Archive for the ‘Flylady’ Category

Top Ten Countdown: Number One

August 30, 2010

I am writing this post in amazement. This is my 365th post on my 365 Days with Flylady blog. A whole year has passed by. A whole year, documented in this blog. A whole year that was filled with the wonderful blessings of gaining both another son-in-law AND a precious granddaughter. A whole year that included the overwhelming stresses of unfair job loss and unexpected church issues. A whole year of shining sinks, swishing and swiping, making beds, blessing my home weekly, going on date nights, having family fun. A whole year of learning about myself. A whole year of weeding out the perfectionism in my life. A whole year of learning to finally love myself. Yes, number one in my Top Ten Things I’ve Learned in 365 Days with Flylady is:

Finally Loving Yourself (FLYing!) is the most important thing Flylady taught me to do.

A year ago, I didn’t even realize that I might not love myself. I never thought about that. I take care of myself physically by eating healthily and exercising very faithfully, so I felt like I must love myself. I know God loves me. I have relationships (many!) with people who I know love me.

But, when I started really examining how I thought about myself, what I said to myself in my head, what excuses I made for NOT doing things that would make me happy, I realized that I may not sincerely love myself. For example, it was, many times, difficult to justify spending any money at all on myself that might be considered “non-essential.” I scrimped to have money to spend on others, so why would it be difficult to spend money on myself if I really loved myself?

And, then, there was always the question of whether loving myself was actually selfish and narcissistic. I really had time to explore that idea in God’s Word back in June and I came to the realization that since He has told us to love each other as we love ourselves, He must intend that we love ourselves! From that point on, I made a concerted effort to stop myself when I started in with non-loving self-talk. When I knew something would boost my spirits (you know me and pedicures!), I would make sure I took time–and, even, once, MONEY–to make that happen.

The result of all of this contemplation and action has been that I am much, much (exponentially!!) better at loving others when I am drawing from a full love tank of my own. For example, when I make time to be creative every day, when I prioritize creativity, I am loving myself. I then am energized to face my day of parenting and homeschooling and, yes, doing Flylady chores that I inherently dislike. Loving myself pretty much totally erases any residual martyr in me, too.

So, I can never thank God or Flylady enough for showing me the first steps toward genuinely loving myself. Thanks for a life-changing year, Flylady. I love you!

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Even More on Flylady and Finally Loving Yourself

June 7, 2010

Okay, so I started wondering if my hesitation to love myself (as explored yesterday), might have some of its roots in a misunderstanding of the definition of love. So, I did a little investigation of the word “love” used in the “love your neighbor as yourself” verses I referenced yesterday. And I kept in mind the application of loving oneself the whole time.

Of course, everyone knows that the “love” in these verses is “agapao” (it’s a verb, obviously). When I went to Strong’s Concordance online, The Blue Letter Bible Lexicon gave me this “outline of Biblical usage” of agapao:

1) of persons

a) to welcome, to entertain, to be fond of, to love dearly

2) of things

a) to be well pleased, to be contented at or with a thing

Thayer’s Lexicon says it means “to love, to be full of good-will and exhibit the same” and “to have a preference for, wish well to, regard the welfare” of a person. Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words says this about agapao:

Agape and agapao are used in the NT
(a) to describe the attitude of God toward His Son, John 17:26; the human race, generally, John 3:16; Rom 5:8; and to such as believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, particularly, John 14:21;
(b) to convey His will to His children concerning their attitude one toward another, John 13:34, and toward all men, 1 Thess 3:12; 1 Cor 16:14; 2 Pet 1:7;
(c) to express the essential nature of God, 1 John 4:8.

(I note that there is no reference to agapao being used to convey God’s will to His children concerning their attitude toward themselves.)

Love can be known only from the actions it prompts. God’s love is seen in the gift of His Son, 1 John 4:9,10. But obviously this is not the love of complacency, or affection, that is, it was not drawn out by any excellency in its objects, Rom 5:8. It was an exercise of the Divine will in deliberate choice, made without assignable cause save that which lies in the nature of God Himself, Cp. Deut 7:7,8.

