Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The 30-Day Marriage & Family Refocus Challenge

Needs vs. Desires

You have to view your life, marriage, and the relationship you have with your kids (family) from the perspective of the oxygen masks on an airplane. Before taking off, the airline stewardess will demonstrate how to put on an oxygen mask. But it is the profound words that she says about who you should place the mask on first, YOU! Yes, she tells you no matter who is sitting next to you, always put your oxygen mask on first! WOW! What insight we can gain from this. You have to see about yourself as it realtes to needs before you can be of any service, help, or assitance to anyone else.

Basically,  the airline stewardess is saying, if you put someone else’ s mask on, you may not even have the opportunity to put yours own.

You put your kids’ needs above your desires, but not above your own needs. I too have been erroneous in the past when saying that you have to put your kids’ needs above your needs. No, as parents when our children are not of adulthood age, we should put their needs above our desires, but not our own needs. It may take awhile to let this one sink in, but always think about the oxygen mask on the flight, you have to deal with your needs in order to meet someone else’s needs.

The sacrifice is in meeting their needs above your desires and selfish wants, which we are entitled to have, but we often sacrifice for the sake of our kids. I am not saying don’t have wants and desires, but just know that you can’t sacrifice your needs and be beneficial to your marriage or your children. No more guilt over meeting your needs! You have to put your “oxygen mask” on first then assist your spouse and children in their needs, wants, and desires.

It is not the desire of any parent to put their “oxygen mask” on first, but it is a Need for you to do so in order to be the best person, spouse, and parent you can. You have to get a new working defintion of Needs & Desires as it relates to you as a holistic person, your marriage as your priority/foundation, and with your kids (family).

Wives & Moms: If you really want to love your husband, then take care of & love his wife (you). Moms, if you really want to love your children, then take care of & love their mom (you).

Husbands & Dads: If you really want to love your wife, then take care of & love her husband (you). Dads, if you really want to love your children, then take care of & love their dad (you).

The Needed vs. The Necessary

Desires & Wants are Necessary, but we have to Refocus Our Lives on the Needed!

Needed: An essential requirement or duty, or obligation, an urgent want as of something required, a condition or situation in which something is required or wanted.

Necessary: Being essential, indispensable, or requisite, acting or proceeding from compulsion or necessity, not free, and involuntary. It is unavoidably determined by prior conditions or circumstances; it is inevitable.

Being busy, even though you are doing the “necessary” things, is not always God’s assignment.  They are good things, but that does not mean they are God things.  It is all about motives.  Sometimes, we are busy in order to avoid things that we should really be focusing on.  We want to stay busy, so it will look like we are doing and accomplishing something to others.  We are sacrificing God, our marriage, & children for the sake of impressing others.

To take care of yourself would seem to be something that no one would have to tell you, but as men & women (husbands/dads & wives/moms) we are always worried and consumed by everyone else’s needs.  When was the last time you did something for you?  It is wonderful to do great things for others, but charity starts at home, and then it goes abroad.  If you neglect yourself, then are you really helping others?  If you are in a place of restlessness, burnout, and hopelessness, then you will not be good for others.  You have to consider yourself and really focus on your needs to make sure you are equipped to complete the tasks before you.

“Don’t Take Your Strength for Granted”

We are always being and doing for others, but you have to remember that there is one person who needs you most--You!  Really take inventory over the next month of all the demands, activities, errands, and everything else on your to-do list and see where some things can be eliminated.  Again, what is needed vs. what is necessary?  Allow God to be the deciding factor.  Once you have looked at your full monthly calendar and considered everything, then go back in the recesses of your mind and figure out how you got to this place. 

As a spouse and parent, you have come to the place of being so inundated with stuff that you have allowed it to define who you are.  If you took all the stuff and the busyness away, then what is left? Who do you see when you look at yourself?  Are you afraid of just being alone with yourself?  I think you are missing out on the greatest relationship that is always near you, the one with yourself!  Do not forget to put yourself on your own guest list. Invite yourself to the greatest party--Your Life!

The “Do You” List:

I know you have to have a “to-do list” every day, but you need to have a “Do You” List! We are constantly doing things, but we sometimes forget ourselves.  This list will help you achieve the optimum you, so that you can live a life full and overflowing and not one of weariness. This list helps you to take off the Superman/Superwoman Cape and put on the Robe of Care for yourself.  We as spouses & parents are constantly wearing the cape of “I can do it all” when God is only requiring us to put on the Robe of Care. 

Today, decide to change your wardrobe and give up your cape for the Robe of Care!  Your password for your life is LIBERATED.  The login name is YOU… You have to sign-on and login to your own life.  It is time to feel completely free being you. 

This is Your “Do You” List:

1)      Accept You
2)      Love You
3)      Trust You
4)      Affirm You
5)      Respect You
6)      Be You

Accept yourself no matter what. Have a great appreciation for who you are. There will always be things that you want to change, but you have to have initial acceptance of who you are and rejoice in the value of your life.  Know what qualities are simply a part of you and know the things that you do have the power to change.  You become better when you choose to. 

Love yourself. If you do not, then no one else will. Take time to love yourself through words, care, and doing fun things.  You are worth it and you do deserve it.  Always keep a healthy self-esteem; fall in love with you, and then others will too.

Trust yourself no matter what.  You are your own greatest ally.  Decide every day and in every situation to be honest and trustworthy. 

Affirm yourself. You know you can do it, you know you will make it, and you know you are beautiful.  Say and do things to affirm yourself and the overall goal of your life.  Only allow things, people, and places into your life that affirm and add to who you are. Dismiss those things that subtract from you.

Respect yourself every day.  Never allow anyone to degrade you or treat you as less than who you are.  Always regard yourself highly and keep your dignity, integrity, and self-respect as a top priority.

Be You.  If you do not be you, then who will?  God made you and He doesn’t make mistakes, so you are what He wants you to be.  Seek God for improvements, and not the opinion of man.  Be proud to be you, even the past you.  You are a compilation of your life experiences and they have made you who you are today.

Every day, you have to keep this “Do You” list before you.  No matter what situation you face, you will always need to Accept you, Love you, Trust you, Affirm you, Respect you, and Be you!  When you don’t “Do You,” then you are a half-empty woman.  The only way to be full is to fully “Do You!”

Take time now to write out the “Do You” list several times on a piece of paper, sticky note, or index card. Put the list on the bathroom mirror, in the car, at your office, and wherever else you need a reminder of how great you are. A Total Man/Woman does the “Do You” list every day.


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