Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Daily Practice

The picture above was taken by Elijah.
I keep it to remind myself that I am still 15-20lbs overweight.

All of a sudden I have a glut of ideas to blog about. A bunch of pictures and a thousand thoughts. But the one that seems the most pressing in my mind is the issue of daily practice.

I've been troubled by the lack of daily routines that enrich my life. I have several activities that I need/should/want to incorporate into my life. But for some reason, I cannot get it together. I start and stop in fits and never achieve the fulfillment that comes from making something a habit, a practice. What I want to know from you, my 5 regular readers, is--

If you have a daily practice of any kind, something that you do strictly for the purpose of bettering yourself in someway, (brushing teeth and other activities of the like, don't count, okay); what is it and what gets you there each day?

For me, these are the top priorities:
  1. I want to read my bible everyday and spend time--dedicated time-- in prayer. Not that I don't pray daily, I do. But they are prayers muttered under my breath or cast up in desperation, usually for patience for one child or the other. I want to have the blessing and nourishment that comes from daily spiritual practice
  2. I want to exercise regularly, maybe not everyday but at least every other. I need this, I want this and yet it is soooo hard to make it happen. Enough excuses!
  3. I miss writing in my journal, sketching and chronicling my day to day highs and lows through art. That seems a far fetched possibility these days. But why? There are certainly mothers/ artists who somehow find the time to create while parenting, such as my dear friends Kelcey at Sweet Mess and Naomi at Naomi Layne Studio.

Do any of you struggle with getting it together like I do? I guess my main gripe with myself is, that I spend too much time wasted each day ( on the computer, watching tv, etc. ) that I could be spending on these other goals. I know I could carve out the time, so what's the problem? Motivation? Determination? Other?


  1. I will have to think about it for a bit and get back to you. But why can't brushing your teeth be on your list? I always feel good when I at least get the basics done.
    Brush teeth.
    Ta DA!!! one victory down.

  2. I am good about eating 3 square meals a day and making plenty of time for my kids, but when it comes to yoga/exercise, I can easily let it slip by. So I started putting it on my to-do list (lovingly called my honey-do list)each day....and I am so much more likely to take care of the things on that list because they are priorities. And I hope that eventually, it will become such a habit again, that I won't need to remind myself to do it. Until then, I rely on my "honey-do" list... good luck to you!

  3. sorry, I just left a comment as David...but I am not David. I am Ema. oops

  4. Hello Liz, I enjoy reading your blog. It is especially nice to keep up with the quick growth and change of our sweet niece and nephew. I love the recent pics of Adah and the food. She has the sweetest expressions.

    Now, on to your question about schedules. I am not as scheduled as I dream about being. I tend to come up with very elaborate, wonderful schedules and plans and then never implement them. So, I have recently been working on changing just a few small things at a time instead of trying to make sudden huge changes. So, maybe trying to start doing all those things at once might be too much. Just start with trying to journal 10 minutes every day. Even if some days it is only 5 minutes, just try for a month or so and don't worry about the other things. Then as that begins to become more of a habit, work on something else.
    Another thing that helps me is having something scheduled during the day at a certain time. If I just have an entire day open with no where to go, I usually don't do very well. That is when time vanishes and I feel frustrated at the end of the day. Even if I just decide to plan to go to the grocery store at 1pm then it helps get in gear and know what I have to get done before I go to the store.

    Lastly, what has helped me tremendously in the area of exercise is having accountability. That might be obvious that accountability is helpful, but it has made more of a difference than I was expecting. I have a friend who started a "Get Fit" group at the beginning of the year. We each made weekly workout goals for ourselves and then as we do them we chart it on a joint google calendar account. She checks the calendar at the end of the week and sends out an email about how everyone did. Then if you are successful for the month we have a party/dinner/reward night. It has been really helpful and has helped me realize how intentional I have to be about exercising. And when I look at the calendar I see how much everyone else has done and there is good peer pressure. Jacob recently joined our group too and he is enjoying it. So, you could start your own exercise group, the north carolina branch, or you are welcome to join ours too, since it is primary online. :)
    Let me know if you are interested, really. :)

    Lastly, don't be too hard on yourself. I know it can be frustrating to feel like you can't accomplish what you want to. But there are a lot of other things that you do accomplish during the day. Give yourself grace and patience as you learn, don't get discouraged. Keep in mind you have never been a mom with two kids. This is all "on the job training". I guess this is why life tends to keep us humble and prayerful which is a good thing. :)
    much love, Lindsey

  5. Other than being the (proud) mommy of an absolute wild child, who knows know order or rule or authority, the biggest obstacle I have had to overcome (and am still working on, of course) is just having the confidence to face my work every day. For a long time, I stagnated and found (ahem) ~other~ ways to destroy my time and energy and my self-belief. I paint every day now, religiously, and just deal with whatever chaos ensues. And I have to say, order and mental peace and, hm, contentment have kind of come about organically with dragging myself to the easel every day, no matter what. I feel a lot less harried. Also, to cope with lags in confidence (and oh there are many) I try really hard never to ask myself if the work I've done is "good" or especially if it's "as good as..."- the answer is certainly no! (I also don't ask myself if I washed the dishes, etc.) I just ask myself, every night: "did I paint today? did I work on something that I care about?" And if the answer is yes, I usually go to bed feeling pretty accomplished. :)