To bless your heart and home in 2008…

After much deliberation and prayer, the decision has been made to offer the CREATE IN ME A CLEAN HEART! Devotional FREE!  My husband and I have talked about this for a very long time, and what God wanted us to do in this area.  I know that what I share (whether it’s what I’ve written on paper, in my blogs, or otherwise) is from God.  He has given me the ability to write, and I’m humbled by how it’s touched others’ lives.  Not for a second do I want to take away the glory from the Lord. 

If you’ve been following my DANDELION SEEDS blog, you know our financial situation.  Yet, I know so many who have written to me in financial strains of their own.  I don’t ever want someone to be unable to read something I’ve written because of money.  I know what it’s like to be so miserable from clutter that you’d do anything to get out… and therefore, I just can’t charge anyone for this devotional.  The Lord said He would provide for us, and we’re going to continue leaving that area up to Him by adding a donation button to my blog so if you feel lead to give money for the download of the devotional, scripture verses, or journal pages (or anything else offered here) then we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. 

We know that the Lord will provide for us, and we know that He does that through people as well.  There have been so many of you that have helped us in the ways we needed, and so in giving this devotional, I know that I am doing the same.  May you be blessed as you start the new year out cleaning your heart and home… and thank you for allowing me to be a part in that.

So… Merry Christmas!  May your heart and home be blessed as You seek Him in 2008!


Still Seeking,
Amy

(You can also purchase the devotional comb-bound with a heavy cardstock cover and back (printed with a laser printer, so no smears from water or coffee!) if you’d rather it just be done for you or to give as a gift.  Please email me (amy@dandelionseeds.com) if you are interested in purchasing one or multiple copies.  I will be gone for the next couple of days, but can help after that.)

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Getting ready for the holidays!

I just wanted to let you all know that I’m doing the 12-Week Holiday Planner by Sherri Graham and would love for you to see more about it so stop by my other blog, DANDELION SEEDS (just click on the link to take you to the post).  Also, if you’d like to know when a post has been made about it, then please sign up for the DANDELION SEEDS notification, since I’ll be making all the posts there (there’s a place to sign up on the sidebar of the blog). 

So, what are you waiting for?!  Check it out!!

Bless your heart and home,
Amy

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I May Have Stopped… but the World Hasn't…

Even though I’ve stopped blogging… I know the world continues to move.  In being nominated for the blog awards hosted by my friend, Sprittibe, I’ve been touched once again, by the harsh reality of life at times while reading of  another woman’s trial… and I knew that it was more than just my prayers and heart could handle… this is a story that needs to be spread to everyone…

One of the other women helping with the blog awards has recently found out that she has a brain tumor.  Heather has a blog that I have been reading, and in awe of her writing as she shares her heart about her life.  This tumor is not the first story to follow… the birth of her daughter Emma is one to read as well.  But, since I can never just read about someone… this woman has become a part in my life now as well.  My world has become smaller, as my heart aches for someone I’ve never even met… and it’s stories like this that remind me how precious our time is… that we never know what will be next…

BOOK TALK
Please take time to share about Heather on your blog, in your church, womens study… everywhere… and if you’d like to help out financially, BooMama is asking anyone to come to her site on the 18th of April to give a love offering to Heather and her husband Mark (they will be traveling to the Mayo Clinic for an appointment on the 25th of April). 

Thanks for spreading the word about Heather… and hold your loved ones a little longer tonight… getting organized and "de-cluttered" is great… but the dust bunnies can wait another day… choose what’s most important first.
Still Seeking,
Amy

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Good bye for now…

Please read my post at DANDELION SEEDS…  I will finish the CCC posts, and get The CHCHC going as best as I can, but otherwise, my time here will be limited.

Thanks for everything ladies… May the Lord richly bless your hearts and homes,
Amy Verlennich

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The C.C.C. – Assignment #7

The next step in "perrging" your home is to GO THROUGH your boxes.   Emotionally, this step is really the hardest.  This is where all the heart strings are pulled.  If at all possible, it may be a good idea to have someone to help you through this process and keep your focus on the Lord and His desires for you.  This is where "freedom" is accomplished where the clutter is concerned in your home… it may even become painfully obvious some of the heart issues you still have with your clutter, and amazingly, in getting rid of the clutter in your home… you may even find the clutter diminishing from your heart as well.

