away. Don't touch it again today.

I know that your initial reaction is going to be, "But Kindall, how is that going to help?" I know you are already rolling your eyes about this plan. I know that the amount of work that needs to be done in the space you were thinking about is enormous compared to the amount of time I told you to spend there. Think about it like this... at the end of a week, at 15 minutes a day, how much time have you spent on your problem?

Almost two full hours.

Before you put this plan into place, how much time had you spent on that problem in the last month?

Imagine, tackling project after project in just 15 minutes a day until your house is clutter-free?

Now, is it likely that you can keep your entire home clean with just 15 minutes of work a day? Probably not. But so often, it isn't the daily housework that gets us bogged down. It is the clutter that has built up over time, or the boxes that were all moved in at once and never opened again that make us sign when we catch a glimpse of them.

So, if I am running a business that specializes in organizing and cleaning, among other things, why would I tell you this instead of just telling you to hire us and let us handle it for you?

I shared this because what I care about most is bringing JOY into your home. Of course we will come in and clean and organize and do anything you'd like done! But I want you to know that, even if hiring help is out of budget for you right now, there is hope! 

Given the right tools, you can do this!
Today, the right tool is this...


 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.
 Each day has enough trouble of its own.  Matthew 6:34

 For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Working with Hire A Housewife



Hire A Housewife is growing and we need more help!

Please check out our website, Facebook page, and blog to learn more about us and decide if you might want to be a part of our team!




It would especially be a good idea to read this blog post:  Avoidable Mistakes Job Seekers Make

You Must:

Have your own vehicle
Have a friendly, positive attitude
Have a professional appearance
Enjoy making other people happy
Be prompt and dependable
Have a clean criminal record
Pay attention to details
Clean well!

Benefits:

Enjoy the freedom of being an Independent Contractor
Set your own schedule
Set your own service area
Paid training
$10 per hour
Tips possible, although not guaranteed.

Check us out at www.hireahousewifepeoria.com

Interested? Please email us with a resume and a cover letter. Please tell us why you think you would make a great team member for Hire A Housewife!

Our email address is info@hireahousewifepeoria.com

I look forward to hearing from you!

Friday, September 13, 2013

None of this belongs to me...

Have you checked our prices recently? Compared them with others? Wondered what we are doing differently that we can afford to charge $16 an hour to clean houses? I have an answer for you!

Yes, I do know that many local companies charge as much as double our current $16 an hour rate.... and still pay their employees the same or worse than Hire A Housewife. So if I could make more money doing the same job, why wouldn't I try?

Honestly, this isn't about the money.

Yes, I definitely want to be able to support myself and my children, and I love that I can employ women who need the work and help them support their families... but what I really love is dealing on a day-to-day basis with people that Jesus loves. (Yes, you.)

He did not give me this company so that I could get as rich as possible as quickly as possible.

He did not give me this company so it could be just another cleaning company.

He gave me this company so that we could serve you... 

I know that there are families that we serve who could not afford more than the $16 an hour that we charge right now... And even at that, some who can't afford a visit more than once a month. We are perfectly okay with that... we understand where you are and we want to serve you.

I also know that their families that we serve who could afford more than $16 an hour... and I think that's great. I always want to encourage those people that if they feel like an excellent job is being done at their home to go ahead and tip the housewife who has come out... that money goes directly to her family not to the company... which is another reason I keep prices low... so that you can feel free to tip if you want to and KNOW exactly where that money is going.

Hire A Housewife is about serving people in a friendly and loving way that honors Jesus and brings joy into your home... and I know that cringing when you write a check does not bring anyone joy... even if you're appreciative of the work done.

I may be new to the art of being a business owner, I can say with confidence that God would not have given me a business if I couldn't run it and honor Him at the same time.

Every payment is on the books. Taxes are being paid. I'm even tithing off of our profits. Do I tell you that so that you can give me a pat on the back? Absolutely not... I am telling you all of that because it is important to me that you know that my goal is to honor God with all that He has given me.


