Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Disciplined 12%

Nick told me a few days ago that he'd heard a statistic that only 12% of the American population flosses daily (If you ever want to know a useless piece of trivia, ask Nick!) I must admit I'm one of the 88% who debates with myself nightly, "Do I floss or just collapse in bed?"

So, I began thinking about what the hold-up is with a simple act that improves our overall well-being and only takes a few minutes to do. God whispered in my ear that it's a discipline issue -- not exactly the sweet nothing I wanted to hear! I've been asking my Sunday school friends to pray for discipline for me for several weeks now, so, as usual, God continues to speak in the most unusual ways to me -- it would take a supernatural being to make some sense out of Nick's barrage of trivia. :o) Love you, Honey!

There are so many ways I find myself undisciplined (a word much more desirable to apply to my children than myself!) However, those things that we're called to be disciplined about are for our own and our families' own good. Daily quiet time and Bible study, exercising, eating well, disciplined spending, flossing, spending focused energy on important relationships . . .

I'm kind of a slow learner (or maybe just a convenient listener), so God frequently has to repeat things to me. Case in point: Our church-wide topic for the past couple of weeks has been about parenting and the concept of being "experience-rich" and "relationship-poor." A topic couldn't be more timely in our family, as Nick and I have been discussing the merits (and demerits) of various activities for the children and our family and how we want a simpler family existence than we often see swirling around us. We know that busyness can sneak up on families and can rob us of truly interactive, enriching time with our children and each other. Neither of us buy into the sneaky subversive idea of "quality time." Those spontaneous conversations and experiences with your children and spouse can't be prescribed into 30 minutes of "quality" time each day. Deep relationships with those you love are fostered by being available and present: quantity. While it might be the unpopular thing to do, we really feel the importance of living a slower paced life, which takes discipline to resist all the "fun" things we "have" to do.
Interesting how the underlying theme is "discipline" -- be careful what you ask for. You may just get whacked over the head with it.

In retrospect, I read a magazine article last month titled, "Floss and Flex" in a Christian magazine. The author, a middle-aged woman, said she wishes she's been more disciplined in her 20's and 30's and 40's, taking the time to do the little things to care for herself and build her strength, both physically and spiritually, and to have not wasted so much time on the frivolous things that did neither.

I've also been asking God increase my ability to discern his will and desires for my life. I always struggle with how God speaks to me, and he has both increased my discernment lately and shown me that He speaks in so many ways that I can hear (well, sometimes): magazines, friends, church messages, even Nick's useless trivia! Thank God for answered prayers. Now, if only I can apply a little self-discipline! :o)

1 comment:

julieamberjones said...

I'm right there with ya, girl!