“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!
Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you,
but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart.
Last night, I called up the stairs, “Hey, Spencer…”
He replied, “Yes, Ma’am!”
My kids don’t usually call me “Ma’am.” But Spence could tell by the tone of my voice that I was going to ask him to do something, and he was agreeing in advance. (Mom Moment: Awww, he’s such a great kid… but don’t worry, he’s not always like that.)
In Building Your House, I share quite a bit about how The Uptons view chores, allowances, and rewards. (In a nutshell: we assign chores and give small allowances, but they aren’t directly connected to each other.) I’ve been very intentional about teaching my kids different ways they can help around the house, using Chore Passports (if you missed that post and the free printable, be sure to check it out). I’ve also thought about how much I require them to give me that help. (Again, in a nutshell: sometimes.)
But writing Building Your House made me think about the “why.” Why do we teach them to do chores? Because it’s somehow “good for them” to take out the trash?
Well, doing something because popular culture says it’s “good for us” isn’t good enough for me anymore.
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!
“Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could he be the Messiah?”
Think it through
John tells us that the woman at the well was there at noon. No one else was getting water when the day was at its hottest. John might as well have said, “This woman was a social outcast, shunned by her town.” And we find out in verse 18 that Jesus knew exactly why. He knew everything she ever did.
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!
When you get right down to it, clearing out spiritual clutter is all about reducing anxiety. The Lord tells us to “seek peace and pursue it” (Psalm 34:14). That’s why I began this ministry in the first place!
God took my four-year battle with a clinical anxiety disorder and used it for His glory. Without that experience I never would have written a book or started a public speaking ministry, even though it’s not directly what I talk or write about.
Well, until now. So many women who have read the Organizing You books or have heard me speak share their anxiety struggles with me—from their everyday worries to clinical anxiety to panic attacks. In order to help, I’d like to share with you a few specific ways that I’ve learned to seek peace in my anxious moments.
Amos starts out with a bang, doesn’t he? He lets us know that God does get tired of our repeated sin.
Because of Christ’s sacrifice, God has promised to forgive us over and over, but that doesn’t give us the freedom to ignore his laws and commands. He does get frustrated and angry with us when we do wrong, particularly when we know better.
I wrote this story for parents like me who want to share the fun of Santa while making Christmas completely about Jesus. As I’ve said to my own children time and again,
“I don’t know much about Santa; all I know is that he loves Jesus so much that he wants to give presents to kids on His birthday.”
(Please note that this isn’t meant to be historically accurate; it’s just a story.
But there’s plenty of truth in it for me.)
In the weeks following Christ’s birth, the news about the baby King began to spread. The shepherds told everyone they knew, and so others began to visit the newborn babe. They added their own stories to the story of the shepherds, telling all of their neighbors, friends, and acquaintances.
Soon the Good News had spread far and wide and even up into the North Country, where it met the ears of a kind man named Nicholas. Nicholas went home to his wife and told her of the baby who had his own star.