So in this last week of getting Up From the Dumps, we're looking at "Real Help" for real people. That's what Paul was giving in the book of Philippians, and that's been my prayer and hope during this month of looking at the real challenge of discouragement. Now I want to give you Real Help for Your Home. Certain "triggers" can send us on the discouragement road when we are "ripe" for being down. These busters come from applying God's truths "where the rubber meets the road" in my own home and life. You may get a glimpse of what can get me down in my list of 10 Dump Busters at Home.
10 Dump Busters at Home
- Lights on! Now it gets dark early in the evening where we live ... bust the "dark feeling" by turning on bright lights, lighting a candle, and creating an atmosphere that says "cozy" instead of "gloomy." Be sure to choose good books, have a family game for the season, and use time well, instead of falling into the pit of despair (or endless hours on separate tech venues).
- Tidy points - Doesn't matter if company is coming ... WE live here! Keep it (mostly) neat and orderly so that peace prevails over commotion. Not talking about getting ready for a Good Housekeeping photo shoot; I'm talking about picking up to promote peace.
- Just routine - There's value in routines. Good habits lead to good patterns lead to good results overall. What are the things you do most every day? Do you need to do them? What do you need to do that you're not? Ever day is a new day to ask for God's help to know how to spend our time.
- Plan on it - We get what we plan for. Aim at nothing and hit it every time. Want to have family conversation, time to read, dinner together, devotions, clean clothes ;), friends, ... ??? Plan for it to happen. Take one step in that direction. After many steps in that direction, you'll be there!
- Slow down - Sometimes resting and being quiet is the most godly thing we can do. I have to plan this too. My husband benefits when we rest. I, JULIE, benefits when I rest. It's a good thing.
- Deposits/Withdrawals - Did I make deposits today in the life of my loved ones? Or did I get distracted and "too busy" for good things? Did I allow the Lord to make deposits into who I am today? If all we process are withdrawals, we will have a huge deficit.
- Think so? My frame of mind is intertwined with how I'm thinking. I need to keep mental garbage out of my home. This means entertainment, images, music, conversation, ideas, and opinions that don't match up with God's ways are not welcome to settle in my home. My heart is deceitful (Jer. 17:9) and I need to give it all the help I can to experience the purity and peace God intends. Trash day is EVERYDAY!
- Clean Windows - No, my windows are not all really clean. Spiders seem to LOVE my windows. But I need to keep the windows of my perspective, looking out on people & life, clean and clear by looking through the lens of God's thoughts. Get into the habit of stopping "my thinking" and ask, "How would God see this?" See #9 for the way to do it.
- Words of Life - It doesn't take long AT. ALL. for it to show in my life if I am not in God's Word. I MUST have the words of life from God's Word in my mind and heart. My family must have them. Without them, we will all eventually end up Down in the Dumps. Let's get our Bibles out and get into them!
- Truth is ... Just like Satan first used a lie to confuse Adam & Eve and plunge them into discouragement, when I mortgage the truth for lies, I am destined to be discouraged. This applies in every area: my marriage, my extended family, my body, my possessions, my worth, my value, my future, my safety, my finances, my church, my faith ... every area. The biggest buster for discouragement in our home is to ask: What's the truth?
Tomorrow we'll look at Real Help in Our Hands. I would love to hear what you would add to the "Dump Busters" list. What works for you to avoid the discouragement triggers in your home?