Know Thyself, Know Others

(photo from: https://www.christianbook.com/organizing-management-techniques-that-will-work/sandra-felton/9780800733155/pd/733155?product_redirect=1&Ntt=733155&item_code=&Ntk=keywords&event=ESRCP )

Our church hosts an organizing class once a week and today we only had an hour to meet, so I brought my computer and we watched Sandra Felton on YouTube, a minute or two for each episode.

The attendee took notes on the ideas that were new to her. I showed her one chapter from the e-book from our library which is still downloaded on my computer: Organizing Your Day: Time Management Techniques That Will Work for You. It’s published by Revell, Grand Rapids, MI. The e-book written by Sandra Felton and Marsha Sims, was created in 2011 and copyrighted in 2009. Then the lady jotted down the information so she could get it for herself. I don’t know if she’ll have to wait for me to finish it or if they have more than one copy.

Occasionally, I end up wanting to own a library book and purchase it. One advantage of an e-book, it doesn’t take up shelf space.

My granddaughter in her twenties prefers a paper book over an e-book. I don’t know if that’s the norm for people in her age group or not.

I’ve been reading the book of Isaiah and should have finished it by now, but I didn’t mark my place, so I re-read some of the chapters in the 50’s section. I felt as if I hadn’t read them before and seemed to glean more the second time. The Old Testament gives us examples of people’s lives and God’s interactions with them. I feel as if I know God better after reading His reactions to the Israeli’s and the other cultures.

In addition, while on vacation lately, I tried to listen to my family along with my talking to them because as they experience life, it’s interesting to hear their ideas and to get to know them better, as well.

When I gather with the ladies for our organizing class and we share our struggles and our triumphs, not only do we enrich each other’s lives, but we get to know ourselves better. We try to figure out why we do things the way we do. I said a few times, as we listened to Sandra Felton, the Organizer Lady, “she understands.”

She tends to offer encouraging comments like, “I used to be unorganized but I’ve learned organizing strategies that allowed me to change. You can change, too.”

She may have said that disorganized people tend to have a lot of interests and they are creative and intelligent. She might have said they are extremely intelligent, borderline geniuses-oh, that might have been my imagination.

Lead on, Organizer Lady, Sandra Felton and her co-writer, Marsha Sims.

I appreciate their vulnerability as they share their stories and their compassion for like-minded people struggling with disorganization. After my husband read part of my copy of her book, The Messies Manual, published back in 1983, it helped him understand me better, which helped our marriage.

Thank You, Jesus.

I noticed online that there’s a new version of The Messies Manual out now.

May God bless you.

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Organize Your Day

I ordered an e-book from our library when I couldn’t get there, so I looked for one of my favorite topics – getting organized.

Sandra Felton and Marsha Sims wrote a book called Organize Your Day: Time Management Techniques That Will Work for You, published by Revell Books, Grand Rapids, MI and copyrighted in 2009.

Organizing your day by Sandra Felton(photo from https://www.christianbook.com/organizing-management-techniques-that-will-work/sandra-felton/9780800733155/pd/733155?product_redirect=1&Ntt=733155&item_code=&Ntk=keywords&event=ESRCP )

What I love about their books is their motto about taking “small” consistent steps to effect real change.

I tend to think that starting four habits when I want to make one alteration multiplies the results. Surely, more is better than less, but then reality sinks in. “I can’t do this!”

In this book, Sandra Felton and Marsha Sims give four styles of organizing charts. One that caught my attention was for a man with such a broad range of interests that he wrote sixteen things he wanted to do.

Of every two items, the man chose the most important and soon the list was down to eight. Once again-the most important whittled down to four.

It forces the planner to think-now it’s down to two. Final choice, what is the most significant thing to the individual? The man felt relief, one thing I can focus on until it’s done.

This morning as I read in the Jesus Calling Devotional Bible, published by Thomas Nelson Nashville, TN; Dallas, TX; Mexico City, in Mexico; and Rio De Janeiro, in Brazil; and copyrighted in 2011, there was a devotional page which I thought was from Sarah Young’s book, Jesus Calling.

Jesus Calling, was copyrighted in 2004 and published by HarperCollins Christian Publishers, Nashville, TN.

