Organization

Author of Organization

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I have got to get my life and family organized, or I’m going to lose it! I’m so overwhelmed with all the things I need to do that I don’t know where to start. I’m so very tired and it seems like it’s never enough time in the day. Ever have thoughts like these?

For a while now, I have felt like I was drowning and doing all I can to stay above water. It has literally been one thing to the next without much of a break, if any at all. Juggling a new job, a young family and various things in between have taken a toll. Sometimes, I just want to retreat to a quiet corner, hide and take a nap. I’ve been literally running on fumes and my health—physical, mental, emotional and spiritual—have begun to suffer. So finally, I cried out to God for help and had the following realizations:

1)      God is concerned about every area of my life.

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.  (I Peter 5:7 NLT) Now if you’re like me, you’re probably thinking God has bigger and greater things to do than to be bothered with my minor issues of figuring out what to prepare for my family’s dinner. After all, there are more pressing concerns in the world. I realized that I neglected to go to God with things I figured I should be able to handle or things that I considered low on the totem pole of God’s “to-do list”. However, it occurred to me, that as His child, the things that bothers me, no matter how small, still concerns Him. AND in His omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence He can solve my “little” problems and the world’s problems at the same time! Imagine that! I don’t have to feel like I’m doing Him a favor by carrying all my burdens myself when His word clearly tells me to cast or give them to Him. Note that it doesn’t specify cast your HUGE cares on Him only, but to cast ALL your cares on Him.

2)      God is not the author of confusion.

It was as Oprah would say an “ah ha” moment that it came to me. Why is my life so confused, disheveled and stressed right now? Something has got to give because I can’t go on like this much more! This isn’t like God. God is a God of organization. It was then that “Operation Fix Your Life” was born! For God is not a God of confusion but of peace… (I Corinthians 14:33 ESV) Every area of our lives needs the peace of God.

I had to make a change for myself! I had become miserable! Only surviving, not living! So first, I made a list of the challenges I was facing. Second, I came up with ideas of how to make them less challenging in a way that would maximize and save time. Third, I shared all of this with my husband. Now we are taking steps toward organizing our family better and in such a way that we can feel less overwhelmed, defeated and tired. We still have a ways to go but we have progressed, and I already see a tremendous positive difference! For example, I get the boys’ clothes ready for the week instead of nightly and in the mornings. I make a weekly meal plan for what we’ll have for dinner and the prep required. These are just the beginning and already they’ve made a world of difference!

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for showing us You are not just here for us during our mountains in life but that You are with us during our hills as well. For You know too many hills can become monumental for Your children if we aren’t reliant on You! Help us to seek You and think of You when life gets out of control with the day to day operations. Thank You for Your guidance and direction. Thank You for caring about ALL areas of our lives and for being a God of order. For You have the ability to handle all the issues of all of Your children. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Tired but triumphant, overwhelmed but overcoming sisters, I EMPOWER you to not rely on your own super powers as you navigate between work, family, school, community and church obligations and commitments. I EMPOWER you to rely on the One who has ALL power and who can and will help us with any and every situation no matter how seemingly minor or small! I EMPOWER you to acknowledge, ask, receive and implement according to His direction!

What area of your life have you not sought guidance from God in because it seems so minor or trivial?

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Mrs. Coretta Collins is a wife and mother who enjoys reading, writing, movies and spending time with family and friends. She is avid about health, healing and helping which serves her well as a Family Nurse Practitioner in a hematology and oncology practice. Striving to be led by the Lord throughout life and having overcome significant challenges, her favorite scripture is Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Coretta is a member of St. John A.M.E. Church, Birmingham, Alabama. She resides in Calera, Alabama with her awesome husband and two wonderful sons.

Completion, Focus, Growth/Maturity, Motivation, Organization, Preparation

Wise Women Build!

 “…The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down…” (Proverbs 14:1 NIV)

This scripture has been on my mind for the last week or so.  I sought the Lord on why He keeps bringing this scripture to the forefront of my mind.  I did not believe it had any application to my life.  I was certainly not tearing down my house!  As I meditated more deeply, God revealed to me tearing down my house was not the issue; I was not building UP my house.

