Choose to Praise God

Thank you Mary Southerland for today’s message:

I once saw a refrigerator magnet that said, “I know that God promises to never give me more than I can handle. But sometimes, I just wish He didn’t trust me so much.” When trials come and life seems hard, we plead with God to deliver us from the problem when many times, His plan is to deliver us in the problem. Praise does not depend upon an understanding of the circumstance or trial. Praise depends upon an understanding of and faith in God.

As humans, we will never fully understand God – this side of heaven. God is holy and without blemish. God is all powerful and omniscient. He is Creator of the universe and yet lives in me. He is the only true, living God! We may understand some of His ways and comprehend the reasoning behind some of His plans. We may even come to the place of knowing him on what we call an intimate level, but a full understanding of God is reserved for heaven. Until then, we walk by faith, not by sight. We praise him in the darkness, knowing that the light is just ahead. We trust him for things we cannot see and turn to him in the valleys. Honestly, the thought of serving and relying on a God I can understand is not a reassuring thought.

Most people who know me well would describe me as a strong person, someone who can usually handle what life holds. I thought the same thing until, in 1995, I found myself a powerless, prisoner of the darkness as I battled clinical depression. It took me two long years to climb out of that pit and not a day goes by that I am not reminded of that wonderful, horrible time.

One of the many lessons I learned from my “pit experience” was that I cannot depend upon my own strength or my fickle emotions. God often asked me to praise him when, as far as I could tell, there wasn’t a whole lot to praise him for! I didn’t feel like praising him.

I began to understand that praise is not a feeling but a choice, a step of obedience taken without the assurance of a changed circumstance or the elimination of a trial. Praise focuses on God, not the circumstance, and fixes its gaze upon God’s truth and God’s character instead of the trial at hand or just ahead. That is why we can celebrate the battle before it begins. The outcome is neither our responsibility nor our goal. Praise begins and ends with faith in the very nature, personality and integrity of God … and that never changes.

No matter what lies ahead, God is faithful. No matter how hot the fiery trial may be, God will deliver us. No matter what man says or does, God loves and accepts us. So praise God! Thank Him today for every victory tomorrow holds! Celebrate – knowing that the battle belongs to God and because of that single truth, victory is certain.

Have a blessed day!

If You Feel Like a Hot Mess, You’re Not Alone!


Thank you Sharon Jaynes for today’s message.

This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus  ~ Romans 3:22-24 NIV

Sometimes I feel like such a mess, I wonder what God even wants with me. And then He reminds me that ALL His children are a mess in one way or another.

A common theme throughout Scripture is overcoming failure. Abraham passed his wife, Sarah, off as his sister because of fear (Genesis 12 and 20). Lot failed to stand up for what was right and offered his daughters to immoral men (Genesis 18-19). Jacob betrayed his father and stole his brother’s blessing (Genesis 27). Moses struck the rock twice in anger when God commanded him to strike it once (Numbers 20:11). Aaron gave into peer pressure and made a golden calf (Exodus 32).

Miriam had a bout of jealousy and tried to usurp her brother’s God-appointed position (Numbers 12). Jonah hopped on a boat and headed in the opposite direction when God called him to go to Nineveh (Jonah 1:1-3). Samson fell for the whims of a Philistine woman and gave away the secret to his strength (Judges 16). David committed adultery and murder and then tried to cover it up (2 Samuel 11).

You know what’s amazing? Most of these men and women are listed as people of great faith who “conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies” (Hebrews 11:33-34, emphasis added).

We have a great cloud of witnesses who can identify with failure. We are never alone in that regard.

Oh, friend, failure doesn’t have to be fatal or final. During a time of failure, the Enemy will tell you to quit trying, that you’re hopeless, worthless, and powerless to succeed.

Don’t believe him. Reject the lie and replace it with truth. “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37). “I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13 nlt). God said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Learn from your failure under the tutelage of the Holy Spirit, and then move on. Nothing makes the devil madder than a child of God who fails, gets back up, and tries again with the power of God moving him or her forward.The next time you feel like you’re a hot mess, try the following.

Recognize the lie: I’m such a failure.

Reject the lie: That is not true.

Replace the lie with truth: I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13 nlt).

