Reset Your Day…5 Steps to Readjust and Move in the Right Direction.
When Contentment replaces Ideal Dee Aspin
Do you ever feel you're giving your best effort to survive the day, yet swimming against the current?
Challenges, like relentless waves, are plunging your whole being— mind, body and emotions—deeper into dissonance and discontent. Far from the feel of wading through the day, toes sifting sand as you inhale fresh air and smile inside—you’re gasping. It’s a struggle to stop long enough to calm yourself and redirect your thoughts, slow down and move toward the serenity of shore.
Last weekend after errands, I drove to Mom’s (aka, teenager #1), and we beelined to the grocery store to purchase fresh ground beef for a family dinner. I had forgotten to defrost the frozen package before company arrived. “How could you forget?” I could not answer my mother’s question. Never can! To Dad's dismay, (aka, teenager #2), I arrived late to his assisted living which super annoyed him and he super let me know. Never mind when I was his teenager he could be hours late.
Enroute home, my husband called to let me know he had tripped over our hose, fell on his shoulder and broke the grill.
I pulled into our driveway loaded with groceries and parents (seconds before our company pulled up) . Only then did I realize I didn't have the house key—nor garage opener.
I’d exchanged my car for Mom’s when I picked her up to "keep her battery in running condition.“ So, now Mom pounded on the front door, Dad ranted paragraphs of displeasure... "I'd rather have stayed home in my cool house than..." and I perused climbing over the fence into our backyard.
Eventually all settled, but in those moments, before the gathering....it was like dodging volcanic ash.
Many times circumstances seem to erupt that are less than ideal. Plans can seem disappointing when they haven't even materialized. I think that's how Shakespeare must have felt eons ago when he coined, "the best laid plans of mice and men..."
Those moments—when we are in chaos hovering between disappointment and acceptance—we can begin to carve the pathway to peace through surrender. Letting go of rush and relinquish to a new moment.
I keep re-learning. Peace only comes from God, living under His provision and trusting He is in control--especially when my brain feels like a jellyfish. It's then I must let go and believe God's got "the whole world and everyone in it…in His hands." Be content to let things play out, especially when I've done the best of my ability. It's not a lot. It's what I got.
I think that's what Paul discovered when he shared Philippians 4:12,13... "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength."
It’s not about ideal. It’s about contentment.
Dad settled, Steve's shoulder calmed down after motrin and ice. People chipped in and there was plenty of food. We threw a painters drop cloth over the ping pong table to eat on and later slammed paper thin balls on the green surface and laughed. I thank God He gave me peace in the new moments. That's all I wanted, really... something no one could help me with but God. Peace is a prayer away when I embrace God’s presence in my chaos. Have you felt that way?
We must learn to be content with less. Less than ideal. Not more. Whether it's about our own progress, those in our inner circles, the church or on a larger level, our community and nation.
When it extends beyond our nation, even our city...sometimes it's best not to be encumbered far beyond reach. Some I know limit themselves to local news, I feel angst not knowing world news.
"Be careful little eyes what you see, be careful little ears what you hear," isn't just a Sunday School song for children. It‘s for big people, too. I need to be careful what I allow myself to dwell on, especially if it’s not positive. Moderation, the Scriptures admonish
And, to disrupt the dregs of disappointment, it absolutely requires restraint and the Art of Appreciation.
Gratitude opens our hearts to receive and live in the daily grace and goodness of God, Period.
5 Steps to Reverse Direction
1· Reverse The way out of ideal thinking is to stop ants (automatic negative thoughts) restrain and reverse.
“Whatever is true and pure and good and lovely, think about these things…”Philippians 4:8
”Lead every thought captive to Christ”
2. Realize There’s always someone else, somewhere else in this world that would be happy with our less than ideal. Read about other places and people and pray for them. Actively show care.
Each of you should look not only to your own interests but also to the interests of others… Philippians 2: 4
3. Reset Pray to be alive to God and loving Him and present with others, whatever the circumstances. Journal our thanks at the end of the day.
In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God... I Thessalonians 5:18 4. Reach out Ask God for help. Ask others for needs beyond our scope to cope. Research resources. Live as though we are surrounded by care—not alone. Affirm God’s love is relentless.
Cast all your anxiety on him because He cares for you... 1 Peter 5:7
Share with God’s people who are in need… Romans 12:13
5. Rise up Stand tall.
Accept Jesus‘ love and that He died for our sins and bore our shame. We are free from condemnation, from others or ourselves. Rising releases the victorious life from the victim mentality, and increases self-worth and satisfaction.
There is therefore now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1
’Who can separate us from the love of Christ? Can trials or hardships?…Romans 8:34