Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The challenge.

I heard it in the beginning of January and I didn’t know then how revolutionary it would be. The words came out of his mouth and them danced into my soul and shook me up a bit.

The key to discipline is desire.

It simmered on the stove, those words, bubbling around in my head, shaking me in the best way.  I think that some things in life are hard, but most things are easier than we make them. 

People ask me how I find time to be creative. The question always shocks me, as if they are asking me, how do you find time to breathe.  For me, art is breathing and without it, I’m a seriously less pleasant person.  Ask my husband on day two of no creativity, I’m scratching at the walls, contemplating to sell everything we own and become Amish. I want to deconstruct every piece of furniture, including the ones we are using and turn them into something new, abstract and less functional.  It gets a little crazy. Usually, I just move the couch to the other wall and then smear some paint around with no plans.  It helps some. 

It’s just that art and writing have been essential in my life. That’s how I do it. And I find time for everything else, like cleaning and laundry. I also don’t do housework after the kids go to bed and we have a rule about not holding children while we eat or drink afternoon coffee, but that’s another story.  Somehow it works for us, because as the say goes, it’s not hard to figure out what you want in life, it’s hard to figure out what to let go of to make it happen.

The key to discipline is desire.

So all the above is great, but I was terrible at making prayer and the  Bible important. I could give tons of excuses, but ultimately I just didn’t want it bad enough.  Plain and simple.  The same goes for yoga. It sounds like a great idea and I do love it, but at the end of the day, they were sitting low on the priority list.  And I was feeling it, in the aches of my body and my soul.  Discipline, well that has always been such a restricting word to me. Discipline, who needs that… I’m a free spirit.

In the beginning of January, our church, along with many others joined in a time of fasting.  When seeking how I would participate, the answer was clear and it was a tough one.  Now, I love sleep, in a huge way and I’ve never been accused of being a morning person, ever.  Please don’t hate me, but my kids are good sleepers and they usually wake up around 8.    I would stay in bed until my little boy woke up and came in my room.   The challenge came, set your alarm, wake up, read the Bible, write, and pray. Give up the extra 1.5 hours of sleep.

Oh, now I was morally opposed to this because,

1. Those-know-it-all- mommy blogs are all like, you must get up early before your kids and it’s the only way to do get things done, blah, blah, blah.  Well, I would prove them wrong. I would certainly do no such thing.

2. The idea of jump starting my day with activity is my wildest nightmare. 

3. Waking up to the horribly, unnatural sounds of an alarm would be the end of me.

This was different, it was an invitation that required great sacrifice, surely I didn’t think this one up on my own accord. The first morning I woke up three minutes before my alarm. I was spared that trauma.  The next day, it happened again. The third day, I was tired and pulled the blankets over my head, but something beckoned and I answered.  Three weeks later, I can honestly say that I never felt exhausted from losing that extra sleep. In fact, I had more energy and more strength to face the day. I would even dare to say that desire began to grow. I looked forward to these moments of scribbling prayers and thoughts in the pages of my journal and finding the age old words speak new truth for my days, the quiet with the Creator of the Universe, before the motion. As it turns out, I even had time for yoga.  The time of the challenge has ended, but in three weeks, I have seen how essential it is for my life.  Like breathing and art, and I don’t plan to stop now.

The  key to discipline is desire.

Whatever it is you desire, begin.

Begin by showing up, by making yourself if you must… until it becomes a part of you, until it feels like  a desire.

And we fight for our desires, do we not?


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