Monday, January 17, 2011

Organization Speech

The following three posts contain my speech given to homeschool moms at a support group meeting last Thursday. I hope you'll take the time to read it through to the end. My heart's desire is that you will be encouraged!

Think Differently About Organization!

Organization. I venture a guess that when you hear someone is going to talk on the subject of organizing, you mentally think to yourself in one of three ways:

The first group thinks, “I’m organized already. Ok, well, maybe not all the way, but I love this stuff so I’m good.”

The second group thinks, “Organized? I’m in survival mode, lady! I don’t need the guilt, thank you very much. Please, go home and clean a closet or something and enjoy yourself. Right now I’ve got “x” to deal with and can’t even think about organizing something.”

Then there are a few of you who just hope I’ll touch on one or two areas that so desperately need attention in your life. You’re just looking for a fresh idea to try.

At different times I’ve thought all these things. So my goal today is to share something that will be useful, no matter what you may be thinking.

I believe that Organization is more about thinking than doing. I don’t have hard facts to back me up, but go with me for the moment and let’s say the process of organization is something like 80% thought and 20% execution.

When we read an article on organization from a newsstand magazine it is often full of concrete tasks: “configure your closet like this, put your files in this order, set goals, prioritize and plan your week around it all.” They’ve tried to remove the thinking part for us and give us doable solutions.

In some instances, we adopt the idea presented and it works well. Other times we create our own variation on the idea and incorporate it. But all too often, we either know inherently that the idea won’t work for our lifestyle or we try it and find that we just don’t conform to it’s intended success.

Because of these experiences we come to a talk on Organization with a preconceived notion of what we’ll receive.

Today I’d like to explore the supposition that Organization is an 80/20 principle and mainly focus on the thinking aspect – the 80%. I’ll share some doable ideas along the way and give you a chance at the end to share at the tables, but let’s see if we can think differently about Organization this morning.

One of the most well-known mantras of all things Organization is “Strive for balance.”

I want to challenge you with the thought to “Strive for Imbalance.”

If balance is defined as trying to do it all, if it means giving our home, family, work and ministry equal time and energy, then it will be nearly impossible to maintain and unfulfilling on those few occasions when we do “strike a balance.”

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." (See also Jeremiah 1:5, Acts 13:36)

Let’s look at Christ and His disciples as examples.

I think it’s pretty safe to assume that Jesus probably had some carpentry skills because in Biblical times a son usually followed his father in making a livelihood. Even if, after Christ was found teaching in the Temple as a young boy, and it started to become clear that Christ wasn’t going to join the family business, my guess is that Joseph still shared his handiwork and knowledge with his son as a way to share himself.

When Christ reached adulthood he didn’t take over Joseph’s shop and try to set up His Kingdom on the weekends. Ok, you’re thinking that’s a drastic example, but what about the disciples? He called them away from their chosen professions to accomplish what they were created to do.

For the doubters, who are thinking, “Yeah, but Paul made tents and spread the gospel throughout the known world,” that’s true, but Paul’s wage-earning job he tells us was an integral part of being seen as a Christ-follower with pure motives. He still had a singular purpose.

Marcus Buckingham in Find Your Strongest Life defines a strength: not as something you’re good at, but rather as an activity that makes you feel strong. You may be good at something, but the doing of it bores you to tears! A strong moment is an activity where the doing of it invigorates you. You look forward to it. When you do it you become so immersed that time speeds up and you lose yourself. After doing it, you feel authentic and connected to who you really are. In essence, you are doing something you were created to do.

As I’ve thought differently about balance in this way, I’ve identified some of my strong moments:

At co-op, teaching music is a strong moment for me. Someone else could certainly do it better, but I love it. I look forward to it. I get lost in the fun of it and I feel satisfied when I’m done.

This also occurs when I welcome a visiting family at the church where I work or when I try a new hobby/craft, like quilting.

Through Mr. Buckingham’s book I’ve recognized that I have a strong “creator” gene. I love creating a fun learning environment, a new experience for people, and gifts that I’ve made with my own hands. These are strong moments for me.

Does this mean that I ignore the other areas of life to live in the strong moments? Of course not. There is still minimum maintenance. Do I still need to grocery shop, do laundry and answer email? Of course, I do. However, I don’t want to “balance” home, work, school, kid’s sports, music lessons, scouts, and relationships, etc. – giving each equal weight, priority or time.

We may think that we don’t try to do that, but if you look at how we spend our time, we’re trying to be the BEST at each and every thing. Making each moment count might mean that you do a passable job on something that is a low priority so you can redeem the time to do something God has created for you to do.

It’s just a different way to think about priorities.

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