ASSIGNMENT #7:

  • How’s your weekly devotional/memory verse coming along?  Be sure to be "hiding God’s Word in your heart" throughout the week.  Don’t forget to read the next devotional when Sunday comes!
  • Are you checking things off ‘MY DON’T FORGET LIST‘?  Remember, don’t let the rest of the house fall behind!  This will also help to establish a routine that will continue after you’re done de-cluttering and will help you keep on track.
  • Read pages 40-41. 
  • Pages 42-55 have checklists for each room (you will have to make copies for more than one room).  Check things off each list as you go so you will know where you at in case you get interrupted.  LOOK-TOUCH-TOSS is explained and a reminder at the top of each list to help you with this step as well.
  • Be sure to check this step off the AT-A-GLANCE CHECK LIST as well (found on page 63).  As you get done with each room, be sure to check it off the list to know what you still have left to do.  (If you need to add rooms, then do that too.)  Notice you’re nearing the end! 

This step will take some time.  When you feel yourself getting stressed, walk away, pray, and come back to it.  You’re so close to the end!  You’re almost there!  If you need to, take a couple of days off before beginning this step, or take a day off in-between the rooms you’re in.  Most importantly, seek the Lord for the strength, stamina, and wisdom to get through this!  You’re doing great!

Keep de-cluttering… inside and out!
Bless your heart and home,
Amy

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WEEK 32: Pickin' Up the Pieces

The Lord upholds all who fall, and raises up all who are bowed down.   Psalm 145:14 (NKJV)

You are overwhelmed, and with everything piling up, you may be feeling as if the weight of the world is on top of you.  Maybe you feel as if you’ve fallen spiritually and aren’t sure of how to get back up. 

"The Lord upholds all who fall…"  He is like no other.  He is all-powerful and all knowing.  He is invincible and unstoppable; omnipotent.  He watches where you’re going at all times, and carries you through.  He’s there twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week; always.  He invests all His time in you.  He’s never too busy.  All His thoughts and concerns are centered on your well being.  He is there to uphold you and give you strength.  He is there each and every time you fall… even now… and He will raise you up. 

Before He does that though, He may want you to take a longer look to see how you fell to begin with.  Did things of this world get in the way?  When was the last time you just sat in His presence?  Have you gotten involved in one too many "good things" that took your time away with the Lord?  You can do all you want for Him, but only time with Him… in His word… will help you to keep from falling.

Yes, the Lord will pick you up, but don’t forget to pray while you’re down there.  It may be the very reason you’ve fallen in the first place.

Pray:
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank You for being by my side and always looking out for my best interests.  I look to You for the answers.  Please help me to keep from stumbling and falling.  When I do, however, I pray that I would use that time to draw closer to You, and learn from the lessons You have for me.  Uphold me today Lord, and give me the strength that I need to stand tall and walk through my life with confidence in You.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen.
© 2004 Amy Verlennich


"Create in Me a Clean Heart" Devotional for the Disorganized is 52 weeks (a year).  If you’d like, you can be notified through email weekly (on Sundays), to read the devotion for the week.  You can begin at any time, as the notification will just be a reminder (you will have to remember what week you’re on). Just go to the sidebar and click Subscribe to the "Create in Me a Clean Heart" Devotional.
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Magazines + Catalogs = BIG Clutter!

There is nothing that attributes to clutter faster than our mail.  Magazines, catalogs, letters and bills add up so fast, that to miss a day or more can leave your mailbox busting at the seams!  You can’t even escape by shopping online.  One purchase, and your on the list of a "million" other shops, and you begin to receive catalogs you’ve never even heard of!

As far as magazines go, the easiest thing to keep the clutter gone, is to only have the current issue in your home.  Now… if you don’t have time to be reading every magazine you’re currently subscribed to… then it’s time to cancel some subscriptions!  (You CAN do it!)  Magazines "fool" us.  We think because they’re magazines, that we can read them faster than, let’s say, BOOKS… With books we don’t go out and purchase six books with the idea that we’re going to read them in a couple of weeks… yet, that’s essentially what we do with magazines.  Just like books on many topics, there are many good magazines on different (or similar) topics.  Don’t fool yourself in thinking that you "need" them all.  There may be "pretty pictures" and wonderful content… but we must guard our time and evaluate how we’re spending it and every magazine you read takes time.

