Wow! A lot can happen in a year! I just read over my post from April 8, 2016 – the last post I wrote. First off, I can’t believe I haven’t written in over a year!! Second, A LOT happened in the last year – a lot of crappy stuff, but A LOT of GREAT stuff, too! And, all the while I have had amazingly supportive loved one’s and an even more amazing God pushing me, encouraging me, and cheering me on! So, here I am…today’s my 51st birthday!! I haven’t written here in over a year, but I have been writing in my journal and being very intentional about taking care of myself. Actually, I’ve learned a lot about myself in the last year! The word INTENTIONAL has been kind of my “word” for the last several years and while I have been “intentional” about many things, it hasn’t been until the last few months that I have fully embraced the word. If you are reading this and feeling the least bit inadequate I want to encourage you to get intentional! For me, setting my course required five steps and here they are:
- FIX YOUR EYES ON JESUS! Now, that may sound a bit “odd” from a woman who has been a Christian since she was 10, but I believe we all have levels of connectivity with Jesus. I now fully “get” what “spiritual maturity” is! Spiritual maturity is NOT about having all the answers or about not experiencing difficulty, it’s about having peace in the mess….and, yes, I AM A MESS most of the time! However, beginning my day immersed in devotion, prayer, and preparation for my day, along with pausing throughout the day to pray and refocus has improved my level of peace immeasurably!
- GET REAL – AND GET A COACH! Getting real about my mess and getting a coach, for me, was like opening a huge can of vulnerability! And, who likes to be vulnerable?! I surely don’t, but I’m beginning to get more comfortable with it. In my opinion (for what it’s worth), having a professional coach is KEY to success! It’s like having a very authentic cheerleader! And, by that I mean, someone who is going to “rah-rah”, but be honest (even when it may hurt) and help brainstorm so that authentic goal setting may take place. It’s a great way to stay on track professionally, as well as personally. I have two coaches….I told you I’m a mess….it takes two for all my crap! I am so thankful for both!
- FORGIVE! This is HUGE! Forgiving is sooooo freeing!! I have lots to share about this for in future posts, but for now I’m just going to share that the statement about not forgiving hurts you more than the person who “wronged” you is so, so, so, accurate! I’m so thankful Jesus has forgiven me and encouraged me to break the chain and forgive others.
- Say “NO”! I thought that I had learned that a lot of years ago, but I hadn’t. Oh, I’ve said no, but hadn’t really ever perfected saying it with either attitude or guilt. I can’t say that I never have guilt anymore when saying no, but I’ve gotten a ton better at it. It’s another vice to having true freedom…..I now often respond, “I can’t commit right now, but will get back to you”. That gives me the freedom of evaluating and offering my best “yes” and/or a “no” without attitude!
- INVEST! This has nothing to do with money!, but everything to do with investing in others. Finally, I have grasped and embraced my gift of hospitality. For a very long time, I’ve hated that gift! Why? Well, because it very often leads to hard work. Don’t get me wrong, I am not shy of hard work, but I get burned out on “doing”! Hospitality doesn’t always mean, though, hard work….I may be hospitable by sending an encouraging text or note, I don’t have to host a full-blown party or fix a four-course meal for someone!! Just sharing an uplifting word or a simple quart of soup is just as appreciated. Investing in others enables me to shine the light of Christ and it makes me feel good!
So, here’s why I outlined the prior five….it’s my way to be intentional about posting. Over the course of the coming months, I’ll go more in depth and authentically share how each of the five have brought me peace and enriched my life. So, come back please…and I pray that each reader gets a little deposit of God’s light!
Happy Easter! 🙂