And so this week, is a new beginning. I come back to my keyboard refreshed and renewed! And ready to do this journey of life with you all again.
This tree stands in our front yard. It’s an Oak tree that has tenaciously held its dead leaves all through the winter. But spring is here and as the new buds begin to appear the leaves will fall to the ground.
Like the Oak tree, until I create new life in the space the dead thing holds, I will never change. And so just as a new year brings new beginnings – spring brings new beginnings!
When we think of making a change we are reminded that a permanent change requires self-discipline. And the Oak tree shows us how adding in something new – pushes out the old.
For example – rather than saying, “I’m going to stop drinking Diet Coke” (which I did this past January), I said – “I’m going to drink more water”. By adding in this new goal – it pushed out the old.
This works in many areas of our lives. Rather than always feeling discouraged for our lack of discipline we ought to pursue the new thing we are adding in and by default the old will be replaced.
Pursue rising 30 minutes earlier for a morning quiet time and the old habit of sleeping till the kids wake you will be pushed out. Just set the alarm – it really is that easy…oh and get out of bed when it goes off lol!
Pursue running 3 times a week and the old habit of watching television with chips in your lap will be pushed out.
Pursue folding your laundry the minute it comes out of the dryer and the big piles of unfolded laundry will disappear.
Here are some areas I am pursuing new beginnings and self-discipline:
1. I want to add in time alone outside on my back deck for prayer. This time will have to come when the children are sleeping – either early morning or late night. (Standing in front of the vastness of the ocean and the expanse of the sky with the birds flying overhead reminded me that I need this. I need quiet moments out in the open nature to be alone with God daily. I hope it will enhance my prayer life and writing.)
2. I want to start systematic spring cleaning. I will be writing out a list of problem areas and working my way (in baby steps) through them until the end of May.
3. I want to add in some new foods that are healthier to my diet. I will be following my friend Clare’s blog for some new ideas to try. (and I might even get wild and crazy and attend her fitness class – although it means missing precious morning time for homeschooling – so I’m undecided on that.)
4. I want to add in some new memory verses to do with the children. My children just finished their Sunday evening club work where we were memorizing verses together. I can’t wait to scour God’s word, pray and pick some new verses for us to memorize together this spring!
While these are all great goals, I know that I cannot reach any of them without self-discipline. I’m reminded of Hebrews 12:1 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” ESV
What is weighing you down today? What space, time or thing in your life is simply dead – it’s not producing anything good in your life? Lay those things aside and run – pursue – pursue with endurance daily disciplines that make a difference in your life and the lives of those around you.
Walk with the King!