Journey to Rediscover Jesus Day 27: Deny Yourself

Maybe you are wondering why this day’s reflection is going up a day late. It actually has to do with the chapter’s title- Deny Yourself. I decided that yesterday I would deny myself getting on the computer to work, to write, or to be on social media. Instead, in what would have been my normal time to write, I spent that time planting flowers and vegetable seeds with my kids. I did take pictures to share and uploaded them to Instagram and then shared those to Facebook, but otherwise I stayed away from social media and from the computer in general. I know my kids were thankful that I put work aside and that we spent time together doing something we all love.

Chapter 27: Deny Yourself

I realized yesterday that by not denying myself sometimes that I AM denying my kids much of the time. When work gets in the way {and I know each and every one of you can understand this too} or when we prioritize other things over our family, well, we deny them the best of ourselves. We keep them from getting what they deserve simply because we are so focused on our own wants and needs.

It’s hard to deny ourselves though. For me as a stay at home mom who is constantly surrounded by kids, well, social media, my blog, my work at Catholic Sistas, and my school work {all things on my computer} have become a lifeline to the outside world. I don’t talk on the phone during the day {probably because most people would rather text} and I don’t like texting because it seems impersonal and it requires that I stop what I am doing to sit and text {and because texting is tone deaf and I like to convey my emotions to people}. Being on the computer connects me with my friends, my family, and with others who are like me- studying Theology, a homeschooling mom, a police officer’s wife, a Catholic, an abuse survivor, etc.

Denying myself access to the outside world is a major sacrifice for me. It’s one I need to make more often so that the time I am spending with my children is not all just school time and daily chores but actual quality time where we are doing things we love with one another.

Point to Ponder: Learning to deny yourself will pay huge dividends in your life.

I know that in my personal life denying myself not only helps me but helps my children as well; however in my spiritual life denying myself is even more important. It is only through self-denial and picking up my crosses to follow Christ that I can come to understand the true worth of living a Christian life. It can be so difficult sometimes when we feel like we already have so much on our plates or that we already give up a lot in life. But Christ calls us to continue to discipline and sacrifice.

Verse to Live: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23

I loved Matthew Kelly’s suggestion to make small sacrifices throughout the day. This type of small sacrificing can help to prepare us for much larger sacrifices that God may ask of us later. It is a good way to help discipline our lives and to draw closer to him.

Question to Consider: In what area of your life do you exhibit the most self-control? In what are of your life do you exhibit the least self-control?

I have very little self-control at getting myself to bed early. I know if I did there are several areas of my life that would vastly improve, but I covet my time late at night where I can work in the quiet or where I can simply just not have any sort of responsibility or others needing my time and attention. It’s almost like a destressing time and a decompression time. But, I know I stay up too late and this can affect my performance for other activities during my day.

As for the most self-control, I suppose I have the most in how I deal with those who hurt me. I have a good sense of control over my ability to forgive or to give people the benefit of the doubt.

Your Turn: Is it hard to tell yourself no? What are the consequences of never telling yourself no? In what areas do you need to practice self-denial? How do you think this will help you?

Prayer: Jesus, give me the grace and the strength to say no to myself.

*Day 28 will follow later today!

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