I met the lovely and gracious Janet Surette at a writer’s conference last May in Asheville, N.C.
She was a tall, willowy Canadian that ate gluten-free and exhaled wisdom. I followed her around like a puppy, and she let me. If anything, Janet is a woman of contentment and joy. A woman who “can laugh at the days to come” (Prov. 31:25b). I want to be like that.
Not only is she a sweet friend, but she’s written a book that I love and that (yay!) you can win at the bottom of this post. She also spells “honour” with that cute extra “u.” As, I imagine, she also does with “saviour” and “favour.” I’m jealous. Americans cannot get away with that.
Hehe. See what I did there?
Build It or Break It?
by Janet Surette
“The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down.” Proverbs 14:1
Today you have a choice.
And the day after that.
As women establishing our households, which we’ll define as the atmosphere, habits and relationships in our homes, the Bible teaches that we are faced with this choice:
Build it or destroy it.
If I want to be named in the ranks of the super-wise, I’m going to intentionally make choices with my words, looks, actions and attitudes that add lovely features to my home. Features like beauty, stability, peace, order, joy and holiness.
If I prefer to leave a legacy of foolishness, I am going to opt for words, looks, actions and attitudes that chip away at, deface and crumble my family life. I have witnessed families being destroyed by external circumstances or foolish husbands, but in more cases than not, I have seen women destroy their homes by their own doing.
We all have our “tearing” tendencies. I regularly battle mine:
- Fretting over what has to get done in a given day.
- Picking at and “improving” my young ladies, instead of nurturing and enjoying them.
- Going WAY too long between shower cleanings.
But God, always coming through on His promise to bless my faith-filled efforts, has turned this girl into one happy builder! Today I want to share with you some of the choice “bricks” I reach for that have added stability and beauty to my home over the last 19 years.
To build your house:
- Preempt the fight – just choose to diffuse it before it explodes.
- Choose a gentle tone even when you don’t feel gentle on the inside.
- Read one Proverb for each day of the month.
- Soften the endless request and commands of the day with tender names like “Sweetheart”, “Honey” or “Darling”.
- Use candles or music to create an inviting atmosphere.
- Have a plan for meals, do some dinner prep earlier in the day and have the table set.
- Read one chapter a day from an inspiring book written by a wise person.
- End each day with a clean kitchen.
- Surprise your kiddos with random acts of silliness, like sopping-wet, dishcloth fights in the kitchen or opening your daughter’s window in the car wash. (Yes. Yes I did.)
- Play with your hubby’s hair while riding with him in the car.
- Pack daily love notes in lunches.
- Write an inspiring quote or verse to memorize on a kitchen blackboard or on a card by your sink.
- Seek forgiveness quickly; grant forgiveness readily.
- Cuddle awake your darlings, bringing tea to the sleepy teen when necessary.
- Plan and work so that you are not busy in the evenings when your family is home.
- Minimize drastically the time your family observes you looking at a personal electronic device.
- Choose to invest your minutes creating something of value for the precious ones in your life instead of consuminginformation about someone else’s life.
- Choose to look at the mundane, family responsibilities through your “Glad Glasses” and not your “Grumbly” ones.More on that next week.
- Take a holy nap. (Holy Nap: a brief rest taken intentionally for the purpose of joyfully engaging family and preventing sin!)
- Use sweet speech, not volume, to increase your persuasiveness.
What about you, fellow builder? What are your bricks of choice?
To the giveaway!
My girls love The Prince and the Gift, and so do I. The illustrations are beautiful and the message is even better. If you’re raising a female in the 21st century, she needs to hear this.
To enter to win, leave a comment below. This time, I want to hear your favorite adult book. And for an extra shot at winning, become a subscriber to receive e-mail updates. I’ll announce a winner next week!