The MOST IMPORTANT question you can ask yourself
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Saturday, December 29, 2018
By Joy & Charley
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The New Year is just days away and like most people it causes me to pause and reflect on this past year. I LOVE to plan. I didn't really think I planned that much of my life, but my husband has lovingly (more accurately-- annoyedly, as in he gets annoyed) pointed it out to me. He hates to plan. I think he views it as death, quite literally. He likes to fly by the seat of his pants, where I on the other hand...ummmm, don't. 


I like to know where I'm headed and how exactly I'm going to get there. He enjoys not knowing. It's mind boggling, I know. Maybe it's a male verses female thing. But really the truth is, it's a personality thing. He's much more laid back and I am slightly laid back but mostly a screwed-on-tight type. I don't just be easily. In fact, I don't just be at all. I asked him to sit down with me and plan out the vision of our next year today and he stared at me blankly.


I was the kid that planned out the first day of school outfit a week in advance and lined up every brand new shiny new pen and pencil in perfect order in preparation for school to start. I'm pretty sure that he rolled out of bed and went to school in his slept in clothes and managed to borrow a pencil from another kid on the first day of school (well actually he was homeschooled, so he probably did homework in his pajamas around noon.) But the planning thing--we are like aliens from different universes. That's how opposite we are in this category. So what may sound fun to one, sounds like torture to the other. So there's that. Yay, with an eye roll upward. Goal planning, vision board envisioning, and yearly reflection are just not his thing. They are MY THING. I jump up and down in excitement, like a kid anxiously awaiting Christmas morning. 


But no matter what camp you fall in, I think this one question has the power to change everything. You don't need any pens or paper, goal setting workbooks and formulas that will guarantee a successful new just takes asking yourself this one question.


And I mean really really thinking about it. I suggest writing down your answer, but we both know my husband wouldn't do that. But he would think about his answer and hopefully make some changes for the better. This question is powerful. This question can lead to MAJOR life changes. This question, quite possibly could change your entire life.


Are you ready for it?


Here we go... Mediate on this. Roll it around in your head. Do or don't write it down.


Drum roll please.


What is toxic and damaging to my life that I CHOOSE to do, think or feel?


There's no judgement here. Just honestly answer it in your mind and heart. What are you choosing to participate in that in actuality is toxic to you? Here are some of my answers from last year. (see it's helpful to write it down because you can go back and reflect.)


  • Rushing around. rushing out the door. rushing my kids. rushing, rushing and more rushing.
  • Multi-tasking. I think I do this well. News flash: I SUCK at it.
  • Being irritable to my family because I'm stressed from the rushing and multi-tasking.
  • Not appreciating my body and all it does for me. Thinking hateful, destructive thoughts about my body shape.
  • S-T-R-I-V-I-N-G
  • Hating myself. Hating not measuring up to this ideal in my head of what I should be. Weight included. 
  • Over-eating because I am not managing my emotions. 
  • Eating junk food continually. I honestly get in a really bad mood--ask my husband.
  • Trying to prove my worth to myself and others and comparing myself to others.
  • People-pleasing to the point that I am sacrificing myself. Saying yes when I really wanted to say NO.
  • Working out of town. Putting work before my family. 
  • Constant social media without boundaries. Abort, abort, abort!
  • Worrying about things that are out of my control. Can I get an amen?!?


I really dug deep last year and dwelled on each of these. Participating in this list created a life that I didn't want to be in. It robbed me of joy and peace in my heart and mind. And I chose to actively participate in all of these actions and thoughts, which caused so much destruction in my life. So think about your own answers. How is your list breeding toxicity in your heart, mind, body and soul. How is it destroying your ability to love others better? How is it ROBBING you of the life that you want? Because you know what the TRUTH is? When we are AWARE of the the consequences of our actions, we make better choices. At the end of the day we KNOW deep down what will add or take away from our quality of life. Things that we think are good for us, can actually lead us straight to our demise. I think multi-tasking is serving many different purposes, but it often makes me late and rushing and yelling and not-the-mom/wife/human being I want to be. 


I didn't even make any goals for this list last year (trust me, I made plenty of other goals, just not for this list.) I just became aware. When I saw that I was rushing, I stopped and paused and said wait a minute, no. You are NOT doing this. Awareness is the key. It is the absolute vital key to help you stop the toxicity that you are allowing into your life. And I promise you, you will make different choices when you realize what is at stake. 


Peace and Joy as you head into the New Year!



Leave a comment:
Carla Durbin - Hey Katie! Thanks for your transparency as well! I've thought that exact same thought many times. I hear "maybe you just weren't created to be a mother." I'm not your typical mom by any means. BUT I do KNOW this to be TRUE. The enemy lies to us in the exact moment that we deem ourselves "failing" in our calling. I am a mom, I was created to be one! Good reminder of how our kids are MORE important than being on time. I say that to myself as well when I'm tasking. Blessings!
Katie K. - Thank you for being willing to be so transparent with the not-pretty parts of your life. I struggle with many of the things you do (rushing, yelling, irritability and then hating myself afterwards for being a terrible mother). I was just thinking yesterday "Gosh, I don't think I even like my kids, what a horrible person I am!" Ugh, not true and certainly not healthy.

I've let my morning routing slide lately during the school year and its been non-existent during Christmas break. I need to recommit to that this year because I really do feel better if I have a longer, more deliberate morning routine. I'm also starting to re-read "Ordering Your Private World" which was a very helpful read for me a few years back. Probably should re-read "Miracle Morning" too :)

One concrete tip that has helped me in the mornings with the rushing and fussing at kids (I heard this on the Sorta Awesome podcast) - "My relationship with my kids is more important then getting out the door on time." I've tried to pray or affirm this statement in the mornings and it has really helped me. I so often sacrifice relationships for what's going on in my head. That's a big discovery I've made about myself in the last year.

Thanks for the encouragement Charley!!