Race to Happiness (DISCIPLINE)
Hebrews 11:12 NLT
No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening- it’s painful! But afterward there will be peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.
According to Gretchen Rubin’s four personality types, I am an Upholder. She has coined these personality types according to how different people respond to rules. After taking her quiz online, the results show that, as an Upholder, I accept rules, whether from outside or inside. An upholder meets deadlines, follows doctor’s orders, and keeps a New Year’s Resolution. She says that for Upholders, discipline brings freedom. That is me 100%!!
This is a continuation of my Race to Happiness. For some, discipline bringing happiness may seem like an oxymoron. Just as Hebrews 11:12 describes, it’s not always enjoyable, but the fruits of it are PEACE. For me, discipline and structure brings peace. I’ve always been like this. Even when I’m stretching or pushing myself, this gives me a sense of accomplishment.
Ironically enough, the more structured I am, the more exciting “coloring outside the lines” is for me. Spontaneity is EXHILARATING, as long as I’m not flying by the seat of my pants as my daily routine. Knowing this about myself (and watching my relationship fall apart because of it) I’ve been forced to take a step back and find balance.
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A couple years ago I was speaking to a friend of mine and we were discussing our careers. Discontent in my job at the time, I was complaining about how I wanted something different. He in turn said to me that while he doesn’t particularly enjoy his job, it’s not his life. It’s just an income to further him in what he truly loves, which is ministry. I never understood this concept; until now.
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Truth is I’m a morning person. Sleeping in is not existent for me. I’ve disciplined myself to wake up at 5:30 every morning and before I can let my eyes adjust, I grab my phone to read my morning devotion. I look forward to those quiet moments. Sometimes I just lay there and pray, sometimes I get up and read, go for a run, do yoga, or make a full breakfast going to work smelling like bacon. The start to each day is 180 degree difference from getting up with just enough time to run out the door and forget my coffee. There’s something about that time as the sun is rising. Mornings that early seem very sacred to me. And I’m learning how to make the most out of my day.
I’ve come to the realization that the 8 hours I’m at work is only a short interruption to what I truly enjoy doing. The 8 hour interruption is not my life, nor is my joy found in that brief time period of my day. My joy comes from meditating all day on what God showed me in my morning devotion. As well as jotting things down in my journal throughout the day on ideas and brainstorms that come to me. I now look at that time at work as a marinating period. I spend time relaxing in the morning and I have plenty of time to be productive in the evenings. Or vice versa- it’s my world, my happiness.
We’ve all heard the saying, “everyone has the same 24 hours in a day”. I’ve discovered, through discipline, if I’m awake 16-17 hours a day, the 8 hour interruption still leaves me with 8 hours to do the things that I get excited about: reading (a lot!), writing, working out, cooking, experiencing things and places I’ve never experienced before…but most of all NOT BEING IN A HURRY! I’ve found my happiness by slowing down. For me, this has taken some discipline! Sometimes I find myself walking really fast for no reason. I force myself to stop, take a deep breath and walk slow intentionally.
Discipline brings intention. In my race to happiness I am living with more intention. I have found SO MUCH grace in slowing down and being intentional in what I do, rather than rushing around to please everyone else. Most of all, I’m striving to be intentional in seeking God on this journey.
Matthew 6:33 NLT
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
Another version says “and everything will be added to you.” It becomes very easy to seek those external things like jobs, relationships, money, etc., then ask for permission later. But what God adds to our life is the fruit of our righteous living. I have hope for what God has for me, but I also have to be obedient enough to seek him first.
I realize that these things I’ve mentioned about the confines of my day may not be feasible for everyone. But you have to FIND YOUR HAPPY! Find what works for you, and in those still moments, you will find God’s grace. You will know because it’s a peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7). When I want to breakdown and cry, I seek. When I want to scream and yell, I seek. When I start to have unfruitful thoughts or start to become angry, I seek. In my search I find God’s grace, his peace and I find my happy. But that takes discipline.
On my race I'm clinching onto the baton of hope & discipline. Come back later to see how God has also given me wisdom in my Race to Happiness.
Thank you for joining me in my journal to Finding Grace.
Enjoy the journey
Click here to learn more about Gretchen Rubin’s four personality traits.