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Self Discipline {Day 17}

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Self Discipline @ AVirtuousWoman.org

On Monday we started our official first day of home school. I first started homeschooling in 1998. That’s a long time! I only have two kids left in home school. The rest have moved on to college and work. I’ll be honest. The last two weeks have worn me out. We didn’t get up early this morning. Well, I was up around 7:30. I let the girls sleep in until about 8:30 and then we started our day. Sometimes extra sleep is needed and that’s okay!

BUT, we had a good day. I stayed on top of most of my chores, the girls seemed to enjoy their new curriculum choices and we even had time to go help my sister-in-law move a stack of pallets from the Tractor Supply to her house. She’s going to build some patio furniture out of the pallets!

So, I may have stayed on top of today’s chores, but that doesn’t mean I’m on top of everything. We had a busy – and very fun – summer, so a lot of household stuff went undone. Like laundry. And my bedroom.

I have a lot of catching up to do! But I have a plan and I am sure I’ll be able to catch up. Even if it takes me a few weeks. Today’s topic on Self Discipline is a great reminder!

From Chaos to Calm: Day Seventeen

Self Discipline

Scripture Memory: “He will die for lack of discipline, led astray by his own great folly.” Proverbs 5:23

Download the .pdf version of this article.

Have you ever known a woman who seemed to have it all together. You know, the woman who gets up early each morning and has her chores done by 8 a.m., the children are well-behaved, her house is company ready all the time, she manages to cook good meals for her family, and still has time to do her hair and wear make-up.

One thing that is true for all of us is the amount of time we have in a single day. We all get 24 hours a day to cram in all that we need to do. So, what is different about the woman who has it all together? Well, she has self-discipline.

For the woman who lacks self-discipline, the “perfect life” may seem like a far off dream – something that will never happen. She may wake up in the morning to a dirty kitchen and immediately feel dismay. So, before she makes breakfast, she must clean the kitchen. A woman with self-discipline would see to it that the breakfast dishes were immediately washed or placed in the dish washer once breakfast was over. But, unfortunately for this woman, the task seems too great or she feels other items on her agenda are more important. Now, a job that would have taken less than ten minutes will take thirty or more when she must clean up the kitchen before supper can be prepared.

A woman lacking self-discipline may dread laundry and so she doesn’t get around to washing the laundry until no one has any underwear in their drawer. Or perhaps, she doesn’t mind throwing the clothes in the wash but when the clothes are dry, she throws them in a heap on the table to be folded later. Only later means more wrinkles and more work. A job that takes five minutes now takes ten or fifteen.

A woman lacking self-discipline may shake her head in frustration as the children rip all of the toys from the toy box leaving behind a horrendous mess. Instead of insisting they put away one toy before choosing another, she ignores the bad behavior until the floor is so cluttered walking becomes a hazard. Unfortunately for the children as well as the mom, cleaning up the toys now takes all afternoon instead of a minute here or there. Even worse, she is setting an example of poor time management for her children that will likely follow them all of their days.

Sound familiar? It may be that you are disciplined in some areas of your life and lacking in others. We all have room to grow! Putting to use good time management is a must for every homemaker. The undisciplined woman above is destined to a life of always running behind, always stressed from clutter and disorganization, and never seeming to have a break from all her work. Why? Because when you put off a task until later it is always harder, more painful, and more time consuming than if you had done it immediately.

For instance, washing a mixing bowl takes mere seconds if you do it as soon as the muffin batter goes into the oven. However, dried on batter takes forever to scrub! Piles of unfolded laundry cost you valuable time when everyone must search through piles of clothes to find matching socks or the shirt they need to wear.

So, how do we establish good habits and self-discipline? We begin small. And we pray for God’s strength. Remember, God’s Word says:

And whatsoever ye do, do [it] heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. Colossians 3:23, 24

Hopefully by now, you have gotten into a routine of waking up early and having your prayer and devotion. If you have been doing this there is good news! You have begun to lead a self-disciplined life! Let’s add one more routine to your day.

