Sunday, June 30, 2013

Homemade Laundry Soap Powder

We all know that you can't have a blog in America today that is in anyway related to household matters and not include a recipe for Homemade Laundry Soap.

I'm guessing you are thinking one of three things...

1. Homemade laundry soap users are crazy. It's not worth the time/money/energy. Just buy it at the store.

2. Well OF COURSE I know how to make it... I wouldn't survive without it!

3. Oh yeah... I was going to try that once. I lost the recipe and haven't taken the time to look for it again.

This post is for you!

What you need:

Cheese grater (get a cheap one from the dollar store for just this purpose)
Large air tight container
Fels-Naptha bar soap (Found in the laundry section at your local store... try Kmart or Target if your grocery store doesn't have it.)
Washing soda

Nearly every recipe I've read has the amounts a little bit different for each ingredient. I made mine like this because If you don't like the amounts I have listed, mix in amounts that work better for you.

Grate one bar of Fels-Naptha laundry soap and mix it in the air-tight container with one 55oz box of Washing soda and half of a 72oz box Borax. (Save the other half for your next batch.)

Mix well and use a small scoop... a tablespoon or two for each load.

The lemony smell from the Fels-Naptha freshens any load of laundry... you will be amazed if you've never used it before.

 This is especially true if, like most busy people, you have a tendency to leave the laundry sitting for half a day before switching it to the dryer... it doesn't make the clothes mildew-proof... but you can rest assured that starting the washer before you head out to work with the intention of switching it after you get home will not leave you running the load a second time!

Have a blessed week!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Waiting on God...

Earlier this year I went to a women's conference. Speaker Maureen Gray had a message about giving up control... and I thought, "I know who this message would be good for..."

Let me tell you... ANY TIME you think that about a sermon... you need to be listening more closely. Once I started listening, I heard the speaker talk as though she had been given that message for me.

She talked about how people in the Bible received promises from God and then, in an effort to "help" Him along... they took matters into their own hands. It never ended well...

Take Sarah and Abraham for example...

God promised Abraham that he would be a father. But he was old. He knew Sarah was old too. Sarah took matters into her own hands and gave him a servant to have a child with. Sarah eventually gave birth to Abraham's child as well. We all know how the descendants of Isaac and Ishmael have fought over which one is the rightful heir to Abraham ever since...

What about Judas?

Judas didn't hate Jesus. He didn't sell Jesus out because he wanted to get rid of Jesus... Judas KNEW that Jesus was the Messiah and he wanted everyone else to believe too! He thought Jesus would avoid the arrest to prove to everyone who He was... bring His kingdom to Earth. You can imagine why his life ended the way it did... believing that he had betrayed Jesus instead of proving who He is.

There are so many other examples in the Bible where people received the promises of God and tried to "help" that promise come to life. Have you ever done this? I know I have... and it never turned out right. 

I used to live in Galesburg, but I didn't want to stay there forever. I knew that God's place for me was the Peoria area. I knew that I was supposed to pick up my family and move here... but instead of waiting for direction, I took the first avenue I saw open. Seven months after that, my four children and I were homeless... living in an RV at a local campground. We were stuck there for nearly six months. Why? Because I didn't do what I was supposed to do the way I was supposed to do it...

I saw this yesterday...

Ouch. Okay, maybe not "stupid"... but impatient...

The speaker at the conference said something that was a "light bulb moment" for me... She said, "You have to stop putting your faith in the PROMISE and put your faith in the PROMISE MAKER."

What a statement... it is something I've been trying to live by ever since. Knowing God's direction is a priority for me now. I constantly pray that if God doesn't want me to take a path, He closes the door... and that if He opens wide the doors to the paths that HE does want me to take.

I have been praying for a new place to live for quite awhile. Our current apartment is in disrepair and unsafe on so many levels. I knew God had a better place for us than this. I kept my eyes and ears open for all possibilities... and I would read about places that were available, but I never went beyond that. Then last week I felt a nudge to go look at a house. So I did.

It is perfect for us. As I walked through it and was surprised time and time again by something else I saw, God said, "See? I know what you need..." The price is amazing. The location is wonderful. There is so much room!  

I have a feeling that the realtor is even annoyed that he took the time to show me the house since there is no way I would qualify for a loan on it at this point. He probably thinks I'm crazy. When he asked about price range and number of bedrooms I am looking for, I told him, "No, you don't understand. THIS is my house. I don't want to look at any others." I even told him that I have been praying about this house. I didn't really get a response to that other than a blank look.

On one hand I have told myself that I should be quiet about this. I should try to find ways to figure out how to buy the house without making a big deal about it... you know... just in case I'm wrong and it doesn't work out to be mine.

On the other hand, I really feel like I need to share it with people. I want others to have no doubt WHO is responsible when it works out. 

