This past weekend was filled with a lot of family activities, including a walk in support of breast cancer research on Saturday morning and a dinner with Tim’s family on Saturday night. More activities continued into Sunday as we loaded up the car and headed to a baby dedication at a church for my 5-month old cousin. Coming from a tiny, yet close-nit family, it was important for us to be there for the baby and his mom and dad as they promised to raise him in a positive and encouraging way. In the midst of the service, one part of the pastor’s message really pulled at my heart and stood out in my mind. The message was clear as ice. Literally.
Stay off the Ice.
Have you ever started going down a slippery path that should be avoided, but before you know it you are skating on the ice anyways? We are told to avoid the usual suspects like lying, stealing, drugs, etc., but there are other personal pitfalls we each must avoid as well.
For instance, I know that if I go online I need a specified time span I can spend searching the web. If I do not set a time limit, then hours can quickly pass by before I even stop and look at the clock. With activities like Pinterest, blogging, Facebook, researching recipe ideas, and catching up on the news, it can be hard to walk away from the computer. However, if I give myself thirty minutes or one hour to look online then I can usually hit the most important sites I want to check out, and avoid wasting time on those sites I can skip. I stay off the ice by setting a time limit, but I skate a slippery slope when I log-on as if I have all the time in the world to spare.
Another example for me is if I don’t make a list when I go to the grocery store. It really helps for me to keep the grocery budget down, while getting all of the ingredients I need for healthy meals if I make a two-week meal plan before I take a trip to the store. It can be a slippery slope if I go without a plan, because then I buy anything that looks good as opposed to what we need for healthy meals for the week. It’s a lot easier to justify a bag of chips, a half-gallon of ice cream, or a frozen pizza if you think you might eat it, or want it, during the week. Having a meal plan helps me to avoid these situations.
Another icy path for me is if I go to stores like Home Goods, Target, or TJ Maxx without a reason, or without my husband. For some reason, going into these stores alone take me at least an hour, sometimes two, and always end up with me at the cash register with at least one item in my hand. I love perusing and shopping, but I have a hard time walking away from house wares that catch my eye. Sometimes it seems as if those decorations simply come to life and jump off the shelves into my shopping cart, all by themselves. If I take my husband with me though, or know what I am going to buy before I walk in, I can usually keep from making those impulse buying decisions so easily.
As you can see, surfing the web, grocery shopping without a list, and perusing house wares stores may seem pretty innocent, but to me they can be actions I end up regretting in the end. I have definitely felt guilty wasting an afternoon on the web, or wished I hadn’t bought chips, soda, or candy at the grocery, or felt buyers remorse after bringing home another mirror or a vase that we probably don’t need. These are all ‘slippery slopes’ in my life that I try to avoid. These struggles though also relate to activities I love, which can make avoiding the pitfalls that much harder. However, I have found ways to make the path easier by setting the web browsing time limit, making a grocery list, and going to stores with a plan or a partner.
I realize my pitfalls aren’t as seemingly dangerous as issues like lying, stealing, etc., but they can bring negativity into my life. There will always be slippery slopes we will try to avoid, but I think the best ways for us to conquer this goal is by being honest with ourselves and our own hearts. Give it a try. Make a list and prepare a plan to avoid those areas in life that you know you shouldn’t go down. No matter what though, remember you aren’t alone with your struggles and no matter what those may be for you, I know others will be able to relate.
- What are the ‘Slippery Slopes’ in your life?
- How do you avoid going down a path you know you shouldn’t?
- Does anyone else struggle with things like wasting time on the internet, buying less than healthy food when there is no plan, or shopping too often at addicting stores like Home Goods or Target? Or, just me?
- What did you do this weekend?