What can a woman do if she just doesn’t quit? If the Lord is in it, just about anything. When I was young, I was expert in starting things and not finishing them. The Lord has taught me many lessons in persevering, in discipline and in doing the next thing. I definitely haven’t arrived. Sometimes I balk, and complain. But, at other times, I am like a horse with blinders on, and can do pretty well by just putting one foot in front of the other, and not getting distracted.
I’ve learned a lot from others and I recommend reading books on organization, discipline, time management and obedience to the Lord. (“Sidetracked Home Executives” by Pam Young and Peggy Jones, “Disciplines of a Beautiful Woman” by Anne Ortlund, “Shaping of A Christian Family” by Elisabeth Elliot, and Julie McKim’s seminar on “Home and Time Management” have been life-changing for me!) As a visual learner, I’ve also been inspired by being in friends’ organized homes and seeing storage and decorating ideas online!
The last three months, I’ve been working a little here and there and am continuing to make progress on organizing and decluttering! These verses mean a lot to me:
1Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Don’t Let Your Possessions Trip You Up
I’m sure you’ve heard it said that life is not a sprint, but a marathon. Possessions have the potential to weigh me down and trip me up as I attempt to run this race of life. Looking around my house and seeing so many “things” and having to clean and find a place to put them, literally tripping over them, walking around them, it begins to feel like there’s a millstone around my neck, and chains around my ankles, weighing me down and keeping me from being a contented wife and mother, used of Him. My brain becomes befuddled, and I can’t think, and I get stressed out.
At the beginning of this year God prompted me to focus on two “houses.” To turn my attention home, and get my house in order! First, the physical structure where my family lives, this rambler walkout with 4 bedrooms, 3 baths and a lot of stuff needed to be put in order! Secondly, this home or “temple,” as the Lord calls it, of the Holy Spirit–in other words, my body–needed to lose a lot of weight and get in shape. These 2 “houses” have been my focus for the last 3 months.
It’s been a time of steady progress–nothing flashy–just continual slow movement forward. Continuing the metaphor, the saying, “Slow and steady wins the race,” comes to mind. I thought I would share what plodding away at a goal (like the tortoise in “The Tortoise and The Hare”) has accomplished, and next week I’ll share the specifics and what I’ve been doing with my time, instead of writing blog posts here:) This week I want to encourage you that if the Lord is prompting you in some area God is faithful and will help you, and little efforts in an intentional, focused way will bring results.
Four Tips for Attaining Your Goals
Set Small Attainable Sub-Goals
One of the motivational “tricks” I use is to tell myself, “I will spend just 15 minutes at organizing today.” I organize a shelf, or a drawer, or one small area. Often, once begun, I spend more than 15 minutes. However, I am amazed what 15 or 30 minutes or an hour can accomplish! Other times I have set the goal for the day to be, “I will sort out 5-10 things to give to Goodwill.” I designate an area for these items. I praise the Lord for any progress made toward accomplishing the larger goal.
Write Your Goals Down
I think that maybe you, like me at times, don’t realize all you accomplish, and need the encouragement of writing it down. That’s one of the reasons I’m all for written goals. Just writing them down makes me more likely to accomplish them. Then check off each step along the way, and celebrate progress!
See The Big Picture and Don’t Give Up
You know, life can be so daily that we may not see the big picture of what God is doing in our lives. God may be changing you, a little here and there, or prompting you to keep at some goal you’re pursuing, (or maybe one you need to pick up again). If you just don’t give up, you’ll eventually get there!
Don’t Strive For Perfection
I have ceased striving for perfection (it’s an impossible goal), but strive instead for excellence and forward movement. I can be my own worst critic, but this does not achieve the glory of the Lord and the accomplishing of His purposes in me. So, I am learning to give to myself the same grace that God gives me.
As you’re running your race, look over and you’ll see me running the race beside you! And, by His grace, we’ll win the prize, if we don’t give up!
I’m linking up today with the Homemaking Linkup at Raising Homemakers!
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