Category Archives: Home

Preparing Your Car for Winter

A Few Tips to Keep you Moving Along

I live in the north. That doesn’t make me an expert by any means when it comes to driving in the snow. But, I do know a thing or two about driving safety in the snow. Even with my knowledge occasional loss of vehicle control occurs. Just last week, I lost traction and slid into a farmers field. Yet, sliding into the field was a choice I made in the moment I lost control. It was either slide left into a creek or slide right into a field. I chose the field and steered into it.

Tips for Driving in Winter Weather

Fortunately, I was driving a 4 WD, and I quickly switched over to it, and drove myself right out of the field. Currently in the states, snow, ice and extremely cold temperatures are shrouding much of the country. Many people have found themselves stuck in the cold with little if anything to keep them warm. This is especially true in the south where they aren’t used to getting such weather.

I wanted to share with you some tips for keeping warm, driving safe and

Tips for Preparing Your Car

  • Make sure your car is in good working order, check fluids, change oil, keep the window washer fluid filled.
  • Try to maintain a full tank of gas, or close to full. The lower the level in your gas tank the more likely it will freeze.
  • If possible add snow tires to your car.
  • If it’s not possible, buy chains to fit the circumference of your tire, with a chain hook to use for traction in the event of snow or ice.
  • Add weight to the back end of your car, sand bags or cat litter are preferred in the north. This serves 2 purposes. 1. The added weight helps with traction. 2. If you do find your tires to be stuck and spinning, you can pour either the sand or litter just in front of or behind the tire to get a little traction. (Every little bit of traction helps).
  • Keep emergency supplies in your vehicle, including a first aid kit, reflectors and flairs. Keep extra fluids like oil, wiper fluid, antifreeze and perhaps even a 5 gal. tank of gas.
  • Add blankets to your car. 1 blanket per person. If you have a family of 5, keep five blankets in your car. A few extra pairs of gloves and/or socks would be beneficial too.
  • Keep bottled water in your vehicle. Yes, it may freeze, but you can melt it with your heater.
  • Keep snack bars, breakfast bars, nuts, raisins, or cereal in an emergency container.

Tips for Driving

  • If you find yourself in winter weather conditions while driving, don’t drive too fast. No matter how seasoned a driver you are, black ice or slushy road conditions can cause slippage.
  • When stopping, tap your breaks instead of full pressure. Ease off the gas and let your car slow down tapping your breaks.
  • If you begin to slide, tap your breaks, don’t jerk the wheel, steer into the slide if at all possible, or gently steer away from the slide if your sliding to someplace unsafe. Like I did by steering into a field.
  • If you find you are stuck behind another vehicle, they are stuck and you are not. First be neighborly and see if you can help. If their car simply won’t move offer them a ride. Try downshifting and move slowly around their vehicle.
  • If you are on the freeway, get off of it. Major streets through the city are your better choice even if it’s slow. Streets leading to emergency services are usually cleared first.
  • If you find you are stuck, spinning and can’t move forward.
  1. Don’t gun the gas. Give it a slow steady press.
  2. If you have 4 wheel drive. Use it.
  3. If you don’t have 4 WD try 2nd gear, or even 1st gear. Often the lower gear will get you moving.
  4. Try reverse. Sometimes you can get a little traction in reverse. Just enough to get you moving, turn the wheel away from where you were stuck and try to go forward.
  5. If you have them and need them, use the chains, sand or litter.

If You are Truly Stuck

  • Turn on your emergency lights.
  • If possible call for help.
  • Get your blankets and emergency supplies to the front of the vehicle as quickly as possible. Use them.
  • Set out reflectors, and use flairs if you have them.
  • When the car is on, crack a window slightly to allow air circulation and prevent CM poisoning. Turn your car off, to preserve gas, and turn on occassionally to warm the car again.
  • If you must leave your vehicle. Cover as much exposed skin as possible.
  • Carry water with you. Know where you are going,
  • Have a plan take the shortest route possible.  

The cold winter weather is not something to be taken lightly. Weather it’s cold temperatures, snow or ice, if there are meteorologists reporting that a winter weather advisory is in effect in your area, the best thing you can do is stay in.

So if you find you are stuck inside and must shelter in place you can read this post which was posted In December prepare your home for winter weather.

~This post written by team member Renee Brown.

