The Disciplined Life Starts with This One Thing

By November 15, 2011Get Inspired

I’m loving this new song by Jill Phillips. Read the post and then listen to the song.

The Power of Showing Up

My kids (4, 7, 9) and I are running marathon.

You see, every year, we run a 26.2 miles together. We compete in a big race, cross a fancy finish line and get a marathon medal…the whole deal.

But before you think we’re anything special, I’d like to mention that we run it one mile at a time over the course of a month or two. Then the last 1.2 miles are part of the organized children’s marathon race.

One mile at a time…

Sometimes we have to walk. Sometimes my littlest one rides on my back. Sometimes they’d rather be watching cartoons. Sometimes we miss a week or two of running.

But they show up every time I ask who wants to go jogging. They show up.

A 4 year old can run a marathon just by showing up.

If you want to live a disciplined life, if you want to change the world, there is one thing you need to do…

Show Up

1. Show up for your time with God each day.
2. Show up when you missed 30, 60 or a trillion mornings in a row.
(You’ll start again someday, why not make it today? )
3. Show up even if it’s only for 5 minutes.
(God can take your fish and loaves and turn it into a marathon.)
4. Start today.
(It doesn’t matter of its 3:24pm or 10:58pm. Just show up.)

God Doesn’t Have Extras

God didn’t create you “just in case someone else didn’t work out.” You are not a backup, understudy or extra.

God created you with a purpose. He has a plan for what you have to offer this world and these people He loves so desperately.

He wants you to show up.

Discipline is simple (not easy…simple) – Just show up.

Now go listen to that song at the top of this post. Not surprisingly, it’s called Show Up.

Are you like me and overcomplicate discipline? Will the simplicity of “just showing up” make it seem less overwhelming for you?

Leave a Comment



  • Great reminder, Kat! I especially like #2 – why wait to make a change that you want to make? Thank you.

    • Kat says:

      I once heard an older woman talk about how she didn’t want to finally finish her college degree because she’s be 65 by the time she graduated. Her husband replied, “You’re going to be 65 one way or the other, why not be 65 WITH a college degree.”

      I thought that was so brilliant. We put off things that WILL be done, might as well go ahead and start now!

  • Shawntele says:

    Thank you for this. 🙂

  • Jen says:

    Great post Kat! Simplifying my devotional life has helped me a lot during this season of life. I just focus on spending time and enjoying the Lord whenever I can (usually nap time) instead of giving myself the pressure of reading so many chapters at a certain time of day for a certain amount of time ect..Just enjoy Him!

    • Kat says:

      That’s such a great lesson you’ve learn. So many get paralyzed by perfection. I love how you summed it all up, “Just enjoy Him!”

  • Megan says:

    Wow. I really needed to hear this today. I spent 5 minutes with God during my Little Man’s nap time and felt guilty that it was only 5 minutes. But I showed up!

    I keep wanting to try maximizing my mornings, but I keep thinking of excuses. The #1 excuse being, my toddler still wakes up at least once a night and I am stone cold tired. Any advice for mamas at this stage? And I’d love to know, Kat … did you wake up at 5am for your work-out and quiet time, even when your littles weren’t sleeping through the night? (Please say no! 😉 )


    • Kat says:

      You can breathe a sigh of relief. I didn’t get up at 5am when my kids were not sleeping through the night, but my kids like to sleep, so night waking hasn’t been a huge issue for us. My son when we was 2-3 would wake up sometimes in the night and come into our room, but it wasn’t a particularly regular occurrence.

      My general plan when it did happen, was to walk the balance between rest and discipline. If I fell back asleep quickly, I’d get up in the morning. If it struggled to sleep, I’d make sure I had enough rest and then go to bed earlier the next night to make sure I’d have plenty of sleep even if my son DID come it.

      It’s certainly a balance. We don’t want to be tired mamas, but we want to be God marinated mamas. I think it’s wonderful you’re embracing 5 minutes when you find it. That’s faithfulness. Good job, Megan!

  • […] post from Inspired to Action totally encouraged me […]

  • Kat! Again a beautifull post! This blog is always so encouraging and motivational. Thankyou! Our “morning time” is so very important to us . And as you well know we struggle with so much condemnation about it. I am so tempted to get on the computer first & read a little bit of inspiration. Does anyone have comments to how not to do this, or where God is on this issue? I am trying to justify what I do.

    • Kat says:

      It’s a struggle for me too. Especially because I like to read my Bible on my iPad more than my paper one.

      It’s come down to me telling those I’m accountable to, that I’m trying to stay offline in the mornings as much as possible. Let God fill me before others do. You might get a little devotional book to inspire you in the morning. I’ve always like the Jesus Calling devotional. That way you can get a little burst of inspiration without getting distracted online.

      And I don’t think God probably has a particular opinion about it, other than the fact that He wants your attention. I don’t think the order is imperative.

      I hope that helps a bit!

  • Juanita says:

    I love how God speaks consistently and simply to each of us. He keeps saying the same thing. His patience is unending. His wooing is a continuous wooing. Just show up…bring your loaves and fishes..I said these words out loud this morning and now I read it again here. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  • Patricia says:

    Beautifully said ~ powerful! Doing the happy dance of showing up with inspiration. Thank you ~ Patricia

  • Colleen says:

    I love how encouraging your posts are! I totally hear you on the need to just do the right thing – no matter how many times you might have messed up. It is never too late.

  • Lauren says:

    Thanks for the encouragement Kat! I love how you said discipline is simple, not necessarily easy. And ‘just showing up’ is a conscious decision I need to make every day, it doesn’t just happen (like I sometimes think). But showing up with whatever I have is good.

    • Kat says:

      I often think about the little boy with the fish and loaves. How absurd he must have felt walking up to Jesus and saying, “I know you need to feed over 5,000 people. Um…here’s my lunch my mom packed.” But if he hadn’t been willing to offer his little, Jesus wouldn’t have made it into much.

      It’s such a good reminder for me when I don’t feel I have much to offer Him. That little boy just showed up and so can I. 🙂

  • Whenever my husband speaks to a group of dads this is the first thing he tells them.

    • Kat says:

      That’s so wonderful that your husband takes the time to encourage and challenge dads!

      • We taught parenting classes in our home for many years and he always said showing up was the most important thing they could do – everything else was frosting.

        Its so true – if Dad’s on-board, excited, interested its gotta be fun, right?

  • Kristin says:

    Great post. Love the way you put it….we aren’t God’s “extras”. 🙂

  • Stefanie says:

    Thank you so very much for this post Kat! I needed to read it and it has already helped me this morning..”just show up!” I also love what you wrote about the fish and bread and how God is able to multiply…I am planning on writing these 3 words somewhere visible to be a reminder…:)

  • Angela Smith says:

    This article was like rain on my parched soul. . . really been struggling in my MYM challenge & feeling like a big loser. No, not b/c I am quitting but because once again LIFE HAS INTERRUPTED MY GOOD PLANS! As mom of 4 with one being a 18mos old teething boy who really misses his momma, I have been awake in the middle of the night more than I want to admit. Thus my early AM times w/ God before work have been very irregular. So I really, really, really needed this good word!! THANKS so much–I have a smile on my face again!! I. Can. Do IT!!

  • Ok, God, I’m here! See my hand! Not standing real steady, might fall down at any time…crooked smile, but, I showed up! Whew!

    Thanks, Kat, boy! did I need to read this today. I usually feel like I’m on top of my game better than this, so it’s so good to read this encouragement right now. But, I did push aside other things and just spend time with Him in the Word for an extended time this morning. Just not sure where so many of those other minutes went today……

  • I love this post! Thanks for being a blessing!!!