Wednesday, July 7, 2010

From Surviving on Autopilot to Living with Purpose

I just got back from a much needed getaway to Houston and Galveston with my sweet husband. We were celebrating our 9Th anniversary. It was a very relaxing and fun trip. Not only did Justin and I enjoy our time together, I really did some soul searching and realized some things about myself and my life. It's so easy to go through life as a busy mom and wife and put your spiritual walk on "autopilot." I know I've been coasting for quite some time now and I see how it has negatively impacted my life and those whom I love dearly. I've realized that I've been living my life in survival mode, looking forward to the end of the day when all the arguing, cleaning, cooking, explaining, working, fixing, and breaking comes to an end and the kids are in bed. I look at the day as something to get through instead of something to enjoy and look forward to. I've been living as a grouchy babysitter/maid which in turn produces grouchy non-compliant children. The vicious cycle continues. I can change it by becoming the loving, nurturing mother and wife who works daily to create a warm, fun, relaxing home for her family. My frustration and anger over my job as a homemaker just makes me resent those I love and puts me on the defense every time. Simply changing my attitude makes all the difference. When I do, I'm suddenly on the sidelines cheering my family on instead of suited up on the opposing team with a snarl on my face, digging my heals in the ground. My attitude is crucial to the tone of my home. If I'm cheerfully giving and serving, they are happily receiving and then I can maintain peace and avoid war. Now, for how I got there, it wasn't easy or fun, but completely worth it. I had to admit that my attitude is what needed to change and then had to change my goal. Instead of only looking forward to the end of the day, I now look forward to the beginning, too. I had to confess to the Lord that I was not living for Him, I was living for myself and ask him to change that in me. I now desire to live in Him and serve my family as He would want me to. I'm retraining myself on my parenting skills and having to retrain my kids, as well. The process is just beginning and has been challenging, but I know the harmony of my family will be better for it.

This also really applies to so many other aspects of my life. I have always longed to lose a lot of weight and be more attractive to my husband. I go through seasons of working very hard to get my weight off by dieting and exercising, envying all the pretty skinny women I know personally or see on TV. I get frustrated, I get stressed and I eat to "feel better". A similar cycle begins. Here, again, I simply need to change my attitude and my goal towards my weight and my body. Instead of my goal being to look good for my husband, my goal should be to keep God's temple holy and healthy and in optimum shape to serve others. As long as I'm exercising consistently and being good to my body when it comes to food, I will automatically be attractive to my husband and I will feel good about myself knowing that I'm actively working to improve myself and my health. Losing weight and looking better are no longer the goal or the focus. As many diets as I've tried, I could write my own diet book, but it all boils down to one thing-eating balanced small meals throughout the day. I can make those good choices easier when food is merely fuel not therapy.

There are many other ways this may apply to our lives...finances, marriage, relationships, jobs etc.......Regardless, I know that it all starts with admitting that your attitude needs to change and asking God to give you the desire to live for Him and not for yourself. After all, that's what we did when we gave our lives to Christ anyway. We made the decision to live for Him and not for ourselves from that point on. It's easy to fall into the trap of worldly treasures and luxury and it may take years to recognize that we are stuck. Once we do, we can celebrate our lives of purpose, fulfillment, and blessings and live the life we were born to live as disciples of Jesus Christ.

"Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and dust doth corrupt, and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust destroys or thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" Matthew 6:19-21

"Strength and honor are her clothing; She shall rejoice in time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness. She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her....Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised." Proverbs 31:25-30