May 23

What’s Holding You Back?

My line of work often takes me out of town and this particular weekend in January, 2012 was no different.  Well, except it was on a cruise. To Cozumel. With a bunch of fun Christian ladies.

I was invited by Premier Christian Cruise’s Girls Getaway Cruise to speak about my very favorite thing in the world…Online Bible Studies.  The cruise featured a mini-She Speaks Conference and I taught 2 sessions on “How to Start, Lead, and Maintain an Online Bible Study.”  It was so much fun!  I mean, I had sunshine, the best food ever, the company of great speakers like Lysa TerKeurst~Angela Thomas~Lisa Bevere, got to hang out with everyone’s favorite girlfriend~ Mary Snyder, enjoyed a full day in Cozumel, Mexico, dined with the best editors~agents~authors in the business, did Zumba in the fresh sea air, relaxed by the pool, and had the extreme pleasure of spending hours with Glynnis Whitwer, who just happens to be the editor of The P31 Woman Magazine and the author of I Used to Be So Organized. Even better than that though she’s my friend. And a really good one at that.

I’ve known Glynnis for years. We’ve worked and served together at Proverbs 31 Ministries for a long time. There’s been just one thing to keep me from knowing Glynnis as well as I would like to…distance. Like a long distance. East coast to west coast. We see each other a few times a year at a conference or meeting, but usually at these events we are working and running in opposite directions. This event was different. We not only worked together, but also had a lot of free time together. At the time of this cruise I had not planned to do an online study of I Used to Be So Organized.  Wanna know why?  I was scared. Yep, fear was holding me back.

You see, I have never been organized. I’ve made my attempts and they usually work for a while but then crazy life takes over and my mind, house, car, and workspace gets cluttered.  (If you can’t see the picture here, click here.)

Look at my desk today.

Just the word “organized” makes me feel sick because I’ve failed at it so many times. I finally just accepted that maybe I’m just not organized.

The truth is though, that I believe God wants better for me. I spend (waste) way too much valuable time looking for misplaced items, worrying about unnecessary things, and living in a state of disarray. I blame it on working full time and running a home with 4 active kids….those are good excuses right?


While sitting by the pool in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico, Glynnis and I were discussing her book, I Used to Be So Organized. I explained to her how that book was NOT for me, I had never been organized in the first place. To my surprise she replied, “I think it is for you.”  I went on the explain the clutter, piles, and disorganization of my home and office. She said, “This book is practical and could be helpful in organizing your stuff Melissa, but even more this is a book about bringing order to your life and peace to your world.”   Ahhhh… she had my attention. I decided to take another look at I Used to Be So Organized, but this time with an open mind.


Check out a few of the chapter titles:

Welcome to the New Reality
I’m Somewhere in Here
Setting Reasonable Expectations for Yourself
Establishing Priorities
Simplify Your Schedule First
Remove the Clutter
Where to Start
Time Management
Overcoming Paper Clutter
Taming Technology
Meal Planning for Health and Sanity
Functional Living Areas
Closets and Storage Spaces
Keeping it Real

After reading the chapters and the reviews of this book, I knew Glynnis was right. This book was for me. And I bet it’s for a lot of you too.

Unlike other Online Bible Studies I’ve led here, this one is a lot different. There won’t be questions at the end of each chapter to answer. Instead we will engage in rich discussions, sharing with each other, and applying practical application of the principles in this book into our own lives. There will be no pressure to do it all, Glynnis is a “keep it real” kind of woman. There will be a lot of prayer, Scripture, and of course the return of the Word of the Week and Verse of the Week.  God willing video messages will also return. Glynnis will also deliver a message to us each Friday with a weekend activity . I want this summer study to be light, fun, practical, but as always life-changing. I want you to have a feeling of accomplishment. Even if one good change is made, then we’ve succeeded!

I hope you will join me! All you need to participate is the book I Used to Be So Organized and internet access so you can keep up with our lessons, assignments, messages, and fun on my blog.

What’s holding you back? Sign up today. Hurry! If you sign up by noon Thursday EST (we extended it) and you will be entered to win a fabulous Organizational Gift Pack! 

Study begins June 3rd and you can get all the details here. Sign up in the spaces provided in the right column of this blog.

You can also follow Melissa Taylor’s Online Bible Studies on Facebook.

You can follow Melissa on Twitter too.

If you are joining this study or you  follow me on Facebook or Twitter, leave me a comment here and tell me a little about yourself. I look forward to studying, doing life, and keeping it real with you! (If you are receiving this via email, click here to leave a comment.)

Have a great day y’all!



  1. Darlene says:

    Hi Melissa, I’m joining up with you again. I can’t wait. I did use to be organized, funny now that my kids are grown and life should be simpler, it isn’t. It just seems like I am totally overwhelmed all the time and can’t get it together. I love doing crafts but now it takes too long to get everything together to even start. Looking forward to the study because I know it is a problem with clutter, both mind and physical. Thanks.

