Homemaking Archives - Sarah Mae
Hi, I'm Sarah.
Join me in keeping on and beginning again!

Category Archives: Homemaking

The Art of Gentle Homemaking (Video Series and Maid Service Giveaway)

How many of you would like to have a maid?

How many of you feel like if you just had a fresh start, you would be encouraged to keep going?

How many of you are feeling discouraged and overwhelmed WITH ALL THE THINGS? And how do you get your kids to clean up after themselves anyway?

How many of you ever wonder if you got the wrong personality when it comes to being a “keeper of the home”?

Let’s talk.

For years I thought that being a “good” homemaker meant that I had to act (and let’s be honest, look) a certain way.

I thought I had to fit a mold, one that included aprons and chore systems and cleaning routines. I mean, good moms, good homemakers, they have this homemaking thing figured out, right? Why is it taking me so long, and will I ever get “it” together? What is the secret?

As I wondered and tried and worked at being a “good” homemaker, it seemed like I just kept failing. I’ll just try harder, I thought.

But it turns out trying harder doesn’t actually work as a sustainable way of living. Because every time I tried harder and failed, the crash bruised me up a little more, and eventually, I didn’t want to get back up; I didn’t want to try anymore.

The discouragement was too much.

But I didn’t want to give up, because my heart wouldn’t let me. The same heart that accused me of failing was also telling me to keep going. So I had to learn what it meant to keep caring and trying without the condemnation. I had to learn how to embrace my weaknesses, carry on in my strengths, and rely on God for all of it.

If you’re feeling discouraged or like you keep botching up this homemaking thing, if you feel like you got the wrong personality to keep a home, I’ve got something that will encourage you:

The Art of Gentle Homemaking: Trading in “Good” for Gentle.

This is a new video series I created to encourage those of you who are ready to give up, or have at least begun to settle for some mediocre version of yourself in fear of failing, again.

In the series we’re going to talk about:

  • Homemaking guilt and “What does it mean to be a “good” homemaker, anyway?”
  • The idea that only certain personalities can do this homemaking well
  • The “How-To’s” of trading in “good” for gentle (learning how to be gentle with ourselves and others)
  • Having a deeper relationship with Christ through our {perceived} failures
  • Homemaking and depression and how to get through the hard days without everything falling apart
  • Expectations (for this one my husband makes an appearance)

To get access to The Art of Gentle Homemaking, go HERE.

Giveaway: FREE Maid Service!

Who could use some help around the house? Yea, me too.

If you would like to enter to win a $100 gift card towards a maid service to give you a fresh start, just fill out the form below (and please share this post if you know someone who could use it!). This giveaway is open to everyone. You will received your maid service gift card at the end of May.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Love, Sarah Mae

Print this!

Two Matching Socks Walked into a Bar (just kidding, there are no matching socks, ever)

Have you ever done all the laundry in your house in one day, and then sit back and think how great it is and how you’ll never go back to having piles of dirty laundry again? You’re changed, you think, and you love the smell of clean clothes and how nice it is to find something that isn’t wrinkled (because you actually hung it up).

Your kids even have matching socks.

You have figured out the secret to laundry and you can now conquer the world! (It’s almost as good a feeling as when the kitchen is clean.)

Until one day you walk down to your laundry room (because someone says they can’t find socks) and THERE ARE ALL THE CLOTHES IN ALL THE PLACES and what happened? Didn’t you just do laundry, like, a week ago? Why oh why can’t it all just stay clean and put away?!

Maybe you can just run to Target and buy some new socks.


This is my life. I am maybe not the most awesome at cleaning, but I am a homemaker. Can you be a homemaker if you stink at cleaning? Yes, yes you can.

Let’s talk about that for a moment, how you can, in fact, be a homemaker even when there are no matching socks to be found.

How to Be an Awesome Homemaker When You Are Not Awesome at Cleaning

First of all, part of being a homemaker is teaching your children how to do their own laundry.

I did not do laundry until I was 14 and faced with the reality that my mother did not do laundry and I would have to figure out how to do it if I wanted clean clothes. I’ll never forget walking into the laundry room, navigating around piles of clothes until I got to the washer. Which was the washer? I lifted the lid and read the directions. WHO READS THE DIRECTIONS ON A WASHER? Me. I did. I followed the directions and a miraculous thing took place: my clothes got clean.

Here’s my point: kids can do their own laundry.

