Do the hard stuff.
I groaned inwardly when she said it. I knew she was right, but at the time, I had no faith that doing just that would fix my marriage. A few weeks later when we got into counseling, imagine my surprise (not really) when our counselor told us the exact same thing.
It might be hard. It might be ugly. It might feel weird or awkward, but do the hard stuff.
That advice/direction was the absolute catalyst to starting the healing in our marriage. But, oddly enough, this blog isn't about my marriage. It's about all the other area's of my life that I need to apply that same advice.
Parenting. It's easy to be a passive participant in my children's life. It's easy to choose the easy road out with discipline. But it's not the best.
Finances. It's easy to spend money on things we don't need. It's easy to use our debit card instead of sticking 100% to our cash budget. It's easy to ignore the budget. But it isn't the best.
Keeping my house clean. It's easy to pile up junk and sweep things under the rug (figuratively) until I can't stand the mess anymore. It's easy to let the dishes and laundry sit. But it isn't the best.
Losing Weight. It's easy to eat that [pan] brownie. It's easy to watch tv or blog instead of exercising. It's easy to make excuses or tell myself this is how it will always be. But it isn't best.
Maturing Spiritually. It's easy to stay in bed in the morning instead of getting up and spending some time with God. It's easy to say "Praying for you" and yet never utter a word about it to God.
It's easy. It's easy. It's easy. But it's not the best.
Galatians 6:9 says- Let us not tire in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Am I saying do the hard stuff so that eventually you'll reap the harvest? No. I'm saying do the hard stuff because it's what's right. And best. God expects nothing less than our best. He asks us to honor him in all we do. Over the last few days I've had to really ask myself- am I giving God my best and honoring him by the effort I'm giving in many area's of my life. The answer has been no.
So, I'm back to that advice I was given months ago.... Do the hard stuff. It feels overwhelming. There are so many areas of my life that I'm coming in below the bar. So what now?
1. Ask God's forgiveness for not giving my best to Him.
2. Remember that God loves me. And I judge myself and my failures much differently than he does. He doesn't define me by my success or failures. Grace. This is a lesson on grace.
3. Set small, measurable goals in each area. I'm going to be intentional about taking some time to sit down and write out some goals that are attainable. I want to clean this part of my house x times a week. I want to go cash only for a whole week. I want to stick to my calories and exercise 3 times a week. I want to set aside 15 mins each day to pray for specific people. I've learned that setting extremely lofty goals sounds good, but it's rarely attainable and just perpetuates a sense of failure.
4. Just do it. I think Nike is really onto something with that. Just do it. It might be hard. It might be awkward. It might not seem fruitful immediately, but do it anyways. Because it's right. And it's what God wants.