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Countercultural Christianity

And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing out of the ordinary?

Matthew 5:47 (HCSB)

 

We all want to be out of the ordinary.  Jesus called us to be out of the ordinary, in the world but not of it. Interestingly, being countercultural has become very popular, sometimes in good ways, sometimes in not-so-good ways. Of course, if you’re acting counter-culturally with a heart for the Lord, it’s going to be very good.

I’ve heard from many readers who say the Organizing You books aren’t like any organizing books they’ve read before.  In fact, I like to think they’re counter-cultural…

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Christian Time Blocking

The Lord foils the plans of the nations;
he thwarts the purposes of the peoples.
 But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever,
the purposes of his heart through all generations.

Psalm 33:10-11

 

Do you ever feel like your plans are thwarted by interruptions?

Lately, organizers and time management experts have been touting “Time Blocking.” Time blocking is a scheduling technique with which you focus on one and only one project at a time.

A woman who’s time blocking might set aside two hours to work on a certain project. During that time she’ll refuse to read emails, answer texts, look at social media, or touch any other projects. It’s anti-multitasking (a concept I don’t espouse) and pro-batching (a concept I wholeheartedly embrace). Time blocking is supposed to increase your productivity by eliminating distractions (and obstructing new spiritual clutter!).

As a project-oriented person, I love the concept of time blocking! But would Jesus?

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Exactly HOW long?

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise,

making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.

Ephesians 5:15-16

 

I’ve been in a season where I’ve been giving my Time Management Talk, “Where is Your Time Going?” I dearly love the “ah-ha!” looks I see out in the audience as women realize they can manage their time with Jesus and for Him. Time management has to be my favorite kind of organization!

But as I was speaking, something was niggling at me… an idea that’s been in the back of my mind for a while. As I try to manage my time, am I working with all of the facts? Do we know how long it really takes to do the things that we regularly do?

We all constantly, and without truly thinking about it, estimate the time it will take to our daily tasks and plan accordingly. Estimation is a great tool and often a time saver.

Here’s the problem: We can guess wrong.

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Why Not to Trust My Planner Pages

Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
    but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.

Psalm 20:7

 

OK, the New Year is right around the corner and I’m super, duper excited to be able to offer you the official Organizing You Planner Pages—for free! (You can learn all about how awesome they are right here.) Basically, with the help of my wonderful publisher, I was able to create a unique planner system for those of us who are asking God to make the true plans.

Which is exactly why you can’t fully put your trust in them.

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Don’t Underestimate Your Phone Alarm

Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy hill.

Let all who live in the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming.

It is close at hand…

Joel 2:1

This summer, my teen son wanted to pursue a goal. He made a great plan and decided to work on it for 15 minutes each day.

I wanted to encourage him, so I offered to help him set up some reminders. “Do you want me to print out a calendar so you can mark off each day?” I asked hopefully. “Or would you like me to buy you a little planner so you can keep track of what you’ve done? Do you want to start the process today?”

“Mom, it’s done,” he said.

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I Will Obey.

Read it! Psalm 119

I will obey your decrees; do not utterly forsake me.

(vs. 8)

Think it through

So now that we’re reading and loving the law, it’s time to actually do what it says.

I’ve written posts on obeying God’s laws before (this one springs to mind), and I mean what I write! So why, like Paul, do I clutter my own spirit with disobedience?  Why do I do what I don’t want to do?

There are many answers to that question, but the one I want to focus on today is this: sometimes I’m not set up for it. I haven’t made decisions before go-time is upon me, and I’m making a (bad) decision in the moment.

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I Will Love the Law.

Read it! Psalm 119

I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have preserved my life.

(vs. 93)

Think it through

It took me an embarrassingly long time to read every word of the Bible. I started in elementary school with Genesis 1:1, gung-ho and ready to go, only to lose it in Numbers. In middle school, I started again and was out by Judges; in High School, by II Chronicles. In college I started a “Read the Bible in One Year” plan and fell hopelessly behind by the end of March.

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This is for all the Driven People

In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat—for he grants sleep to those he loves.

Psalm 127:2

 

This post is for all the driven people. The first-borns, the onlys, and the others God made this way. Those Type-A’s out there who go and do and worry that the day will pass them by. People like me that can hardly stand to watch TV unless they’re doing something with their hands. (Check out one of my favorite memes here.)

All in all, I like being a driven person. I like being responsible, and getting things done. I like that people can count on me to do what I say I’ll do, and do it well.

But there are drawbacks to being so driven.

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How to Avoid Pinterest Panic

“Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done,

and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else.”

— Galatians 6:4

 

I may have mentioned that I really love Pinterest.

I love recreating Pinterest activities with all three of my kids (even my very patient teenage boy—and my very, very patient husband!).  There are so many great faith-related pins… and hosting fun theme birthday parties is totally in my wheelhouse. All those ideas are just waiting to be discovered, and organized!

But Pinterest is getting a bad rap.

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The Sunday Conundrum

The Sunday Conundrum: Ode to Logic, Commitment to Lord

(Today I’m letting my math nerd self shine through!)

 

Most Sunday mornings, I face the conundrum. Sometimes I start wresting with my duality of mind on Saturday night—even as early as Friday afternoon.

It’s a dichotomous pondering: To work, or not to work.

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