This morning I found myself getting ready (read: putting my pajamas back on after my shower) and simulataneously praying "God, can I just have an easy stretch? Not just a day or two, but an actual stretch of easy..."
I'm whiny in the morning. Or is it whiney? So long as it's not wine-o, I think I'm okay.
It was the weary in me talking, wanting more than anything for a true "month day of rest." When I get tired, I get emotional.
And I wish I had a more gung-ho attitude about all that's going on, but there it is.
So I've been thinking about what it was that I've been missing in my life lately. Besides sanity. And I've come up with a list of ten things I want to do every single day. I thought I'd share so we can strive for it together...or at least strive for part of it.
1. Pray. Quiet your mind. Take a time out. Be still.
You think it's a given, but it's not always. My days go so much better when I actually pray, when I take a few moments in the morning to stop and ask God to take hold of my day. WHY isn't this a given? Why, after 36 years, do I have to remind myself to do this? Lordie. It's so helpful to refocus on things like Ephesians 4:4: "The Lord will fight for you, you need only be still..."
2. Speak a kind word.
Sometimes, I go to sleep at night with my kids' faces in my mind...and I try to remember how I've interacted with them that day. There are moments of loving, maternal, ever-loving motherhood... but often, I've rushed through my day so carelessly nothing sticks. I can't even conjure a memory of the day. I want to speak kind words to them, to my husband, to my friends...
Never miss an opportunity to pay someone a compliment.
3. Remind yourself of your purpose...it will help you define your priorities.
For everything you say "yes" to, you're saying "no" to something else. You have to decide which demands deserve your "yes" and which can handle your "no." Do you want to say "yes" to everyone else at the expense of your family? When someone is demanding something--even something GOOD--you have to step back and say "does this, in any way, bring me closer to my purpose..."? If it doesn't, let it go...
4. Hug someone.
Do you remember the movie "Life as a House"? I remember watching it, depressing as it was, and there was this part where Kevin Kline went to a nurse and when she touched him, he realized he hadn't been touched in a very long time...and he needed it. We all need it. We need to be held. We're built to crave touch...so hug someone. Even your big kids, because while you don't think they need it and they may act like they don't want it, they do...and you'll benefit from it too.
5. Learn something.
You can never stop learning. You never know everything. None of us does. There is always someone who can teach us something, often in the most surprising places. Seek out the chance to learn every single day...
6. Choose not to talk badly about yourself.
I love to self-deprecate more than pretty much anyone I know, but there's a difference between things I don't care about (how bad of a cook I am) and things I do care about (whether or not I'm a decent writer.) Negative self talk isn't going to get you anywhere. Charge yourself for every ugly word you say about yourself...and reward yourself when you focus on the positive.
7. Appreciate God's creation.
I'm aware now more than ever how beautiful this earth is. Sometimes, when I'm outside, it just fills me up...and many days I fail to notice. Catch the sunset, marvel at the moon, admire a mama bird feeding her ugly hairless babies...there's so much out there to speak to your soul...but you have to open your eyes.
8. Take Care of Yourself.
This is one of those "I'm gonna do my best to try this because I know it'll make me feel better" things. Here's the truth. I sit at a computer pretty much all day long. I have to remember to reset my posture, to stand up, to drink water, to stretch out, to find time to be active, to eat well...when I do, I'm more productive and happier. When I don't, we all suffer the wrath of Courtney.
9. Fall asleep with your blessings behind your eyelids.
I tend to get very mired down in all that's going wrong rather than looking at all that's going right. It's a conscious choice to focus on the good. No one can do that for you.
I like to worry about things I have no control over. There is NOTHING so great as the peace that comes with complete surrender. To be honest, this is something I have to do daily because if I didn't, my mind would implode. Focus on what you can control and give the rest to God. I mean, really give it over...as in, take it and put it in His hands. Out of yours.
And don't pick it up again.
(That's me being bossy to myself, in case you couldn't tell.)
So that's my list...I want to know what do you do to make your day better?