(Hmm…love can be known only from the actions it prompts. What are my actions toward myself? And love is not drawn out by any excellency in its objects. So, I don’t have to be perfect to love myself?!)

Love had its perfect expression among men in the Lord Jesus Christ, 2 Cor 5:14; Eph 2:4; Eph 3:19; Eph 5:2; Christian love is the fruit of His Spirit in the Christian, Gal 5:22.

(Jesus loves me. If He loves me, what possible excuse could I have for not loving myself?)

Christian love has God for its primary object, and expresses itself first of all in implicit obedience to His commandments, John 14:15,21,23; John 15:10; 1 John 2:5; 1 John 5:3; 2 John 1:6. Self-will, that is, self-pleasing, is the negation of love to God.

(Aha! See, here we go. Self-will, that is, self-pleasing, is the negation of love to God. So…have I somehow mistakenly equated loving myself with being self-pleasing?)

Christian love, whether exercised toward the brethren, or toward men generally, is not an impulse from the feelings, it does not always run with the natural inclinations, nor does it spend itself only upon those for whom some affinity is discovered. Love seeks the welfare of all, Rom 15:2, and works no ill to any, Rom 13:8-10; love seeks opportunity to do good to ‘all men, and especially toward them that are of the household of the faith,’ Gal 6:10. See further 1 Cor 13 and Col 3:12-14.” [ From Notes on Thessalonians, by Hogg and Vine, p. 105.]

(Once, again, there is no mention of love being exercised toward self, but toward God and others. Is that never mentioned because it is assumed that people automatically love themselves? Yet, when agapao is used in the context of the sentence “love your neighbor as yourself,” Scripture seems to be saying, “because you do love yourself with this agape love, love your neighbor the same way.” Does that mean that there is an assumption that man automatically loves himself with this “good” and “right” and not-necessarily-selfish kind of love?)

In respect of agapao as used of God, it expresses the deep and constant “love” and interest of a perfect Being towards entirely unworthy objects, producing and fostering a reverential “love” in them towards the Giver, and a practical “love” towards those who are partakers of the same, and a desire to help others to seek the Giver. See BELOVED.

(Once, again, if I am deeply and constantly loved by my holy God, being entirely unworthy, how can I ever hesitate to love myself?)

Well, now I try to sort out what this means, practically, in my life. It seems to me that if the Bible repeatedly says to “love my neighbor as myself,” there is an assumption that I am loving myself with the agape love. Do I welcome, entertain, be fond of and love dearly myself? Do I love, be full of good-will and exhibit the same and have a preference for and wish well to and regard the welfare of myself? Do my actions show that I love myself?

I think the answers to that vary. Yes, in many ways, I show love of myself. I take care of myself physically by exercising faithfully and eating healthily. I do not, nor have I ever, used any harmful substance. I take care of myself spiritually by feeding on the Word every day. But, (AHA!!), I think I just realized the area of my life in which I might not show myself enough love. I think I could be showing myself a little more love by taking care of myself emotionally.

And taking care of myself emotionally is definitely related to my Flylady routine. I make time in my Flylady routine to exercise and prepare healthy food for myself and read the Bible, but I don’t necessarily make sure that I have time to do things that build me up emotionally. Things like being creative every day or reading or just being quiet and having time to think.

Hmm…lots to cogitate on and pray about. I’m grateful I’ve had the time to think this through. And, hopefully, apply what God has shown me about loving myself.

More Thoughts on Flylady and Finally Loving Yourself

June 6, 2010

Finally Loving Yourself. FLYing. Loving yourself. Loving myself. What is challenging about this concept? I’ve had some time to think about that lately.

Have you read Matthew 19:19, Matthew 22:39, Mark 12:31, Mark 12:33, Luke 10:27, Romans 13:9 and Galatians 5:14 recently? Here’s Mark 12:30-31 in the Amplified version:

30And you shall love the Lord your God out of and with your whole heart and out of and with all your soul (your life) and out of and with all your mind (with your faculty of thought and your moral understanding) and out of and with all your strength. This is the first and principal commandment.

31The second is like it and is this, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.

What Believer would hesitate to agree with Mark 12:30? I wholeheartedly love the Lord my God with all of my heart and with all of my soul (my life!) and with all of my mind and with all of my strength, by God’s grace. And what Believer would hesitate to agree with loving my neighbor? Not I. My daily desire is to love my neighbor with God’s love.

