Organizing the Inside 365 Days

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

Archive for Stress

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 315 Just Let It Out

In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. Selah Psalm 4:4 (NIV)

Allow God to renew your mind, but make sure you also release the unhealthy stress and pressure at the end of your day. I’m a firm believer that we should never take it home, but that is easier said than done.  Carrying around the frustration, or anger, embarrassment or anxiety that resulted from an intense business meeting or a highly emotional exchange is unhealthy. Perhaps this is why God’s Word tells us, “…and don’t sin by letting anger control you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry.”  Ephesians 4:26 (NLT) I think this can also be applied to other strong emotions that we experience in our everyday interactions with others. There is nothing abnormal about stress and anger, but when it comes we must not let it linger. Who among us has never been angry? Anger is likely not the problem, it’s how we deal with it and the reasons why it exists to begin with that is usually the problem.

Talking about it can sometimes help. Studies show that people who have a support system and share their feelings with a trusted friend add years to their life expectancy. It is said that people who have more close friends tend to live longer. The point is this; there is clear guidance in the Word of God about dealing with our emotions and not stuffing them down in an attempt to ignore the obvious. When you feel things are building up, as if you might go into complete emotional failure, do something about it. Be proactive when you feel frustration building. There is nothing ungodly about letting off steam, as long as you aren’t exploding in a way that hurts or offends those around you.

Keep God as your first line of defense against built up anger or stress. Telling Him how you feel and taking time to talk it through with the Lord will give you the release you need to keep your heart free. God and I have had many conversations that began in anger and ended with me laughing. I’ll ask Him things like, “Did you see how she acted?” and “Did you hear what they said?” The delayed realization that my trusted Friend and Savior is also omnipresent, has often provided a bit of comic relief. Once I get it all out I’m reminded, that of course He knows what happened. Find comfort by reminding yourself that not only does He see, our God sees and cares. Certain strong emotions and stress when left unchecked can cause problems down the road. Keeping a journal of your feelings is also another way to let it go. Whichever outlet you choose, a friend, prayer, or writing, just remember that your anger will never achieve God righteous purpose. (James 1:20) When it’s called for repent and ask for forgiveness.  (Psalm 139:1, 2) Keep stress and anger in its place; it belongs far away from your heart. Don’t grieve the Holy Spirit; deal with your strong emotions when they occur.

How do you handle the end of a long and stressful day?

Here is a simple and straight forward article about anger.

Organizing the Inside – Day 233 It’s Worship Time!

1Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. 2Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits—3who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, 4who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, 5who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.  Psalm 103:1-5 (NIV)

Declare worship time.
There are times when we must demand that our entire being find that place of worship.  David told his soul what to do, then he repeated the message to his soul and reminded himself  that God was worthy of this high level praise. Forget not all of his benefits – David deemed it important that his entire being recognize God for all that He is and all that He has done. When organizing the inner also make sure that (all that is within) the mind and body also follow along and agree when it’s time to worship.

Live a life of true worship.
A goal for every Christian is to live a life of true worship. Everything we say and do should give honor and praise to God. God is worthy of our praise and daily worshiping Him is non-negotiable if we want to stay in tune with the Spirit. Especially if feeling tired, defeated or worn-out, this is the time when we have to demand worship.  On good days and during tough times, speak to your soul and all that is within you. Let your soul know when it’s “worship time” and acknowledge His sovereignty. As you enter that place of true worship, may the Holy Spirit renew your strength  and empower you to carry out His will each new day.

Organizing the Inside – Day 220 Nurturing The Seed

22The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced.   Matthew 13:22 (NLT)

The seed parable warns us of the dangers of living a disorganized life. When we run around pursuing one thing after another, while trying to get it all done, the Word is choked out. Those things that need our attention, those competing priorities take our focus off living the Word.

