A New Year…

I’ve been quiet on this blog. I got caught up in the frenzy of this past holiday season, but I’m back and excited about 2013.

Last week on my Facebook page, I wrote about how I don’t like setting New Year’s Resolutions. If you don’t know, I’m a member of Weightwatchers and when I attended the first meeting of the New Year this past Saturday, it was PACKED!! {I should’ve arrived earlier, lol} The old timers in the meeting warned us that it would be very busy in the beginning of January, but the crowds would dwindle by March.

I thought to myself, this is abnormal. Eat to your heart’s content during from Thanksgiving to Christmas, feel guilty about it, and join a weight loss program in January. Fall off the weight loss bandwagon in the spring, only to repeat the cycle again in November.

I read one quote which said insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting a different result.

So, I don’t set New Year’s Resolution. Instead, I try to set goals which I feel I can keep up with for a lifetime. Something small, but if repeatedly and consistently done over time with reap a HUGE REWARD. Here are some of my lifetime resolutions:

*Use cash for purchases and fix my space at home so I don’t make impulsive, online purchases.

*Balance checkbook daily.

*Plan the next day the night before or first thing in the morning.

*Read the Bible 15 minutes a day.

*Maintain a prayer journal for at least 5 minutes a day.

*Walk regularly. {Now, I pray while walking so I do a double whammy.}

*Write 2 pages a day.

*Read a story from the Bible and a quality children’s story to my children each day.

Now, I don’t always meet these aims, but because they are doable for me, it’s easier for me to return to them if I ever let up.

What are your lifetime goals?

I have a resource available now to help you figure out what your lifetime goals. It’s my latest ebook, Visionating. Available on Amazon for only $4.99.

Next Monday, we’ll talk about how to set doable, lifetime goals for the major areas of your life.

Through the Psalms in 2013

I previously wrote a post about how I’d like to go through the One Year Bible on this blog for 2013. Well, the prospect of blogging the entire Bible in the year seemed pretty intimidating to me. So, after much thought and prayer I’ve come up with a solution: go through one aspect of the One Year Bible each year.

The One Year Bible features an Old Testament reading, a New Testament reading, a Psalm and a Proverb each day. After going through the daily readings in my personal quiet time, I am often amazed at how the Holy Spirit connects each passage for me. Very cool.

Next year, I want to focus prayer and prayer journaling on this blog. For me, the Psalms are records of written prayers by great men of God…so it’s the perfect fit. I’m a big proponent of journaling and with my ebook, Visionating: Goal Setting Made Simple releasing soon {details to follow}, I think focusing on the Psalms next year will be a great combination.

I used to set goals based on MY plans, but after trying that and flubbing many times, I’ve come to the realization that consulting with God first is the best way to set goals. That’s what Visionating is all about, and our studies of Psalms in 2013 will {hopefully} provide us with records of the actual process of seeking God for the correct path to take in this life.

I’ll provide details of how we’ll work out the logistics of the Psalms study and couple it with Visionating in a future post. For now I just wanted to key you in on the fun!

Be encouraged…

Eat This Book

Learning to Crave the Word of God above anything else.

I recently noticed that I’ve been going through a spiritual anorexia. I haven’t been feeding on God’s Word. Instead, I’ve been replacing it with my own plans and strivings. This has resulted in my feeling tired, snappy and worn out. This is not the way to live. I needed to quench the dry landscape of my soul.

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, the living God. When can I go and meet with my God? (Psalm 42:1-2)

I’ve been asking myself this big question: When can I go and meet with my God? Feels like my days are extremely full and I don’t have the time to actually meet with God. But He’s shown me that I don’t need long stretches of time. Like eating natural food, I can eat His Word throughout the day. Five or ten minutes in duration, five to ten times a day would do.

I didn’t think that would be enough. But I tried it, and I found out that it filled me.

I carry a Bible around with me. At home, I have a small pocket sized Bible and the Lord has shown me open spaces of time when I can read His Word:

  • when I’m feeding the baby
  • at each meal
  • when I get the urge to check my Facebook or my email or do anything internet related (this has opened up loads of time!)
  • when my two year old is using the potty

Each of these times, I read a couple of verses and then I enter into a dialogue with God. If I read a promise, I’ll whisper my thanks to Him for the promise and ask Him to show me how to incorporate it into my life. If I read something I don’t understand, I ask Him to open the eyes of my understanding.  He’ll often show me another passage of scripture that expands on the passage in question. Many times, I’ll read a passage of correction or rebuke. After trying to justify my behavior in a certain area, I’ll then repent and ask Him to help me in that area.

