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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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I Will Obey.

Read it! Psalm 119

I will obey your decrees; do not utterly forsake me.

(vs. 8)

Think it through

So now that we’re reading and loving the law, it’s time to actually do what it says.

I’ve written posts on obeying God’s laws before (this one springs to mind), and I mean what I write! So why, like Paul, do I clutter my own spirit with disobedience?  Why do I do what I don’t want to do?

There are many answers to that question, but the one I want to focus on today is this: sometimes I’m not set up for it. I haven’t made decisions before go-time is upon me, and I’m making a (bad) decision in the moment.

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Taking A Risk

“Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.

Matthew 14:29

 

A couple of weeks ago, I got a hair cut. I asked the hairdresser to take off at about eight inches of long layers in favor of a shoulder-length blunt cut.

This was a stupidly huge deal for me.

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Is Alcohol Cluttering Your Spirit?

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

-I Corinthians 10:31

 

OK, you may be wondering, why does an organizing lady feel the need to tackle this particular topic?

Because I’m all about clearing out spiritual clutter, and this issue (much like the R-rated movie topic I tackled when cleaning out my basement) may cause some.

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Easter isn’t the End

Read it!

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

-James 4:7

Think it through

We’re coming to the end of our Lenten series. Easter is just days away. I’m looking forward to church. I’m looking forward to watching my kids find Easter baskets full of spring and summer treats. I’m looking forward to celebrating with my extended family.

And let’s face it, I’m looking forward to a Cadbury egg.

I’ve done this giving up chocolate thing before, and I know that first taste of chocolate will be almost too sweet, almost too good. It will be delightful, and I’ll be so thankful in that moment—He is Risen that we might have abundant and eternal life!

But soon the taste of chocolate will be, though still wonderful, commonplace. A part of my average day. Or worse, again, a temptation leading me further away from God instead of closer to Him.

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Sometimes it’s the Forgetting

If you, God, kept records on wrongdoings, who would stand a chance?
As it turns out, forgiveness is your habit, and that’s why you’re worshiped.

-Psalm 130:3-4 (The Message)

 

Have you ever forgiven someone, but then had a hard time forgetting the pain?

I was reminded lately (by a Joyce Meyer devotional) that there are two hurtful situations that I’m having trouble forgetting. One particular situation will never be repeated, and so that person won’t have the chance to hurt me in the same way. I’m pretty far down the path toward forgiving and forgetting. The other person, though, could and quite possibly will hurt me again in exactly that way.

How do we guard our hearts without hurting our relationships?

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Making the Most of Snowdays

…or fog days, or cold days, or ice days, or even sick days!

 

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow…

Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”

-James 4:14-15

 

In Building Your House, I talk a lot about organizing your home for your routines—about making those frequent daily or weekly happenings that much smoother by putting what you need right where you’ll need it.

A little preparation can clear out a lot of spiritual clutter!

This maxim also applies to less frequent happenings. We seldom think to plan for them, but there will be days when school will be canceled unexpectedly. Here in Ohio, it could be because of any kind of inclement weather. Even homeschooling is canceled when the students are home sick!

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The Sunday Conundrum

The Sunday Conundrum: Ode to Logic, Commitment to Lord

(Today I’m letting my math nerd self shine through!)

 

Most Sunday mornings, I face the conundrum. Sometimes I start wresting with my duality of mind on Saturday night—even as early as Friday afternoon.

It’s a dichotomous pondering: To work, or not to work.

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Throwing Off Our Chains

Read it! John 8

“…and the truth will set you free.”

They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”

(vs32&33)

Think it through

Viewing ourselves through the lens of truth is difficult.

Jesus told the Jews that his teachings, the truth, would set them free, but they just looked at one another and shrugged. They were living in a land where they were officially free—free to live and love and work and marry and worship their God. (Sound familiar?)

But Jesus explained that everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Not free, but bound by the habit of repeating our mistakes and the consequences of each choice. And we often miss this crucial perspective altogether.

Here’s some truth I frequently fail to see:

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What Not to Do When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you…

-Isaiah 43:2

 

I took a hard look at my bad reactions to overwhelming circumstances when my friend Rachel Wojo gave me a copy of her new book, One More Step.

Rachel and I have similar ministry messages in a lot of ways. In One More Step, she takes the reader on journey through the different feelings we face in the midst of struggle and gives solid, faith-based ideas for how to handle those feelings. In my favorite chapter, Rachel talks about weeding out negative thoughts much like I talk about clearing out spiritual clutter! In another chapter, she had wonderful suggestions about steps to take and things to avoid when life becomes overwhelming.

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