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Entries in Homemaking (4)


Upgrade Your Homemaking with the 7Ps

Morgan Farr is a multi-talentd woman with great influence both biblically and practically. In this Homemaking UPGRADE, she applies a military concept to home skills for greater success.

“Prior Proper Planning Prevents Painfully Poor Performance,” Morgan says. This is a saying that is often posted in military circles, often referred to as the 7Ps.”

I (Dawn) think that’s a mouthful and hard to say, but it certainly drives home an important point! 

Morgan continues . . .  

I have used my own version of the 7Ps to successfully run a military garage gym ministry, and I want to share my 7Ps of Homemaking. 

I have found that almost all of my stress in homemaking has been related to not having enough time or energy for a task. With my 7Ps for homemaking I am better able to manage my time and energy.

These are the Ps that I follow: 

  • Planning and Preparation
  • Pace and Play
  • Pen, Pew and Prayer

1. Plan and Prepare

The first thing that I would recommend to anyone looking to upgrade their homemaking would be planning and preparation. These are crucial aspects of running a home well.

From planning the meals, doctors appointments, and vacations, to planning guest visits… homemakers plan a lot.

“Let everything be done decently and in order” (1 Corinthians 14:40).

Find a way that works for you and use it to help you plan and prepare well. 

While I am aware that there are a million calendar apps out there, I am still a paper planner kind of gal. I have a large wall calendar and a small spiral bound planner that stand between me and disordered chaos.

I use a different color coded pen for each member of the family. That way I know at a glance who has something major each day. This helps me to plan out my week and see any major issues ahead of time.

My husband and I make certain that we are available on Sunday evenings for a planning meeting for the week. We discuss upcoming events, things that need to be added to the grocery list, and anything else that needs to be prepared in order to keep the family running smoothly. 

2. Pace and Play

Once you have a plan and you have prepared to follow through on it, the next thing you should do is decide on your pace and play rhythm.

"By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done" (Genesis 2:2-3).

The Creator of the entire universe rested on the seventh day.

Be realistic about how much work you can bear at this point and create opportunities to recharge. 

There are many ways to get ahead in this area and upgrade your homemaking. I have alarms set on my phone for 1:30 pm every single day. This helps me to pause whatever project that I am working on, and take a break.

This break could mean:

  • I read a book,
  • I walk on the treadmill,
  • I sit and drink a cup of coffee, etc.

It depends on the day and the projects I am working on. If you are someone who loves the outdoors, maybe that means stepping outside to enjoy God’s creation for 15 minutes on your lunch break.

The important part here is to realize that while hard work is good, it is equally important to set a healthy pace with opportunities to play the way that works best for you. 

3. Pen, Pew, and Prayer

My final—and probably most important—recommendation is to make sure you spend time with a pen, in a pew and in prayer.

“And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone" (1 Thessalonians 5:14).

I think everyone should keep a journal, no matter the season of life. This can help you avoid sin patterns, love the people around you, and understand yourself better. Even if all you can do is write in a one word entry, that can help you later to see where your heart and mind is headed over time. 

I would also strongly encourage you to get in the pew at church.

By that I mean:

  • Be a part of the fellowship and accountability.
  • Find a mentor and a mentee in your community.
  • Be a part of the body of Christ in both a physical way and in your prayers.

Sharing our burdens with other believers is one of the greatest mercies of the Christian faith. We have to be vulnerable enough to open up our hearts and share the burdens that we carry, especially as homemakers where much of the battle is unseen among mops, children, and groceries. 

God has given us the incredible ability to be keepers of our homes. It is our responsibility to ensure that we do the absolute best job of it that we can.

Taking the time to ensure that we follow the 7Ps helps us to honor God with our homemaking. 

Which of these 7Ps do you need to devote more energy to?

Morgan Farr is a Texas-loving, succulent-cultivating, book nerd. Stationed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, this Army wife is working to better love her husband, develop her three small children, and learn more about homeschool. Morgan is a homemaker dedicating her time to ministering to other Army wives through Bible studies, one-on-one mentoring, and physical training. She writes about her transition out of feminism and into biblical womanhood at The Forgiven Former Feminist

Graphic adapted, courtesy of RawPixel at Pixabay.


