Before I share the first section of my Home Management Guide, I want to talk a little more about the purpose of the HMG, just so there’s no confusion.
The HMG is intended to work in conjunction with an effective filing system, but it will not replace it. Your goal is to have all of your most frequently used papers in one place, so they’re easy to find and refer to. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to rummage through a file every time I need to look at my bill payment schedule or pantry list. However, you will still need a filing system for other papers that need to be kept for tax preparation and recordkeeping, but are not needed regularly. For those of you who are struggling to implement a successful filing system and get paper clutter under control, I would like to direct you to a series of articles that I wrote about this subject. I understand your plight, because I used to be a piler…and now I’m a filer!
Also, please remember that the HMG is your personal reference guide. I’m going to share how I set mine up, but you certainly don’t have to assemble yours the same way. You may want to implement sections that I don’t have, and I might have sections that you don’t need and want to omit. Design yours in a way that works best for you.
The first section of my binder is “Prayer and Bible Study.” I have one of my favorite Scriptures, Ephesians 6:14-18 on the cover:
This section is first in my binder because I try to put God first in my life. It’s an ongoing struggle to find time for God while coping with the demands of home and family, but I continue to work at it daily.
Here’s what I have in this section:
-My 365-Day Bible reading plan (print one here). I keep this in sheet protectors, and as I read each day’s assignment, I check it off with a dry erase marker. When I finish at year-end, I just erase all of the markings and start over.
-My prayer journal. I use a punched spiral notebook, but you can also use looseleaf paper. I like to write prayers down, and when God answers them, I write his answer and the date next to them. It really helps me see how God works in my life. You can also have a section for making notes about your Bible reading, but I suggest marking right in your Bible instead. It took me a long time to get used to the idea of writing in a book that I have such great reverence for, but a friend reminded me that the Bible is alive and personal, and it’s OK to write in it! I like to use a Bible highlighter and study pen, which I keep in my zipper pouch. I got them at Family Christian Stores, and I like them because they don’t bleed through the delicate pages.
-A list of the names and attributes of God. I enjoy reading and meditating on these during prayer time.
-Prayers and other writings that I find inspirational. I tend to save little bits and pieces that make me feel good, but before the HMG, I could never find them. It’s nice to have them all in one place, so I can actually read them!