Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Motivation at Home (with video 1)

Irish Cottage by Bonnie Cook

(Note: all paintings are from

When you are a home maker, there will be no time clock, no assigned work area, no designated job, no dress code, no imposed schedule, no promised reward and no supervisor or manager evaluating your work performance. It isn't like college, either, where you are motivated by test scores, achievement awards, competitions, and diplomas.

Welcome to the challenging world of  self-employment,  where your personal motivation is powered by the desire to have a successful home life, good food and a comfortable, orderly house. Your rewards are the results you see from a finished task.  You will enjoy looking at the room you have  cleaned, the meal you prepared, the pile pf papers you sorted, and the talents you are developing. You will see  results in teaching children manners and making them good helpers, while they acquire strong spiritual values. These are some of the immediate rewards of your efforts.
Cottage for the Birds, by Vicki Wade

Like the self-employed entrepreneur, your job at home is where you will have many different roles.  You will be your own supervisor, your own maid and butler, housekeeper, quality control agent, advisor and counselor, shopper and your own personal motivator.

Your  motivation comes from anticipating the end-results. Your rewards are the joy and satisfaction of personal achievement and success in any particular effort.

Housekeeping is not the main job in the life of the homemaker, but it can be a reflection of how you feel about your work, as to whether it is a personal ministry to God or just a job that must be done.
Victorian, by Erin Dertner

 While you hope to please your family, you cannot give up if they forget to notice your home improvement or your self-improvement. You have to serve a higher King, Christ, because His standards are more excellent. Whenever people try to impress others and please mankind too much, they live far below what we they are capable of doing and being.

 I want to also address young ladies at home.  You may be longing to have your own home and family that you can manage yourself. You cannot afford to pay rent at home, so let your housekeeping be the way you pay your rent.  Keep your eyes open for opportunities to help at home. Take care of your own room, your own laundry, and pick up after yourself in shared family areas of the house. Learn to prepare food and learn to clean a kitchen after a meal. Look around for things that need to be put away or put into order.  Be an asset to your home, not a liability. Be an encouragement and a help to your family, and less of a burden. Your parents would appreciate this more than your paying room and board. Pay your rent in thoughtfulness, work and encouragement.

Nicki Boehme

1. List the Three Most Urgent Things to Do The Next Day.

Personal motivation, Ladies, may possibly begin in the evening before you go to sleep. At this time, you may write on a nice piece of paper or a little notebook, three main things you need to do the next day.  This does not mean you will do only three things, but that you hope to do at least these three most important things (Lord willing, and the creek don't rise).  With this simple list, you will find that   instead  of running from on half-finished job to another, you will focus on completing at least three things.  If you do not complete two of them, include them on the next day's list.

Your three items on the list can be as simple as: dishes, laundry, meals; or clutter, floors, beds; or just baking, ironing, letters. If you only get one done, put the other items on the list again for the next day.

Motivate yourself to complete at least one job, with a personal reward.  You may have a publication you have been wanting to read, a friend to call,  or a particular talent or hobby you never have time for. These rewards are bright spots in the day you can give yourself.

2. Take Care of Your Appearance in Preparation for the Day.

In the morning, the first thing you need to do is prepare yourself for the job ahead by personal grooming. Dressing your best and paying attention to your hair and skin care has a positive effect on your mind and your personal motivation. You need not wear a prom dress, but opting for something pretty in place of jeans and t-shirts can have a motivating effect.

One reason so many ladies liked Laura Ashley clothing  was because of her statement that her cotton dresses were not intended to be posh or to be worn to the theatre, but were designed to be worn at home. These lovely  dresses and skirts with their inspiring prints and colors were so nice to wear. They were comfortable and suitable for home living without being dowdy or stiffly formal.  This is one reason I sew a few dresses every year.  Wearing them gives me a fresh approach to my day. If you do not care to sew, there are still ways to get nice clothing for the home if you put your mind to it.