  2. Hello Melissa, I am looking forward to this Bible study. I once felt that I was extremely organized. However, life happened and all areas of my life seem chaotic. I am praying that this study will help me mentally and physically. If the clutter in my mind is organized then I can make myself physically organized and exercise.
    Thank you so much for your encouraging words and comments.

  3. I am pumped about this study. I can’t wait. I am looking forward to meeting some new friends and learning about everyone involved. I know it will be awesome. Love you Melissa..

  4. Lynda Parker says:

    Hi Melissa! This will be my third Bible Study with you and I have absolutely LOVED every one of them! I retired in January 2011 thinking I will be able to do all the things I dreamed of doing while working and raising kids! Like painting! Nothing has turned out like I expected! I am helping raise a 9 year old granddaughter (have 6 more grandkids) and volunteer at a Pregnancy Resource Center, and well, the list goes on and on! But, I do have a problem with the spare time I do have , in being organized! I want to do so many things I don’t get anything done! I don’t know HOW to change this! I am hoping this Bible Study will help me to make some changes! Thank you!

  5. looking forward to a jumpstart in my spiritual clutter as well as my home!

  6. stephanie says:

    Hi Melissa! I’m a “Made to Crave” drop out when you did that study earlier this year. So I signed up for this one b/c I’m so unorganized myself! I’m a mom of 2, wifey, into fitness & health and helping others.

  7. Hi Melissa, I am looking forward to this study. I fluctuate between extremes of hyper vigilant organizing and extreme disorder. There is no peace at either end. I hope to strike a balance through this study.

  8. Nicki Edwards says:

    Hey! I can’t wait to join you for another online study. I like to think I’m very orgsnised already…which is exactly why I need this book because I reckon God is going to highlight some areas of clutter that I can’t see. Looking forward to making more new friends too.

  9. Hello Melissa,
    I have my book and just signed up! I am looking forward to this study because I am cluttery and disorganized. I sometimes just look at my stacks of papers and magazines and books and stuff and feel overwhelmed! And let’s not talk about my clothes closet! I also have a hard time sometimes getting rid of things like pretty birthday cards given to me or Victoria magazines from 10 years ago! I keep my downstairs living area for me and my husband fairly picked up but upstairs where a lot of my ‘stuff’ is is another story! I am looking forward to this study hoping it helps me spiritually and mentally because the older I get the more I want to be clutter-free and organized and not hang onto ‘stuff’ that I never even use or look at!

  10. Hi Melissa, I’m looking forward to my first online study. I have 3 little ones so I am not very organized….although I never really was so I shouldn’t blame them :) Can’t wait to start the book!

  11. Cristy Carnes says:

    I am so excited to start this study! With working full time and in grad school I need to find the organizational skills I once had. I am looking forward to finding a peace in my life.

  12. Hi Melissa, I read your article in p31 and thought I need to dig into a study this summer. I always try to find someone to do one with and God answered my prayer and knew I needed this one. That’s totally me I used to be a double A organized alephebetize my spices and color code my socks kind of gal and now I’m a double C, not bra size, kind of disorganized mom of four in most areas except freezer cooking healthy meals for my family. I went to she speaks for the first time last year and I’m blessed with p31 Devon’s and mag this yer. Looking forward to this new experience.

  13. Hello Melissa,
    Ready to get started. We have been in our house for 8 years this month. We still have boxes in the closets to go through. Keep putting it off.

  14. I am looking forward to this study but I have a question about the book. I have been trying to find it for my non-Kindle e-reader and haven’t been able to find it anywhere. Is it available in an electronic format other than Amazon? Or will it be in the near future? I usually get my e-books on but they don’t seem to have it. Trying to decide if I need to buy an actual book or not…. not sure I can give up the convenience of my e-reader!


  15. Teresa Richardson says:

    I have been following off and on Marla Ciley’s (Flylady) weekly cleaning and decluttering steps. I start it, it works well, then I let life interrupt me and I fall away til months later when I try again.
    If I had the extra money to buy Glynnis’ book, I would participate in the bible study. I am going to dust off Flylady’s steps and start again. God bless you

  16. Hi Melissa, I’m so excited to know your starting another study group. I purchased both Made to Crave and I used to be so organized back in January.Please pray for me, that I follow through until completion, lost track with Made to Crave study. God bless

  17. Hi Melissa,
    I just happened upon your e-mail tonight….it’s definitely divine intervention! I ordered this book months back, started it and shelved it shortly after. I relate too well with the pit in the stomach at the mention of organization. I love feeling organized, just struggle maintaining the necessary disciplines. I know all four children and my dear husband are happier when I have order. I pray this study will be a blessing for all of us.

  18. Hi Melissa! I completed the Confident Heart study with you … and then fell off the wagon with Made to Crave as there were too many other things going on at the time. I feel that this study is the right thing at the time and look forward to reconnecting with you and meeting new persons as we explore spiritual, mental and physical organization! Thank you for your continued committment to reaching out and encouraging us on our walk with our Lord and Saviour! Blessings!

