Monday, December 29, 2014

All in a Word: DISCIPLINE

Discipline... As parents, we must do it. Train, correct, redirect, and even punish when necessary. For the most part, this is the not so fun part of our job.  At times it's repetitive.  We wonder if it's working... if it's worth it... will they ever get it?  Sometimes we feel like the bad guy. We wonder if it will cause our children to "hate" us, or if they'll rebel against us. We know it is for their good, but it simply doesn't feel so good. At least that's my story...

Many times, I get to a place of complete frustration with this whole "training up a child" process.  Real talk, I had a meltdown... just a few days ago. I wish I could tell you what happened... or what action sent me into a total rage... or even what triggered such a highly emotional response that literally left me saying, "I quit!!!" But I can't... Because I honestly don't know.  All I know is that the kids were on my nerves!! And I KNOW that I've raised them better than that!

Going through this cycle time and time again... Venting to the Lord... Venting to my husband... Venting to my friends... Having a "MOMent"... Giving it a day or two or ten... Then getting right back in the game when I feel better.  It's a release. One that I need. After all, I think motherhood is sending me into a frenzy.

And then... When I ran out of fingers to point, I began to see areas in my own life that were completely spiraling out of control. Let me just let you into my prayer closet for a minute...

  • TIME... Yeah, I've been wasting a lot of it
  • FOOD... Has pretty much been my comfort
  • PRIORITIES... Are out of whack - like wayyyyy out of whack
  • DISCONTENTMENT... My new normal
  • QUIET TIME... I get it in, when I can fit it in
Now lest you think completely terribly of me, I'll spare you the details of the remainder of the list. But I'm sure you get the point. Life was getting ugly... really ugly... really quickly... without me even realizing it. And how not so coincidentally, my life seemed to run parallel with the actions of my children. Yes, much like my kids, I know better!

Uncomfortable with the realization of who really needed to be checked, I had to finally admit that I get it.  It's all about discipline. And so many areas of my life lacked true discipline. After all, discipline is not about knowing what to do... it's about doing what you know. In fact, it's about doing what you know, when you don't feel like it.  Doing what you know, when there is no instant gratification. Doing what you know, with a pure heart - not seeking praise, approval, applause or likes. Doing what you know... (gasp)... with the LITTLE things.

Discipline is an idea that so easily gets lost in my life... probably because I assume it's there! You see, I absolutely want to be the best that I can be. (Type A... overachiever... perfectionist over here!) So I know about determination. And I know all about drive. Yet I seem to fall short of living my best, simply because of lack of discipline.  Eeek.

To be clear, living a disciplined life is far different from that of legalism - where anything short of perfection will lead to condemnation, guilt, and self-defeat. No! Instead, a life of discipline is a consistent, self-controlled, purpose-filled, forward propelling life - one that's founded in truth, filled with love (not law); grace (not guilt); and conviction (not condemnation). Did you catch that? It's self-control, leading to action.

Few experience it. Yet many desire it.

The Lord opened my eyes so clearly that day.  He graciously made me aware of myself. He lovingly used my children to teach me a lesson...

Discipline. As a parent, I must do it.  As a daughter of the King, I must possess it.

Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them... For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness.
Hebrews 12:9-10 ESV