The word ‘build’ means to establish, increase, or strengthen.  A wise woman is always in BUILDING MODE.  This goes for the smallest things like the old shower curtain that needs to be replaced and other small updates that would make the home more inviting.  This also goes for bigger, more long term building such as a savings account with funds for at least 6 months worth of expenses just in case something should happen.

I had to admit, I was not being a wise woman because I was NOT in building mode.  I was more in maintenance mode, just keeping the status quo, nothing more, nothing less.  I tried to justify my behavior by saying, “Well, it’s just me!  If I was married or had kids, I would do more!”  However, the scripture does not say, “A wise WIFE…” or “A wise MOTHER…” it says, “A wise WOMAN!”  This means married or single, with or without children, EVERY woman who desires to be wise is REQUIRED to build up her house.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for continuing to show me who I am so that I may continue to evaluate and make changes in order to become the woman that You have called me to be.  I thank You for calling me to greater wisdom in You.  I decree and declare that I will be a wise woman in EVERY area of my life.  I ask that You help me to consistently work to build up my house:  physically, spiritually, financially, and emotionally. Show me what I need to do, lead me to other wise women that will put a demand on me and challenge me to grow even wiser in You.  I praise You for the awesome destiny that You have for me and I also praise again You for calling me to greater wisdom.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to be a WISE woman and build up your house.  If you don’t know where to start, here are several things you can do:

1.        Get around WISE women.  “[S]he who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm…” (Proverbs 13:20 NIV)  For example, you can’t become a wiser woman in your marriage if you only spend time with foolish women who slash tires, bust windows, and curse out their men in public.  You can’t become a wiser woman in your finances if you only spend time with women who spend their whole paycheck on their hair, nails, and Saturday night outfits.

2.       Read and HEED the word of God – “Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not ignore it…” (Proverbs 8:33 NIV)  Take inventory of what you’re doing, does it line up with the Word of God?  If not, it is time to make some changes.

3.       Most important, SEEK THE LORD – “If any of you lack wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him…” (James 1:5 NIV)  God will reveal to you what you need to do specifically in order to build up your house if you ask Him.

What are doing to ensure that you are constantly in build mode? Share your tactics with other women below.

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Ms. Katrina Richard is an up and coming professional residing in Chicago, Illinois.  She strives to incorporate knowledge and life-skills to teenagers in her profession as a high school history teacher.  Katrina is very active in her church community where she serves in the prayer ministry as well as in the nursery.  She has a passion for serving in the lesser known areas of ministry because she believes every facet of ministry is important to kingdom building and spiritual development of the believers. Her favorite scripture is Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Accountability, Bible Study, Focus, God, Growth/Maturity, Organization, Prayer, Time Management

Quality Time

On plenty of days I find myself saying if there were just one more day in a week or a few more hours in the day, I would be able to do all that I need to do.  As a single mother working full-time, my schedule on most days is jam packed from sun up to sun down with things to do.  My boys are involved in various sports and activities, and then of course there are my ladies’ nights, Bible Study, going to the gym and when I am lucky the occasional time to just do nothing.

Recently, I have recognized that it is the quality, not the quantity of time that I am spending doing things that matters most.  For example, I can spend two hours at the gym, but if I am simply walking at a slow pace on the treadmill the entire time it isn’t going to do much good for my weight loss efforts, or increase my endurance.  The same can be said about the time that we spend with God.  I try to start each morning in prayer and devotion, and I have to be honest there are plenty of mornings when I have fallen asleep praying, because I was too lazy to get out of the bed and get on my knees.  There are also mornings when I reach for my phone to play random games, see what I may have missed on Facebook the night before, or check emails and text messages before I thank God for waking me up to see another day.  There are also times when I am at Bible Study watching the clock because I have a meeting with the ladies immediately after dismissal. This means that I am not as focused on the lesson as I could be.  If the quality of my blessings were based on the quality of the time I spend with God, I can’t imagine what my life would be like!  If any of these are familiar to you, you can intentionally increase the quality of the time that you spend with God with these few things:

Disconnect – Disconnect from the television, computer, Kindle, cell phone, Ipod, Ipad and any other person, place or thing that distracts you or is taking your focus away from God during the time that is designated to be spent with Him. “ Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.  For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.” (1 John 2:15-16 NIV)