On page 1037 in the Jesus Calling Devotional Bible, there’s an entry entitled “Protection” and it’s got a reference: “(From Jesus Lives by Sarah Young)” on the bottom of the page.

She reminds us that Jesus is with us in the good times and the bad times. When we’re struggling during times of affliction, He’s even closer than usual.

So, He hears our cries over a lack of control over clutter or gluttony or road rage or whatever tendencies which cause our hearts to hurt. The Scriptures the Bible gives at the bottom of this devotional are “Isaiah 41:10, Isaiah 12:2, Psalm 23:4, and Psalm 18:35.”

Jesus is our protector if we ask Him to take control over our lives completely. He helps us to release the tight grip on our lives in a manner that we can deal with, if we really mean it. He’s not a mean task master in the sky. He’s a loving Father, beyond what any earthly dad could ever mirror with their behavior.

I hope you are well. May God bless you and protect you, lead you and guide you if you want Him to.

 

Results of Organizing

I decided to put some papers in a box when I cleaned a room to get them out of sight and out of mind. While watching television tonight with my husband, I asked him if he’d carry the box into the living room so I could sort through the stuff. Turns out it wasn’t that heavy. 🙂

Anyway, I’ve been going over in my mind the times when I worked my last job. My boss and I had similar flash points with anger. If things weren’t going smoothly, I’d pray and hold back and eventually something would come up that demanded a response and then I’d state my position. I’ve been thinking and saying, “I wish I’d kept quiet. I wish I’d been a better witness for Christ.”

As I went through this box tonight, I found a piece of paper where I wrote out a conversation with my boss where she let me know that she expected better of me. I told her my reasoning and the lack of training on one of the machines. She said I should have sought out the training. Good point. The more I read, the more I understood that we communicated better than the memory of the exchange led me to believe. I felt weeks earlier that the Lord released me from the job. Maybe the heat turned up some so I would want to leave.

I remember a pastor telling the congregation that people don’t change until it gets too uncomfortable to stay the same. I knew God wanted me to write, but to head out without the assurance of a steady paycheck stopped me. What if I couldn’t get assignments from magazines or customers looking for a wordsmith?

I thank God for helping me to stick with organizing. Not only does it feel great to get rid of the excess taking up room and lingering in my subconscious, but I find things that help me along life’s pathway. I can let those thoughts about my job go.

Also, somethings I thought I would use one day have lost their appeal and they really are worthless.

May God bless you!

Walk It Out

Psalm 25:4-5 (NKJV): Show me Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all day.

I began my day in a strange way today, thinking of the future with tears in my eyes as I pictured a sad probability. As I sat with my Bible and opened it to read, the first thing I saw was Psalm 23: 4b-6, (NKJV): I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.

Before I sat down to be with God, my youngest texted me. Mom, I have an idea for your blog on organizing/decluttering today: “If you haven’t used it in 6 or more months, get rid of it! Even if you really don’t want to.  It will help you break past emotional, materialistic issues.”

Most experts say if you haven’t used it in a year, etc. Some say to put the stuff in a box or bag, store it away and in a year if you’ve never gone near it, don’t open it! Give it to your favorite charity or sell it.

I got thinking of all the things I’ve held onto and I almost panicked. “Dear God, help  me.”

So I sat down to my cleared kitchen table – “Thank You, Jesus for the changes You are gently encouraging me to make.”

I read beyond Psalm 23. Psalm 24: 3-5 (NKJV) says: “Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol. Nor sworn deceitfully.

He shall receive blessing from the Lord, And righteousness from the God of his salvation.”

“Is that my problem? Are things an idol to me, Lord?”

So, I speak the words, “I repent, Lord, I truly repent.”

Now for His grace to walk it out.

Be blessed my friends.

The Next Generation

My grandchildren and I watched Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” one recent morning while their mother caught up on some neglected sleep.

Image from http://movies.disney.com/snow-white-and-the-seven-dwarfs

It took a while to get my computer working. So, here I am, able to blog, finally!

On Good Friday, I offered to do a service at the Nursing Home like it was no big deal. I do the worship without too much trepidation, but when I needed to speak before twelve people stretched out in a line in their seats or wheel chairs, with a worker present, my heart beat sped up and I wondered what was I thinking to volunteer. With the busyness of the holidays and with company from Thursday to Monday, I wrote a blog on Saturday ready to post it and never got it typed, let alone sent out.