My kids are 8, 10, and 11, and when they say to me, “Mom, I don’t have any matching socks!” Do you know what I say? DO YOUR LAUNDRY. I love you. 🙂 Get a step stool for them, and BOOM, they can do it.

Next up in being a homemaker who is not awesome at cleaning: Submit to your husband when he insists on doing his own laundry.

So I maybe shrunk some my husbands clothes and I maybe mixed colors and turned some of this things pink. And he maybe told me that I was banned from doing his laundry from here on out, except underwear and socks (of course).

I am nailing the excellent wife thing.

Let’s move on.

My next tip in being an awesome homemaker is to hire someone as soon as you can. 

I am telling you, if you can swing it, GET YO SELF A MAID. (Is “maid” still used? Can we say that?) I am waiting for the day when I can hire someone to clean my house. I CAN’T WAIT. I don’t know if that day will ever come, but if it does, I MIGHT ACTUALLY BURST WITH JOY. See, it’s possible to be a joyful homemaker!

I remember the days a couple of years ago when I had the most wonderful woman come over and clean my house once a week. I miss her. I would walk into my house and it smelled, CLEAN. I didn’t even know what that smell was before her. My husband would come home and say, “Was Missy here?” Yes, yes she was. Bless her. (Missy, come back.)

There is nothing wrong with hiring help my friend. You are the keeper of your home, and if you can keep someone cleaning your home, you are managing like a boss. NO GUILT FOR IT.

Here’s my last bit of encouragement for today for you homemakers who aren’t sure you qualify as homemakers: Don’t be so hard on yourself.

So what if you’re not the best at cleaning. Your identity is not in your ability to clean well or keep a home or be a “Proverbs 31 woman.” Cleaning and homemaking and caring your people, those things matter; your work in the home is good, holy work, planned before time by God for you to do. But it’s not your identity. Be gentle with yourself. It’s easy to look around at other women who seem to have their homemaking stuff together and you’re over here like, “WHERE IS THE OTHER FREAKING SOCK?!” It’s okay. Do what you can. Don’t give up, and don’t beat yourself up.

One day at a time, one thing at a time, one sock at a time.

You know what makes a “good” homemaker? Loving your people. Love your people, love your neighbors, and care. Care about your home and the atmosphere and how you talk to people and how you talk to yourself. These are the things that matter. Care enough to not give up. Care enough to let go of perfection and comparing and just enjoy your people and your home.

Be kind to yourself and others.

And there you have it, the key to it all: love.

Love makes a home. So keep loving and doing the next thing.

Love, Sarah Mae

Print this!

How to Make a Home When You’re Feeling Depressed


My husband sent me these beautiful flowers when I was sad. It was a first. He’s learning to love me (and understand me) more with each year we are married.

Back in November I was really struggling with a downcast soul (as David calls it).

I couldn’t wash my dishes without crying. I couldn’t seem to do the laundry or make meals or even get out of my chair. I just felt so…defeated. Weary. Sad. And there was no specific reason for it; I just seem to be a bit predisposed to discouragement from time to time. And when it hits, it hits. I have no control over it. In fact, this last time it hit, I just rested in it. I didn’t fight it.

Today I wrote an article on doing the work even if you feel lazy. A sweet woman commented and said that it’s hard to do the work when you feel depressed. I told her that post wasn’t for her, and to rest and be gentle with herself. Here are few more things I want to say to those of you who are just feeling discouraged, or sad or weary, but you are still trying to make a home.

*If you are severely depressed or the dark days never end, please talk to a doctor.

The Only Way Through is Through

If you are struggling with depression or discouragement, I have found that you can’t rush it. You can’t just climb out of the dark place, you have to walk through it, one step at a time. But you are not alone. You have the Holy Spirit with you as a guide. Which brings me to my next thing…

Ask the Holy Spirit

Sometimes I forget that I have the power of the Holy Spirit inside of me and that I can ask Him what is going on. The Scriptures say the the Holy Spirit is my counselor, comforter, guide, and advocate. I have access to His wisdom. “What is going on here? Help me? Comfort me, guide me, show me the way I should go with this.” I do not have to go through the dark times alone.

Don’t Isolate Yourself

I have a tendency to crawl away and hide when I’m feeling depressed. I don’t want to see anyone or talk to anyone, and I really don’t want to inconvenience anyone. What a lie from the enemy! God gives us friends and relationships and puts people around us because life is hard and we need each other. When I try and hide away, my friends hunt me down. Sometimes I lie to them and say I’m fine, but they know. It’s so good to be honest and vulnerable, because they offer lifegiving words to my weary bones. They speak truth over the lies I tell myself. They bring me flowers or coffee, or just listen to me. If you are feeling discouraged and you want to hide away, call someone. Talk to your husband. Reach out to someone.

