Archive for the ‘self discipline’ Category

Balance Your Day

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

Crashing metal, thudding, and sounds of heavy furniture being slid across a tile floor brought my husband Garry and me out of our chairs and onto our feet. The noise was coming from behind the closed utility door.

With adrenaline pumping we flung the door open to find the clothes washer thrashing about like a monster trying to rid itself of an unpleasant pest.

Garry began talking to the machine, asserting that he had not put in too many jeans to wash effectively in a single load! The moving slowed after he pushed the off button, and he was then able to open the lid and view all those jeans piled up on one side of the tub. There may not have been too many clothes, but they had gotten completely off balance. In the lop-sided condition the tub simply could not take the ‘spin’ cycle.

Our lives can be a lot like my washing machine. We fill each day to the maximum with stuff. When we get overloaded, it’s hard to do a good job. Maybe we have even calculated the day and it looks like the number of things we have scheduled is a do-able amount. But there is still one more important detail that must be considered. That vital aspect is balance.

A friend of mine, who started his own cabinet-making company, found that his greatest challenge was consistently taking a lunch break. Before he owned the company, lunch was an anticipated joy so he easily kept track of time. But when he became the owner, he tried to get ahead by working nonstop all day long. After many hours of not eating, he felt weak and his hands would begin to shake as his blood sugar dropped dangerously low. He learned that to really be successful he would have to work in harmony with his body.

In the same way, if I neglect the spiritual side of my life by going extended periods without praying or reading the Bible, then I will find myself becoming emotionally unstable, as well. And so will you.

We were made to have balance in our spirit, soul, and body—time to work, play, eat, exercise, rest, create, pray, and contemplate. Balance creates order, focus, and boundaries. Balance keeps us from becoming burned out. Balance allows us to refuel and enjoy a greater sense of accomplishment and fulfillment throughout the day. We may not even have too much stuff. We may just need to prioritize and arrange it differently… especially when life goes into a ‘spin’!

Are you out of balance in the spin of a hectic schedule today? If so, then I pray that you would stop and create balance in every area of your life: spirit, soul, and body. May you live a healthy lifestyle and be strong even in old age.

May your day be blessed and your tub in balance!

“One hand full of rest is better than two fists full of labor and striving after wind.” (Ecclesiastes 4:6 NASB)

Dis Distractions

Monday, April 7th, 2014

I have to keep my guard up every day to keep from getting side-tracked—or derailed completely—from my mission and goals. It’s just so easy to get pulled aside to work on projects that are good and need to be done but are not part of my top priorities. I am multi-talented and am tempted to try many new activities, but are they important enough to use my energy on? Distractions beckon around every curve. One more activity might be OK, or even fun, but I have to ask myself if I will be able finish strong that which I’ve prioritized and planned.

 

I love the spontaneous. There is a certain freedom in knowing that life isn’t so structured that things can’t be changed, tweaked, and enjoyed at a moment’s notice. I must know that I am not a slave to some printed schedule that has to be acted out in robot fashion.

 

But being in charge of the direction of our lives and ultimately making it to our destination means not succumbing to distractions that are unworthy of our time when they appear. I must know the difference between nice and necessary. 

 

My self-dialog and conversations with others have the ability to distract me from reaching my goals. Stopping to visit or check on a friend is encouraging and uplifting. But trash talking, gossip and arguing, drain creative energy and draw me aside from my schedule. I must maintain control over the words I speak and discern whether to engage in a confrontation. I don’t have time to waste trying to prove that I am right. I must conserve my energy to speak up when my voice needs to be heard because it is the right and relevant thing to do. 

 

Baby animals are led astray by just nibbling and following the next patch of desirable green grass. Boundary fences of safety are pushed over with the thought that the grass is greener on the other side. Most of the time it is not.

 

My prayer for today: God, give me wisdom to know what is real and relevant for today, enough common sense to know when to speak out or to shut up, and the confidence and integrity to be satisfied with being right and real—without having to prove it!

 

“And as Christ’s soldier, do not let yourself become tied up in the affairs of this life, for then you cannot satisfy the one who has enlisted you in his army.” 2 Timothy 2:4 (NLT)

No More Detours

Saturday, January 12th, 2013

The count is definitely in, and everyone I know is glad for the past year to go. I too welcomed a new year because I wanted a fresh start.  But this New Year is now into its second week and life is throwing me some pretty fierce distractions to deal with. I wonder if what I did last week was done any differently than this time last year.

