In honor of the bright, talented, goal setting, driven, intense, persuasive, strong willed, lovely, going to change the world #4 Lambdin lady – Rebekah – who is turning 12 years old tomorrow, I am posting an updated Monday Motivation that I wrote seven years ago shortly after her 5th birthday. It is very timely in my own life as I am currently saying “after this day” in a couple areas of my own life. Here it is from October 2000.
This morning I was snuggling in bed with my 5 year old, Rebekah, who wants to break her life long habit of…sucking her thumb!
While we were laying there talking she put her head down on the pillow & popped her thumb in her mouth. I gently reminded her that she had made a commitment to stop sucking her thumb on her birthday a few weeks back. She pulled her thumb out of her mouth, smiled wryly at me and said with confidence “Oh Momma…I will stop sucking my thumb…..after this day“, and then promptly put that thumb right back in her mouth. After quizzing her about why she was putting it off, why she didn’t just stop today and then going over all the compelling reasons as to why she should stop, she finally said with exasperation “it’s toooooo hard, Momma!”
Hmmmm, now doesn’t that sound familiar? Isn’t that pretty much what we all do when something is just to hard or will take to much time, effort & energy? We tell ourselves we will do it – “after this day”. What types of things are you putting off doing? Do any of these hit home with you?
- going on that diet or exercising regularly & eating healthy
- starting that home based business (or really beginning to actually work at the one you’ve already started)
- getting on a budget or having a financial plan and sticking to it
- doing something with our precious photographs (you know the ones that you say are so important that they are first thing you’d save in a fire or flood?)
- finally quitting smoking, drinking, gossiping, overeating, complaining (or whatever your bad habit or vice is…we all have them)
- getting together with, writing a letter or calling that old dear friend of ours who we have not connected with recently
- writing those long overdue thank you notes
- beginning to work toward achieving that personal dream you have in your heart
- volunteering your time or giving your money to that organization you really believe in
- going to church, joining that Bible study or spending consistent time in the Word and prayer
- being bold and opening my mouth and sharing my faith with those who need the Lord
- mending that broken relationship or asking forgiveness
- being purposeful about creating a meaningful family life & raising children who have your values, morals & faith
- _______________________________ (list what you are putting off until “after this day”)
But unfortunately, too often for many of us “after this day” never comes. Saying or thinking we will do things “after this day” just helps us to justify the fact that we are not doing what we say we want or need to do! It gives us a false hope that perhaps someday we really will. Telling ourselves “after this day” pacifies us just like Rebekah’s thumb pacifies her.
Our “after this day” often sounds like this –
- after….this crazy, busy, out of control week (month, season or even year)
- after….my kids start school (go back to school, get out of school, graduate from school or leave home)
- after….I get organized (settled down, clean my house or office desk)
- after….I have this baby (the next baby or the last baby)
- after….the holidays (my birthday, vacation or that special event)
- after….I get that job (quit that job, finish that assignment or retire)
- after…everything is perfect! (“when the moon is in the seventh house & Jupiter aligns with Mars” to quote a popular 70’s song that often makes me laugh at myself & others when we make crazy excuses that we are waiting for just the right time!)
- after…..____________________(fill in the blank with your favorite reason to put off something)
Of course occasionally it is appropriate to wait or put off something until a better time but more often than not it is simply just an excuse to not do something or at least get started in that direction. Let’s get honest with ourselves today and first decide what is it that you REALLY want to do.
Do you really want to lose that weight & live a healthier life? Do you really want to make extra income, have less stress and be able to enjoy some financial freedom that owning/working a business, budgeting or planning can bring you? Would you love to have your photos and memories organized, preserved and available to be easily enjoyed regularly? Are you tired of bad habits, character flaws or unhealthy lifestyles controlling you? Do you long to have restored relationships with loved ones? Do you want to have the personal fulfillment & blessing of giving of your time, talent or treasure to a worthy cause? Do you need to be in a growing relationship with God? Do you want to live a meaningful life and pass on your values, morals & faith to your children? Do you have a dream or goal that often wells up in your heart and mind that you would love to see become a reality?
What is it that you want to do that you keep putting off until another time? Perhaps it is time to STOP saying “after this day” and start saying TODAY IS THE DAY! Forget the past failures, present hardships and put away the many excuses. Begin this very day to do the things you need to do to move you closer to accomplishing your life goals & your dreams!
Here’s to starting….TODAY!
2007 update: Rebekah did eventually stop sucking her thumb but not until she was forced to by the orthodontist who put a palate expander in the roof of her mouth. She was nine years old by that time and had to suffer the pain & problems of extensive dental work in part because of her “after this day” decision. There is almost always some type of consequence to putting off important things in our lives until “after this day”. A life lesson that has hopefully been learned well so she can avoid in the future having an “after this day” mentality.
She is now a twelve year old and a tenacious “go getter”! She is all about planning, working & accomplishing her goals & dreams. And her attitude is always….Let’s do it NOW. Here is her current “short list” of things she wants to do and/or accomplish –
- Start her own business this year (actually 2 different businesses – a “Moms morning out” and a trash can cleaning business)
- Make lots of money (she wants to buy a high quality digital camera, travel, add to her beauty product collection, give money to missions and save.)
- Travel to Hawaii & Texas in 2008
- Glorify God by being kind & compassionate to others
- To consistently help the homeless & hungry by having fast food gift cards & water in the car ready to pass out at any given time.