Well... tonight marks a new test in my life. Brandon has been away before, but this time he's going for 8 days. I really could almost count all of last week as him being gone- he's been so busy- ok, well, he did still come to bed every night eventually :-) But this week he's headed to Indiana with the students for the whole week- including 2 Sundays. This will be a little different because he's taking all my normal helpers with him- my sisters, my friend that usually helps in church, the pastor and his wife- they are all going. And I'm staying. For several reasons this seems big to me,not the least of which is that I wanted to go too. But I've been helped by God to have a better attitude about that particular part of the plan- even if it wasn't originally what I would have picked. And, since I have been working on discouragement lately, I have a good chance to practice my new strategies this week while I'm alone. They have worked for other situations so far and I've been very encouraged at the results.
Here they are: (in no particular order)
#1. Avoid the normal reactions: avoiding the task or thing that needs to be done, escaping to a movie, book, or corner of the house, venting about my problem without seeking a solution or doing anything about it, staying in bed in the morning too late, staying up too late the night before.
#2. Apply Nehemiah 4: pray for help from God: Psalm 118:5, get back to work: Phil. 4 13, Avoid other discouragers: Neh. 6:2-4, Rest (avoid fatigue)- Neh 4:10, Remove time consumers: Eph. 5:16-17, work on removing bad habits: Rom:12:2, Don't isolate yourself: Heb. 10:24-25, Encourage someone else: Prov. 11:25, Remember how God has helped me in the past: Ps. 105:8, Remember he is faithful: Is.40:28-31.
#3. Practical helps that almost always help keep me on top of things: get up BEFORE the kids!, Go to bed early enough to get plenty of rest, have my devotions, take my vitamins, exercise, and don't eat junk food.
There! That's my plan for the week. Everything else that gets done will be gravy! Keep us in your prayers. :-)