Have a blessed day!

A Little Reminder From God

Thank you Kelly Balarie for today’s message.

But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me (2 Corinthians 12:9, NIV).

I am such a mess. I hate how I am. I can’t ever get a handle on this issue.

Thoughts of self-hatred coursed through my mind as I sat on the hard-tile floor and took it all in. . . Within the cabinets I’d just spent twenty minutes rearranging, there still was no semblance of organization. Papers shot out of books. Bags heaped left and right in no particular order. Shoes and knick-knacks filled the right side of the cabinet. And, worst of all, electrical cords stood like tumbleweed in the center of it all.

Regarding cleaning and organizing, my best efforts fell – way short. And this is the problem. You see, no matter what I do, everything stays a mess. I fix things for a moment, until: my kids come home and mess things up, I get busy and I forget to keep up with it all, or clutter becomes impossible to throw out because I fear I’ll lose future-memories.

I want to be a better mom than this; my family deserves better.

With a heavy heart, I decided to approach my husband, “Uh…,” I said. “Can I share something with you?”

He waited.

“There’s an area I haven’t told you about where – all the time — I feel so angry at myself. Every time I open up a cabinet, I mentally get furious at how I feel like I’m the most unorganized woman on the planet.”

Compassionately, he looked at me and replied, “Well, maybe Jesus just wants you to remind you that His grace is sufficient.”  And He was right. I finally understood. My cabinets – and my deficiency — are a blessing, not a curse.

How could a deficiency be a blessing? Deficiencies point us to Christ’s all-sufficiency. Through them, we come to the One prepared to help us. The One with answers. The One with all the grace to accomplish true and long-lasting life-change.

Grace accomplishes far more than our hardest labor ever could. Certainly, God often calls us to meet Him in this venture by working, but work without God is — toil.

My cabinets would now be a reminder of this. They, in all their untidy-glory, would almost speak, “Kelly, invite Jesus in to help you with this.”

Where do you need to invite Jesus in? What personal issue do you hate to look at? What feels unconquerable? Heavy? Burdening?

Jesus’ grace is sufficient. It is sufficient to change you, to rework you, to remake you, and to renew you.

It is more than okay to desperately need Jesus’ grace. It is life-changing to be in need of God.

Be encouraged. Wherever you feel powerless, God is powerful. Wherever you are hungry, God has food for you. Wherever you feel blind, God restores sight. You are not left behind or forgotten. God will help.

Today, rejoice by saying: No matter where I feel deficient, Christ is all-sufficient.

But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (2 Corinthians 12:9, NIV)

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

15 Minute Organizing Projects

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WOOHOO!  Who is ready for the weekend?  I will be showing off my Angel collection this weekend at a local event so I am excited…..

I love to help people get organized – sort of the practice what I say, not what I do sometimes.  🙂  Most think organizing takes a long time and who has time for it, right?  The truth is you can tackle some things in under 15 minutes.  I know, crazy, right?
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These tips are courtesy of I heart Planners:

#1 – Reorganize your junk drawer. 

We all have them even if we don’t admit to them.  I have two drawers in my kitchen which are far from organized.  I usually clean them out about once a month and before I know it, they are a total disaster again! One drawer is where hubby tosses things he wants to hold on to – just in case.  The other is full of kitchen gadgets.  There are some gadgets I use all of the time, then there are some which are only used once in a while.  Why do they always ALL end up in the same drawer?

I try to determine about how often I use each item. Is it a daily item – then it stays in the drawer.  Not used very often, items are moved to the drawers in the pantry.  Close but not cluttering up the drawer.

It was super depressing because it’s a drawer we use all the time, and I see the mess regularly. I finally get fed up,and it takes less than 15 minutes! So, why didn’t I do it sooner? 12705602_992666660772486_8016996825946757881_n

If you have enough counter space (we don’t), Thirty One’s Your Way bin is a great way to put all of those cooking gadgets within easy reach AND keep the drawer clutter free.

#2 Tidy up your desk area.

I don’t know about you but I have a hard time concentrating when my desk is a mess.  Having a neat and tidy desk inspires and motivates me to work.12742511_992115254160960_3785553282245567485_n

The Double Duty Caddy from Thirty One can sit on your desk OR you can tuck it away on a shelf until you need it with everything close by.  The side pockets are great for small items.

