I admit it - I have no self-discipline. I really, really don't. What I DO have are a lot of good intentions that never bloom into actions. I suppose it is part and parcel with being a dreamer - you tend to live with your head in the clouds and actually putting your feet on the path doesn't happen by chance.
However, since my New Year's theme is being intentional, that would include some self-discipline. The big one for me is getting up earlier. A few weeks ago, I was flying high over getting up early and writing for an hour. It felt GREAT!
Guess what? I haven't done that in over a week. I have good intentions, but as morning rolls around and I am lying in my snug, warm bed, I start to rationalize how I can stay there longer and still get things done. Of course, this never happens. I get up late and am immediately behind on my to-do list. I cut my exercising short and then reason with myself that I can do my writing later in the day. Does it really matter when that hour happens? The problem is that the writing hour gets shoved later and later until finally, it is bedtime and I think I'll just do better tomorrow.
But tomorrow never comes.
At the moment, I feel like I am in a holding pattern, and I really, truly believe that God is waiting (patiently, I might add) for me to start obeying Him in this area. It's like He's saying, "I really can't move you forward on this path until you actually set your feet on the road already!" Is a warm bed really more important than that?
There are other reasons I need to get up earlier which was brought home to me this morning as I was shaking the lone box of cereal left in the cupboard - keep in mind I bought FIVE boxes of cereal just four days ago. It occured to me that my kids really needed to eat something besides cereal in the mornings. I am trying to cut our grocery bill down and buying a truckload of cereal is just not going to accomplish that, kwim.
My husband is a lovely man - he is also a morning person. He gets up and feeds the boys breakfast. I am usually just getting out of bed as they leave for school with their dad in the mornings at 7 a.m.
I was thinking today that our breakfast habits need to change or rather THEIR breakfast habits needed to change. But was it really fair to ask my husband to start making eggs and French toast in the morning? The answer is no.
So, yet another reason to haul my heiny out of beds in the morning. I was whining to God about this in my quiet time yesterday. "God, You know I am not a morning person. I am just setting myself up for failure by setting this impossible goal. Surely, surely, you are not asking me to do this!"
His answer came from Beth Moore. No, I'm not pals with her and she did not email me her wisdom. I was just listening to her message on "Pressing Through Fear" last night before bedtime. She read the verse 2 Tim. 1:7 and it was like a thunder bolt: "For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline."
I've heard that verse a lot, and I have even used it to combat fearfulness. When I feel baseless fears (or even fears with some basis), I know that is not from God. But I completely missed the last part of it because I was focusing on what God had NOT given me - a spirit of timidity (or to accurately translate it - a spirit of cowardice).
But listen to what He HAS given me: power, love and discipline. I decided to look those words up in the original Greek (yes, I know that makes me a geek). Power is the word dynamus from which we get our word dynamite. (I thought this particularly appropriate since it will take dynamite to get me out of bed in the mornings). Love is agape which we are all familiar with - unconditional love. And discipline or as some translations put it "sound mind" is translated as self-control or self-discipline.
In my own power, I don't ever think I'll be a morning person. With the power God gives me, I can exercise self-discipline and get myself out of bed.
Hey, with God all things are possible - even turning a night owl into an early bird.
~ Blessings, Bronte