I’ve been gluten-free since last summer. I went dairy-free the first of this year. I recently started getting back into the routine of exercising four to five times a week, and I’m making every effort to read and crochet each day. In addition to my daily quiet time, I’ve started taking a “time out” several times a day to read some Psalms and pray. In the past few weeks, I’ve drastically reduced my sugar consumption.
Yes, my life looks much different from many people’s. Some of these decisions I made for my physical health. Some of these decisions I made for my mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Following the culture hasn’t worked for me. I needed a change.
The thing about change is that it’s uncomfortable. It’s hard to learn a new way of eating, to rearrange your schedule to accommodate exercise, to stop throughout the day to pause and remember that God is in your day with you and you’re not alone. It makes me uncomfortable to have to ask for the manager every time I enter a restaurant (in addition to being dairy- and gluten-free, I also have a life-threatening allergy to another food) and to demand (nicely, of course) that they take appropriate steps to keep me safe. I don’t particularly appreciate the discomfort involved in exercise and the soreness that accompanies working out.
I do, however, like the results of all of these changes. That’s why I continue to press forward with my plans.
The longer I do these things, the more they become habits, part of the dailiness of my life, the more I embrace them because they’re good for me and because I feel better when I do them.
They become my “new normal.” After a while, they don’t feel new anymore. They just feel normal. Explaining why I do what I do seems less embarrassing and more matter of course. It’s just what I do.
If you’re trying to make big changes in your life, start with one thing at a time. Don’t try to make all of them at once. When one change begins to feel normal, start another one.
There’s no way to tell exactly how long it will take for you to feel “normal” about the changes you’re making. It depends on your personality and the magnitude of the change you’re making. Give yourself grace. Embrace the change, knowing that it will eventually feel normal.
I’m the queen of keeping things comfortable and familiar. Change is difficult and scary for me. If I can do this, you can too. As a wise friend told me last week, “Just do the next right thing.” That’s how you change your life.
I can’t tell you how many times in the last few weeks I have typed or uttered the words, “Today was awful”, “I’ve had a couple of bad days” or “It’s one of those days/weeks.” I’m so burnt out on it. It’s not even funny. And if I hear or read myself say it again, I might just scream.
Things out of my control happen, I know. I can’t change that, but I’m just done with admitting that negativity is controlling me and allowing myself to feel down because of it.
Some days my chronic pain is out of control, the kids have lost their marbles and are jumping off the walls, the toddler has made it clear she is over wearing diapers and sends a clear message by taking off her diaper during nap time and dumping it all over her crib, my kindergartener doesn’t want to sit and learn and I feel like he’s not listening to a single word I say, and to top it all off: our couch and plumbing give out at the same time.
So, instead of sitting and whining out a complaint, I’m going to list some good things to counteract these things. (You know, back to that whole “Look on the sunny side” thing. Gotta love Polly Anna! (And my Grandma instilling it me.) It’s time to get back on track.
There are few things I can do about my pain. When it is present, I have to learn to manage it the best I can and continue with my day. Moaning “Woe is me” does nothing. I will continue to praise my risen Savior and carry my faith that when the time is right he will heal me.
Now here I am, determined. I will make the best out of each situation. However, that doesn’t mean that I’m not going to cry out to God and beg:
“Please, please help! I can’t do ALL of this on my own and pretend to keep my sanity. Give me strength and lighten the load. I raise my hands to You, and give You all the praise! Thank You for Your mercy, kindness, never-ending love, and ever presence. I love You so much, Jesus. Thank You for all of Your many blessings. Your will be done, Amen.”
Putting it all in to action: No more claiming bad days and weeks are keeping me down. After all, life with 3 kids 5 & under that were born within 3 years? What do I really expect. 😉 And there is nothing I can do about my older children remaining at their Dad’s house out-of-state. Might as well make the best of it and enjoy it while it’s here! Right?
What do you do to bring yourself out of a “funk” or string of “those weeks”? I’d love to know!
