Overcoming Obstacles to Being Organized

Yesterday someone saw an area of my life that is organized and she started telling me how important it is to have things in such good order, especially since this is of a medical nature.  I explained that years ago our insurance was a HMO.  Never before did I have to contact the insurance company so often. (They even got upset because I took our son to have his eyes checked to see if his glasses needed to be changed and I did it without a referral!) If I was going to keep things straight when dealing with insurance, I had to write down who I spoke with on the phone, when I spoke with them and what about, so I started a notebook. Later it occurred to me that I ought to write down what the doctor says when I see him so I put that in the notebook. Once I was filling out forms to have a test done and, oh, gee. One page asked for info on past tests and surgeries and family history. So, now I have all that in my notebook as well.

All that said, the point of this is not the notebook. The lady who admired it works in the medical field and she was telling me how important it is to have it all written down, especially what medicine I can and can’t take. Then she started telling me how unorganized she is. She has trouble remembering what she’s supposed to do when and where she’s supposed to be. Someone once gave her a little notebook to keep in her purse to help her keep up with herself but she would forget to use it. I told her that I have run out the door to the doctor’s office without my notebook so, I don’t do this perfectly!

Keeping up with our schedules and responsibilities is a matter of habit and all we have to do is change our habit. There’s a lady named Marla Cilley who calls herself Flylady. Marla says whatever we do everyday is a habit whether it’s the habit we want to have or not. So, it’s a matter of changing habits. If you aren’t familiar with Flylady and you want to build good organizational habits (she has a great way to get you through Christmas!) check out her website at http://www.flylady.net. She gets what it is to live a side-tracked life and has helped many a person (male and female) get on track with free daily email reminders. She is able to turn a lot of things that are boring – and don’t we sometimes procrastinate because it’s boring? – into a game.

One more thing to consider. I read a really good book years ago by Os Guinness, “Of Two Minds: The Dilemma of Doubt and How to Resolve It.” This book is primarily about faith, unbelief and doubt and how to work through these things but, something he said that applies to a lot of areas of life is relevant here. Our identity can get all wrapped up in our problems so that we don’t see ourselves without the problem but we see the problem as part of who we are. It’s possible that the lady I spoke with yesterday was not only telling me something about herself; she was telling me who she is. We have to be willing sometimes to want to change how we see ourselves and also deal with the change in relationship equilibrium that it causes when we do change. What if there is someone in this dear lady’s life who likes her that way? Someone who would feel threatened by her changing? Sometimes we have to be brave to change.

Well, if you would like to be more organized or, even if you just feel like you are the only person on the planet who is cleaning a house everyday and you’re tired of feeling isolated, you might like Flylady’s methods. I got her email for a few years myself and enjoyed the thought that if I was wiping down my front door (a very short, less than 10 minute chore) so were folks all over the world. I found out later that not only were the members in the US doing that little chore that day along with those in Australia, England, Spain and other countries but, so did a good friend who lives across town from me. And right now as I’m writing, I have my Holiday Control Journal (a freebie on her site), right next to me. I’ll be doing a bit of Christmas shopping today.

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David And Goliath

Yesterday I heard a version of David and Goliath that I’d never heard before. I’ve been a Christian for a long time but a few years ago we changed ‘flavors’ and it has exposed us to a whole different perspective.

What I had always been told is that we are supposed to be like David and have faith and fight Goliath, aka the giants, in our lives. The giants can be big problems or spiritual warfare. I also heard that Goliath had four brothers and that is why David picked up five stones but that is nowhere in the Bible.

How about this? Goliath represents Satan, God’s enemy. We really, if we are honest with ourselves, are more like the Israeli army than we are like David. David represents Jesus who has fought sin, death and Satan and won the battle for us. Goliath even fell on his face and lost his head, just as Dagon did in I Samuel 5:4. David used a Philistine sword, Isreal’s enemy’s own weapon, to take Goliath’s head off, just as Jesus used death, Satan’s own weapon to defeat him on the cross, as it says in Hebrews 2:14 “…that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil….”

This view has a different effect on me than what I used to hear. I used to feel pumped and like, yeah, I’m going to believe God and go after _________ – you know, whatever. After hearing this sermon yesterday, I feel humbled and in awe of God and His wisdom and power and grace and love and mercy and…wow.

If you’d like to read it for yourself, it’s in the Old Testament in I Samuel the 17th chapter.

My Only Comfort

Yesterday after I wrote that I felt a bit overwhelmed after listening to Naomi Wolf and running across other upsetting news items, I started working on cleaning up my house. My brain needed a break from thinking about how we are losing our freedoms and I had plenty of potential for creating order and beauty. Meaning, my house was a wreck!

As I was washing dishes a chorus started going through my head, “It is well with my soul.” And I thought about how no matter what happens on the outside, I can be OK on the inside.

When I was sorting through stuff that didn’t belong on a bookcase, I found a bulletin from church with a quote on the front by C. H. Spurgeon. Here’s part of it: “No man is really a Christian who finds his hope and confidence within himself; he must be looking away from himself to God in Christ Jesus……..What a sweet thing is the calm leisure of faith! Fret and worry, hurry and haste, are all slain by the hand of faith. That is the description of what a Christian ought to be, “waiting upon the Lord:” depending upon God, expecting from God, and patiently waiting for God, till He shall give the desired blessing.” Hmm. So, what is the blessing that I desire? Most of all, that I see His face and hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Does all this mean I’m OK with our country apparently moving in the direction of a dictatorship? No way!!! It still breaks my heart to think it could happen. So, what do I do with a broken heart? This morning, in the 3rd verse of “Jesus! What a Friend for Sinners!” we sang, “Jesus! what a help in sorrow! While the billows o’er me roll, even when my heart is breaking, He, my comfort, helps my soul.”

Then another good quote, this one by A. W. Pink, on the front of our bulletin about how God is a solid rock that we can stand on when everything is being swept away around us. And there was the scripture from Isaiah 54:10. “For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of My peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.”

I asked one of our pastors what the mountains and hills represent and he said it was the worst thing a person could conceive of happening. And “LORD” is in caps by the way, because it means the God who makes covenant with His people.

I intend to continue reading and watching news and writing about what is going on, upsetting as it is. But I pray that I won’t lose my focus on the Rock, the ONE thing I can count on, which is God’s unchangeable character and love for me.