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What If Organization Isn’t My Gift?

October 21, 2013

Stock Photography: Colorful Clips In Stack Picture. Image: 197802

By Erin Straza

If organization is a spiritual gift, my friend Rebecca has it to the full. Her gift is made manifest in everything she does and especially throughout her home: Her linen closet is photo-worthy. Her books are alphabetized and categorized. Her candles are ordered by seasonal scent. Her clothes are sorted along the color spectrum.

My wonder is stirred by her ability to put things in place and make it all look so beautiful. Wonder is stirred because, in short, organization is not my gift. My shelves, drawers, and cabinet do not stir wonder . . . unless I’m wondering where I tucked something away! It’s not that I don’t want to be organized. It’s just that it doesn’t come naturally in color-coded, alphabetized, photo-worthy bursts—hence my assumption that organization is a gift, bestowed in greater measure upon some.

Like other gifts, creative organization can edify others. My friend does this—whether she’s aware of it or not—delighting others with her talent. Here are a few things I’m learning from her:

1. Be Mindful What You Keep

In my friend’s home, special keepsakes and important papers are given honor by being organized and purposely stored. My storing habits, sadly, are more about avoidance than preservation: Whatever I don’t have time to deal with is put behind closed doors. The significant gets jumbled with the inconsequential, growing until all space is gone, and I am forced to deal with it. This is a metaphor for sin—I can hide it and ignore it for a time, but it won’t go away. I am challenged to consider what I’m stuffing away and why, knowing I will have to deal with it eventually. If I want to preserve what’s worth keeping, I need to honor the space by not cluttering it up with junk.

2. Organization Is a Form of Creativity

Because my personality leans to the creative side, I can get antsy when things are too structured. The way my friend couples creativity and structure, however, proves that these traits are not morally opposed! Beauty abounds when she structures her home in creative ways. And it reminds me of Creator God, who balances the unexpected with order throughout His creation. I am challenged to embrace some structure with my creativity to reflect His character in both surprising and methodical ways.

3. Take Joy in Little Things

As a writer, I get immersed in my interior world, often sacrificing the effort and time to make my physical surroundings lovely—especially the unseen areas. My friend, however, exhibits great joy in organizing her home—even the nooks and crannies. To me, her closets and cabinets and shelves are vignettes, greeting me and inviting me to linger and enjoy, seeing what is special to her. It’s the epitome of the hospitality we are called to for the sake of the Gospel, to create a space that exudes joy and beauty and life, beckoning people to stay and to learn our heart stories.

Although organization isn’t my gift, my friend inspires me to do what I can with the measure apportioned to me. If you are like me—high on creativity and low on structure—take heart! Just as God has wired some to reflect Him by being creative in structured ways, He has wired us to be structured in creative ways. I doubt anything will ever be alphabetized in my home, but I can use my creative bent to multiply joy to others and echo the character of God.


Erin Straza uses her love for words to help women experience God’s redeeming, restoring, and resting love found in Jesus Christ. Working as a freelance writer and editor, Erin helps organizations tell their stories in authentic and compelling ways. Her writing life takes place in central Illinois where she lives with her husband, Mike. Follow her on Twitter @ErinStraza.



Photo credit: © Photographer Davidcrehner | Agency:

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