Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Self-discipline — My Word for 2020

Self-discipline. At age 71, I should have this word nailed. I do not. Cancer was my wake-up-to-reality moment that life is short and could end at any time. Our days, hours, minutes, and seconds are counting down. 

Regrets. I don't want any. I remember thinking, I don't want to be 85 and wish I had written a book. So, I disciplined myself. I chose to, and sometimes forced myself to, sit, write, edit, and rewrite. Discipline is good for me, for my family, and for the Kingdom of God. Discipline brings happiness, productivity, health, and glory to God. So why don't I do it? Because satan tempts me to follow his spirit and not the Spirit of God. As I discipline myself to say no to the devil and yes to the Lord, I will live a powerful, loving, and disciplined life.

"For the Spirit God gives us 
does not make us timid,
 but gives us 
love, and 
2 Timothy 1:7

God has given me the spirit of power, love, and self-discipline. I have it. It's mine! In 2020, I will seize that power and determine to live a more disciplined life. With God's power I will make good use of every minute of every day. Will you join me as I choose self-discipline in 2020?

I am asking God to reveal areas in my life where I need discipline. This list may grow, but as of today, here are my thoughts:

Discipline time for fun. I can be so work-obsessed and to-do list driven, that I neglect fun and relaxation. When I play hard and laugh loud, my head clears and I often hear God's whisper of approval. Solitary walks bring a communion with God I rarely sense at my computer desk. Fun helps me sleep better, love deeper, and live fuller. Fun and laughter are good medicines that cleanse my soul, so I will discipline myself to prioritize fun.

Discipline my eating. Oh, what I lose (years, health, energy,) thinking I am enjoying the gluttony. The price is too high and I must resist. Why, oh why, haven't I conquered my over-zealous love for food? Please Lord, I don't want to be a food snob or a diet guru. I enjoy the bounty you set before me. But, give me power to eat slowly, in moderation, for maximum enjoyment and health.

Discipline my eyes. I want the hours back that I've wasted watching television commercials, let alone less-than-stellar and non-affirming television shows. I guarantee on my death bed, I won't be saying,"I wish I had watched that TV show." Give me courage to get off the couch and use my eyes to read books and take on activities that glorify You.

Discipline my tongue. Oh the words I wish I could put back into my mouth and erase from the minds of the people I've hurt with words. With God's power I will grab hold of my tongue before I wag it. Use my tongue, Lord, as an instrument to edify and not to condemn or gossip or destroy.

Discipline my attitude. A day spent grumpy is a day I did not live. The day is wasted and gone and can never be retrieved. Life is too short for a negative attitude. Remind me of this, Holy Spirit, whenever I tend to go low.

Discipline my mind. I don't want to fritter my day thinking ungodly thoughts. There is no time for such wasted foolishness as gossip and worry and course joking.

Discipline my devotional life. My desire is to be all I can be for Christ. I don't want to go into old age or to Heaven never realizing all that Christ had for me spiritually. There's always room for deeper Bible study and prayer.

Discipline my time. Consecrate each day for the glory of God to do what God has me to do each hour. Visit a neighbor. Spend time with grandchildren. Go on a date with Dan. Clean the house. Write another book. Spend the day in prayer. All Godly endeavors take time. God gives me the time He planned for me as I trust in Him, His power, and His love.

". . . be hospitable, 
one who loves what is good, 
who is self-controlled, 
holy, and 
Titus 1:8

This is my prayer for 2020. 

Do you have a word for 2020? Please share other ways we can live more disciplined lives. I covet your thoughts.

Blessings for a New Year and new decade filled with splashes of serenity,


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