Yet, I seem to kind of mentally minimize the significance of Mark 12:31 that describes the command to love my neighbor AS MYSELF. I am to love my neighbor AS MYSELF. As I LOVE MYSELF. There is no greater commandment than these two commandments. No greater. I am to love my neighbor AS MYSELF. Doesn’t that pretty clearly indicate that I am to LOVE MYSELF?

Why, then, is it so challenging to wholeheartedly agree to love myself? Why does it feel selfish or self-focused? I know I’ve asked these very questions earlier in this blog. But, I think that today, the significance of the way that the command to love God and love my neighbor is directly tied to loving myself really hit home with me. Now, Lord, how do You want me to practically apply this revelation in my life?

And, thank You for leading me to Flylady who provokes my thinking and urges me to love myself.

Flylady and Daily Manna

May 21, 2010

Since I’ve been used to Joey’s working for a predictable salary that arrives at a specific time every month, it’s been quite a change to be in such a financially unpredictable situation, now. But, you know, I’ve been seeing God’s provision in such amazing ways lately. Even when I haven’t been able to look into the future, even the immediate future, and see how financial needs could possibly be met, God has been reminding me over and over and over that He has provided (through family and friends and amazing circumstances) so far and that I can just trust Him to keep on providing.

It’s really been like daily manna. Just when there is another need, the provision is made. It’s amazing to watch.

And I started thinking about how I could apply what I was learning about God’s provision to my Flylady chores. Sometimes, I want to look into the future and see some kind of guarantee that when I need the energy to complete my homemaking chores, I will have that energy and focus. Really, though, I what I am guaranteed is that God is the Provider of everything and when I need energy and focus and motivation and whatever else I need to be a good steward of this household, He will provide that for me. If, right now, I am really tired and ready for bed and I can’t really fathom doing any chores, that doesn’t mean that I won’t have renewed energy the next time I have a chore to complete.

He has provided energy and focus and Flylady for me already, so I should be able to trust that He will continue to provide.

Flylady and Encouraging Words

April 30, 2010

Today I am a little tired, probably partially due to being out of the house a lot this week and probably partially due to 6am Friday Bible study. So…I was allowing myself some “rest” time on the internet and stumbled upon a couple of blogs. While there wasn’t anything blatantly offensive about these blogs, one, in particular, left me with a negative taste in my mouth. The writer’s words dragged me down and now I feel even more tired instead of refreshed.

One thing I like about Flylady is how encouraging she is. Her words lift me up. Her words contribute positively to my life.

So, I am a bit more aware of how my words might be impacting people today. I hope that this blog is encouraging to someone, as well as being realistic. I mean, the blogs that are simply sugary sweet cotton candy aren’t realistic enough to encourage me in my real-life world, either. I hope the words that come out of my mouth and into the ears of the people in my real-life world are encouraging, too.

One way I hope to keep my words encouraging is to be in THE Word enough. We read in our Bible study* this morning:

The Spirit-filled life does not come through mystical or ecstatic experiences, but from studying and submitting oneself to Scripture. As a believer faithfully and submissively saturates his mind and heart with God’s truth, his Spirit-controlled behavior will follow as surely as night follows day. When we are filled with God’s truth and led by His Spirit, even our involuntary reactions–those that happen when we don’t have time to consciously decide what to do or say–will be godly.

I put six stars, six exclamation points two big arrows and a large “YES” beside this quote. When my involuntary reactions are godly, that is the fruit of the Spirit. When my reactions (my words!) are loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle and self-controlled, God is glorified. This is my hope.

*John MacArthur’s Romans: Grace, Truth and Redemption.

More on Leadership

April 13, 2010

Aha! Yes! I remembered the other thing I wanted to say about effective leadership: It is based in LOVE!

Today, our MOPS speaker read I Corinthians 13:4-7 out of the Amplified Bible (which I use a lot):

4Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.

5It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].

6It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.

7Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].