Tomorrow, I want you to wake up early, pray, read your Bible, and write in your prayer journal. This should be nearly a habit by now. If you have chosen to take your walk or exercise in the morning, continue to do that after your prayer time. You are doing great! Now, I want you to add to your morning routine: Getting Fully Dressed.

It is so important to your day not to lounge around in your pajamas or sweat pants. This can be such a hard one to follow through with for stay at home moms. You will feel so much better if you are fully dressed! You will find that you are more efficient and more likely to take your job as homemaker seriously if you have nice clothes on, do your hair (actually style it!) and put on a little makeup – even just lip gloss.

Self-discipline is so important! It means forcing yourself to do those things you don’t really care to do. In other words – just get up and do it! If your house is a mess – clean it up! If there are clothes that need folding – fold them! If you have children and a husband to feed – make it your priority to see that they are fed well!

Remember, God’s purpose for your life is not to run around frustrated, be lazy, spend too much time reading books, or anything else that takes away from your role as a keeper at home. His purpose for you is to find peace and minister to your family – one day at a time.

That is what this challenge is really all about. Taking it one day at a time until we are set in our ways which will become His ways.

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From Chaos to Calm: 15 Weeks to a Happy Home is a daily devotion – Monday through Friday for 15 Weeks by Melissa Ringstaff. The Audio Podcast gives you extra ideas to go along with the email series or e-book.

Extra Resources for Fun:

My personality type: INFJ – You can read all about my personality type here.

Here are some images you can pin to Pinterest or use on your own blog: (Of course, you are welcome to use the image above as well!!)

Self Discipline: The difference between the women who have it all together and those who don't. | A Virtuous Woman

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. | A Virtuous Woman I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. | A Virtuous Woman

What areas of your life are needing some serious self discipline?

