The other day I was chatting with one of my girlfriends. She’s kind of an amazing Christian woman who gave up a year to Jesus: went cold turkey by dropping all her fiction and reading only the Bible.

Just hearing that news gave me hives. How can I live without a weekly dose of the paranormal? What else am I supposed to do at 2:00 am, eat? Drink blood? A girl has cravings you know.

So I asked her. How was it? See, I’ve grown up reading the scriptures, King James’ Version no less (heavy on the thee’s and thou’s) and I’ve got to tell you, it isn’t what you might call a quick read. When she told me how wonderful and fascinating it was I decided maybe I’m just not the right type of righteous to commit that much leisure time to Heavenly Father.

But the next time I talked to her it came up again. “You know,” she said, “I should tell you that it wasn’t all highs. Reading the scriptures is a discipline, great moments and a lot of boring parts in between. But that’s what a discipline is.”

Discipline; now there’s a word I like to avoid.

I’ve never considered my religious actions a discipline. It’s always been portrayed as a “feast” for the soul, something that will fill each and every day with bright moments to guide me along my journey of rainbows and unicorns. I have felt enormous overall blessings from obedience, but let’s just say reading the scriptures never kicked my sugar craving.

But I think I’m starting to get it now. Practicing religion in just about any form is a discipline. A kick you in the pants, stomp all over the easy fluffy things you love and (unfortunately) depend on, discipline.

Two years ago last week I found out I was pregnant with baby number four. For the past two years I’ve been hanging on for dear life with my poor paint chipped toenails. I was sick, pregnant, recovering from surgery, adjusting to four kids, potty training a large toddler, moving my family half way around the world, trying to teach my child a foreign language, etc. But things are finally starting to gel. This new year has allowed me an opportunity to settle into my yoga pose a little more and look up.

What I see is more than seriously atrophied muscles. My entire life is one flabby mess, brought on by the necessity of “just getting by.”

And so, in an attempt to completely overhaul my soul and my body I have put a ton of rickety old wheels in motion this week. From personal scripture study to seriously painful body contortions, I am on a mission to bring my life back into something that does not resemble a big pile of cheese fries.

The word for the year? Discipline.

I think I need some vinyl…


  1. GOOD WORD. One I certainly have not mastered. I could very much relate with a lot of things you spoke of in this post. yeah, I am a pile of cheese fries too, and up here we smoother them with gravey. So I am a soggy mess of heart clogging blahh.
    I need to think on that.

  2. The only discipline I seem to invest in is growing my thighs with donuts and chocolate.

  3. How funny. I was just talk with a friend and was basically telling her the same thing. Everything in my life is flabby-in a ‘just get by’ stage. I am currently potty training youngest and last and it feels like an end of an era. I too am dusting off scriptures, trying to get used to getting on my knees regularly and even setting that alarm clock nice and (too)early in hopes of someday making it to the gym.

    Just like the current Biggest Loser season-NO EXCUSES. Or in other words, discipline. It all boils down to the same thing. Good luck with me, good luck with you.

    Hey… I am super slow and undisciplined about mailing you that CD, but it’s coming soon. I wanted to make a new one to ensure maximum song capacity! Even bough a nice bubble-lined fancy envelope to send it in. Love ya.

  4. I gotta say I have a hard time putting much “Discipline” into what little free time I eek out of the day. Okay, maybe that’s not totally true, there is some discipline in making myself ride the exercise bicycle a couple of times a week. But if I read the Bible instead of a novel while pedaling, I can guarantee you I wouldn’t be pedaling. But hey, my life certainly resembles a bunch of cheese fries more than I’m comfortable with.

  5. I stumbled into your blog, and enjoyed your writing style and voice. Great fun.

  6. I have had times when scripture reading was a pleasure for me. I’ve had years where I mostly just read a few verses before zonking out for the night. I definitely skip nights, too, but I have to say that i believe so strongly in the “if you want to talk to God, pray. If you want him to talk to you, open your scriptures.” as I regularly get answers to my prayers, and sometimes to my unspoken fears in such a direct way through the scriptures that it takes me aback every time. That’s the main reason I keep reading them. They seriously were written FOR me. It’s quite awesome. I wish you the best with these resolutions! Although I love cheese fries SO much that I won’t mind if you stay just how you are.

  7. Discipline. Love it! One of my other favorite words? Diligent. Look it up. Very close to Discipline but doesn’t sound like you are going to have your booty whacked! 🙂

  8. One word I’m focusing on this year is very much like yours. Discipleship. Funny how they have the same root, huh?

  9. Loved this! Gave me a lot to think about, thanks.

  10. I found your blog through a link on someone else’s, but I’m so glad! I used to read your column in the Standard Examiner – but we don’t get the paper anymore and I was having withdrawals! Now I can read your stuff any time! 😀 I agree with another commenter – you’re a great writer, and very real!

    As for this post – it really hits home. I feel like I can’t get by, let alone add another thing to my to-do list. However, I am feeling SO FLABBY right now, and it’s not working, so I think it’s time to try something else! I really like that word – DISCIPLINE. Maybe I’ll work on it. 😉

    Keep up the great work – and good luck!