Do you ever feel like just as soon as you get focused, serious and on purpose, life happens in the worst way and it’s like you’re back at ground zero in chaos? You finally get a promotion or pay increase and an unexpected tax bill arrives or medical procedure or even the dang car breaks down. It just feels like the universe is constantly challenging your sanity, patience, and love. Or is it just me?
I feel super jazzed to be finally consistently vlogging, then I realize I am not blogging. I finally plan my life in a manageable way that is not overwhelming and seems harmonious with my family and faith and there’s not one but TWO hurricanes that shut down the state and of course my awesome, harmonious schedule. I am finally getting consistent with working out at the gym and my subscription to my workout trainer program expires because my auto renewal failed. All these things I do to earn money and I have zero customers and zero commission. I just can’t find the break to catch it. But still, I press on.
I have decided all of this is exactly as the Word says: character building, faith building and to draw my focus off myself and back to the Lord from where all my help comes. It is very challenging to take the everyday stresses of life: marriage, parenting, and politics and say I will not be distressed about tomorrow because Jesus will take care of it. I mean it is easy to say it, it is challenging to really live out. The truth is that when I am able to believe the verses 25-34 of Matthew chapter 6, I find such strength and encouragement for my situation. Honestly, it’s pretty much how I make it moment to moment with a positive attitude.
Attitude is important on an airplane, it is the orientation (basically where the nose and wings are) of the aircraft relative to the horizon or flight path; if the nose is down, the aircraft is going down. Well if that isn’t exactly how it is I don’t know what is. A poor attitude brings not only the person down but also everyone around. My biggest challenge these days is my attitude. I feel easily triggered and frequently emotional. How can I help someone if I am an emotional roller coaster? I can’t. That’s why the management of attitude is important. I want to help people. It’s all perspective. I can see the glass half full of water or equally full of water and air. My attitude will determine my altitude.
Routines are helpful. Boring at first and troublesome even to establish because they take me away from the spontaneous chaos I am so used to. They humble me into accountability to myself and my goals and they develop in me a discipline to the best actions before the fun ones. Oh but how things become fun once the routine has begun and the benefits are being exposed. My best example of this, is of course, the gym. When I first began going to the gym I went sporadically, late at night and had no plan other than cardio for 30 to 60 minutes. Needless to say, I didn’t really enjoy going. I felt intimidated by healthier physiques and insecure in my lack of knowledge about weights. But still, I pressed on.
Since those early years, I’ve grown. I have once again begun attending the gym more consistently and during daylight hours now. I bring a notebook with the days’ exercises written down and a pen to record the reps, weights, sets completed. I read the machines for instruction without shame and I will even ask one of the gyms trainers questions if I see they’re available between clients. I am a regular gym rat now! The benefit doesn’t stop there. My body physique is changing! I am so in love with the results but I’ve also found thinking during my workout to be helpful in producing good feelings. I have literally walked out of the gym after workout sore but dancing because I just felt… HAPPY!
There is only one way I found that allows a positive perspective even during the most troubling times. Focusing on the Lord. Are usually look inward to see what I may be doing that separates me from Jesus and they focus on his word to help me get strength to overcome Philippians 4:8 I have found consistently, that reading the Bible daily, praying-mostly giving thanks for what I have and asking to love people more instead of getting caught up in negativity and listening to gospel music helps. Or use devotional books to give me some guidance in my Bible reading. I have found that having different devotionals to read has helped me to realize when the Holy Spirit is giving me discernment about something. I have playlists that are at least an hour long on Spotify and iTunes. (you can check them out) This usually helps me when driving since I have been working on road rage behavior. I try to pray at least in the morning, with my kids and always after spending time in the Word. These little opportunities to be in the Lord’s presence helps tremendously more than I realize but as I reflect I can see the difference and I am thankful.
While I cannot control the day or the outcome of everything, I am learning that success hides in daily activity and a positive perspective. Negative thoughts, mean-spirited people and just all-around crappy days happen, my goal is to take it as it comes, quickly get back to Jesus about it, whatever “it” is, and to trust that “it” will work for my good and His glory. It may sound corny if you don’t know Jesus but I can assure you, you will experience a peace that surpasses understanding if you:
- are open to character development
- keep steadfast FOCUS on Jesus
- accept that obedience to routine is humbling
- exercise to help release feel-good hormones
- pray and read your Bible expecting divine peace
- meditate on what is honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, worthy of praise
- give yourself time
- be persistent and
- be consistent
This is the best plan I have ever had, experienced and found victory with.
It’s amazing what a win feels like when it when it was a personal battle of faith that you pressed on through. It’s like no other and it can make you greedy for another. Perhaps that’s why the word encourages us with Psalm 34:8 Taste and see that the Lord is good.
Until next time friends, keep pressing on!