I am Disciplined and Self-Controlled.

 It is that time. Time for a new power thought from Joyce Meyer’s book Power Thoughts

I am one of those people.  One of those people who is always trying to lose weight, get in an exercise routine, get things done at night, drink more water, say only kind things, focus on uplifting thoughts, and keep the house tidy.  I am one of those people who has really good intentions, and then ends up eating the chocolate cake, skipping the exercise, spending the evening plopped on the couch, drinking too much coffee, saying things I shouldn’t, letting my mind wander and letting the house go.  My intentions are good, but in the past, I haven’t exercised much discipline.

There are areas in my life where I am very disciplined—I get up the second the alarm beeps every morning, I work hard at my job, I pay my bills on time, I take my contacts out every night, I send birthday cards on time, I feed and water the dog at the same time every day, I fix dinner for my husband every night and do the dishes right away.  I prepare our lunches and the coffee pot the night before…  So…I know I am disciplined…I just need to exercise it in a few more areas.

After a day of feeling very undisciplined in my eating, and pretty discouraged in general, imagine how timely it was to flip open to this week’s Power Thought:  I am disciplined and self-controlled.  The first step in being disciplined and self-controlled is believing that I am.  If I don’t I am disciplined, I won’t be.  God’s word says I am disciplined and self-controlled and that is the kind of behavior he expects from me.  This week, I am committed to adding new disciplines to my life, and I thank God for Power Thought #11.  I am disciplined and self-controlled.

3 Ways Be Present & Enjoy Life

Here we go.  Another week.  Another powerful thought. 

Reading the chapter in Joyce Meyer’s Power Thoughts on Power Thought #10:  I live in the present and enjoy each moment, brought to mind my Grandma.  She is 85 years old, and every morning, she says, “This is that day that the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24).  Grandma also told me once many years ago that when she goes to bed, before she falls asleep, she thinks of one work thing she wants to accomplish the next day, and one fun thing.  Grandma has had this all figure out for a while—we are meant to enjoy this life God has given us, and that is much easier to do when we live balanced lives.

     There are three other big lessons for me in this power thought.

  1. Enjoy the mundane. 

I think this is an awesome lesson because frankly, much of life is made up of mundane tasks—getting dressed, brushing teeth, grocery shopping, driving, paying bills, doing laundry, running errands, returning phone calls—you get the idea.  These activities take up a huge amount of time every day and every week.  If we see them as “stuff I have to get done,” they are not going to be enjoyable.  If we focus on the moment with gratitude, we can enjoy even the most tedious tasks.  I am thankful for hot water for baths, thankful for clothes to wear, thankful for money in the bank to pay the bills, and so on.

  1. Enjoy your work. 

If you separate your life into work, which is a have-to and a drag, and time off, which fun and what you look forward to, it’s going to be difficult to enjoy all of your life.  We spend so much time working; we must make up our minds to create fun in our work. 

  1. Don’t wait to enjoy your life.

I don’t consciously put off enjoying my life.  Yet, certain thoughts and attitudes creep into my mind:  I will enjoy life when:  when I have a better job, when I lose 20 pounds, when the house is looking better, when my commute is shorter, when the weather is warmer, when everything’s paid off.  There will always be those things that exist in some hazy idea we have about our future—that time when we will finally allow ourselves to enjoy life…but then, new things always pop up, and enjoying life gets put off again.  Let’s stop with the conditions that begin with “when.”  Let’s start enjoying every moment of life today!

Power Thought 7: I Am Content and Emotionally Stable

     I am ready for Power Thought 7:  I am content and emotionally stable.  Tha means I am also half way through the program.  At this point, I think to tweak my methods a little.  I spend a lot of time every week making an abundance of signs with my Crayola markers and the posting the new power thought all over the place.  I don’t really see the signs that much, except for the one that is posted on the fridge, but it’s gotten to be a habit.  The one thing that I really want to do more of and haven’t since the first week, is to take time and meditate and write about the week’s power thought and how I can apply it to my life.

This week’s power thought is:  I am content and emotionally stable.  Joyce Meyer’s shares some practical ways to make this thought a part of your life in her book Power Thoughts  and the chapter devoted to this particular idea. 

One good thing to do is to keep a list of all of your blessings–a long list of everything you are thankful for.  I have started a list, and I hope to reread it and add to it through the week. 

I also can practice the power of “thank you”–that means being thankful in all circumstances, and focusing on the blessings, and what is going right instead of what is going wrong.  This kind of thinking creates contentment and stability. 

I am also thinking about specific areas in my life where I tend to get discontent and instable–for me this happens mainly internally.  I get impatient or frustrated with myself.  I am not content with my progress.  I get down on myself or upset about situations in my life.  I want to be more secure and I want to treat myself kindly, and remain calm in all circumstances!  Yes, those are very big goals.  I am going to begin to work toward them this week, and I will get there.

So, no big markered poster board signs this week; instead I have renewed my committment.  I will renew my mind.  I will renew my mind this week with Power Thought 7 in particular:  I am content and emotinally stable.

My Struggle with Worry/Power Thought #6

 

Today is my last official day of focusing on power thought #6: I trust God completely; there is no need to worry.  Boy did this week ever test me on that power thought.  I was stuck inside Saturday and Sunday, and had to miss a sewing class I had signed up for and already paid for.  We seemed to lose a calf a day for several days—calves that had been born during the previous week’s blizzard.  I hit a friend’s car in the parking lot.  I tried to catch up on a week’s worth of classes and grading.  My teaching was observed.  My step dad was in the hospital.  My mother had a cancer screening to see if she is still cancer free, and I celebrated my hubby’s birthday.  Yes, that really did all happen this week. 

