That’s going to be the word of the year. Physically, spiritually, academically, relationally… disciplined.
I’ll outline it for you:
- Physically – Today is my one month mark of being Paleo 🙂 Well… ish. I’ve realized that “strictly” Paleo in a dining hall is different than “strictly” Paleo if I were buying groceries for myself. So my approach is being copied from someone I saw online. “100% Paleo… 80% of the time”. I’ve realized as I’ve changed my eating habits that I actually ENJOY making better food choices, and so does my body! Therefore, the “strictly Paleo” for 2 months goal is turning into “Paleo as good as you can for as long as you can”, which I think may be forever (with the occasional cupcake or sandwich). Also, I’m self-monitoring my workout schedule. And the great thing is that I am actually doing it for a class, so I’ll be turning in my data (nerdy, I know) and will be held accountable to do something active at least 4 of the 5 weekdays… or I’ll be embarrassing myself in front of my professor (great aversive stimulus… I’m loving grad school too much. Can you tell!?) But with eating well and regular exercise comes more energy. Discipline in the physical sense leads to feeling stronger and more confident in my skin, but also not falling asleep when its time to hit the books. It’s a win-win. And I don’t cry after running anymore (okay, I never did that… but I wanted to).
- Spiritually – I’ve always been terrible at studying the Word daily on my own time. Because let’s be real, it’s my own time and I can do whatever I want with it, right?? Well, that’s actually very wrong. Step 1 to becoming more disciplined spiritually these past few months has been realizing that it’s never MY time and to think that way is completing selfish, arrogant, and not disciplined. At all. So I’ve begun reading the Bible from cover to cover. Let’s be real, I’m still in Genesis. But every night (no matter how stinkin’ tired I am) I’m opening that beloved book, laying in my bed with pen and journal, and soaking in a story that is much bigger than me but explains everything about me and the world I’m living in/will live in one day. The turning point to becoming devoted to personal study on a day to day basis was that filling myself for one day made me want to fill up again at the next day (positive reinforcement of the behavior of opening up my Bible… nerdfest… I’ll stop). But seriously, I’ve hear it takes 21 days to form a habit. Now more than ever I’m understanding that this is a habit that isn’t just a good idea… it’s pretty much essential to a John 10:10 life. (And for those of you wondering, this isn’t really a new realization of mine… I’m just super good at forgetting lessons that I’ve already learned and having the pleasure of learning them again. God is good and patient.)
- Academically – If the behavioral lingo hasn’t clued you in yet, I’m totally in love with my program of study and it is really a joy to pick up my textbooks (WHAT?!) and read for hours and hours. But in a realistic tone, that excitement will probably fade before I even get my study guides for midterms. So being disciplined academically is vital. Grad school is basically reading… everything. I love it, but as Will sweetly reminded me earlier today, I’ll probably need to get some grandma reading glasses before the year is up. I’ve never really been the studious type. I’ve always been a hear it once, review it later, take the test kinda gal. But that’s not going to fly this year. Just because I show up in class doesn’t mean I’ll have all the answers at the end of the semester anymore. It’s about research, discovering things on your own time, and being very disciplined/ responsible when it comes to getting the work done.
- Relationally – Now this one might be just a “me” thing, and I’m okay if no one really follows me. But in my heart I’ve got to believe that I’m not alone in this. Discipline in relationships. Well, that could look like a billion different things depending on the relationship… but that’s the point. I’m learning so much right now about how relationships have to be tended to in different ways. I say tended because it’s like a garden. The first time I used that metaphor I was referring to mine and Will’s relationship (don’t hate me for being a cheeseball, I’m just very visual). Obviously we are not in the same city and we haven’t been for a year now, but that doesn’t mean that the garden can’t be watered or the weeds pulled or the flowers bloom… It just means that all of those things have to be a little more intentional. Not as easy to come by on a day-to-day basis. And honestly, I’m so thankful for that because it leads to a greater appreciation of that relationship. Amazing, really, what the Lord can do. But that’s not the only relationship this applies to. All of my friends! Some are here, some are there, some are who-knows-where (Amelia :)), but they’re all still people that I want to love on, pour into, and be involved in life with. My goal is to not hesitate to call when I’m missing someone. Not miss an opportunity to hang out with a person when they’re in town. And not take for granted the people that have been given to me for a purpose.
So that maybe makes for the most long-winded post yet, but it’s really just my focus. It’s where my mind wanders all the time (which I think is a true testament to the impact that something can have when you take it seriously), and it’s something that I hope encourages you in some way. Maybe just one sentence means anything… but hey, it’s something!
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; only fools despise wisdom and discipline.” Proverbs 1:7