Somewhere somehow I was given the title of adult. ? I am sure that person’s license was revoked immediately following my endorsement. I’m responsible for not only for myself, but two whole other people, and although they have grown and learned a few skills, I am still 100% legally responsible for them. Taylor Swift’s “Feeling 22” is my secret theme song. ? My multiple gray hairs and my 90’s musical references can testify that I am far from 22.
I am about to confront you with some very difficult and complicated advice. It won’t be easy to swallow and you may not have heard it before. Breathe in and then out. Are you ready? Here it is: Don’t be lazy. Ugh, there it is. That’s my #small shift.
This is not about doing more or denying one self-care. Doing more than you are physically or emotionally able to do is unwise. I’m talking about attending to a current situation promptly. It is easy for me to dramatically fall onto the couch, in a woe-is-me, arm up to my forehead with a loud sigh kind of way. ?Oh, I’ve been parenting all day (actually I had a little time for myself while my kids were at preschool; I chose to go to bed late last night, etc). When I have time to myself, I tend to turn on the TV and sit there a lot longer than needed. I become completely engrossed in COPS (side note: it’s quite therapeutic to watch grown adults not listen to other grown adults; I’m sure you can relate). Unfortunately, that precious golden hour of naptime has quickly evaporated and I feel neither productive nor refreshed. As I took a step back, it was easy to imagine my spouse would appreciate productivity over procrastination any day. He works at home so he does see what I do all day.
My husband was actually my inspiration for this little change. Fortunately for us all, it was not delivered as, “Man, I have such a lazy wife!” That delivery would never have accomplished its purpose. A week or so ago I was just looking around the house thinking of how he would feel if I got things accomplished more often than leaving them undone. ? Not an earth-shattering revelation; I’m just that dense.
Andy Stanley has a great quote I share with friends in difficult situations. Essentially he asks, “What story do you want to be able to tell about this?” In the future I want to look back and say, yes, I chose the more self-respectful option most of the time. ?
The Bible also illustrates that it is better to work than to be lazy. Proverbs 6-11 asks,
“How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest— and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.”
I doubt that my COPS marathon will lead me into a hostage situation. I suspect a pattern of laziness toward my marital and parental duties will lead to a deficit in my relationships.
I’d chat about this more but as you can see, there are dishes to do and this cutie isn’t going to do them for me, yet. ?
Soaking in the Truth
Scripture to encourage you:
- “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12 NIV
- “Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those chase fantasies have no sense.” Proverbs 12:11
- “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk only leads to poverty.” Proverbs 14:23 NIV
- “Be careful, then, in how you live – not as unwise, but as wise…” Ephesians 5:15a NIV
Music to inspire you:
- “Do Everything” by Steven Curtis Chapman
- “Dream Small” by Josh Wilson
- “Good Morning” by Mandisa
Readings and Resources to come alongside of you:
- “Small shifts in your thinking, and small changes in your energy, can lead to massive alterations of your end result.”― Kevin Michel, Moving Through Parallel Worlds To Achieve Your Dreams
- Quarter Turns: Small Shifts, Big Impact by Tim Furlong
Living Out the Truth
Ideas to try:
- Use a timer. I like the old fashioned kind that you wind by hand. Turn it to ten minutes and get to work. See what you can do. As a former teacher, I would tell my students to do the hardest thing first so that it’s out of the way. Small shifts are our focus. Don’t clean the entire kitchen; empty the garbage can.
- Evaluate what is truly refreshing to your soul. Check out our blog for more wholesome content for moms just like you. Search for a topic that will help you with your current struggles: marriage, parenting, or mental health. Do the refreshing things during your free time instead of something less fulfilling.
- Speaking of mental health, examine your eating and exercise habits. There’s no need to start P90X and a vegan diet tomorrow; just remember that our mental and emotional states are affected by the way we treat our bodies. If I’m feeling really lazy, I’ll look at my diet; this should provide some helpful insight. Sit up and eat a carrot; you may feel better.
- Work and relax at the same time. I love my wireless headphones – I listen to a podcast or music while I wash the dishes. Create a playlist of motivating music to enjoy. Nothing makes me feel like a ‘boss babe’ like vacuuming to “Eye of the Tiger” and “We are the Champions.” 🙂
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