Check your schedule – There are some things that we are putting our time, energy, money and faith into that are nothing but self-fulfilling, trendy, wasteful activities!  We are focused so much on our own ideas, thoughts and to-do lists that our time with and for God is limited, and His work is not being done. We have to give up those things that consume too much of our time.  There is nothing wrong with declining an invitation, or not participating in everything that comes your way. “Now this is what the LORD Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways.  You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it…Give careful thought to your ways.  Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build my house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,” says the LORD.  “You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?” declares the LORD Almighty. “Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with your own house.” (Haggai 1:5-9 NIV)

Redefine your time – There is nothing better than to have prayer, worship or Bible study with the ones you love, and you never know how your prayer may touch someone else, or how their’s might touch you!  “I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. (Romans 1:11-12 NIV) You can invite others to share in your quality time with the Lord.  Start a prayer call once a week, put together a Bible study with the ladies, or a monthly potluck to come together as prayer warriors for a cause.  God is more than pleased when we come together to honor and glorify Him! “For where two or three come together in my name, there I am with them.” (Matthew 18:20 NIV)

Just as with any other relationship, time is of the essence when it comes to strengthening our bond with our Heavenly Father.  While we often assume the bare minimum is enough, we must begin to reevaluate how and with whom we spend our time, and give Him the time that He is so worthy of.  Our time is the one thing that once spent, we can never get back!

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for being so patient with me as I struggle to remove those things that are keeping me from being in Your presence more often. Lord, I pray for an increased spirit of discernment that I might recognize when I am filling my time with people and activities that are not of You. I ask that You will continue to increase our time together each and every day, and that when You see fit You will add friends and family to enjoy our time together as well. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to be loosed from anything that is interfering with your quality time with God!  I EMPOWER you to disconnect, check your schedules and redefine your time so that He is your first priority from the beginning of the day through the end.

Read a related Empowermoment: Consider Your Ways

Is God pleased with your relationship? How do you think He would rate your quality time? Share with us in the comment section below.

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Ms. Tiffany Huff is the devoted mother of two boys, a blogger, lover of food and travel, and aspiring entrepreneur with a passion for helping others live out their purposes. She is looking forward to growing in her walk and honoring God through sharing her EmpowerMoments. One of her meditation scriptures is Romans 12:2: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Motivation, Organization, Procrastination

One Room at a Time Part 2

“Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.” Matthew 9:17 NIV

So I’ve started my process of spring cleaning that I spoke of last week.  What seemed so easy in theory is soooo not! I keep coming across things that I can’t bring myself to throw away. I can truly understand how people become hoarders because EVERYTHING has sentimental value–that movie ticket stub, the Valentine’s Day card, my first driver’s license.  If it doesn’t have sentimental value, it’s something that I’m going to need at some point or it’s something I am going to use eventually.  Needless to say, thinking like this is slowing down my cleaning process.  I am frustrated with myself and really thinking about throwing EVERYTHING out and starting over.  As I take a break and sit in silence, God reveals to me the lesson in this experience: “This is why YOUR process is taking so long!!”

At first I did not understand but as I reflected on it more, I realized that the same things I was doing with my external “stuff,” I was doing with my internal “stuff”.  I am getting in my own way!  Just as my friend was trying to throw stuff away and I said, “NO!  Not that,” God has been trying to throw some stuff away and I keep saying, “NO! Not That!”  My reasons have been:

1)       It has sentimental value! — It’s a reminder of something in the past but while I’m trying to hold on to it, God is saying, “…Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See I am doing a new thing!  (Isaiah 43:18-19a NIV)

2)      I need this! – I can’t live without this! What kind of life will I have without this??  God is saying, “…Trust in the Lord with all your heart, do not lean to your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge [me] and [I] will direct your paths…” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV)

3)      I’m going to use this at some point! – I have to keep this around just in case!  God is saying, “…lay aside EVERY weight, and sin which clings so closely…” (Hebrews 12:1 NIV) “…For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you…” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)

The more I continue to keep the stuff that God is trying to remove from my life, the longer it will take for this “room” or area in my life to get clean.  This means that it will take longer for me to reach the destiny God has for me.  With renewed purpose and tears in my eyes, I’m about to get up and recommit to this process both externally and internally.  I don’t know what the outcome of all this will be and this is truly a struggle for me, but God has already said, “…my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness…” (II Corinthians 12:8 ESV)  Alright Lord, I have the garbage bags ready; let’s go!