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The fold and file is great to keep files organized, Keep it in your desk then pull it out when you need to do some work.  

My computer screen is one of my messiest spots in my office. When I see a graphic I like, I save it to my desktop screen until I want to use it.  Yes, it can get to be a HOT MESS.  Did you know you can organize your computer desktop screen in just a few minutes?  Check out this article to learn how.

#3 – Organize your email inbox.

Are you one of those who has 100’s of emails in your inbox OR do you focus on cleaning it out every day?  I know deleting emails we don’t want to read once we check the subject is easy.  My goal every day is to clear my email inbox so I have less than 10 emails waiting for a response or need action. It isn’t always easy.  The truth is, it doesn’t take long to set up gmail filters to keep your email inbox organized. Here is a great article on how to get your email inbox to zero.

#4 – Pick 5 items to donate or throw away.

This does not require a major project.  We all have things we come across we don’t anymore. Things you “meant to donate”.  Why wait, pick up those 5 things (more or less is good too) and put them in a bag or box.  Then – this is the important step – put it in your car right away.  Don’t leave the box sitting by the door or tucked in a closet.  If it is in your car, you will remember to drop it off the next time you are running errands.

What are some of your best tips for getting organized in 15 minutes or less?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Organizing in 2017

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Monday morning and it is time to start another week…. or are you one of those people who are off for Martin Luther King Day?

Today, I am going to talk about organizing.  I’m sure there are one or two of you who have it on your New Year’s Resolution list, right?  Honestly, I can be a “hot mess” despite my best efforts to organize. You would think having a business with AMAZING organizational products I would be organized, right?

A two floor condo allows you certain perks – I am sure these are not in the sales brochure. The first floor of my home is always neat with some dust bunnies taking up residence. Most days they feel safe but there are occasions when they should fear for their life.  Things are put away for the most part.  There are certain areas – like the coffee table which has become a tiny office for hubby since I have claimed the lower level of the condo.  He has small, neat, “organized” piles.  The basket of bills in the foyer is now under control with the new system of sorting as the mail comes in the house.  Hubby is a once a month bill payer so the basket gets cleaned out then whether it needs it or not.  We have the “lived in look” as far as decorating.  I believe (finally) people stopping are here to see us not how clean (or messy) our house is, right? A girl can dream…..

Then you go to the second floor which consists of the family room, my office and Belinda’s bedroom. Yes, it will always be her room even though she is grown and married.  Lately, I have been thinking (the first step, right?) on what is the best way to organize the family room AND my office so it works for me and my business.  I mean, I am the one who spends most of their time down there, right? I have an “organized mess”. I know where things are but I am sure the set-up is not efficient and costs me a lot of time when I am looking for something.  Have I described your home or office?  Maybe you have small children or you work from home too.  Whatever the case, there is always room to get more organized.  Of course cleaning out (tossing and donating) stuff too helps.  I am doing it a little bit at a time.

Enter home organization products from Thirty One.  Here are some of our amazing products in various settings:

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Clever uses for our Large Utility Totes… they are not just for the grocery store or for keeping things from rolling around the trunk of the car.  They are also a great way to store thing son shelves – sports equipment, sheets, blankets, towels, beach stuff… you get the picture, right?hero-2

Stand Tall Bins is a great solution for sorting laundry. The Square Storage Bin (retiring as of January 31st) can hold blankets and large pillows in the living room for easy access when the kids (or you) need them.

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Do you have a playroom for the kids or does their bedroom double as one?  Why not try our cubes to hide the “little things” and the NEW Hang It Pocket Organizer for papers and “stuff”.  The Your Way cubes and the Your Way rectangles are in my office to keep all of my “stuff” close and neatly put away.

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Does your pantry need help? The chalk fronts on some of the Your Way Cubes and Rectangles let you mark what is in them and then wipe off and change it to something else.

How have you used our “home organization” products to help your “hot mess”? Share YOUR creative uses for our products and how they have helped to transform YOUR crazy household. Who knows I or others might even be inspired.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!