I have come to realize, of late, that I am failing in a very important area of parenting-discipline. Not the discipline you typically think of with children, that being reprimanding for ill behavior; but discipline in my own life. Discipline of finances, of words, of scheduling, of housework, etc.
I lack discipline in many areas of my life. I blame it on the different seasons we all go through...it's summer-the kids are out of school, I am traveling more for work, it's the holidays...and so on and so on. The truth is, that it is so important to model discipline in life to our children so that during these seasons of change, they see that some things are constant.
I have determined that a new approach is needed...a "less is more". Cutting back on the "things" in life-clothes, cable, cell phones, etc.-and doing without for a time. Then slowly adding back in what is truly necessary and appropriate to our lives. I believe that a good way to successfully increase the discipline in my life is to reduce the amount of "stuff" I have to manage. Once I can manage a small amount, then I can slowly increase if necessary.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
So you think you had to keep this up
all the work that you do.
So we think that you're good
and you can't believe it's not enough.
All the walls you built up
are just glass on the outside.
-"This is Where the Healing Begins", 10th Avenue North
Perception has always been very important in my life. Growing up, it was always important to "put on a happy face", and "be on my best behavior". Don't get me wrong, I have wonderfully parents who love me and raised me well, but perhaps put too much value on outward appearance and taught me to guard my inner-person just a little too much.
We, as humans, have a self-preservation instinct that often prevents us from putting ourselves in vulnerable situations. This can be a good thing, like when your self-preservation instinct tells you not to step in front of a moving vehicle. But it also results in a certain lack of honesty and truthfulness about who we are and what we are about. Being honest about one's beliefs and feelings often results in vulnerability which is contrary to our self-preservation instinct.
But as Christians we are called to die to self, and we are called to a certain level of honest transparency in our thoughts, feelings, and actions. God has given us a beautiful gift in the family of believers, but we have to be open and honest to share and enjoy that gift. Sharing of ourselves is often scary and sometimes, but we cannot enjoy the gift God has given us in brothers an sisters in Christ, without some level of vulnerability. To get help with our problems, we have to be willing and able to acknowledge and share them with others. In turn, we also have to be willing to share of ourselves to help others.
The walls we build around our hearts to "protect" us only serve to prevent others from getting in...sometimes even Christ himself.