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for Your patience and persistence.  Thanks for not letting me go forward until I get rid of the junk that is holding me back.  Lord, please give me the strength and the wisdom to listen to You.  Help me to understand that no matter how hard it is to give things up or let things and people go, that it’s necessary in order for me to be everything that I am to be in You.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to do some REAL spring cleaning! Are there things in your house that you need to get rid of?  Don’t delay, throw it out or give it to Goodwill TODAY!  God can’t give you the new until you get rid of the old!  That same principle applies internally as well.  We must let go of old soul ties, old grudges, old bitterness, old hurts, etc.   God can’t implant something new with all that other stuff in there because those old things will abort the newness God is trying to give you.  Ask God to purge and cleanse you TODAY, and whatever He tells you to let go, LET IT GO and DON’T go back and retrieve it again!  There is a blessing in the cleansing!!

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Bag Lady…Let it Flow

Ms. Katrina Richard is an up and coming professional residing in Chicago, Illinois.  She strives to incorporate knowledge and life-skills to teenagers in her profession as a high school history teacher.  Katrina is very active in her church community where she serves in the prayer ministry as well as in the nursery.  She has a passion for serving in the lesser known areas of ministry because she believes every facet of ministry is important to kingdom building and spiritual development of the believers. Her favorite scripture is Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Encouragement, Growth/Maturity, Inspirational, Organization, Righteousness, Self-Control

One Room at a Time

It’s that time of year again, SPRING CLEANING!  Every year I go into spring cleaning with extremely high ambitions of demolishing the clutter in my house, organizing everything into its proper place, and throwing away or giving away all un-needed items.

I always set out to implement a 3-step process:

1) Take EVERYTHING out

2) Go through everything, throwing things away or putting them in the goodwill box

3) Put things back into place in an organized manner

I always had good intentions but mostly my efforts only resulted in chaos, personal frustration and the end result of me giving up.  My house ended up looking worse than it did when I started and I would just throw everything into a closet or a spare room to get it out of the way.

NOT THIS YEAR! I am determined to complete my mission of spring cleaning my home.  I have done away with my old process and adopted a new one–ONE ROOM AT A TIME WITH HELP!  Instead of trying to do everything for every part of the house all at once, I’m going to go room by room purging and organizing.  I am also going to enlist the help of friends.   As I was putting the finishing touches on my spring cleaning plan, God revealed to me how this strategy also applies in my spiritual walk.

When I became saved, I tried to implement the three step process to “cleanliness” or sainthood:

1)      I took everything out and exposed everything in my life that did not line up with Christ

2)      I  tried to get rid of everything that was not like Christ – ALL AT ONCE

3)      I put myself back together in a way that was pleasing to God

My efforts to do this only left me with a feeling of hopelessness, frustration, and not much cleaner or “saintly” than when I started out on my mission.  As He saw me grasping at straws not getting results, God pulled my coattail and gave me a new strategy…ONE ROOM AT A TIME WITH HELP!

Paul told the church at Philippi to “…continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling…” (Philippians 2:12b NIV)  This statement would not have been considered necessary if as a Christian you were expected to get everything together all at once.  God taught me how to see and set goals for growth in the various areas (rooms) of my life.  God calmed me when I was discouraged that my “rooms” were not getting clean fast enough, and He reminded me that the race is not given to the swift nor to the strong but to the one that endures to the end.  God instructed me to keep going, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1 NIV)

Lastly, this strategy imperatively depends on the WITH HELP piece.  I had to learn that I needed God’s help in everything I do; I could not clean myself up alone.  God has specifically told us that, “… I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me and I in them will produce much fruit.  For apart from me you can do nothing…” (John 15:5 NIV)  I thank God for giving me this strategy and I have seen so much growth in my walk with Christ since WE started to wholeheartedly implement it.  Now it’s time to apply this strategy to the cleaning of my house; let me get to work, this might take a while!! *Rolls sleeves up* ONE ROOM AT A TIME WITH HELP!!!!