In the mean time... do I hit every bank and call every relative in the mid-west to see if they can help? I already emailed a man who deals with investments in real estate and offered to pay a ridiculous APR on the house (knowing I'll be considered credit-worthy within a year) if anyone is willing to invest... but I knew after I sent it that it was not likely the way God was planning on taking care of this for us.

God is asking me to wait. God is telling me not to worry that someone else will swoop in and buy it out from under me. God is saying, "Did I promise this to you? Do I EVER break my promises?"

This is the thing I am waiting on right now.

What is that GOD is asking you to wait for? What promises has HE made you that you can't see right now? Feel free to ask for prayers about it in the comments below.

I'm letting you know that I am standing here in faith with you. Whatever it is. Don't try to help HIM. Don't put your faith in the promise. Put your faith in the PROMISE MAKER and stand back and watch...


Saturday, June 8, 2013

Stealing the Show...

Two of my girls and I went to Winter Jam this year to see performances by Toby Mac and Matthew West, among others. Toby talked about his new song "Steal My Show" and how his son was confused about what it meant and why any artist would want his show stolen...

The song itself is specifically about Toby Mac and going on stage and how people don't come to see him... they come to feel God's presence. He tells God...

 "If you want to steal my show,
I'll sit back and watch you go.
If you've got something to say 
Go on and take it away.
Need you to steal my show 
Can't wait to watch you go-oh-oh-oh 
So come on and take it away!*" 

Toby Mac even says I need you to steal my show, Can't wait to watch you go... He knows that without God, he nothing...

As I met with some mentors from the Small Business Association last week, they asked me a lot of questions. I went in looking for advice on how make sure that I run this business in a legal and responsible manner... and they were very helpful. But one of the questions I was asked was about goals. 

"How much money do you want to make? How much is too much? Is there such a thing?"

And my first thought was, "Money? Like, a specific number? What does that have to do with anything?" When I didn't have a good answer, the mentor told me it was something to think about, so that I could set goals. 

I have been thinking about it, and it's funny. I figured out why I was baffled by that question. 

Sure, I would like enough personal income to get a used van that isn't falling apart. I would like to live in a place where I feel safe and where everyone has a bedroom (even if they have to share)... maybe even buy a house again someday. I would like to pay bills without worrying that a check is going to bounce before the next deposit makes it in the account... But however the business works out... I know that God will provide for my family and me.

So, what are my goals for this business? I want to help individuals and families. I want this business to be known as one that brings JOY with us when we come. I want every part of this to be done as if it were for Him. I want His glory to shine through everything else...

I want Him to steal my show...

*Steal My Show, By Toby Mac can be found on his album "Eye On It" and is often played on 91.5 WCIC FM... Family Friendly Radio

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Looking for a Job? Simple Mistakes Every Job Seeker Can Avoid

I'm not currently hiring, but I am always on the lookout for possible future employees... and like any good housewife I have an opinion of some sort on just about everything... :-)

I have seen so many mistakes made while people are inquiring about possibly working with Hire A Housewife. I can only assume that these mistakes are made while inquiring with other companies as well.

Pass this on to anyone you know who is looking for a job. Tiny mistakes can really cost a job seeker.

Who needs a job?

       If you are contacting me to see if I am willing to hire your husband, wife, son, daughter, cousin, uncle or grandma, consider this first... If I am going to let this person operate under my company name, go into people's homes and work with clients unsupervised, then wouldn't I want someone who is responsible enough to contact me and apply for the position on their own?

       On the flip side of this, if you are looking for a job, make sure you tell your friends and relatives not to talk to an employer about you until after you have applied (assuming you write them down as a reference.)

Have you used spell check?

       Consider every interaction you have with a possible future employer part of the interview. Misspelled or mis-formatted emails asking for information are not likely going to get the response that you desire. If a possible employee doesn't care enough to check their spelling and language usage, it is hard for an employer to imagine that they will care enough about the company to do the job well.

Have you followed directions?

       If the job posting says "No phone calls, please." or "Do not post on the company's Facebook wall." the person who posted the job made that request for a reason.

Are you clear about what you want?

       Earlier this week my phone rang. The person on the other end of the line said, "I need to know more about Hire A Housewife." After trying to figure out what she needed to know to no avail, I launched into my best sales pitch.When I was done she said she wanted to know about it "from the other side." and when I asked for more clarification, she said, "not to be a customer, I want to work for you."

       If she had been clear from the beginning of the call, or even if she had sent a well-worded email, I would have given her all of the information she needed within a few seconds. Instead she wasted my time and hers and I'm sure she was likely as frustrated at the end of the call as I was.

And last but not least... have you checked your settings?

^^^ Because, yeah... that happens. ^^^

I have learned the hard way that I can't explain to people what exactly they did to knock themselves out of the running for a job with Hire A Housewife. I am very sure that many of the people who I ruled out were just having a bad day or had something else going on. I understand! I'm hoping though, that by writing this, I can save a few of you some heartache during your job search.

P.S. One more important thing... Don't be late for the interview!

Let all that you do, be done in love... 1 Corinthians 16:14