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Posted by on January 29, 2014 in Encouragement, Family, Home


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Creating a Winter Beverage Station & Instant Hospitality

In 1 Timothy 5:10, we read about how the widow who was worthy to be helped needed to be “well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the Lord’s people, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds.”  Showing hospitality is listed with showing kindness and bringing up children so clearly it’s an important quality that we can all be working on.

In another example, Romans 12:13 includes “seeking to show hospitality” in a long list of Christian attributes. Showing hospitality by extending your home to others is an excellent way to really connect on a personal level and to show how much you care.

Winter Drink Station or Bar is perfect for company.

You can show hospitality in many ways, but I’m going to share a quick idea that also keeps with our monthly organization theme and will have you ready to serve last minute guests.

This simple Warm Beverage Station was definitely Pinterest inspired.  You can do a quick “hot chocolate bar” search and you’ll see all kinds of ideas for how to organize one and what kind of goodies to include.  The best thing about it is that you can leave it set up all winter to be enjoyed by family and friends.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to set up a beverage station. I used a tiered basket that I’ve had for years and a set of $8 canning jars, dressed up with a little ribbon.  You can make this as simple or elaborate as you want.  However, I’ve found that most people prefer the basic mix-ins like marshmallows and creamers.

I included Russian tea, hot chocolate and coffee in mine, but you could add cider and other flavored teas.  If you have a Keurig, it would be super simple to add all kinds of beverages.

If you want to expand this idea of being ready for last minute guests, keep a ready to serve pie or cookies in the freezer.  You could also keep a roll of cookie dough in the fridge at all times, but that would be dangerous at my house.  🙂

To read more about how I set up my beverage station and get an amazing, highly addictive Russian Tea Mix recipe visit my blog, Imitation by Design.


Jennifer is a wife to Alan and mommy to 2 young boys.  She stays at home most of the time, but also helps with the family business.  She is a member of the R:16 team and blogs about her favorite recipes at Imitation by Design. 

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Posted by on December 23, 2013 in Home, Homemakers, Service, Women Serving Christ


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Elevating Homemaking to its Rightful Place

Home is where Hearts are Shaped for Eternity

Homemaking is Holy

I washed the dishes with a huff and a sigh, feeling grumpy and anxious about all the other (more important) things I needed to do.

The look on my face must have given me away because my husband asked, “Do you even like being a homemaker?”

My heart sank.

I felt crushed. But it was obvious that my displeasure had been clearly visible for quite some time.

The sad part was, I did like being a homemaker, but had fallen into the trap of busy and piled so much on my plate that I no longer found much joy in anything, only stress and worry.

Preparing meals had become an after thought and inconvenience; why did people have to get hungry?!

Cleaning was something that also made me crazy. I had deadlines to meet!

If the kid’s bedtime dragged on too long I began to feel antsy.

There was just so much to do and not enough time to do it.

My husband’s question was a wake up call of sorts. I began to reflect on how I was spending my time, and more importantly, how I was thinking.

I’d forgotten that homemaking is holy and that home is a mission field.

Besides weeding out the things that were keeping me unnecessarily busy, I needed to renew the view I had of myself as a homemaker. The tasks at hand in this time of life were of no less value than those trekking across the world as missionaries.

Homemaking is holy.

Elevating Homemaking

Every dish washed is an act of service to God and to our family.

Our daily sacrifice of self is a fragrant aroma, pleasing to the Lord.

Home is where hearts are shaped for eternity and a dedicated mother can change the world.

The homemaker who focuses on cultivating a warm and loving place for her family, is not only raising future generations, but impacting those around her. The love and faithfulness she has for her family shines a light for Christ.

So, why am I telling you this embarrassing story?

I’m telling you because I want to remind you of the value of homemaking. If you’re finding that homemaking is merely a back seat project in your life and really more of an annoyance than anything, perhaps it’s time to rethink things a little.

I’m not suggesting you do everything yourself or that you can only cook and clean all day long, I just want to encourage you to make room for homemaking. View your position as a homemaker as the valuable role it is.

Elevate homemaking to it’s rightful place, a holy place, an act of worship and obedience. 

Give yourself to homemaking and it just might bring you the joy and satisfaction you’ve been seeking.

Stacy KThis guest post is written by Stacy. She is the wife of a preacher and homeschool mom of three kids. She blogs at A Delightful Home where she shares tips on natural living with God at the center.


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Preparing the Home for Winter

Consider Your Winter Time Ways

Winter Home Preparation

It would seem that winter is coming early this year. Many of the states have been hit with ice, sleet and snow and many more have experienced lower than normal temperatures. This may mean that we could be in for a long and cold winter season.

