I am so excited to give you an update on conquering my #1 struggle!! Do you remember that post?
I basically shared with you three areas of my life I am struggling in right now. And those struggles are all basically a result of one basic problem I have…lack of discipline.
Your comments meant so much to me! They were encouraging and genuine. It seems that many of you have the same struggles that I have. They made me feel not alone. And I am praying that we can be an encouragement to each other! I don’t have all of the answers, but I am hoping that I can share things I am doing, and you can share with me some of the things you are doing, and we can lift each other up along the way. WE CAN DO THIS!!
Ever since that post, I have been taking this discipline problem super serious! And I have good news! I am doing better!! :)
There are three main changes that I have made to help me out in each area of my life that I am struggling in.
First Struggle: Discipline in my time with God.
So here is what I have been doing…Each night before I go to bed, I place my journal and bible on top of my laptop in my office, to remind me to read the bible and pray before working on my computer. I’m an early riser, so I have been getting up between 5:00 and 5:30 every morning to spend time in God’s word. That time works good for me because all of the kiddos are still sleeping. If you are not an early riser, maybe you can designate time at lunch, or before bedtime to spend time with God. The key is to find a good time FOR YOU and commit to it.
Spending time with God is the most important thing I do each day. I tell myself, “it’s not a choice,” when my alarms goes off and I want to hit snooze. Truthfully, it IS a choice. I can choose not to spend time in God’s word. HOWEVER, if I want a peace in my heart that only God can give, if I want my life to have purpose and meaning, if I want to be more like Him and grow closer to him….then it’s not a choice. I can’t expect to feel close to God or live a purpose-filled life if I just show up at church once a week and listen to the preacher. I wish it was that easy, but it doesn’t work that way. Trust me, I know from experience.
I read the coolest thing in my quiet time this morning. It summed up how I am feeling right now. It was from “Jesus Calling.”
What caught my attention is where it says that “a mind that is unfocused…” Being undisciplined feels like being unfocused, and that makes me vulnerable. Vulnerable to an unhealthy thought process which can bring me down and cause me to be confused and directionless…..basically undisciplined. I don’t want that!! I want to refocus my heart and mind on HIM! That’s the key, friends! ;)
There is something I do during my quiet time that I absolutely LOVE. I have my phone with me in my office, and I use my Pandora app to listen to instrumental hymns while I am writing in my journal. Now, you may not like that, but listening to old hymns and praise music just sets my heart right for spending time with God. So many of my favorite old hymns come on, and I start singing them in my head while I listen to the music. It’s also a way for me to praise God during that time. You can’t help but praise Him when you are singing “How Great thou Art” or “Victory in Jesus.” :)
Earlier this year, I made some videos to show you how I do my quiet time. If you want to see how I use a journal for my quiet time, click HERE.
Second Struggle: Discipline in my Blog (job) Responsibilites
SO, I have been working really hard at being more disciplined in my work time, and I have basically done one thing that has helped me a lot. It’s not rocket-science. It’s probably want every disciplined person in America does, and it is something I used to do religiously in college, I create a to-do list for the next day.
Okay, so you are probably thinking, “Duh, Traci!” I know. I know.
It’s so simple, but it is something I wasn’t doing. I’m so tired at night that I just want to go to bed. And then I lay there thinking about all of the stuff I have to do the next day, and I am scared I am going to forget something, and then I am stressed because I don’t think I can get it all done.
Well, not anymore. If I forget to make my to-do list before bedtime, I get my butt out of bed and make it. It only takes a few minutes, but I make a list of 4 to 5 work-related things I need to do the next day. I also add any errands or chores that I need to do on the bottom. It makes me feel so much better. :)
This past week, I have been laying the notepad and pen by my bed. If I remember something I forgot to put on my list, I can add it real quickly, and I don’t have to worry about forgetting to do it the next day! BOOM!
Third Struggle: Discipline with My Eating Habits!
Y’all! Truthfully, this is my hardest struggle, but I AM CONQUERING IT!!! :)
I have not had a COKE in 11 days!! DID YOU HEAR ME?!! That is as miraculous as the parting of the red sea, y’all! I seriously do not remember the last time I have gone that long without a coke, maybe preschool?
Also, I have LOST 5 POUNDS! Whoop!! :) And I am going to be loosing more!
How, you ask? :)
Well, Cy and I started a program called Advocare 24 Day Challenge the Monday before last. We have several friends that have used this program and had great success, so we decided to try it. I am so glad we did!!! Cy is too!
I truly feel the best I have felt in a long time! Besides loosing five pounds, I have more energy and feel more focused. It truly feels life changing! Yesterday, I was helping my dad build a door for our chicken coop, and I can honestly say that it was the first time I have felt like myself in a LONG time. (Btw, isn’t my dad the cutest! BEST DAD EVER!!)
Last fall, I was on the Medifast program and lost 20 pounds. I was so excited! But when I got off the program, I gained the 20 back, plus 10 more. ugh.
What I am enjoying about Advocare is that I am eating REAL FOOD every day! I have basically been eating delicious, satisfying CLEAN food for a week and a half, and I am going to keep it up. Nothing processed. Yay!
And the best part, I have felt FULL the WHOLE time! Seriously, y’all! I can’t believe how I have not craved food or felt like I am starving all of the time on this plan.
Our whole family is benefiting from Advocare! Make sure you are sitting down for what I am about to share….
I have cooked dinner 9 out of the past 11 days! I know!!!! My husband thinks he is having an affair with another woman!
Here is the next thing that might make you faint…..I have actually enjoyed cooking! OH my gosh…Who am I?
We have sat down at the table and eaten good, healthy, clean meals together, and we have all loved it. And eating dinners together at home has satisfied another part of my heart. The part that wants to simply things in my life and focus on what matters most.
I took “before” pictures on the day I started Advocare, and if I am brave enough, I hope to share the “before and after” pictures with you at the end of this challenge. I’m looking forward to the results, and Cy and I are both planning on remaining on the program after the 24 Day Challenge. This is becoming a life-style change for us, and I am so excited about it! It definitely helps for Cy to be doing it with me.
So there you have it!
That’s where I am right now. I am taking baby steps to being more disciplined. I don’t have it all figured out yet, but I definitely feel like I am headed in the right direction right now.