Saturday, December 1, 2018

A Mindful December: Day 1

I don't know about you, but the Butlers here lately have had a hard time being joyful about our life.  With so much to be thankful for and blessings we can't deny, bad attitudes and bad habits should not be the theme.  And yet, I feel like we have been fighting off satan right and left.  From anxiety to unhealthy eating and complaining to outbursts, we just need help.  

This week I have started taking a more aggressive approach to my weight-loss (cutting sugar and bread most of the time and increased workouts) and after the first 36 hours or so, I noticed a difference right away.  The momentum I've felt in years past just fell into place.  The wedding cake last night was almost easy to refuse because the clear mind and motivation it brings is just so addicting!  That being said, it is more than just my eating and bodily health that needs reviving.  And I'm not the only one.  The saying, "If Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!" is true in more ways than one.  If Mom has a bad attitude or is in a constant state of feeling overwhelmed or stress - you better believe it is going to influence everyone around her, from Dad all the way down to the dog.



One of the biggest struggles we are all having is paying attention to the things we are supposed to.  It's not new, but it is still a problem, the distraction of our 'modern' world.  Comparison, avoidance, addiction, apathy, there is just so much that we can get sucked into.  And we have given in to a lot more the past few years largely because the worries and troubles have just been a lot.  A lot more than we were prepared for.  But the big storm has passed and the trauma of it all has faded, so there's really no excuses anymore.  It's time to act and choose purposefully rather than reactionary.  


mind·ful·ness
/ˈmīn(d)f(ə)lnəs/
noun
  1. 1.
    the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
    "their mindfulness of the wider cinematic tradition"
  2. 2.
    a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.


When I am floundering, I just need hope.  And a plan.  A Mindful December is part of that plan.  This month we are taking some time every day to focus on mindfulness. Day 1, we started with a Mindfulness Journal with these cute journals from Sam's that I had bought a while back and the verse below.



Romans 12:2 (ESV)

Do not be conformed to this world,[a] but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

The natural question that arose was how do I need to be transformed?  In discussion and in our journals we talked about our weaknesses and how we need to improve.  It was a good thing.  There is still mounds of laundry and a very neglected kitchen floor, but we're setting our gaze in a better spot.  December is one of the best and hardest months depending on the year and who you are.  It is just so full and that fullness - even when it is full of joy - can quickly suck our spirits dry.  I really want my spirit - and my family's spirit - to be full of THE Spirit.  But wanting and accomplishing is not the same and it does not happen over night.  So, one day at a time we're practicing mindfulness in hopes of building our fences in the Spirit.  
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