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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!

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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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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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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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It’s Not Easy Being Queen

However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Ephesians 5:33

 

I hate to admit it, but I’m a bigger fan of historical fiction than I am of actual history books. I love to read about Tudor-era women fighting for better marriages and higher positions and more power… even the chance to be queen. But when they get to be queen, they’re still not happy: they know they’re not the king.

We Christian women are the queens of our households, and we love it—but we know we’re not the kings. Although our homes are our dominions, the Bible clearly says that our husbands are the leaders of them.

It’s a challenge to be in charge of the home and yet not be the leader of the family. (Even if you’re feeling skeptical here, please keep reading… it will be worth it.)

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Organizing Your Summer

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.

Ecclesiastes 2:24

 

Every summer for the last several years, I’ve organized a “summer initiative” for my kids. My kids look forward to these ideas every year (mostly because they involve fun treats). This year, I want to share my idea with you.

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The Martha of Homemaking

 

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one.”

Luke 10:41&42a

 

So, we cleared up in Part One that Martha absolutely should have put down her cleaning supplies and sat at the feet of Jesus with Mary. Mary chose the best thing, and we want to, as well—so we intentionally choose to enjoy quiet time with God every day.

But we know that even if Martha had been able to forget her chores and choose to be with Him, the chores would still be waiting. I have to wonder what would’ve happened if Martha had been able to do some of her chores and lean on the Lord at the same time.

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Do You Really Know Your Love Language?

I just finished reading The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. Again.

I adore this book and think it’s applicable to all kinds of relationships, from marriage to friendships to family relationships. So, to help celebrate Valentine’s Day, I decided to read it again—this time thinking about my kids as well as my husband.

If you haven’t read it, the gist is that we all appreciate certain kinds of love more than others. Many, many of you will have read this or at least will have heard of it. You probably think you know your love language and that of your spouse (and possibly kids).

You might be wrong.

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How to Avoid Pinterest Panic

“Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done,

and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else.”

— Galatians 6:4

 

I may have mentioned that I really love Pinterest.

I love recreating Pinterest activities with all three of my kids (even my very patient teenage boy—and my very, very patient husband!).  There are so many great faith-related pins… and hosting fun theme birthday parties is totally in my wheelhouse. All those ideas are just waiting to be discovered, and organized!

But Pinterest is getting a bad rap.

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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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