Periodically I blog organizing and de-cluttering on this blog. But on my way to organizing the clutter and chaos at home, we had that crash I wrote about last December. After that with sore back and painful hands I could do less about the clutter issues. I did want to. I admire Dolores and others who have their act together at home and they are able to be that caregiver to their husband with an orderly home. Now that I have been released by the chiropractor, I am going to the gym and doing more.
Mrs. Eastin puts heart and faith into what I needed to read. Where does she start? Mrs. Eastin's book is not about a system. She writes that she had a motivation problem--not a problem of whose system to use. Eastin in this short book deals with four idols. Here are some quotes:
The disorganization in my life was not due to lack of knowledge or skill and it was not due to a problem in my childhood. Rather, it's a broken belief system: a heart issue, a sin issue. At the end of the day, it's idolatry. . . . We never conquer sin by adding more rules. . . . My attempts to get organized always failed because I tried to change my habits without letting the Holy Spirit change my heart. It was only when I saw the sinful motivations behind my bad habits that I could see lasting change in my life. (pp. 11, 12)
The Idol of Perfectionism
Perfectionism prevents us from living our lives. It prevents us from enjoying our families. It robs us of joy. And most of all, it prevents us from basking in God's grace and serving in the strength that only he can give. God knows our talents, our energy level, and our resources. He alone is perfect, and he can work mightily, so we can trust him. (p. 31)
The Idol of Busyness
Just because you can do something doesn't mean God has called you to it. . . . Fear of man indicates that we find our worth in pleasing others rather than pleasing God. Instead of working to bring glory to God, we hope to bring glory to ourselves. . . . God is not sitting helplessly in the wings, hoping we'll come through and help him out. (pp. 35, 36, 39)
My book, Getting Off the Niceness Treadmill, deals with some of these issues of the fear of man and learning to give God the glory. Eastin puts it simply: God is not glorified in the amount of things we get done, the number of spaces we fill on our calendar, or the length of our to-do lists. God is pleased when we serve him with sincere hearts. (p. 41)
The Idol of Possessions
I have tried to study couponing. Eastin points out that it can all lead to hoarding. Mmmm. She writes: Excess possessions will rob you of your peace, add unnecessary stress to your life and hinder your ministry to others. (pp. 51)
The Idol of Leisure
When everyday life is a race from one urgent deadline to the next, we withdraw from open fellowship with God and submission to his will. . . . The procrastinator loves to hoard her time for herself rather than work diligently on the errands and tasks God gives her. . . . Many women are addicted to TV, social networking sites, shopping, reading, and other hobbies. While none of these activities are necessarily evil in and of themselves, if you indulge in them to the extent that they prevent you from doing what God has ordained for you to do, they are sin. . . . Are you a wise steward of your time? Do you prayerfully schedule your days for what God has called you to, including appropriate time for real rest? (pp. 66-69)
In her chapter on difficult circumstances, she doesn't deal with the Alzheimer's caregiver. But the author does point out both our responsibility and God's sovereignty. God, the divine Caregiver, will work things out and we can therefore be content. Unlike FlyLady who has an elaborate system, Staci Eastin at the end of the book gives principles to use after the idols of your heart have been dealt with.
What has this short book done for me? It has freed me to not worry excessively about FlyLady's lists, couponing or another system from one of my books or magazine articles. If I can pray over my schedule, serve my husband in his lonely journey in Alzheimer's, serve others as well, and (without guilt) schedule time for my own leisure, then I can have peace and know I am bringing glory to God.
It has always been that one day in heaven, I want Him to say, "Well done, Carol. You knew you could trust Me as your divine Caregiver to take you through your earthly caregiving adventure."
Staci Eastin blogs at Writing and Living. I am going over to her blog now and thank her.