Job 37:6 (KJV)


 “For he saith to the snow, Be thou on the earth; likewise to the small rain, and to the great rain of his strength.”

Technically, the winter season is still a few weeks away. With us focusing our blog posts this month on homemaking and organizing for the new year I thought it might be a good idea to talk about preparing our homes for winter.

Proverbs 31:21

“She is not afraid of the

snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet”.

While we may not literally clothe our families in scarlet we can prepare our households in such a way as to not be afraid of the snow.

10 Ways to Prepare your Homes for Winter

  1. It’s time to pull out the extra quilts, afghans, throw and wraps. Add a layer or 2 to your beds, set out a basket of convenient throws, drape them lovingly over the back of a chair or couch. Doing this provides a bit of extra warmth when needed and makes the home look cozy and a comfortable place to be on a cold winter day.
  2. Add a little light to the home by adding a few extra lamps here or there.Winter can seem dark and dreary if we let it, but we also can counter the winter blues with some winter glow.  As evening begins to set in, turn them on for a nice warm glow.
  3. Stock your pantry with necessary items to prepare warm and comforting foods, like soup, stew, chili, potpies, loaded baked potatoes. Rotate through these regularly to bring that extra bit of comfort to your family on a cold night. Preparing for Winter
  4. Gather your supplies for piping hot drinks. Whether it’s a steaming mug of cocoa or a hot cup of tea nothing says warmth like holding that cup in your hands after a day of playing or working in the snow.
  5. Add a little extra warmth to your bathroom. You can buy a heat lamp or towel warmer to accomplish this. Just a little something extra to help your family feel loved and cherished in the chilly season.
  6. Check your family winter gear, especially if you have children.  Do gloves, hats, boots socks still fit? Does your growing pre-teen need a new winter coat or snow suit. Stores are notorious for eliminating winter gear by January so now is the time to buy.
  7. Add some candle light to your dinner table or coffee table in the evenings. There is nothing quite as comforting as the flicker of fire light when surrounded by your loved ones.
  8. Stock up on warm fuzzy socks. It’s time to keep those toes warm.
  9. This is the season for colds, flus, and other yucks! So go get extra boxes of tissue. Make sure you have some honey on hand. Buy some fresh lemons, juice them and store the juice in the freezer, this way you are prepared to add it to a hot cup of tea when the need arises. Do you have a humidifier that can help with a congested nose or chest. Oh and while your stocking up don’t forget the Vick’s Vapor Rub. Rub it on the feet and cover with those warm fuzzy socks.
  10. Prepare some stock. Whether beef or chicken preparing your own from the leftover bones has a tremendous amount of nutrients. It’s not a coincidence that so many cultures have recipes for chicken stew ya’ll.

Just a little preparation on our parts can help us to have a warm and comfy house for our family during the cold season.

Now for those times when we may find that we need to shelter in place. When a snow or ice storm has come through and we find that we have lost power. Are you prepared to be without that convenience for more than a day? Here are some tips for preparing for severe weather with the potential for power loss.

  • Stock up on candles, matches or lighters,  batteries, flashlights. Check old flashlights to see if they are working, replace batteries if needed. Do it now when it isn’t necessary so that you are prepared in the event of a black out.
  • Alternate yet safe source of heat.(wood burning fireplace, propane heater, battery operated heater, generator).
  • Water. This is a basic need. Even in the city, if the city services are without power for too long you could lose your water source. I live in the country, no power = no water.

* Keep extra containers full of water. Either buy them and store in an out of way place BEFORE the impending storm when everyone else is out buying water.

* Fill kettles, pitchers, large mixing bowls with water. If you know a storm is coming with potential for power loss, fill your crockpot full of water and turn it on to keep the water warm. If you lose power the water will stay warm for several hours making for warm water to wash hands or dishes with.

* Fill the bathtub full of water, keep a bucket nearby and then use that water to flush toilets.

  • Make sure your vehicles are in good working order, have the oil, checked and changed if needed. Make sure fluids are topped off. Check the tire pressure. Keep it filled with gas as much as possible, and keep an extra supply in your shed or garage. Make sure the spare has air and is ready in the event of a flat.
  • Keep a bag of cat litter in the trunk, this can be poured behind a tire that is spinning on ice or snow to add traction. If you have a small vehicle consider adding extra weight to the trunk also consider keeping chains for tires.
  • Place a couple of blankets, water bottles and snacks (granola bars, nuts, raisins, trail mix, etc.) in the trunk of your car, make sure you have an emergency kit with flares or reflectors.
  • In the event of prolonged outage your back porch can keep your food cold and safe when your fridge cannot. I recommend putting items into a cooler and leaving the cooler in a safe place where animals can’t reach it.
  • Double up beds. Let the children share beds for a night or two, shared body warmth can help in a cold house with little heat.

