Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Empty Wells

Sometimes I surprise myself.  That can be a good thing, but this time I'm surprised at how long it can take me to learn something that I already know.  

We have a note on our refrigerator.  I made it myself and we've had it on our frig, in one form or another, for years now.

It is the five most important things that I (we) need to do everyday.  Five things to be healthy and live well. Five things. Everyday.

Simple, right?

And yet as simple as it is, it so often eludes me.  All too often I allow myself to get distracted from these five simple things and when I do that for very long I inevitably start to feel overwhelmed and empty.  Thirsty. And that's when I start looking for water in empty wells.

Empty wells like my iPad, my phone, my computer, TV, food...things that I think will fill the void that I feel in the moment.  But they never do.  Not really. 

But the thing is, I know where the water is!  I KNOW.  Jesus sat at a well that must have looked similar to this one.  He sat there and explained to the woman who came there for water, that He was the source of Living Water, the water that we all thirst for...

John 4:13-14

13 Jesus answered her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again. 14 But whoever drinks the water that I give him will never be thirsty again. But the water that I give him will become in him a spring of water [satisfying his thirst for God] welling up [continually flowing, bubbling within him] to eternal life.”
I know this.  So why do I keep going to empty wells?  WHY? They distract me for a time, and then they leave me wanting for more.  They don't satisfy. Not for long anyway. They only make me thirstier. 

So, about a week ago I decided to listen to the sign on my frig, specifically, the last one on the list. "Rest". I hadn't been sleeping well for some time which led me to feeling exhausted, which led me to feeling unmotivated, which led me to staying up too late and reaching for something to fill my water bucket.  So, I decided to do two things...go to bed by 10pm, every night, and no technology after going to bed or in the mornings before work.  (Except to play Pandora or read the bible or my book on my Nook app.)  No Facebook, no Fox News, no Wikipedia, no Google. 

No empty wells.

And guess what....I have been sleeping SO much better!  I've been less anxious, better rested.  More present.  I'm not rushing so much in the mornings and usually have time to pack my lunch before work (#3). I'm more focused on praying while I get ready in the mornings instead of checking Facebook (#1), I'm reading my bible before bed (#2), and doing my "not-yoga"  more regularly (#4).

Wow.  I didn't realize until I typed that all out that just making that one change has affected all the other things!  Now, to just keep this going.  That's why it's on my frig, to remind me everyday (because goodness knows that I'm in the frig everyday!)  

I got some confirmation from my son about this recently too.  His phone was damaged several weeks ago, and even though we have insurance on it he was close enough to qualify for an upgrade, which was actually cheaper than paying the insurance deductible and replace his current phone (thanks, rip-off cell phone insurance people).  Anyway, he decided he wanted to wait for the new iPhone 7 Plus which is on back order until November (which he will be paying for 100% himself, btw).  As we were driving the other day, he told me that he has actually felt happier being without his phone.  He is more relaxed, and I have noticed him spending more time with us, talking face to face

Imagine that?!  I'm almost glad that he wrecked his phone!  (Almost.)

So...listening to Pandora this morning and this song came on.  It was just what I needed to hear today.

Thursday, October 06, 2016

I'm tired and some good ideas

I need a do over.  Not a major do over like I have made the wrong choices in life and now I'm going to go all Thelma and Louise.  No, I've just been feeling like in certain areas of my life I'm stuck in a rut, spinning my wheels...

I SO don't want to be that girl that lives my life hearing all the good advice and reading all the books and going through one bible study after another and having all the big ideas and making all the plans.......but never truly making any real, lasting changes.  Consuming but never digesting.  Taking things in, but not applying them to my life.

What in the world am I talking about?

