It’s hard to stifle: the itch to add another resolution, and another…, to try to dive into twenty lakes at once and swim them all simultaneously.

Not possible, or sane. Nor an act of faith. Faith is based on more than type-A drive, or impetuous whimsy.

My 2012 “heart word,” “closer,” is a response to God’s word. It’s an “active resting” in His promise, “Draw near to  God and He will draw near to you” (Jas 4:8).

And the one small step I chose for January habit-building, getting to bed nightly by 10:30, falls under the major goal that year-word expresses, and also springs from scripture.

(Photo courtesy Granddaughter Ava)

The words from Psalm 127:2, “The LORD gives His beloved sleep,” have reverberated through my mind for months now, crying out to be received. And I can’t receive this blessing of sleep if I don’t get to bed! 1 Thessalonians 5:7 reminds me that normal sleep time is at night! 

I’ve been doing well with this one small step — because that’s all it is, just one, and small.

But because the flesh has “great aspirations,” it’s hard to rest in one small step alone for a whole month.

Besides, finding myself  still in nightgown and robe, at 9 AM, or even 10, even after rising at, say, 5, doesn’t feel like progress!

Prayer and writing productivity just get snowballing, and the momentum propels me forward. Though accomplishing much, I look like one who lolls in bed!

… and what if the doorbell rings!

Plus, it feels icky, finding myself still unwashed, the kitchen still disheveled, and me out of sync with a good and long-established habit of getting dressed on rising.

So I nudged in a second small step, my reliable old routine restored, though modified, including a deadline: Be dressed by 7, with a laundry load sloshing by then too, on mornings when laundry needs doing and I’m not going out.

That’s working. Today I’m all showered and dressed and ready by 7:00 to go somewhere in late morning (maybe a first!), and I did spend that time with God. And still hitting bed by 10:30 (well, last night 10:32, so better cinch tighter), and still rising for quiet pre-dawn solitude with God.

But it isn’t quite as sweet, with repeated glancing at my watch, thinking deadline. Today all that adds special pressure because I slept a little later than usual, and have a morning meeting.

A little pressure is good, and I don’t want to start reneging on self-commitments already. So I don’t intend to drop any of this. But no more for January!

Small steps and slow won the race for the turtle, and they can win the race for me, too.

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10 thoughts on “Best: Small Steps and Slow

  1. I just looked at the time and am still in my pj’s at 7:32 but I have had a productive morning as well–and I had to check out your post. And I was in bed by 9:30. And I did not pick up my book. I have been reading until after midnight even on the nights I did get to bed earlier. Glad you made it to our meeting! I am thankful for Jim.

  2. Looks like you’re on the winning track, there, Laurie. One track running certainly gets to the goal more effectively than trying to run several tracks at once. Best not to worry about pj’s at 7:30, not at this point, huh? I certainly didn’t meet my second challenge today, was still wearing my nightgown then! Woke at 3-something a m, couldn’t sleep, mind just overactive. So got up and did things for a while. Slept later, and woke to see 7:30-something on the clock!! Whoa! But if I’m gonna focus on “one small step,” I did what I’d resolved, got to bed by 10:15. So there! and thank You, God.
    Congrats on getting your cast removed today! And I’m thanking God for Ben and all he did to make yesterday not only possible, but delightful! God bless!

  3. Dear Sylvia,

    I read a business article about how multitasking is very inefficient. Instead, one should finish each task before beginning another. The tiny increments of time it takes to shift gears in multitasking keeps it from being an efficient alternative. Just after I read the article, I ran into someone I highly respect who mentioned he did not believe in multitasking. He believed that those who said they did that were simply putting out fires, really accomplishing nothing lasting. I tend to agree with that. Things that last take nurturing, attention and care. Those qualities cannot be acheived “in passing”. Baby steps is the way to go–one task at a time. Loved the picture!


  4. Great comment, Dawn. Good info and wisdom. I too have read about recent studies on multitasking and in my own life have evaluated its usefulness (and lack thereof!) and arrived at the definite conclusion that except where it can’t be avoided it is a truly silly approach to getting things done. I could write a whole post about this. And it looks like you could, too. (Maybe we should.)
    Meanwhile, this one small resolution of mine for the month of January must look silly (as in trivial) to nearly everyone who reads it. But that’s okay. The proof will be in the outcome. A little more than two weeks to go, and then whatever resolution God seems to put before me for February, and so on. I have the inkling that I will gain even more than CLOSER communion and walk with Him.
    We shall see.

  5. BTW, Dawn, my granddaughter really did take that foot pic, at the age of 3. She got hold of my camera and went wandering around her livingroom, shooting this and that. Some of her shots turned out quite arty. I saved them. Maybe I’ll do a Toddler Gallery one day for fun.

  6. One step at a time is all that is required of us. Following Jesus is usually not a fast step but a slow one! It is us who are in such a hurry!

  7. Hazel, that is certainly the truth! And we seem more bent on hurry every year. Slowing is such a blessed thing! Thanks for visiting and commenting.

  8. Sylvia ~ love what you said here, because I can so relate: “to try to dive into twenty lakes at once and swim them all simultaneously.”

    The Lord has been dealing with me about slowing down and getting some things off my plate. I really feel as if He is calling me to focus more on my writing this year.

    Thanks for this post.

    1. I’m learning too, Joan. Slowly, year by year. May He give you just the focus you need in 2012. So glad you stopped by.

  9. Sylvia ~ love what you said here, because I can so relate: “to try to dive into twenty lakes at once and swim them all simultaneously.”

    The Lord has been dealing with me about slowing down and getting some things off my plate. I really feel as if He is calling me to focus more on my writing this year.

    Thanks for this post.

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