Do you remember the Word that was recently planted in your heart? Slow down today, set aside time in your busy schedule to nurture the Word. Allow God to speak to your heart through His word. The Holy Spirit will bring to your remembrance all that you have been taught. Nurturing the Word that is in you will restore calm and order to your life and enable you to bear fruit that endures.
Also read Matthew 13:3-8   

Organizing the Inside – Day 190 Moderation Leads to Greater Success

This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24 (NIV)

4Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. 5Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. 6Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7 (KJV)

We don’t race as the world does
Quality has little to do with quantity and much more to do with execution. With our over ambitious schedules many of us are running on full throttle to pursue our dreams and get it all done. We seek new ways to save time and pay extra to get things done in half the time it used to take. Often this high pace makes us feel more like we are in a rat race; rather than in the race toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. This kind of living is bound to catch up with us and cause problems. As Christian women who are in business and ministry it’s difficult to see the importance of slowing down. You can continue to carry out your goals, and produce quality work, both while putting less pressure on yourself to do more in less time.

High octane gas is costly
I’d be the first to admit that my high level intensified approach to productivity at times was really counterproductive. I often looked to achieve more, and do more than everyone else, just because I felt that quantity was directly related to quality. This was obviously one of those long believed untruths; you don’t even know you believe, until you slow down enough to examine the facts. Many Christian women like me have fallen into the trap of believing that speeding up will increase your productivity and help you reach your goal a lot faster. I am experiencing a renewed sense of freedom, having realized that I can slow my roll and still please God. I can go at this thing at a more moderate pace that actually supports and honors my values. Letting up a bit doesn’t hurt my commitment; it allows me to be true to the women God has called me to be. Wow, all that and the only thing I changed was to lessen my pace. These are just a few of the advantages of slowing down.

  1. You can plan more strategically without all the stress of having to quickly plan things out.
  2. You will be more successful in managing your schedule, because things tend to overlap a lot less.
  3. You will be less prone to having to reroute tasks because of unexpected circumstances.
  4. You will certainly enjoy the journey more by taking time to smell a few flowers along the way.
  5. The quality of what you produce will likely improve based upon this simple adjustment.
  6. You will likely make fewer mistakes, because you are allowing yourself time to do your best without the stress.
  7. You will have a greater sense of well-being because your life will be in better balance with your values.

Consider slowing down
So instead of rushing through this wonderful journey of fulfilling God’s plan for your life, give yourself time to enjoy the scenery. I’m not suggesting you stop pressing and moving forward, by any means. I am however suggesting you allow yourself to take it all in. Stop running around from event to task to event, and never catching your breath in between. Getting organized on the inside is a very rewarding experience when it includes yielding to God’s pace for our hectic lives. No, He doesn’t want you to run around trying to do it all, have it all, and all in one day at that. The authentic woman promotes a life that includes quality time to pursue her dreams, but she also understands when her ambitions get in the way and no longer support her values. Take a moment to consider your pace; listen to the voice of God, and make sure you live your life in moderation.

Organizing the Inside – Day 155 Just Have A Good Cry

Rejoice with those who are rejoicing. Cry with those who are crying. ~Romans 12:15

Maybe it’s time for a good cry?
If God didn’t want us to cry then why on earth did He give us tears? He knew that we would experience emotions that mere words could not express. He foreknew that we would need an outlet and gave each one of us the ability to cry. I’ve often found my husband laughing at my tears over Hallmark commercials or sappy love stories. My favorite of all times is A Walk To Remember and oh, Two Red Ferns. I was so thrilled to find them in the $5.00 bin at Wal-Mart that I could hardly hold back the tears. Yes, my husband laughed at me then too.

Crying makes me feel weak.
Contrary to popular belief, crying is not a sign of weakness; it’s a clear sign of strength. If it was a sign of weakness, what’s wrong with that? … And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather boast in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2 Corinthians 12:9
Being strong has nothing to do with putting on a happy face when you’re hurting inside. You can cry without having a “pity party” and without going into “emotional failure.”  We are emotional creatures and sometimes, a good cry before the throne of grace can give you a completely different perspective from the miserable outlook you’ve been holding on to.  I cannot count the times that God turned my tears of sadness into real tears of absolute joy.

