Learning to bring order to my messy mind
Teach me to order my days
that I may present to You a heart of wisdom.
Psalm 90v12 NASB
For far too long I have been confused and conflicted about the messiness of the daily, weekly, and monthly doing of my life. I crave order, spending most of my spare moments tidying up, making sure my home is neat, my world uncluttered, a place for everything and everything in it’s place.
People who know me just a little live with the false assumption that I am organized.
I’m not. Not even close. And it bothers me. Not because I want to be someone I’m not but because I have things I long to accomplish. All too often I feel like a hassled hamster running as fast as I can to nowhere.
The truth is…
I work relentlessly to keep everything neat and tidy because of the disorder that wrecks havoc inside my head.
For years and years I thought something was just wrong with me. My parents are two of the most organized, efficient people I know. Not once did either of them moan about having to clean out the closet or the garage or anything, really. They never had to because they somehow managed to always keep things tidy. Both my parents seemed to walk through their days without the chaotic juggling that too often marks my way.
Why couldn’t I be like them?
On my visits home I'd watch closely to see if I could learn their secrets. When I asked about how they stay so organized they just looked at me with all that left brained logic and said, "Well, we just do it."
After much trial and error (and a crazy but effective book entitled Side Tracked Home Executives)
I did mostly manage to stick to some semblance of a routine when the kids were little. Four children will do that to you, especially if you decide, as did I, to homeschool. I made extensive chore lists for all of us, filled out every square of the monthly teacher’s organizing binder, and probably managed to actually cross off about half of what I thought I should be doing.
As one-by-one, each of my children grew up and left my neat and tidy but inwardly disorderly nest, the structure that had worked sufficiently well for organizing my home and family failed me. I dreamed of writing books, of teaching women, of studying and learning, and finally getting that degree that I wish I’d finished.
I’ve tried sheer willpower. Raised in a home that valued work, I know how to put my nose to the plow and power through. Some months it seemed that’s all I did: work, work, work.
And yet, it seemed to me that all that busy working wasn’t leading me any closer to accomplishing my dreams— those things I felt God had made me for, that He was asking me to do.
I studied Michael Hyatt’s weekly flow chart but never could figure out how to make my computer obey my wishes. So after a few frustrating attempts, I quit.
I tried reading the New York Times best-seller, Getting Things Done. I underlined and took notes and when I finally came up for air I was more confused than ever— and hadn’t gotten anything done.
Then one day as deadlines threatened to be my undoing and the confusion of my self-made chaos sank me closer to despair, I cried out to God:
What is wrong with me, Father? Why can’t I seem to keep up? Why can’t I get done what I know You’ve called me to do?
And I heard the gentlest truth dance across my despair:
Di, I made you just how I wanted. You’re beautiful, just right. I made you as My masterpiece for My purposes. Delight in Me as I delight in you.
And slowly, step-by-step I have been learning that…
When I fully embrace
how He made me to be,
God enables me to accomplish
what He has assigned me to do.
I am not the logical, left-brained achiever that my parents and so many people I love and admire are. Those who, according to experts, handle the daily decisions first by analysis, then by action, followed finally by the emotions that come with a job well done. Like this: Analysis—Action—Feelings
A great way to get things done! But, sigh... not my way.
My way looks more like this: Feelings—Action—Analysis. A typical right-brain way of getting things done that doesn't actually result in a lot of consistent getting things done.
Can you relate? Are you one of those...? You live in your head, you thrive on passion, you drop too many balls that you meant to do but you either forgot or lost steam or just got distracted by a more compelling idea.
Passion awakens us, happiness fuels us, delight drives us to do-
not because we should or someone said we ought to, but because we must and we want to and we will!
The action I take is always, always, always preceded by the conviction that what I am to do must be done. Now. Only after it is done can I tell you why I had to do it, and if I could have done it better, and how I’ll do it next time.
I dare to think that a whole lot of you are right-brainers like me. (I much prefer the term “creative thinkers”.) And I believe that many of you are as frustrated with your messy way of doing your days and accomplishing your dreams as I am. And maybe you’ve suffered the shame that goes with being different, of approaching love and life and dreams in a way that makes little sense even to you.
With the One who created you I want to tell you that:
God likes you just as you are. He made you that way— on purpose, for a purpose.
He made you for His purposes—all those tasks He made for you alone to do, just as He wrote in Ephesians 2v10:
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.
For the month of October I am going to be sharing with you some of the things I have learned and am learning about ordering my days— about doing and being the me He made, on purpose. I am spending this month ordering my days, not so I can please or impress anyone, but so that my world works more smoothly and my days reap the purpose I am made for.
I’ll also be writing for mothers with insight into how to develop your own child’s sense of rightness and the way of order that is unique to them. Can you imagine the gift this could be to a child? To understand and appreciate the way they are wired before they try to stuff themselves into a mold that won’t fit?
And because my way tends leans more toward the random than the regular, may I suggest that you allow me to alert you via email when I post? (simply subscribe below) That way you won’t miss the conversation and the comments as we learn together.
From a heart learning to please Him just as I am,
P.S. Can you share with us the One Thing that helps you more than any other to free you to efficiency and that lovely rightness that comes from actually doing what you’ve dreamed?
We learn best when we learn together and I crave what I learn in your comments.