Enough.

“The leech has two daughters.
‘Give! Give!’ they cry.
“There are three things that are never satisfied,
four that never say, ‘Enough!’:
the grave, the barren womb,
land, which is never satisfied with water,
and fire, which never says, ‘Enough!’ Proverb 30:15-16

Enough (def) occurring in such quantity, quality, or scope as to fully meet demands, needs, or expectations in or to a degree or quantity that satisfies or that is sufficient or necessary for satisfaction : SUFFICIENTLY

Enough. It’s my key word right now. A complex idea that can go down a lot of rambling rabbit trails. I’ve said it selfishly and sinfully when my flesh is screaming. I’ve prayed for it, needy and poor in spirit when I’ve found humility. I’m soul sick because I have more than enough of what really doesn’t matter and not enough of what I know I need. I’ve debated it aloud, on paper and spiritually silent. Enough…have you been there?

“ENOUGH!” screamed with authority tells us all we need to know about another person’s limits, they’ve reached them. They’ve had all they can take of something. It’s the irritated proverbial cry, ‘Uncle’ that’s gritted out or gasped depending on the ‘something’.

“Haven’t you had enough?” The tone in the question inquiries of our greed. Do we really need still more? Haven’t we been satisfied yet? I mean look at all you’ve had. Will it ever be enough?

“Is it enough?” is the query that seeks balance. A little more to gain-a little less to give. Enough salt in the stew. Enough off the top. More wine? Less stress.

“I have enough!” is the exclamation of joy when we’ve done enough to pass the test. We made the grade, found our way, paid the debt.

“There might not be enough,” is the warning that reminds us to hold back and only take the portion that we really need. We give up our seat and stand. Our rights for God’s glory.

“Am I enough?” is the question poised after we’ve performed. Have we personally shown the mastery sufficient or necessary to satisfy the demand. Will we get the job, make the team, earn the promotion.

“Will I have enough?” is the accounting inquiry to determine that inputs will satisfy the outputs. Enough money. Enough strength. Enough resilience. Enough endurance.

“God is enough.” The statement of trust in the grace and sufficiency of God. “My grace is sufficient for you” 2 Cor 12:9

I am often the leech’s daughter, crying, “more, more”. I want more. I also want Peace. Wisdom. Intimacy. I want to know Christ, more. I understand the poverty of riches and the riches of poverty. I have enough peace when I abide in the presence of Christ. I have all the wisdom I need when I seek the mind of Christ in His words. Loving Christ, here I am satisfied sufficiently. I like John Adams words, “The longer I live, the more I read, the more patiently I think, and the more anxiously I inquire, the less I seem to know…Do justly. Love mercy. Walk humbly. This is enough.”
And yet I doubt and look and pout and seek. And I found this from Chuck Palahniuk,
“That if you could acquire enough, accomplish enough, you’d never want to own or do another thing. That if you could eat or sleep enough, you’d never need more. That if enough people loved you, you’d stop needing love.”

So it’s back to balance. Hunger is good because it makes us seek nourishment. Discipline is needed because it will make my choices most beneficial and it guides me to the point of ceasing before I tip into greed. Grace is a necessity because this world is full of glutinous people just like me. And there is one truth I keep rehearsing, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
Why? Because God’s grace is sufficient.

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A mass of habits

“All of our life, so far as it has definite form, is but a mass of habits.” William James 1892

Habit: An an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until is has become almost involuntary

Resistance.  I began to feel it the minute I decided to get intentional.  It felt like a wall.  A powerful force field—the kind you find when you’re hiking back from the lake at night and you walk through a spider web.  The head to toe kind of massive sticky-icky spider web that makes you jump back.  And shiver and shriek and brush yourself off madly.  And you believe the spider and its minion are all over you.  And you dance, not out of joy but from the invisible ick you can feel on your hands and face and something is definitely crawling on your neck.  And that makes you move.  Furiously fast.  Then you find yourself all the way back at the lake.  Right where you started.  Now you’re wet and cold and totally uncomfortable.  And you see the porch light shining like a lighthouse because the night is suddenly darker.  And you go a little slower.  With your hand sweeping ahead like a blind man’s stick.  And the incline of the little hill feels like Everest.  You map the distance between point A & B and it looks like a marathon.   And the lingering mental-itchy after effect makes you realize the well-worn path you’ve always walked might not be the best bet.  And you’re done with spider webs. Sweeping the terrain you stop and realize.  You’re in a prison.  Locked down and caged in.  The good news is the bars are sticky not steel.  But they’re still spider webs and you just decided you’re not going to wash-rinse-repeat that experience again.  You are done with blindly walking into spider webs. Your free-spirited-stroll-through-life isn’t going to get you where you want to go—that’s my little illustration on the ah-ha moment.

I want to learn to live life with intention.  What to do?  I prayed.  And God answered.  I found a book.  And it changed my life.  “The power of habit-why we do what we do in life and business” by Charles Duhigg.   The author gave me a truth, we’re not creatures of choice (intention) but creatures of habit.  I prayed out of habit.  I needed to know what to do, how to solve this problem, how to change and stop glorifying busy and living intentional.  God showed me the truth we are up against.  Duhigg says, “Most of the choices we make each day may feel like the products of well-considered decision-making, but they’re not.  They’re habits…each means relatively little own its own, over time, the meals we order, what we say to our kids each night, whether we save or spend, how often we exercise, and the way we organize our thoughts and work routines have enormous impacts on our health, productivity, financial security and happiness.”

An acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary is a habit.  Habits occur inside our brains in a 3 step loop. First, there is a cue– a trigger that tells your brain to go into automatic mode.  Second, there is a routine– which can be physical, mental or emotional. Third, there is the reward– the payoff which aids the brain in remembering this particular loop is worth it. Overtime the loop becomes automatic: cue-routine-reward.  Then the cue and reward become intertwined until a powerful sense of anticipation and craving emerges and a habit is born.  When a habit emerges the brain stops fully participating in decision-making.  It stops working so hard and diverts focus to other tasks.  So unless you intentionally fight a habit, unless you find new routines when you get that craving/anticipation-cue/reward, the pattern will unfold automatically.

Another truth is habits are not destiny.  They can be ignored, replaced and changed when you understand the truth of how habits work.  Figuring out the cue-routine-reward of the structured loop of a habit makes it easier to control.  So the beginning work of changing habits is to break the habit into their components cue-routine-reward to fiddle with their parts.

Just like pain is necessary or we’d endanger our body’s health, without habits, our brains would shut down too overwhelmed by the details of daily life.  At the same time the brain’s dependence on habits can be dangerous.  Habits can be a curse or a blessing.  Walking blindly from the lake to the house by habit is a good thing until you run into a spider web.   But that could be your ah-ha moment.

If you want to read this life changing book & learn more about the components of habits follow this link

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