Another thing to look at when thinking about what subscriptions to keep, is to evaluate magazine content.  How much is stuff you’re reading, and how much are you skimming?  In other words, is there more that you’re not paying attention to then what you’re actually looking at.  If you’re reading less than 50% of the magazine, then you really need to evaluate the money being spent on the subscription.  There are many good books out there (that you can get from the library for FREE) that you can get helpful information about.

If you’re keeping magazines for kids to make projects from, chances are good that you have a friend or family member (maybe even at church) where you could ask to use an old magazine of theirs (therefore not needing a subscription at all!).  Any articles you would like to keep for their information content or otherwise, put in a folder to keep organized, but be sure to evaluate doing this as well.  By keeping these articles, are you really going to come back to them and read them?  There is so much good information out there and you need to trust the Lord to bring you the answers you seek when you need them.  Make sure you’re not keeping things out of the FEAR of not having them when you WANT.  Creating a folder for school and only a FEW pages for projects would be helpful as well.

Subscriptions also cost money so to help in that area you can find out who has a subscription and ask if you could have their copy after they’re done (which would help in their clutter too)!  Or, share a subscription with a friend by splitting the cost and holding each other accountable to getting rid of the magazine when done reading!  If it’s a great magazine that you continually find great stuff in, then take turns clipping things out every other month.

Catalogs are to be treated similarly, and can add up even faster (as you seem to get a catalog from almost anything and everyone once you buy something through a catalog or online).  When you go through your mail, literally stand by the garbage can and go through it… throwing any and every catalog away (or recycling)!  Seriously!  If I don’t have the money to get something, why do you want to look?  Not to mention the fact, you don’t need to look so you can become discontent with what you have!  Now, occasionally you could keep a few to look for decorating ideas and such, but if you can’t do anything (paint, sew, whatever) because money is tight, then there’s no reason to even keep the clutter.. ah… catalog.  Put it straight into the garbage (or better yet, recycle)!  If it’s something you decide to keep, then be sure you look it over in the next couple of days.  If it’s something you want to keep (for sale reasons or such) then make sure you have a spot for it, whether it be in the bathroom on a rack, in a basket in the livingroom, or by your nightstand… and maintain the pile by making sure you don’t have too many catalogs.

Looking into these problems and resolving them will be a HUGE help in the area of de-cluttering your heart and home!  Keep fighting the good fight!

Bless your heart and home,
Amy Verlennich

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WEEK 31: Your Heart's Welcome Mat

Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels.  Hebrews 13:1-2 (NKJV)

When there’s a knock at your door, what are your immediate thoughts and feelings?  Are you excited at who might be there?  Or, do you have a sick feeling in your stomach as you walk towards the door with a red face from embarrassment, as you open the door just enough so the person can’t see into what a mess you live in?  

What do you walk into when you enter your home?  What is the first thing you see?  What do you feel like when you come through the door after being away from your house?  Whether it’s an entry, foyer, living room or kitchen; what does it look like right now?  Does it make you feel good?  Are you relaxed at the thought of it? 

The Lord wants us to be welcoming to people in our homes.  Not keep them outside in the wind and rain, having to peer through a crack in the door because you don’t want them to be able to see inside, or worse yet, because you can’t pry the door open any further than that!  If you’ve allowed the place that you walk into upon entering your home to become an unwelcoming place, then you need to deal with that.  If your entire house is an embarrassment, then you’ll need to deal with that too, but one day at a time.   Today, focus on that front door.  Look at what you need to pick up, put away and clean.  Think of why you feel anxious and hesitant when someone’s at the door.  Now think of being that someone receiving your welcome on the other side.  What kind of a welcome do they get when your answer the door?  What is your heart?

It’s embarrassing when people see us at our worst.  It’s like being in 3rd grade with your zipper down and the class laughing.  But, if you’ve let your home overtake your heart, then it’s time to re-evaluate. God wants you to welcome people into your home, no matter what it looks likeYou are touching a person’s life when they come in contact with you.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a stranger or a close friend.  Once they see you, you’ve become a part of their day; a part in their life.  How you choose to respond to their presence in your life at any given moment is up to you.  God may be sending you an angel, or He may be sending someone for you to be an "angel" to.  While taking care of your house is important (the Lord gave it to you) don’t forget that people are the Lord’s most precious gift.  What will you be like the next time there’s a knock at the door?  Remember, more importantly than what your house looks like, is what you are when you’re in it

Pray:
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank You for the house that You’ve given to me.  I pray that I would get things done so that I would feel better about people entering.   I also pray that You would give me a sense of peace that comes from You so that I would be able to focus on who is coming into my home instead of what they are coming in to.  Take away apprehension when someone knocks, that I might be gracious and welcoming to all those who enter. 
In Jesus’ name,
Amen.