A Time to Plan

I’ve always been impressed by Debby Lennick’s approach to homemaking. I asked her to share some of her expertise with us in the months ahead so we can all UPGRADE our homemaking perspective and skills. Many in the younger generation might not have the slightest idea where to begin.

“When was the last time you thought of a homemaking or Home Ec class?” Lennick said. 

Now I don’t know about you, UPGRADE Friends, but it’s been a long, long time for me. (My Home Ec class resembled this cover photo at the Saturday Evening Post!)

Lennick continues. . .

Remember cooking and sewing back in the day? Maybe you’re thinking, “I still have that apron!” Or, “That’s where I learned to cook!” Or maybe you’re thinking, “Not me then, and not me now! Either way, let’s revisit Homemaking 101.

What does “homemaking or Home Ec” mean nowadays? It simply refers to the economy of the home. The definition of economy includes “thrifty management . . . management of the resources; an organized system or method.

Home economics or homemaking class may be from the past, but the principles are for today!

It’s the management of all home resources from food to finances, from tasks to time management. For this post, I want to discuss the resource of time.

A key to unlocking successful time management is planning.

Planning - a Spiritual Side 

God role-models planning.

We see this in the Old Testament. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11). In the New Testament, Jesus said to his disciples, “I go to prepare a place for you” (John14:3). 

What a relief to claim these promises! He’s planning and preparing, and everything is perfectly synced! In today’s hectic pace, this is comforting.

Planning – a Practical Side

1. Since planning is about time, evaluate by answering these questions:

  • How much time does your household have at home?  
  • Do you want more or less time at home?  Why?
  • Is time wasted by family members spending hours and hours on electronics (TV, computer, phone, the internet)?  
  • Is it routine to run in the door faced with a dirty house, barely time to scarf down prepackaged or take-out food, just to be tortured by homework then flop into bed?
  • How can meal planning be improved?

2. After evaluation, make a home schedule; aim for a balance between tasks and family time. The results will please you. In my house, it gives opportunity to foster relationships through intentional time at home, less media, cooking together and playing games.

3. Learn how to sync electronic calendars with family. This will help eliminate stressful over-planning and double-booking.

4. Review your electronic passwords and PIN numbers. Not remembering or finding them can be a frustrating time waster. With your spouse and/or older kids, intentionally research and discuss strategies to safely store and access passwords and PINs. Various solutions can include apps for smart phones, cloud/sky drives, and Google research. Banks and other professional institutions can be excellent resources.

5. Make “God-Time” a top priority. Non-distractive quiet time with God is a must in our busy lives. Be intentional to make this time.

“Be still and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10. 

Absorb His Presence, and then absorb life around you. Seek Him for wise time management and planning.  The result?  An awesome home upgrade!

What is your biggest struggle with home time management? 

Debby Lennick taught Home Economics at Christian High in El Cajon, California, for more than 20 years. She earned a Home Economics degree from San Diego Christian College (formally Christian Heritage College) which emphasized “economy of the home” topics. Debby is committed to women’s ministry at Shadow Mountain Community Church and has a deep love for helping others make the home a Christ-centered place for everyday family life.            


Do Your Clothes Complement Your Life Message?

I asked Pat Ennis, the Director of Homemaking Programs at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, to share from her expertise. Here are some thoughts on upgrading our appearance to the glory of God.

“What is your Life Message,” Ennis asks. “Or have you never really considered the need to develop a statement that guides your decision-making process?”

She continues…   

My Life Message is a guide that controls my decisions. As a Christian, my Life Message began when I was adopted into God’s eternal family (spiritual birth) and continues until I draw my final breath.

It even affects the clothes I choose to wear. Let me explain.

1. The central theme of one’s Life Message is to focus on passions that will have eternal value.

Perhaps the questions that I use to evaluate my life will assist you in selecting clothing.