Many professionals who work at home have found that in order to feel motivated  to work and succeed at it,  they must dress as though they were going to work somewhere.  The homemaker can consider her role a profession of great honor and importance and she is not just going to work. She is in a position of responsibility to help her family have success in their lives. This is worth dressing up for.

Your personal grooming is an important motivator because it makes a difference in how you feel. When you dress your best and you look good, it will lift your whole countenance. If you begin the day with good grooming--a refreshing shower, hair arranged, skin-care and a little scent, you will feel that nomatter what happens, you are in a little more control, or at least you look like you are!

3. Work as Though You Expect Company.

After each assignment is complete, stand back and say "it is good."  You will enjoy going back to a finished room or looking at a book shelf you have just organized. There is a great feeling of satisfaction in completed tasks when you do them with company in mind. You want company to have an uncluttered house to sit in. You want to make your home nice for them. I used to plan company two weeks ahead so that I could be more motivated to put my house in order.

4. Go Beyond Mediocre.

While you could probably "get by" with a swipe at the kitchen or a quick removal of dirty dishes from the table, go beyond what is merely required, and remove debris, clean and perfect each area so that it looks finished, polished, and completed. Your personal job-satisfaction depends on how well you do the job. Do not be content just to declare it "passable", but make it excellent.

5. Give Yourself Rewards.

There are always things you wish you had more time for: a favorite publication, a cup of tea in a nice cup, a conversation with a friend, personal talents, learning some new skill, going for a walk, sewing or any number of things. Use these as rewards for finishing a job. Say to yourself, "When I get this job finished I am going to write some letters, (paint, sew, read, etc.)

Finally, think of your home as a Palace, where you reside over it in a queenly manner, seeing that everything is running smoothly. Think of your family as the most important people to you, Prepare your appearance as though your home was the most refined, most elegant place in the world to work, and work as though you are expecting important guests. Knowing that Christ is the unseen guest is the greatest motivation, since serving such a great King requires giving our best efforts.

Go here to print this for your homemaking notebook.

I hope you have a wonderful day, ladies and that you will leave me a comment about what motivates you at home. As I am just learning about making videos (I am always ten years behind everything!), I have only now completed one. I see lots of room for improvement, (I changed my mind several times but finally decided to let you see it with all the flaws) and I hope to do better next time. I only wish I had done this when I was a 20 years younger and a lot more photogenic ;-) I hope to get better at it, but in the meantime, I hope you will check it out, below:


Alex said...

So nice to hear your voice! In hurry today -
But may I say it's a great first video...

BCronmiller said...

Hi Lydia! I've been reading your blog for years, it's nice to hear the voice behind all inspirational post. I look forward to more of your videos.

Femina said...

So good to hear your voice.

Christina Gomez said...

Great post! Christina

Tricia said...

I loved your video!!! I get motivated by reading your blog! It is always inspiring and uplifting!

Rhonda Dorethy said...


I really enjoyed this post and is what I stumbled onto doing here recently. It also relieves a lot of stress when aiming to get things done and wondering how to get there. Your video is really great and was so nice to hear your voice. So personal and charming. Great job.

Laura Jeanne said...

Thank you for this excellent post, Lydia. The holidays, combined with the flu going through my home, and depression I've been experiencing, have really made me get off track with my housekeeping. I've even gotten out of the habit of getting showered and dressed as soon as I get up - I'm currently in my pajamas and it's after 10 am! I really appreciate the reminder of these basic principles to make homemaking successful.

Your video was lovely too, thank you for sharing that. You have such a warm and friendly voice - I enjoyed listening to you. :)

Ellen Seagren said...

Thanks for the encouragement. I find I am having trouble getting motivated after the holidays so your post was very timely. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

You are as lovely on video as you are in your writing. I enjoyed your video so much and hope you will do many more. Don't apologize for are a wonderful encouragement and breath of fresh air for so many women. I still read your blog first thing every day and am always encouraged and leave feeling like I have chatted with a dear friend.
So many love you Lydia and are thankful for your consistent and godly example.
Shirley in Virginia

Anonymous said...

