Book Review: The Organized Heart by Staci Eastin

The Organized Heart by Staci Eastin

This book will be different than any other book on organization that you’ve probably read. I have no schedule to offer you, I won’t tell you what day to mop the kitchen floor, and you don’t need to buy a timer. Your standards for an organized home and a reasonable schedule will vary with your personality, season of life, and the needs and preferences of your family.

What I hope to do is to help you examine your heart and discover things that may be hindering your walk with God. My goal is not necessarily for you to have a cleaner home or a more manageable schedule—although I certainly hope that is the case. Rather, my hope for this book is that it will help you serve God and your family more effectively, more fruitfully, and with greater peace and joy.

Staci Eastin, The Organized Heart: A Woman’s Guide to Conquering Chaos

The Organized Heart by Staci Eastin is not a book full of charts or checklists. There’s no instruction to do your laundry on Monday, or your floors on Wednesday. (Although seriously, who does their floors every week?) We’ve seen enough of those, and if you’re a person who struggles with disorder, you probably have a few of these books already and don’t need another one.

So what is The Organized Heart? It’s an insightful work that challenges the reader to investigate the root of disorder, which according to the author, is idolatry.

The Organized Heart covers four areas where disorder can reign (and ruin)—perfectionism, busyness, possessions, and leisure. In the chapter on possessions, Staci offers a very funny anecdote about her beloved couch; it went from being white and tan to brown and brown, and when all was said and done not even a charity would take it.

The story was a good reminder to me that our stuff is just that—only stuff. And it all goes to the trash heap someday. I’ve got a couch of my own that has gone downhill over the years. I keep it slip-covered because I spilled hot chocolate on it and then tried to steam clean it out using a steam vacuum. It now looks like we murdered a chicken on it and tried to hide the evidence. It we called a charity to come get it, I think they’d call the authorities on us. Praise God that the murder-couch is not a reflection of who I am in Christ!

(Although I think I may reuse the murder-couch in an illustration on sin for my kids someday. That wouldn’t traumatize them too badly, would it?)

But the chapter that really caused me to reflect was the chapter on leisure. I don’t often schedule my own times of rest as well as I schedule my children’s times of rest. I consequently end up “channel-surfing” the internet instead of doing something truly restful. Because I fail to have a time of real rest, I take hunks for myself out of other parts of the day instead, which doesn’t leave me feeling truly rested either, just feeling like I did everything “half-cheeked.”

Staci’s writing style is like talking with a friend who has known you long enough to know when you’re full of beans. She will challenge you to reflect on things that you’d rather not, but you’ll be glad you did after the wrestling is over.

I can recommend The Organized Heart to anyone who is feeling ready to submit their time to God, but isn’t sure what needs to be done. This book will help you discover (or in some cases, admit) where you need to put your efforts, while at the same time offering encouragement to those who are feeling truly overwhelmed.

Title: The Organized Heart: A Woman’s Guide to Conquering Chaos
Author: Staci Eastin
Publisher: Cruciform Press (2011)

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  • Amber

    Thanks for the excellent review! I have to confess that when I was there, I accidentally made a mark on the murder-couch with a blue pen. :( I think that took could perhaps be worked into your couch salvation analogy. (Although we are saved and our sins are covered, we still sometimes makes blue marks…)

    • Emily Armstrong

      That’s okay, Amber. You wouldn’t be the first person to get pen marks on it. I don’t even see where it is anyway.

  • Heather Henriques

    Emily – thanks for the excellent review. What a refreshing change from the “Schedule-your-life-just-like-me-and-you’ll-be-godly” books we homeschooling moms read all too often! (And then wonder why we feel like failures) Your review in and of itself has challenged me – now I need to read the book. Thanks!

    • Emily Armstrong

      Awesome! I think people mean well with the super-schedules (and I like to use them SOMETIMES as sort of a starting grid to launch from). But there’s really no one-size-fits-all method (or standard) of order. I think you’ll enjoy the book.

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