Sunday, January 16, 2011

Update on 30 Day Challenge

Photo by Becky
To view more beautiful photos by her, click here.

So, for 30 days, I'm not supposed to yell.  Um, yeah.  So, it turns out that this is harder than I thought it would be, BUT, on my little no-yelling chart, I only have 3 Xs, so I think I'm doing pretty good.

See, a lot of times when I give something up, it's something external that can be eliminated.  Yelling, however, comes from something internal that is often born from external circumstances.  I've been doing a bit of introspection the last week as to what prompts me to raise my voice and here's what I've come to conclude:

I yell because I lose my sense of self-control.

Shockingly profound, yes?  Let's dig a little deeper.

Why does my self-control go out the window?

Because I'm tired.  I'm strung-out.  Because I'm longing to rest, but won't allow myself to see beyond the house-cleaning, the laundry, the cooking, the working, the blogging, the husband, the friends, the children.  Today, I even got stressed about how I was going to relax.

Does scrapbooking count as relaxing because I'd have to organize all my stuff first.  And then before I could organize, I'd have to dust.  That would definitely be work.  Should I just read?  Should I do my daily Bible reading first, or would that just be doing something to check off my to-do list?  What about writing?  Maybe I should just read a book.  Or a magazine.  Or finish the paper.  What would be best?  (Yes, I'm a bit neurotic, I know.  Please, love me anyway.)

Just do whatever you feel like doing, my sweet husband responds.  Honestly, I'm sure he was thinking,  Come on, crazy woman!  Why do you have to make things so hard?  He gets points for using his nice words.

Anyway, my point is that if I just continue on with the "no yelling" challenge, I think I'm just signing myself up for defeat because it does nothing to help me with the underlying problem that I have of not being able to rest.  And, I've come to the conclusion if I don't rest, I'm really not able to enjoy life.

I want to be able to enjoy my children without allowing the amount of work I have to do overshadow my interactions with them.  I want to be able to watch a movie with my husband without having my iPhone next me, begging me to click on the email icon every time it dings.  I want to be able to sit by the fire and read my book and ignore the nagging oh-yeah-I-really-should...thoughts that pop into my head.

You'd be proud of me today.  I sat by the fire.  I read the paper. I read my magazine.  I read a few chapters of my book.  Now I'm writing, but I'm still by the fire.  The dryer dinged and the LAUNDRY IS STILL SITTING THERE.

I'm still going to work on not yelling, but the focus is more on enjoying life and learning how to let things go, learning how to relax, learning how to not be anxious.

I love this quote that I read yesterday in my Bible study:

The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith. The beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety. George Muller


  1. good job on taking it easy today. and love the quote.

  2. Only three times? I personally think you are a champion!

  3. I AM very proud of you. Strong work, Jen. . . you rested!


  4. I love, love, love that quote!! I go in waves of patience (I think it has something to do with my waves of hormones!!)

    I would be so happy if you did a post about A Meal in the Mail Ministry!! Thank you so much, and please let me know if you have any questions.
    Thanks again!

  5. ONLY 3 times? Our whole family is working on the no yelling rule. I did pretty well last week, but smashed right through 3 today alone. I like how you're thinking about root causes, and LOVE that quote. Thanks for your insight and honesty.

  6. Thank you, my friend. Once again, encouragement and food for thought. Wish I could give you a shoulder rub!

  7. Sounds like you are making good progress to me!

  8. That's the key isn't it Jen? not focusing on what "not to do" but focus on the sacred in the everyday. You hit the nail on the head.
    for me..focus on the enjoyment that I CAN exercise today not that I HAVE TO...???:)
    great post...

  9. jen, i love your heart and i would feel the same way because 3 times is not perfect;) I do feel the same way...chose to not yell (at my hubby) b/c that's harder than kids and well, i'm yelling at them all enough to maybe say this was to show me my heart and ask Him to heal in these 30 days...but you're absolutely right, without the 'inner rest' our frustration bubbles over...

    George Muller has some amazing faith quotes including this one...i've been listening to phil. 4 over and over on my mp3 esp. 4-7 and 19 which were hit in Jesus Calling today:)

  10. I have the exact same problem with relaxing. Sometimes, I get really good with it, because I know for me it is a spiritual discipline. But most times it's hard to silence the thoughts of "I should be doing..." even when I'm resting.

    I think unplugging from all electronics completely periodically is a must. Something about stopping at the computer or checking my phone every 10 minutes makes me very neurotic. But when I make myself get completely off everything for a day or a weekend, it really helps me see the benefit of doing so.

    Great post.

  11. Relaxing takes time dear friend. It is something that I have to make a conscious effort to do:)

    No yelling for 30days...I am praying that Our Lord continues to guide you through this one.



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