P.S. I do have one suggestion....maybe put the camera eye level so we feel like we are sitting across from you having tea:)

Enid said...

Your post and your video were inspirational and well done!
I look forward to seeing you in your future videos.
Have a Blessed and delightful Day!

It is good to have a motivational guide too!

ladypinktulip said...

I love this post today as I start a new year. I think I needed
that extra encouragement to get more organized and remember I am
taking care of my little haven here on earth! I love the video
it is wonderful! I feel SO blessed that we get to see and talk to
one another every week at Ladies Bible Class. You are such a blessing
dear sister! I am making my list of 3 things right now for today. Love Kelly T.

Gayle said...

What an encouragement to see your video. You were pleasant to listen to, and lovely to look at. I certainly hope you do more. Loved the post that was part of the video. Your blog is one I always go to for a touch of peace in a busy day. Thank you again for posting topics that are interesting and inspirational.

ladypinktulip said...

I wanted to also add to my comment that I get motivated by other
like minded keepers at home...reading your blog and the blogs of
other godly women who post pictures of their homes. No matter the
type of home we live in we can make it charming and clean. I see in
myself this self defeating behavior of making such a long list each
day that there is no way I could do it all and I give up especially
since I am a keeper at home with disabilities. The list must be small
and achievable with a reward as you suggested. Then I will see that
Yes, I did accomplish a few things I desired this day. With my disabilities
I realize I need to say..."I am going to dust that hutch today instead of
saying "I am going to dust the entire living room today" Thank you
again for this much needed encouragement!

Lydia said...

Yes, most my emails mention getting more on eye level with camera.

Blessed Homemaking said...

I'm so happy to see your beautiful face & hear your sweet, encouraging voice. Thank you for the motivational video and words of wisdom. I hope we can join you on Skype sometime soon. Can you tell me the times and days of the Skype Bible study?

Stephanie said...

My dear Lydida, this post was simply delightful and your video was the icing on the cake :) It was a JOY to listen and learn - thank you for sharing.

I greatly appreciated this post and the words of wisdom you offered to each one of us.

May you have a beautiful and blessed New Year, dear one. Love and hugs!

Mrs. Christopher Daniels said...

Hi Ms.Lydia! I first saw your video in my news feed on. Youtube last night and I was so proud of you and excited to see your video. Its just like talking to you in person except now our conversations can be recorded! Great advice and you are getting a good amount of views. I say you could go over your popular posts and make video on those topics as it would be nice to hear your voice to those as we work at home! Lots of love and admiration, Titta Maritta PS. I had the baby 1-6-16 a gorgeous 8 pound baby girl named Gabrielle!

Debbie Gnagey said...

I was delighted to see that you had posted a video-it was wonderful to see you. I felt like a trusted friend had invited me into her home. I often watch your videos several times so that I can digest all the wisdom I find here and my next visit to your blog will be with my cup of tea. I was an adopted only child and had all sons who have responsible jobs a long distance from me. Both my adopted Mother and Mother-in-law have passed leaving me quite surrounded my men. Your website motivates me and gives me the support and friendship I have longed for. Please post more videos. Don't worry about how photogenic you are. Your beautiful soul needs no embellishment and stands on its own. Thank you for all you have shared and taught us about!

Summermore said...

Dear Lydia, I enjoyed your video very much and wanted to say what a calm and pleasant voice you have, and in my opinion you are very photogenic. I've always looked forward to visiting your blog and find it very encouraging. Thank you for all of your efforts and for sharing your life with us.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lydia,

You are a natural in front of the camera. I loved your video.

To answer your question on what motivates me at home, I would have to say it is my husband! As an example, I would be completely satisfied with very simple basic meals, but his desire for more elaborate meals make me more adventurous in the kitchen, and have made me a better cook.

And homemaking blogs, like yours, motivate me a lot. I used to look at cleaning and housework as drudgery and a chore (and I sometimes still do :-) ) but a change in perception and understanding of what being a homemaker is, makes all the difference in how I feel about my role at home, and motivates me.


