Christian Faith, biblical principles Family & Relationships Health & Wellness Personal Growth Self Improvement

The First Domino

Well, the vacation is officially over!

You may have noticed that I didn’t post last week and that is because my work life is starting to take over again and I’m finding it challenging to keep up the daily spiritual and wellness practices that I put in place over the past few months of COVID 19.

Even though it’s challenging, I’m more determined than ever to maintain a healthy balance, which is why I’m relying more heavily on God to help me.

This week, for instance, I was pretty sure I would not have time to write a post but, just now, after praying and inquiring God on a variety of issues, He gave me a bit of insight and a burst of inspiration to just sit down now for only one hour and share something I’m processing right now. I remember doing this years ago and being amazed at the results, so here goes…

Normally, I like to look back at my previous post to see if there is any continuity from one week to the next but instead of re-reading last week’s post and pondering it I’m just going to go from memory and trust the Holy Spirit to guide me. My last post was called “What I Really Want Is…” and it was based on some intentional journaling I had been doing for several weeks with the help of resources from Born to Fly and Val Woerner

Interestingly, last week my schedule started to become disrupted by otherwise “normal” (pre-COVID) tasks, such as a spontaneous 24-hour visit to the country to see a friend and go kayaking; responding to new wedding inquiries and booking showings for the apartment I have for rent.

On one hand, I was thrilled to be able to take a road trip to see my friend and I was grateful that there was new life being breathed back into my various forms of livelihood. What I wasn’t prepared for was, just by making those few minor additions to my schedule, how truly disrupted my routine would become, literally overnight.

I started staying up later to fit work in.
I was waking up anxious and out of sorts.
I began side-stepping my exercise, skipping my daily walks, and postponing my journalling sessions on the boardwalk.
I was eating whatever was quickest and easiest, and leaving messes around the house because I didn’t even have time to clean up after myself.
And to top it off,  the Vertigo I had battled for almost a month at the beginning of COVID, started coming back.

You get the picture…

Shockingly, it’s taken less than two weeks for my healthy routine to begin unraveling so I realize I have to get this under control now before these behaviours turn back into habits and, for me, that would be a disaster!

I do not want to go back to the way I did things before the shutdown.

That is non-negotiable.

So, here’s what God showed me this morning in prayer…

He reminded me that I’ve never been able to do everything myself (duh) and yet, no matter how successful I am in developing better habits, taking on too much remains my consistent default.

The past 3+ months of having no work has been such a blessing and a welcome retreat from the hurriedness of my previous life. I believe God wanted me to have that time to rest and reflect but He also wants to provide for my needs by restoring my sources of income, so responding to these opportunities when they come must be a priority.

I’m not meant to retire just yet so… I have to find a way to make my schedule work so that I can maintain my daily spiritual and wellness practices and still have time in the day to my best work, eat well, keep my home in order, get enough rest and exercise and share my life with family, friends and, of course, my loyal readers :)

Which leads to only one solution: I need help around the house.

As a single mom with four adult sons (one of whom is living with me), I am considered the head of my household. Therefore, God has put me in charge of building my family and that means being a pattern to my boys so that they grow into mature, responsible men, husbands, and fathers.

But here’s the thing… in terms of needing help around the house, it’s not just about asking my son (who lives with me) to help me anymore. God is telling me it has to be more than that. Going forward, it’s about changing up the dynamics so that my son assumes most of the responsibility for the care of our home on a day to day basis. Instead of me keeping track of what needs to be done and delegating it, it would be the other way around.

At first, I found that difference a bit hard to wrap my head around in terms of how and whether it would actually work… but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it made so much sense.

When I was asking God how I could propose this to my son without sounding passive-aggressive (which is, unfortunately, my go-to) and frame it in a way that my son could hear and embrace the idea with as little push pack as possible, He reminded me that my job is to build my own life, first. Even though I may need other people to help me achieve God’s design for my life, it’s not my job to try to influence or persuade them. Instead, I must trust that God will fulfill His plan for them, and for me, in His own time.

Then, He showed me an image of being the “first Domino”.

And I realized that the first Domino has to fall in order for the chain reaction with the other Dominos to begin.

So, what does that mean to me?

It means that I have to first make sure that the way I lead my own life is stable, bold, and upright in order to be an example to others. That part is clear enough… I’ve understood that for some time now. The next part, however, is what I found so interesting, which is to be willing to relinquish my status and my “control” of the situation, to humble myself or “fall” (in the Domino sense) in order for the next person (or Domino) to be able to fulfill their new role as a mature, upright, bold and stable member of society… and so the pattern can continue to the next Domino, and the next…

For my family, this means that I have to step back in order to give them more responsibility and room to experiment, so they can grow into the men God designed them to be, even if it’s outside my comfort zone…. or theirs.

It means that I can’t let myself be swayed by the possibility that they will push back which, for me, brings up the fear that they will stop loving me if I ask too much. That’s a topic for a whole other post but it is still a very real (albeit, irrational) fear that prevents me from asserting my authority when it’s perfectly appropriate, and even necessary, to do so.

And finally (and just as importantly), for me, it means that I can reclaim the time I need to continue to grow and serve God, according to His divine plan for me.

OMG, I did it! (Well, most of it) in an hour!

What I mean is that I had a very busy day and I forgot all about posting in time! Fortunately (lol), I was woken up in the middle of the night and I lay there, trying to fall back to sleep and wondering why God would wake me up (He does that). I didn’t feel like there was any particular concern I had that He might be needing me to process so  I decided to look at the time and realized that there was only an hour left to my posting deadline! At first, I thought it would be crazy to get up at 2:44 am and finish the post but I figured that God must have woken me up for that reason, and the next thing I knew I was sitting in the dark with my laptop open.

And here I am :)

Tomorrow is a free day so I’m going to let myself sleep in a bit and then wake up and clean my house! I cannot wait for that feeling of having order and cleanliness restored to my environment!

Only 7 minutes left to post!

Until next time…