Ask for Help

If the laundry is piling up along with the dishes, ask for help. Can your husband or a friend or your kids help out? Even something, some help, is better than nothing.

Do One Thing

My friend Joanna reminded me recently that when she is feeling down, she tries to do just one thing. She said to me, “I operated under the false assumption that I had to feel like cleaning my house.” When she doesn’t feel like cleaning, she purposes to do just one thing. Sometimes that’s all we can accomplish. That’s okay. One thing.

Be Gentle With Yourself

It is so easy to beat up on yourself during the dark times. I always feel like a failure when I’m in the dark, and I speak words of failure over myself. No good. The enemy will whisper lies to you and you will believe them so easily when you are harsh with yourself. God is kind and gentle, He is our gentle Father, and gentleness is all throughout the Scriptures. How can we be gentle with others if we can’t first be gentle with ourselves? Friend, in the dark times, speak kind words to yourself, listen to the truth, and cut yourself some slack. Be gentle with who you are and where you are. You are loved and looked upon with compassion. Try and see yourself through those kind of eyes, the compassionate kind.

Slow & Steady

There are no rules with how you have to clean your home. We are all different, and we all go through different seasons, and during the dark ones, take it extra slow and steady. No rush. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: Slow, seek Him in the still place. Steady, lean on the firm One. 

Ask God if There is Something You Need to Repent Of

During my time of depression last fall, I kept telling one friend of mine that even though I felt so sad, I could still feel God’s kindness all around me, it was so odd. I kept repeating to her how kind God was, and she said, “I hear you keep using that word, kind. Look at this.” And she opened up the Scriptures to Romans 2:4, “…the kindness of God leads you to repentance…” I was familiar with the verse, but hadn’t thought about it. Could there be something I maybe needed to repent of? I asked the Lord, and I was very encouraged to be reminded that He is not mean or punishing to me, but gentle and kind, especially when leading me to something I need to repent of. And here’s the thing about repentance, it isn’t always something a thing, like spending less time online, or quitting yelling at your kids, or whatever. It might be an attitude. You might need to repent of trying to fix yourself. Or maybe you need to repent of believing lies. I don’t know, but I do know that if you’re discouraged yet you feel God’s kindness all around you, perhaps you can just ask Him, “Is there anything I need to repent of?” There might not be anything at all, but there might be.

Buy Flowers

If you can swing it, buy some cheery flowers to put on your dining room table. There is something about flowers that brighten the soul.


When the dark times come, and likely they will continue from time to time, and I know I have to just walk through them, I listen to worship music. I let the words of truth and praise wash over me, and I sing them back to God because even in the dark times, He is with me and He is light. I encourage you not to listen to music that holds you down in the dark, but praise God instead; let your soul be lifted.

“Then I will go to the altar of God, To God my exceeding joy; And upon the lyre I shall praise You, O God, my God. Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why are you disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.” Psalm 43:4,5

With love and compassion, Sarah Mae

Print this!

For All the Type-B Homemakers Out There (No more making your bed with this giveaway)


To all the Type-B homemakers out there, I wrote a book for you. (Type-A-ers, hang with me, I’ve heard that some of you like the books as well for the Mary aspect).

First thing you should know friends is that this isn’t a cleaning book. I mean, it is, but that’s not the heart of it.

The heart is that all of you would know you are loved, regardless of your homemaking abilities (or lack thereof). It’s a book about freedom and love and keeping on, knowing we are being gently molded into maturity and Christlikeness by our gentle Father. Are there cleaning challenges? Yes. But they are nothing new! The goal with the cleaning challenges is that you would do them with a friend, or friends, and have fun with them. There are also Mary challenges, heart questions and scripture to help you draw closer to the One who made you who you are, and who loves you so incredibly.

If you struggle with keeping your home clean, this is the book for you. And I’ll be right there with you cleaning alongside you. Want to join in? Get the book here for under $10. We kick off a cleaning challenge on April 11th.


Now, I have something very special for you today.

The most Type-B thing you could ever have is a bed you don’t actually have to make. (Tweet that)

I mean, a bed that looks made but you didn’t have to make it, but it’s made? ALL THE FEELS FOR THAT.

Which brings me to my giveaway for today:

A $200 Beddy’s gift card!

What is Beddy’s? 