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for being my “…help in the time of trouble…” (Psalms 46:1b)  I thank You for helping me to clean out every area of my life.  I thank You for being patient with me and helping me to persevere through the process of life change.  Please help me to stay the course and not stop until EVERY area of my life is ENTIRELY pleasing in Your sight.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to CLEAN your spiritual house one “room” at a time.  Be sure to constantly enlist the help of your friend, THE friend, the one who sticks closer than a brother, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to help you get it all done.  Our ultimate goal is to be just like Christ; we are not to stop working until we have reached that goal!

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Cleaning for Company

Ms. Katrina Richard is an up and coming professional residing in Chicago, Illinois.  She strives to incorporate knowledge and life-skills to teenagers in her profession as a high school history teacher.  Katrina is very active in her church community where she serves in the prayer ministry as well as in the nursery.  She has a passion for serving in the lesser known areas of ministry because she believes every facet of ministry is important to kingdom building and spiritual development of the believers. Her favorite scripture is Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Growth/Maturity, Motivation, Organization, Preparation, Procrastination, Self-Control, Time Management

The Longer You Wait…The Longer It Takes!

Tis the Season…for “Ms. Richard, what can I do to pass your class??”  Yes!  It’s the season of “Can I have some make up work and/or extra credit?”  In past years I have killed tons of trees and feverishly created and copied packets for students to complete over Christmas break…NOT THIS YEAR!! Instead, I used a workbook for my Constitution unit.  Back in October, I had the students purchase the workbook and have been assigning pages out of it since then.  Of course, some students did not purchase the workbook or bought it and never opened it to do any of the assignments.  Now that these students are failing or are close to failing, they want to know, “What can I do to pass?”  My response was, “Complete your workbook from cover to cover!”

I have never seen so many attitudes at one time!  “What you mean Ms. Richard?  This gonna take me all break to do this!”   I simply said, “the longer you wait, the longer it takes. If you had been doing the work all along, you wouldn’t have as much to do!”

Later on I was reflecting about all I have to get done.  I have to deep clean my house, finish shopping for the Christmas dinner I’m hosting, and go shopping for gifts.  This is in addition to life outside of the Christmas season; I need to grade and record several assignments, sit down and pay some bills, and the list goes on, and on, AND ON!!

Just then my words came back to me, “…the longer you wait, the longer it takes…”  Yes my students have an issue with procrastination but so do I!  Procrastination is “the act of willfully delaying the doing of something that should be done,” and in some people it is a habitual way of handling any task. There was so much I could have been getting done all along.  Instead of letting my students’ papers pile up, I could have graded an assignment or two everyday.  Christmas comes at the same time EVERY year so I could have been purchasing things throughout the year and had them ready.   Oh and my house–I wouldn’t have to do such a deep clean if I had been more diligent in weekly spot cleaning.

Now my attitude was rising, “WHY???? Why did I let this stuff pile up like this?”  Because I kept telling myself, “I’ll do it tomorrow, no rush, I’ll get to it!”

“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.” (Proverbs 27:1 NIV)

So here I am coming up with a plan TODAY so I can get everything done.  One cure for procrastination is more diligence, regardless of the task. We should be supremely motivated to be diligent in our work, since we are ultimately serving the Lord. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men” (Colossians 3:23 ESV). If we put our hearts into our work, as this verse says to do, we will probably find it difficult to procrastinate too much.  Yes, my weekend is pretty much shot but I will take this as a lesson to NOT procrastinate because, “the longer you wait, the longer it takes…”

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for giving us the ability and the strength to do all the things that we need to do.  Help us to be more diligent at getting tasks completed.  Give us wisdom to prioritize and manage our time efficiently and effectively so that we can complete every task You have laid before us.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to STOP PROCRASTINATING!!  There is so much we have to do in order to build the kingdom of God and reach the individual destinies we have for our lives.  We have no time to waste! 

  1. Pray and ask God for wisdom and guidance
  2.  Make a list of all the things you have to do
  3.  Write down a deadline date next to each task
  4. Prioritize how you will get each task done in an organized and timely fashion
  5.  Get to work!! 

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Rebuke the 7 Dwarfs

Ms. Katrina Richard is an up and coming professional residing in Chicago, Illinois.  She strives to incorporate knowledge and life-skills to teenagers in her profession as a high school history teacher.  Katrina is very active in her church community where she serves in the prayer ministry as well as in the nursery.  She has a passion for serving in the lesser known areas of ministry because she believes every facet of ministry is important to kingdom building and spiritual development of the believers. Her favorite scripture is Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Growth/Maturity, Miscellaneous, Organization, Preparation, Singleness

In Preparation…It’s More Than Just Spiritual!

