by Kathi Lipp
WHY do you want to get organized?
Oh no, my question is not whether you want to get organized or not. I’ve never met a woman who didn’t want to be more organized.
But the deeper question is, why? Why do you want to get more organized? What is driving you to buy color-coded bins and alphabetize your spices?
If we are honest with ourselves, there are two main knee-jerk reactions to the desire to be more organized:
1. Pain – Your child throws a tantrum because she can’t find her Build-a-Bear’s Rock Star DJ outfit. Your debit card gets rejected at Target (with only about eight people in line behind you to see you in all your overdrawn glory). You forgot to sign your child’s permission slip and had to drive back home and back to school before work, not only making you late, but making you frazzled.
Pain is the thing that makes you state declaratively, “We are doing bills every single night, after we clean the house from top to bottom. I’m selling the TVs and homeschooling all my current and future children.” The problem is, eventually you find the DJ outfit, you get money in your account again, and the field trip passes. You forget the pain and slip back into your old habits (until the next time you’re mortified at Target).
2. Shame – The kissing cousin of Pain, Shame is the thing that limits your relationships (“How can I have anyone over when my house looks like this?”), limits your dreams (How can I write a book when I can’t even clean off my desk?”), and limits your resources (“How can I help total strangers when I can’t even keep my own life together?”).
The problem with getting organized because of Pain or Shame is that both of those things are rooted in Fear. And Fear makes a terrible life planner.
Instead, think about the things that you could do if you were more organized:
- I will set aside one night each week to stay on top of bills, so I won’t pay overdraft fees and can free up some money to donate to church or for a family vacation.
- I will create an evening routine for me and my kids, so we can have a peaceful morning on school days.
- I will clean up the living room each evening during commercials so I won’t hesitate to have the people I love come to my home.
“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” - Philippians 3:12-14
Stop living in the Shame and Pain of your past experience. Use organization as a tool to grab a hold of all those things God has planned for your future.