© 2004 Amy Verlennich



"Create in Me a Clean Heart" Devotional for the Disorganized is 52 weeks (a year).  If you’d like, you can be notified through email weekly (on Sundays), to read the devotion for the week.  You can begin at any time, as the notification will just be a reminder (you will have to remember what week you’re on). Just go to the sidebar and click Subscribe to the "Create in Me a Clean Heart" Devotional.
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WEEK 30: Google "God" Instead

Do not love the world or the things in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not of the Father but is of the world.  And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.  1 John 2:15-18 (NKJV)

It’s all too easy to get caught up in things of this world.  It can seem like everywhere you turn to, there’s another thing you need to turn from.  With so many things targeted at human desires, it can be especially hard for your flesh to fight the constant battle of good verses evil.

The internet is one of these examples.  It’s amazing what it did for conveniences.  It’s also disappointing what it’s done to men and women alike in so many other ways.  The internet has become a super highway for knowledge of good and evil.  There’s so much information at just the click of a mouse, and with so much so easily accessible, it’s too easy to find trouble without even trying.

The deeper heart issue here is lusting after more than what you already have.  Looking can lead to wanting, and wanting can lead to discontentment… and it doesn’t take long for things to go down hill from there!  You have become overwhelmed with your lack of organization, and for some reason, you’ve gotten behind in one thing (or many) and you’re struggling.  If you have a computer, you must be mindful of how much time you spend on it, and what you look at.  It can easily suck up a day’s worth of cleaning and organizing that you could be doing otherwise.  Keep on task!  You will not get organized and your house will not get clean by avoiding it (or by bringing more things into it from a shopping spree from e-bay)!  Keep your focus where it needs to be and let your needs be where your focus is… on God.

Pray:
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank You for everything that You’ve blessed me with.  I pray that I would stay on task and focused on You so that I can get out of this terrible pressure of being behind.  Help me not to stray by looking at things on the computer.  Give me energy to work hard to get things done and stamina to see it all through.  Thank You for the modern conveniences of today.  I pray that I would use them for good and never evil.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen.
© 2004 Amy Verlennich



"Create in Me a Clean Heart" Devotional for the Disorganized is 52 weeks (a year).  If you’d like, you can be notified through email weekly (on Sundays), to read the devotion for the week.  You can begin at any time, as the notification will just be a reminder (you will have to remember what week you’re on). Just go to the sidebar and click Subscribe to the "Create in Me a Clean Heart" Devotional.
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The C.C.C. Assignment #6

The next step in "perrging" your home is to REUNITE.   This is the easiest and fastest step in the "perrging" process!  YIPPEE!!!! (And it comes right before the hardest…)  Let it encourage you to see how far you’ve come, and that you’re so close to the end!  You can do this!

ASSIGNMENT #6:

  • How’s your weekly devotional/memory verse coming along?  Be sure to be "hiding God’s Word in your heart" throughout the week.  (If you get to the point where you need more devotions, they are available to read at A CLEAN HEART Blog, as well as coming out soon in a PDF format that will be available for purchase as well.)  Also, don’t forget to read the next devotional when Sunday comes!
  • Are you checking things off ‘MY DON’T FORGET LIST‘?  Remember, don’t let the rest of the house fall behind!  This will also help to establish a routine that will continue after you’re done de-cluttering and will help you keep on track.
  •  Read page 39.  This step is to get everything closer to where it belongs and will eventually "live". Don’t forget that FIND box.  REUNITE all of its items as well.  If something can’t be found, keep it in the box until you’ve went through the rest of the rooms and spaces (closets, drawers, etc.).  Take the filled boxes into the rooms/areas they belong and get ready for the next step.  (It’s the hardest one to tackle, so you may want to take a day off to rest, but even if you don’t… be sure you’re in prayer for wisdom and stamina.)
  • Be sure to be checking this step off the AT-A-GLANCE CHECK LIST as well (found on page 63). 

You’re nearing the end!  Are you seeing progress?  How ’bout the "inhabitants" of your home?  Have things been more peaceful? 

Keep de-cluttering… inside and out!
Bless your heart and home,
Amy

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