So, this is a modified version of that blog.

There’s nothing like sitting with little ones and entering into their world for a little while. Sometimes they want to watch too many shows or play electronic games, so their mom limits the time allowed so they interact with people.

We settled into comfy chairs to watch old fashioned scrolls with introductory words describing the setting and some of the plot as “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” began. I read the first page a bit after it appeared to the children. I finished the words as the second page showed up. My older grandson’s eyes widened. “How did you remember the words from the first page and then read the second page like that?”

I know he was giving me a compliment but he’s at the age where it can go either way.  Sometimes I’ll tell him something and he’ll tell me I’m wrong. Then, after he finds out I wasn’t wrong he’s not sure how to act. I’ll say, “I did go to school, you know.”

Then he ponders it all. He’s a deep thinker. His mom tells me he may come back 24 hours later with a new angle and then be ready to argue again at 48 hours.

During the movie we talked about such a variety of topics: skulls, death, Black Magic, Christianity, meanness, kindness, jealousy, love, and imagination making things worse.

It’s amazing how watching a program with young people and being open to their thoughts and questions can get a conversation going. Sometimes I’d ask him what he thought of certain situations.

When the queen, who was sometimes called a witch, used magic to change her appearance so she could poison her step-daughter, I told the children afterwards that evil often backfires and hits the person set on hurting another. It makes the case for that logic in Proverbs and in the Psalms, but I didn’t quote them book and verse.

Today, I spent a good portion of the day setting the house in order. I love my family very much. So, it’s worth it to cook and do dishes and move the toys into the living room so we can gather together. They helped pick up before they left, but by the time the cars left, we’d eaten another meal and they needed to get on their way. I decided to do some extra cleaning beyond the ordinary after the company went home. I guess it felt good to get at things. I’m still organizing.

I finished the kitchen and now I’m on to the next room. It took me longer than I anticipated because of the curtains, which I had to point out to my oldest daughter. It’s funny the things that stand out to me and others don’t even notice.

May God bless you!

Love Makes the World Go ‘Round

Love Makes the World Go ‘Round” is a popular song written by Bob Merrill for the 1961 Broadway musical Carnival! (This is a quote from Wikipedia.)

This morning early in my day, I thought about life. Back in my childhood a saying got repeated, “Love makes the world go ’round.”

I didn’t know until a few moments ago that it was a song title. 🙂

My brother and sister-in-law uprooted themselves to help take care of her parents in their latter years. Love is not easy at times. They’re sacrificing for others, and yet they’re enjoying this precious time with family.

As a young mom, I learned to discipline my children in a consistent manner even when it broke my heart to see them cry. When they got older I wouldn’t let them watch violent movies or see R-rated or worse films. Sometimes my husband and I were too restrictive over other matters and we needed to learn to see things from their point of view.

Our children heard us say we’re sorry but I think they understood we were looking out for their best interests.

Love means saying no to the bad. My parents wouldn’t let us go see the 1961 movie, “West Side Story” when it came out in the theaters. I was maybe nine years old. Lots of the kids went. I stomped my foot and complained. “You’re too young,” my mom replied and that was that.West Side Story(photo from Wikipedia)

After more thoughts this morning, this came to mind, what shall I do today?

Part of the Scripture from Proverbs 6:6-8 (NASB), took root:

Go to the ant, O sluggard, Observe her ways and be wise, Which having no chief, Officer or ruler, Prepares her food in the summer, And gathers her provision in the harvest.

I, too, have no one barking commands at me. My husband gives suggestions occasionally and then he gets on with his day.

It’s not that I don’t like housework. I get bored. After lots of hours alone, I want to see people.

The point of cleaning and organizing beyond the removal of germs and bad smells and nerve-wracking messes is love. Love for others sharing the home, love of self, love for others stopping over, even love or respect for the neighbors shows up with a tidy place.

I thought, if that doesn’t motivate me to continue on with this organizing quest I’m on, nothing will.

When I start my day in God’s Word and in prayer, I’m centered and reminded that His love goes with me and upholds me.

When I feel I have too much to do I break it down to smaller steps. I’m trying to remember that I have time to continue and if people interrupt, people are more important.

