Living as an Adult at Home| Part 2: How to Honor Your Parents

Today I am bringing Part 2 in the “Living As an Adult at Home” series. For all you ladies blessed to live in your parents’ home as an adult, I want to share some thoughts on How to Honor Your Parents in this special season.

If you missed my first post, go here to read my post on 5 Reasons to Live at Home.

And now, if you are blessed with the opportunity to live in your parents home, you know that there are both blessings and challenges to living in your parents’ home as an adult.

It’s a huge transition to go from a child who does schoolwork, chores, and whatever else mom and dad say, to an adult with a job, schedule, and independent goals and plans.

Honoring your parents within this new stage can be confusing and difficult. On the other hand, this can be the most fun, rewarding stage of your life so far! It has been for me.

You don’t have to have constant friction and unmet expectations. There can be a beautiful relationship between you and your parents, and you can both be blessed and be a blessing in your home.

There are, however, some principles that will bless and build the relationship you have with your parents as an adult daughter living in their home.

To start with, here are some simple, practical things you can do that will enable you to be a blessing instead of a burden:

Pick up After Yourself

This should be basic, but I know that in the busyness of life and coming and going, it’s easy to dump things or not be as neat as one should. I have had to make an extremely conscious effort in this area, as I am not a naturally neat person. When I get home from work, I try to immediately put away empty food containers, my boots and purse and laptop bag, and other items.

A little story from my family- with our various schedules, some of us eat early in the morning or late at night on occasion, as the day requires. We started having this problem: my mother (or whoever was on Kitchen Privileges) would leave a clean kitchen in the evening and wake up to various dirty dishes and messes in the morning. The same thing happened late at night! The problem was that various adults (that would be me and my siblings:) were coming and going at odd hours, grabbing/making random things to eat or packing/unpacking lunches, and not cleaning up after ourselves! After realizing what a problem this had become, we sorta made a mutual pact to clean up after ourselves. I am happy to report that the mysteriously messy kitchen problem has improved considerably, although we’re still a work in progress!:)

Be a Fountain not a Drain

As I talked about in my post last week, living at home is a great opportunity to contribute and be a blessing to your parents who have sacrificed so much for you. There are a million ways to serve, and you will find the ones that are most helpful to your parents and siblings.

Let Your Parents Know Your Schedule

This is huge. I repeat, this is HUGE!!!!!

When I started to have more responsibilities outside the home and be gone multiple days some weeks, with additional things on my schedule some evenings, my mother started to get frustrated. And rightly so! She didn’t know when I was coming or going, when I was available to help around the house, or if I would or wouldn’t show up for various meals or family activities.

It wasn’t completely terrible, and I tried to let her know on a daily basis if I would be gone and such, but it just wasn’t working. For both my parents to plan family things, and for my mother running the household, it was just too chaotic for me to come and go at random. We had a number of double bookings; for example, they scheduled a family music practice for the same time frame when I had a work meeting. Because neither of us communicated about those plans, the double bookings caused some frustration.

This is the solution we reached, which has been a game changer for us:

We communicate about our schedules!

Revolutionary, I know.:) But in our family, this has been the #1 source of contention and frustration with adults living at home.

We have used several different methods for scheduling, from a shared family Cozi account (a free, easy to use app for scheduling), to a calendar hung in the kitchen. If you have a lot of adults in the house,  I would highly recommend having some kind of shared calendar. We used that when we were all still living at home (before the weddings:) and it helped tremendously. Everyone can put their outside activities (we used it particularly for evenings, trips, hosting company, and events) on the calendar so everyone knows what times are available for family activities, etc. Now that we have considerably fewer adults at home, it usually works to just communicate verbally or by text on a weekly basis regarding plans/schedules.

Something I started doing with my mother that might be helpful for you gals that work both at home and away: I try to give her a breakdown at the beginning of the week of what days I will be home and what days I will be gone and any evenings I have non-family commitments. This way, she knows when I will be around for meals and what days I will be available to help around the house. If something unexpected comes up that I didn’t communicate about (for example, I will be working till 6 instead of 3), I try to let her know right away.