It’s been nice. It’s been unreligious. It’s been refreshing. Kinda like walking around with a wise friend all day and having Him guide your steps.

I don’t have to use complicated reading plans,. I just go through the Bible verse by verse, page by page, book by book, during the spare minutes in my day.

I love this way of reading his Word. And I thought a lot of busy gals out there want to meet with God too, but they are asking: When will I meet with my God? So, I thought have an Eat The Book Challenge.

The Eat the Book Challenge will consist of a weekly reminder and my personal, spiritual meal plan. I’ll post this each Monday. In the reminder portion, I’ll post something Word related: tips, quotes, etc. so that you can be encouraged to Eat the Book.

Then I’ll write about how I did with eating the Book the prior week (any struggles, hurdles or vistories I had). I’ll also list my plan for the coming week. My plan doesn’t have to be your plan. But I’m listing it here to keep myself accountable and to encourage you. I don’t like going through spiritual droughts, and I want to avoid future droughts as much as possible.

Feel free to comment and list your plans for the coming week to eating the Book and/or an update for how much Word you ate from the week before. If you need help and have a question, you can post those too.

How I did Last Week:

I was pretty good with Eating the Book at the beginning of the week, but then I got distracted with the cares of this world by mid-week. Jesus had warned me about this in Mark 4:18-19. The cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things can choke the Word, causing it to be unfruitful. I ignored the warning and ended up stressed by Friday. When I came back to reading the Word, I found it hard to concentrate since my mind was still thinking about other things. But I found that if I read the words aloud to myself silently, that helped me concentrate.

Tip: If you find your mind wandering about the cares of life as you read the Bible, remember Jesus’s warning in Mark 4:18-19. Also, read the Word aloud to yourself quietly. That aids focus.

Spiritual Meal Plan for the Week:

I’d like to finish Exodus and Luke this week. I’m about 25% through Exodus and I just finished Mark, so Luke is next.

 What your spiritual meal plan for the week?

 

 

 

 

Visionating Series, A Mission Statement, Part 5

Last week, I talked about prioritizing your priorities. In this post, I suggested that you identify the top roles in your life. In addition, I recommended identifying the top three-four activities that you perform in these roles. Now, it’s time for the mission statement.

If you’ve read Visionating, then you already know the importance I place on having a firm mission statement for your life. A mission statement acts as a guiding force pointing you towards the finish line of life. When things feel out of control, a mission statement serves as a reminder of the most important things in your life.

Use the activities that you listed for each of your roles as the starting point for your mission statement. Here are mission statements for my key areas of life:

  • Faith: I actively incorporate the principles of God’s kingdom in my life and, as a result, I reap His benefits.
  • Marriage: I help my husband become God’s man in a loving and supportive manner.
  • Motherhood: I raise and train godly, responsible character filled children who know God and their parents love them.
  • Writing: I write entertaining stories that reflect God’s love, grace and life changing power.
  • Home Management: I create an atmosphere in my home where people experience  love,  peace, joy and the freedom to pursue God’s dreams for their lives.

The statements can be as long or as short as you like. It’s up to you. So go ahead and craft your mission statement today!

Visionating Series, Prioritizing Your Activities, Part 4

In last Wednesday’s post, I discussed the importance of prioritizing your priorities. This means figuring out your most important roles in life and then determining the key activities which will enable you to excel in those roles.

My top roles in life are: Christian, wife, mom, home manager and writer. I have other interests but these are what matter most to me right now. (Though I have to admit, I’ve been struggling in the home manager department since baby was born, lol)

After, I determine my top roles, I then decide no more than three actitivies which will enable me to excel in a particular role. As a wife, the top three activities are: daily talk time (with no children around to interrupt!). This has been tough to get. Usually, the only time we have to talk alone is when both children are asleep at night. By then, we’re both tired. But we strive for at least 15 minutes of this a day. A second activity which helps our marriage is regular date nights. Right now, our date night consists of renting a movie and watching it on the laptop, lol. A third activity for me would be praying for our marriage. I’ve been very slack in this area, but as I’m writing this, I’m being reminded of the importance of prayer.

Take some time and figure out your top 2-3 activities in your top roles in life. My free ebook, Visionating, walks you through this process in detail. Then write down those activities in the binder your created. On Wednesday, we’ll use this list to craft a mission statement for each of your roles as well as craft an overall life mission statement.