Day 171: Honor God Tomorrow

First of all, a note: Sorry for dropping off the planet for a while there. I think I’m about a week behind on my posts, and if you’re new… this happens every once in a while to me. I lose all motivation to share, discuss, write, etc. Annnnnnd that was this past week. Like I mentioned yesterday, I’ve been struggling with the covenant as a whole the past week (I’ll write about my getting past it on day 174). So, anyway… I’m going to try to catch up over the next few days, but we’ll see how that goes!

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I know that I keep on talking about how going to sleep is a huge thing for me, and so… well, I’m going to talk about it again! Summer time is the most difficult time for me to go to bed on time because my ironclad routine that I have during the school year just goes out the window. I mean… I keep some of the same schedule like lunch time and nap times are almost always the same, but pretty much the rest of the stuff goes out the window. Soooo, the boys might wake up at 7:30 (instead of 7:00 that it is during the 180 days of school), and if we go to the mall or something to play then nap time might be around12:30 or 1:00 instead of 12:00, and the worst… if we are outside playing in the sprinkler late in the evening, then I might be too content to let a bed time interrupt us and the boys will stay up until 8:30 or even 9:00 if I’m being really risky.

And so when one of those late bedtimes gets factored into the equation or if I just did a bad job of keeping up with my chores during the day hours (and yes… I call them chores still because cleaning house, doing laundry, cooking, etc… all of that is a chore to me) then I go to bed later. Necessary for me to go to bed later? No, of course not. It’s just that when the boys are both down by 8:00 or 8:15 then I get a good two hours of “me” time before hitting the sack at 10:00. If they go to bed closer to 9:00 then that means I only have one hour left, but my mind and heart and soul still want a full two hours, sooooo I stay up until 11:00. And of course those nights that I stay up until 11:00 are guaranteed to have one of the boys either teething or having growing pains, or one of them will decide that a 6:00 or 6:30 wake up time is more in order throwing off my entire morning “me” time.

Yes. I’m rambling.

But a few nights ago I was really into reading this book for my book club (One Amazing Thing) and I just did not want to put it down. And then I had the good ol spiritual battle conversation:

I should really go to bed.

Nahhhhhhhh… no reason. It’s just sleep. You can get some more tomorrow night, or take a nap tomorrow.

But that never works. And I need to go to bed early enough so that I can honor God.

You can honor God tomorrow… this is “YOU” time!

But that’s it… if I go to bed on time and get enough rest then I will be able to honor God… tomorrow. If I don’t go to sleep now, then I will be too exhausted to properly honor God tomorrow. I’ll be cranky and I’ll want to eat everything.

So, in not-so-typical January form, I put the book down and went to bed at 10:00.

And ya know what? I woke up well rested (despite having to wake up twice in the night for my teething toddler who is still getting in his vampire teeth). I wasn’t cranky. I wasn’t hungry. I actually only needed one cup of coffee (that is a big deal for your non-coffee addicts). It was a good day.

And it was easy to honor God.

Because I chose the night before to honor Him.

And look… we even get a promise about going to bed!

When you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Proverbs 3:24

But we have to take action first… we have to lie down (and I don’t think this means lie down in your bed with your iPhone on…).

And although this is “all about” going to bed in order to honor God (because you’ll be less hungry if you do), there are a gillion ways for us to think of how to honor God tomorrow: if it’s food related then get out your covenant-friendly breakfast tonight so that it is ready for you tomorrow. if it’s bible related then get your bible and journal out tonight (and if you’re like me, prep the coffee pot… or even better… program it) so that you can sit down right to reading the Word and sippin on a cup of joe. if it’s child related, then get their clothes out and ready or their breakfasts or plan out the days activities.

But figure out how you’ll honor Him tomorrow and then do it tonight (if you need motivation… my husband taught me this… picture yourself tomorrow going through the steps of easily honoring God… picture yourself walking out of your room into the kitchen and seeing that banana and some granola in a bowl ready for you. picture walking over to the coffee pot and switching it on and then sitting down at your pre-prepared bible spot. picture yourself busting out a June Cleaver moment walking into your children’s bedrooms and effortlessly switching out their PJs for their day clothes.

