Thursday, January 28, 2016

January's Devotional

Anita shared some wise words from her personal experience with us at this month's meeting!  Read below to find concrete steps you can take to decrease stress and increase peace in your daily life...

My name is Anita. I am from Quito, Ecuador. I came to the States about 18 years ago as a college student. I went to Clemson, met my husband Jay, and graduated with a degree in Financial Management. I worked at AnMed Health for almost 11 years. I left my job behind to care for my girls (Ellyana 5 and Emilia 3).  MOPS has been a big part of my support system as a stay-at-home mom and I am very grateful to have all of you in my life.

2016 is here. A new year and a new beginning. Our meeting today will mainly focus on embracing rest. I want to share with you some thoughts and ideas about finding peace and balance in your life, which in turn will allow you to embrace rest. Many times in our lives, we have something that weighs heavy on our shoulders causing us to lose balance. So, I want to ask you  – what is stealing your peace away? What is keeping you off balance? It could be finances, diet/exercise, the desire to go back to school, the lack of professional realization or the desire to be a better mom to your children. 

I want to share with you some things I did last year to find balance and peace in my life.

  1.     I first had to identify what was stealing my peace. I felt overwhelmed by the lack of organization in my house. I felt overwhelmed with the amount of toys we had, the amount of books and magazines I had waiting to be read plus all the things that needed to be done around the house.
  2.   Then, I had to find a system that worked for me. I tried different things. I talked to different people, I asked different moms to share their ideas with me. Nothing worked – until one day, I came across a system that got me started in the right path. I started to notice a difference in my home, my behavior, and I finally started to feel that peace that I had been longing for. My new system required a timer and 15 minutes of my time. With the idea that “you can do everything in 15 minutes,” I started to pick up momentum – and those very overwhelming tasks were not so overwhelming after all.
  3.   I started to develop routines and create habits. Just remember that your motivation will get you started by your routines will keep you going. 
  4.    Then, I would evaluate to see if I was making any progress. My steps were very small but I was moving forward, I was making progress. Baby steps. One step at a time. Keeping the picture of a child in mind – just because the baby falls doesn't mean he/she won’t walk anymore. Anytime I would fall (get out of my routines), I would pick myself back up and keep moving forward.
  5.    Finally, I rewarded myself for the progress I was making! I decided that I was going to work hard Monday morning through Friday noon. Friday afternoon is my time to rest! That’s my reward. It motivates me and it keeps me going.

I believe that it was because of God’s grace that I found that system. Remember that your Creator is right there with you and He wants you to spend time with him. Make it a part of your routine to spend time with God (whether is at night, if you are a night person; or in the morning, if you are a morning person). Remember what Matthew 6:33 says “But seek his kingdom first and all these things will be given to you as well.” Believe that He will send people/resources your way.

I want to end this devotional by reading John 14:27 “Peace I leave you, my peace I give you. I do not give you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” Make 2016 the year where you find peace and balance in your life – that is my prayer for you. 

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