Charles Duhgg wrote the following quote in his book, The Power of Habit, “Making your bed every morning is correlated with better productivity, a greater since of well-being, and stronger skills at sticking with a budget.”
Making your bed is described as a ‘keystone habit’.
Did you make your bed today?
To be honest I hadn’t in days.
I laid in the darkness, only a slight sliver of what resembled sunlight peeked through the heather grey blinds that blanketed the windows. I covered my face deeper into my new plush pillows. I grabbed my yellow blanket and snuggled into its softness. I didn’t want to get out of bed. I didn’t want to face the day just yet. I didn’t want to play the juggler in the circus act of my current life. “Welcome to Jessica’s Circus”, I whispered under my breath as I forced the comfy yellow blanket off me and hopped off my gigantic King sized bed. Before I even had a chance to relieve my bladder in silence two little footsteps came bouncing across the hall and entered my room, “Mommy!”
…A new day has dawned. Whether I’m prepared for it or not. Whether my mental capacity is coherent enough to tackle the day of cartoon watching, a dozen snack trips to the pantry, in between work calls, quotes, and video chat meetings for work… The days are long but the weeks have been short. If that even makes sense.
Disclosure: I am beyond thankful to have had the ability to work from home and not skip a beat in my household income with the COVID-19 fiasco attacking our country. I am so blessed. BUT.
But, I am a person who thrives on routines, and excelling at tasks and goals. Whether that is health and fitness goals, spiritual peacefulness, accomplishments at work, all while feeling connected to my daughter and making sure I’m taking the time to play with her and be fully present. You know what I have excelled at the last 7 weeks or so? Eating snacks. Yep. I should have a gold trophy shipped to me for successfully walking to the refrigerator and eating. Insert laughing gif. But for real. The struggle has been REAL.
The other day I had to force myself to do the bare minimum just to get through the day. My mind and emotions were blurry, unclear and confusing. I couldn’t seem to catch a grip on the day I was in. I fell to my knees and cried out to the Lord. I know He hears my cries. I know He can see my heart. I know He knows I mean well in all areas of my life but I’m failing in all the areas I’m trying so hard in. I can hear Him sweetly telling me, “stop trying so hard, surrender, give all of those anxious burdens and fears to me, My daughter”. Why is this so hard?
When I got up from the floor after that prayer time, I immediately had the urge to make my bed.
So I made my bed.
Then I put a load of laundry into the washer. Then I built mini houses out of blocks with my daughter. Then I sat in my home office and returned clients phone calls and submitted the paperwork I needed to for that day. I even logged onto my Continued Education Training and started my Exam that had an upcoming due date. I was able to successfully complete 4 courses that day.
The Power of Making Your Bed.
Now obviously I’m not saying that making your bed releases some sort of magical powers within the atmosphere. But it does kick start your mind into productive thoughts. Thoughts lead to actions. Actions lead to productivity. Before you know it your days “To Do” list has dwindled significantly.
In these last few weeks’ potential new idols have risen in my personal life; the idol of food, the idol of T.V or mind-numbing entertainment, and honestly the idol of just being lazy. My days went from 90 to nothing virtually overnight—like so many of yours did too. It was nice to slow down. For a few days at least. But with my type of personality if I’m not setting and reaching new goals I get sedentary in my mind and how my time is spent drastically changes. I don’t like it.
I don’t like spending my time outside of the Will of God. My soul feels unsettled. I know when I’m not living to glorify my Heavenly Father and my heart aches in streams of poison. It’s so easy to get off track. Just think about it… it can be so difficult to cultivate healthy eating habits (for most of us anyway). It can take months and for some years to truly get a grip in this area—but it can only take a few days and weeks to spiral back into unhealthy habits. Addicts of alcohol or forms of drugs can spend years going around the same old mountain, years of rehab and counseling, finally life is back on track. Then they have a bad day and that bottle or high is calling their name again. What they spent years getting out of took seconds for the enemy to ensnare them in again.
Same goes for almost every area in our lives. Honing in on our unique gifts, talents and creativeness feeds our souls. Imagine your, “Best Self Days”, what if every day you woke up and you were naturally “Your Best Self”? Like without even trying…
Want to know a TRUTH? Jesus made that possible. Literally all we have to do is invite HIM into every area of our day, big or small. Invite HIM into every dark crevice of our minds. Invite HIM into every hidden area of our hearts. You know… the areas that we pretend don’t exist, our little secrets that we don’t mention to our best friends, spouses, or even counselors? Well guess what? God already knows those areas you try to hide. He is already there. He already accepts YOU as you are and where you are.
How unbelievably beautiful is that? But it takes us making the decision. It takes us to begin to hate the areas of our lives that hold us back from being our best, truest, purist selves. Ask yourself what those areas are? Is it too much self-doubt? Addiction or idolatry of some sort? Hidden sexual sin? Self-pity? Jealousy of others? Un-forgiveness? What is holding you back from the life the Lord has planned for you? It’s not enough to just hate the behavior. We have to discover the root of the behavior. Why do we do the unhealthy and life-sucking things we do? Why do we keep ending up in these same cycles of behavior that continue to keep us from living our absolute best lives the Lord has intended for us to live?
If you noticed no-where have I said mastering this mindset will protect you from life’s hurts or tragedies. Because it won’t. Jesus Himself warns us in John 16:33, “… In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
We can’t control the bad things that may come our way in this life. We can’t control the decisions of others that may have a negative effect on our life. We can’t always control what happens around us or to us, but we can control how we react.
We have to learn to ‘control the controllable’.
What are you in charge of in your life and throughout your day? Your thoughts, your actions, your mood, your attitude toward others, your work ethic, how you choose to react to situations and people, surrendering to the Lord, what you decide to put into your body- which is the temple of the holy spirit (1 Cor. 6:19). These are all things I can control.
At times I am so overwhelmed inside because I am trying to control everything around me. I am stressing myself out trying to control things that will never, ever be in my control. I forget the power of baby steps into positive thinking and relinquishing control.
Control the controllable.
For me… Every day it starts with making my bed. I pray blessings over my day as I straighten the sheets over my king-sized mattress. I ask the Lord to take captive of any thoughts that are not from Him or glorify Him. As I move my grey velvet comforter back into place, I ask the Lord to give me His creativeness over my work and patience in my parenting toward my daughter. With each fancy throw pillow I set into place, I begin to bind the enemy for any tricks or schemes he may throw my way in an attempt to deter my walk with the Lord. Finally, as I roll my Aztec printed blanket in front of my decorative pillows, I ask the Lord to continue to remind me that I am His and that I am not in control of everything- He is.
Who knew something as simple as making the bed could become so powerful?
Did you make your bed today?
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:23-24.
And for all of those things I simply cannot control I will continue to repeat…
I Trust my God, I Trust my God, I Trust my God.