Character Building Wednesday

Week #4 Here we are! How has letter “C” gone for you? The words we chose were calm and connected. It felt as though my week turned out anything but very calm. On Monday, we had a beautiful relaxing start to our day and then I ended up taking me daughter to the doctor. That was just the beginning! When I shared with my counsellor what words we had chosen for our week, she grinned. She knows me well enough that when she thinks of me, “calm” isn’t the first word that pops into her mind. When our week was up for calm and connection, my husband suggested we do week two of the same because this is an area we need to work at. So here goes week two.

Calm and Connection.

What is our action plan for this week? Here are some tips I’ve discovered since last week. Calmness is the art of serenity of being tranquil and at rest. One of the ways I can do this is taking responsibility for what is my responsibility. If it isn’t mine, I need to let go. Here is an exercise that is very helpful. On a piece of paper place three columns. Above each column, write one of the following phrases: “my responsibility”/”God’s responsibility”/ “others responsibility”. Then take each issue that you are currently facing in your life and put it under one of each of these columns. If it is not under the column “my responsibility” you need to release it. So very often, I find myself all in knots about something that isn’t for me. I find mentally placing it under one of these three columns, helps me to know where I should be and praying about the stuff that isn’t for me.

Another tip for being calm is to remember that our outward man, the temporal is driven. Driven to perform. Driven to demand. The outward temporal man is a mix of ungodly beliefs and habit structures that I’ve formed because of my life’s experiences. Satan has effectively deceived us into thinking that this outward man is truly who we are. Well, there is another man. The inner man is eternal, gentle, voice of my spirit. When we become Christians, Christ’s Spirit dwells within me and nothing is more natural than for me to express love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness. Every day we have the choice to live out of the temporal, outer man or the eternal, gentle God-spirit. If I am feeling driven and life is very hard, I know that I am know longer living out of the eternal, I am living out of the outer shell. So this means I need to 1. Stop and agree with God’s Word and what it says about me 2. I need to refuse to listen to my outer man, telling my emotions to line up with God’s Word. 3. Choose to live daily in the embrace of Father God.

Game plan for connection. For me this means, looking into someone’s eyes when I’m being spoken to. It involves shutting off my computer when its interaction time. This connection piece is one we really want to focus on in our marriage. With little ones especially as well as busy schedules it is so easy to miss your spouse! Here is a great formula from Dr. Clifford and Joyce Penner who spoke on Focus on the Family radio.

Formula for Intimacy

by Dr. Cliff & Joyce Penner

15 minutes a day:

Connect emotionally: Look into each other’s eyes (oxytocin: trust

hormone); share a positive thought , feeling and/or affirmation of the other.

Connect spiritually: Share an inspirational reading and prayer.

Connect physically: Hug for 20 seconds (oxytocin); kiss passionately for 5-30 seconds without leading to sex (dopamine: passion hormone).

One evening a week: Walk, date, shower, caress with no demands.

One day a quarter: Have fun, play; lead and teach enjoyable touch.

One weekend a year: Together away or at home; no distractions.

Blessings to you, my readers, as you seek to develop character in your lives! For more information:

on calm:

“Experiencing the Father’s Embrace” by Jack Frost (especially chapter 11)

on marital connection:

Learn more at www.passionatecommitment.com

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