“If you know these things, happy are you if you do them.” John 13:17
Years ago the sharpening of tools was a regular necessity. A dull edge meant more work and possible harm to the wielder of the tools. Perhaps, today, it’s wise to consider way to gently “sharpen” our lives as women.
Tools to Sharpen Our Lives and Homes
- Read the scriptures daily. Through them God will cleanse and renew your mind. Romans 12:2 is a good resource. Watchman Nee, a Chinese church leader and Christian teacher who worked in China during the 20th century, daily practiced not eating breakfast until he had fed on God’s Word. This is a great idea to consider. Whether you read God’s Word before breakfast or at another time during your day, as you read, circle the action words – then prayerfully choose to obey.
- Memorize Scripture. Buy a set of index cards. As you read Scripture, print out a verse on a card that speaks to your heart. Tape the new verse where you will see it every day. Practice saying it. (I type mine up on business card stock and carry them with me so I can practice them wherever and whenever.)
- One of the most beneficial places to install a book/magazine rack or to place a basket full of good things to read is in your bathroom near the toilet and tub. Good reading for little people and big people! Give the kids their own rack or basket.
- Read, read, read – good magazines, good literature, biographies, autobiographies, history. Subscribe to some good Christian stuff: World Magazine is a favorite of mine (World Magazine gives the Christian perspective on colleges, world happenings, etc. that we do not get in the world’s publications and printings), Focus on the Family magazines and books for the family, Turning Point literature (David Jeremiah), etc. Visit your church library for some excellent literature. If you don’t like accumulating books, invest in a Kindle and simply read your books via today’s technology!
- Do crossword puzzles and play Scrabble or other word games.
Start a prayer/memory journal and record in it on a daily basis. (I use a spiral notebook. At the start of each day, I record the month/day/year). With each contact that the Lord gives you on a daily basis, record a prayer request or praise regarding that individual.
Remember to Sharpen Your Body
- Decide to exercise every day one way or another.
- Find some stairs to walk up and down as part of your exercise. Walk inside your home or outside. Walk the halls at the mall. Walk around the block or in the school halls (some have approved walking programs). Take the dog for a walk. Take a longer walking direction to your destination (parking farther away when going to a store or for an appointment). If you garden, that provides lots of exercise. Join a fitness club or a fitness class.
- If your physical agility allows, establish a daily stretch/bend/tummy tightening/arm exercise routine. Do the exercises before you shower and dress. Invest in a pair or set of dumbbells. That will help prevent arms from becoming flabby or will lessen the flab.
- Invest in other exercise equipment that is suitable for you or check out your local city or town for memberships to the YMCA for exercise classes, swimming, etc.
- Use a doctor-approved wellness plan.
- Follow scriptural instruction to lend to a healthy body. That’s a program that should start yesterday! Encourage family involvement.
Remember to Sharpen Your Soul
- Your outlook on life matters!
- Tend to nurture/cultivate your relationship with God. It takes choosing—then discipline, determination and planning—no matter how many years you walk with the Lord!
- Tell God you want to be a source of joy to Him first and then to others. Then ask Him for the grace and strength to be that each day.
- Start a “Remember” journal of all the good things God does for you and of all the precious things others do for you. I hope to do a “Remember” quilt sometime for posterity.
- “He who hath friends must show himself to be friendly.” Work at developing friendships!!
- Train your mind to focus on serving others and away from focusing inwardly on self. Mark 10:45 – “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” As we become more like Christ, this becomes of more importance to us.
- Literally pray that God will help you train your mind to think positively (especially if you tend to be a negative person). Being happy is a choice! We can learn to choose to be happy women no matter what our circumstances! I am currently doing a one-on-one Bible study with a young mom on this very subject.
- Work on keeping your sense of humor. If you’ve lost it, go find it!!
- Practice smiling more!
Remember to Sharpen Your Outreach
- Decide to make one “new contact” phone call or go up to someone in church you haven’t met yet or put a thoughtful little note in a mailbox at church.
- Track the church calendar, circle birthdays, and send an e-mail or card at the proper time.
- Drop a “You’re on my heart” note to someone.
