Because January is the first month of the year, it carries with it the sense of a new beginning, a fresh start, and the first-fruits, if you will, of the rest of the year. It is a time when most people set goals for themselves and make promises that they may or may not be able to keep. I have to say that I too get caught in the revolutionary axis of the game, and I set out to be more organized, more versed, more spiritual, more in control, more equipped...more...more...more.
This can lead to pressure, which can most likely lead to anxiety. Did you know that more people suffer from anxiety more than they do any other disease or syndrome? It is called the cycle of never ending self-imposed demands. I say...Peace be still!
Jesus said it like this: "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving let your requests by made known to God; and the Peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6, 7. Now, I don't know about you, but when I really get stressed (I mean to the point of fearful) there is only one thing that makes me feel better: an all-out-heart-pouring confession to God along with tears, my requests, and a surrender of my will to His will. I have to say it gives me a peace that truly surpasses all my understanding.
However, I must say I do love to be organized, and organization however small, brings a sense of peace. Here are a few of my favorite habits that calm me and give me a better day. You may even want to incorporate them into your January list of hopefuls.
1. Make The Bed! First thing when you get up in the morning, make your bed. Make it neat and put up all the pillows or whatever you usually keep on it. This will give you a sense of "completion" and you will be able to face the day, without that "undone" feeling swirling around your brain.
2. Dress for the Day! Do now succumb to walking around all day in your PJ's. Even if you plan to be at home all day, dress nicely, complete with fixing your hair, however simple. This will give you an inner peace about yourself and lift your self-esteem.
3. Eat Breakfast! Not a choice here. Breakfast starts your fire burning, and the metabolism is set for the day. Even if you are in a hurry, grab a small glass of juice and a piece of toast. If time simply does not permit, drive thru the fast food and pick a healthy choice.
4. Read a Scripture: You can do this by opening an app on your smart phone. It is called the "Bible App." Even if you have to get up early and jump in the car for work, you can read your scripture for the day, or even add a short bible reading. You will find yourself thinking of it all day.
5. Start Supper: If at all possible, start dinner before you leave the house if you know you will be gone all day. There are multiple recipes for your crock pot that can be put together in 10 short minutes. Just put the dial on high, and 8 hours later when you return, everyone will enjoy dinner in 10 minutes. You will save a ton of money without the fast-food junk, plus keep your family at the table.
6. Do the Dishes: To avoid a "let down" feeling when you start the day, never leave dishes in the sink. Assign someone in the family to help clean up after supper; let everyone take a turn. You will love getting up in the morning without the hassle of dirty dishes.
7. Make your List! This is a must. Try hard to accomplish 3 things per day. That's why keeping a daily calendar is a must. You can see ahead where you will be and what must take place. Certainty brings peace.
These seven steps will keep you peaceful in your home, and when you feel peaceful, so will everyone around you. Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you: not as the world gives, but as I give to you. Let not our heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27. You can more easily accomplish great goals if there is first peace in your home.
Happy New Year,
Lose weight. Pray more. Be patient. Get out of debt. Stop cussing. Be kind. Listen better. Wear my seatbelt. Give. Share. Eat healthy. Get in shape. Stop smoking. Be more organized. Spend time with family. Read. We’ve all heard them and even made them ourselves: New Year’s Resolutions. This year, I wonder if we could envision a large decorative chalkboard (Pinterest fan) and instead of filling it with resolutions we make for ourselves, what about asking our Lord Jesus, who knows us best of all, who knows our every strength, weakness, ability or inability to design the changes that He would have us strive for.
Resolutions are kind of a tradition. They can be fun. But, often, the resolutions we make for ourselves, whether based on personal desires or what we may think others expect, are next to impossible to attain. But, God, who knows our frame, would never put more on us than we are capable of doing. And, just as He knows us, He also knows the needs of those around us and could very well make us a well of living water to someone else’s life. So, as we start 2014 together, with a clean slate, let’s allow the Lord to author our list and be ready, as He will perform the good work that He has begun in us. (Philippians 1:6).