Lately I’ve been reading (when I’m able to find time) The Good Wife’s Guide by Darlene Schacht who blogs over at Time-Warp Wife. (Expect a review from Emily or myself soon!) For some time I’ve wanted to make a lot of changes in my day to day life that she points out in this book, but haven’t done it. Why? Probably because of 2 things. 1, I’m lazy. 2, I HATE change.
2 months ago we moved into our home. We’re still not fully unpacked. Homeschool still hasn’t resumed. (We will be resuming Monday though, come hell or high water!) And life is just still in a transitional phase that I’m flat out sick of.
To say I’m overwhelmed would be an understatement.
One of the things that Darlene mentions in her book is to force yourself to go to bed early and rise early in order to get more done… even if you’re a night owl. DING DING DING! That’s me! I need to do that!
I can’t imagine what all I would be able to do if I were to get out of bed 2 hours before my kids. The cleaning, the lesson planning, breakfast ready… but most importantly quiet time with the Lord before I start the day.
Starting tonight, I’m going to bed early. I’m not excited about it, but it has to be done. I’m going to get out of bed before the kids in the morning and see how much I can do. I’ll post tomorrow how it went. Pray that it works!
Have you ever had to make a change you weren’t fond of for the sake of your family routine? Share with us!
A lot of women, have a severe case of “Rearranger-itis.” This is a disease that occurs in people who constantly feel the need to change things around. My sister, Karen, is one of those women. I’ve often heard of women accidentally causing pain to their husbands after rearranging their homes, especially their bedrooms. It may not be the woman herself inflicting the pain, but the objects she has decided to move around. When her husband wakes up, he runs into everything trying to get to the bathroom, stubbing his toe, banging his knee, etc.
I believe there are times in our lives that God gets “Rearranger-itis” and we become like the hurting husband. God will move things around in our lives to the way He wants them to be. He’ll bring about change and newness. Before we know it, we begin to stub our toe and cry, “Ouch!” Why? Because we have become accustomed to how things used to be or how we consider things are “supposed” to be. We continue to try to take the same old route to the bathroom, when in actuality, we have to make a change, as well.
We have to realize that when God rearranges our lives, He does it for a specific purpose, and it’s time for a new route. We can’t stay on that same old path. Maybe the old route led us astray. Maybe it took us to places or people that cause us pain or bring us down. Whatever it may have been, God changed it for a reason. If we don’t follow the route He has mapped out for us, we’ll just keeping walking into the same junk from before. He doesn’t want that for us. He knows exactly what’s best for us and He will always take care of us. We just need to trust Him.
Have you banged your elbow lately on a shelf that didn’t used to be there? Have you stubbed your toe on a recently moved dresser? What I really mean is, are you still trying to get through life walking on the same path you’ve always taken, even though God has moved things around for you? Let’s take a look at ourselves, our lives, our purpose….and if need be, let’s take a new route. Oh, and as long as we’re following His lead, we’ll never get lost.
“You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”- Psalm 16:11
Ever feel like God has plucked you up from where you were and put you in a completely different place? Somewhere unfamiliar, exciting, scary, and wonderful?
That’s my life. Right now.
Every aspect of my life has changed in the last few months. I’m a completely different person. My priorities are different than the were. My dreams have changed.
Everything. Has. Changed.
I am not at all who I was. (All good things, don’t worry!)
Months ago I stated that I felt as though I was expecting. And here it is, the birth of the new life God has for me. But what’s next? And can I handle all of this?
I know he’s not done, so I’m hoping he gives me a little confidence in all of this. Right now, I’m a wee bit overwhelmed. Mostly with excitement, but overwhelmed none the less.
A new season has come, and another has gone. One thing I do know: God has it all under control and knows what he is doing. So I just need to shut up, listen, and do what he says.
Trust, what a concept, huh?
11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.14 I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.
Jeremiah 29:11-14 NKJV