What does your "HOUSE" look like?

As we transition from celebrating reading & literacy this week to the focus that spring brings of personal growth, rebirth, Easter, and more...this story a friend shared has been running through my mind.  
I asked my sister Heather to give it some thought too and collaborate on today's post with me.  
We would love your comments and feed back as well.  
How does your figurative "HOUSE" function best?  What works for you?

Thoughts from JOYsister~Heather
I have to admit that I am still having a hard time wrapping my brain around this. I really am not sure why.  I think in part that my mental, emotional and spiritual rooms are all tied together. Like I went full on Joanna Gaines and knocked out all the walls. So now I have a two room house. One room is Physical and I have it shut up tight for the winter. Completely winterized. And I live in the big, bright, airy, vaulted ceiling, open floor plan Mental, Emotional, Spiritual room. I like it there. I flow easily from one area to the next. 
I read and do many things every day that feed all of those areas for me. I start every day with Scripture Study. I get up between 4:45 and 5:05 to get this in first thing, completely uninterrupted. It is 100% God & me time and I can immerse myself in the story, timeline and message as I read. I journal as I go. This time through, I am only using 2 pens/colors to mark my scriptures. I am using a black pen for anything with a negative tone but still important. The pride cycle. Wars. Disobedience. Then I mark everything important and happy, positive or JOYful with a bright pink fine point sharpie marker. Anything that is a commandment with the accompanying blessing, anything to do with salvation, redemption, the Atonement of Jesus Christ, etc...gets underlined in pink so that it really stands out so that I will see it easily when I flip back through. In my journal I vary my approach from day to day. Sometimes I am using bullet points, occasionally I copy a verse verbatim, often I liken the verse to myself. I usually write what the verse means to me, how I will apply it, etc.... I always write SOMETHING. 

After my scripture study, I pray and then while still in prayer, I read through my prayer journal, asking for and being thankful for specific people and blessings that I have written down. I also have a section for answered prayers. It is amazing to see how many prayers have been specifically and swiftly answered. When I have ended my prayer I have time to journal, recite daily affirmations, do a daily visualization, meditate and calendar or do yoga. 

On days that I do not work, my goal is to spend time reading, writing or editing. This morning routine feeds me mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I have to admit that I have been greatly lacking in the yoga department and other than my PT exercises for my injured shoulder, I have not done much to enter that OTHER room. So, that is where I am at. Maybe I should think of this as more of a vehicle instead of a house. After all, a car really can't go anywhere at all with just 3 wheels. I would need to be utilizing ALL FOUR wheels to move forward each day. My goal is 30 minutes a day on the dreadmill while I listen to a podcast or watch a show on Netflix. The closest that I have gotten to that goal is to have the dreadmill cleaned off and set up, ready to go. Derek and the girls have started using it, I am just not there yet. But now that I have publicly SHARED my goal {UGH! Why did I do THAT!?!} and turned my house into a car, I suppose that to move forward, I will need to put ALL the wheels on and make them ALL go. ~HH

Thoughts from JOYsister~Christine
I am grateful Heather went first.  Her insights and vision always ground me.  Always help me and nourish me.  Sometimes I let what I am NOT doing make me feel inadequate.  Really I meant to say that MOST of my life I did that.  But I am here to say that you CAN teach an old dog new tricks.  And I am working on giving myself some grace and space to grow in.  I am kind of stuck on that EVERY DAY, EVERY ROOM thing... I may never get there in this life.  But I am so grateful for GRACE.  My sisters have to remind me a lot that we need to accept some grace for ourselves. We give so much grace and mercy to others.  But it is ok to accept some of God's grace for us as well.

Four figurative rooms:  Spiritual, Mental, Emotional and Physical.  I can honestly say at times in my life I have rocked it in every category.  Just not all at the same time!  In fact, for years I told myself it was impossible, or that I couldn't.  Hmmmm, starting to believe that I may have been lying to myself in an effort to lick my wounds, and as self-preservation so I didn't completely dwell in the world of self doubt and depression.  So how can I find some balance and get more bang for my buck as a busy mom of 7 that just can't give everything to these rooms I would sometimes like to?  

Unlike my sister, the only time I will see the clock before 5am is if the baby is teething and I am NOT sleeping.  But I have followed her lead and gotten up a little earlier. I pray, I read my scriptures, I write notes, reach out to friends via text, Instagram DM's and snaps to connect with loved ones that live too far away to see daily.  I absorb answers from God in my heart.  I get ideas.  I love this time.  I am so thankful for her example.  And even though I don't do it 2 hours like her (yet, at least), I have come to look forward to that time, even thirst for it.  I have gotten a glimpse of how powerful that 45 minutes I do is to my day.  My days go better when I do it, and as you can imagine, I struggle when I don't.  

I have this 15 minute challenge I have been sharing with people since I served a mission for my church in the early 90's.  The challenge is "give the Lord 15 of your best 15 minutes", not the ones where you are at the end of the day and can barely keep your eyes open, but the best 15.  You will see miracles.  He will answer you through that 15 minutes of scripture study.  You will see help, strength and support.  My friend has been doing this since she accepted my challenge recently, and this week she shared this story with me about the Indian Proverb and the four rooms.  She said she had been thinking, what if we gave 15 minutes to each room?  Hmmmm, powerful thought.  I was intrigued and will continue to think and pray about that.  The healthy moving, that physical well being part is my nemesis.  She suggested a 15 minute walk.  She said, "Christine, you could totally walk 15 minutes a day".  Or stretch, or do yoga, 15 minutes, that is nothing. 
What is 15 minutes?  That is a long potty break.  That is half a sitcom.  That is the time it takes to eat breakfast.  I am not 100% committed {yet}.  But I am considering the challenge.  15 minutes a day in each room:

Physical:  Walk, garden, clean, move, yoga, cycle, run... (be creative)
Mental:  Think, pray, meditate, read, talk to another adult, share, create, build, lift another, comment on an IG...
Spiritual:  Be intentional, lift another, scriptures, re-read your journal, count blessings, pray, sing, spiritual music...
Emotional: mediate, counseling, self help books, read, talk to a friend, apologize, give forgiveness, reach out to someone, accept help...

I am sure you could think of hundreds more.  This collaborative post isn't mean to drag us, or you, or anyone down today.  Instead I hope you will think of some of our ONE LITTLE WORDS we have shared as JOYsisters this year and consider how finding balance in these areas of life can bless you and help you THRIVE...
(what is your word, and how could it help you in your "HOUSE"?)
Our... One Little Words... 
Also some of our guest bloggers...

I hope you will share after you read.  I am anxious to hear how you find balance in your home and how that helps you to thrive.

Love and Light
JOYsister~Heather and JOYsister~Christine


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