Too much self-centeredness does not make the world go ‘round. When it’s all about me, joy and love get sucked away. I know. I’ve been there and done that and missed out on simple pleasures of life because of complaining and a stinking attitude.

God help me; I don’t want to go there.

May God bless you!

Decisions, Anyone?

I’ve decided to eat healthier, which means to me hardly any meat and very little dairy. I began today with some other areas to limit stuff, as well.

 

So, as I prepared dessert for a group meal, I had to decide. Gingerbread with whole wheat flour and the added chore of making homemade applesauce because we didn’t have any on hand, or making a gelatin with agar agar and fruit juices. I chose the gelatin for a few reasons and began around three o’clock in the afternoon for a 6:00 meal. After I poured the hot liquid into the bowls and added fruit, it suddenly occurred to me that when it was piping hot, it couldn’t cool in minutes. Especially the biggest bowlful, which had seeded fruits in it and only one person couldn’t eat seeds. Seeing as how the weather outside was frightful – I couldn’t resist, at almost 20 degrees Fahrenheit, (freezing is 32 degrees Fahrenheit), I decided to put them on the front porch and check often so they didn’t freeze.

 

Then, I realized that since I’d added half a cup of cranberry juice to the ten cups of sweet apple juice for color I may want to add some sweetener since cranberries are tart. I put in a small amount and tasted it. With the added fruit and the toppings, I hoped it would taste good to them and be good for us. One person said he liked it. I liked it, my husband did not. No one else said anything because they tend to be nice people and it wasn’t horrid, it just wasn’t like the commercial gelatins. It was still a little tart. I’ve heard cranberries help strengthen bones. 🙂

 

After we got home I noticed I felt a bit grumpy even though we had a good time. I know better than to start more than one major project at a time, but I’ve committed to two things and once I commit, I try my best to follow through.

 

The organizing thing is not requiring a lot out of me for the first two weeks of January and the author, Regina Leeds, said it goes faster if you’re able to make decisions quicker rather than slowly. I’ll see how it goes when I get to that point. She wrote, One Year to an Organized Life: From Your Closets to Your Finances, the Week-by-Week Guide to Getting Completely Organized for Good, copyrighted in 2008 and published by MJF Books, New York, NY if you haven’t read this blog previously.

 

We have a group started and books are ordered. So, we’ll go forward and see results. Sandra Felton has written helpful books on becoming less messy, and one of her quotes is, “The secret to success is making very small, yet very consistent, changes.”

 

I went to the internet to find her and got watching small videos on YouTube. The decision- making YouTube episode for getting rid of clutter is called, “Quadrant Method for Clearing Clutter,” 6:13 time or six minutes and thirteen seconds. That was helpful.

 

As I organize, I realize God is answering prayer. I don’t feel grumpy anymore since I started writing. 🙂

 

Do you struggle with decisions and/or second guess the ones you’ve made?

 

May God bless you.

Let It Begin

Three of us entered the church tonight for our organizing class. Two more decided they’ll join next week.Image result for women in a classroom(photo from towson.edu)

It’s humbling to join with folks and admit you’ve got a problem you’ve struggled to overcome. It’s also exhilarating to know you’re not alone.

So we left the meeting with the words commitment, hard work, and support as some of the parting promises to one another.

I read some women’s magazines with articles off topic from organizing which made me want to write an article for one of them. I’ll need to do some research on the subject and on marketing. Some magazine editors don’t accept articles from writers if they haven’t sold to a magazine with a huge following.

I truly believe that God orders my steps in mysterious ways sometimes.

Proverbs 16:9 (ESV) says: “The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.”

We’ll see where they go.

May God bless you as you step out in life.

Habitually Moving

I’ve been working more on a transposing assignment for a man who hopes it’ll be done by Christmas. We miscommunicated at the beginning so it’ll be quite the feat if I get it done. I just decided to check out how many more pages are in the handwritten notebook and couldn’t find it. Did I put it away and the zip drive, too?

Yes, I did. There are times when I’m driving and my mind is on something else and suddenly I’ll realize I’m almost at my destination. I guess I tidy up on autopilot as well.

