The big thing I have been finally learning is how to slow down. I have been being told for years that I overextend, that I take on too much, that I need to learn to say “no”. And I have been told this by a variety of people, many of whom I know have my best interest at heart. I tend to say “I know” then continue doing exactly what I have been doing all along.
Because of the need to set boundaries both with my kids and with myself God has been getting my attention about many things in my life. After many years I am beginning to hear it.
In my morning devotional a week or so ago I read about a man who was trying to start each day by spending time in God's Word, yet he could not understand why it seemed to make no real difference in his life. One day as he was talking with a friend he came to understand that he was reading the Bible as though it were a textbook. (How often have I been guilty of the same thing?) When he stopped and took his time with God rather than acting as though he expected God to reward him for putting in the time he found it made a big difference.
I have been struggling with not being happy with several areas of my life, but I have not been unhappy enough to do something about it. I am grateful to the people my Heavenly Father has surrounded me with in my life. The thing is I am a very stubborn person. It wasn't until I began working through the idea of what values I want my children to learn that I began to see where I had areas of weakness. I cannot expect them to act in a way that I am not modeling for them.
I recall that a few years ago I went to the doctor suffering from being exhausted and depressed all the time. She ran some blood vitamin levels and discovered some of my levels were very low. I started drinking more water everyday, walking everyday, talking vitamin supplements, and eating better as well as adding an antidepressant to my daily regime. When I went to see her a couple months later I felt much better. She asked how I was doing and I told her I felt much better. We talked about what I was doing. When she asked which part had done the trick I told her I had no idea, nor did I want to experiment to find out. I was afraid of ending up back where I had been. I feel like I am kind of in the same type of situation now. I have changed my eating styles again due to the health needs of my son. I am drinking primarily water now. I have begun to be very conscious of the choices I make based on what I want my kids to take away. I have begun a daily exercise regime again. And I am diligent in my quiet time. I am learning that I am a much calmer person on those days when I start out in God's Word then I am in those days when I “don't have time”.
I have a friend who keeps reminding me that my priorities need to be:
...then everything else.
I keep wanting to put other things in places they don't belong. Then I wonder why things feel out of control. When I start out with my focus on my Lord and Savior then everything else seems to fall into place without my even having to think about it. Why do I keep struggling with this particular issue? It seems like I have been at this crossroads before. I begin to see a pattern in the thought of how much I truly care about this thing. Am I going to care enough to step up and make a change or do I just want something to complain about? Is this finally going to be the time when I step up, own it, and do something about it?