Truths for Organized Living Continued

Friday, April 30, 2010

Yes, it's been awhile, but I'm back to blogging on organized living! You can click here if you want to read the last post I wrote on organization, a long, long time ago....

Now, let's move on!

"You can't get to where you need to be until you know who you are" - Pastor Andy Stanley

Last time I talked about the importance of understanding our personality type so we can have more organized lives. Why? Because as Andy Stanley's quote points out, knowing who we are helps us to get where we want and need to be.

Were you able to determine your personality type? I quickly and easily figured out that I belong to the melancholy group -- I'm a perfectionist (help!), highly organized, and highly emotional! Having this insight about myself has helped me as I strive to live the life God has called me to, and it can help you too. Knowing our personality and the strengths and weaknesses of it can help us evaluate where we are and show us the direction we need to take. We can use this knowledge to honestly ask ourselves the hard questions concerning our disorganized lives:
  • What specific traits of my personality keep me from being organized?
  • How could I use my personality strengths to help me organize my life better?
These may be hard questions to ask, but they are questions I've had to ask myself. In the process I've discovered a few things.

Despite the fact that I love organization and have a personality that leans to it, I still have disorganized tendencies. One of my biggest issues I'm currently dealing with is meeting deadlines (you may not think that is an "organizational issue", but read any book about the topic and you'll find that making goals and meeting them is important to an organized life). My problem is that I tend to overload myself with a long list of activities that, inevitably, I can't complete on time or at all. I've had to search myself and ask why this is a particular struggle for me. After thinking about it I came to the conclusion that my type of personality has a tendency to overdo things and expect more of myself. As a result I take on more than I can possibly handle. When reality sinks in, I get overwhelmed and can't meet the deadlines that are required of me. So what's a girl to do?

By knowing myself, I've been able to assess the situation and make changes accordingly. Rather than make a long list of things I want to accomplish by the end of the month (like read 6 books, blog 3x a week, scrapbook a page a day, exercise 3 hours a week -- just to name of a few of the goals I made in February, seriously), I've learned to scale back and try not to be so overzealous. Now, I'm hoping to just read 2 books a month, exercise 2 hours a week and post once a week. The overly ambitious part of me hates this scaled down agenda, but the reality of my life and my personality requires that. Plus, the peace that I've had not worrying about time-restraints and trying to do too much, outweighs it all.

Does this make sense? I hope so! Let me give you one more example of understanding our personalities in an effort to organize ourselves:

My daughter, who shall remain nameless, is not quite like me when it comes to personality or a love for organization. Her biggest issues are keeping her room clean and putting away her laundry. I find myself nagging her all the time about being more organized, especially on mornings when we were scouring through the laundry basket looking for a clean PE uniform. Frustrated, I decided to think about her personality, her strengths and weaknesses, and how I could use them to help her become more organized. I realized that she cannot handle it when "things" when are piled up too high -- it overwhelms her and she just can't function. Her personality does better when she breaks tasks down into smaller pieces. So rather than tell her to go clean her room or put away her laundry, now I tell her to clean up everything up off her floor or to set the timer and put away her clothes for 10 minutes. And you know what? It's worked! She is much more willing and able to do the smaller jobs until the overall task is complete. By simply unlocking her personality and assessing her strengths and weaknesses, I've been able to help her have a more organized life.

Knowing who you are is key to an organized life. Maybe you've never thought that your personality has anything to do with it, but I hope now you will think differently. You may not have a personality that's naturally organized, but by looking at how God created you and by understanding your personality strengths and weaknesses, you can have the life you were meant to have!

Remember, organized living is not all about the HOW, but about the WHO: who God is and who you are. In my next 3 posts we'll look at the final aspect of this series - who God calls you to be. I hope you'll join me.

See you soon....I promise!

Blog Interrupted

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

36. That's the number of days that have passed since my last post. I think that largely exceeds the recommended number of days between posts if you want to keep a "following".

I could give you a list of reasons why I haven't blogged, but I'm tired of making excuses.

Basically it boils down to fear, doubt, laziness, and lack of discipline. It's not that I don't want to write, it's just that my emotions (and my flesh) tend to get the better of me. I love writing! I'm always rolling around ideas in my head and forming the words that I hope will inspire, encourage, and excite you. But rather than sit down and actually do it, I let the wall that stands in front of me, the wall that I've help build, keep me from doing what I feel called to do.

And yesterday, God finally called me on it. And then again today.

He showed me that I have neglected to do what I need to do and that if I am unwilling to do it, then He will find someone else who is committed, responsible, and faithful to His plan. OUCH! I have been entrusted with a gift and I have failed to use it properly. And he who is faithless with the little things will never be entrusted with more (Matthew 25:21).

In addition to my lack of commitment, my lack of zeal and belief haven't helped either. I constantly doubt and wonder if my words are making a difference, if anyone is actually reading them, if I will ever be a writer whose words flow off the page and into the deep recesses of a reader's heart, and if God can really use me for greater purposes. These doubts and fears paralyze me to the point where I can't, and don't, write. So, I have to overcome my unbelief.

I said I didn't want to make excuses (which I'm really good at), and I hope I haven't. I just wanted to share the honest truth with you. And even though God lovingly called me out, He also gently encouraged me to just be diligent with my blog writing. That is my hope, my desire, and my first step to being faithful to things I'm called to do and to overcome the things that hold me down.

I'm not making any wild promises, like I'll post everyday. Most days I don't have anything worthwhile or significant to say. But then I remember that it's not my words I'm writing; they're His. And if He's willing to give me a second chance (and third and fourth), then I will do my best to honor His trust and belief in me.

I hope you will too.