Don’t be a Free Loader

Every family is different. If you haven’t yet, sit down with your parents and ask what they expect from your as an adult living in their home. Do they want you to pay rent? What part of the house can you clean? Will you do your own laundry or take a turn with the family’s? Would they like you to contribute to the grocery budget? Ask them what specific things you can do to help, such as keeping vehicles clean, doing the grocery shopping, planning/making a certain number of meals each week, mowing the lawn, etc.

Next, let’s get relational. It must be a conscious choice you make to honor your parents as their daughter. You can be simply an inmate of their house, or so much more- one of their dearest friends, a tremendous blessing in their life, and a teammate. Here are some ideas how:

Give Your Best to Your Family

Your home should be where you give your best and sweetest to those you love most. How hypocritical is it to have love and kindness for coworkers and ministry partners and Sunday school children but snap at our family and be selfish at home?

Our home and family is where we should bestow our most extravagant service, our kindest words, our gentlest touch.

They should know our brightest smiles, our sweetest affection, our most attentive concern.

Would your friends, coworkers, or pastor recognize the person you are at home? If not, what a terrible shame!

God didn’t create polor-personality gals. He made us to be whole, consistently lovely women. If you have been giving your best elsewhere and being a selfish, unloving daughter and sister, then repent and let God do a work in your heart.

I Corinthians 1:3 says, “And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and thought I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.”

Charity, in the Greek, literally means “a love feast”. Does your family know a constant love feast from the way you treat them?

Look for Opportunities to Serve

Don’t view the house as a landing place. Even if you are coming and going, keep your eyes and ears open for needs around you. If your mother is overwhelmed, offer to make dinner. If you don’t have time, tell her you’re picking up pizza on your way home from work.

Spend an afternoon off deep cleaning the house or doing baking projects with your siblings. Don’t vegetate in your room! Times to rest are wonderful, but look for ways to bless your family while doing so- like going on a walk with your mother, baking cookies with little Johnny, setting the table pretty for supper, etc.

As much as possible, say “Yes!” when your parents ask you to help with things.

Find ways to go above and beyond in blessings and serving. Wash your father’s car, or leave his favorite treat on his desk. Buy your mother’s favorite food, or leave her an encouraging note.

If you aren’t able to do all the household chores you used to due to a fuller schedule, be willing to teach your younger siblings how. This has been huge for me- my mother is very gracious as I have not been able to do as much house work due to increased responsibilities in other areas; however, she really appreciates when I train a younger sibling to fill my shoes. This is actually a great chance to invest in younger siblings!

Build a Friendship with Your Parents

Your parents should be your friends. Transitioning from childhood to adulthood while in their home means that you need to intentionally seek to build a different kind of relationship with them.

My parents are my dear friends and trusted counselors. My mother is my walking buddy, and we have probably walked hundreds of miles together, sharing our hearts all the while. I ask my father to help me navigate through the messiest parts of my life, and in addition to his listening ear and wisdom on a myriad of topics, I love to talk with him about business especially (this is so fun!).

Your parents are not exactly like mine, but they are the ones God gave you. Find things you can do with them to build your relationship.

Invest in the Family Culture

What does your family like to do together? Help make those things happen!  Plan an outing for your younger siblings. Go to dinner with some siblings and another sibling group. Make a special candlelight meal for the whole family, or offer to plan a camping trip if your family likes camping.

Offer to watch the kids (if you’re one of the older ones at home) so your parents can go on an overnight getaway.

Make Time at Home a Priority

You can’t invest in the family culture, build close relationships with your family, and serve your family if you’re gone all the time.

I don’t know what your schedule is, but do what you can to make it a priority to spend some time at home. Your family will love it, and you’ll be blessed. It may mean saying no to some social activities or extra work hours, but that’s ok. You will never regret time spent in your home, with your family.

Alright, girls, I wanna hear from you! Was there something that stuck out to you in this post? What area do you want to work on to be a blessing to your parents?

love,

Allison

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Living at Home as an Adult|| Part 1: 5 Reasons To Live at Home

Recently I have received feedback from girls saying they want to hear more about Living at Home as an Adult. Today I am sharing Part 1, “5 Reasons To Live at Home”. Part 2 will be “How to Honor Your Parents”.

I am here to tell you that it is totally possible to live as an adult at home and LOVE IT!

