Organizing the Inside 365 Days

Empowering Christian Women To Get Organized and Discover God's Plan for Their Lives

Archive for Simplicity

Organizing the Inside – Day 364 Leading Lady

1The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. 2He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. 3He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. ~Psalm 23:1-3

She chose the role of martyr again.
You’ve done it again. You’re sacrificing something else in order to do for another. You often feel like you’re being pulled in ten different directions and you try to pretend you don’t know how you got here again. Everybody wants a piece of you and you tend to feel obliged to break off just a bit more. No one seems to be concerned with what you need, not even you. In spite of the frustration you are experiencing you play the leading lady as though the role was created and scripted just for you. Give yourself a much-needed break, before you are completely emptied of the little you have left to give.

The thought of saying “no” or “no thanks” goes against your grain.
Why must you typecast yourself when actually you have options?  You can choose to say no. Yes, I said it you can choose. Although, if you are a caregiver you are particularly prone to taking on this role and you do it with great honor. I’m not making light of your sometimes consuming responsibilities. I realize what you do is meaningful and a blessing to you and those you care for. I am however suggesting that just because there are people in your life who demand time and attention, you are by no means required by anyone (but you) to always give 100 percent. Giving until you can’t give anymore is likely not the most prudent way to go about serving. People have a tendency to call upon you to come to their aid. They’ve taken on more commitments than they can handle, and now they want your help. Suddenly you’re not only responsible for your own commitments; you’ve found a way to also be responsible for theirs. You probably have the gift of helps or service and maybe mercy too. Those gifts are perfect gifts for you, but you have to practice balancing your gifts to stay fit for service.

Stand up for you and give yourself respect and honor.
I don’t want you to neglect your responsibilities, but I do want you to find a way to take care of you.  Keep in mind you choose to do what you do. Whether you’re assuming the role of martyr by default because there is no one else, or you just really love all the work you do for others, either way you have a choice. Try to find a way to do something to break the routine. Do something you enjoy and allow God to refresh your spirit. Chances are the unending lists of tasks and commitments will still be there when you return.

God sees your heart and all that you do for everyone else. Now, allow Him to do something just for you.  Announce your plans to all parties involved. Keep it sweet, kindhearted and simple, but let them know this time is for you. Slip away, and as God renews you on the inside you’ll be better prepared to play whatever role your busy life has to cast. Take time for renewal and allow God to give you the rest you need.

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Organizing the Inside – Day 355 Don’t Save Time Instead Use It Wisely

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.  Matthew 6:33 (NLT)

If you’re like me you try to find ways to save. I’m an occasional coupon clipper too. Have you ever spent so much time looking for cheaper gas that by the time you found the lower priced gas station you realized you probably spent all your would-be savings traveling the added distance?  Maybe you enjoy shopping at the outlet mall because of the discounted prices. Have you ever considered the extra costs incurred in time and money, because it’s located 60 miles away?

Time is a precious commodity, right? I often wonder if you can really save time.  Somehow that theory just doesn’t add up. Time keeps moving and we attempt to track it with clocks and calendars. However, we cannot see it as it passes, nor can we feel it move.  When it leaves, when the future becomes the present and the present becomes the past where does it go? Increase your efficiency and stop trying to save time, simply focus on using it wisely.  Life is a culmination of what you have spent time doing. Time spent is equivalent to life lived.

Planning is a key part of time management. Putting God first will enable you to be more effective throughout your day. Make God an essential part of your plans and you will not only be more efficient you’ll become more effective. After all it is God who guides us in wisdom and knowledge, and we can’t be successful without Him. One clear way to waste time and end up having to start something over is to not acknowledge God from the start. Put an end to those prayers of negotiations and seek God before beginning something new. Don’t wait until you’ve made a mess of things to ask God for strength and guidance. Ask Him for help during the planning process. Make God your planning partner, and you will find great success, while reducing frustration and eliminating stress.

