In January (2010) I read “A Woman After God’s Own Heart” by Elizabeth George. This is a very good book, although near the beginning of the book there were a few things I did not agree with. Yet, the end of the book has some sound insight on prioritizing and getting a start on growing spiritually and on homemaking. I think this may be a foundational book for those, like me, that is starting out empty as far as household duties and handling the home AND a husband! And in my case, children too! Yikes.
So I thought this info could be a help or reminder for those who have read this book. Below are points from the book (a thorough summary even) and at the very bottom are other books that Mrs. George used as references. I am starting the first book on that list.
FYI: I am only summarizing the book, not hitting all of her points. These are the points I found interesting and useful. THIS IS IN NOTE FORM… so if you have a question, comment or get the book. However, I do put in my two cents every once in a while, noted by brackets [like this]. The books I like in this entry are books that I think will be interesting based on the quotes Mrs. George used. I cannot say the books listed are an extension of what A Woman After God’s Own Heart is about.
God knows the desires of my heart (Ps 37:4) so commit to Him. Martha didn’t discern the miracle of God in the flesh Luke 10:38-42. Don’t be so busy DOING that you don’t spend time with God and others. God is our Ultimate Priority – a root system anchored in Him.
“Good, Better, Best. Never let it rest, until your good is better and your better is best.” [she says this a lot. to me this says to keep improving myself, by God’s will of course, but don’t settle for half-done]
Commit to God daily. Prayer increases faith, trains us not to panic. Make no decision without prayer [and talking with your husband]. Greater purity and confidence in making decisions. Eph. 6:18
Gen 2:18 On assignment by God to help my husband – commit to it, focus on how to help him, ask him, is what you are doing going to help or hinder him. Eph. 5:22 On assignment to follow husband’s leadership. The husband is accountable to God for his leadership and we are accountable for how we follow. Titus 2:4-5 Following husband has to do with Him and His Word and glory and order. Respond positively to husband, say nothing harsh, nagging, cutting to him off.
Make your husband your #1 human relationship. You must decide this and make sure everyone knows this. Pray for him daily, plan specific dinners, go to bed at the same time, prepare the house, your attitude and appearance for when he comes home (even if he’s home before you, do it in the car). Stay off the phone when he first gets home.
On assignment to teach His Word to our children. It has eternal value and Romans 10:17 makes you wise for salvation. Recognize the mom’s role as a teacher. Pray for your kids. Stay committed to church, early bedtime on Saturday. Make your home by being giving, loving, positive (happy), make things fun for your kids. Pray for them and put your kids in a VIP position, after God and the husband. Take time with them and don’t think or talk negative about them. Prov. 14:1 means to make and set up house. Create the atmosphere. Pray each morning that the Lord will created (lead) the atmosphere. Build a refugre avoid negativity (1 Cor. 13 Love never thinks evil). Begin now (Prov. 31:12, Col 3:23)
Prov. 31:27 It’s God’s plan for you to be helper and guard over the home. Just keep moving through your task list. Eliminate idleness – TV, Phone, procrastination. 1 Tim 5:14 “guide” manage the house – steward or home manager. Understand that home management is God’s best for us [not a punishment but a purpose].
12 Tips for Time Management
1 Plan in detail (daily planner) 2 Deal with today Matt 6:34 3Value each minute 4Keep moving 5 Develop a routine (conserves energy by cutting decision-making, generates energy by habit and expectation) 6Exercise and diet 9Do the worst first 10Say no 12Begin the night before. [yes I did skip 7 and 8… i didn’t think them important]
Homemaking can be learned. Be home more often [especially at first, until you get a handle on your home and new schedule] Organize your outings.
[Don’t try to do it all. Do one area at a time and pray often]
Spiritual growth Prov. 15:14 Luke 2:52 Follow Christ and create 5 fat files. Pick 5 topics (health, Bible Study, Faith, godliness, parenting, etc.) [I picked Memorizing Scripture, Cooking, Homemaking, Knowing God, Serving and put some subtopics under those.] Use these to grow to be like Christ and to bless others. Grow through discipleship – via classes, books, counsel, interviewing, observation (and notation), and reading. As we find things on these 5 topics, we fill up files with names of books, websites, notes we make from our classes, interviews, observations, etc.
Be encouraging, make phone calls to encourage and send notes.
As God comforts us we are filled with His love and it should overflow to our husbands first, children next, then home (family) and self. We can influence lives of others by reaching out with our presence – giving, being on the look out for those we can help, praying for others.
Priorities: Loving God and following after Him, serving and loving our husbands, children, caring for the home, developing self, serving others. Remember wisdom waits, Plan A is [almost always] best. “Choosing to wait rather than acting impulsively is one way to gain or stay in control.” Prov. 19:2
Plan your day the night before; looking at the concrete events of the next day, ask God’s guidance. In the morning pray over the plan and list out your priorities, praying over each area and seeking what God would have you do and when.
For moment by moment decisions think:
#5 Your personal spiritual growth
#6 Ministry acts of service to others
#7 Shopping, Friends, Traveling
Don’t Wrestle, Just Nestle (Corrie ten Boom); The Shape of a Christian Family (Elizabeth Elliot); Marriage Takes More Than Love (Jack and Carole Mayhall); One plus one equals One (Kay K. Arvin); Corrie ten Boom: Her Life, Her Faith (Carole C. Carlson); Tapestry (Edith Schaeffer); Word Studies in the New Testament, vol IV (Marvin R. Vincent); The Happy Home Handbook (Jo Berry); Working Smart (Michael DeBoeuf); The Pursuit of Excellence (Ted W. Engstrom); How Do You Find the Time? (Pat King)