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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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This is for all the Driven People

In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat—for he grants sleep to those he loves.

Psalm 127:2

 

This post is for all the driven people. The first-borns, the onlys, and the others God made this way. Those Type-A’s out there who go and do and worry that the day will pass them by. People like me that can hardly stand to watch TV unless they’re doing something with their hands. (Check out one of my favorite memes here.)

All in all, I like being a driven person. I like being responsible, and getting things done. I like that people can count on me to do what I say I’ll do, and do it well.

But there are drawbacks to being so driven.

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There are no Organizing Absolutes

…a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away.

-Ecclesiastes 3:6

 

Recently I gave my Organizing Belongings talk (called “You and Your Stuff”) to a lovely church group. During the Q&A I heard many of the usual questions, gave my thoughts, and opened up the floor to hear the thoughts of the other participants.

A lovely young women described how she was keeping boxes and boxes of her deceased mother’s things, and others in the crowd encouraged her to keep some of the most sentimental things and let the rest go. She could still love and honor her mom without keeping all of the stuff.

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How to Organize Your Small Group

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

Ephesians 4:1-3

 

Our church is moving into a Small Group model (also known as Life Groups, Home Groups, Fellowship Groups, or Community Groups). In these groups, we’ll support one another. We’ll challenge one another to grow—iron sharpens iron. I know these things, and I miss being a part of a group at church… but I’m hesitant to jump on in.

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Kondo vs. Upton

Almost everywhere I go for this ministry, I hear a version of this question: “Have you read the Kondo organizing book?”

They’re referring to The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, and the answer to their question is: Yes, I have read it. (I read everything I can about organizing!) And, I completely understand the natural urge to draw comparisons between Kondo’s methods and the ones I outline in Building Your House.

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Organizing You is Back!

I was sitting at a desk in a tiny hotel room in Edinburg, Scotland.

Believe me, I never thought I’d begin a story like that! But just after the Lord called me to write a book, He gave me the opportunity to accompany my husband on a once-in-a-lifetime business trip.

My husband went off to his conference, and there I was in a hotel room in Scotland, completely alone for the first time in years, with nothing in front of me but a blinking curser.

After a few minutes I moved from the desk chair to the floor and kneeled. Lord, I can’t do this. I don’t know what to do. I don’t even know how to start writing a book.

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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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