Martin + Rosey said...

I loved this post, and the video at the end was such a welcome surprise and treat! Thank you so much for your dedication to encouraging homemakers!

Aline Law said...

Dear Lydia,
Your video was a nice surprise!
I loved hearing your voice and I appreciate your encouraging words.
I find that 'to do lists' are very motivating for me but they need to be simple and focused on the most important things.
Sometimes I forget to reward myself..thanks for the reminder.
Looking forward to more videos from you....:-)
Aline Law

Mrs. U said...

You are real!!!!!!! Oh how exciting to hear AND see you!!! I've been reading your articles for years- waaaay back when you were with LAF and then I just followed you. :)

Thank you for sharing wonderful information with us! God bless you!!


Emmarinda said...

I share the other ladies sentiments when I say how much I enjoyed seeing you and hearing your sweet voice. Keep these coming, please!

Linda said...

I agree with everyone else, it was such a treat to see and hear you. You do look and sound as lovely as you write.
Reading home-keeping blogs( like yours) is what keeps me going, when I feel like no one understands why home-making is so important to me. It's always helpful to know I am not alone.
Thank-you for all you do.

becky said...

Loved seeing you and hearing your voice. You did a great job! I especially love these homemaking articles. Keeps me going and I have a daughter-in-law whi is now at home with our grandson and she is learning all about homemaking, since she wasn't taught. She loved this also.
Thank you

living from glory to glory said...

Dearest Lydia, I so enjoyed watching this clip on your post today! You really did such a good job and you have presented this topic with great clarity and poise! You make homemaking sound like we have been given a gift to be able to manage and care for our home's and loved ones!
PS I also love it when you add the print option! As I print out your articles often!
Always, Roxy

susie @ persimmon moon cottage said...

What a nice surprise to find your video! You did an excellent job encouraging us to find motivation as we work in our homes. You have a lovely voice and way of speaking. I hope to see more videos with tips on homemaking and family life from you.

I believe that you are off to a great start in videos!

Susie D.

Miss Betsy said...

Your video was a wonderful surprise, and a great way to start my day. I felt like I was sitting down with a sweet, long-time friend. Thank you so much for your encouragement and advice - I really need them. I'm looking forward to your future videos.

Renee said...

I was so excited to finally meet you so to speak. I loved hearing you speak. It was very motivating and encouraging as you alway are:) I've been following your blog for years and never heard your voice. So great!your written voice is very inspiring so is your spoken voice. I was so blessed!

Renee said...

I was so excited to finally meet you so to speak. I loved hearing you speak. It was very motivating and encouraging as you alway are:) I've been following your blog for years and never heard your voice. So great!your written voice is very inspiring so is your spoken voice. I was so blessed!

Rain San Martin said...

Your site, Home Living, is the most inspiring homemaking blog I have seen on the internet! The inviting Victorian images and content of substance keep me coming back throughout the week. We thank you for bringing honor and awareness to the noble work of homemaking!

Lydia said...

Hello ladies. Thanks for your nice comments. You do gush a bit too much, I think, for I have watched better videos than this, but its a great motivation to hear from you. I want to make another one soon. Since I am only using my computer camera, it is limiting but still, I think we can have good visits together. I thought it might be nice to have Monday messages, but have not decided yet what will work best for me. I might even do a few minutes today when I get time.

Tony Moore said...

Lydia, I loved your video you such a blessing.👒
Dolores Moore

Rebecca said...

Oh, I love your video and all your wise counsel. Thank you for making this. Please make more. I am a keeper at home with four children. Your website has been such an inspiration.

Dawn said...

How delightful to "meet" you via video. You are a lovely lady inside and out.

Visiting different homemaking blogs is a big motivation to me, your blog especially.

