Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Diligence

For the past couple years I’ve had a word for the year. It has been such a help to me! Each word has helped me grow in ways I didn’t anticipate.

In November, when I realized how fast New Year’s was coming, I started asking God for my word. My experience has been that settling on one word for the year was…not as easy as you’d think. LoL. So, I started early. Surprisingly, within days I knew my word for 2016. I was amazed. And terrified. I have to admit, I hoped the word would change into something easier, nicer, even inspiring, but no. The word didn’t budge. Didn’t even wiggle.


(See what I mean?!)
I’m consistently INconsistent, so the thought of this word does awful things to me. Truly.

BUT…
As I look at 2016 and the things I want to do mixed in with the things I need to do, all overlaid with family and balance, I know the only way anything on my want-to-do list is going to be accomplished is through diligence.

Daily diligence in the little things.

Because the little things done diligently add up to bigger things.

My head knows this and I’ve experienced it, but putting this into practice when I have five other things pulling me different directions…well, let’s just say I’m very good at putting out fires and getting stuff done that needs to be done, and putting off things that I can put off. Like the things I want to do. The problem is that the things on my want-to-do list are things I believe God has called me to do. But those things aren’t standing beside me, pulling on my pant leg saying “Mom. Mom! MOM!!” (or some variation of that. You know what I’m saying.) Those things are part of that quiet voice in my heart. The voice that’s so easy to miss or set aside when the roar of life gets loud.

And there lies a good part of the issue.

The need to prioritize (shudder) and see that those things on my want-to-do list are so much more than that. They are actually my heart’s list of things I see that God has given me to do. Things that God has given me as a gift, just as He gifted the Levites with the service of the Tabernacle and Temple.

When I see those things for what they really are—gifts from God and things He has called me to do—I can prioritize my time and energy and resources to get them done. One small thing at a time.



Because little things done diligently add up.


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

How I Established My Devotional Time

For the past couple years I’ve had a word for the year. This last year it was Arise! Complete with the exclamation point, mind you. I have to tell you, I did not figure it meant literally, but it seems it did.

With all the changes going on in my life over the last couple years, my quiet time has bounced around a fair bit. Getting the time and the quiet was…tough. Some days it was impossible…because of how I ordered my days.

When God gave me Arise! for 2015 I thought it referred to arising to the challenge or arising to a new season in my life, NOT arising early in the morning. I’m fond of my bed in the morning. It’s so warm and comfy and snuggly with my hubs. Being the first one out of bed in the morning is not my idea of fun.

At least, it wasn’t.

Then my awesome Sunday School teacher challenged us to ask God for help doing something we knew we should do but hadn’t been able to. Something like not eating too many Little Debbie cakes in one day or spending time in God’s Word. So, I did.



How I (almost) painlessly established my early morning devotions

  1. Ask God to wake me up in the morning.
  2. Commit to obeying and getting up when He wakes me.
  3. Obey and GET UP when God wakens me.
  4. Thank God for waking me.

Remember I said almost painlessly?
There were mornings I groaned when my eyes popped open before I was ready. Those times I would roll over and try to go back to sleep. It never worked for more than a few minutes because I was guaranteed to soon have a massive headache and I’d have to get out of bed simply to relieve it. (Headaches are part of my life.)

I learned to be thankful for not just the days God woke me, but also for the headaches. Often, thanks to them, I had extra time with God and those times were special.

Arise!
It does, after all, mean get up.
Rise to the challenge by asking God for help.




Wednesday, December 09, 2015

A Personal Win In Spite of Losing

When Cheryl and I started the NaBloPoMo on November 5, our goal was daily posting for 30 days. Unfortunately, neither one of us made it but it wasn't a wasted effort. In the past, both of us have been avid bloggers but recently, with how our lives have changed, our blogs had fallen silent.

My goals were to get past the hurdle of a silent blog and to see how blogging would look for me at this stage in my life, and if I’m totally honest, to see if I could juggle it with everything else and if I even wanted to blog. Those goals were all met, even though I only posted 17 times in 30 days.

In one way I didn’t reach my goal. 17 out of 30 is a pretty pathetic percentage, BUT I’m counting it as a personal win. Here’s why…

  • I struggle with balance and I was determined to keep blogging in balance with the rest of my life and responsibilities. And I did. Thanksgiving week hit and my life slipped into high gear. I needed to focus on family and then work, and I did.
  • Jumping back into blogging like I did forced me over the hurdle I had been camped at for too long.
  • I found that I could add blogging back into my schedule, but it took determination and discipline. Lots of both, mixed with a generous portion of time—something I need to work on.
  • A major goal for those 30 days was to see what I posted when scrambling for posts (like I knew I would, LoL). I wanted to see if my focus had shifted while I was away from here. It was cool to see what came out. Because I didn’t make it the 30 days, I didn’t even get through my list of post ideas, and I didn’t touch the topics that I know are favorite soap-boxes of mine. But it was still enough to give me the answers I sought.

All told, blogging 17 days out of the hoped-for 30 days is a win for me. I remembered that I love blogging. I remembered the work it is yet how rewarding it can be. And I remembered how it kicks my creativity and thinking into gear and gets me rolling.

It was a very worthwhile endeavor.

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