Thursday, June 7, 2007

Taking Control of our Lives...for our Lives Sake

Why is taking control of our lives so important to our health?
I thought finding and submitting to Christ meant giving him control of our lives?

Those are just two of the questions I've fielded this week. And I thought they were fabulous questions. I hope I can address them well in this post.

Would you agree that your life is just a tad bit out of your control? Where do you have to be at 8:30 tomorrow morning? Might it be at a desk? Does being at that desk fulfill you to the point that you are excited about being there? Do you need to be home by a certain time in the evening? How about dinner this evening? If you decided not to cook, who would be affected? Suppose you wanted to go out this evening and purchase that wonderfully cute pair of shoes you happened to see on your lunch break?

I don't know about you...but I could answer these questions like this:
I have to be at my desk tomorrow morning at 8:30 to run a meeting. Although I enjoy my job, I have dreams that are not being fulfilled by this job. I need to be home by 4pm every evening for me to feel good about being at home for my kids. If dinner did not miraculously wind upon the table this evening, there would be mutiny on my ship. Oh, how I would love those shoes...but my middle boy also needs shoes, his little feet just became big feet over night.

Do I have a horrible life? No. Do I enjoy my life? YES! Do I have a lot of stress in my life? Yes. Am I working at reducing it? YES! Why? My health depends on it. My enjoyment of life depends on it.

Many of us use the term, "I have to..." when we talk about our lives. I've decided I don't have to do anything any longer. That instead, I will respect the life that God has blessed me with and organize it around what He has determined for me.

It is important to Him that we are fulfilled by our life's work.

Ecclesiastes 5
18 Then I realized that it is good and proper for a man to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given him—for this is his lot.
19
Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work—this is a gift of God.
20
He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart.
How can we enjoy the work of our hands when we are fretting over the income we will make, which in turns causes anxiety over whether we will care adequately for our families. We do all this at the expense of our health. We have relegated our health to the last spot on our priority list. We eat horribly. Why? To destress. We do not exercise. Why? No time. We do not find rest. Why? Stuff to do.

So what are we to do?
Take Control!
Sit down with a pad of paper and write all the things you are sick and tired of, then write a potential solution.

  • Money problems...budget/better job...stick to the budget for two weeks/apply for one new position a week. (Isaiah 55:1-3)
  • No Energy...Exercise...if you cant go the gym commit to a 20 minute walk around your neighborhood with your kids. (wave to your neighbors.) (Colossians 1:10-12)
  • No Sleep...Sleep...commit to a bed time, and a wake time and shut the world down. (Mark 6:30-32)
  • Dirty House...Get a Maid...does it fit in your budget? If not, commit to 45 minutes each day, and pick a room. (Psalm 51)
  • Bad Kids...Set Hard and Fast Boundaries/Consequences...I am a mother, not a friend...the only thing I am obligated to do by law is feed, cloth and educate...my love is unconditional. There fore, everything else is EXTRA and can be withdrawn. I can kiss you without buying you an ipod.(Proverbs 29:17)
  • Errant Husband...Girl, He's grown...just you be you and pray real hard. *smile
  • No Peace...sit in your quiet space for at least 5 minutes a day. (Psalm 23)
  • Debt...budget/charity...stick to budget and give away at least 5 dollars a week. (Proverbs 28:27)

Once you've accomplished your list, written a comment and a solution, each week pick one, find a verse to pray over it...and commit to your solution for exactly one week. If it works for you, work on it again during week 2, and add the second item on the list during week 2.

Effective balanced control does not happen all at once...it happens with one small step at a time. The woman with the Issue of Blood spent globs of money for 12 years...in one day, she stepped out of her home, and barely touched the very hem of the garment of Jesus Christ. In that small step, she changed the course of her life.

Tomorrow we discuss the opposite...the Control Freak is killing her Life...Balance is key.

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