I never understood as a child when my parents would get together with family.
We’d end a perfectly reasonable day of running, playing jump rope and hopscotch with tears. It seemed like every super fun, dirty your clothes and mess up your braids-day with my cousins, would end in tears. It was either my Dad or my Uncle Dump, (we called him Dump) would call all the children to gather around and trust me this was not optional. So all my cousins, brothers and sisters would gather around in the family room for a moment, no it seemed like an hour of prayer. I just didn’t get it… why was everyone crying? All the adults and soon to be adults were sniffing and wiping tears. My cousins and I would look at each other with our eyes about to pop out of our heads as we tried to understand what made everyone so sad all of a sudden. We only knew that just at about the time the tissue box was completely empty, it was about to end. We’d all say amen, and run off to get in five more minutes of hide and seek before we said our goodbyes.

As I became older, I later understood it was a true and honest expression of love and gratitude towards God that made my big strong, handsome Dad weep as he prayed. I get it now, the tissue box was empty, yet their hearts were full.  We’re all grown now and usually only see each other during funerals and weddings for the most part, but those hours of heart-felt family prayer was a tradition many of us kept going in our own families.

Crying is beneficial to your health
Studies show that crying literally allows your body to release toxins that build up as a result of stress in your life. So is crying God ordained?  I believe in His infinite wisdom he knew we’d experience happiness and gratitude, sadness and loss and gave us the special gift of crying as a way to release emotions that sometimes our hearts are to full to hold inside. So the next time you find yourself so full of the complex emotions that tend to overwhelm, go ahead and let those tear ducts have at it. Let it out, don’t try to shake them off or hold them back go to your prayer closet (of course, not in the middle of a business meeting) and let God’s good gift of crying help release your stress.  A time to cry and a time to laugh… Ecclesiastes 3:4a When you finish, get back to the business of serving Him with exceedingly great joy, excitement and anticipation of all the good things He has in store for you.

There will come a day when we won’t have need of tears. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”  Revelations 21:4 Meanwhile, periodically use the gift of crying it really works!

Organizing the Inside – Day 128 When Under Stressful Conditions

And David was greatly distressed; for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God. ~1 Samuel 30:6

We all have been distressed before.
Often times we are in situations that require us to respond under stressful conditions. There will also be times when our reaction will serve to create a particular environment, causing others to react a certain way.  It’s important that as Christians when we find ourselves in distressing situations we react with forethought and wisdom. When David found himself in a difficult place there were at least three important things he did that affected the outcome.
1. David encouraged himself in the Lord. He didn’t wait for someone to bring him a word. He didn’t wait for bible study night nor did he ask anyone around him for advice. David also did not decide to just plan an attack and rescue on his own.
2. David asked God for advice.  David knew that his best opportunity for success would be to follow God’s direction and he asked God for guidance. 8Then David asked the LORD, “Should I chase after this band of raiders? Will I catch them?” And the LORD told him, “Yes, go after them. You will surely recover everything that was taken from you!”
3. David didn’t become angry and bitter.
David could have become angry because of what his enemies had done. He could have chosen to take revenge on the man who admitted to have participated in raiding their territory. Instead David helped someone he didn’t know, who ended up being the very person that could help him find his loved ones who were captive.

When faced with personal stress how do you handle things?
David showed great poise and honor in handling his situation. His men went from being ready to kill him to having more respect and appreciation for his leadership. When faced with a difficult situation keep in mind there are those around you who are looking to see how you handle stress. David didn’t just talk the talk, he walked the walk and because of his relationship with God he was able to rise above his circumstances, and show great courage in the face of personal adversity. David and his men recovered all that was taken from them. David was a righteous man and continued to show great moral character.
(also read 1 Samuel 30)

Organizing the Inside – Day 102 Let It Be Written

Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the Lord:
~Psalm 102:18

There is something to be said about writing things down.
Writing tends to bring clarity and generally serves as a reference for information.  Many times in the bible we find someone from the New Testament referring to something that is written in the Old Testament. Often when a king would make a new decree it would be written and sealed with the kings own signet, which made it official. We write laws and all kinds of things; writing is still an important form of communication.

Now we have e-everything:
email, evites, ebooks, ezines and even ebanking. We have e-bibles and I for one confess I can’t seem to stop using it. I do however question if, with all this new electronic capability whether we have somehow lost just a little something throughout this great modern transition. As I’m electronically preparing these words today on a very current version of software my spellchecker hardly recognizes many of the “e-words,” (don’t bother I checked too many variations) nevertheless, they definitely have become a normal part of our everyday lives.

