which God has before ordained that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10.
I love this idea - that I GET to walk in Good Works!! That they're preordained. Cool!
One of my students expressed to me his nervousness about taking writing assessment this past Monday - it was a state test. He was worried that he didn't know how to write well enough for it. I gave him a quick few pointers on writing, and left it at that. I was glad I got to share some goodness. I was reminded as I helped him that I'd actually prayed to help people that day. It was cool to see my prayer answered. Can't remember if I helped anyone else like that.
I feel that I don't honestly, conscientiously, look for who I can be good to, on purpose. I think making an effort to do that is excellent. I think there are so many opportunities that God will send our way if we're prayerful and purposeful about it.
Tonight as I was readying for bed, I thought for the third time during this abstinence, and the second time today, that I am not praying more than normal - like people typically fast and pray together a lot. But, my intention for this "fast" was to be more productive - I guess to walk in what I am called to do - but I wan't thinking about "good works" necessarily, but just being more productive in my life to accomplish what I feel I am called to do. So, that is working in that I am progressing in that direction, but it would be greatly assisted by prayer, NO DOUBT!
With the praying, I thought to maybe meditate instead, having had a desire to do that for 20+ years and never achieving it successfully with continuity. I heard that when we meditate we should do so on the word of God, as a Christian. In Psalm 1:2 -3 it says …2But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. 3He will be like a tree firmly planted...and whatever he does will prosper."
I love that. That was actually one of my first favorite verses while in England.
I gave it shot this evening. I lay in my bed and began to meditate, tired from my bike ride, and just focused on that verse from Ephesians about being the workmanship of God, a great thought! which came to mind while brushing my teeth. So as I thought of it, I thought about going around and doing good works, on purpose. Being mindful of who I can help. I think we are all like that to a degree, but as I previously stated, I believe if we deliberately set our intentions to walk in good works, to do good and be good to people, we will help to prosper others and help ourselves in the process too by giving because giving is receiving...and I have found that giving brings me...happiness.
So last week I hit a plateau. I had well succeeded in achieving a new way of life, but became bored. Felt like I had been succeeding in achieving a lot of different goals, but was hitting a point where I became bored with that - I was only ever doing things. What to do? Relax for one evening, rent a Bridget Jones Diary movie, watch it in a pair of snuggly pjs, a warm blanket, and a big smile. I was inspired. What does that say about me? I need to watch more t.v. programs?
I realized I needed to take things to the next level. I meant on a persona/business level, but also with my last and final abstinence goal: Coffee! What I did was decide I would quit caffeine and dairy. So, 8 days in and I'm good. Do not even MISS them hardly at all. I can't believe it. I also didn't get the headaches like I normally do without coffee. However, I have had mild headaches all week I have later come to realize. I don't get head aches.
It may be that I do not miss coffee because I have had a desire to be off coffee for so long, and have failed, that it's been like that relationship that you needed to end long ago, but you have failed for the times you think you will miss the relationship and don't want to let it go. We have relationships with everything in our lives - from our people to our passions to our foods. Open yourself to a new reality. That is what I am working towards.
I guess there has been no "getting over it" because, like the wrong relationship, I was ready and willing to leave it a long time ago!
Coffee was my last vice to go. I'm hoping to see a change in my skin - looking for drier skin to turn to more supple skin. Also, the realization that when I do not have coffee I get migraines so badly that I am almost sick, I knew that I needed to quit it. It can't be good for you if that's your body's response to abstaining, at least at my consumption rate. So, I'm off it!
I'm cool with it. Exploring new teas - I'd already found what I liked awhile back in preparation for this, so that's been an easy transition.
With respect to television abstinence, I have had elated moments when I realized that I'd made the switch from living without t.v. to a lifestyle free from television. There is happiness I have felt from just being able to eat really well and getting into my food. I love food. That, luckily I cannot give up, and I eat well, so that is good for me! The point, I just enjoy my food because it's delicious and looks so appetizing too - no need for - just eat and relax! I'll just eat my food sometimes and not do anything but eat. Seems embarrassing to admit - that I eat alone and do nothing, but when you have good food, a beautiful day and are really happy and healthy, all is well. Oh, I might have on NPR! That is a good company keeper and helped me majorly early on without t.v.
Have a great night.