Distractions don’t go away. They must be dealt with. I can’t drive down the main street of our small town or log onto my computer without the possibility of getting sidetracked. But I can become stronger and make wiser choices.

Our paths are strewn not only with distractions but also opportunities. So the question to ask ourselves when things pop into our world is, “Is this a distraction or an opportunity?” When distraction comes and opportunity knocks, we have the power to choose which one to answer and entertain and when to just stay focused on our present path.

If you plan ahead what you would like to accomplish in your day and upcoming year, it will make right choices clearer.

Decide where each new “unexpected” will lead your day. Distracted days add up to months, and soon another year has come and gone. We do have the core strength to do things differently. Be courageous and push pass that first uncomfortable moment of taking charge of your life – choose opportunity over distraction.

Give yourself an internal boost of energy by taking some time upfront to define your goals clearly, rid your path of proven distractions, and quiet your mind each morning.

Know that if you follow distractions, you will take a detour yet again this year.  But if you face the ongoing distractions, choose to stay the course, and keep going forward, you will enjoy great success in the coming year.

“For I can do everything through Christ,* who gives me strength.” James 4:18 NLT

Wisdom to Live More Peaceful and Prepared

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Fresh water has been added to the waterfall in our back yard.  Streaming down the rocks and overflowing the top pool, the sun sparkles through the clear cascade rushing into the lower pool.  What a beautiful picture, filled with peace, purity and order.  I love the fountain most when it is free of algae, leaves, and debris.

So, today, I tell my husband that we must purchase chemicals right away. We must add product to the water that will keep it clean before we see a need for it.  This year I have determined to purchase a floater that will continually release germ killing, algae burning, sparkle rejuvenating elements.  When the green shows up it’s already too late for easy clean up. The war is on and I have to fight hard to just get back to murky clear.  Extra chemicals have to be used and the pump has to work harder to filter- what I should have ‘kept out’ of the water.

I’m finding life for me is a lot like my soothing waterfall. Things that I put away when I’m finished leaves my work area clean.  Clothes hung up, put in the hamper, or washer each day, creates a closet that is prepared for any occasion that might arise.  Mail gone through each day and filed allows bills to be paid on time.  If I pray daily I have more confidence when a challenge arises.

Waiting until there is nothing to wear, mail covers the desk, or a tragedy strikes before taking charge of our lives leaves us in an overwhelmed, ill prepared state.  Every aspect of the day becomes doubly hard as if fighting a losing battle.

Continual ordered days are much more effective and reward us with a much more, peaceful life.

Wisdom: “Her ways [are] ways of pleasantness, and all her paths [are] peace.” Proverbs 3:17 KJV

“Are you pig-headed?”

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

“Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid.” Proverbs 12:1 (Quotation from Bible NIV®)

What a wonderful thing to be corrected when we are wrong. Anyone who believes otherwise has never inadvertently walked into the opposite sex restroom by mistake!  Correction is welcomed by the person wanting to arrive in Chelsea but headed down Highway 412 in the opposite direction.

Another version (kj) says ‘he that hateth reproof [is] brutish’. Awrf- like an animal?  Really now?  How bad could it be?  But, this rendering- as all words- merely tries to paint a picture for us so we can understand the meaning.  We write in words but our minds see in images.

Brutish or stupid.  What picture comes to your mind?  I see show pigs. Beautiful, wonderful, clean, glittery, glistening pigs being directed by a cute kid with an absolutely necessary, fancy prod in hand- nudging the wonderful animal into the ring.  Prod and poke and continual pressure direct the life of this phenomenal beast. Left to its own free will it- yes you know where it goes—right back to the mud hole.  Simply put, pigs lack inner understanding.

We as humans have the ability to understand don’t we? If we don’t have an answer or are wrong it is the most wonderful thing in the world to receive correction.  Because, correction becomes direction and we now claim owner ship of that right information.  We can use this knowledge to direct the road we wish to travel and reach our goals and we won’t be surprised at what’s behind the doors we are about to open!  We get it. Self-control gives us knowledge so we love it.  We no longer have to be moved and directed by whatever circumstance or person is putting the most pressure on us.

We think higher thoughts.  We love correction- not because it always feels good- but because we possess… inner understanding.