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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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Don’t Underestimate Your Phone Alarm

Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy hill.

Let all who live in the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming.

It is close at hand…

Joel 2:1

This summer, my teen son wanted to pursue a goal. He made a great plan and decided to work on it for 15 minutes each day.

I wanted to encourage him, so I offered to help him set up some reminders. “Do you want me to print out a calendar so you can mark off each day?” I asked hopefully. “Or would you like me to buy you a little planner so you can keep track of what you’ve done? Do you want to start the process today?”

“Mom, it’s done,” he said.

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Are You Real or Fictional?

 

For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.

Philippians 2:13

 

My sweet daughter came home from Writing Day Camp last summer bursting with news. “I met a real author today!” she exclaimed.

My husband and I exchanged a smiling look over her head. Then she added, “And I met one at school last year, so that makes two real authors.”

“Wow!” my husband said, matching her tone. “And, you live with one!”

She blushed. “Oh, yeah, but…”

But.

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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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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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Because Your Momma Said So!

Read it! John 2

“Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”

His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

(vs4&5)

Think it through

I’ve always been a fascinated by this little exchange.

In modern times, for Jesus to start with “Woman!” seems a bit funny. And then Mary totally ignores his protests and assumes he’ll do it anyway, because she said so.

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What Basketball, Books, and Jesus Have in Common

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Hebrews 13:8

 

I had an interesting dream last week. My little Oliver, who is 5 years old, was at the park down the street. Someone had taped a white “x” on the blacktop underneath the basketball hoop. Oliver was standing on it, holding a basketball, looking up, ready to shoot.

Then suddenly I was looking at a different boy under a different hoop. Think Opie from Mayberry—it was clearly the 1950’s. Someone had marked an “x” in the dirt underneath the hoop (no, I’m not saying they didn’t have blacktop in the 1950’s—this was a dream, people). The boy was standing on it, holding a basketball, looking up, ready to shoot.

And I thought, Basketball hasn’t changed. He’ll either make it, or he won’t.

And I was so deeply comforted.

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Rejoicing in Success

The Lord your God is with you,

the Mighty Warrior who saves.

He will take great delight in you;

in his love he will no longer rebuke you,

but will rejoice over you with singing.”

—Zephaniah 3:17

 

Today I looked at my five year-old with undisguised admiration. I’d taught him the rules of an “Ages 8 and up” game called Monopoly Empire, and he was quickly picking up its nuances and strategy. In fact, he’d just beaten me fair and square.

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How to Make Chore Passports for Kids

Every mom’s spirit gets cluttered with chores sometimes. 

We love taking care of our families, but we can hit our limit.  We face yet another lunch to pack, or bed to make, or pet to feed, and something inside us rebels—can’t someone else do this, just this once?  After all, part of our mommy job is to teach our kids to take care of themselves and their belongings, right?  Absolutely.  And as Christian Moms, we want to challenge our kids to help us out before our spirits get cluttered and overwhelmed!

One summer, I challenged my “big” kids (then 5 and 9 years old) to learn some new life skills by presenting them with Chore Passports.  I explained the process to the kids and they were raring to go.  Suddenly, they were excited it was Laundry Day—they couldn’t wait to put away their clothes and fold the towels!

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Victory is Ours

It’s been raining in Ohio for weeks. If you live here, you know. If you don’t, well, I’ll just say that I’m not sure if there was more than one day in June that it didn’t rain and July has been almost as bad.

Being an “inside girl,” I really don’t mind rain…but things are getting pretty soggy, even for me. And my fellow Ohioans have been getting a little fussy about it. My positive rejoinder, “Well, at least we’re really using our bowling pass!” is starting to wear thin.

Last week there was a day with absolutely no chance of rain in the forecast. I’d been avoiding errands, so I hopped in my car and headed straight to Michaels (my favorite store—crafts!). I pulled into a parking spot, gathered up my coupons, and then spotted the umbrella that had taken up permanent residency in my purse. As I happily removed it, I prayed, “Thank you, God, for this beautiful sunny day!”

Immediately my heart swelled with a larger-than-life word, a sudden understanding:

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