How Orderly is Your Private World?

A Christian Woman who is on a mission to bring order to her private world

Article by Sarah Koontz, Founder of Living by Design Ministries

Recently, I’ve spent a lot of time organizing closets and storage rooms in our home.

In the six years that we’ve lived in our house, we’ve had an unfinished basement that doubled as a “catch-all” for all the extra stuff in our lives.

There is a hidden danger in this sort of large, undefined storage space.

Simply put, you do not realize how much junk you’ve acquired until there is more than you can handle.

We’ve worked on finishing the basement for a while now. We are hoping to have it completed by the time our oldest daughter turns thirteen, (next summer!) so that the girls will no longer have to share a bedroom upstairs.

At the beginning of the renovation process, my husband was able to work around the clutter. He simply moved things around so that he had space to work on the next phase of the project.

But as the project progressed, I could tell it was becoming more and more difficult for him to work in the overstuffed space.

His unspoken frustration gave me the nudge I needed to begin a massive decluttering effort.

We do not realize how much junk we have acquired until there is more than we can handle.Click to Tweet

a happy young woman who is organizing her home and heart | how orderly is your private world?

A Cluttered Home and a Cluttered Heart

Over the course of a few months, we dedicated countless hours to purging, cleaning, and reorganizing the lower level of our home.

Although it was not a fun project to work through, I believe we will experience the benefits of our hard work for years to come.

Aside from a few random items that we are still hoping to sell on craigslist (any local friends looking for a crib?), I am happy to say that our basement is now clutter-free and super organized.

The next step of our basement renovation is installing drywall and flooring. How thrilling!

Sometimes, in order to take the next step of progress in our life, we’ve got to shed some of the extra weight we’ve been carrying around.

If we are not careful, our inner world can become as cluttered and disorganized as my basement used to be.

Sometimes, in order to take the next step of progress in our life, we’ve got to shed some of the extra weight we’ve been carrying around.Click to Tweet

I recently finished re-reading one of my all-time favorite books, Ordering Your Private World by Gordon MacDonald (which is on sale for just $5 through October 21, 2019, at ChristianBook.com).

Life has been so full.
I have been so busy.
My soul is so cluttered.

Have you ever noticed how messy your closets and drawers become when life gets busy?

A disorganized home is often the first sign of a disorganized heart.

a woman who is contemplating the order of her private world

Helping You Bring Order To Your Private World

In my experience, I can only hide the mess for so long before it spills out into the main living areas of our home.

The same is true with our inner lives. The busier we get, the more difficult it becomes to maintain order.

We cope with the lack of order by shoving our emotional baggage in drawers and closets, but this only works for a while.

Eventually, we will be forced to deal with the clutter we’ve acquired.

A disorganized home is often the first sign of a disorganized heart.Click to Tweet

Today I want to share a few of my very favorite quotes and principles from MacDonald’s book.

If you are struggling with maintaining order in your private world, I would strongly encourage you to grab a copy for yourself and make the time declutter your soul with Gordon’s help!

10 Helpful Quotes from “Ordering Your Private World”

1 – If neglected, our private world will not sustain the weight of events and stresses that press upon us.

2 – There must be a quiet place where all is in order, a place from which comes the energy that overcomes turbulence and is not intimidated by it.

3 – The development and maintenance of a strong inner world must become the most important single function of our existence.

4 – If my private world is in order, it will be because I have courageously confronted the messiness of my ways of living and chosen to bring them under rigorous discipline.

The development and maintenance of a strong inner world must become the most important single function of our existence.Click to Tweet

5 – Driven people will never enjoy the tranquillity of an ordered private world. Their prime targets are all external, material, and measurable.

6 – Called people, on the other hand, possess strength from within, a quality of perseverance and power that are impervious to the blows from without.

7 – If my private world is in order, it will be because I have made a daily determination to see time as God’s gift and worthy of careful investment.

8 – The spirit can never lose its eternal nature, but it can exist in a state of such disorganization that almost no communion with God is possible.

9 – A person who establishes a time for sabbath rest on a regular basis is most likely to keep all of life in proper perspective and remain free of burnout and breakdown.

10 – Somewhere John Wesley is quoted as saying of life in his public world, “Though I am always in haste, I am never in a hurry, because I never undertake more than I can go through with calmness of spirit.”

The busier we get, the more difficult it becomes to maintain order. We cope with the lack of order by shoving our emotional baggage in drawers and closets, but this only works for a while. Eventually, we will be forced to deal with the clutter we’ve acquired. A disorganized home is often the first sign of a disorganized heart. Here are ten practical steps to help you bring order to your private world.

My re-reading of this beloved book also brought me back to a quote that I wrote in the cover of my personal Bible when I was just sixteen years old.

This quote has served me well over the years, and I am grateful to finally be reminded of its source.

I pray these words speak to your soul as they have faithfully spoken to mine over the past two decades!

“When we read the lives of the saints, we are struck by a certain large leisure which went hand in hand with a remarkable effectiveness. They were never hurried; they did comparatively few things, and these not necessarily striking or important; and they troubled very little about their influence. Yet they always seemed to hit the mark; every bit of their life told; their simplest actions had distinction, an exquisiteness which suggested the Artist. The reason is not far to seek. Their sainthood lay in their habit of referring the smallest actions to God. They lived in God; they acted from a pure motive of love towards God. They were as free from self-regard as from slavery to the good opinion of others. God saw and God rewarded: what else needed they? They possessed God and possessed themselves in God. Hence the inalienable dignity of these meek, quiet figures that seem to produce such marvelous effects with such humble materials.” –Bridget Herman, Creative Prayer

About the Author: Sarah Koontz

About the Author: Sarah Koontz

Sarah Koontz is the founder of Living by Design Ministries, a non-profit organization that exists to deliver free Bible Studies to inboxes around the world. She is a passionate storyteller who enjoys using illustrations to communicate deep spiritual truths. Sarah and her husband Ryan live on thirteen acres in the heart of the Black Hills, SD. They have two beautiful daughters, a rowdy flock of chickens, and two cats. Sarah is an avid gardener, a faithful coffee drinker, lover of one-pot-dinners, and an unexpected homeschooler.

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