Getting ready and dressed first thing really hit home with me. Some days I stay in my nightgown till afternoon since no one is going to see me and I can do my work in my nightie after all. Those days are always the days someone comes by unexpectedly, be it the meter reader or a friend! I have to admit the days I get dressed and cleaned up right away, I feel much better about myself and I even have more energy. Maybe staying in sleeping attire gives me a subliminal message that I should be back in bed and so I drag around.

Dawn said...

I forgot to mention this in my other reply. I so appreciate you stressing the need to do something for yourself and not having a crazy to-do list.

When I first became a full-time homemaker, I ran myself ragged thinking I had to be busy, busy, busy all the time or else I wasn't pulling my weight. I got over that misconception and am much happier.

We ladies are not slaves, indentured servants, or raggedy Cinderellas. We are each the Mistress of Our Home and deserve leisure time as much as anyone else.

Linda L said...

Thank you for this post and video. (No we don't gush too much.):) You are beautiful, speak naturally and in a relaxed, kind manner. It seemed like we were actually with you in the room. Thanks for sharing your wisdom!

Nancy said...

Mrs. Sherman, your writing has always been a good motivator for me.

MaryEleanor said...

I enjoyed your video so much! It was good to hear you speaking. I look forward to your future videos. Marylee

Andrea R said...

Absolutely loved this article, and mostly the video! You look so beautiful, and your voice is wonderfully soothing and yet encouraging.

I loved watching and hearing you, and I hope you do make more additions to your blog with video!

I really love your red pretty!

God Bless you!

Anthea Bisgrove said...

Dear Lady Lydia

You are quite wrong about your video -- if I may state it so baldly. I don't wish that you had made the film 20 years ago. Now is the perfect time to post it -- you have credibility as a woman of experience. You have the perspective of being able to look upon your grown children. You have the time to minister to women near and far, without the danger of neglecting young children. The extra 20 years spent reading the Word mean that your blog has spiritual weight behind it.

I really think that you are so feminine and the video shows that you live what you teach. I have printed out many of your articles, and to have a little film is the icing on the cake for me.

Best Wishes

Lydia said...

Jenny has left a new comment on your post "Motivation at Home":

The video was wonderful Lady Lydia! How nice to hear you. Regarding motivation -- I have found that working for a higher good is a great motivator. I learned this the hard way when no one noticed my effort. How devastating. Our Lord sees, though, and with Him in mind, everything is a success.

Clothing and grooming are also motivators for me. It helps tremendously. I have been wearing the same few denim skirts since having the baby and my self esteem was suffering, even though my hair and skin looked nice. With some Christmas money, I bought two cotton dresses that fit me now from eShakti, and boy do I feel great! They may be too big in a month or two, but I can take them in as needed.

Mrs. W said...

Mrs. Sherman, I was so excited to view both of your videos this evening! It's so nice to "see" you online after, what, 15 years or so? Lovely job! Absolutely lovely! Please do more as time permits. Thank you so very much!

Barbra N said...

Happy New Year Lady Lydia :). So nice to hear your voice and to see your image. I am always blessed, inspired and leaving with a feeling of calm and tranquility after reading your uplifting and educative posts. To me your the mother that i never had while growing up and it so nice to hear your voice and your words of wisdom.

May the Lord Bless You for all that you share with us.
There's alot i have learnt and continue to learn from you.
Blessings to you. May the Lord Continue to Use You to touch those in my situation(growing up without a motherly love, care and wisdom and finding it online right at your blog) God is indeed great! He is able to restore all the years that the locusts have eaten. Happy New Year 2016 to everyone on this blog.

Barbra, Uganda.

Mariya said...

Dear Lady Lydia. My heart has been aching for a while now, feeling like i am getting nowhere eith my efforts of being a good Christian wife and a mother. My family is in a constant emotional distress, mainly due to my lack of organizational skills and poor time management. I found myself in desperate need of guidance. I came upon your blog with tears of sadness in my eyes. But I think your blog was sent to me by The Lord to help me get through the tough times, to teach me and encourage me to continue to try to do my best.
Thank you for your beautiful posts. Please, don't stop.


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