Friday, May 23, 2014

The Organized Heart by Staci Eastin

Like everybody else I know, I'm too busy. Every once in a while I reach a point of suffocation and have to step back and reassess all that I'm doing. I not only take on too much because I'm a people pleaser, but also because I'm a missionary and subconsciously think the more that I do the more our supporters will be impressed. Periodically the Lord has to pull me aside and remind me of HIS priorities for my life.

Staci Eastin's The Organized Heart was just what I needed for re-evaluating my responsibilities. I don't know who gave her a camera into my life, but she nailed me on almost every page of her little book.

Eastin's book is refreshingly different from other books on getting organized. Instead of chore charts and pep talks she gets to the heart of the matter by addressing our motivations for doing (or not doing) what we believe is important. She highlights four areas where women struggle: leisure, busyness, perfectionism, and possessions. And she has the nerve to call them what they are: IDOLS. Obviously, busyness is my biggest problem, but Eastin showed me that I also struggle with perfectionism and procrastination.

Fear of letting people down reveals that we are more concerned with what people think of us rather than what God thinks of us. Living to please others, and over-busying ourselves in the process, is idolatry. (p. 42)

Personal pride can be a factor as well. She writes about a job she unwisely accepted, I had told many people about this great opportunity. Even the hard work and difficult subject sounded glamorous. But if I quit, I would have to admit my failure, and maybe the people who hired me would be angry. There was nothing obviously wrong with accepting this project, but a thousand little things in my heart revealed I had said Yes for all the wrong reasons. (p. 41)

Even though I felt convicted on almost every page, Eastin's book is clarifying rather than condemning. She reflects on stumbling blocks that women face and urges us to re-evaluate why we keep failing in these areas. She writes, It is my prayer that this little book will assist you in this struggle by helping you identify unhealthy motivations in your life, and urging you along on the path to holiness. (p. 91) When I finished the book I felt relieved and refreshed and ready to plan a schedule that was more pleasing to the Lord.

Interestingly, have no problem with physical stuff. I love to declutter. But I had never thought of my schedule as "clutter." Tsh at The Art of Simple wrote a neat post about this. Just as decluttering your house leaves you free to enjoy it (rather than be a slave to it), decluttering your schedule restores your joy in doing what the Lord has specifically called you to do. Wise words. Both Tsh and Staci helped me to take steps toward realigning my priorities. Thanks ladies!


Farm Girl said...

It sounds fantastic and just reading your review helped clarify this feeling I have had going on in my head. As well as the four things women struggle with.
I will track this down, thank you for your recommendation.

Anonymous said...

"Fear of letting people down reveals that we are more concerned with what people think of us rather than what God thinks of us."
Ouch! A bit of uncomfortable clarity there...

Melinda said...

I know tons or people that could benefit from this book. Thanks, never would have known about this gem if it weren't for you and your review. Thanks