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Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid. Proverbs 12:1

I’m a brat. Or a toddler. I can’t decide which. Very possibly I’m a bratty toddler. When we get down to it, there are only a few reasons for my sin. Either I’m rebellious (bratty) or spiritually immature (toddler). Usually both. And what do bratty toddlers need? Discipline.

The origin of the word discipline is from the Latin for teaching and learning. The Pig Latin for discipline is -isciplineday. (You’re welcome.) While discipline might have negative associations for us, the heart of it is teaching. God is teaching us His ways.

“Sanctification is the process by which the Holy Spirit shapes us into more holy and Christlike people. It’s a natural part of a Christian’s growth in spiritual maturity.” (Bible Gateway) In layman’s terms, God is making us less like bratty toddlers and more like Him. Let’s look at some sample scripts from the last few studies. (I’m omitting Greater because I didn’t study it.) Because I’m such a giver, I’ll play the part of Bratty Toddler.

Bratty Toddler: (throwing a fit or pouting)
God: You’re going to learn to speak the truth in love.

Bratty Toddler: But I want MY WAY! NOW!
God: Your times are in my hands.

Bratty Toddler: But I don’t like vegetables! Exercise is boring! I wanna eat a brownie!
God: I will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.

Now for any bratty toddlers like me who need a late night snack but want to be obedient, I like a cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk over ice with one splenda and a dash of nutmeg. Low carb and if you close your eyes you can almost imagine it is eggnog.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there
is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its
passions and desires.” (Galatians 5:22-24 NIV)

“And to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you,” 1 Thessalonians 4:11

I learned recently on Pinterest (AKA, my favorite tangent), that the Polish expression for “not my problem” is “not my circus, not my monkeys”.  I just love that!  If that happens to not be an actual Polish expression, please don’t tell me!

I’ve also gathered recently through studying some of the Bible verses in “Let.It.Go.” that I’ve been trying to be the ringleader and animal trainer at some circuses that clearly aren’t mine!  God has shown me that a lot of my feelings of being stressed or overwhelmed are from things that He never called me to do. 

In my head, I’ve decided that we are going to perform this like a responsive reading,  I will read my to don’t list and you’ll respond with “not my circus, not my monkeys”.  Maybe you have some of your own to add to this list?

Trying to be head of my home instead of my husband.

Not my circus, not my monkeys.

Worrying about what anyone other than Jesus thinks of me.

Not my circus, not my monkeys.

Choosing every thing we will eat and do at Christmas.

Not my circus, not my monkeys.

Trying to exhibit other-control instead of self-control.

Not my circus, not my monkeys.

Micro-managing every portion of my son’s life.

Not my circus, not my monkeys.

Comparing myself to anyone and everyone.

Not my circus, not my monkeys.

Abusing Facebook or Pinterest or otherwise encouraging discontentment.

Not my circus, not my monkeys.

Trying to squeeze more into a day than it should hold.

Not my circus, not my monkeys.

Treating my house like it is more important than the people living in it.

Not my circus, not my monkeys.

Now since it is kind of a deal for me, there is a link below from a blog for a healthy banana ice cream.  You can call it “not my monkeys ice cream” if you want.  I make mine in my food processor.

http://www.sweet-fix.net/2013/02/healthy-banana-chocolate-peanut-butter.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi Jesus girls!

This week I’m writing in response to Chapter 10. I really love when God uses an author to shine His light in my dark places. Karen Ehman was a faithful messenger today! This chapter talks about our lack of contentment because of comparison. Theodore Roosevelt calls comparison “the thief of joy”.

I’m a scorekeeper from way back! Ay yi yi! No area is exempt from my relentless tallying. I can use score keeping in a prideful way or a defeating way. I’m versatile like that. At this point, it is such an engrained behavior that I don’t alway realize how much peace and joy I’m losing daily.

Karen is right. Facebook is deadly for this. Apparently, several friends from my undergraduate music class got advanced degrees from Yale while I was finishing mine at University of Houston. Friends I haven’t had contact with in years. Yale 1. U of H 0. Defeating.

Dropping my son off at church. Oh, everyone’s kid has fast food tonight? I made food at home this week. Let me shine my halo in my mind and give myself a mental plus one. Judgmental.

Talking casually with a friend about our houses and she reveals some struggles. I add a point as I think, “at least mine isn’t that bad.” I quickly deduct or rationalize when I visit someone’s home that is tidier than mine. My inner game of tennis isn’t like the book by the same name. It is a dizzying back and forth of reveling in my accomplishments and self flagellation.

It is hard for me to think that anyone would look at me or my life and be envious. However, put the shoe on the other foot and my inner score keeper has a field day. Appearances. Spiritual life. Marriage. Professional achievements.

It is exhausting. I’m exhausted by it. And it is endless. And pointless.

God loves me so much that he doesn’t want me stuck on this hamster wheel. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Here is a peanut butter cookie recipe. I promise that I won’t secretly compare it to yours or feel smug because it only has four ingredients. OK, I might still feel a little smug.

Magic Peanut Butter Cookies
1 egg
1 cup peanut butter (not natural peanut butter)
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Mix together. Form into walnut sized balls. Flatten with a fork dipped in sugar. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes.