Getting organized from the inside, out

Clean the bathroom, make dinner by six, wipe the spill, break-up the fight between the kids, walk the dog, pick up the oldest from gymnastics, shower, sort through the mail, and do it all with a gentle and quiet spirit. For many it’s more like, throw the noodles in the pot and hope the water doesn’t boil out and burn, try to get out the door as not to be late again picking up the oldest, ask kids for forgiveness for yelling at them for yelling at each other, tie dog on a leash and hope he enjoys a run around the tree, throw mail in ever growing pile, shower- what’s a shower?

Life is busy and at times chaotic. Women often turn to books and resources for organizational how-to’s in hopes of finding the quick fix and though those resources can be very helpful and valuable, they can potentially lead to just one more thing on the list of  to-dos.

Staci Eastin of Southeast, Missouri,  recognized not only the temptation to live a disorganized and chaotic life but also the potential for adding more to-dos when trying to find relief from the busyness. That’s why in her book, The Organized Heart, Eastin set out to focus not on the practical but on the spiritual.

“I’m a reader and researcher by nature. When I first realized that my problem with disorganization was a heart issue, I began to look for a book that addressed it that way -only to discover that there wasn’t one,” said Eastin.

That’s when she approached Cruciform Press with her book idea.

“The concept was so helpful to me, I knew it would be helpful to others as well. Cruciform Press was getting off the ground at about the same time, and I knew it would be a good fit with their vision,” she said.

The Organized Heart  was published in 2011 and focuses on four areas: perfectionism, busyness, possessions and leisure.

Part of the ease of writing the book, Eastin relates to all of the areas that could potentially lead to anxiety and discouragement. But she admits, her biggest struggle is with procrastination.

“Procrastination has many potential roots, but for me it’s mostly leisure. Instead of doing my work faithfully and trusting God to provide the rest and leisure I need, I try to take it for myself ahead of time. Busyness and perfectionism come into play as well. I love to start new projects, but I’m not as good at finishing them. Rather than focusing on a few and doing the best I can, I tend to get overwhelmed and don’t do anything,” she shared.

For busy women, the problem may be trying to figure out what to cut out and many simply don’t want to. Eastin hopes her book will help women evaluate the heart behind the apprehension to make various changes.

“The challenge is to think about why we’ve elevated all these things to such a degree that we’re willing to sacrifice our peace and joy to keep them. We tend to look to the world for the peace and joy that only Christ can bring,” she said.

The word chaos and young mom with multiple children can at times be synonymous. Eastin recognizes that there are special circumstances and seeks to address that in her book.  When asked what she would you say to a young mom who is overwhelmed and feeling anxious and disorganized she shared, “Well, looking at it as the mother of a teenager, I’m tempted to start spouting platitudes about how fast they grow up, but I remember how frustrating that was when my kids were small. It’s not helpful to hear that things will get easier years in the future when you’re not sure if you’re going to make it through the day without collapsing,” she said.

“This shows us the wisdom found in Titus 2. It’s important for young moms to have someone in their life that can help them keep things in perspective. Maybe a mom is trying to do too much, or maybe she has unrealistic expectations about what an organized life looks like in this season. It’s great if you have an older woman in your life that can walk alongside you, but even seeking out other moms in the same stage of life can help you keep things in perspective.”

And when the unexpected happens, “Things crop up when your children are small that are just hard, and all you can do is just get through. If you have three kids under five and the whole family has been down with the stomach flu for a week, that’s going to be a bad week no matter how organized you are,” she said.

Eastin hopes to offer hope through her book to single mothers, women with health problems and those caring for others with serious health problems, dedicating a chapter with them in mind called “Difficult Circumstances”.

“The most important thing I can offer them is the assurance that God is sovereign and he is always there. Nothing happens to us that he doesn’t allow, even if we don’t understand it. In my humanness I wish I could come up with three easy steps to make their problems go away, but it’s never that simple,” she said.

Staci Eastin (39) draws from personal experience in her book "The Organized Heart"

Eastin is a mom and freelance health and medical writer, and from time to time maintains a blog at writingandliving.net. She enjoys speaking since her book was published, but does not plan on writing another in the near future.

“It’s amazing how chaotic your life can get while you’re busy writing a book on organization, so I’ve enjoyed the break,” she said.

She and her husband, Todd, have been married since 1994, and are the parents of three children.

Eastin believes she would be remiss if she did not add, “It’s okay to ask for help. Sometimes we fall into the trap of thinking that the spiritual thing to do is to keep quiet about our problems. The model we see in Scripture, however, is that people went to their brothers and sisters in the church when they had a need,” she said.

Find more information about Eastin and  The Organized Heart visit her books page on the Cruciform Press website at http://www.cruciformpress.com/our-books/the-organized-heart/.

by Trillia Newbell

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3 Comments to “Getting organized from the inside, out”

  1. “Procrastination has many potential roots, but for me it’s mostly leisure. Instead of doing my work faithfully and trusting God to provide the rest and leisure I need, I try to take it for myself ahead of time.”

    This is me to the “T”! Trusting God to provide rest and leisure is a big stumbling block for me. I will have to check out this book. Sounds like something that would serve my heart well to read!

  2. […] interview with moi, is featured in this month’s issue of Women of God magazine. You can read the article here. Related Posts:Links I’ve LikedHe is TrustworthyQuotableSaturday LinksThankful […]

  3. admin says:

    Thanks for commenting Leigh Ann! It’s so true. I can crave leisure too. I hope you enjoy the book if you read it. Let us all know what you think!