  • With what issues do I want my name associated?
  • When my Lord calls me home or He comes for me, what evidence of your faith will others find when they sort through my belongings?
  • Will they be drawn to the One who loved and redeemed me, or will they only be impressed by my accomplishments, accolades, and possessions?
  • When I meet my Lord, will He say of me, “Pat, you chose the good part, which will not be taken away from you?” (Luke 10:42)

 2. Modesty is the foundational criterion for selecting clothing to complement your Life Message.

 Spiritually, modesty is an issue of the heart. 

In the New Testament, modesty goes beyond the adornment of clothing to include inner beauty and attitude. Modesty calls for avoidance of anything that is impure or short of biblical standards. If your thoughts are focused on the attributes found in Philippians 4:8-9, then likely your external appearance will be modest.

Your sense of modesty will be regulated most of all by your commitment to Christ. Beauty and fashion are not condemned by the Bible, but they must be expressed through the lens of Scripture.

3. The number of garments in your wardrobe is important. Too many garments can reflect that more attention is being focused on the outer appearance rather than complementing your character (1 Corinthians 12:23; 1 Timothy 2:9). Carefully selecting garments to align with your season of life and its accompanying responsibility allows you to practice the principle of modesty.

4. Quality workmanship is another key criterion. A carefully selected garment constructed with quality workmanship will serve the wearer through numerous seasons. By choosing garments with quality workmanship, the wardrobe will not require constant replenishing. This is especially true for the maturing woman.

5. Use your “Personal Shopper.” Upscale department stores frequently provide a personal shopper service to assist their clients in selecting clothing.

Christian women have the most reliable personal shopper available, the timeless Word of God. As its truth is applied to their clothing choices, they will find that what they are wearing will consistently support their Life Message (Proverbs 31:18, 21, 25; 1 Timothy 2:9-10; 1 Peter 3:3-4).

What is your Life Message?

Pat Ennis is a distinguished professor of Homemaking and Director of Homemaking Programs at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas. She is a speaker and author, and her most recent release is The Christian Homemaker’s Handbook with Dorothy Patterson (Crossway, March 2013).


Shopping to Create Your 'Haven'

Meet Diane DeanI met Diane when we attended the same church in San Diego. She is a woman I admire, a multi-gifted woman who honors God. Whether teaching a Bible study or showing women how to create a lovely, inviting home within her budget, Diane knows what she’s talking about.

“In our early years of ministry, we were on a tight budget and I had to be creative as a homemaker,” Diane said. “Friends always asked me for help with their homes. In my mid-thirties I decided to go back to school and study design. I see my business as a ministry. “My mission statement is ‘Making homes a haven to those who live there and a joy to those who visit.’”

Though created to help women work with store sales associates, Diane’s tips, below, are helpful for anyone wanting to UPGRADE her home. [Notes in italics are Dawn’s]

Suggestions for Successful Shopping

1. Consider your budget. This will enable your design consultant to point you in the right direction. Interest-free financing is often an option.

Pretty things shouldn’t cause worry-stress over how you’re going to pay for them; but Diane says, “Budget shouldn’t be an excuse for not having a ‘haven.’ With some planning and creativity, that can happen on any budget.”

2. Make a list of your priorities. Few clients can buy everything at once. Start with your basic requirements and build off of them.

3. Share the priority list with your design consultant. This allows the designer to help you with your master plan.

Even if you don’t have a consultant, you can make a master plan. Pray over and make wise decisions to fit that plan.

4. Measure your space, including doorways, the fireplace hearth and windows. Important: Bring the room measurements with you! If you are buying bar stools, know the height of the counter.

5. Bring fabric samples and paint colors with you. Also bring photos of your room and furniture you want to keep.

6. Cut photos from magazines of rooms that you like. Make notes about each photo and what appeals to you about it. For example - is it the furniture style, the fabrics or the colors? Or is it the flooring and the accessories?

Diane also suggests taking a camera (or cell phone with a camera) and tape measure to consultations and shopping.

“Keep everything in a tote bag in your car and you will always be prepared,” she said.

Diane Dean is a ministry wife, mother, grandmother, Bible teacher, seminar and retreat speaker, and designer for Diane Dean Interiors, LLC (

Her blog,, is a potpourri of information from her personal experience and she welcomes questions.