Week 1 - Breaking down the Barriers
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. - Romans 12:2
When I first found out that we would be going into lockdown I had all these plans about what I would do during my additional time. I would exercise for 30 minutes every day; tidy the linen closest and spend an hour with God every morning.
Unfortunately, while I gave it my best shot, the truth is that life got into the way and suddenly lockdown was over and my linen closet hadn't been sorted, my exercise regime was all over the place and my plan to wake early every day to spend time with God was interrupted by my 4 month old daughter.
While in many ways this is completely understandable (4 month old kids are hard work), the clashes involved in these various goals ultimately resulted in me achieving nothing. Unsurprisingly, this lack of success in achieving goals is a common part of life and a definite source of frustration. As such, psychologists often suggest that instead of focusing on achieving goals, we instead try and act in line with our "values".
Values are the ways that you define how you want to live your life. Much like flavours of ice cream - there are infinite ways to articulate your values and everybody has their own favourites or ones that they want to live by (for a list of values click HERE). The beauty of living by your values rather than goals is that it allows you to broaden how you define success. For example, instead of having the goals to exercise regularly, complete household tasks and spend more time with God, I could instead focus on the values of living a healthy lifestyle, being organised and connecting with God. In this case, what I was actually able to achieve (exercising intermittently; keeping my house generally clean, and; praying while changing Rosa's diaper) was actually acting in line with these values.
As Christians, we often find that our worldly values clash with our Godly values and can prevent us from drawing close to God. Over the next three weeks, we are going to explore this concept and how we can seek transformation in how we live our lives through inviting God into transforming our values - how we live the way God designed us to live!
-Written by Ashleigh Crosilla.