Taking pen to paper has its place.
As an organizing expert my time is spent helping women organize their lives both spiritually and physically; I see the usefulness of paper and pen and I am not ready to abandon it just yet. If you’re a busy person with family and work responsibilities, you know the importance of getting things done.  You seem to manage to get by; but many aspects of creativity, evaluating your true feeling or even having time to ponder life’s blessings are often pushed aside for more substantial tasks on your “to do” list.

I’m not the postmaster.
Yet, I wonder if I’ve read your mail or for that matter your email. If you are thinking, “Yep, that’s me!” You may want to consider journaling. Journaling is a way of recording your private thoughts and reflections. It can often help bring clarity to a particular problem. It can also be a way of helping you organize your thoughts. You can write a letter to God; He is not receiving emails as far as I know. I recommend journaling in my practice as a way of making the vision plain. There are many instances in the Word of God where the Lord tells someone to write something down. Journaling is for you, this is not like blogging although you may one day choose to share you private thoughts with the world; begin with it being just for you and the Lord. It will allow you to organize your endless streams of thoughts in a way that could potentially help you clarify more specifics about God’s plan for your life.  Writing  can help reveal truths, which may otherwise seem hidden.

Don’t go adding any pressure to your life.
Journaling should be done in your leisure. Please do not take this on as a new task to improve your life… Do it as you will, but I do recommend you try it. Write as little or as much as you want. Make it a way of capturing ideas, dreams, thoughts, and the occasional creative spark, but make it fun!  Also read Habakkuk 2:1-3 and Romans 15:4

Organizing the Inside – Day 101 Be Still and Quiet the Noise of Clutter

It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep. ~Psalm 127:2

Do something you love to do, just for yourself.
Maybe it’s the stroke of a brush across a blank canvas, or the smell of your wood burning fireplace as it crackles on a cold winter night. Movie night with the kids or finally using those spa tickets you received for your birthday and treat yourself to a full day of pampering. Whatever you choose, do something especially for you. Replenish your strength!  All that you have to do will most likely be there when you return to your labor.

Being organized often means keeping a tight schedule.
The cares of this world coupled with all the burdens of a busy work week will soon be forgotten as you lose yourself in doing what you enjoy for a change. If you enjoy an occasional crossword puzzle or even a round of goal, give this gift to yourself, do sometime that will help relieve stress. Doing what you love quiets you and helps regenerate your energy. Keep an appointment for downtime on your schedule at least once or twice a week.

Don’t feel guilty or as though you’re being selfish.
It’s understandable that if in the normal course of your day you are pressed on every side, you may feel guilty about taking time for yourself. Taking time for you will allow God to replenish you; which will make it possible for you to be more effective. How will you have anything to give to others if you don’t first, get what you need for you? There is a time for everything under the sun.  Make time for you; there is no point in working so hard if you never take time to enjoy the fruit of your labor.

Day 42- I Keep Making the Same Mistake

The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their food in the summer;  ~Proverbs 30:25

Dear Lord, I can’t find my keys again, and the mail has piled up so that my bag now needs to go into a box or a bigger bag.  One of the biggest mistakes many busy women make creates stress that God never intended them to experience.  God demonstrates just how organized He is throughout the scriptures.  With so many examples of instructions that were given that required one to “follow the plan”, we should be clear about God’s intent for us to have order in our lives.

God made plans to redeem man long before the foundation of the earth. Even the ants are productive during the summer because they know that winter is coming and they must be prepared.

If the ants – so tiny, so smart can make preparations for the future, then we too can plan ahead to make sure we aren’t distressed when we should be at ease.  Decide now that you will stop making the same old mistake of not taking time to make plans and organize yourself.  I find this is one of the most common mistakes my clients repeat; not taking time out to restore order or make proper plans.  If you can’t find your keys again today, plan for a solution. Have duplicates made that you can leave with a neighbor or trusted friend.  STOP, and make plans for a solution so you can move forward without so much unnecessary stress.