It’s a Wednesday evening and I’m sitting at our mini kitchen table with a vase full of beautiful flowers beside me, a hot cup of cocoa in reach, Ben studying across from me, and a crackling candle flickering shadows off the white walls. It’s one of those moments that I would love to hit pause on and just soak it in for so much longer than it will actually last.
I have been in somewhat of a pessimistic valley lately and have slowly been treading my way back out and trying to make small changes in my life. It’s been a real struggle and honestly still is daily, but there are things that I’m finding so helpful and encouraging.
Ben and I had been very consistent with our workouts while doing Insanity, but when his schedule became more time consuming we decided it was best to not take an hour or longer for workouts when his time at home started to seem somewhat limited. So now I’ve FINALLY started to workout again on my own. Getting started is always the hardest part of exercising, but the accomplished feeling after is beyond worth it. In the morning I am trying to consistently workout to get time out of the apartment and also so I’m not just sitting on the couch counting the hours until Ben gets home (it literally was that bad at one point). So anyway, that’s been my first change! Exercise and exercising consistently!
This one is obvious, at least for me, but somehow there are always times when I get caught up in school, or just our schedule and don’t set aside the time. It’s reading my bible and writing down my prayers. Sometimes it can take just 5 minutes or maybe hours. Normally for me it’s a solid 15-20 minutes of sitting down at the table with a cup of coffee and just diving into the word. Now, if you don’t write down your prayers I highly suggest it! If I don’t write them down I can easily get distracted in the middle of praying and totally lose focus of what I was even saying (how sad is that). I also really enjoy having all my prayers on paper so I can go back and read them. Getting in a good amount of reading is great, but what’s even better is having conversations with God throughout the day. Your time isn’t limited to when you’re alone and have a bible in front of you, God is literally listening 24/7, which I often forget and it’s still unbelievable to me at times. Lately I’ve been making an effort to have constant conversations. If things start to go badly during the day I stop and thank Him for all the good things and for the trials.
While Ben is at work, often I’m tempted to just sleep in and maybe watch Netflix until class in the afternoon. When there are no consequences it’s pretty easy to take the easy road. Some times I find myself scrolling endlessly through my social media accounts several times an hour (and that’s when I know I’m addicted and things need to change). I’ve been trying to replace technology with reading or really anything in general. If I’m tempted to pick up my phone I’ll maybe start cleaning, doing the dishes, or doing the homework I originally sat down to do in the first place. Technology is great and all, but it’s so so important to not let it become something toxic in your life.
Selflessness is not easy and takes constant effort, but boy the outcome is a beautiful thing. Ben and I have been trying to read and pray together every morning before he leaves for work and selflessness has been a recent topic in our readings in The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy Keller. It’s pretty easy to get caught up in your own feelings, needs, and wants, but true happiness is when you serve others over yourself. I have been caught up in my pessimistic thoughts and feelings and have majorly lacked serving my husband over myself, so this quote really started the desire inside of me to improve.
“To have a marriage that sings requires a Spirit-created ability to serve, to take yourself out of the center, to put the needs of others ahead of your own. That is, you only discover your own happiness after each of you has put the happiness of your spouse ahead of your own, in a sustained way, in response to what Jesus has done for you.” -Timothy Keller
Each day is a gift, an opportunity, and so much more. There’s a time for everything and right now is a time for me to be optimistic, selfless, motivated, and consistent. I would love to hear some feedback on this post. It could be how you handle stress or what you do when you just need to think or maybe things you also are trying to change/improve in your life right now. Comment below!