A Heart for Missions is Too Full For Guilt

Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

Mark 10:21

 

Recently as I was preparing to leave for a mission trip, my spirit became deeply cluttered.

Just thinking about it was causing me a lot of worry and pre-guilt. Would I be able to handle being with children in extreme poverty, often with physical and/or mental disabilities? Several people with much more mission experience than I warned me that I would be heartsick, broken, and overwhelmed with my own underserved blessings.

So, I prayed, and I fasted, and then I went to Jamaica—not the touristy part.

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6 Ways to Organize Your Devotional Space

But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.

Luke 5:16

One of the top New Year’s resolutions on every Christian’s list is to spend more time with God. We want to improve the quantity or the quality of our devotional time—or both!

I know it’s one of my top resolutions every year… and it will be until I die. We can never spend too much time with God, or focus on Him too closely! But we can (and should) feel satisfied after our devotional time with Him. We should feel full of His peace and presence, and ready to tackle what’s next.

Of course, our enemy wants to pull us away from any close time with God. He throws anything he can in our way… especially those whirling negative thoughts that I call Spiritual Clutter. Unfortunately for him, we can use a little organization to clear out the mess in our heads and make room for God’s peace.

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Our Kids Don’t Need a “Before and After”

We all love to see “before and after” photos. Dowdy to beautiful make-overs, overweight to healthy dieters, and of course, messy to neat organizing. Photos like these are inspiring!  (I usually forget to take the “before” photos, but even the “after” photos make me happy—hence the picture of my make-up drawer.)

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Why Not to Trust My Planner Pages

Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
    but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.

Psalm 20:7

 

OK, the New Year is right around the corner and I’m super, duper excited to be able to offer you the official Organizing You Planner Pages—for free! (You can learn all about how awesome they are right here.) Basically, with the help of my wonderful publisher, I was able to create a unique planner system for those of us who are asking God to make the true plans.

Which is exactly why you can’t fully put your trust in them.

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The Art of Being Real

Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

Matthew 6:1

 

I love organizing, and I love Jesus even more. But I hope that you don’t read any of my stuff and think, Well, Little Miss Organized certainly has it all together.

I really don’t have it all together. In all of my writing and speaking, I try to be super transparent, letting you know that I struggle with intentionally living for Christ just as much as the next person, if not more. I need His grace.

But it sure can be tempting to try to impress… 

Here are a few true confessions:

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How to Encourage Loving Tones in Your Home

 

“You’re being a clanging cymbal.”

This is our new family phrase.

As part of the research for my free Guide to a Vibrant Family Faith, I challenged our family to try verse mapping together. When you “map” a verse, you define words simply, circle words and phrases that stand out to you, and personalize the verse by crossing out any pronouns and adding your name.

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How to Claim Truth from Sarcasm

The inscription of the charge written against Him was: The King of the Jews.

Mark 15:26

 

Today I was turning to a passage in my new Bible when something caught my eye. In Mark 15, the words “The King of the Jews” are pulled out, put in all caps, and bolded, like this:

 

THE KING OF THE JEWS.

 

I was right in the middle of another train of thought, but these words leapt out at me and stopped me with these thoughts:

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Living in the Pocket

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others,

as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

I Peter 4:10

 

I went to a Dave Matthews Band concert this summer, and I had many thoughts while I was there. Since the band tends to go on long instrumental riffs, there was a lot of time to think…

I thought about how I’m getting older. When I went to my first Dave concert in college, “Ants Marching” was big. This time, there was a teenage girl sitting next to me who said, “Well, I’ve never heard of Dave Matthews Band, but my dad says I’ll like it.” Wow.

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Leaning on Spiderwebs

What they trust in is fragile; what they rely on is a spider’s web.

They lean on the web, but it gives way; they cling to it, but it does not hold.

Job 8:14-15

 

After reading Job 8, I decided to do an object lesson with my kids. (Fellow moms, grandmas, Sunday School teachers, try this one out this Halloween! You can make every holiday—even  Halloween—about Jesus!)

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