Hi friends and happy Wednesday!
I am soo excited about today’s post. Truly one of my favorite things about blogging is the monthly guest post. It’s such a gift to hear my closest ladies speak from the heart. This month’s guest is quite literally my college day one. Kyler was my freshman roommate and I remember being so instantly obsessed with her when we connected through the roommate finder. She was this tall, red-headed, beauty-queen (SERIOUSLY). After that the obsession and fascination grew into real friendship and hasn’t stopped since. We ended up living together for the next three years until she graduated and brought on two other girls who would complete the perfect roommate situation. I’ve admired her for years, but one of the things I’ve admired most is her strength. Kyler has been through some tough times and has only come out of them stronger. Her strength of character, devotion to her friends, and devotion to the Lord is unmatched. She’s brave with her convictions and is still able to deliver tough love with grace. She is one of the most selfless humans on earth and would quite literally get out of bed at 3:00 am to help a friend who was stupid enough to not get gas until it was too late and was stranded (me – it was me).
Her strength translates into discipline in a way that I hadn’t seen in someone until I met Kyler. She’s like the perfect combination of self-discipline, OCD, and love. She’ll clean the entire kitchen top to bottom because a.) it sort of needs to be done, b.) she can’t stand the crumbs on the counter, and c.) mainly because she loves her people and wants to serve them. She’s amazing. She applied this strength and discipline to how she lived, how she studied, and now how she works. I learned A LOT about being a grown-up my freshman year and the majority was from watching her. Over the years I continued to learn from her while being a roommate, but most importantly a life-long friend. In just a few months her and her husband and going to turn into a family of 3 and I can’t wait to see her in mom mode. If anyone was created to be a mom it was Kyler.
You’re gonna be encouraged today, friends.
EVERYONE MEET KYLER!
When I think of self-discipline, the first thought that comes to my mind is donut vs. salad. If you prefer leafy greens to a white-frosting and sprinkle-covered wheel of fried dough, this metaphor isn’t for you (although I must confess it sounds like you might be in denial). I think discipline has a bad reputation that needs to be debunked, kind of like Taylor Swift (yup, just made a pop-culture reference because I love her and have already memorized all the words to, “Look What You Made Me Do.” THIS IS WHO I AM). My point being, we tend to associate discipline with doing something we don’t want to do now (ahem, salad), in order to gain something else later (insert whatever reason you eat salad). Thanks to our sweet Savior, this doesn’t always have to be the case. We will circle back around to that. Bear with me.
I’ve never considered myself to have great self-discipline; maybe because by nature, discipline is NEVER easy, and if something doesn’t come easy to me, well then I’m just not good at it. Right?? This is why whenever people compliment me on my dedication or willpower, I’m always the first to self-degrade with a quick, “Me? Nope. Wrong girl. Sorry. Nothing to see here. Bye.” (<< typical “robot-melting-down” tendency I have as opposed to answering with grace and gratitude. Anybody else?). If I actually take a minute to reflect, I can see what they think they are seeing. I AM dedicated and strong-willed. I DO practice (some) good habits consistently. I TRY to meet the goals I set for myself. Check, check and check. My problem isn’t acquiring self-discipline; my problem is devoting it to the right places. If I spend an hour at the gym investing in my body and then don’t take any time in the day to invest in my soul, what is that saying about my priorities? When I choose to spend the only 30-minute time window I have to do dishes and put up laundry, and then don’t make time to dig into His word, how am I growing my relationship with our Savior? Hear me out: I’m not saying that taking care of your body and tending to your home are sacrilege; I’m saying that I have a terrible tendency of using my limited time and energy on the wrong things.
Self-discipline feels finite to me; as in, there is only so much to go around. We have to choose what is worth spending our precious resources on. I have gone through seasons where I was so hopelessly wrapped up in disciplining myself FOR THE WRONG REASONS. Whether that be hyper focusing on my diet/workout regimen for the sake of my vanity (not health), or dogging myself in college to make the grades and exceed expectations, all while neglecting my relationship with the Lord. There will always be something else pressing for your attention, but there will never be anything else more deserving or rewarding than devoting yourself to our God. Which brings us full circle to >>>
Practicing discipline in our faith doesn’t always mean years of pain and patience. Of course, life is full of unknowns, and because His plans are greater than our own, sometimes practicing patience and waiting are part of the package. However, when I am disciplined in my prayer and devotion, the hard part is making the time to do it, the reward IS THE TIME SPENT. Does that make sense? It’s like on Sunday mornings when all I want to do is sleep in, but the moment I start to praise and worship at church my heart is instantly flooded with the love and peace of being in His presence and praising Him. It’s both long-term investment and instant satisfaction; I reap the rewards now AND later, because sweet friend, there is truly no better time spent, effort given or sacrifice made than that done in the name of our Heavenly Father. Don’t just strive for discipline; strive for priorities that are reflective of His greater purpose; strive to give Him the best of your time, talents and resources. It’s an uphill battle, and I fail far more than I succeed… but that’s what the Promise is for. Amen. Amen. Amen.