When I went to figure out my day in the planner, the date jumped out on me. I know Christmas is on Sunday, but how can Sunday suddenly be less than seven days away. So, I’d better get a package in the mail tomorrow. I’d better get my cards signed tomorrow or Wed. I’d better get up earlier in my day before the phone starts ringing so I can type for my client.

I’ve been handing things over to God this week and hopefully they’ll stay there. One of those things was getting stuff done. I’ll do my best and leave the results up to Him.

One thing I like about helping people with their memoirs is the fun of seeing their choices. I’ve had clients with interesting lives and sometimes I imagine myself in their shoes and wonder if I would have done the same thing. Would I have had the stamina and courage and enthusiasm to do what they did?

We’re all wired so differently.

I’ve been singing a friend’s song this week and it reminded me that I wrote a song once and gave it to a fellow to see if he could come up with the music. I hope my copy is in the file cabinet. I begin the organization class in January, not too soon. I’ve been working on organizing since November, but this month has been more hit and miss.

I decided when I was a busy mom to stop stressing over Christmas. I didn’t think God wanted me to go huge on gift giving since His Word says to do all things in moderation, (Php_4:5, (KJV):  Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

His Word also says not to owe people anything but love. Rom_13:8 , (KJV): Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

I don’t mind being on autopilot if I’m throwing the garbage into the outdoor cans, but if someone stops at the house, I don’t want to immediately think of the ten things on my list and start re-ordering the timetable and miss out on them. I want to be fully there.

I hope this finds you well and at peace. May God bless you.

Inspired

 

My husband ordered the movie “Bolt” by Disney, released in November of 2008, from Netflix which arrived today. If he’s busy, he’ll fall asleep. So, he missed about half of it after the first few minutes.

The Cat, Mittens [spoiler alert] totally tears down Bolt’s super-inflated ego, or is it supreme confidence? Rhino, the chubby hamster idolizes Bolt. At Bolt’s lowest, Rhino tells him what incredible feats he’s accomplished. Rhino says the world needs Bolt to be that super hero.

Humbled, realistically thinking, Bolt decides to forge ahead without super hero capabilities. He’s going to face his challenges with his dog strengths, a heart full of love for his “person,” and help from his friends.

I’ve read a lot of inspirational stuff today. I’m reading through the book of Romans and the Apostle Paul talks of humankind with our sinful nature. He calls himself the chief of sinners, the least of the Apostles in Roman seven, which I’ll read tomorrow. In the build up to chapter seven, he points us to Jesus Christ. How He helped us overcome sin and live a life worth living for ourselves, for others, and ultimately for God.

He tells our end state if we want to stay in sin and our end state if we go for righteousness. I’m not forced to follow God or to reject Him.

The other inspirational readings I did today were the Living Forward: a Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want book by Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy, (copyright 2016 and published by Baker Books, Grand Rapids, MI), and the book One Year to an Organized Life: From Your Closets to Your Finances, the Week- by-Week Guide to Getting Completely Organized for Good by Regina Leeds, (copyrighted in 2008 and published by MJF Books, New York, NY).

Both books give action plans in manageable steps and convince their audience that they can do what the authors propose if they choose to take the steps outlined. Both books proclaim others have followed their advice and succeeded.

They warn the reader that the only way to succeed is to take the steps required.

What I love as an adult is the opportunity to learn and grow and change when I choose to. I’m not forced to go to school to learn how to stop drifting or how to stop being disorganized.

Not that I’m against kids being sent to school, but I would do it differently if I were in charge. I’m just saying…

Years ago, I heard a radio program on Focus on the Family. If I remember rightly, the guest specialist told Dr. Dobson that a number of boys would excel if they could wait until age eight before entering school.

I’m NOT saying I know how to do things differently. 🙂 Can you imagine the restructuring of people’s lives as children were allowed to stay home until eight years old in our mostly non-agrarian society?

I’ve heard a couple of countries in Europe will not let the mom stay home from work and home school their children.

Yet, if I did run the educational system, I’d want to see children taught according to the child’s giftings-suited for a job they thrive in. I would want to see firm but absolutely loving discipline in the elementary school so violence is curtailed. Businesses asked what skills are needed so society cooperates in a winning situation for both parties. This is probably already in place. Plus, continuing the internships that are available for students and employees.

May God bless you this day.