Like many saved, single, young women, I constantly profess to be “In Preparation!” I am putting myself in a position to get “CHOSE”…as the expression says!  I am constantly asking God to show me ME, seeking God to remove anything not like Him.  My constant prayer is that He clean me up spiritually and help me to let go of anything and anyone that is not connected to the destiny I have in Him.  I am involved in church; I keep myself busy at work and pursuing my personal interests.  I am doing everything the singles’ books say to do.  I am living a successful single life RIGHT?? I wish I could say yes but unfortunately I cannot.

While pursuing all these wonderful endeavors, I drive around in a messy car, work in a messy environment and live in a cluttered house.  It has become the running joke among my friends that I live out of my car.  My co-workers have justified my messy, paper-strewn classroom with statements like, “Well there’s REAL learning going on in there!”  OH and my house?! I reached the point where I justified the clutter by saying, “Well my kitchen and my bathroom are ALWAYS clean, and that is all that matters!”

God is a God of ORDER!!!  From the time of creation, God set everything up in divine order (See Genesis 1-2) Later on in the book of Leviticus, God set up the order of the church.  In the New Testament we are told, “…that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s spirit lives in you…”(I Corinthians 3:16 NIV) If God required order in the Old Testament church where His spirit dwelled, it makes sense that He would also require order from us today.

This order goes beyond the spiritual. While I was going after the things of God I was dismissing this simple but VERY important fact.  God also revealed to me that I was also holding up some things and divine connections that He has for me.  How do I connect you with this influential person and you let them come visit you in your messy classroom?  How can you drive up to a black tie event with papers strewn all in the backseat of your car?  Better still, how do I send you a mate and you have not learned how to organize a home yet?  “For God is not a God of disorder, but of peace!” (1 Corinthians 14:33 NIV)

This realization was a hard pill to swallow especially with how I portrayed myself to have it all together! I’m a woman of God, a prayer warrior, I.N.D.E.P.E.N.D.E.N.T. etc. etc. blah blah blah!! However, I had to accept this truth about myself in order to move forward.  I have made a commitment to clean and organize my car, my classroom and my house.  Being in preparation for what God has for you, whatever it may be, is more than just getting your heart right!  Your habits and behavior must line up with where God is taking you. God must know that He can trust you and that you are ready.  God needs to be able to say,  “…You have been faithful over a few things…I will make you ruler over many…” (Matthew 25:21 NIV)

God said to me, if you are faithful in cooking, cleaning, and organizing when its just YOU, you let me know that if I bless you with a husband and children your home will be in order and your husband and children will be taken care of.  With the behavior that I displayed, my actions were telling God the exact opposite. I am on the road to being prepared for the next phase of my life, with not only a clean heart but a CLEAN HOUSE!!

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for being a God of order.  Thank You for ordering our steps.  Thank You for knowing the plans You had for us even before we were born and knowing exactly how You were going to lead us to our destinies even before we took our first steps.  Thank You for always being a loving Father that not only convicts and corrects but also leads us in the right direction and remains with us as we go on our journey.  We ask that You continue to show us the areas in which we need to grow.  We bind laziness and we ask that You give us the strength and energy to do what we have to do to get and maintain clean and organized surroundings. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Sisters I EMPOWER you today to clean and organize your surroundings:

1)    PRAY and ask God for guidance and wisdom as you start this process
2)    Trash and/or Recycle anything you do not need
3)    Break out the bucket and bleach, clean and disinfect
4)    Invest in organizational materials (file cabinets, bookshelves, storage bins etc.)  If you don’t know where to start www.lifeorganizers.com is a great resource; it has wonderful ideas that are also very inexpensive.

Ms. Katrina Richard is an up and coming professional residing in Chicago, IL.  She strives to incorporate knowledge and life-skills to teenagers in her profession as a high school history teacher.  Katrina is very active in her church community where she serves in the prayer ministry as well as in the nursery.  She has a passion for serving in the lesser known areas of ministry because she believes every facet of ministry is important to kingdom building and spiritual development of the believers. Her favorite scripture is Jeremiah 29:11 — “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”