All right, I’m weird…okay, okay, I have a problem. I am an office/school supply/curriculum junky. I admit it! It’s the organizational-colored glasses I wear. The treasured gifts I have received from my husband have been a gift certificate to Staples, a huge box of organizational bins (that I could organize any way I wanted), and a diamond…which was nice, but when he gave me my personal Xerox® copy machine with an enlargement/reduction mode and toner saver, the love he expressed to me was complete! I was voted “most likely to re-organize the nursing unit” in college and my mother says of me, “Beth was always organizing something!”
If your response to reading the above was a head shake and a “wow”, please don’t judge me :). It is just the way I am wired. And so part of my journey in Christ, I had to learn and I am still learning the importance and the balance of organization. On some days it seems like a strength and on other days it seems like a weakness. I have learned that if you organize just for the sake of organization, you earn names like “controlling” or “obsessive compulsive”. On the flip side, if you are of the spontaneous type that would rather die than have a plan, you might earn different names like “flighty” or “impulsive”, but the strength of that kind of personality reveals itself in capturing a moment and not missing opportunities.
So the question remains the same for the “organizer” or the “spontaneous” types of people.
Why set goals?
Both types of personalities run into the same problems. In our busy world many things vie for attention. There are so many choices and “good things” that it can be overwhelming. Too much of a “good thing” is still too much.
Organizing, planning, and setting goals is one way to prayerfully sort out the distractions and hone in on that which is important and matters and yet leaving room for those beautiful God-given moments in life.
Paul states it well in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (parentheses=my added comments):
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize?
Run in such a way that you might win.
And everyone who competes in the games exercises self control in all things.
They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.
I run in such a way as not without aim.
I box in such a way as not beating the air.
But I buffet (pound, batter, make it hurt, I say no to that which distracts me) my body
and make it (my body) my slave. (My body’s desires and whims are not going to rule!)
Lest possibly after I have preached to others I find myself disqualified.
The phrase, “in such a way” challenges me to seek God in every aspect of the planning and implementing of our family’s home education. I don’t want to miss the mark. I don’t want to come to the end of our educational journey and discover that the things that I focused my efforts and time on were not of value in the Kingdom of God.
The phrase “in such a way” also shows me that there is not one formula for every family. God’s gift of individuality is given to each family. The way our family runs the race and trains may be different than your family. We all have varying factors that affect our family such as a new baby, adoption, caring for an elderly parent, or a child with special needs. Families also have individual callings and giftings that need to be considered. One family might be serving in a marriage ministry, or at a local homeless shelter. Maybe your family is involved in children’s ministry or is helping a neighbor. The possibilities are endless.
Even though the way we run the race might look different, our focus remains the same, the prize remains the same.
In scripture, God defines for us the goal or what is the valued prize in His kingdom.
More than that, I count all things to be loss
In view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.
I press on toward the goal for the prize
of the upward (growing) call of God in Christ Jesus.
1 Timothy 1:5
But the goal of our instruction is
Love from a pure heart and a clear conscience and a sincere faith.
Those are prizes worth pursuing!
So when we organize or plan we must keep these goals in mind.Our educational journey must include:
*A passion for intimately experiencing who Jesus is.
*A discovery and responding to a growing, deeper call to His service.
*A pure love for the people He died for.
*A personal character that is forged by doing the right thing when no one is looking or when opposition confronts us.
*A developing faith that is not arrogant but is true and steadfast.
I am humbled. How about you?
As we plan and organize our home education experience for our children, we will prayerfully ask, “Lord, how will I educate my children in such a way that I present what is truly valuable in your kingdom?”
Lord, I do not want to organize for the sake of organization, or remain unplanned so that I miss the mark. Please help me to humbly and diligently order my steps to win the prize.
What are your thoughts?
1. Two types of personalities were explored in this study, the “organizer” and the “spontaneous” personalities. On a scale of 1-10, where would you rate yourself? Avoid the number “5”. Be brave and ask your husband or a girl friend where they would rate you.
2. What benefits can be realized in balanced organizing or planning?
3. What are some of the challenges your family faces that you will need to address in your planning?
4. Each family has their own unique sets of challenges and callings to serve God. How can you encourage other home school families and celebrate their unique callings?
5. Re-read the scriptures that outline God’s description of the “prize”. For a prize to be sought after it must be valued by the pursuer. Being honest with yourself, how much do you value the list of prizes?
Date Night Questions: Often an “organizer” is married to a “spontaneous” spouse or vice-versa. As they say, opposites do attract. Unfortunately, what was once a strength that was appreciated may become an annoyance as the marriage grows. Using question one, share your individual score with one another. Also share with your spouse why this personality was attractive to you when you first met.
Invest in your marriage! This week, celebrate your spouse’s personality. If you are an organizer, do something spontaneous for them. If you are a spontaneous person then plan something for your spouse and inform them of all the details!
Notebook Time: First record your thoughts that rose in your heart as you read the study. Then, record the answers to the questions.