All posts by Joyful Oyster

Casting Out Beams

“Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.” – Luke 6:42

The Lord has recently been showing me areas where I am quick to think harshly about someone else for something that I am guilty of myself. It’s hypocrisy and it’s ugly. If I’m to be of any benefit to others, one of the most important things I must do is examine my own heart and life to see where I have ‘beams’ that need to go – attitudes and actions that are wrong. And praise God that He has the power to change me!

Daily Routine

“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of success is found in your daily routine.”

                                                                                                                                – John C. Maxwell

Love the Lord

“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.”
– Mark 12:30

Jesus said this is the first commandment. But how often is it our top priority? It’s so easy to put our heart and mind and strength into other things rather than seeking to love God well. But I find the greatest satisfaction when I do invest in my relationship with Him. What does that look like? Well, I think it looks similar to how I would invest in my marriage relationship if I had a husband.

If I had a husband and sought to love him well, he would be in my thoughts during the day more than anyone else. I would show him the utmost respect, honor and appreciation. I would be honest with him and would trust him. I would always be excited to talk with him, to tell him about my day, to seek his thoughts on things, to just enjoy being with him, and of course to laugh with him! I would tell him all the time how much I love him, how thankful I am that he’s mine. I would be eager to do whatever was needed to serve him and to bless him. It would be my goal to put a smile on his face every day and to make him feel like the most blessed man on the planet to have chosen me.

Since God chose marriage as one of the greatest pictures of our relationship with Him, it seems that ways we can love our spouse well parallel how we can love God well. This type of relationship with God may seem implausible, but the more I get to know Him, the more I fall in love with Him. And the more this type of relationship develops between us because He is a wonderful Heavenly Bridegroom! I wouldn’t trade it for anything, and I look forward to spending eternity with Him!

Little Foxes

Song of Solomon 2:15 says “Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.”

This is what God has been bringing my attention to lately – all the ‘little foxes’ of compromise and disobedience that I’ve been ignoring. Are they things God has shown me before and convicted me of before? I’m sorry to say, the answer is yes. But back when He nudged my heart, I chose not to listen. I dismissed that gentle conviction, justifying my actions and attitudes and casually moving on. These things weren’t important to me. I didn’t want to yield these things, so I was unwilling to listen when God told me they were important to Him.

But it’s the areas that I want to dismiss as insignificant that are keeping me from an abundant life. Small areas of stubbornness, of dishonesty, of laziness, of bitterness. It’s so tempting to justify these things and ignore them. But if we compromise in little areas, it’s only a matter of time before we do it in bigger areas. David started out compromising by staying home when men go to war. No big deal, right? But that ‘small’ thing led to him committing adultery and murder.  May we heed this warning!

Matthew 25:21 says: “His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” That’s what I want God to say to me, and that means I need to be faithful and obedient in the little things. He’s given us “all things that pertain unto life and godliness” if we will only refuse to settle for less!

A New Venture!

It’s no secret that I absolutely LOVE organizing and helping people get organized. I can’t say where that enjoyment came from exactly. And I’m not sure why I seem to have a knack for it. Organizing is one of the things I never tire of doing and will happily work day and night on. What probably sounds like torture to many sounds like pure joy to me!

For some time, I’ve toyed with the idea of starting an organizing business. I taught a couple community classes about how to get organized, but never took the next step of making it a business. Well, I’ve finally decided to just do it! With lots of excitement – and a little trepidation! – I’m steadily working on getting all the pieces together.

My company is called Organized Is Bliss. The tag line is “Smart Tools for Simple Living.” What am I going to offer? Traditional organizing services require multiple sessions because they work on each area of the home with the client. This is outside the budget of many, so my goal is to provide a more cost-effective and valuable alternative.

I want to provide clients with the tools and vision they need to achieve success without paying an organizer to be there for every step. I want to help my clients change the way they think about their belongings and work through any mental roadblocks – often the most crucial hurdle to overcome. The steps for organizing can be applied to any space, so I want to teach them the process by working on one small area from start to finish. And I want to leave them with an action plan for the rest of their home so they can keep going!

I will offer this in a one-time session. Of course, I’ll happily do more sessions with clients if they want! But with this model, I can offer a unique type of organizing service that is attractive to more people.

My website can be found at organizedisbliss.com so please check it out! I’d love to hear any feedback or suggestions!

Christmas Crafting

You won’t find me posting a ton of crafts on here because I don’t seem to be very good at them – even ones that are supposed to be easy, lol. There are quite a few projects I’ve attempted that didn’t work out. But here’s one that I can say I actually finished! And it was one I could do with my nieces, so that makes it all the more fun. The instructions are extremely simple – cut a pipe cleaner in half and begin threading beads onto it, bending the ends so the beads don’t fall off. Shape it like a candy cane and there you go!

candy-cane-1candy-cane-2candy-cane-3

The Man in the Arena

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

This quote is from a speech given by Theodore Roosevelt in 1910.

I want to live my life as the man in the arena, not the critic on the sideline!