But try to honor Him tonight for tomorrow (if that makes any sense). Just try it for one time. Maybe just once a week try to honor Him this way. And maybe, just maybe, when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

Day 158: Sweet Treats

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Summer seems to be all about… life. When you even just look through the Target ads (which I do… I mean, come on, I have two boys… shopping is not something that I do… ever. So, looking through the Target ads is like my form of “window shopping”… and I can do it in my PJs), you can see that everything is happy and carefree and full of smiles and toys and… life!

And previously for me (and by previously I mean, like… my whole life), summer has been about ice cream, and brownies, and snow cones, and Oreos, and ice cream, and hot dogs, and milkshakes, and chips with dip, and ice cream, and ice cream.

Yeah, so apparently, I like ice cream.

But not this summer… but it’s all good. Cause this summer is going to be about REAL LIFE.

Instead of taking a moment to relax with a bowl of ice cream (and don’t forget the Hershey’s syrup on top), I’m going to take my book and a vat of OFF to keep the buggies away and I will sit in my patio chairs and enjoy real. peace. and real. life.

Instead of a snow cone, I might just take a bubble bath.

No chips and dip for me… I prefer to take a dip in the pool (and yes, that “cool dip” will be in my kid’s pool because that’s what we have, but honestly, cool water feels good whether it’s five feet deep or 1/2 foot deep).

I’ll save the milkshake for another year, and instead go for a walk (which is what I’m doing in that pic at the top)!

And the pièce de résistance, instead of a bag of Oreos, I will take a nap. An afternoon nap. Ahhhhh, the very word makes me get those relaxation goose bumps.

Because it’s not about the food this summer… and I don’t need food to relax, in fact, it’s usually MORE work to eat. Think about it… a bowl of ice cream must be prepared: scoop the ice cream (and dang, if the ice cream is super frozen then that is a Herculean effort sometimes!), chop up some peanuts, smother it in Hershey’s syrup, probably melt some peanut butter to drizzle on there too.

Pffffffff, no WONDER I want to relax when eating ice cream… I’m worn out from all the prep! Haha!

But back to my point, which I have kind of talked about before, but food really shouldn’t be my portal to relaxation (or fun, or comfort, or distraction, etc)… it’s like my husband says, “We eat to live. We don’t live to eat.” (By the way, he watches about three food documentaries a week, so he might have stolen that from someone.)

But I like that mentality.

Because if I want to “treat” myself to some relaxation, then I want to treat the INNER me… not the OUTER me. not my stomach. not my tastebuds. I want my SOUL to feel relaxed. to feel blessed. to feel treated.

So, those things are still treats, but they are sweet in an entirely different kind of way!

The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. John 10:10

Day Thirteen: An Apple A Day

Okay so this post will be short and “sweet”. hehe Gotta love “diet” humor eh?

Anyway, I have always been a bit curious as to why an apple would be such a temptation to Adam and Eve. I mean… it’s an apple. (Yes, I know it probably wasn’t an apple but actually some other kind of fruit but the analogy still works.)

But I have a two fold thought about it now:

1) Okay, so it was forbidden and really that alone made it desirable. Why? I don’t know but my brain certainly tends to desire or at least wonder about things that are forbidden. Like, I don’t know… chocolate??? It’s like every piece of it that I come across (and after Christmas I come across it frequently) is physically trying to unwrap itself and jump in my mouth. Or mayyyybe I’m just having some wicked withdrawal hallucinations. Ha!

2) When you are hungry, even something typically undesirable looks gooooooood. Like, an apple. I never want apples on a regular day but today I was hungry and so my mind went to the things I could eat. Suddenly an apple was gorgeous, sweet, luscious, and scrumptious. And that is exactly what a mind renewal is. By unequivocally stopping chocolate or other sweet things from being an option, my mind is renewing it’s process of desire. I now desire an apple! I know, right?!?!?! Cool!

(Side note: gotta check out tomorrow’s post… it totally ties in with that! I just didn’t have enough time today to do the topic justice!)

But again, it is only because I have unequivocally shut down those other foods by making this covenant. Otherwise I can assure you that I would convince myself that one bite of chocolate when I’m hungry would be okay.

I’m loving this sweet deal with God!