The fourth habit of successful people may seem odd, but if you think about it, it really makes sense. The habit is personal care. Personal care is important. Mom would be the first to admit that she had dropped the ball on this during portions of her life, but she took action to get her body back into shape with exercise, listening to her doctors and changing her eating habits. Well, maybe not so much her eating habits! Mom loved salt, and she usually put on more salt even before she tasted her food. She was like most of us. She tried to be thoughtful about her eating, but it was easy to slip back into unhealthy eating habits.

But there is a more important element of mom’s care for herself that made even more of a difference. She wanted to be a good servant of Jesus Christ. She wanted to care about her body so she could do the work God called her to do. Physical exercise has some value. But she set her focus on godliness with spiritual exercise. “If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed. Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance. For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.” 1 Tim. 4:6-10 ESV

Mom wanted truth to permeate her thinking and her life. She was careful about the television she watched, the things she read and her study of her Bible. She exercised her heart with actions. She wanted to have words that were sweet and to have a smile for those who needed a good friend. She was in good spiritual shape when her frail, old physical body had a heart that stopped beating. We can learn from her example.

As a side note, if you look at the picture above you will see a couple of wooden angel fish with metal fins hanging on the wall. I made those in shop class during high school.