Wouldn’t it be nice if you could store your extra time in your hope chest, or in a bottle for later use?!   Unfortunately we cannot actually “save” time like that, but we can learn how to manage it properly now before the responsibilities of a whole home are ours.  Recently I have been thinking about the way I spend my time and how often I “spin my wheels”.  Spinning your wheels keeps you busy but it doesn’t really get you anywhere and only deepens the ruts you are stuck in!

I have been reading a very neat old book  that Mommy found at an antique store a while ago called “The Complete Home” by Mrs. Julia Mc. Nair Wright.  It is a story about “Aunt Sophronia” and the lessons and talks she has about homemaking with her three nieces before and while they are married.

Among many other things on keeping a home, she talks about assigning a time for everything and a place for everything.

She asks her niece, Helen,  “Have you a place for everything? Are your bureau drawers in order, and has each one its own appointed contents so that you could find what you want in the dark?”  She goes on to tell her niece that her disorderliness and housekeeping turmoil are,  “all the result of not having a time and a place for everything; a lack of plan and energy on your part…[it] is ruining your domestic comfort.  A Household should have laws like the Medes and Persians, which never change; and privileges which are like an Englishman’s house, an impregnable castle.” I am very afraid that my own “housekeeping laws” in the small little part that I take care of now are much more easily broken than those of the Medes and Persians!!!  Of course that does not mean that you cannot be flexible with other people’s plans at times, but you just cannot be so flexible with yourself!

The oldest niece gets a little book for her wedding, and on the inside it has this quote:

“Always be one hour in advance of your work”.

That made me stop and think.  How often could I try and be an hour in advance of my own work?  So often I am more like an hour behind, and how much more relaxing and pleasant it would be to be ahead!

“I look ahead and see what is coming, and I keep a little in advance of demand.  I don’t lose an hour in the morning and expect to make it up in the evening: night is the wrong end of the day to borrow from: work never goes briskly in the after part of the day; in the morning it is cool: we are rested, fresh and strong, and then is the time to get the work out of the way.”

Cousin Ann, speaking to Aunt Sophronia


This post was originally from “A Chest of Hopes”, a weekly column, written for Feelin’ Feminine.

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An Hour In Advance
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14 thoughts on “An Hour In Advance

  • September 21, 2010 at 7:14 am

    wow, this is a great post! i don’t think even my room is that orderly! i’ll have to work on that one! (:

  • September 21, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    I enjoyed this post! I need to get on top of my schedule, too…… 🙁 How do you catch up on that hour that you lost?
    This post reminds me of part of a favorite poem:

    We are but minutes -little things!
    Each one furnished with sixty wings
    With which we fly on our unseen track
    And not a minute ever comes back.

    We are but minutes- use us well,
    For how we are used we must one day tell
    Who uses minutes has hours to use
    Who loses minutes whole years must lose.

    Thanks for an encouraging post, Jessica/Spinster! 😉

    -the Old Maid 😀

    • September 21, 2010 at 6:44 pm

      Hmmm…don’t know how to catch up on the hour you lost! Perfect poem! Glad it could be an encouragment…I needed to read it again myself! Leah and I were cleaning a house yesterday and I told Leah, “It’s on days like these when we get so much done, that I realize how much more I could be doing at home!”

      -the Spinster 😀

  • September 21, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    This was really neat! I also need to work on this and this post is such an encouragement in the right direction! 🙂 And with that, I had better begin supper!


  • September 21, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    Oh I love your Chest of Hopes posts on FF. 🙂 They are so feminine, girlish and homey! Miss you gals so much.

    Tell Anna I got her comment, and will be waiting for a reply. 🙂 Miss seeing you gals every so often. I hope you’re all well and all that is with you.


  • September 21, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    great post…really puts you to thinking 🙂
    I was looking on your mommy’s blog the other day and I feel awful for you guys…traveling 3,500 + miles w/o AC!!!!!!!!!!!!! I feel 4 you all 🙂

  • September 22, 2010 at 7:55 am

    Great post Jessica!! I forwarded it on to my Daughter-in-law as she called me yesterday and said the Lord had been speaking to her about ORDER in her home, business, and life!! I hope it will encourage her too.

    I’m sure you all are excited to be going on vacation….I pray for safety for you, and a great time!! I look forward to reading all about it. What did you guys do with Fred?? Did he go back or is he staying?? Just curious!!
    Love to you all,

    • September 22, 2010 at 9:46 am

      Thank you Ann! And thank you for your prayers 😀 We are just getting ready to figure out who gets to sit where in the van…that should be fun 😀

      Oh yes! Fred went back 😀 Joe was terribly lonely without him and we found out that we’d rather get to see him once in a while than be in charge of him all the time 😀



        • September 22, 2010 at 9:54 pm

          Yes 😀 He is a good little dog, but it worked out better this way….kinda sad though, isn’t it?!

          • September 22, 2010 at 10:43 pm

            ALL THAT SUSPENSE AND YOU GOT RID OF FRED???? how hard hearted of you! 😀 Now that he’s gone I can tell you- We’ve always called lap dogs ‘rat dogs.’ we would call Fred a ‘mop dog.’ My dad would reenact dipping the mop dog in a bucket of soapy water and sending it across the floor because “That’s all those dogs are good for.” 😀
            That said, I really don’t blame you for sending him away-You have to keep up your reputation as a spinster and scrub the floor yourself. 😀

            • September 23, 2010 at 6:37 am

              ROFL! <–that's how I mop the floor! 😀 Your dad sounds quite hilarious! I know…'tis terrible, isn't it, to get rid of poor Fred just like that, after leading you all along!

              ~The Spinster 😀


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