This is the Lords doing and it is marvelous in our eyes. Mark 12:11

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

My Thoughts On Discipline

Last week my doctor told me that I should start writing more. Because clearly in those few seconds that they shine that little light into your eyes and ears they discover all your secrets. “If you find yourself writing all the time, maybe you should consider being a writer” he said. I don’t find myself writing all the time, I wanted to say back. I find myself sitting on my porch watching bugs and wondering if they ever sleep. I just write when I feel like it.
At first I was perturbed at Dr.H, whose large glasses and skinny body make him look like a guest star on Saved By the Bell or Full House. "You don't even know me, just make me feel better" I thought. 

But it’s been a week and I  haven't been able to  stop thinking about his words. 

And then this happened...

 I got this fortune in my Chinese fortune cookie

At first I thought, "This is awesome."

But the thought that followed directly afterward was, "Yeah right! No, I won't."  

I would LOVE to be an accomplished writer one day, but, even if I am a talented writer, I may never become an accomplished writer if I'm not disciplined enough. The thought of writing a book can sometimes become overwhelming. I often give up on things when I fail or when I don't feel like I'm as good as "so and so". I give up when things aren't going the way I want them to or the way I think they should. Just because my house is clean almost always doesn't mean I'm disciplined. I just like to clean and be clean. If I hated to clean and my house was always clean, then I'd be a disciplined person. As it is, I'm not great at doing things I do not want to do. I mean, I love writing, but I don't always feel like it. Sometimes I don't want to think or research and sometimes I'm just too tired. It would take a while to finish a book without discipline and without someone holding me accountable to keep at it.

God has been telling me a lot recently about discipline.

The words disciple and discipline come from one Latin word discipulus, which means learner. We are all learners, and our learning never comes to an end. Discipleship and discipline are inseparably connected; Jesus’ ministry exemplifies that over and over. Christ never hesitated to correct His disciples. Christ viewed discipline as part of the church. I wrote a little about that here.

In what areas do you want to grow or improve? Reading more? Praying more? Thinking of others more? Eating healthier? Spending more time in the word? Buying less? Working out more? Being more generous? Being less selfish?

Discipline becomes a habit of life when there are clearly defined goals and steps to achieve those goals. Discipline also comes easier when we have someone to hold us accountable.

Need some encouragement to get started? 

Fill out this calendar. You pick just three things you want to do better. For 100 days, each day you check off the same three habits (or disciplines) you really want to be a part of your life. Even if it's just for a few minutes. I picked one spiritual goal, physical/healthy goal, and one thing I enjoy as an outlet... because I think that is important too. 

One of the things I'm working on is spending more time in prayer for others, so each week I've committed to jotting down the inicials (for their privacy) of those I want to pray for that week. I have a list on my bathroom mirror, and one on the inside of my laptop to remind me every time I see it.  If your list is long, great, split it up and  commit to pray for a few each day. It's less overwhelming that way and therefor you are more likely to hit your goal.

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7).

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