When planning for winter, best judgment should always apply. If you feel that you can’t prepare your home for an emergency situation make sure you have alternate shelter arrangements. Whether it ‘s an arrangement with friends, neighbors or family you need to have a plan in place in the event of a winter emergency.

You might also want to consider talking with your congregation and elders about providing a shelter for members or even community during any weather related emergency. Having a congregational plan in place can help in the long run when an emergency hits and the building becomes an unexpected shelter. Remember that we are a family, members together of the body of Christ, so rely on each other, share in all things and be an encouragement in times of need. 

Planning ahead is important. This is especially so when dealing with the cold of winter and needing a safe and warm shelter. As homemakers, we can consider our ways, plan ahead and be ready for when the frosty stuff comes knocking at the door.

~~This post written by team member: Renee Brown



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Keeping the Home Part I

For the Glory of the Lord

Keeping the Home for His Glory

It’s the final month of the year. As the year winds down and we head into the new year, I know for many it is the busiest time of all. So this month on R16:16 we want to share with you some ideas, tips and suggestions for busy wives and moms which might be helpful to you in your role as a keeper of the home. We want to help make your burden a little lighter and strengthen your resolve to stand firm in the roles He has placed you in. We see some of these roles detailed in Titus.

Titus 2:4-5 (KJV)

“that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5) To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

Titus 2:4-5 (NKJV)

“that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,5 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.”

We see that the older women should teach the younger women to be sober, love their own husbands and children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers or homemakers good and obedient. Whew! That is quite a list isn’t it. But for what purpose are we to do these things?

Consider Your Ways

What are your reasons for maintaining a household that is kept tidy, neat or even perfectly clean?

Let’s look at some possible reasons:

  • You want to ensure the safest/cleanest environment to your husband and children to help ensure their health and well-being.
  • You are a neat-freak, a perfectionist, and you just have to have order around you at all times.
  • You’re husband is like the above mentioned neat-freak.
  • You want your home to look like the ones you see in those fancy home & family magazines, blogs and pinterest photos.
  • Your friends might think less of you if you have dust on the shelves.
  • You want everything to be in just the right place, at all times in case a friend stops by, or the UPS guy drops off a package.
  • You are a family who entertains a lot, so whenever you have guests over you all jump right in and get it done making sure every nook, cranny and corner is clean and in order.
  • You must be in control, and be a perfect homemaker because it is the role that God has assigned you and if you aren’t perfect in it, you are a failure.
  • You need to be that mom that has it all together, so your kids friends will want to hang out at your house.

The reality is most of us don’t have the time or energy to keep a perfect house at all times. It’s not easy especially if we do it alone. We try, I know many women who try to keep it all just perfectly. But ladies, we are not perfect and when we try to be, we fail. Then we feel guilty about our failure and determine we will do it even better next week or next month or next year. Then the cycle repeats all over again.

We have missed the point. Yes, the Lord has given us the role of being keepers of the home. He has placed us in the role of wife, mother, and homemaker and we should be striving to do those things and to do them well. But the purpose isn’t to look like the fake pictures in a magazine, or to be the most popular mom or the best party thrower. The purpose should always be: “that the word of God may not be blasphemed.”


When we stop trying because we are tired, overwhelmed or over stressed. When we lose it with our children because in their young-ness they forgot to take out the trash. When we snap at our husbands because he didn’t fold the towels right. When we get angry that the deacon asked us to host yet another youth devo. Then we are not glorifying the Father.

Our purpose is to honor him in obedience so that the Word of God be not blasphemed. These words, this list of roles, IS THE WORD OF GOD. If we shirk our responsibilities, if we seek to perform them for any other reason than His, then we do not obey His word and therefore, blaspheme the role He has designed for us.

Be sure to see Part II of Keeping the Home Tomorrow. May you be blessed in your God given roles.

This post written by team member: Renee Brown. You can read more of Renee’s writings on her blog Great Peace Academy.


