Procrastination

While reading another writer friend’s blog today, where she mentions how untidy her working table is, I got to thinking “Hmmm if Helen thinks her table is untidy, boy oh boy she should just take a gander at mine.”
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As  I lost the original photo of my messy workspace, I have substituted this one. Pretty close actually!

I have junk mail that should have gone straight into the bin, study notes that should have been filed, books that I have recently received, want to read but should be sitting neatly on our bookshelves, medications that should be put away, but before I can do that, I should clean out the medicine cupboard.

Can anyone see a theme here, or is it just me?

I was looking at the amount of ‘shoulds’ in the above paragraph. Five!  Five times when I rapped myself over the knuckles and admitted that this procrastination was not getting me anywhere, except possibly making me feel more anxious. Now due to my mental health issues, I have problems with depression, anxiety, repercussions of trauma, and of procrastination. It’s a ‘catch 22’ really because the more depressed I feel, the less likely I am to remedy the situation, so I procrastinate about all sorts of things. Then, the more I procrastinate, the more anxious I become. This anxiety usually leads to more depression.

Now I know I am not the only person with an untidy table (hmmm, maybe I am the only one with a table this horrendous). However, it doesn’t stop at the table. As I mentioned earlier, my medicine cupboard needs to be cleaned; emptied completely, taking anything with an expired date to the chemist, and then of course, putting things back in an orderly fashion, after wiping off the shelves. Often the things we neglect to do or keep putting off, are that way because they are actually just part of an accumulation of undone things, chores etc.

No one wants to live like this. Truly. I know I don’t, not really. A very wise person once said, “The Lord helps those who help themselves”.  How true is this? Yes God always has my back, but He also gave me free will. It is up to me to take that first step. Imagine how wonderful it will feel and how happy I’ll be when all of this ‘stuff’ is put in its correct place, whether it be the rubbish bin, cupboard or bookshelf. Imagine how lovely it would be to have a beautiful vase of flowers to look at while I work.

 In Proverbs 13:4 we are told:

“The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.”

This isn’t just about an untidy table or a cupboard that is overdue for cleaning and organising. No, it’s about our whole lives. Everything we do each and every day should be done for the glory of Our Lord. He probably won’t mind too much if my table is cluttered. However, He would be upset to see me unhappy; and He would be so sad when I can’t share and bless others by inviting them into my life because my life is too busy – ahem – messy.

People don’t stay away because of an untidy table, room or house. No, we block people out because we are ashamed. Did you ever hear of that saying “an untidy workspace usually mirrors the state of that individual’s mind”?  I think there is an awful lot of truth to that. You really wouldn’t want to see the inside of my mind.

I love Proverbs; sometimes I feel that they were written especially for me (winking profusely).

Proverbs 12:24

The hand of the diligent will rule, while the slothful will be put to forced labour.

Proverbs 20:4

“The sluggard does not plough in the autumn; he will seek at harvest and have nothing.”

My mind is my soul and therefore I must keep it in good shape. Our bodies do not belong to us. They are already claimed by the Lord Jesus and infused with the light of His Holy Spirit. We don’t want to invite friends to an untidy home, so why would we invite Jesus into our untidy minds and our unclean hearts?

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”

As children of God we are commanded to honour and glorify Him in everything we do, think or say; within our day to day tasks, as well as within our hearts and minds every waking moment.

By the end of this weekend, I pledge to clear off and organise the things on this table and leave a vase of fresh flowers out, so that others can see my happiness and contentment.

Oh and about all of those ‘shoulds‘ – there are no ‘shoulds‘ in life, only ‘coulds’.

Originally posted on Just Jo’Anne June 20th 2015

BE PREPARED

“Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness.”

~ Anne Frank

Proverbs 6:6-8  “Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest.”

About two years ago now, I clearly remember coming home after finishing some shopping, driving up onto our driveway and immediately sensing that something was wrong. Apart from the fact that there were lots of people just standing around talking and watching on, I really did get a sense of dread. You see we had rather unpredictable neighbours (bless their little hearts).  Of particular concern were the two boys living next door. They were always up to something and it was rarely ever good.

I didn’t have to wait long, no sooner had I emerged from our car than one very helpful neighbour (name withheld) ran across my front lawn to give me the news. Incidentally, my husband has a pet name for most of the people in our street; this lady is affectionately known as 2GB.

Puffing and panting, quite out of breath 2GB informed me that there had been an explosion. Yes … the Fire Brigade and the Police had been called, arrived and left.

