Over lockdown, we have tried to do a few exercises to stay somewhat in shape.
It isn’t easy to resist the urge to eat and just be lazy when we are mainly just sitting around the house. When we first were encouraged to stay indoors and schools were closed, we had great plans! We were going to still get up at 8 a.m. every day.
The teachers had sent home loads of worksheets and pages and pages of homework for the kids to do.
We would rise to the occasion and come up with a time table and make sure to work with the kids to make sure they didn’t fall behind in school work. HA HA! That plan lasted about a WEEK! WHY!? We lacked discipline! It is HARD to motivate yourself to keep to a schedule when no one is really holding you accountable. When we know the kids have school the next day, it holds us accountable to making sure they do their homework – but when it became “who knows WHEN you will go back to school”, then slowly we gave into their requests, “Please can we do it tomorrow? We are tired.”
Honestly, we were tired too! Teaching three different children at three different levels while trying to keep our small business afloat and keep paying our employees when our income streams were cut off during lockdown was HARD! This sounds spoiled, but combine that with the fact that we normally have a house helper who helps us three days a week part time with cleaning.
With her gone and three small kids who are home all day eating and making messes, all my great productive plans went out the window and I went into maintenance mode to just keep our home clean and my family fed.
We are normally disciplined with our children so that there is no TV during the week at all. Even my older daughter, who has a cheap little phone where she can WhatsApp with her friends, is not allowed to use it during the week.
However, as the days of isolation in the home prolonged, we relaxed more and more until the kids were watching TV every day, my daughter was on her phone every day. I was sleeping in late every day.
The only thing I was “disciplined” to do was to make sure I taught my children a new recipe to cook every day, a new bread to bake, and how to tend to the garden properly and clean the kitchen.
And, to be honest, this was partially to instil good values and prepare them to be independent adults one day and partially because I was overwhelmed with the housework and saw three little able-bodied workers who could help me if they got off their bums and left the TV!
Now, here is the crazy thing. After a couple of weeks of living without any schedule, we were all tired! The kids were actually saying they were TIRED OF BEING LAZY! I believe we actually FEEL BETTER when we get things accomplished! My 10 year old said he was getting headaches from doing nothing! My 7 year old was saying she was bored! We would frequently find my 12 year old in her room curled up reading a good book saying she missed reading and learning new things.
So, we had a family meeting and decided to put some order back in our home. It isn’t easy but after a day, we had another family meeting and all were able to honestly say we felt better knowing we had done something productive with our day!
Then, yesterday, in line with our goal to be proactive, we were exercising as a family and my oldest daughter said she was proud that her parents were athletic and stayed in shape.
She said those genes were going to help her win track competitions at her school. We then explained that having the skills was really only part of the success plan. Really, the biggest differentiator between mediocre and great is DISCIPLINE. She will have to WORK hard even when she doesn’t FEEL like it if she wants to win and stand out.
That is what I want to encourage you with today. The Bible talks a lot about self-control and discipline being important values. My own children can testify that it FEELS GOOD to have order and be productive in your life. And my daughter is learning that we can all have dreams and skills of doing great things but the key to making them happen is the discipline to work hard to get there.
In these days where work schedules are loose, accountability is low because many of us do not have our bosses breathing down our necks, our kids aren’t in formal school, our gyms are closed – we need DISCIPLINE to keep going and not just surviving but THRIVING and growing in the situations we find ourselves in.
Seek God and ask Him to give you strength and vision to equip you for what He wants you to do every day. He is faithful. Let me leave you with a verse that always rings true in my life when I grow tired.
“Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:30-31
Ashley Thaba is a popular motivation speaker, author and the Producer of a hit TV show offering practical advice to strengthen families and improve marriages! Episodes of her show can be downloaded from her website – www.ashleythaba.com.You can view some of her work on her YouTube channel: Ashley Thaba. You can buy two of her books, Dive In and Conquering the Giants, on her website. You can email her at [email protected] or follow her on Facebook at: Talking with the Thabas