  19. CristinaSydney says:

    hi sounds awesome the only thing that is holding me back now is the copy of the book cant afford it but i am so much looking into getting through kindle or anything like that thanks anyway

  20. Karen Smith says:

    Hello Melissa, How interesting that I started online studies with Made to Crave. Then moved onto your next study An Untroubled Heart. Now here is one on organization. How funny! These are all areas in my life that needed attention and I did not even know until the books were presented. God is awesome and works in ways we cannot see. I look forward to the next study to see what God will reveal! My husband will look forward to the organization, too!

  21. Karri H. says:

    Hey all!
    I read this book several months ago between one of our bible studies. I absolutely Loved it & learned so much from Glyynis. I’m looking forward to completing it again & hoping to grow even more by having the fellowship of other women like myself who need help organizing!!
    Blessings &Love
    this will be my 6th study with Melissa & P31 & I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned & grown! I love everyone involved with P31!

  22. Followed Glynnis on her blog when she did an organization teaching. WOuld love to do the book!

  23. Wendy Vaughn says:

    SOOOOO need this right now. I am down for a few after having surgery and dealing with all the disorganization and a grumpy husband along with it is about to send me to cookoo house! Cant wait!

  24. Mommaletha says:

    I’ve never been organized! I see others who are and wonder how they can do it! I live around stacks of books and papers and things!!! Organization learned through a Bible study just blows my mind! What a creative….and organized idea :)

  25. Cindy Molloy says:

    Hi Melissa, This will be my first online bible study and I am really excited. I have already started trying to unclutter & organize my house and my life…It is like everything else, start out really good and then life happens…So I am really looking forward to this study and the scriptures!

  26. I am excited to begin this new adventure. I have never done an online series so I am excited. I recently found out that I have ADHD. I can’t wait to see if this will work for me as many things have not. I love the Lord and I’m so excited to see a book that combines His word and wise counsel and organization:). let’s get started!

  27. Lorri Wright says:

    I, too, used to be organized. Now not so much. I’m looking forward to this study to help get my mind unlcuttered most of all.

  28. Sheryle says:

    Hello this is my first online bible study- I am a
    Mother of 3 girls 17,7,6 – I own my own business as a
    Hairstylist – I have a salon in my home so I can be available
    To my children. I love working from home – but most of all I love
    Being able to be with my children. Hoping to find
    Ways to become more organized and simply my life –
    So I can spend more time doing what matters most and less
    Time ” chasing my tail around “. LOL super excited!

  29. Hi Melissa,
    This is my summer to get that peace and balance that I have needed. I’m excited. I tend to be an “all or nothing” gal, and that doesn’t work well on both accounts.
    I feel like I deserve better than what I give myself–(the disorder, the stress), and am glad that there will be support for these organized life goals. Thanks, and blessings to you and the team.

  30. Hi Melissa….

    I’m so excited about this study. I’m married to a Chief in the Navy, approaching our third deployment, mother of 3 boys and keeper of 2 male boxers!!!! All the while, I’m the ombudsman for the troops deploying with my husband, involved in a book club with some friends, starting a writing class on June 20th online and will soon be a Registered Adult Volunteer for the Young Marines Unit that my 2 younger sons are affiliated with. So any and all help with organization most welcomed!!!

    I hope you have a great day!!

  31. Melissa says:

    I’m SOOO excited about this bible study! Hopefully it will help me organize my home,schedule and prayer life and own bible reading!! IM PROBABLY THE WORLD’S WORST!

  32. Hi Melissa, I’m nervous. I go off and on with Flylady. The I try Messy Anoymous off and on. so I read your news letter and thought please God let is Bible Study work for me. So I joined.

  33. WOW! Right now I’m feeling so overwhelmed. I signed on to do this study and was so excited about it. Almost immediately things began to happen in my life that was beyond anything I could ever have imagined. First we lost an 11 year old nephew in a tragic accident. The day after that happened another nephew collapsed and had a seizure at work and was rushed to the hospital by ambulance where it was discovered he had brain cancer. He lived only 3 weeks before the Lord took him home. We are just back from that and I haven’t even had time to think much less start this study group. I am going to start and will try my best to catch up but am not sure I will ever be able to do that. I’m so sorry I have missed so much.

    I think I may have already introduced myself at the beginning but in case I forgot to do that I am Wanda. I’m married for 41 years, have two grown children, a daughter in law, two beautiful grandchildren. I’m from a huge family and feel so blessed to have them all. I’m 9th of 10 children so there always seems to be something going on but never anything quite like the past few weeks.

    I’m going now to start reading and hope I can do this study justice. Thank you all for your understanding.


  1. […] If you have never signed up for an Online Bible Study we have just the thing for you!!! Our next study begins on June 3rd – I Used to be so Organized!! Check it out by visiting Melissa Taylor’s blog […]