Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Proverbs 4:23

Discipline is Not a Four Letter Word

on March 5, 2013


Those who disregard discipline despise themselves, but the one who heeds correction gains understanding
Discipline.  The thought makes me shudder.  When I think of discipline, I think of a confined space and me stuck in it.  The word almost makes me hyperventilate.  It makes me feel restricted and bound up and I break out in a rash.
Are you getting the picture?  My mind tells me discipline is just plain yucky like boys think girls are until about 5th grade.
Do any of you have this same affliction?  There are varying degrees of it.  Not all cases are as severe as mine.

This aversion has caused me to do some thinking lately.  Actually,  I do that a lot.  I think about what I need to do to get the results I day-dream about for mine and my family’s life, but then that’s about as far as I go.  To make the changes that I know need done, well, that would take work.  Lots of work.  I’d probably have to give up some shows in the evening which means I wouldn’t be able to plop on the couch after dinner. If I’ve been at work all day, don’t I deserve to do nothing in the evening?  Why can’t the dishes and laundry take care of themselves?   I’d also have to plan ahead, like more than 30 minutes ahead. This too would mean giving up some of my guilty pleasures.  What can I say?  My flesh is sinful and likes to indulge in laziness.

I should tell you I’m a great starter, but a lousy finisher.  For years I’ve been searching for the answer.  I’ve had help and support from friends and family.  I have prayed for an instantaneous change to rid me of my weaknesses.  Boy have I prayed.  I have not yet been rescued .  I have continued on in my lack of ……what is the word I’m looking for……..ummmm OH!!!! I know!  It’s discipline.  It’s that thing I try to instill in my children.  I try to instill it in them, but it seems to evade me.  My mama tried to instill it in me.  I’m sure she still shakes her head in wonder some days.

Why is that?

Hmmmmm.  I’ll ponder some more.  Because I do that well.

Proverbs is a good place to ponder.  The verse I chose today is for me and hopefully for you too.  With discipline comes understanding.

My sisters, there are many things I need understanding about.

I have had discipline in my life, a few times.  And if you know me, stop laughing, it’s cruel.

This is what I’ve noticed when I have discipline – my life runs much more smoothly.  When there is discipline in my housekeeping efforts, I do not experience CHAOS (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome…….Thank you FlyLady.)  When I have discipline in my meal planning, I don’t drive thru fast food places to get meals because I know I’m covered.  And the two times in my life I was disciplined in my eating and exercising habits, I was an overall happier gal.  When I am disciplined in my Bible study and prayer life, I have an abundance of peace and develop an insatiable hunger to know Him more.  When all of this is out of whack, I truly do despise myself.  I have an unsettled spirit.

Discipline is not the confining box I imagine it to be.  Discipline is really meant to free us and protect us.  It frees us from getting mired in ourselves and our want to do list.  It does not mean that we have a rigid schedule where there is no room for anything or anyone else.  It does mean that we are better prepared for when unexpected things happen.

I have a friend with which I have a pact regarding the state of my house and hers.  We have the understanding.  Should either one of us die, we will not grieve until we have cleaned the others house because we don’t want people coming over and seeing the state in which we live.  Yes, this is a true story.  Now really my sisters, should this be a worry of mine or hers.  The answer is no, it should not.  But, it is.

So today, in the spirit of discipline and understanding, I’ve got my boys doing a few things at home after school.  It will help me to jump-start the process.

Last weekend I did a big grocery shopping and I’ve very much enjoyed not  panicking about what we will eat for meals.

I can do it and you can to……if you need to.

Converse with me sweet sisters!  Please leave comments and share your stories.  It’s fun to have conversation.

Blessings & Hugs,  Elizabeth


4 responses to “Discipline is Not a Four Letter Word

  1. Linda Sloop says:

    Thanks, Elizabeth, This should hit the majority of us and I am retired and you would think I would have all the time in the world. I have to admit that I waste a lot of time doing things that don’t mean anything. You have made me more aware of the my wasted time just as Pastor Paul preached Sunday about putting God first in our lives.

    Love you,
    Linda Sloop

  2. Deanna says:

    Oh my Elizabeth, you spoke the words in my brain! Have you been to my house =) I am overwhelmed with my lack of discipline and self control. It is a consuming thought I have and I fail it daily. But I try again…But I really need to DO IT! This trying is just another excuse =) Thank you and let me heed the correction!!! Thank you!!!

  3. Krista Michelle says:

    Amen, sister. I’m so proud of you for writing what God has put on your heart through these weeks. Sometimes, I think that acts of discipline must, first, be sparked by love in your heart. Elizabeth, you love the LORD! And, it shows through this weekly act of discipline. Amen, sister! AMEN!! {I’m crying as I write this} Love you, babe! ❤

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