I am hoping you had a wonderful weekend like us—though I pray yours was not as chaotic!!
I shouldn’t use words that relate to negativity when we really did have a wonderful weekend. We really did have a great time—it was just slightly too packed together for my liking. If any of you know me, I like busyness. But too much craziness without a small break to myself to process life, no alone time and spending little time communing with the Lord really wore me down.
We had good reason for going about our weekend the way we did: we both will be gone for the summer, missing out on all Alaska has to offer. Thus, we are squeezing it in now!
Alas, it is now Monday. And though I really haven’t slowed down much, I just feel a little more refreshed by taking my time to get out of bed, do some small things for my husband and get some time to catch up blogging :)
Thus, let me begin with my objectives for this blog:
1. Catching up on Days 16-19 (next blog, I will catch up us up to the day we should be on!)2. Recapping our first all-outdoor weekend in Alaska
So let’s begin!
Day 16—Willing Hands
We are being brought back to Proverbs 31 again:
“She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands.” (13)
If you were to evaluate your heart today, would you see a ‘willingness’ attribute hidden within? The proverbs remind us that we need willingness to see things be accomplished in our lives. Not perfect accomplishments, but merely accomplishments done to the best of our abilities. This encourages me to spur you to practice self-discipline.
”27But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.”---1 Corinthians 9:27
We should discipline our bodies so our messages about Christ are effectively relayed and our lives line up with our words (our preaching). If we practice this kind of willing discipline, then we can endure the race that we run! (Hebrews 12:1)
Speaking of self-discipline, that brings us to Day 17 and 18 where we practice our cleaning styles in the manner that works for our personalities.
According to Psalm 139 (one of my favorite psalms), we are reminded by the Lord that we were all formed uniquely and with much love:
“ 1O LORD, you have searched me and known me! 3You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways. 13For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.”
Isn’t it encouraging knowing that you have a personality unlike everyone else’s?? In that perspective, look at that with much awe and reverence, not comparing or envying. This can distract us from our goals to glorify Him in the way we function.
Sarah Mae then helps us evaluate which personality type we are from the following and how to find appropriate motivation to meet our goals:
• ‘D’ Style: You are result oriented and like the bottom line, the fastest way to get things done and thrive on challenges. You are a great motivator. Your motivation? To be challenged. Make a goal for yourself and form a challenge to accomplish it.
• ‘I’ Style: Do anything but clean! You are super fun and people oriented. Your motivation? Positive feedback and fun. Try rewarding yourself after meeting tangible goals. Have some fun with cleaning (play music and dance) and set a time to have guests over so you have motivation to clean your house for their arrival!
• ‘S’ Style: You are friendly and soft; extremely loyal and supportive; you need security and stability; someone’s guidance comforts you. Your motivation: affirmation. Ask your friends/husband for affirmation in your job so you can continue to be effective in your work. Affirm yourself too! It’s good to do this by remembering the promises of God and seeing how they are being carried out in your life. If you need further motivation, tyr a program to guide you (like Flylady!)
• ‘C’ Style: super detail oriented, loving structure and quality. You are a natural organizer, though this can lead to criticism and perfectionism. You seek facts and want the most systematic way to get things done. Your motivation? Structure. Set some realistic expectations, shoot for excellence in all you do (but not absolute perfectionism) and be satisfied in the end product.
Try out some styles and motivators if you are not exactly sure with which catefory you fall into! It’s worth the effort.
Day 19 is about finding our joy in a self-disciplined life. How do you do that? By seeing the accomplishments of living a self-disciplined/self-controlled life. It results in peace instead of chaos.
Here are six tips you can take with you for leading a self-disciplined life:
1. Commitment—submission to the Spirit is one way of opening yourself up this practice. It is a fruit of the Spirit that God is willing to give us if we loosen up our control and commit ourselves to God’s molding and changing us.
2. Set up and complete goals-- start small and realistic so you can see your goals be accomplished, thus spurring you on to endure in this practice. Take one step at a time and tons of grace!
3. Do what you say you will do—integrity and trustworthiness forms the foundations to your walk in self-discipline.
4. Learn to say no—if it interferes with your main priorities, it will end up just stressing you out unnecessarily. Pray about the opportunities that come your way. Sometimes they can be said yes to, but if you know you can’t manage, you should practice saying no gracefully. You will find you have more free time to manage your priorities more effectively!
5. Learn to say no—if it interferes with your main priorities, it will end up just stressing you out unnecessarily. Pray about the opportunities that come your way. Sometimes they can be said yes to, but if you know you can’t manage, you should practice saying no gracefully. You will find you have more free time to manage your priorities more effectively!
5. Practice—Yes, you have heard it many times: practice makes perfect! And it takes hard work. So learn to endure with your goals by starting small and pressing on, one day at a time.
6. And DON’T GIVE UP!
“ 9Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."—Joshua 1:9
For this is our goal:
“22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”—Galations 5:22-23
I hope these encourage you to keep pressing on to form these practices in your life! There is fruit in the end if you trust and endure.
Now on to the weekend!
On Friday night, we went on a picnic with friends to Eklutna Lake. We took two other couples (the Hasslers and the Adams) and our two crazy dogs: Eli and Hank! Here are some amazing pictures Andrew took of them playing in the freezing cold water!