Organizing the Inside – Day 350 If Only One Thing

One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple. Psalm 27:4 (KJV)

Oh, if you could only had one prayer, one dream, or one vision to hope for what would it be? There are so many needs, so many wants and aspirations. The Word of God provides us with clear guidance, “But seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33 (KJV) The bible says that David was a man after God’s own heart. (1 Samuel 13:14 and Acts 13:22) David shared his heart’s desire when he said …that I may dwell in the house of the Lord…

What do you seek after? What is your heart’s single deepest desire?  It’s so easy to get caught up in the cares of this life and lose sight of what’s most important. There is no project, or goal or dream that is worth devoting your hearts greatest desire to other than loving God. May we each discover the simplicity in loving Him. Let us each unbend our mind from the futile cares of this life and devote our heart toward daily seeking His kingdom. When all is said and done; when our last words are written, may we be found beholding His beauty and inquiring in His temple.

Organizing the Inside – Day 347 Blind Spots In Our Lives

37Then he returned and found the disciples asleep. He said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour? 38Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” 39Then Jesus left them again and prayed the same prayer as before. 40When he returned to them again, he found them sleeping, for they couldn’t keep their eyes open. And they didn’t know what to say. Mark 14:37-40 (NLT)

Are you ever too tired to watch and pray?
I know you’re embarrassed and just like the disciples you don’t know what to say… I’ve been there before. Through prayer hidden dangers are exposed. Blind spots come in many forms. You know that it’s there, but you may not turn your head to look in that direction until it’s almost too late. While driving, have you ever turned your head just slight enough to realize at the last second that completing your lane change would have caused an accident? You can never assume that because your blind spot was clear the last time you checked, you can safely change lanes minutes later. For this very reason we must maintain a strong prayer life. We never know what kinds of everyday things are lurking in our blind spots. Prayer keeps us alert! Consider these warning signs and don’t let them go unnoticed; avoid a serious collision:

  • Being over tired because you don’t get enough rest.
  • Bringing home frustration from work that affects your loved ones.
  • Not listening to the advice of a trusted friend.
  • Ignoring a sermon that really spoke to your heart.
  • Taking on too much to please others.
  • Choosing to do what you want instead of what God said.
  • Not spending your time wisely like too much time on social media.
  • Forgetting to keep a close watch on your priorities.

Perhaps you’ve skipped your time with God to save a few extra minutes on a busy day? The super busy life that many Christian women lead can cause serious problems down the road. If you’ve found yourself caught off guard in the past and have allowed some of the more important priorities slip, prayer will get things back in focus. Prayer produces power and when your life lacks prayer you will also lack power. As summer comes to a close and schedules begin to normalize, watch out for hidden dangers that go unnoticed because of prayerlessness. God is our compass guiding us until we reach our ultimate destination. His internal systems will alert us when danger is nearby. No matter what high-ranking items you have lingering on your “To Do” lists keep God first and never slack off in prayer.

Organizing the Inside – Day 335 Seize the Time!

31I went past the field of the sluggard, past the vineyard of the man who lacks judgment; 31thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds, and the stone wall was in ruins. 32I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw: 33A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest— 34and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man. Proverbs 24:30-34 (NIV)

If you are like many, you have a few or more things that tend to nag you. These things have piled up because you’ve let them remain undone for a while now. Every time you pass by you think, “Oh boy, I need to get that done.”  You’ve graded yourself consistently with an “incomplete,” but nothing seems to help. Whether its laziness, idleness, a lack of resolve, or something else that’s keeping you from getting things done I urge you to make the decision to do what it takes to get started now. You know the added stress you feel by having that pile of incomplete tasks, only seems to haunt and discourage you more.

Face the facts: You have had time, down time, slow time, day dreaming time, you just haven’t done it. Take responsibility for not handling your business and do something to resolve it. Clearly part of fulfilling God’s will is having certain things in order to allow you to work without distraction. God doesn’t want His children distressed under the burden of clutter and chaos anymore than He wants us to be under financial burdens or suffer lack of any kind. The book of Proverbs is full of motivation and admonishment for those who need a reality check about being idle and wasting time.

Self-control is a fruit we all should strive for. Part of self-control is being disciplined enough to use time wisely. If you want your life to be both productive and fruitful, use the time you have to get things done. Seize the moment! Christian living calls for sacrifice and productivity. Ask God to help you decide what things you need to take care of that you’ve allowed to pile up. He will give you clear direction on how to focus and have greater discipline to get more done.

Here is some additional help to get you started!