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Feathering the Family Nest

Local Business Creates Warmth and Comfort from Old to New

Nest Feathers 1

When I think of keeping the home and making it a place of comfort, sustenance, and beauty, my mind immediately goes to the virtuous wife of Proverbs 31. She was an amazing woman who could not only meet the immediate needs of her household, but somehow (in her spare time) was somewhat of a business woman.

“She also rises while it is yet night,
And provides food for her household,
And a portion for her maidservants.She considers a field and buys it;
From her profits she plants a vineyard.
She girds herself with strength,
And strengthens her arms.She perceives that her merchandise is good,
And her lamp does not go out by night.She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her hand holds the spindle.”

This is also a description of an amazing woman that I am blessed to call my friend. She is the real deal when it comes to multi-tasking and doing it extremely well. Her family rises up to call her blessed and so do her friends. I was honored to interview Tonya Strong about her business. I think you will find her responses both interesting and insightful.

Why did you choose the name “Nest Feathers” for your business?

I chose the name of my business, , based on my love of the concept of feathering our nests for and with our families. Many years ago, during a difficult time of loss, I read a book about appreciating your children and the feathers (tangible and intangible memories) that they leave behind in your nest. That stuck with me and so when picking a name, there was no question.

Nest Feathers

Where is Nest Feathers located?

I have two booths, located upstairs, in Vintage Rose Antiques. The store is located in the historic District of Cookeville, Tennessee at 221 West Broad, formerly known as Putnam House.

What does your business specialize in?

I specialize in antique to mid-century modern painted, repurposed, up-cycled and/or reclaimed furniture and accessories.

Why did you start Nest Feathers?

­I began trying my hand at painted furniture with a dear friend a few years ago. While the concept took off quickly, being homeschool moms, we could never find adequate time to keep up with the demands of finding pieces, painting them, marketing them and developing the business. Since then however, I have been overwhelmingly encouraged and generously supported by the new owners of Vintage Rose Antiques, who are also dear friends, to try again and rent booth space. I needed a way to supplement income for our upcoming life events and I am always seeking a creative outlet, so after much prayer, I decided to give it another try.

Nest Feathers 2

What are the pros and cons of being a small business owner?

  • Pros:

Supplemental income, creative outlet, travel, my husband and kids have gotten involved.

  • Cons:

Creates very chaotic times that sometimes take me away from my family, travel, never ending dust and disorder

What is your goal for Nest Feathers?

My goal is to develop it and enjoy it until I don’t anymore and never let it separate me from God or family!

What advice would you give someone considering starting a small business?

If you are a Christian wife and mother considering going in to business, I suggest that you heavily weigh the pros and cons of time spent away from family. I have spent countless regretful hours miserable and working in the garage, while my family was together in the living room. Once you make commitments to others, you must fulfill them. Keep in mind that like Nest Feathers, most part time industry is ultimately a producer of vain products (lusts of the eyes).The proverbs 31 woman, who bought, sold and worked with her hands to create profitable merchandise, was certainly glorified for it, but at the same time, her family and household were preserved. Enjoy what you aim to do and use it to help your family but never let it come between you and God or your family.

What else would you like us to know?

I wish that people would understand that you can buy wonderful, sturdy old pieces of furniture that were made in the USA, by skilled craftsman, that will retain their value and have much character and history at a fraction of the price of today’s new cookie cutter furniture, shipped from china, with poor craftsmanship and that loses most of its value as soon as it passes your doorway. At the same time you are supporting local people like me who are trying to pay for a wedding, put their children through school, buy soccer shoes, make a house payment and not for a conglomerate CEO’s 5th vacation home. Shop local!

As many of you can very well relate, “home wasn’t built in a day.”A home is a work in progress that needs layers of love added over time just like the mama bird feathers her nest one feather at a time. Nest Feathers, and other businesses that have unique, one of a kind items, help make feathering our own nests much easier, and allow us to support our brothers and sisters in Christ at the same time. After all , there is no place like home, especially one that is “feathered” in love!

strong familyTonya Strong is the wife of Ronald Strong and the mother of Brettianee and Hannah. She homeschooled her daughters from Kindergarten to Senior year. Not only has she started a business, she also is a cofounder and board member of PAJCH, a homeschool group that supports and caters to members of the church. She and her family worship at the Center Grove church of Christ where her husband is an associate minister and deacon.

Article Written by Team Member: Shanna Mathis Anderson

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Posted by on November 20, 2013 in Encouragement, Family, Featured Business, Home


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