- Ask pastor(s) who needs a visit. Volunteer to do visitation. Pastor(s) will faint. Then when he/they revive(s), he’ll/they’ll praise the Lord!
- Participate in your church’s Secret Pal ministry – it’s so much fun. If your church doesn’t have one, organize one! If you have an idea about a neat way for fellowship, share it with others.
- Ask God to give you some fresh new ideas. Then watch out!!
Remember to Sharpen Your Sense of Accomplishment
- Use lists – cross off each task or challenge as it is accomplished.
- Early in the day make a list of things you’d like to get under your belt for that day: make that phone call, quiet time, exercise/walking, reading/study, baking, water flowers, time you need to leave house for meeting, remind yourself to ________________________,
- Keep two lists – one for future goals on it and one for today’s goals.
- Do one little “extra” around the house each day: you’re queen of the castle so clean the throne – ha! Clean out a drawer, dust (boo-0-0), wash curtains, Windex windows and glass frames, the TV screen, your glasses (!!), mend/iron clothes (yes I said “mend”), or organize an area.
- Bored? Ask God to help you see what He’s doing or ask Him what you can do! Editor’s note: You may have noticed, Robin does not get bored easily.
Remember to Sharpen Your Personal Relationships
- Pretend you’re an author and write an appreciation list to someone (from Max Lucado’s “Shaped by God”).
- Send a note.
- Plan a special get-away day and don’t reveal where you’re taking your friend until you get there!
- Take a penny ride (every time you come to a turn, flip the penny – heads turn right, tails turn left).
- Have an annual weekend reunion just for the girls and women in the family at a cottage, each others’ homes, etc. Everyone brings games, food, whatever they love to do. A few years ago we rented a cabin at North End Marina on Keuka Lake and also rented a pontoon boat so we could spend as much time as we wanted on the water sight-seeing and fishing. Bring a journal that everyone can sign and note what was special to them.
- Use your vocal chords to say, “I love you!”
- Bake and share – on baking day I play a game – my extra batch of whatever I bake goes to the first person to stop at the house. If no one shows, it goes to a neighbor. It’s a lot of fun. I swear our grown kids smell my chocolate chip cookies several miles away!
- Remember! Home is your husband’s castle. Work at creating a home filled with peace, comfort, security, love, respect and joy.
- Form the habit of looking for opportunities to compliment others and start with home members!
- Practice looking attractive when it is time for hubby to arrive home from work.
- Practice focusing on the joy of returning to your family at the end of the day while you drive home from your place of work.
Remember to Sharpen Your Personal Relationship with God
- No. 1: Make sure it exists. 1 John 5:11-12 tells us, “…God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”
- Keep short sin accounts with God.
- Keep that which the Lord commands – 1 Samuel 13:14 – one day at a time.
- Pray: “Please give me a heart and home You love to visit.”
- Pray: “Help me Father. I want to be a joy to You first of all.”
- Pray that He will provide the needs of your life. Don’t lay that one on your husband or your friends.
- Make “I thank You Father and I love You” a daily statement.
- Get up earlier and spend quiet time with Him if you don’t seem to make time as the day goes forward. He can set you free from the bondage of sin and also the bondage of a too-busy day! He can give you victory over circumstances.
- Play peaceful music in your home. You can pull in www.FLN.org and click on Praise Channel on your computer. It will give your morning a gracious start.
The best way to sum up all the ways to sharpen our lives? Here it is: Yield to God the mundane, repetitive things of daily life! LET GOD RENEW EACH DAY FOR YOU. He’ll make the old seem like new!
Robin Cox is an avid learner who shares encouragement and life lessons from God’s Word. She plays a mean game of Scrabble when she’s not baking, cooking, quilting, or spending time curating her incredible flowers and plants. Robin has taught women’s Bible studies for years in the local church, special events, and professional businesswomen meetings. There’s not much that makes Robin happier than knowing a life has been changed by trusting in Jesus. The gift of hospitality and a love for people shines through her written words. Robin is delighted to find herself a contributor to The Savvy Rose. Make yourself at home, grab a cup of tea, and sit awhile in the garden.