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SIMPLE40 - Day 9 - If Not Now, When?

SELF-DISCIPLINE Discipline is one of those words that used to have a good reputation and was respected. People knew what it was. Today, discipline has many definitions, and most of them are negative as they refer to "controlling", "punishing", or "strict training". These definitions are referring to the exact opposite of what true self-discipline can do for you. It can enable you to remove what you don't need from you life and help you narrow down those things that you do need. We actually NEED self-discipline to grow in simplicity. The best way to grow in self-discipline is to start now and stop thinking about starting tomorrow, or next week, or next year. You must simply begin. If not now, when? To have success in self-discipline, start with basic things that you can start doing right away. In your prayer life, do you thank God the moment your eyes open in the morning? Start doing that. Do you pray a morning offering to start your day? Start doing that. Do you bless your food before you eat? Start doing that. You get the idea. You may need to place a little visual cue on the bathroom mirror to remind you to pray, but soon enough, it becomes a habit, and a good one at that. You will soon realize all the things that are actually within your control, especially the formation of good, positive thoughts. The more you work on forming self-discipline in your daily life, you will begin to see other things fall into place. Here is some good advice from St. Basil the Great... Do not straightway attempt extreme discipline; above all things beware of confidence in yourself.... It is better to advance a little at a time... When you have mastered one passion, then begin to wage war against another, and in this manner you will in good time get the better of all. ~St. Basil the Great



Self-discipline in your spiritual life will bear great fruit by keeping it simple and developing a prayer routine. Yesterday, I mentioned that you don't need to be praying all the beautiful devotions and prayers out there to be growing in holiness. Pick what speaks to you and do it! You may need to put a reminder in your calendar, or make a little daily checklist to remind you of your intentions. I like to pray spontaneously in groups of three (a little nod to the Most Holy Trinity.) So, if I say a "mini-prayer"(see yesterday's message) of gratitude for something, I say it three times. For example, it was cloudy and foggy again this morning and despite my initial "ugh", I said, "Thank you, Jesus for the clouds and cold. I am grateful for the seasons. Thank you, Jesus for the fog and clouds." This helps to turn my thoughts to gratitude and accept the things I cannot control or change. Think of a time in your day where you are easily triggered, frustrated or feeling hopeless. (Meal prep time, doing chores your kids left undone, scooping the snow from the driveway - again, etc.) Don't let the negative thoughts and attitudes sweep you away. As soon as you notice the not-so-great feelings, call to mind the thought that got you there. Discipline your mind to go back and re-frame your thoughts. Focus on gratitude and you will find that this is where you can make profound improvement in your life, with the help of a little self-discipline and God's grace!



Do you take care of your body in a balanced and healthy way? We have talked about the importance of regular intentional movement and all the positive effects it has on your physical and mental health. Today, I would like you to think about the food you nourish your body with and the discipline or lack of discipline you employ in regards to food. In this season of Lent, are you fasting in obedience to the required norms of the Church? Do you eat a good selection of healthy, nutritious foods? Do you need to educate yourself in the area of good nutrition? Do you plan meals? The link below is what I currently use to plan meals. The season I am in right now has me just planning dinner since the kids are old enough to make their own breakfast and lunch. I simply framed the document and use a dry erase marker to write on the glass. (My Chore Chart downloaded with it, so you get both!)



Since we are talking about food, in service to yourself and your family, take some time to organize your refrigerator, pantry or food storage cupboards to restore order and discover all the things that got shoved to the back or are not in their proper place. Isn't it amazing the things you find? Don't put it off. You will feel so accomplished when you open that clean and organized fridge or pantry door! Keep in mind that just as one good habit leads to another, so does one bad habit lead to another. Procrastination of little things leads to procrastination of big things. A little self-discipline in the area of keeping your kitchen clean and organized save a lot of time and frustration, not only for you, but for your family as well.


today's recipe

Vegetarian Fried Rice This recipe came from the newspaper several years ago and quickly became a Lenten staple in our house. Simple, healthy, and filling. 2 eggs beaten 1⁄2 cup chopped fresh parsley 4 Tbsp white cooking wine 4 Tbsp soy sauce/coconut aminos/etc 2 Tbsp water 1⁄2 tsp hot pepper sauce 1⁄4 tsp pepper 4 Tbsp olive oil 2 tsp minced garlic 4 carrots, sliced 2 cups broccoli florets 1 cup mushrooms, sliced 3 cups cooked rice (white or brown, your choice) 1⁄2 cup cucumber seeded and diced Directions Sauce: Combine eggs, parsley, wine, soy sauce, water, hot pepper sauce and black pepper. Set aside. Heat oil in large skillet, add garlic, carrots and broccoli. Stir fry 5 min and add mushrooms. Add sauce mix to center of pan and cook until thoroughly mixed. Add rice and mix. We like to top this with hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, and extra soy sauce (or Bragg's Aminos).


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