Resolutions or habits?

51ue4ydsgyl-_sx322_bo1204203200_I recently read Gretchen Rubin’s “#BetterthanBefore.” In this book she asks what is a  New Year’s resolution if not the breaking or establishing of habits? Think about it for a moment…. Every year we decide to  either stop doing something or start doing something new.

This book led me to think about resolutions, habits, and the alignment of spirit, soul, and body.

Paul writes in Romans 7:15 I don’t understand my own behavior — I don’t do what I want to do; instead, I do the very thing I hate!

Isn’t this what leads us to make New Year’s Resolutions? There is something in our lives that we keep doing over and over when we know for a fact that that very behavior is taking us further and further away from who we want to be. That behavior has become a bad habit that can be broken and replaced with a new habit that takes us closer to fulfilling our destiny in Christ.

Let me make this a little more personal by sharing with you the habit that I want to demolish and the new habit that I wish to establish. First, I believe that God has given me a gift to write.  I’d like to develop that gift so that I become an author and blogger. Plus, to be a good writer one must also be a good reader.

As someone once said, we must read to understand and write to be understood.

I am most creative and productive very early in the morning. And one of my favorite things to do is to  curl up in bed and read until I fall asleep.

But Hank loves to watch television. His favorite way to unwind is to sit in his big red recliner and watch show after show. And I want to be close to him. So, I lay on the couch watching television until I fall asleep around nine each night. Then he’ll wake me up and I get up and wander into the kitchen to get the coffee ready for the next morning, brush my teeth, and go to bed. And then I can’t fall back asleep.  And because I’m tired, I  sleep past my creative time the next morning.

I haven’t read nor have I written a single word. I’m not being true to who I am. I have not aligned myself to God’s purpose in my life. I’m tired, frustrated, and discouraged because I’m not behaving in a way that allows me to fulfill my destiny.

So this year, I want to demolish the habit of falling asleep on the couch so that I can establish the new habit of getting up and writing every morning.

This is my plan. After dinner, I’ll get coffee ready for the next morning.  I’ll watch A television show with Hank IF it interests me. If not, I’m going to get ready for bed, grab my kindle, and read until I fall asleep. This way, when I wake up at 4:30 as I tend to do when well rested, I’ll be able to get up and pray, read my bible, and write.

I’ve asked Cathy to hold me accountable to demolishing the old habit and establishing the new one.  And I’m asking for your help. Help me become a better blogger by sharing your comments and inviting your friends to read the blog. And if you haven’t heard from me in several days – tell me that you miss me and ask  what’s going on! book-cover

I’d also like to make another book recommendation on habits.  #ThePowerofHabit by Charles Duhigg.

Be blessed and happy new year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas reading…..

51wvhjrezvl-_sy344_bo1204203200_Other than the Bible, there is only one book that I return to time and time again and that is How Far to Bethlehem by Norah Lofts.

This is one of the few books that I never returned to it’s original owner, Auntie Mai. I didn’t mean to steal it but I every Christmas I would read it again and then promise myself that I’d give it back to her at the New Year only to finish it and put it back on the shelf to wait for me until the following holiday.

This is a historical novel that was originally published in the 1960s. Lofts lovingly and beautifully tells the Nativity Story in such a way that the participants of this greatest story on earth become our friends who graciously invite us to join them in their journey to Bethlehem.

If you are having a hard time finding the Christmas spirit this year, then I recommend that you read this book and remind yourself that WHO we are celebrating is so much more important than how we are celebrating.

 

 

why do i fear rest?

i’ve been thinking about how hard i fight rest. i think it’s because resting requires nothing from me and it  forces me to relinquish any control that i foolishly believe i have.

i know that control is an illusion but it’s one that i hold on to with all of my strength because it leads me to falsely believe that i have the wisdom and power to protect and provide for me and my family.

plus, doing nothing means that nothing is getting done. or so i’m led to believe.

but today i am reminding myself that adam had absolutely no control and was doing nothing at all when he received the greatest gift of his life – eve.

let’s look at it this way – when we are resting then we are not getting in God’s way and he can give us his best.

and i want his best! don’t you?

 

 

Injured…..

About six or seven months ago I noticed that my Achilles tendon was seriously swollen to the point that it stuck out over my heel by quite a bit. It hurt before, during, and after each workout.

So, I modified the workouts. I gave up step class. Then I gave up Tabata. I gave up running. And then I gave up all cardio except spinning and cycling.

But I kept going to the gym. Even with the injury I increased the weight I lifted. I kept putting stress on an injury.

I prayed. I went to the elders of the church and asked for prayer.

And the tendon never healed.

And still I kept working out. I was afraid of losing the strength I had gained. I was terrified of gaining the weight I had lost. I was petrified of losing my identity.

But now, it’s gotten to the point that I have no choice but to stop and rest.

This is a physical injury. But you know what? Soul injuries require rest. Spiritual injuries require rest. All injuries require rest.

Rather than fearing rest, I’ve decided to to receive this gift from Christ…

 “Come to me, all you who are struggling hard and carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest.   Put on my yoke, and learn from me. I’m gentle and humble. And you will find rest for yourselves.   My yoke is easy to bear, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30