In our Better Living series, we are going to have several blog posts on personal life habits. I believe our personal habits shape not only who we are as women but also how we respond to situations around us. When we have to face things that drain us.
WHY BEGIN WITH FAITH AND SELF REFLECTION?
I believe these are the two most important life habits we can form. And unlike the many demands that come with running a home, they are easily pushed into the background and often seem…unnecessary in the face of obvious needs.
I’m beginning to realize it’s from these two things that we find strength to meet demands of each day.
WHY YOUR FAITH IN GOD MATTERS
Before I began implementing changes in my connection time with God, I recognized something was missing. I experienced…an ache? No, that’s not an accurate depiction. ‘Twas an absence of something familiar and comforting.
After implementing change, I realized I actually had a better focus for the day and often felt better equipped to deal with life. More secure. My self, home and relationships were somehow…slightly different.
Instead of operating on my own, I had an energy source behind me. Support. A place of comfort and truth.
It’s important to recognize that God is for us. If we will look for Him, He’ll meet us. And often, that meeting enables us to return to life in a healthier state of mind.
WHY CONNECTION WITH SELF MATTERS
It’s easy to forget about ourselves in the face of daily demands. Processing our inner life appears to be of lesser importance as we meet the constant, tangible needs before us.
And yet? The strength to face life’s challenges often flows from our ability to process personal struggles or inner turmoil.
If we don’t, the inner tension comes out. Tempers flare unexpectedly. Over-reactions take place. Tears threaten. Little things break us. In the midst of our own overwhelm, we negatively affect our homes and those who are part of it.
Gals, this stuff needs to be processed! It MATTERS!
Writing has always been an outlet for me. A cup of hot tea to help with relaxation and then, I begin filling pages.
Oh, it doesn’t happen every day! Bi-weekly? Monthly? The occurrence of this event depends on the season of life I am in. But if I’m uptight, I know it’s time to either talk to someone I trust or fill a few pages.
There are legitimate pressures in every homemaker’s life. A house to manage. Meals to prepare. Laundry to fold. Bathrooms to clean. A husband to live with. Time to be managed. Kids to be birthed and raised!
When implementing change, it’s important to start small. Aim for what is attainable and sustainable. Once these changes are part of your routine, you can add on. But starting small is essential or you won’t last long enough for these things to become habitual.
STARTING SMALL WITH YOUR FAITH
Begin implementing little things into your day that remind you of who God is. Maybe it’s Christ-centered music? Listening to a podcast or sermon? A phone app that brings up a verse every morning?
When showering, form a habit of praying over the things that worry you. Resolve to thank God for 5 things every day at lunch time. Pray before every meal.
Find something that has meaning and works well for you.
And set a goal for yourself with Bible reading. Choose a date/s and time to ensure it happens. Start simple, even if it’s just once a week for 10 minutes on a Saturday morning. Choose books that are easy to read, such as Psalms, Proverbs or the gospels.
I chose the book of Proverbs. Fifteen minutes are allotted as I read over breakfast with a cup of hot tea. If God impresses something on me, I journal a short paragraph that includes the verse and thoughts that came with it. Some days, those fifteen minutes stretch into something more. And sometimes? It’s only fifteen minutes.
This is my pattern for week days. I leave my weekends open. Maybe I read. Maybe I don’t. But when Monday comes ’round, I’m back on schedule.
The key is to start small…or you won’t start at all.
STARTING SMALL WITH SELF CONNECTION
Journaling my thoughts during Bible reading often carries over into connecting with myself, as do my prayers.
We all need time to process what goes on inside. When we’re wrestling with God, had a fight with our spouse, are facing changes in life and worry is wrapping it’s little cold fingers around our souls.
Sometimes, I can process all this as I live life. But if I’m busy without times of quiet, things build until I am a jittering, high-strung mess. No one wants to reach that point!
Writing may not be your thing. For you, it could be that talking with a trusted friend helps clear the fog. Walking and thinking. Getting out of your home environment so that you can breathe! Even if it’s only once a month, take time to process your life.
Perhaps you can combine it with a refreshing activity?
DON’T SWEAT IT
Everyone has days that go awry because of circumstances, limitations or even out-n-out poor choices. Don’t beat yourself up. That’s not what it’s about! This entire series is about moving forward toward better living. And no one can move forward or live well when they’re looking back! Trees, telephone poles and buildings get in the way. Know what I mean?
You fell off the bandwagon today? So what? You aren’t superhuman. Let it go. Get yourself back on tomorrow.
To continue with our series and check out Part 5 for a discussion and challenge on screen time!