Monday, May 15, 2017

Fidgeting Isn't Cool

Lately I've realized how much I fidget. - especially when I'm sitting next to someone who doesn't.  In church one Sunday, I was sitting next to a lady who sat so still the entire time while I crossed and uncrossed my legs multiple times, scratched my nose and head, sat up straight and then slouched again repeatedly, moved the hair out of my face and tucked it behind my ear several times, and scratched other itches.

I realize that some people have ADD or other conditions that cause them to fidget, but I think in my case it's mostly from caffeine, and maybe some anxiety. I know I'm not the only one.  As I look around, I notice knees bouncing, pencils tapping, people constantly tucking hair behind their ears, people biting their nails or picking at their fingers, and people nervously looking around as someone is talking to them (which I'm also guilty of). Proper etiquette dictates that one should pay strict attention to the person whom they are conversing with, and to make them feel like they are interested in what they are saying - not looking around the room for someone else, or an escape route - even if they are not interested.

That lady seemed so ladylike and calm compared to me. And, even when I tried to sit still, I couldn't. I fidget usually from discomfort, which is why I cross and uncross my legs - because of pressure on some point that becomes uncomfortable. So, to remedy this, I need to train myself to sit with both feet on the floor, or ankles crossed and to be mindful of fidgeting, and make an effort to be still.

I drink 2 to 3 cups of coffee every morning, and I do notice feeling very jittery and anxious after the second cup. So, another goal is to cut down to 1 cup and then switch to green tea to get less caffeine and more health benefits.

I don't know if I'll ever be able to sit as still as my role model, but I'm going to try to improve that bad habit.  Fidgeting so much makes me look like a nervous wreck - and, I really don't have anything to be nervous about! Thankfully, habits can be broken and changed with some effort.  The fidget spinner has become all the rage lately, but I don't want something to fidget with. I just want to stop.

Maybe in this day and age of being so overstimulated with nonstop updates from social media, email, news, television, radio, games, and other noise, some of us have become impatient and get bored too easily, making it hard to sit and focus on one thing for very long.

Have you noticed yourself fidgeting, too?

Monday, May 1, 2017

What if Jesus walked in?

One day, something made me think about what Jesus would see if he walked into my house.  There were a few things I would have been ashamed of, so I got rid of them. I put my Bible and devotionals on my coffee table so I can be reminded to read them daily and have easy access to them. I put a picture of a little girl hugging Jesus in my living room where I can see it daily, and others can enjoy it, instead of in my bedroom where I ignored it daily while I was busy getting dressed. I deleted songs with profanity and stopped recording a soap opera I had watched for 20+ years because it was a waste of time and I don't need to watch people sinning (sleeping around, plotting murders and revenge, being materialistic, etc.)

My parents taught me about God and Jesus, and I always called myself a Christian my whole life, but only two years ago I finally realized that I was just a fan of Jesus and not a follower, and I decided to make changes and try to really follow Him. I want people to know I'm a Christian by how I act, what I watch, read, say, listen to, and do.  Of course, I fall short sometimes, but I'm making more of an effort.  Before, I was a believer, but I was out in the world doing anything I wanted to do, and you'd never have known I was a Christian. I hope people know now, and I hope I inspire others to be followers, too.

It's important to be careful what you allow into your mind and heart. What goes in will come out. When I watch shows where the characters curse a lot, I find myself starting to do it more, or I start using the language they use that I hadn't used before. When I listened to heavy metal music (I can't stand it now), I felt more agitated and hostile, and I've witnessed the same effect on people around me. A nice boy I know went from listening to Huey Lewis and ice skating with the friends to heavy metal and writing 666 on a doll's forehead!

We become desensitized by what we watch, read, and listen to. We start to think everyone is doing it, or that that's just the way life is now (cheating spouses, etc.), and that makes it easier to allow it into our own lives. I overheard a woman say that she has to watch the news first thing in the morning to feel like she knows what's going on. Her friend told her that it just starts her day on a negative note and is upsetting, and it would be better to start the day with cheerful music, devotionals, or something else relaxing and uplifting. I agree with her friend, but the lady didn't change her mind.

Also, whatever you think about most becomes your idol, so be very careful. What you allow into your mind, comes out of your heart (and mouth!)

But the things that come out of a person's mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. Matthew 15:18

If Jesus knocked on your door, would you be able to answer it with a smile, hug him, and invite him in, or would you panic and start hiding things first? I also like to think about if I die, what will people find when they go through my things?

Think about what negative things you can eliminate from your life.

Proverbs 4:23: Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.