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Hey, I Don’t Hate This! (My Blogiversary)

I never intended to write books. That was God’s request. (Or maybe order? No, call).

I never intended to be on social media, either—yet it’s what you have to do, right? I can blame my publisher for the Facebook posts and tweets… but I give my sister-in-law Kristen full credit for the happy time I’ve spent on Pinterest!

I certainly never, ever intended to blog. My publisher made me do it. Honestly, I thought I would hate it. And now here I am with one full year of blogging under my belt, thinking, Hey, I don’t hate this!

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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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3 Ways to Journal Joyfully

Today’s moms are taking tons of pictures with their phones and digital cameras, which is fantastic—as long as we remember what our pictures are about.  Years from now, we don’t want to look at our pictures and think, Where were we? or worse, How old were the kids in this picture? or worst of all, Is that my oldest or my youngest?

And then there are the intangible things we want to remember but can’t really photograph…like the way my oldest used to say “strawbabies” instead of “strawberries,” or how my preschool-aged daughter’s favorite color was brown(!), or how thankful I am for my youngest’s joyful disposition.  We think we’ll always remember those kinds of things—but what if we don’t?

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55 Everyday Photo Ideas

Any mom’s spirit can be cluttered by the feeling that she isn’t taking enough pictures.  It’s easy to be overwhelmed by how quickly our kids are growing up.  We don’t want to miss it—and we don’t want to forget what it’s like right now.

With a little thought and some intention, you can take more pictures and enjoy more of your memories.  You can choose an everyday moment that you’d like to capture, or wait for inspiration to strike!  Keep your camera handy, because you never know when a great moment will happen.

Here are a few things to be on the look out for…or do on purpose, just for the pictures.  (Don’t knock it—who cares if it’s a little contrived?   You’re still having fun!)

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Why “Venting” isn’t Cool

Read it! Philippians 2

Do everything without complaining and arguing,

so that no one can criticize you.

Live clean, innocent lives as children of God,

shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked people.”

(vs14&15)

Think it through

The first step to living the sweet life that I really wanted to share with my kids is living with a thankful heart. So I created a page about complaining.

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The Never-Ending Story

Read it! Ruth 4:18-22

Salmon the father of Boaz,

Boaz the father of Obed,

 Obed the father of Jesse,

and Jesse the father of David.

(vs 21-22)

Think it through

Ruth married Boaz and had a beautiful baby boy. They loved each other and built a life together. Naomi was joyful again. End of story, Amen.

At least that’s what Ruth must have thought. As she lived the rest of her life, I’m sure she looked back on her time of struggle with thankfulness, and maybe a little nostalgia mixed in. The dramatic part of her story came and went, and she probably thought that was all God had in store for her.

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My Knight in Shining Armor

Read it! Ruth 2:14-23

“The Lord bless him!” Naomi said to her daughter-in-law.

“He has not stopped showing his kindness to the living and the dead.”

She added, “That man is our close relative; he is one of our Kinsman-redeemers.”

(vs 20)

Think it through

I am fascinated by the idea of a Kinsman Redeemer.

In Ruth, the title “Kinsman Redeemer” refers to male relatives of a deceased husband who had the option to come forward and “redeem” the widow: to marry her and care for her. Without a Kinsman Redeemer, a Jewish widow had very few options. Like Ruth, they were reduced to gathering dropped bits of grain in order to eat.

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Wouldn’t You Know It?

Read it! Ruth 2:1-13

So she went out and began to glean in the fields behind the harvesters.

As it turned out, she found herself working in a field belonging to Boaz,

Who was from the clan of Elimelech.

(vs3)

Think it through

As it turned out…

It just so happened…

And wouldn’t you know…

God is so often a part of this type of phrase. Can you see Him in Ruth’s story?

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When Our Efforts to Serve God Don’t Pan Out

Read it!: II Samuel 7

Then King David went in and sat before the Lord and he said:

Who am I, O Sovereign Lord, and what is my family,

that you have brought me this far?

(vs 18)

Think it through:

David had a great idea. He wanted to build a beautiful, permanent temple for the Ark of the Covenant, which had been housed in a series of temporary dwellings. This idea seemed so right, so true, that he couldn’t wait to get started! But then Nathan, a prophet of God, told David that God said the job needed to wait. Building the temple wasn’t work for David, but for one of his sons.

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How Amos Is Straightening Me Out

Read it: This is a look back at the Straight Talk with Amos Bible Study Series.

You may want to review any notes you’ve made, actions you’ve taken, or prayers you’ve written.

 

Think it through:

This was a heavy series—but how I’ve loved it!

Amos is no joke. The people of God were in huge trouble and his heart was burning for them. I’ve read Amos’s words and realized how very in trouble I am, and how God’s heart is burning for me.

Here are some of the things I’ve done as a result of this study:

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