"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.                                                                          Colossians 3:23

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Praying About Housework?

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God... 
1 Thessalonians 5:16


I was having a conversation with a friend who was encouraging me about prayer. He reminded me that there is nothing too small to talk to God about. Should I make this appointment for this day? Should I wear this outfit? Should I reply to this email?

I thought about that for awhile because I really do have conversations with God all day. (I'm even learning to listen every once in awhile! Ha!) But there are some things that I hadn't really thought to pray about... the friend's examples were all "Should I" questions... but I started thinking about "Please help me" prayers. How often had I asked for help on big things. If God can do that, He can probably help with other stuff too, right?

As a single mom of four busy kiddos who runs a business, as well as a million other things... you can imagine that I can get pretty exhausted.

So this week I asked God to help me get my house in order. Help me cook a good dinner for the kids. Help me get up when the alarm goes off at 5:01am instead of "snoozing" every 5 minutes until 6:15... and as other little things have come up, I have asked God for help with those as well.

Monday evening, as I was preparing for the kids to come from their Labor Day activities, I looked at the unused "Chore Chart" on the wall and went over and erased the old chores and wrote in new. Only this time, instead of writing particular chores, I divided the apartment into sections and gave them each one. I showed them how, if their section happened to already be clean on a particular day, they could organize a shelf or straighten a cabinet.

The kids came home AND WERE EXCITED about having their own sections. They liked not having to ask every day what their chore was. Really? That was way easier than I thought it would be... then I remembered... I prayed about this.

Tonight, for the second night in a row, I had dinner ready at dinner time... without exhaustion, without wondering how much they will whine if I declare it "cereal night", and without running through a drive-thru. Is it particularly because I prayed for help with dinner? That would be a hard question to answer. But I do know that as I have started this week praying about everything... so many things have fallen into place. Including dinner.

Now, did that keep my two youngest from missing the bus this morning after I was already gone to work? Nope. This is still life and life isn't perfect or fair or easy... but when I pray about something as simple as housework and realize that the new plan I came up with is an answer to my prayers, it makes it pretty impossible to argue with praying through everything.




There is ALWAYS someone will to pray for you if you are in need of anything. You can email me here at hireahousewifepeoria@gmail.com if you would like me and/or the other housewives to keep and your situation in our prayers. You can also visit a place that I love to go when I want to pray for others or when I have a prayer request myself... WCIC PRAYER CENTER

Monday, September 2, 2013

I had a wonderful lunch today...

Today I met Doris Symonds, a successful businesswoman from Peoria, for lunch. We ate and discussed our pasts and our futures. We came up with some plans for collaboration on a project. She gave me some great advice for expanding Hire A Housewife as well as moving into the next level that God has planned for me personally... public speaking, finishing my book, and so much more...


We had not been sitting long when she said to me something I have heard over and over in the last several weeks from many different places... "You have it in you already."

I have been reading these books... 




ever since I heard from and met the author...



at the Women of Faith conference last month.

Her book is where this picture came from...




So, I can say that I have been a bit hard-headed in the past. I'm sure there have been times when God has done a major face-palm when He's sent me a message that I've wavered about. I've felt the uneasiness in the pit of my stomach when I've made a decision without praying through it first and God has said, "Oh, so you want to do this the hard way... no problem."  But, in this particular case, I am pretty sure that God really is trying to tell me something. Maybe I already have everything in me that I need to do what He has planned...? 

Any thoughts? I'm probably correct on this one, right? Do I need MORE confirmation? lol

Some of you might need to remind me of this though, 
next time I start to worry that I am in over my head!


On a side note, the food at Sazani's Steak and Pasta House on Galena Rd in Peoria is FABULOUS.
I had the Sazani Salad with Salmon and the Minestrone ($6.95 lunch special) and while we were not in a hurry today, I did notice in their menu that they guarantee that your lunch will be on your table in 15 minutes or they will pay for your entree.

In case you don't want to take my word for it, you can also find a review here. I will definitely be going back!