Good or Bad – Your Habits Yield Powerful Results

Good or bad, habits yield powerful results when practiced.

When my boys were teenagers, they turned into eating machines. My baking dishes and freezer meal containers got bigger and bigger.

One night, I opened the refrigerator to take out the prepped meal for that evening, and I could see that a large scoop of the casserole was missing. I smoothed the contents to fill in the divot, popped it in the oven and waited. Sure enough, the guilty party asked, “Is this the same stuff that was in the fridge earlier?”
“Yes it is, Son. Why do you ask?”
“It tastes different,” he said.
“That’s because it’s cooked now!” I snarked back at him.

To protect them from salmonella poisoning and to preserve enough food to feed the entire family at mealtime, I started putting NO-NO post-it stickies on anything in the refrigerator that was off limits.

Uncooked food …
NO-NO!

Sunday’s dessert …
NO-NO!

The meal for a new mom …
NO-NO!

Doggie bag from an anniversary celebration …
NO-NO!

Working the system.

We had a system in place and it worked. After they moved out, I got out of the habit of using the NO-NO post-it stickies.

Big mistake.

One day, I reached for a container of bacon crumbles to make a dish to pass at church that night. There were four tiny bits of bacon rattling in the bottom of the dish.

It only took one phone call to find out that the guilty party had stopped over while we were out and had helped himself to a snack. “I needed that bacon for tonight!” I scolded.
“Well, mom, there wasn’t a NO-NO sticky on it,” reasoned my boy.
“Son, YOU DON’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE! I don’t need to use NO-NO stickers!”
“Apparently, you do, Mom!”

We both had a good laugh.

The NO-NO stickers were a good system that worked for our family.

Putting good habits into place takes practice.

Like any good habit, discipline or routine, they only work when used. To this day, I still put NO-NO stickers on containers that are off limits to anyone foraging in my fridge.

What are the habits in your life that are working well for you? Or, what habits have you stopped that you need to start again?

  • Quiet time with Jesus?
  • Speaking kindly to others? 
  • Journaling?
  • Exercising?
  • Consistent church attendance?
  • Cutting out the junk food?
  • Serving others?
  • Letting go of a grudge?
  • Giving cheerfully?
  • Putting NO-NO stickers on your bacon crumbles?

What is God is saying to you about your habits?

When God whispers an invitation to join him in a good habit, or get rid of a bad one, get onboard. It will always serve you well. The Bible says, Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9 NIV

What good thing, habit, routine or discipline are you adding or getting rid of today? Let me know. I’d love to know I’m not alone.

Prayer: God, life gets so busy and I get so tired that I fall away from habits and routines that restore my soul and keep me healthy and balanced. Remind me not to give up doing good so that I may reap the benefits of a life well lived. Turn NO-NOs into Yes Please.