Was tempted to worry?  Oh, yes.  I was tempted to worry about how I was going to get out with the roads so bad, how I would get to work, losing calves and money, making up the sewing class I missed, how to pay for the repairs on the friend’s car, how I would ever have enough time to get caught up on grading, whether I was doing a good job teaching, what was wrong with my step dad, would my mom be cancer free, would the apple cobbler I made hubby taste okay and would he like his birthday presents?

I was far from successful with Power Thought #6.  I think it did help me a lot though—especially if I was having trouble getting my mind calm enough to sleep or I started to dwell on and reason through a situation, I would stop and say, “I trust God completely; there is no need to worry.”  I know this is a thought I will need to work with much, much more, in order to renew my mind, and really believe it.

No Worrying! Trust God & Be Happy!

I always get excited on Friday, knowing that I have a new Power Thought to look forward to on Saturday.  I like to prepare on Friday.  I reread the appropriate chapter in the Joyce Meyer book Power Thoughts and I write out answers to all of the “think about it” questions in the book.  I write down the scriptures that go with the power thought, and I use my Crayola markers to make new signs to post around the house.  It has become a weekly ritual.  My husband always notices when I “change the signs.” 

Last week’s power thought was this:  I love people and I enjoy helping them.  While other power thoughts may help me in overcoming my negative thinking, this one was definitely the most fun so far.  I am trying to put more thought into being a blessing, and I have already learned that when I really set my mind to the idea, I get all kinds of creative inspiration for ways to bless people.  I plan to continue asking God each morning for someone to bless, and what to do for that person.  It’s fun!

Now, it is time to move on to power thought #6:  I trust God completely; there is no need to worry.  This one is huge for me.  I chose “trusting God” as my “word(s) of the year” because I felt that the single thing that robbed my joy most was worry.  I realized that trusting God is the opposite of worry, so that is why it is my theme for 2011.  I am excited to have the opportunity, and the inspiration from the book, to put all of my focus on trusting God instead of worrying.

This has been a challenging week for those with a tendency to worry (me).  We had a blizzard, new heifers calving during the blizzard, impassable roads, and lots of work/classes missed.  In fact today is my fourth snow day/full day in the house.  I had to cancel my classes again today because I simply cannot get out.  Our roads have not been plowed.  Clearly, there is nothing in my power to change the situation, and yet, there is still a temptation to worry about my classes, my job, missing school, falling behind, etc.  Instead, I keep reminding myself that I have done everything I can do.  This one is beyond my control.  I just keep saying over and over again, “Lord, I trust you with ____________,” according to the specific situation.  This practice is restoring my peace of mind, and enabling me to enjoy the day that I have, at home in the house.

This week, let’s all practice saying and thinking:  I trust God completely; there is no need to worry.

God’s Unconditional Love–What does it mean?

     I have had some difficulty with the second Power Thought, God Loves Me Unconditionally.  I attribute this to living in a world where we are flippantly reminded of God’s love constantly, but in a way that is very superficial.  We may see “God (Hearts) You! on buttons, grafiti, and tee shirts.  We may say it, hear it, and never really think about it.  In this next post, I tried to go beneath the surface and really consider what God’s unconditional love means for me.

  1. My performance has been canceled.  God is pleased with who I am.  Even when I make mistakes, God is pleased with who I am.  He may not like everything I do, but he knows that I have weaknesses.  He is faithful and lovingly corrects me because he wants me to overcome and to enjoy life.  He wants me to enjoy his salvation.  God is not frustrated with me.  God’s patience with me is endless because of his unconditional love.  God loves me and accepts me just as I am, in this moment.  There is nothing wrong with me, and there is nothing wrong about me.  God has made me right and literally transformed into righteousness in Jesus.  God wants me to do what is good and right, but he doesn’t love me more when I do.  He doesn’t love me less when I mess up.  Even when I make the same mistake a zillion times, God is still patient and his love for me, his joy in me, and the song he sings over me—never stops.
  2. I love myself unconditionally and don’t compare myself to others.  I believe that because God loves me unconditionally that he wants me to love myself unconditionally as well.  This means that I am not hard on myself.  I am easy on myself.  I give myself grace and treat myself with kindness and patience no matter what happens.  God is in the process of changing me and helping me to overcome my faults, mistakes, and sins.  I am patient with myself through this process and treat myself with gentleness.  Nothing is accomplished by being mean to myself, feeling guilty or punishing myself.  I am always God’s child—not just when I am doing everything right.  God created me unique.  I am incomparable to any other person.  Comparing myself to others is like comparing apples and oranges; not only do comparisons lead to despair and sadness, they just don’t make sense.
  3. God is not mad at me.  I am reconciled to God.  We are intimate and communicate often.  We are close.  He is not angry with me.  He is completely satisfied with who I am and pleased with who I am.
  4. My hope and all of my expectations are in God.  When I think about the fact that I am special and precious to God, every other circumstance and situation falls away—it’s like the rest of the world is only two-dimensional, and the only thing that’s real is God’s love and acceptance.  I feel precious and special.  I see and know that my life is good.  God’s hand is in everything that happens to me to bring about good and blessing for me, his special, precious child.  I feel God’s constant attention and care.  I feel like an insider—like I have been invited into a secret room at God’s house, and never have to leave.  This unconditional love gives me a confidence, like I can expect and know that I will receive favor.  Not all people will love me unconditionally—or even at all.  Sometimes, the way a person or loved one responds to me makes me think there is something wrong with me.  Then, I remember that God says there is nothing wrong with me.  I am special and precious.  If others don’t see this—it is because of something in them, not in me.  I do not depend on the reactions and acceptance of others to know my value and worth.  God is excited about who I am.  My hope and my expectation come from God.  He never has disappointed me, and He never will.