But if you’re on the fence about whether you should continue living at home or move out, here are some reasons you might not have considered.

1. God created families.

There are many reasons why young adults may not live with their family. But Psalm 86:6 says, “God sets the solitary in families”. There is obviously value in living within a family unit, and if you have the opportunity to do so, you shouldn’t throw it away without a specific reason. There are so many benefits of living within the context of a family- accountability, fellowship, camaraderie, sharing housekeeping responsibilities, etc.

2. It’s cost effective.

Have you every really considered how much it will cost to move out? Like I said earlier, there are reasons why you might still choose to do that, but make sure you count the cost! If you are just wanting to “get your own place” for the fun of it, I would strongly encourage you to first sit down and write out what you actual cost of living will be with renting your own place vs. continuing to live at home.

The economic benefits add up when you consider sharing costs, working together, and having multiple people under one roof. In dollars and cents, it makes a lot of sense!(get the pun?!:)

3. It builds character.

It’s just harder to be selfish when you are living in a household with your family. There will invariably be some who are neater and some who are messier, different food preferences, different schedules, and the list goes on. It is definitely possibly to be others-focused and selfless when you live on your own (I’ve seen it done!) but it is harder. If you have the opportunity to live with your family and there’s no good reason not to, why not? Those sharp edges we all have that need to be smoothed off? Living with family is a fantastic way to experience some much-needed refining!

4. You get to spend more time with your family.

God placed each of us in our families for a specific reason. I am so grateful for the years of living at home as an adult. These days are incredibly precious, and I know that they won’t last forever. I count it a privilege to learn from my parents, be involved in my siblings lives, and be able to serve my family and others in our home. I lived on my own for a small portion of the past year, and I missed the family meal times, late night chats, and a million other little things. As soon as I was able, I was thrilled to move back home. I didn’t realize before how much I love baking for my brothers, making coffee for my dad, coming home from work to help Mother make dinner, listening to my little siblings’ stories, discussing life with my dear brothers, lighting candles and cleaning bathrooms.

I plan to do a whole other post on what I learned from living on my own, but the biggest thing I learned is how much I LOVE living with my family, and how incredibly valuable it is. If you don’t have this privilege, then I encourage you to find families you can be a part of, and invite others into your home. If you have the opportunity to live at home as an adult, then be grateful and be a blessing in your home!

5. You get to help pour back into your parents.

This is one of the most amazing things about living at home! I love getting to serve my parents. They spent so many years pouring into and sacrificing for me; I view this season of life as a tiny little opportunity to pay it back.

If you live at home, look for any little way to be a blessing to your parents.

Which of the 5 reasons resonated with you? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Have a blessed day!

Allison

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Announcing the Launch of Joshua’s Blog!

Watch this amazing trailer.

Friends, you don’t want to miss following my brother Joshua’s new blog. I promise, every post will be worth reading and you will be challenged and inspired! The end.

Ok, I can’t stop with that. I just have to brag on my amazing brother a little bit. He really is an incredible man, with a passion for the truth.

Joshua’s mission:

“Inspiring and equipping Christians to know, live, and speak the truth.”

Josh will post valuable content on relevant issues.

He will say the hard things from his heart.

He won’t sugarcoat the issue or tiptoe around the rosebush.

I know these things, because he’s my brother and I lived with him for 20 years, and now travel and work with him in our family’s music ministry.

Joshua has a gift of saying what needs to be said in a bold yet gracious way.

His heart throbs with a passion to honor Jesus in everything he does, and to equip other Christians to live radically for Jesus. He wants to see Christians influencing culture for our King. He wants to see families making a difference. He wants to see young people rising above the status quo.

If you are a follower of Jesus, you will be blessed by subscribing to Joshua’s blog.

I plan to read every single post, and I hope you’ll join me!

I’m proud of Joshua, not because he’s starting a blog (although I think that’s awesome!) but because he is a man of integrity, vision, and purpose.

Cassidy, Joshua’s amazing wife- who filmed and edited the blog trailer- will be helping him run the blog as well. They’re a power team!

Head over to Joshua’s blog to read the first post!

