Some things are simply out of our control and other things we don’t need to control, but one thing we are in charge of is our day to day life. Think about waking up to the smell of fresh coffee because we set the timer the night before, having your quiet/devotional time with fresh coffee and the sausage balls you had made in advance, stepping out of the shower into the freshly pressed clothes we laid out last night before, and enjoying a peaceful start to your day. Compare that with waking up and wondering what we are going to wear, or if anything is even clean for today, not having time for a quiet devotional to begin your day, not having time for a quiet devotional to begin your day, hunting down the coffee filters because our child borrowed them for an art project, and leaving for the day with no food in our tummy because we weren’t prepared. Which start of your day seems to put you on the road to an awesome, peaceful rest of your day?
When we put routines in place, they aren’t there to harm us, but to help us. They make all the difference between a peaceful or a frantic start to our day.
Have you ever noticed that sometimes it seems our lives seem out of control? What about when the snow and ice come and our plans have to be changed? What about when we’re looking forward to doing something and we can’t go due to illness? What about the time when someone else’s choice forces a change in something we were doing?
These and many other things can cause us to look at our day with frustration or negativity. Neither of these emotions will help us in our lives. Instead of worrying about what is out of our control, how about we look at some systems that can help us feel empowered!
How does your day start? Is it more like the first or second scenario above? Doesn’t the first one sound so much nicer, and a better way to start? Good, I think so too. Wanna know how to get a smooth morning? Of course you do, so here’s the trick. It’s a well-kept secret that should be shouted from the top of the highest mountain: get as much ready the night before as possible. It probably won’t take more than 30 minutes or so, but making sure everything is ready for your tomorrow day just before going to bed will give you the peaceful morning time you’ve always wanted. Not only that, but having a routine signals your brain you’re ready to sleep well tonight because you know that tomorrow is going to begin without the chaos that’s happened in the past. Routines allow us to do the creative things our brains were meant to do, not worry about the little, mundane things we do every single day.
I challenge you to try a new routine and see how well it compliments your wonderful attitude and lends to days being better than ever. Double dog dare ya!
Affirmations are so important in our lives; however, the affirmation that speaks most to us may not be the affirmation that speaks to someone else. When we can observe someone else long enough to see how that person gives affirmations to others, we can then see how they will be best affirmed. I have had some interesting conversations with a new friend in the last couple of weeks. We were raised in different parts of the county with completely different parents who had such different parenting styles that sometimes when I was talking to her, I was quite sure she must be an alien from Mars because families simply are not like she described.
As I watched her and her huggy, touchy, feely ways (if you know me well, you know I am a pretty hands-off non-hugger around adults), I became more sure of her alien status. As I got to know her, though, I realized that was as much a part of who she is as the parts of me that were foreign to her. We are different people, and different isn’t bad.
That brings me back to affirmation styles. Much study has been done on how people perceive their “love language.” Gary Chapman even wrote several books on the topic of love languages. He says there are five ways that people feel loved and affirmed, and each of us has different combinations. He presents them as words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch. I quickly realized my new friend definitely feels affirmed and loved by the physical touch and words of affirmation.
I’m on a completely different spectrum in my life, words have been used to hurt me and promises have been empty. I feel if people give me a compliment, they want something from me or they’re making fun of me. I have to un-learn this behavior and realize that many people give words of affirmation because it is what they need in their own life.
I’m a gift and service girl. I don’t mean, go buy me a diamond or new car (although I’m not opposed to either – I will feel loved with one or both), but a thoughtful gift. I remember not too long ago sbefore kid’s church was to start, a little girl came in with a baggie filled with water and a flower that had obviously been picked from a garden. That little flower meant more to me than if someone were to verbally compliment me every minute of every day for the next 500 years. I felt loved and accepted. It was the affirmation that spoke to my heart. When the kid’s in church or camp draw a picture just for me, it means the world to me. I even have a friend who knows that a small piece of chocolate please me for days (long after the taste has left my mouth and firmly planted itself on my hips). I truly feel loved in her presence because of her presents.
I have friend who just needs time from me. She will be cleaning out her closet or working on a project and my physical presence of being in the room with her is enough to help her achieve the task. It’s the quality time that speaks to her.
I’m sure if you spend a few minutes with those around you, you will quickly see how it is they choose to affirm you. Once you have this figured out, a simple kindness in that person’s own love language will speak volumes to their heart. I dare you to take the time to speak to others as they wish to be spoken to, not how you feel most loved and affirmed. It WILL reap eternal rewards back onto you!