Category Archives: Take the Challenge

Housewalk One-Sheet

For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything.

Hebrews 3:4

What is a Housewalk? Well, I made it up.  That’s part of the fun of being an author!

(True story: I was on Pinterest recently and saw a pin about a “Housewalk.”  I thought, Wait, is that a thing? I thought I made it up!  So I clicked on the pin.  Turns out, deep in the blog post, the writer actually mentioned getting the idea from Building Your House.  So yup, I did make it up!)

My second book, Building Your House, culminates in a Housewalk with Jesus.  Essentially, you walk through your home, praying over each room and discerning the spiritual clutter you have about that room (the ways the room is bothering you).  You then use your insights to organize your home in a way that really suits you.  A Housewalk is absolutely the best way to clear spiritual clutter out of your home.

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What to Write in a Card

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

I Thessalonians 5:11

I absolutely love to encourage my friends and loved ones by sending cards—in fact, making homemade cards is one of my very favorite things to do! And I believe now more than ever that the personal touch of a card touches the lonely hearts of others.

But as a person who doesn’t like to write, I can get bogged down with what to actually pen inside my pretty, love-filled cards.

If you find yourself procrastinating about sending a card because you don’t know what to write in it, then you probably have some anxiety that you won’t say the “right thing.”  This spiritual clutter can lead to even more spiritual clutter: fretful, guilty feelings about not sending the card at all.

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Fighting the Post-Project Blues

The righteous person may have many troubles,
but the Lord delivers him from them all.

Psalm 34:19

Have you ever had the post-project blues?

Perhaps you dedicated an entire Saturday to organizing your kitchen—and you did a great job!—but on Monday morning you’re back to business as usual and your kitchen doesn’t seem so great anymore.

Maybe you had a day where you nailed your to-do list.  You were firing on all cylinders, making checkmark after checkmark.  You posted on social media about your accomplishments, garnering tons of likes and “You go!” comments.  But the next day, you’ve got a new list, and you can barely get up the energy to tackle the first item.

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Organize Your Photos: Marriage Album

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.

John 15:12

Here’s a bonus post for the Organizing Your Photos Series!

Way back when I started this series, a reader recommended that I create a Marriage Album in the As They Grow format.  I loved the idea and started looking for pictures of Travis and me, just one for each year.

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How God Created You to Complete Your Goals

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

Psalm 139:13

During my first appointment with a psychiatrist, back when I was struggling with a postpartum anxiety disorder, my doctor asked me an interesting question.

He’d begun the appointment by asking me to describe myself.  I told him about my different personality traits, ending with a slightly shameful admittance that I was quite organized and very Type-A.  (Remember, this was years before I had written or spoken a single word for this ministry.)

Looking down as he wrote his notes, he asked, “Do you like that about yourself?”

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Blessing Your Guests with Favors

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Hebrews 10:24-25

Party favors aren’t just for kids’ birthday parties!  Any time you host a gathering at your home, you can bless your guests with a small favor. Even the smallest, simplest gift can brighten your friends’ day. Women are always giving, so receiving even a little gift often feels like a balm to the soul—especially if you include a Bible verse or scriptural message to lift their spirits even more! 

Favors don’t have to be expensive, either.  Check out your local dollar store; wander around and let inspiration strike you. On one shopping trip I saw inexpensive colorful fly swatters shaped like flowers.  I added a note that said “Swat away your troubles with prayer,” and they were a big hit with the my guests!  Even a fly swatter can make a cute gift with a heart for the Lord behind it.

Here are some fun ideas to try at your next gathering:

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Observations from the Book Table

The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying:

“I have loved you with an everlasting love;
    I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.

Jeremiah 31:3

 

How do you look from behind my book table?

There are so many stories I could tell about the fascinating people I’ve met while on the road as a speaker. At my most recent event, a sweet elderly woman wearing several shawls wanted to take my picture as I signed her book. As she did, one of the shawls slipped and suddenly I was face to face with her chihuahua!

One of the challenges of being a Christian speaker is that I’m trying to help all kinds of people at the same time. In my particular specialty—organizing—I know that I’m speaking to people all over the organizational spectrum.

As I look out at an audience, I know that there are women who are slightly scared, even intimidated by the word “organizing.” Sitting right next to them are people who are more structured than I am! And next to them are the gals who fall somewhere in between.

Where are you on the organizing spectrum? See if you can find yourself in the comments that I frequently hear at my book table:

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How Not to be The Perfect Hostess

Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else.

Galatians 6:4

My dear friend, Elise, is a great cook and a natural hostess.  She inspires me! She makes it all look effortless—nothing seems to ruffle her feathers. She hosts her church small group, frequently entertains houseguests (sometimes longterm), and has invited my family over for amazing meals.

I, on the other hand, dislike cooking. When we host Elise’s family, I almost always serve them pizza (not exactly hostess-with-the-mostest stuff, right?).  To be fair, I put out sides, make a whopper of a dessert, and try to set a nice table…but still. After years of this, I determined to do something really special for them and cook a nice, big dinner. 

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Unexpected Organizing: Infrequently Used Items

Welcome back to the Unexpected Organizing series! This is (I think) the last post of the series, and so it’s about the last thing we want to think of when it comes to organizing—the stuff we almost never use, but still want to keep.

Conventional wisdom tells us that if we haven’t used it in a year, we should get rid of it.  But that’s not practical!  And once we break that rule, we can find ourselves shrugging and keeping everything.  The real test for “keeping verses tossing” is this:  Do you need it or love it… and do you have room for it?

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Organizing a Yard Sale

For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.

I Timothy 6:7

 

I love a good garage or yard sale. I do enjoy going to them—you never know what you might find!—but I’m a very picky buyer.  What I really love is hosting a garage sale.

I know many people don’t feel this way.  (My husband certainly doesn’t!)  If you love to give things away and be done with it, that’s wonderful!  But I love getting the things we no longer need or love out of my house and knowing that they’ll be used in someone else’s.  I enjoy talking with the people in my community and hearing their stories.  And, of course, I’ve found the money very helpful as well!

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