This training course I’m working through is really challenging me. Not only to face things or do things I don’t really want to, but because it’s leading me to really see the areas I am falling short in. It’s hard to see those things because my flesh and mind want to curl up and be upset about how much I’ve been messing up. lol But, since I am on a deadline, I am also met with accountability to summon up some courage and do it. It allows me to be truly thankful that God is revealing these things for me to address, calling me out on heart issues I need to address, and being ever so graceful in the process.
One of the first things that the training brought up, was Bible study time. I used to study the Bible sooo much more than I am now and I’ve not prioritized it into my every day life. It’s been something I enjoy, but on busy days, I’m more apt to put it off until a more convenient time – but then I find I’ve not been in the Word for a week or more! So that is something I hope to be more disciplined with and prioritize it into every single day.
The second thing it brought up was prioritization, and at first, I didn’t know how! I was up with a baby until midnight, passing out and up with 2-3 kids sporadically through the night, waking up to see my husband off, drinking coffee because without it I wasn’t able to function on the 4-6hrs of interrupted sleep. Then I had to monitor kids in their designated morning activities and jobs, be sure kids were being fed, train the kids and address disagreements and such… all while trying to get what I needed to get done and doing so without blowing up because of my anxiety.
Then, because I was committed to getting in the Word each day, even if for just 15mins, I made time for it. It was now on the list of “have to’s” of what needed to get done that day… it was no longer an option. Then, from there, I began to see the priorities shift as I worked around making it happen. Doing it at 9am so I could wait for coffee to kick it just was messing up our whole day. Breakfast wasn’t getting eaten until 9:30, so dishes were barely finished by lunch-time, and then it was time for lunch so I was losing my whole morning. Something needed to give…
The first thing I decided was to start laying my baby down around 10:30am for his nap, and no later than 12:30, and only letting him sleep for a couple hours. I just really needed him to go to bed earlier because I was just not getting enough sleep and my schedule was messed up. While making this decision, I also cut out coffee and replaced it with vitamin B, beet root, and I planned to nap.
The nap change then led to him slowly going to bed earlier and earlier until now, he’s going to bed for the night at 8-9pm. Once he was going to bed earlier, he was waking up earlier, and nap time was even easier. He began coming to me to go to bed at the scheduled times I had set! From that first night, I was able to begin to get 8hrs of sleep, though still interrupted on most nights, it made a huge difference! I was waking up earlier and thus wanted to start my day earlier.
The lack of coffee was difficult at first, my body needed to adjust. I can see improvements with each day. I’m less foggy, even if still dragging a bit; I’m more ambitious, even if a bit less energetic; and I don’t have the intense anxiety and heartburn I was dealing with (what was the perk of coffee again??? LOL). This morning, after 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep, I woke up at 6am. Though it was after a nightmare, I was wide awake and ready to start the day. So while the kids were still asleep, I went and did my devotions. It was so sweet to be in the presence of the Lord without interruptions and questions and instructions to be given. Just Him and I as I read His Word and worked through my awful, vivid, and traumatizing dream.
So now, I’m looking over these things the Lord had me address, and I’m seeing a drastic change in my life just by applying these two things. Bible study and prioritization. Without really meaning to, I organized a huge part of my life just by setting up the groundwork for our everyday schedule. So here I am seeing so much already changing… seeing how God could actually pull this whole, me being equipped to minister to women thing. LOL Not because I’m at a place to do it or because I’m some amazing woman – but because I’m willing, I’m usable, and so He’s doing the work in me.
Some things I’ve been challenged in is scripture memorization and meditation. I’ve never memorized scripture, although I can recall passages, I can’t really recall it exactly or the passage that it can be found under, so this is something taking me even deeper – not settling with good recollection, but knowing it and having it inside of me.
Meditation, as referenced in Psalm 119:97, is not something I’ve necessarily done. “Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.“ I will do my devotions and then go about my day, trying to apply what I read that day. However, what they are encouraging me to do, is to write a scripture down and carry it with me throughout the day, really being intentional to meditate on it all day; again, going deeper – not settling with surface change, or superficial change, but chewing on it for a while and allowing all it’s benefits to consume my life, and taking full advantage of God’s power in me.
It’s my desire to continue walking this out with an open dialogue between the Father and I. I’m so thankful I can pray to Him and hear from Him. He’s guiding me through this and I need only to follow His lead. Baby steps feel small sometimes, but before you know it, you’re miles from where you began. Do it Lord!!