“Really Jo, you’ve just missed all of the excitement” yelled 2GB. One of those boys from next door dug a hole underneath the power box, put a homemade fire bomb inside, then ran like the dogs were chasing him, before stopping to wait and see what would happen.”

Well, it seems that a lot had happened. Fortunately no one was hurt, however the bomb blew up the power box, plunging the whole area into darkness. As if that wasn’t enough the fire ran underground, underneath and across the road and “boom!” up went the telegraph pole. Needless to say, everyone was very shaken and angry as it was now time to start preparing the family meals. Once inside our house, I began searching for candles. I searched high and low, but those candles were just not going to materialise.

“Didn’t we use the last of them the last time there was a blackout?” enquired Leon. And I am going to assume that you remembered to buy those torch batteries when I asked you.”

Suddenly I remembered, yes we had used all of the candles, and no I hadn’t remembered to buy those darn batteries!   “Arrrgh!”  After much rummaging around in cupboards and draws, I managed to find one small candle. One. Very. Small. Candle. In truth it was a mere stump.

All night long we shared that candle. Consequently we did go to bed very early that night.

I hadn’t been prepared. I didn’t mean to be disorganised. At least the inconvenience would be gone by morning. In daylight I would go back to the shops and buy batteries and candles ….lots of candles.

Matthew 25:13 “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”

Proverbs 22:3 “The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it.”

When Jesus returns for us, there will be no reprieve. We won’t be able to say “I’m sorry Lord but I’m not prepared. I’m just not ready. Would you give me please, a few more hours, days or weeks?”

2 Peter 3:10 KJV
“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.”

So I must be ready. We must be prepared. Just as I must properly organise my home and be ready for an emergency, I must also prepare myself for what is to come. By obeying God’s law, loving everyone in Christ’s name as I would also want to be loved. I must walk through this life with Jesus within my heart, and the Grace of His Holy Spirit to light my way.

Needless to say, I now have batteries inside all three torches and candles …lots of candles, just in case. bunch-of-candles

Originally posted on http://www.Just-JoAnne.com

June 17th 2015

Why Blog?

WhySo why blog? Why not simply keep a private journal? You may have discovered a little of me on my “About Me” page, or you might have been curious and thought “I’ll get straight over to that blog.” Either way, that’s okay, because there is so much more to tell. I am passionate about many people and things, but on top of my list would be God, family (including church family), other friends, reading, writing, music, the occasional coffee with a piece of chocolate, and last but by no means least, my beautiful tea box, containing more than adequate variety and supply of my favourites.

Now you might say “Wow, that’s a big ‘top of the list’ list!” Certainly it is, but if I told you about everything on my list, trust me we would be here all day. I want to write on my blog about all things important to me and my life. I wish to share my journey with you; and if along the way I am able to inspire and motivate just a wee bit, then my blog will be a success.

I also have an ulterior motive for creating this blog, and that is to hopefully make some landmark posts which I could turn into a book at a later stage. I am still figuring out how that may all eventually fit together, but I’m up for the challenge (I hope).

Although my birth name is Josephine Anne, my family, and closest friends know me as Jo’Anne (I think you can probably see why). This explains why I connect my two names with a hyphen; the two names have always been as one.

Now you may ask “Why did you choose to call the blog ‘Just Jo’Anne’?”

Simply put, this blog is to be about being myself, being the person God created me to be. At present, I am passionate about being one of God’s children. Now if that worries you at all, then probably you are on the wrong blog site. If not, join with me as we travel this path called life, and hopefully we would learn more about each other and become life-long friends.

I do have a naughty (but clean) sense of humour, and so I like to reflect on some funny things at times. I like to tackle everyday life in my own crazy way, but with God’s arms always encircling me. Without Him, my life would be meaningless. It hasn’t always been that way for me. Oh yes, He’s always been there, but I haven’t always paid attention. I have been so busy trying to ‘make life work’ that I forgot that He is in control. I had to go through some hardships and wrestle with my own mental health before I could see what He was showing me. I also had to learn to ‘be quiet and still’ because while I was running around trying to figure things out for myself, I couldn’t hear God whispering to me. That’s right, He never shouts; He is a kind, loving and gentle God, and so we must be the same way otherwise we will miss out on all of His grace.

Cheerio until next time.

Jo’Anne

Originally posted on http://www.Just-JoAnne.com

May 28th 2015