At the beginning of 2013, because of a blog inspired writing I read, I chose a word to define what I wanted the year to be. It is time for me to update on those of you who have followed that choice of mine.
The word I chose was DILIGENT.
I wanted to strive to be more diligent in all areas. Diligence requires thought sometimes. Some moments, diligence requires time. Some days, diligence requires practice, patience and persistence.
Being diligent was something I was somewhat trained to do, unintentionally, by my parents growing up. Dad was always diligent as a farmer and diligent in providing for us at all cost. Mom was a diligent housewife and mother in all areas. I am thankful for that upbringing, and while I could have chosen a different word to define my year, I chose diligent because many areas of my life existed where I was just mediocre and I needed to push myself to new levels.
So, here is where I stand in diligence:
As a mom: -In my mind, a mom should always be diligent. But then there's reality. And in reality, we moms are tired more often than not. Therefore, some days, it is difficult to be diligent. However, in praying about what I wanted the year to look like and how I wanted my life to form a little differently, I saw that I needed to become more diligent with my kids. I need to put my phone away more often. I need to take more deep breaths when the pre teen temper comes out (in my pre teen, that is!). I need to laugh more and read more and do things my kids like more often. This has been more challenging than I would have thought. (Sidenote: in these moments, I have missed my mom a lot, knowing that she would be one I would typically lean on through these moments of Mom growth). I also needed to be diligent in discipline. I have always been one to discipline and believe in that. Michael has always been consistent with it. However, I must admit, in the last few years, guilt has sometimes overtaken my motherhood (guilt over working a lot or being too tired or being stuck in a depressive state, etc), and thus, I slacked on my discipline. Anyway, all this to say it has been a learning process for me as I have begun evaluating. Putting my phone away is not always easy for me. Sometimes those are the moments I think technology is a beast . However, I have improved in this and that's what I can continue to do. It's important to have that sense of connection; but it doesn't need to be a lifeline. I have been able to remember myself as a 10 year old girl and what those emotions are like, and thus know how to handle my daughters new roller coaster emotions better. Discipline has become better reinstated. Homework has a timely fashion. And now that it is warmer, we have begun to take the dogs out and walk and laugh. So, there is room for improvement, but it's reshaping little by little.
As a Wife: this should probably be my husband speaking for me on this one. However, I'm the one doing the evaluating, so I have to be the one to decipher some of that. I have asked his input on it at times, though. I have room for growth, but there have been improvements in diligence here, too. Putting my phone away comes in here, too. Converse with my husband rather than be immersed in my phone conversations. (Doesn't mean never have phone conversations or texts, just means to back off them somewhat during "our" time). Again, for some reason, this is a challenge for me at time, but I have made growth in that area of diligence. It just takes putting it away. Being diligent as a servant to my husband. No, not a slave. A servant. There is a big difference. Marriage requires selflessness-easier said than done some days. And to be diligent in becoming that is not always something I have done well. I have room to become more diligent with this. He is not one to feel love with words (as I am) so I need to be more diligent in loving him how he feels loved-with my time and my commitment. And I need to be more diligent in loving him his way, not mine.
In my Healthy lifestyles: I have blogged often about running, so I would say I continue to be diligent with my running. However, there needs to be more diligence in the areas of things such as sit-ups and weight lifting. There was a day, once upon a time, when I was very good about both. And in that day, I preferred my body's outcome. Life has changed, and I recognize those changes, but if I am going to complain about what I feel my body is, I need to be more diligent in that area. Not obsessive, but diligent. To do some situps and weights for 10 minutes a day even. I even was having a conversation with a friend about this, and she said to me, 'It just takes diligence' and I stopped and remembered I am supposed to be better embracing that word's actions! So in that moment, I reminded myself that if I want a better outcome, I have to be more diligent, because running doesn't always cut it. And to go along with that is healthy eating. So, I am by no means overweight, and I shouldn't complain about my weight, but every woman, to some degree, I think, struggles with a slight aspect of this. I don't drink, I don't drink soda much either, so those are the 2 things people always say to cut out if you want to lose. So, I have to think a bit more about what I need to change in my eating lifestyle in order to see more results. I have to be more diligent and purposeful about this if I want to lose a little. room for improvement in this area: Become diligent in just 10 minutes of strength training a few days a week to start and.....more veggies???? I have to think about the food one. Man, I do love my food! But change requires diligence.
In my spiritual journey with God: This area of life has become one of the highest values, as it well should always be. I have learned very much about prayer as I have become more diligent in talking with God. And as an author has stated " Sometimes prayer doesn't change the circumstance, it changes me." That has become the case, and I love it. Where do I want to see myself being more diligent in this area??? I need to be more diligent in the scriptures. I believe the Word of God IS the Word of God, and in so believeing, I need to be more diligent in learning it. Even something so simple as a verse a week. Memorizing scriptures has never been my forte, but I have seen the benefits of knowing the Word by heart, and I want that to be active in my life as well. So there is my room for improvement.
In my career: This particular area of life has been really neat to watch unfold. I make coffee. There honestly isn't much room to grow here, in the sense that there is no ladder for me to climb. However, there are always things to make sure I am doing to the best of my ability. I have learned to become more diligent in polishing dishes (Ugh, still hate that task). but it has opened up doors of prayer for me. And as I have developed diligence in what I do, God has blessed me. With new friendships; with warm words; and with neat projects. It is still not what I want to do my whole life, but it is where God has me now and I have a new love for it. A new purpose. My mom's scholarship goals I place into the career category, and that also is taking off with new vengeance. I do believe I am diligent in that area. Passion breeds diligence. Imagine if I apply that in every area, every day?!
So, there you have it-my diligence update. I will Keep on Keeping on in learning to allow diligence to grow deeper in my heart and in my lifestyle, One Day At A Time.