Monday, April 18, 2011

April 18: Catching up!

It seems like I'm always in a perpetual state of "catch up". There are days when I much more ahead than behind, but for the most part, I'm comfortably parked in the wide seat of my extensive "to-do" list, and that is alright with me.

There are days I feel overwhelmed, completely unmotivated to do anything (but of course I still do!) and days that I feel such an enormous sense of accomplishment that feel as if I could float on that wave forever. Don't read more into this than there is - I'm definitely not suffering at the hands of any malicious mental roller-coaster ride....I just think there is a lot of people who feel this way, but can't seem to find their way out of the "fog" of life and never get to "float" on waves of accomplishment. If you're reading this and nodding, read on and let some of my favorite life verses encourage you:

1. This life is short.
We need to keep this in the forefront of our every thought. This life is so short, your health is a gift, each breath of each day is a GIFT. An undeserved gift, in fact. What would it look like if we were to start our days in the humble acknowledgement that even our waking from sleep is not guaranteed? A healthy dose of this realization is the perfect prescription for professional procrastinators (like me!)....what if you didn't have tomorrow? What would you do TODAY? I know that I would spend less time worrying about cleaning my floors or the way I look and invest more time enjoying my children while they are small and I'm graciously able to stay home with them.

Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away." - James 4:14

2. People are more important than TASKS or THINGS.
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. -John 13:34-35

Tasks are important. But when things (like the computer) or tasks (cleaning, etc.) are put before your family, you need to re-evaluate your priorities. I think most people understand this, but without reminding, we can quickly allow the pleasures of this world (and there are MANY!) to lead us astray.

3. Appreciate your place in life - and the beauty of the things around you -
Contentment with WHERE God has placed you RIGHT NOW is probably one of the biggest things that people struggle with. "My life would be so much better if__________________." I would be so much happier if _____________________." Don't let the "ifs" of life rob you of your present joy. Your life could change drastically in an instant and tomorrow you may be wishing for the reality of today - so enjoy it.
When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?

5 You have made them a little lower than the angels
and crowned them with glory and honor.
6 You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
you put everything under their feet. - Psalm 8:3-6

4. Celebrate the small victories, and don't measure your progress against anyone else's.
There is NO ONE on earth like you, your journey is yours. Your path is yours. Don't get lost on someone's else's!

5. Don't fret over tomorrow.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own - Matthew 6:34
Seriously, here. Does worry change anything? Do you often find yourself on the other side of the "mountain" you were stressing over only to realize it was really a molehill? Yep, thought so.

6. Train your thoughts.
Let's say your bent towards the "glass half empty" type of thinking. So, when you put your foot directly into a poop-filled baby diaper that you just took off your squirming 1-year-old (who you are trying to wrestle into the bath)...IF your immediate thought is - "uuuugggggghhhhhh, why me???? This is SOOOOO gross! How am I going to clean THIS up while trying to hold the baby at the same time? This is TERRIBLE! I HATE POOP!" INSTEAD, Train yourself to think: "Wow, it's a good thing that I didn't slip on that diaper, drop the baby, or smear it into the carpet." It will probably distract your negative-thinking gnome long enough for you to bypass the anger you might have felt originally. Just try it, trust me, it works. Think of what COULD have happened, and you will be thankful that it didn't!

That's all I can think of right now....I hope it encouraged or inspired you in some way!

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