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.
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?”
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.
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:
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:
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.
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?
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!
We all want to be out of the ordinary. Jesus called us to be out of the ordinary, in the world but not of it. Interestingly, being countercultural has become very popular, sometimes in good ways, sometimes in not-so-good ways. Of course, if you’re acting counter-culturally with a heart for the Lord, it’s going to be very good.
I’ve heard from many readers who say the Organizing You books aren’t like any organizing books they’ve read before. In fact, I like to think they’re counter-cultural…
As we near the end of the Organizing Your Photos series, it’s time we talk about one of the best things about photos:
Photos can replace bulkier stuff.
Do you have souvenirs from vacations that you’re ready to let go? Take pictures and put them in a vacation album.
Do you have 20 t-shirts from high school that you can’t throw away? Take pictures—or get pictures of you in them—and make a little high school album. (Or, yes, you can make a quilt.)
Do you have several tubs full of your kids’ school projects, papers, and Mother’s Day art? Take pictures, or shrink the art on a copier, and make an album for each child.
Do you have boxes and boxes of belongings that use to belong to a beloved relative? Take pictures of the items that have deep meaning for you or for them, then place the pictures in an album and write a few sentences about each picture. Then bless others with those things by giving them away.
If you’re a mom with young kids (or if you otherwise have young kids in your life), you know that they’re quickly bored with the new toys they receive for Christmas. Rather than cluttering your home with new things for them to play with—and your spirit with frustration—try these zero-clutter ways to entertain young kids this winter. Ideas like this help to teach kids to enjoy their current blessings instead of waiting for more… and you’d never guess that so many of the things around your house could be so much fun!