We talked yesterday about setting intentions and not necessarily sticking with them. You all know that I like microwave growth. When I set out to do something I want the “new me” to emerge quickly. If I decide I’m drinking 70oz of water a day, I want to do that now! Change doesn’t work that way. My therapist told me about the stages of change when I was becoming frustrated when I slipped back into old habits.
Check out the guide above because it has been very helpful.
What stage of change are you in? Are you thinking about changing but haven’t made any moves yet? Have you started to make changes but nothing has really stuck? When I thought about what stage I was in, at the moment I was in the relapse phase. I don’t want you to get hung up on the words relapse. Its not necessarily a bad thing, especially if the change you are trying to make doesn’t involve anything dangerous. For example, I have been working on not over extending myself, that means being able to say no and not just doing things because I feel obligated. When I notice my calendar has started to get full again and I don’t want it to be then I have relapsed. Or if I say I’m not going to get on social media for 21 days, then I binge Twitter and Instagram when the insurrection happens, I relapsed.
Unfortunately, for many missing the mark is a part of the change process.
Sometimes you have to go through the relapse process several times before you are able to make the change stick. I think the relapse phase is important it shows you can not make the change on your own. It is a good reminder that you not only need God’s help but possibly an accountability partner to help you stick to what you want to do and check on you to make sure you don’t get off track.
The best goal I kept in 2020 was insuring that I posted every Friday. The main reason I kept that goal because I asked my friends to hold me accountable. I didn’t want to let them down. You also need community to help you with your goals but we will talk about that more next week.
If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.Ecclesiastes 4:10
Look at the chart and determine where you are in the change process. Remember to give yourself grace and if you need help find someone you trust, and ask them.
The word I’m focusing on this week is reflection. 2020 was supposed to be the year of clarity. I remember everybody being so hype about 2020 coming, year of completion, year of clarity. Did those things happen for you? When I asked myself that question I had to say yes they did. 2020 did a lot of things for me that I certainly wasn’t expecting. I didn’t roll into the year feeling great. I didn’t feel grounded, I felt like I was just floating by trying to keep my head above water.
I went back and read my old journal from the beginning of this year and I had a lot of goals which I did end up accomplishing most of them. After reading my old journal, the biggest thing I noticed was that I felt a disconnect from God. I wasn’t feeling his presence. My emotions were very up and down. I also wasn’t going to church as much as I should and I wasn’t doing any bible study. I changed those things in the second half of 2020 for sure.
That’s the beauty in writing things down. January-March (pre-Covid) feels so long ago. I definitely feel differently about it now then I did when I was in it. While I felt a little lost going into 2020, by the time the end of December got here, I recognized I needed to make changes going into 2020. I wrote down all the things I wanted to do and I eventually did them. It just didn’t seem like they were happening fast enough. I didn’t really start implementing the changes I wanted to do until April 2020. I was forced to change because of Covid but it was for my good. Quality takes time.
I also made a vision board and found scripture to match up with the goals that I had. It was super helpful.
As we finally! finish up 2020 this is the time to reflect on what you have done and prepare for what you are doing next.
The great thing about change is that you don’t have to wait until the New Year to do it. You can start right now, today. Even if you only move a centimeter in the right direction. Its movement, it counts.
I use a lot of DJ Khaled gifs in my writing. I don’t know why it just seems appropriate lol
I don’t want people to be mistaken and think that I’m bragging on myself. I’m not. I wouldn’t have anything, I wouldn’t feel this good if it wasn’t for God.
If you have read this blog long enough then you know it wasn’t always like this. I had many years when I suffered for the most part in silence. I’m not saying my life is all sunshine and rainbows because it’s not. The difference is my perspective changed. My perspective changed because I decided to try God’s way instead of my way or the world’s way. My way wasn’t doing anything for me. I felt even worse because now I added guilt om top of all the other things I felt.
People ask what’s the secret. How can they feel like this too? I go to church, I read and study my Bible on my own, I go to Bible study in a group, I cut back on my secular tv shows and music. I do all those things because I need God all the time in all the ways I could get him.
That’s not sexy or interesting though. Its not fun or fast. It can be tedious at times.
I didn’t always do that. I thought once I had my baby I would be cool, my suffering is over, God answered my prayers. That happy feeling didn’t last long.
Once I went back to work my happy bubble burst and I had to figure out how to get it back. That’s why I worry so much about maintaining the momentum. I’ve been on the other side of this feeling and I don’t want to go back.
I continue to work on finding a balance on being in the world and my relationship with God. Spending more time with him definitely helps with that. Age has helped with that, the pandemic has helped with that too. I am not telling you it will be easy, or fast, but it will be worth it.
I was at leadership meeting at church and the guy leading the class asked us what God is working on in us. One person said self forgiveness. He said he felt like he was putting expectations on himself that God had not put on him. I have been thinking about that statement all week.
This week was rough. I just have a lot of things going on right now and I felt like I was doing a disservice to God but I couldn’t put my finger on why. It lead me to do a lot of research on condemnation vs conviction, which I will post about next week. I still didn’t feel like I had the answer though. I have been pretty diligent. Usually when I feel this way, I fall into a Netflix of Hulu binge but this time I didn’t. I’m still reading everyday, through the bible in a year plan on YouVerse bible app and having my quiet time. So I asked God, what do you want me to do? What do you expect of me? Just a few days ago.
He gave me the answer today. In Deuteronomy, God says all he wants you do is fear him and do what pleases him. That’s it. Sounds pretty simple. In a way yes, but in a way no. I have been doing a lot of research on what pleases God for quite sometime. There are a lot of things in the bible about what doesn’t please God but I feel like there is less emphasis on what does please him.
I think that is because God doesn’t want us to work ourselves to death in trying to please him. Loving him with all your heart, soul and strength is not an easy task. This is why he gives us grace. Grace to mess up, grace to mistakes. He sees our hearts and our intentions.
He just wants us to do the best we can. I lose sight of this because I have placed expectations on myself that God never did. I never noticed I did that before. I have been trying to grow so fast. I want to be as close to perfect as possible, which really isn’t humble. I want God to know I’m paying attention, that I’m not just being a reader of the word but a doer of the word. James 1:22-24.
Are you being too hard on yourself? Try not to be. Don’t run from God when you feel this way, run towards him. He will always give you answers and typically sooner than you think.