The Power of Habit

January 8, 2012

Anne Howard was my great-grandmother, on my mom’s side. She was a constant fixture in my life from the day I was born. I loved to spend time at the home she inherited from my great aunt and uncle. She was kind, loving, generous and disciplined. On Mondays, she did the laundry. On Tuesdays she did the ironing, using that old fashioned type of starch that that she mixed up by hand. She believed in ironing the bed sheets, washing the dishes immediately after eating, and the weekly dusting of what knots, that never had an opportunity to accumulate any dust. At night, she said her prayers on her knees along side her twin bed. And no matter how many times I tried to interrupt her with “Granny! Granny what are you doing?” from the bed beside hers, she never wavered in her petitions until she was finished conversing with God. The fact that she was ignoring me, when she was attentive and adoring at any other time, told me how important God was to her.

My great-grandmother consistently demonstrated the power of habit. She would have never called it that. She would have used some old southern saying like…  A whistling woman and a crowing hen never comes to a very good end. But in today’s vernacular Anne Howard personally benefited from and often blessed others by using the power of good habit.

On many fronts, I too, am a creature of habit. I always wash my face and brush my teeth before going to bed. Like Granny, I usually clean (or supervise the cleaning) of the kitchen immediately after dinner. I read my Bible first thing in the morning as I enjoy a strong cup of coffee. (Parenthetically, I had wanted to do this for years, because I knew there would be great benefit in hearing from God before listening to the voices of others, or even myself. And it wasn’t until 1999, when I paired my reading time with my already well-established habit of early morning coffee, that I was able to do it consistently.)

Morning Coffee & Time with God

On the negative habit side, I rarely leave enough room between appointments and activities to get from one place to the next without being uncomfortably close to late. And even when I am staying in the same location, I don’t leave enough time between activities to file or properly put away the documents that I’ve been using – so I stack papers. And this creates physical and metal clutter.

As I think about the upcoming year, I want to increase the power of good habit in my life, while minimizing detrimental habits and their harmful results.

Maybe you feel the same. What positive habit(s) can you nurture to be more effective or even have more joy? What less than helpful habit, can you change to improve your home life?

Maybe our catch phrase can be “Foster the Power,”

Home-ista Kelly

P.S. My other enabler for reading the Bible daily is The One Year Bible by Tynedale House. It is set up with  a labelled reading for each day of the year. In each day you get a section from the Old Testament, the New Testament, A Psalm and a selection from Proverbs. This was especially helpful because I treated parts of the Bible like bad neighborhoods in the past. I just didn’t go there. But I was wrong and I have benefited in a life changing way by reading the entirety of the Scriptures. I’ve seen connections between the Old and New Testament that I might have never seen, if I had not been reading this Bible format. Get more information at amazon.com. Look up the Daily Bible, Tyndale.

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4 Responses to “The Power of Habit”

  1. Great article, Kelly! This is a great reminder for me to start and continue adjusting those habits which I commited to at the first of the year! There are so many things I would like to change and one of my bad habits is to say I’m going to change but then I dont.

    I’m thankful for the reminder today. I have to stop procrastinating and do like the promo says….”Just Do It”.

    Lastly, Granny was a strong, sweet Chrisitian lady we could all look upto. I’m blessed to have had the chance to be in her presence.

  2. Tracy Bennett said

    Great feedback Kelly! I will have to look for that bible. you also reminded me that I forgot to say my prayers this morning. I got distracted, so that for that too!

    • homeista said

      Thank you Tracy. I am pretty sure you can find the Daily Bible at Family Christian Bookstores. Now is a great time to start because Genesis and Matthew have super interesting stories. The ones about Abraham, Issac and Jacob are like watching a soap opera. (God is brutally honest about the shortcomings of His people.) Dallas and Guiding Light have nothing on Genesis :-}

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