The brood are settled back into school, loving their new teachers and grades. This week has been one variety for me, helping Phil teach a ‘Hearing God’ seminar on Tuesday, a ceramic bowl painting fundraising evening on Wednesday for my friend Debra who is heading to Rwanda at the end of September. I volunteered at the Hope centre today where I fell in love with the poor in a new way and tonight… the Senior’s hoedown. Boom boom clap.
My musings have turned to the subject of habits. Some healthy some not, some useful, some I couldn’t live without.
The habit of constantly checking Facebook. Really? The habit of daily applying and straightening. Really? Err. Yes really 😉 not to mention those I won’t write about. Then there are those habits my kids love – movie nights and popcorn, slurpee Thursday, and of course, those they don’t love, like one hour of Internet a day.
Habits good or bad, control who we are, the key is to controlling them, habit overcomes habit.
It’s September and time to establish new habits – just because new is good. So, let’s not focus on habits that need breaking because when you’ve established new – old will be….well….old.
So, what’s September like for you?
I get up a little earlier because I find strength in the quiet. He waits for me and talks and I know that to listen, I’ve got to tune in. Listening to and responding to ‘Mom can I, can we, …’ on repeat x4 requires a tune in that can hinder my listening. A new habit.
I load up the kids in the van and we deliberately fake laugh for a while, where I encourage them to repeat after me. ‘Ha, ha, ha, hee, hee, hee, ho, ho,ho’. Crazy I know. It inevitably turns into real laughing and by the time we reach school we look like the Waltons and others look on thinking ‘look at them, laughing at 8.30am, it’s just not fair’. How I wish you could have been in my house 30 minutes before (well sort of wish) where shouting and slamming took over, and ‘I’m tirrreedddd’ rang out strong, where threats failed and bribing prevailed. Try intentional laughter. It works. In fact on our way today Bella said. ‘Let’s laugh again.’ A new habit.
Bella and Josiah don’t need too much encouragement to laugh.
8.35am I meet Mrs. P and we power walk up Hartman Hill, our morning ‘mountain’, we have slight trouble breathing and chatting but enjoy the walk down, heads high absorbing life and 30 minutes later we head off to our day, cardio boosted and endorphins dancing. A new habit.
Really, this is steep…
Phil and I began a new teaching series this week, 220 people from our church family arrived, ready to receive teaching on ‘Hearing God’. Is that because you have an authority on this Michelle? Yes, and so do the 220 who attended, some just haven’t realised it yet.
Week one and we focused on the word of God being His voice, practical application followed where people answered a number of questions to help them realise that yes, they do already hear God.
What I find as we enter this kind of series is a couple of themes arise. One is that we try too hard to hear and often confuse ourselves – we encouraged people to approach it with joy and not get hung up. The other is that when God begins to speak, and we are willing to listen, we make ourselves vulnerable and that can be hard right? We serve a loving God who knows us better than we know ourselves, relax, He knows.
We are already hearing testimonies of those changed by our first evening together, meet Bill for example, he found some of the exercises we introduced difficult, he continued to ponder them at home and realised that although having always believed, he hadn’t fully committed his life. Bill gave his life to Christ the following morning with his family and now wants to be baptised.
Bill is 82!
Our homework for the week was to daily practice listening prayer for no less than 30 minutes a day, asking certain questions and waiting for answers.
This will be new for many, but we believe that soon enough hearing will become a habit.
One that will change us.
The final question of the practical application was to ask God the question
‘What do you like about me?’
Why don’t you ask God that question and write the answer in your journal, enjoy the answer.
Have a great weekend,
Wear new habits and your life gets a makeover.
Do things at the same time everyday and find yourself a different person.