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In your copy of A Woman After God's Own Heart, read Chapter 13, "A Heart That Makes A House A Home." What meant the most to you from this chapter or offered you the greatest challenge or inspired you deeply?
Making a house a home. Gosh, what a great lesson, but also a convicting one. And to remember that I am on assignment from God to do so! This was the greatest challenge, yet VERY inspiring.
The Business of Building -- To gain a better understanding of what it means to make a house a home, write out Proverbs 14:1.
The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.
(This verse makes it sound so dumb to not build a house because if you're not, you're probably tearing it down. And, DUH, we don't want that!)
-- Creating the atmosphere. As we start, take the temperature of your own home. Share a few words that describe typical daily life under your roof.
Mornings are running around looking for things, hurrying, work all day, come home, sit and watch tv and make dinner. Where does the cleaning come in? That happens randomly when I just can't take it anymore. Nice building of the home, huh?!
Now look up these scriptures and check the ones that you most need to apply in order to build your home into all that you and God want it to be....
  • Proverbs 12:25 :: Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.
  • Proverbs 15:1 :: A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
  • Proverbs 15:13 :: A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.
  • Proverbs 15:15 :: All the days of the oppressed are wretched, but the cheerful heart has a continual feast.
  • Proverbs 15:18 :: A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.
  • Proverbs 16:24 :: Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
  • Proverbs 31:26 :: She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. 
All of the above.  I need to put these up around our apt so I don't forget them. So I'm always reading them. I'm going to do that tonight.
 --Building a refuge. Just this morning an email sister sent me this quote, which she called "another spiritual nugget" :
When the pressures of the world intrude, there is no shelter like a peaceful home!
What specific steps can you take to make your home a shelter, a haven, a refuge, a retreat, a hospital for your loved ones, to build your home into what God wants it to be?
By starting a cleaning routine...and sticking to it! There are so many simple, quick things I can do every morning. Throw a load of laundry in before I got to work. Fold when I get home. Done. DONE! How easy is that?! Do my quiet times in the mornings. I want to be consistent at this. There are so many days when I can't seem to turn that alarm off. I need to go to bed earlier. Funny. I never thought that going to bed earlier could have SO many positives in the long run.
--Avoiding the negatives. As we took apart Proverbs 14:1, we noted that there are (at least!) two ways a woman can put her home building at risk. Jot down what comes to your mind in each category ::
1.) Active (wording destruction) -- negative attitudes, bitter, angry
2.) Passive (failing to work) -- laziness, laziness, laziness

Yes, But How? -- You and I both want what God wants -- a home that honors Him and creates for our loved ones a little bit of heaven on earth. Here are the ways to being the building process that brings about such "a home sweet home"

-- Understand that wisdom builds -- "We've talked about "wisdom" throughout this book, so I thought this would be a good place to insert a working definition of wisdom.
Wisdom is the ability to use the best means at the best time to accomplish the best ends. It is not merely a matter of information or knowledge, but of skillful and practical application of the truth to the ordinary facets of life.
(I have to admit, "good....better....best" immediately comes to my mind!) What do you think they key words of this definition are, and why?
Use the best means at the best time to accomplish the best ends. I love this. I know what the best means are and what the best times are. I just don't do them. Also, the fact that it is a skillful application. It can be learned. You can learn how to be wise. :)
Which area of this definition challenges you most? Or, put another way, do you need more knowledge, more skills, or more careful diligence to applicatoin? Share what you plan to do about any weak areas.
Using my time wisely. I have great intentions during the day, when I'm not at home, or after I go to bed. But, it's when I'm in the moment, in those few seconds where I decide whether or not I'm going to start doing what I wanted to do or maybe sit down and just watch one show..... next thing I know, it's time for bed. Making better decisions is key for me.
-- Decide to begin building. We also discussed making a commitment for doing the work involved in home-building. Look at these two scriptures and write out how they apply to creating an enchanted oasis called home.
  • Proverbs 31:13 :: She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.
  • Colossians 3:23 :: Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters
"Commit your works to the Lord and your thoughts (and plans) will be establised" (Proverbs 16:3). Why not write out a fresh commitment right now, commiting your works, thoughts, plans, and dreams about your home to the Lord and asking for His grace to enable you in your home-building endeavors?
1. Quiet time EVERY MORNING. Whether it be 30 minutes or 5. Talk. To. God.
2. Pick a chore to do before work. Pick up the living room? Throw in a load of laundry? Put dishes away? 
3. Make sure the kitchen is clean every night before bed.
4. Having a positive attitude. Seems so simple when I write it! Ha! I just need to not let so many things change my attitude.
-- Each day do on thing to build your home
Look around your home (or apartment or room or half a room), inside and out. Make a list of the things that need to be added, repaired, set up, etc...so that your area is more of a refuge. Then do just one item on your list each day -- or even on each week.
If you haven't already made such a list, do so now. Put it in a special place where you can look at it often. (Remember our definition of wisdom? It's not merely a matter of information or knowledge, but of skillful and practical application of the truth to the ordinary facets of life -- like homemaking!)

Verses to Memorize -- Proverbs 14:1 and Proverbs 31:27. Add to this list any verses that encourage you in your fole of homemaker.

A Heartfelt Prayer -- Lord, just for today, help me make my house a home by remembering these verses. By having a loving attitude that reflects YOU! Also, by being motivated/encouraged to start physically making this house a home by cleaning/repairing/organizing..etc.

Relate in 100 words or less one instance when you actively chose to work (willingly and heartily!) on your home. Then thank God for His grace to make that choice!
It's amazing what can happen in 10 minutes. I found out that if I take 10 - TEN minutes to just pick up "stuff", the place looks SO MUCH CLEANER! Our apartment is TINY, so the smallest things can clutter it up. But all that means is, to make it look nice, the smallest things just need to be picked up and put away! BAM. Awesome.
**How is your Quiet Times looking? Your homemaking will benefit greatly from taking care of your spiritual house-keeping!**
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  1. Linky is up :)
    Great chapter! We are so alike! I am glad that you are figuring this out before Lil Miss comes along because it is so much harder with kids; double the work :) But it is also worth it!
    Thanks for linking up!

  2. I think it's so important to figure out how to utilize time before we have children. Since I'm at home now, I take care of the housework and things like that. Except for this week since I've been sick. Dylan tries, but I'm ready to be well so I can CLEAN my house! :) Thanks for linking up!