We had a great time with family over the 4th of July and now everyone is feeling much better. We went out for a pontoon ride, kayaked, and had a campfire. I tried eating a s'more (because those are a requirement of camping) but it didn't sit too well. E really enjoyed camping, minus the life-jacket that didn't fit him very well!
Of course we went for a family run, too!
Over the past couple weeks, I had been developing a new morning routine of waking up at 5:00 am for Bible reading/prayer/devotions, working out at 6:00 am and making breakfast for the guys at 7:00 am (depending on Leo's work schedule). While we were all sick, I fell off the routine because we mainly slept and/or laid around all day for two days straight.
I have been reading the book Every Body Matters by Gary Thomas and the below quote speaks well on the subject of discipline.
"If a man does not exercise his arm he develops no biceps muscle; and if a man does not exercise his soul, he acquires no muscle in his soul, no strength of character, no vigor of moral fiber, nor beauty of spiritual growth."The Greatest Thing in the World, Henry DrummondIf you want to be a better runner, you need to run.
If you want to grow in your relationship with the Lord, you need to spend time with God and His Word.
Positive growth requires discipline.
5 Tips to Develop DisciplineGod continues to use long-distance running to teach me physical and mental discipline. As I am growing in my relationship with Him, He is showing me how these principles apply to spiritual growth as well!
For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. 1 TIMOTHY 4:8
1. Make TimeWe make time for what we want to make time for. Key word: want. I could write an entire blog post on the excuses people tell me for not exercising. There are equally as many excuses from those who say they don't have time to read their Bible.
When I was feeling a bit whiny about waking up early to pray and read, God reminded me of those mornings that I woke up at 4:45 am to run when I had a much younger baby and was working full-time out of the home. I have always been very disciplined with running and marathon training but my spiritual training was lacking. I read my Bible and prayed before bedtime, but by then I was basically a human zombie. I want to give God my best, not my leftovers.
2. Set Your PrioritiesMake a list of what is most important to you in your life and organize your time accordingly. Take an honest look at how you spend your time now.
Does the way you spend your time line up with your priorities? What time-wasters can be cut out? Which activities don't line up with your goals?
Writing this down in my journal has helped me to keep my priorities in check and manage my time for efficiently. I know that God deserves my first and best each day. Serving and spending time with my family is the next most important and running comes somewhere after that. I love running, but relationships are first. (And running with family is the best. Win-win!)
3. Be ConsistentWhile there doesn't seem to be a magic number of days to form a habit, consistency is key. We are creatures of habit, which can work for us or against us.
I started running long distance about 5 years ago and at that time "going out for a run" was a generally uncomfortable experience. I was entering the world of desk jobs at the time and knew that running was a necessary evil that would help me maintain my sanity and stay in shape. Fast-forward to now and a day without going for a run feels incomplete.
This same principle applies to my relationship with the Lord. The more often I wake up to read my Bible and spent quiet time with God, the more I desire to start out my day with Him every day! Consistency is key.
4. Stay Focused on the GoalHaving specific goals keeps you on task and helps to fight through the tough times when you just don't feel like it. I'm guessing that I'm not the only one who doesn't feel like waking up early to read my Bible and lacing up my shoes to get out for a run every morning.
Remembering why I spend time with the Lord and why I exercise help me to get through the bad days. When I lack motivation to get out of bed, I remember how good I feel afterwards and how I never regret waking up early to read and run.
Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. 2 TIMOTHY 2:21
5. Save the ExcusesAs I mentioned earlier, I could write an entire post of the excuses I have heard, but I won't. Negativity isn't really something I care to share because it is very contagious. Excuses are contagious, too. Are you spending your time with people who build you up or drag you down with them?
"The mark of a true friend is someone who makes you want to be at your best when you are with him." Henry Van Dyke, Princeton professor and clergyman.
What did you do for the 4th of July?
What habits are you working on forming or breaking?
What habits are you working on forming or breaking?
Linking up at Mommy Moments, Motivation Monday and Fitness Friday.