Friday, November 30, 2012

Habit of the Month Follow-up: Taking It Down A Notch

This month has been a weird combination of time flying by and slow motion. Overall the month has been very enjoyable, and our family was able to celebrate a wonderfully calm Thanksgiving Weekend.  

For the last month, the habit I have focused on has been one of reduction.  Taking my plans, ideas for activities, and to do list expectations and cutting them down a bit.  For more of an idea of what that entailed for us, check out my original post from the beginning of the month.  

So, how did I do at scaling back?  
Well, I think pretty good.  

Our extended family's Thanksgiving was celebrated at our home for the first time in several years, with both sets of grandparents being able to come.  What fun!  I initially started off with some pretty big ideas of cleaning, decorating, and food for the special day; then, considering my Habit for the Month, I started crossing things off my idea list.   Even after that, there were some family events that forced me to reevaluate what really "needed" to be done, and more cutting and trimming of expectations took place. Those coming to our home to eat made it very easy for me to delegate food dishes for them to bring, and everyone in our home pitched in to help clean and do some project things our home.  I even got some Pinterest ideas put into real life for the occasion.   Nothing fantastical about the event, but it was perfect for us.  

I am so pleased with the results of this month's habit.   Not only was I able to put to practical application a somewhat vague idea, but I was able to see the direct and indirect benefits of practicing my new habit.  With the new month's approach, I know that I will continue to have opportunity to practice my new habit, and I anticipate that it will continue to be solidified in my long term life habits and the benefits will continue to be as enjoyable as they have been this past month.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Hello Morning! Week 12

Wow!  This is the final week of this Hello Mornings Challenge.  It has been a joy to work on my Study habit and be able to hone my skills a bit during the twelve weeks.  I am eager to enter this week, finish the study, and start on the next step of my Hello Morning! Journey.  Taking a moment to just breathe in God's Word and breathe out prayer in the mornings before "life" begins has been a rewarding and refreshing change.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Habit of the Month: Taking It Down a Notch

This is a different sort of habit.  Often habits we develop with intention are something we establish to make us better or to help us do more.  This month's habit for me is to do less!

I love, love, love planning - almost to a fault.  When I get in planning mode, I can very quickly develop a plan that is so big or involved that putting it into action is difficult at best or impossible and stressful at worst.  So for this month my habit is to take a step back and strike something from the plan - just bring it down a notch.

  • If I plan to run four errands today - move one to next week.
  • When we get together to bake with Grandma, instead of making four types of cookies, maybe do two.
  • If I wake expecting (planning) to accomplish five things from my project list - bring that down to two or three.

My reasoning for the unusual habit - simply to reduce the stress and pressure I can put on myself and my family to accomplish more than is reasonable or possible while tending to all the routine things of life.  If I am able to accomplish more great! Or maybe enjoy a few minutes of relaxation, go for a walk, play an extra game with the kids, etc. The idea is to just reduce the pressure and stress trying to cram more into the minutes of my day, just because I planned more than was reasonable. 

Going into the holdiays of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's it is easy to get over busy. Running around and stressed so much I am not enjoying the moments is not what I want for this Season. So for this month I am practicing cutting out something(s) and slowing down just to enjoy some simple moments.  

Saturday, November 3, 2012

"Back to Routines" Follow-up

As I review what I wrote about getting back to routines in September, what a joy to see things that I expressed as being important to me becoming a reality!  Pleasant mornings are more regular then they were when I fist wrote about routines.  The skill of being able to see the big picture and how my daily activities are effected by my goals is developing in my life. 

It has been a good "getting back to routines" time, and I am happy with the overall relative calmness and confidence that has come as a result. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Being Hospitable

This past weeks passage (I Peter 4:1-11) seemed to be full of truths and things to study, ponder, and apply.  I found each day that certain phrases would jump off the page of my Bible.  Today's phrase is verse 9.

"Use hospitality one to another without grudging."

NKJV: Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.

ESV: Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.

Amplified Bible: "Practice hospitality to one another (those of the household of faith). [Be hospitable, be a lover of strangers, with brotherly affection for the unknown guests, the foreigners, the poor, and all others who come your way who are of Christ’s body.] And [in each instance] do it ungrudgingly (cordially and graciously, without complaining but as representing Him)."

What does that mean?

Hospitality is defined as the friendly reception and treatment of guests or strangers [people]; the quality or disposition of receiving and treating [people] guests and strangers in a warm, friendly, generous way.

Since I do my study in KJV, I also defined grudging.  It is an adjective that means displaying or reflecting reluctance or unwillingness.

So, the guests and strangers who enter our home should be willingly and happily received.  Generosity and friendliness should mark our acceptance of those who are guests in our home, and I added life.  An attitude that is unwilling or reluctant to accept and entertain others is not acceptable.  


Ouch, this one hit a little close to my heart. Not because I feel reluctant to be hospitable towards other people.  (I actually love it!)  But I know that I can feel that way about the people who live in my home every day, my family.  There are times when a friendly reception that treats my husband or children with warmth and generosity is far from issued in a way that is not reluctant or unwilling.  I have things that I need to do or want to do, and the last thing I feel like is stopping what I am doing and paying attention to them.  They will be there later . . . what I have needs to be done . . . the reasoning could go on.
No, I am to stop and welcome them willingly with warm generosity.  Whether it is when they come home from work or school or whether they are entering the room I am in from somewhere else in the house.   It does not have to be a big production, but the heart attitude of being hospitable without grudging needs to be in my life.