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35 Comments

  1. I need some self-discipline to keep the T.V. off. I work on my house-work all day until about 2:00, then I get tired and sit down with a cold drink and court shows. Two hours have passed before I know it. Then it's too close to dinner time to get back on my work. Linda
  2. Love this post. A friend shared it on FB today, and I needed a reminder to get back to being more self-disciplined. Thanks so much for writing this. Looking forward to reading more from your blog. I'd be thrilled if you'd link up at this week's Off the Hook!
  3. I am a young mum and wife and have really been struggling with keeping our house clean (due to not being disciplined!) which has really been getting me down and making me feel awfully guilty, so this post has really helped me I am going to print it off and keep it next to my bed and read it every morning! Thanks so much
  4. Last night I was thinking to myself I don't feel motivated to do anything productive right now, but I should be disciplined enough to do something anyway. I decided I would go to one of my favorite blogs for inspiration. I pulled up a virtuous woman and the first thing I saw was your "Self Discipline" article. I think the Lord was trying to get my attention. I need to work on this area in my life so badly. Thank you for the kind but honest reality check.
  5. I feel like I finally know the secret. For so long I wondered how moms could look pretty every day and their homes look like magazine rooms. Feelings of guilt would rise up in me because my house is always messy and very cluttered. I am so disorganized with so much responsibility in and out of the home. I want to be a woman who has it all together.
  6. Beautiful Article. I feel blessed to be a discipline woman, it was hard to become one but honestly is not. My goal in life is to be a Godly Woman! Melissa congratulations on your article is very helpful ☺God bless you all.
  7. As a mental health counselor, I like to say that rest IS important. Both to our mental and physical health. And rest doesn't just mean sleep. It also means putting your feet up and relaxing. Many of the women I know who are extremely "self-disciplined" are actually running their physical and mental health down the tubes by never resting.
    1. Anne, I agree - rest is so important! I've written about it here: http://avirtuouswoman.org/2013/05/13/mama-needs-sleep/ Also, if we follow the Bible and keep the 24 hour Sabbath we will be getting extra rest. I often sleep a few hours on Sabbath afternoon and it's soooo rejuvenating! I have also talked about burn out and the need for extra rest here: http://avirtuouswoman.org/2014/11/12/importance-margin-life/ Thanks for your comment! :)
  8. Hello!this article was so helpful!I am a "new" house keeper since I am only married for a year and I really feel I need your articles in order to learn.Thank you!
  9. Great article!!!! Growing up my mom did EVERYTHING for us. I didn't have to lift a finger. She did dishes, all the laundry, cleaned our rooms (I have 2 sisters) served our foods. She was a great mom but didn't realize that that made me a lazy person. I've been married for 5 years and the first 3 were so difficult for me. I was addicted to reality TV!! I would spend hours watching that junk! I didn't know how to do laundry, dishes were always dirty, house was always a mess and one day I realized that I HAD to grow up! My husband grew up in a very messy house so this was his biggest pet peeve. Everything you mentioned in the article he would tell me. "It only takes a few minutes if you do it right away Mary" and wow was he right. The least I could do for my family was take care of them. My husband works 60 hours a week. I couldn't expect him to do it! So I made a plan. I also teach my children (6,4,2) to be clean girls. They know how to clean up their messes make their beds. I feel that just these little things will prepare them for the future. The bible talks about laziness and I can tell you I was the definition. I only did what I HAD to do. But thank GOD he opened my eyes and gave me the strength to see the chaos in my home!! Thank you Melissa for this article! I am thankful for you!!!
  10. this article is really good but most of the advise is for "full time homekers" not for full time working moms like me that leave the house at 7am and return at around 6 pm. Thank God for my husband that cooks dinner and does many other chores that the "wife is expected to do". I need a lot of self discipline to organize our home...I pray God helps me!
  11. I love this article! It is helpful and makes perfect sense. Unfortunately, in this day and age most women work outside the home like me. I leave the house at 7 a.m. and if I go straight home after work I am home by 6 p.m. Women are so overwhelmed these days. We are expected to be great Godly wives and moms but usually 90% of our "best" is given at work and that only leaves 10% for home. It's a messed up system - we women were created by God to be home-makers, moms, nurturers, and help-mates for our husbands. I know in my situation - if I had been smart in my 20s (now in my 40s) I wouldn't have to be working full-time now. We over-extended ourselves financially, took out too many loans, bought a new house when all the old one needed was some TLC, maxed out too many credit cards, etc.....With the Lord's help though, my husband and I are now trying to be good stewards of the blessings he has given us and I'm hoping to be done with the full-time work madness in about 6 years when I'm 51 years old! LOL Anyway, Melissa, thank you for the Virtuous Woman website and blog. It blesses me.
    1. Diana, you're so right, our society has turned things upside down. I'm glad you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. However, even women who stay home full-time often over-extend themselves with outside activities. So whatever our lives look like, it's good to set in place systems or action plans that will help us balance a full busy life as much as possible and lessen our stress!
      1. Very true Melissa. Whether we are stay-at-home moms or moms working full-time outside the home, what we all need is encouragement, support and good blogs like this to read and remind ourselves that it (it being good moms/wives) can be done! :) Especially if we seek the Lord's guidance and help and reach out to other moms who deal with the same issues and learn from each other.
  12. Hi Melissa! My name is Rocio, I'm from Argentina and I love your blog. I have 3 children(5, 3 years old and a newborn baby) and your advise have been very useful to me. Thank you for being my virtual mentor
  13. Hi there, God's grace is so amazing, for a long time I have been undisciplined and asked God about how to become disciplined. Well your website/blog came to me from Pinterest. Thank you so much for writing about this matter. MY QUESTION: Is there a way to receive the ''15-weeks to a happy home'' starting day-1? Thanks again! May God bless you, your family and this website.
  14. Hi Melissa, I am featuring a link to your article on my page. I'm just starting out and have a tiny following but am hoping it will direct a few more people to your page. I read your articles all the time. Keep it up. You can find where I linked it here if you are interested. http://thedecentmom.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=413&action=edit

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