-Allison

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The Perfect Gluten Free Biscotti Recipe

As promised, today I am sharing the Perfect Gluten Free Biscotti Recipe. I got so many requests for the recipe when I posted pictures the other day on Instagram that I promised to share it with my friends on here. I absolutely love these biscotti, because they are so gourmet, incredibly delicious, and you won’t even miss the sugar or gluten! Disclaimer: I adapted these biscotti from my talented friend’s recipe.

Without further ado, here you have it:

Gluten Free Biscotti

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup coconut sugar (I love this brand) and it’s is a super deal for coconut sugar!) or zylitol Note: If you don’t have either of these or don’t care about making them sugar free, you can use regular sugar.

1/2 cup honey (or sugar if you aren’t going for sugar free)

6 eggs

2 TBS hot water

2 tsp. vanilla or almond extract (or 1 tsp. of each)

3 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt (I like this kind)

5 1/2 cups flour (I used my homemade flour mix, but you could use about anything. Even plain ground oats and a little xanthum gum would work. Just make sure to check the ingredients if you use a boughten gluten free baking mix- some already contain baking powder/soda and salt.) Note: If you want to buy a mix, I highly recommend Pamelas, available here and Namaste, available here.

3/4 cup chopped pecans

3/4 cup craisins

Cream butter and sweeteners. Add eggs one at time, mixing after each addition. Stir in vanilla and hot water. Mix in remaining ingredients.

Roll the dough into two logs. If it’s your first time making biscotti, you may want to look up step by step instructions. Clarita has awesome instructions here. I used greased parchment paper to form the logs, then flip them out onto a greased cookie sheet.

Bake the biscotti for half an hour at 300 degrees, or till firm. Take from the oven, cool slightly, and slice. Separate the slices (so they aren’t touching) and return to the oven at 200 degrees till they are as crispy as you desire. Traditionally, biscotti are very firm, and you eat them with a hot drink, dipping to soften. I love them that way, but last time I made them slightly less firm, and they were really delicious like that, and still yummy if eaten by themselves and not with tea or coffee. My sweet dad commented that he liked how I made them “not so hard”. So basically, you can just bake them till they’re however hard you want them. They really are delicious no matter what, except burnt!:)

When baking is completed, let the biscotti cool. Drizzle with dark chocolate if desired.

Store in a container on the counter…..and watch them disappear!

Variation: You can change the flavor by adding chocolate chips and almonds instead of pecans and craisins, etc. 

Note: This makes a pretty big batch. You can halve it if you want, but if have extra, these do make excellent gifts!

Ps. This post contains affiliate links; please view my full disclosure here

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My 2018 Goals

My 2018 goals have been a journey. Usually I just jot down goals for the year and go with it, but for some reason this time around was different. I started back in December and kept coming back, dreaming bigger, refining the purpose + vision being birthed in my heart for this year.

The goals that made it through the refining process to the “final 10” are all ones that I believe will be extremely valuable as I seek to grow and use this life for the glory of God.

This is pretty personal, but I feel led to share in hopes that you will be encouraged to set some scary, life changing goals as well.

“If you aren’t going forward, you’re going backwards.”

My 2018 Goals:

Habits

  1. Schedule a time of fasting weekly
  2. Practice unplugged evenings
  3. Plan undistracted times for relationships + rest

Achievements

  1. Learn to study the Word of God instead of merely reading it
  2. Run 8 miles straight
  3. Do 2 items from my Bucket List per month
  4. Practice wise stewardship by sticking to my budget and meeting my income/saving/investing goals

People

  1. Intentionally invest in my team members thru encouragement, incentives, education, and empathy
  2. Go all out in serving my family
  3. Learn to better honor and communicate with my parents as an adult living at home

Obviously some of these goals encompass more, like the Stewardship and Bucket List ones. I have several separate financial goals that I lumped together, and the bucket list contains alot of random things related to personal travel, work, family, education, etc. It is a fun way, apart from my “Big 10” goals, to have a running list of things I want to do.

Additionally, in the coming months, I plan to share more about each goal and practical steps I am taking to accomplish them.

What about you?  What goal are you setting this year that really scares you (like I wrote about here)? Is there a particular goal you are most excited about? I’d love to hear!I’m cheerin’ for you!

Allison

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