Organizing the Inside – Day 329 A Woman Who Practices Resourcefulness Glorifies God

13She finds wool and flax and busily spins it. 14She is like a merchant’s ship, bringing her food from afar. 15She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plan the day’s work for her servant girls. 16She goes to inspect a field and buys it; with her earnings she plants a vineyard. 17She is energetic and strong, a hard worker. 18She makes sure her dealings are profitable; her lamp burns late into the night. 19Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fiber. Proverbs 31:13-19 (NLT)

Being resourceful should be easy in this modern world. It seems there are so many resources and so much  information available that tapping into what we need should be pretty straight forward. We can type in a few words and get an answer from Goggle about almost anything, and if he can’t help his buddy Bing will surely answer most any question. Do you agree we need to be careful and consider the source? As wise Christians resourcefulness requires a bit of judgment too. You can’t ask Wikipedia who God is and expect to get an answer that you can believe. God has however given us great examples of resourcefulness and it seems there is much to learn from His creativity. Did He not form man from the clay that was already there? Then when He was at the apex of His creativity He took from Adam’s side and formed a helpmeet that was suitable for him. I’m thinking you can’t be more resourceful than that.

So why should we be resourceful? Practicing resourcefulness will help simplify your life. Use what you have available to get the job done. Let’s be realistic, you can’t use something you don’t have when you need to complete an important project, but you can be creative and think outside the box. The woman in Proverbs 31 was very resourceful and she capitalized on those things that she had access to. She not only used her talents and gifts to make things happen while running a successful business and household; she also tapped into the abilities of those around her. Instead of trying to kill herself by doing it all alone, she had maidservants, organized their work and used other resources she was given. The bible also describes her traveling to out-of-the-way places, but in doing so she was still practicing resourcefulness. I believe much of the fact that her family was secure and well taken care of is contributed to her ability to work, plan and be resourceful.

What needs do you have that requires a bit of creative resourcefulness? Money is not always the answer when a need arises. Sometimes going out to buy something isn’t the best solution. When working with clients to organize their spaces, one of the most important things we look at first is how we can use what they have available. What things can you repurpose to meet a need? What do you have in your arsenal of talents, strengths and resources that you have yet to tap into? Trust me when I say, “Resourcefulness leads to contentment.” A simple, yet challenging way to organize your life and glorify God is to practice resourcefulness.

Organizing the Inside – Day 323 Avoiding Tiny Pockets of Disobedience

3In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. 4But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

6Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.”  Genesis 4:3-7 (NLT)

Obedience is the best way I know to simplify your life. Every time I miss God and decide to take the way of Cain I feel disappointed in myself. You see, Cain decided to offer God the offering he wanted, instead of the one God wanted. This morning during my quiet time, God told me to take bottled water to church. Hun? Bottled water, well that didn’t sound right. He told me to make it extra cold, fill up my cooler with lots of water and ice. I was visiting a church today for the first time and I felt really funny about walking in there with my purse, bible and a big cooler. Yep, I sure did, I told God, “I don’t think so.” (in my head)  Of course I played it off as if it was some fleeting idea of mine.  By pretending it wasn’t God speaking to me made it easier to leave out the door, get in the car and drive down the street with only one warm bottle of water.

Upon entering the church I wasn’t a bit bothered by what some seemed to feel was uncomfortable temperatures. About 10 minutes into the service I started to think my cute green summer sweater was more like an electric blanket that someone had turned up to “HIGH.” The silk shell I wore underneath was starting to stick to me everywhere as sweat beads ran down my arms. A young man walked down the aisle clutching what appeared to be the only bottle of water among all the overheated church goers. I was immediately reminded of the water that I left behind in my kitchen at home; the water I was supposed to bring for all the people who were as hot and as parched as I was. It became clear to me that I wasn’t the only one who would have to suffer through the entire service because of my foolish disobedience.

This just happened to be a small and simple act of obedience. Bring water to church, as much water as my big cooler could hold. How many times will someone else have to suffer because of one person’s unwillingness to let go of what others might think or the fear of mistaking God’s voice for just an idea. When one of us makes the choice to disobey God, in many cases the rest of us have to suffer.

Today I’m drawing a line in the sand, never to return to my tiny pockets of disobedience. No fear, or worry or foolish assumptions will keep my heart from saying yes, and doing so promptly. I know God’s voice. It’s so much easier to trust and obey Him. The devil will do his best to talk you and me out of doing exactly as the Master wants. I want to encourage you while I encourage myself to hearken to God’s voice. When God says move we not only move, but we move in the exact direction He tells us to go.