Beddy’s is an amazing shop created by moms who discovered how to make beautiful, comfortable bedding sets that zip up, but that look like regularly made beds! GENIUS.

Beddy’s motto? Zip your bed in 10 seconds or less. YES PLEASE. Now, before I go any further with this post, please take a minute and go to this post by Ann Voskamp: 6 Ways to Speed Clean to a Clean Enough House. It’s so so good, AND she shares her love for Beddy’s. Head HERE to check out all of the Beddy’s bedding sets.

Here are just some of the Beddy’s choices:

Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 12.40.30 PM

Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 12.39.56 PM

Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 12.40.14 PM

Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 12.41.07 PM

Learn more about Beddy’s here:

Can’t see the video? Click here.

Enter to Win the $200 Beddy’s Gift Card!

Just fill out the form below! WOOT! Open to the U.S. only. This giveaway ends on March 19th, 2016, at 11:59pm EDT.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good “luck!”

Your Type-B homemaking friend, Sarah Mae


When you buy the book and the journal, you get my Longing for Life eCourse for FREE! Just email your receipt to sarahmaewrites (at) gmail (dot) com.

Buy the book HERE. Get the journal HERE.

Print this!

Maid Service for YOU. Amen. (Having a Martha Home the Mary Way Launch Week)

I’m a simple girl. I don’t ask for much.

All I really want is to be able to hire someone to come over and clean my house every now and then. You know, wash the floors and such. Scrub the caked on food off my dining room table. Sidenote: One of the neighbor kids was at my house recently and said, “Miss Sarah, how come I never see you clean?” Precious boy. I said, “We all have our strengths and weakness, don’t we?” 🙂

Now I know I’m not the only who could use some house-cleaning help. I bet some of you out there would LOVE to have someone come over and clean your house. No shame. That Proverbs 31 woman wasn’t Proverbing without some help, know what I mean? SERVANTS. She had them. I think we would all be a little more P31 if we had some help. Can I get an AMEN?!

With that said, I want to help you get some help. How about this: 6 MONTHS OF FREE HOUSE-CLEANING courtesy of Tyndale in honor of my new book Having a Martha Home the Mary Way: 31 Days to a Clean House and a Satisfied Soul, ON SALE NOW! Head HERE to read all about it!


Free house-cleaning?! YAAAAAS!!!!


Maid service PLUS my new book = WINNING!

Here’s the deal: I could only secure ONE 6-months of cleaning gift, so that means only one of you can win. I KNOW! If I were independently wealthy, ALL OF YOU who needed the help would be getting maid service gift cards from me. I would have maid service. Also, every new mom that I met would get maid service until her children were 10. But alas, I’m just a sweet little author with a kind publisher who is willing to give you all this STUPENDOUS gift. Thank you Tyndale! We love you!

Enter the Giveaway!

To enter to win the 6 months (one cleaning a month) of cleaning giveaway, fill out the form at the end of this post. Open to U.S. residents only. Contest closes on Saturday, March 19th, 2016 at 11:59, pm EDT.

Also, BUY MY BOOK! But only because you want to because you want a clean home and a happy soul and YOU WANT TO CLEAN WITH ME! Oh yes, we are going to have a group cleaning challenge in April. Stay tuned! Also, when you buy my book THIS WEEK, you get gifts. Gifts are fun. Check out the gifts HERE.

Buy Having a Martha Home the Mary Way from:


Or your local bookstore!

“I love, love, love this book! Sarah Mae is a fellow struggler. As a recovering messy I appreciate that. Rather than detailed spreadsheets and overwhelming to-do lists, Sarah offers practical advice and gentle challenges that offer hope to our cluttered homes as well as our cluttered hearts. I wish I would have had this book back in the middle of my struggle.”

Joanna Weaver, Bestselling author of Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World


When you buy the book and the journal, you get my Longing for Life eCourse for FREE! Just email your receipt to sarahmaewrites (at) gmail (dot) com.

Get the journal HERE.

Know someone who could use this giveaway? SHARE THIS POST with them!

I’ll be doing giveaways ALL WEEK, so come back tomorrow for more! Don’t want to forget? Subscribe to my blog posts HERE for free!

Love and cleaning magic, Sarah Mae

P.S. I’m over at (in)courage today talking about SLEEP and lazy bones! Check it out HERE!

Giveaway Form (can’t see the form? Click HERE to come over to the blog and enter!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

There are affiliate links in this post. See my disclosure policy here.

Print this!

All Content Copyright © 2015 by Sarah Mae | Design by Emily Rose