I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.

-Psalm 34:1


For the last couple of years, my little family has been making fun of all the hash-tagging.

This began when these symbol-led phrases started popping up on the bottom of our TV screen. I think I noticed it first on shows like Survivor and The Amazing Race. (Yes, we still love those two!) #TribalCouncil #Blindside #UTurn

It was just too easy to roll our eyes at those. Soon we were joking in hashtags.


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Missing Out on Butterscotch

Read it!

If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.

-Matthew 10:39

Think it through

One Lenten day in 2008 I was at the mall with my kids (only two back then!), ready to redeem my coupon for a free Cheryl’s cookie. (The Library Summer Reading Club coupon sheet comes through again!)

Now normally I’d walk into a place like Cheryl’s and make a beeline for the chocolate. I mean, what’s the point of a cookie that doesn’t even include chocolate chips? And let’s see if we can find one that has chocolate batter as well…

But it was Lent, I’d given up chocolate, and I’d resigned myself to not getting a cookie at all. I’d get the free one and let the kids split it between them, case closed.

Then I spied something called a “Scotchie.”


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All around the town…

Hello, Friends!

I have a huge praise to share with you—after almost five years of going it alone on the ministry front, God brought me an amazing new friend named Amy who’s almost as invested in this ministry as I am!  (In fact, for all I know, it’s a tie.)  I’ve enjoyed getting to know her at church, but it wasn’t until I received a nudge from a mutual friend that I reached out to see if she’d be willing to help me get the word out about Building Your House.  She has been nothing short of a tremendous blessing to me since that moment.

You can read Amy’s side of this story on her wonderful blog.  It’s really amazing what God has done for both of us.  Plus, she wrote that I’m quiet and meek and that I seep, all things that crack me up.  Now don’t you want to read it?  (While you’re there, take a look around—I love all of her stories and I bet you will, too!)

Amy’s hard work has brought me several opportunities to share on the blogs of fellow sisters in Christ.  


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For the Joy

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.

1 Corinthians 12:4-6


In January we tend to set goals, which I love. I already wrote about the best resolution, but another fantastic goal is to serve God with our time and talents. That’s a no-brainer, right?

It is unless we mess it up.


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Celebrating My 100th Post (A List of the Best of My Best)

I can’t believe it, but this is my 100th post.

As I wrote on my “blogiversary,” I never thought I’d be blogging at all. Yet today I took a look back at my first 99 posts, and you know what? There was some good stuff in there!

Over time, my posts have evolved from Monday/Thursday Bible study posts to a new schedule: Monday Bible study devotions with a thought-provoking “kick,” and Thursday posts that deal with either anxiety help (the Thought Shot posts) or Christian Growth (the Take the Challenge posts). All of them speak to what God’s bringing to the forefront in my life… and hopefully yours.


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Open the Stable Door

This is a guest post by my mother, Sharon Kelley.  She shared the following as a Mentor Moment for the young mothers of her church.  When I read it, I cried.  It’s just too good to leave on her hard drive… so I’m sharing it with you.  May you open the stable door this Christmas.  —Shannon


So how are the Christmas preparations going for you so far? Are the presents bought? Are they wrapped up with a sparkly bow? Are the cookies baked? Is the tree up? Is the house decorated inside and out? Are the Christmas cards in the mailbox, including a bright and happy family letter? Is your blood pressure rising just thinking about all you have yet to do?

In my own life, my little family of three children has grown to three children, three in-law children, and nine grandchildren. That’s a lot of shopping and attending at least nine Christmas school programs, band concerts, piano recitals and a Tae Kwon Do black belt testing thrown in the mix. Bill and I also have responsibilities to help care for Bill’s 91 year old mom and my 98 year old Dad. Wowsa. It’s a lot in December.


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Let’s Start Building Your House!

Way back in 2011, I realized that I’d written a mammoth book about how to organize life as a Christian.

I’d followed God’s clear call to “Write the Book” by writing all about personal, home, and family organizing for Jesus—and it was too much for one book! So I took the first half of the manuscript, added a conclusion, and called it Organizing You. That was the easy part.

The hard part was cutting out the second half of my dearly loved and prayed over content. I pasted it into a Word doc and saved it as “OY2.” But in my head, it was called “OY2??” I doubted whether anyone would ever read it.

Even now, it’s hard for me to believe that I’m able to share that content (and more!) with you in Building Your House!



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Prepare to be Spontaneous! (How to Go Park Hopping)

Can you prepare to be spontaneous? Isn’t that an oxymoron? 

Absolutely not!  We moms can engineer a little fun on purpose.  When we do the planning ahead of time, the activity can be even more relaxed, and exciting!  (And when I have a free printable chart for you, that makes it even easier!)

We live about half a block from a little neighborhood park.  It’s a fine park and we go there all the time.  But it’s hot- no shade at all.  And, we’ve done everything there is to do there—lots of times.  Last summer, when my kids asked to go to the park, I found myself starting to resist.

So I went to our local parks and rec website to look for a new park to try—and it turned out there were a ton!  I wasn’t sure which to try first, or how to remember our favorites…and so, Park Hopping was born.


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Chocolate is My Third Favorite Thing


#1  Jesus

#2  Family

#3  Chocolate


I suppose the real #3 is my church, or the Bible… but aren’t those really lumped in there with Jesus?  See #1.

Just so you can get to know me a little better, here are ten things you may not know about me.  Yes, this post is purely for fun—but it still has a Bible Verse at the end!  (The girl can’t help it.)


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More Jesus at Christmas!

Christmastime can give any mom spiritual clutter. 

All of the extra holiday to-dos and events—and the feeling of panic that hits us when we realize it’s already December [fill in the date]—can push the Christmas joy right out of our hearts.  We hate to admit it, but even wonderful Christian moms like us need to be intentional about keeping our hearts centered on Christ at Christmas!

So this December, clear out some of that spiritual clutter.  Plan and prepare ahead as much as possible.  Skip “traditions” you don’t even like.  Simplify where you can and just do less…but, I also want to challenge you to do more in order to keep the joy of our Savior front and center in your heart.


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