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Entries in Planning (3)


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.


I Did Not Plan for This

Kaley Rhea co-hosts a TV show with her comedian mom, but that doesn't mean Kaley lacks depth! In this encouraging "UPLIFT," she shares how the Lord taught her to hold her plans loosely.

"Tell me if I’m the only one," Kaley says. "But sometimes I get an idea in my head about how my day is going to go. I’m not even a to-do list kind of person or a details kind of person or an itinerary kind of person.

"Yet somehow I’ll have these moments where someone calls or something pops up that throws my preconceived idea of today, of right now, off by a few millimeters, and all my brain alarms go wild and my insides announce, loud-speaker style, 'Error, error. Please return to regularly scheduled life-having.'"

Yeah, you're the only one, Kaley.

No, seriously, I (Dawn) am such a planner, that almost never happens to me. But when it does, I get the same blaring alarms. Sort of a "Danger, Will Robinson!" thing. (But Kaley's probably too young to know about young Will.)

So let's let Kaley continue . . .

To be clear, this is a ridiculous phenomenon I’m talking about.

  • “I didn’t realize the trashcan was full, and now I have to take the trash out, and I wasn’t planning on taking the trash out right now. Ugh, worst.”
  • And “Oh, my friend is calling, and I love talking to her, but wait, we didn’t plan on talking right now; what is she thinking?”
  • And “Child, why have you vomited on the carpet? We are on our way out the door; I’m not prepared for this!”

That moment of internal, irrational pushback I feel when something has intruded into my schedule, into my plans, and something—even something small—is required of me.

I’m confessing here. Sometimes I live my life with a perspective set about two inches from the end of my nose.

I guard my time, my words, my efforts with a sharp eye, unknowingly fixed on only spending them where I see fit.

And I’ve met me. So believe me, I know exactly how insane that is.

Of course, while ruminating on these things, I thought of Jeremiah 29:11:

“‘I know the plans I have for you,’ says the LORD. ‘Plans for welfare and not for evil. To give you a future and a hope.’”

I feel like we pass this verse out like candy, and I’m glad we do because these words are sweet and so important.

Any moment spent remembering that my God knows infinitely more than I do and has made infinitely better plans is a good and necessary moment.

But I also couldn’t get the Gerasene demoniac out of my mind.

Of all the people in the Bible, he’s where I landed. Luke 8:26-39 talks about this man who had been possessed by an entire legion of demons and was living this absolutely wrecked life. Jesus cast them out of him. Healed him.

So the man made this plan to go with Jesus. It seems like a perfectly legitimate reaction to what had happened. A good, appropriate response. So he asked, but Jesus told him to stay. To proclaim the name of Jesus where he was. And the man did.

It’s a convicting thought for me. Jesus has done a miracle in my life, rescued me from my sin.

I think sometimes I have this attitude like, “No, no, Jesus, I’m going to serve you this way and in this place and on this timetable."

And I miss out on opportunities He lays right in front of me to serve Him and glorify His name.

In ways that are simple. In ways that walk right up to me. And instead of thanking Him for these opportunities, in my heart I’m selfishly thinking,“Could you please step aside, opportunity? I’ve already scheduled my God-glorifying for 2 p.m., and it’s only half past ten now.”

Lord Jesus, wake up my heart. Help me see the things I miss when I focus on my own plans and my own understanding.

Holy Spirit, give me kindness. Help me see people the way You see them because I love You.

Defeat the selfishness inside of me and replace it with Your love.

Help me hold my plans loosely and always ask You to shape them into whatever You will. I trust You with my time and my desires.

Are you trying to put God in a box? How might you be making your plans without His wisdom and missing out on what He might have planned? For you!

Kaley Faith Rhea is the co-author of Turtles in the Road, releasing soon, with two more novels in the works. Along with writing and teaching at writers’ conferences, she co-hosts the TV show, That’s My Mom, for Christian Television Network’s KNLJ in mid-Missouri. Check out a sample here! Kaley lives in the St. Louis area.

Graphics adapted, courtesty of


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.