Top on my list is, and has been for a couple decades now...I want to be healthy.  Truly healthy.  Physically. Spiritually.  Financially.  I want to have an organized house that is clean and well maintained.  We aren't hoarders or anything, and our house isn't in complete disarray.  But it could use some help.  I want our home to be warm and inviting and comfortable.  One that I feel good about having people over without notice.  It doesn't have to be perfect, and likely never will be, that's ok with me. I just want it to be the place where our family can't wait to be.  A place that is "come on in" ready so if someone stops by I don't feel embarrassed about the walls that need painting, the windows that need cleaning, and the carpets that need shampooing (replacing, really). Basically I want our home to feel like a coffee shop.  Warm atmosphere, good smells, music...a place where we can relax without all the distractions of things undone.  (And I suppose without all the strangers on their laptops drinking coffee, that would be weird.) (People making mochas for me whenever I wanted, that would be ok).

I know it's totally do-able.  We can do all the things it would take to create our oasis.  We know how to paint and clean and update fixtures and such, and contrary to (my) popular belief, we can make the time. So, what's stopping us?  Well that's where the other areas come into play.  Specifically, my health.  To be brutally honest,  I don't have the energy.  I'm tired.  And I'm tired of being tired.  We've been eating out too much for some time now, so in an effort to be healthier and also in a better place financially, I've been cooking at home more.  It's been great and I've made some yummy new things (don't you just love those "Tasty" videos on Facebook?  I've made a few of those recipes so far and they have all been awesome!).  But it comes at a price...for the past few nights of my home-cooking adventures I have stopped at the grocery store after work for essential ingredients, gone home and got to cooking (with a glass of wine in hand) and really enjoyed the process!  Garlic and onion saute'd in olive oil and butter smells like heaven.  But by the time we ate and cleaned up it was literally 8pm.  And after a poor night's sleep the night before, which has unfortunately become a regular thing for me lately, I have no more energy to do anything around the house.  Combined with running into town, or waiting in town to pick up the kids from their highschooly things, we get to bed too late most nights and by the time the weekend hits, we just want to relax, or get away, or both.


I need a plan.  I know that the first step to accomplish any goal is to make a plan.

Well, the thing is I have made the plans.  I have read the books and the blogs, and coveted friends and Pinterest strangers who seem to have it together better than I do.  And I have repeated my mantra that "every choice, every step, every bite, every hour and every dollar counts".  I have believed this and committed myself to living this way...over and over...and then before I know it I find myself in my recliner scrolling through Facebook and eating Ben &  Jerry's out of the carton.

I find myself there...as if I didn't put myself there.

It's all about choices.  I know this.  But I think if I just wasn't so tired I would make better choices.  So that is where I need to start I guess...make myself not so tired.  Which brings me back to my health.  It seems to always come back to my health.

Funny that.


I think my plan needs to include doing some prep work on the weekends so that my weeks aren't so overwhelming and exhausting.  Ding! Ding! Ding!  Ok.

Good idea #1.  Get grocery shopping done on the weekends and plan (healthy) meals ahead of time so I'm not stopping at the grocery store after work. (Or just saying "screw it" and getting takeout).

Good idea #2.  Make myself start getting ready for bed by 9pm.  I always sleep better if I get to bed earlier.

Good idea #3.  Exercise.  That seems to be the tough thing to work into my days.  Partly because my days are so packed with other things, and also because I don't want to.  But I need to get over myself and make the time.  And do my "Not-Yoga" routine in the evenings (it's like Yoga, but not Yoga because I don't do Yoga), and also walking the dog and doing my elliptical at least a few times a week.  I can do these things.

Good idea #4.  Be consistent in taking my Plexus supplements...a post for another day, but this I have discovered is HUGE in improving and maintaining my health and energy.  (But I have to cooperate with the healthy eating and exercise and rest, it's not a magic pill).  (Wouldn't it be nice if there was a magic pill?) (Sigh).

Good idea #5.  Hire someone to do some cleaning and painting in our house.  Seriously.  I'll have to talk to Vince about that one.

Good idea #6.  Pray about all of this and rely on God's help, every day.  Because I can't do this on my own.


That, kids, is how I make a plan!  Which, as I have already said, I have done many times before...but the thing about making plans is that you apparently have to DO the plans in order for them to work.

Funny that.

I'll let you know how this one goes.  Prayers welcome.