Organize Your Photos: Christmas Albums

But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

Luke 2:19

 

Welcome back to the Organizing Your Photos series, Christmas edition!

My goal for these posts is to help you feel like a successful family historian and truly enjoy your photos, without a lot of work. (For more about that, read the first half of the first post here.)

Speaking of work, I know this is the Christmas season. Chance are that you’re not going to start a photo project, no matter how small it is. You have a lot to do right now, and I get that. But now is the time to think about your project, and maybe even take a couple of photos to get ready!

Read more… →

Thank You for Supporting Our Ministry!

Unexpected Organizing: Bedroom Furniture

Today I’m launching a new blog series called “Unexpected Organizing.” I’m so excited! I’m going to open up my home to you in a very real way—with photos of how my house is actually organized. The good, the bad, and the not necessarily Pinterest Pretty.

I always want to be real with you. I want to show you that you don’t have to organize perfectly—you just have to organize in a way that works for you and your family. Let me be clear that I don’t think you should organize just like me! But I’m excited to share some ideas with you, ideas that may help you to clear the spiritual clutter out of your home.

Read more… →

Thank You for Supporting Our Ministry!

Organize Your Photos: As-They-Grow Albums

Children are a heritage from the Lord,
    offspring a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
    are children born in one’s youth.

Psalm 127:3-4

 

Welcome to the second post of the Organize Your Photos series!

My goal is to encourage you to enjoy some of your photos offline, so you can cherish those memories and bring your family closer together. If you missed the first post about simple Interest Albums, please check it out!

Remember, you can enjoy your photos without a big, hard, long project. Keep your project simple, short, and fun. The Interest Album was the perfect way to start.  Now, let’s keep it rolling…

 

Today’s idea: The As-They-Grow Album

Read more… →

Thank You for Supporting Our Ministry!

The Blessing of Limitations

He brought me out to a spacious place;
He rescued me because He delighted in me.

Psalm 18:19

 

Whether you live in a tiny apartment or a 10-bedroom home, your space is limited.

We all have “limited space”—and that can be such a good thing!

As a society, we have a tendency to collect, and a propensity toward wanting more. We tend to accumulate (and accumulate) until we’re seeking new and better ways to store our stuff.

Read more… →

Thank You for Supporting Our Ministry!

Organize Your Photos: The Interest Album

A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?

Ecclesiastes 2:24-25

 

I used to give a talk on taking and organizing photographs. I loved that talk! I truly love being our family’s Keeper of Memories, the Family Historian.

However, the demand for that particular talk is so nearly nonexistent that I stopped offering it. Not everyone loves taking and/or organizing photographs… and times are changing.

Read more… →

Thank You for Supporting Our Ministry!

Why I’m Cutting Back on Social Media

Be still before the Lord
    and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
    when they carry out their wicked schemes.

Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
    do not fret—it leads only to evil.
For those who are evil will be destroyed,
    but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.

Psalm 37:7-9

 

Since I started this ministry back in 2011, I know that I’ve been doing social media all wrong.

I made a “business page” on Facebook because I heard that you weren’t supposed to use a personal page for a sole proprietor business (or ministry, in this case). Wrong! I eventually had to make a personal page just so I could use the existing business page, which is confusing to some who want to “friend” me.

And I post the “wrong” things on Facebook, including doing a terrible job of sharing other people’s stuff. In fact, according to social media folks, I do a terrible job of sharing my own stuff. I absolutely know they’re right.

Read more… →

Thank You for Supporting Our Ministry!

Summer Idea Sprouts

Organizing Your Summer, Part 2

The Lord has done great things for us,
    and we are filled with joy.

Psalm 126:3

Last May, I posted about the Live it Up summer initiative. The Uptons tried an ambitious plan to Use it Up, Eat it Up, Play it Up, Read it Up, Watch it Up, and Trip it Up. You can read more about it here, but basically we determined to enjoy the summer by enjoying the things we already had!

If you’re wondering, it went really well. We didn’t do everything I’d planned, but we did an awful lot of it and I’ve never been so contented with a summer of fun. We played with more, tried more things, and used up more of our stuff than we ever have before. Getting organized about our family’s summer was wonderful!

 

This year, though, I wanted to try a simpler endeavor.

Read more… →

Thank You for Supporting Our Ministry!

Beyond the Packing List

Then their father Israel said to them, “If it must be, then do this: Put some of the best products of the land in your bags and take them down to the man as a gift—a little balm and a little honey, some spices and myrrh, some pistachio nuts and almonds. Take double the amount of silver with you, for you must return the silver that was put back into the mouths of your sacks. Perhaps it was a mistake. Take your brother also and go back to the man at once. And may God Almighty grant you mercy before the man so that he will let your other brother and Benjamin come back with you. As for me, if I am bereaved, I am bereaved.”

Genesis 43:11-14

 

I loved reading these verses in Genesis 43 this week, as I plan for a vacation. How appropriate!  These verses describe Jacob (Israel) telling his sons how to prepare for a dangerous trip to Egypt.

And why did these verses resonate with me so much? Because they are my trip-organizing philosophy in a Bible passage. This is what Jacob is basically advising:

Read more… →

Thank You for Supporting Our Ministry!

The Shoe-Lover’s Guide to Organizing

“…and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.”

From the Armor of God verses, Ephesians 6:10-18

I love shoes.

“Shoe” was my first word. The story goes that I didn’t talk for a long time and my parents were starting to get a bit nervous. Then one day on the changing table, my mom was putting shoes on my little feet. I pointed at one and said, clear as a bell, “shoe.” Seeing Mom’s delight, I went on to point out “sock,” and then “foot”… and basically they haven’t gotten me to stop talking since.

Note that “shoe” started the avalanche.

I do love shoes, but when I clean out my wardrobe, they’re often a neglected section. By the time I’m done with the clothes, I don’t have much energy for the shoes…. and then they all start looking like keepers. Been there?

Read more… →

Thank You for Supporting Our Ministry!

7 Clutter-Free Ways to Feel Like an Awesome Mom

Fathers, do not exasperate your children;

instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

Ephesians 6:4

“Mom, you’re the best mom ever.”

The words were just out of my daughter Karly’s mouth, filling my heart, when her little brother Oliver piped up. “Wait, I thought Mary—you know, Mary, Jesus’ mom?— was the best mom ever.”

“Whoa, burn!” said big brother Spencer. “Mary burn!”

Life with kids.

Seriously, don’t you just love hearing the words “best mom ever” or “best grandma ever” from your kids? Even if it is a fleeting moment!

Read more… →

Thank You for Supporting Our Ministry!