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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Hit the Reset Button!

   Today is the Lord's Day, the first day of my week!  It has been a day that has cooled some because of the rain and this afternoon my precious husband and I sat and enjoyed a cup of coffee on the front porch and talked and listened to the steady patter of rain on the oak leaves.  So comforting.
   Each Monday I sit with my notebook and plan my week.  I give each day to the Lord in the mornings, but I am a firm believer in the old adage "Fail to plan-plan to fail."  I have found that even with fun things like reading to the children, taking a walk, playing a game together if I don't give it a specific time in the week it just won't get done!

   Tonight I sit and look at last week's plan.  At the top I have my list of my "streaks".  I got this wonderful idea from  You set a goal that you would like to have as a habit and then see how many days you can go without missing!  So I have there:
* 8 glasses of water  (then I put abbreviations for each day so I can circle them as I accomplish them)
*1200-1500 calories daily
*5 fruits/vegetables
*Walk-5 days/week
*Strength Train-5 to 6 days/week
  You could even include spiritual goals like memorize scripture, read Bible daily, go through prayer list daily, etc.  The idea is to get a good thing going and you won't want to miss!  It works for me.
  I look at last week's list and I thought it was workable when I made it.  However, I didn't plan on several "unplanned" events. (A doctor's visit I didn't plan on having in Nashville and then a sick day!)  In the past that would have thrown me for a loop and I would have stewed and fretted and been completely overwhelmed. 
  I also worked very hard at keeping up my month long staying on my diet and doing my strength training and cardio workout 5 times per week.  Much to my surprise after losing weight for about two weeks (and I know how to hang on to the fat!) I had gained 2.3 pounds this morning.  In the past I would have beat myself up and then out of frustration and anger had me a little binge party tonight.
  However, because I've gone through several experiences with depression I have learned that those responses only make me "feel" worse about the whole situation after the fact.  So what's the answer?
  Well, I call it hitting the reset button!  I love Lamentations 3:22 and 23.  "It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.  They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness."
  If the Lord gives me a new chance every morning then I can do the same thing when I look at my very human failures.  Just hit the reset button and go after the goal again and again and again until I meet it!
  Every week of my life I look back and say, "I wish I had spent more time with the kids, I wish I had been more gentle in my reaction, I wish I had got more windows cleaned, I wish I had spent more time with the Lord, and the list could go on and on and on...."  If I focus on what I didn't get done I lose sight of what needs done for the Lord today! 
  It truly makes a difference when you get on the scale and see the number go up when you thought it would go down to become introspective and angry and decide who cares anyway? (at least for an hour or two)  However, it has changed everything for me to say "Well, how about that?  Maybe all that strength training is making muscle and it weighs more than fat!  Maybe I should add a few more minutes to my cardio, shuffle when I eat my snacks and see if I need to try some different foods to shake up my metabolism!"  Then I feel hopeful instead of condemned!
  It also made a difference when I looked at my list on Thursday morning (Tuesday and Wednesday being shot.) and said to myself, "Ok, let's put these down by priority.  What has to be done or we're not going to function as a family?" 
  I had planned on reading a large portion of a book to the kids and I did that as we drove home from Nashville.  I had planned on doing a lot of sewing and so I put the most important on the top and worked my way down.  I had planned on cleaning the living room windows, preparing a table for painting and getting the kids final grades ready to send to the school we're enrolled in.
  I was completely shocked when on Saturday not only had I completed almost everything on my list I also had Sunday dinner planned and ready!  My attitude definitely made a difference (Along with giving my family a pleasant wife and mother instead of a fretful one!)
  Here's some tips to help you be a happy homemaker instead of a fretful one:
1)  Be a Mary first--choose to spend time with the Lord if nothing else gets done! "But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her." (Luke 10:42)
2)  Break down your week's work into a plan.  I put what I want to get done for the week in one list and then break it down into each day.   I only write down one day at a time what I hope to get done and then what doesn't get done goes to the next day.
3)  Divide big jobs into workable pieces.  For example, I'm working on trying to get rid of excess out of our garage (half our life is still packed away!) and also am trying to get all the windows washed.  I have on my list a goal of 1 window per day and 3 boxes per day.
4)  Give each day to the Lord.   Think of placing it on an altar and giving it to Him and telling Him you want His will for your day and not yours.  That way if unexpected company shows up or your neighbor comes over and has an emergency where they need you, etc. your not going to fall apart because your planned day got changed.
5)  Plan time with your husband and children.  Ask the Lord to show you how to minister to them.  Keeping clean laundry in your husband's drawer and closet at all times is ministering to him.  A good hot meal on the table is ministering to your family.  Sitting on the porch and reading to your children is ministering to them.  Taking a walk with them is ministering to them.  Plan to do work together with your children.  I learned from my toddlers that they don't mind a job at all if mommy is right there with them making it fun.
6)  Learn to be a Pollyanna.  See the best in everything.  Don't just talk nice to your husband and children, talk nice to yourself!  Have little mantras you say to yourself like, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again!"  "Don't put it down, put it away!"  "Make every trip count!"  "Let's give that the 5 minute clean-up!"  "No, I won't let you in, devil!" (I say that when I'm tempted to get frustrated with my husband and say something I'll regret!)
7)  Remember that anything worth having has a price tag on it.  Ask yourself, "Am I willing to pay the price to..."  For example, "Am I willing to pay the price it takes to see my children trained for the Lord?"  "Am I willing to pay the price to make my husband pleased with me?"  "Am I willing to pay the price to keep my health?"
8)  At the end of your work week enjoy the Lord's Day.  It is the first day of the new week.  Make it a very special day for your family.  I love Sunday dinner.  I love my family looking forward to what's going to be on the table and what dessert I'll be serving.  I love the quietness of our Sunday afternoons and I love being with the Lord's people.  Start your week right by obeying Isaiah 58 and not doing what please you on His day but what ministers to others in a very real way.  At the end of the Lord's Day prepare to plan your new week and when looking back at last week put it behind you and
  I pray the Lord blesses you greatly in this new week!

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