Wow. Just think about that. Love is ever ready to believe the best in every person. Its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances. It is not touchy or fretful or resentful. God’s love in us, that is. Without being in a dynamic, right relationship with God, I cannot even remotely dream that I can show this kind of love in leadership, in my family or out in the world. Thankfully, I am in right relationship with Him, through Jesus, and He draws me continually closer.

What does this have to do with Flylady? Well, you know, I’m not really totally sure. I do know that when I am leading my children toward better Flylady habits, I need to be leading them in LOVE. When I am trying to fit in my Flylady chores when I am so very out-of-routine, I need to blanket the whole thing in LOVE so that I don’t become touchy or fretful. Yep, that’s what this has to do with Flylady.

Flylady and Leadership

April 12, 2010

I’ve been thinking of effective leadership in several different contexts the past few months. I think Flylady demonstrates some effective leadership that I want to emulate. First, she is entirely empathetic, and consequently, non-judgmental when it comes to understanding why someone is in the position to seek her help. She’s been there and done that. Second, she is no-nonsense and straightforward in her presentation of the solutions she has devised. She doesn’t beat around the bush. But, because she is so empathetic, I am willing to listen to her straight-forward solutions. Third, she continues to encourage.

I thought I had a few more applicable points when it came to Flylady and leadership, but I’m so tired right now that I think I need to sleep on it…so, this might be a “stay tuned” post.

Human Beings, the Art of Denial and Flylady

April 7, 2010

We humans are so interesting. We all have traits that could benefit from improvement. Usually, those around us keep quiet about those traits (perhaps giving the Holy Spirit an opportunity to work, perhaps avoiding confrontation) until the impact of the manifestations of those traits become intolerable. Then, we deny that these traits exist and turn the “issue” back on the person who brought it to our attention. It’s absolutely fascinating to watch this happen again and again with all kinds of people.

For example, I very obviously had an issue with perfectionism that resulted in CHAOS. Joey tolerated this for years, until it became intolerable. Then, he ventured to mention it to me, only to incur my denial and wrath when he did. (“Did you marry me only to be your MAID?”)

I would have saved myself — and him — a lot of frustration if I had just taken a moment to inquire of myself if this were really true. I mean, eventually, I did and that led me to Flylady and the rest is happy history. What would happen if each of us were willing to hear, the FIRST time, when others voice concerns to us about our behaviors?

I wonder….

Wow! Lots of Inspiration Happening This Week!

April 1, 2010

Looking at some etsy-associated blogs and websites has been very inspiring this week as I’ve continued to prioritize creativity in my daily Flylady routine. There are so many gifted women out there creating and inspiring others. It’s just contagious! (Oh, dear, so many exclamation points. I’m afraid the punctuation police will be after me.)

I’ve also been inspired by II Corinthians 1: 3-4:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, Who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

I have been talking with Joey and the kids a lot lately about our responses to being “unhappy.” I had some really important inspirations about this topic lately. When I get bogged down with circumstances and relationship challenges and just plain tired and worn out with life’s responsibilities, I can get quite self-focused. As I talk to others about this, I see that it is a common response. The more “unhappy” we feel, the more self-focused we become, as if the pursuit of happiness (or, at least, the relief from unhappiness) is our biggest goal in life.

Then, I started thinking about II Corinthians 1 because Clara had brought it to my attention last week. When we are sad, lonely, overwhelmed, etc., we are comforted by the God of all comfort SO THAT we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. In my sadness, loneliness, fatigue, I learn how to comfort others who are experiencing the same thing. This reaching out to comfort others is very different from making all kinds of self-focused effort to get rid of my own unhappiness.

I think this is what Flylady did. She had issues that all of we SHEs have. She was inspired with solutions and strength to carry out the solutions. THEN she turned to comforting others in the same situations. I am inspired to be “Flylady” to someone who needs the comfort that I have experienced.

Finally Loving Yourself

March 31, 2010

I’ve been thinking about Flylady’s definition of FLYing: Finally Loving Yourself. How does this match up with what the Bible says for me as a Christian? How does that compare to secular humanism’s definition of “loving myself” that has been yammered at me through various media for most of my life? I don’t think that there is, necessarily, a mutual exclusivity between the two sources of this message. I’m just thinking about it more and trying to refine my thoughts.