Friday, February 16, 2018

That's it, I quit.

Just three weeks into the new year those were the words I said. "That's it, I quit. Three weeks of working on one of my goals for the year and I was ready to quit. It was not going the way I planned. I didn't see the results I wanted. It was not easy. It was restricting my life I was ready to quit.



But I knew I couldn't just quit. I took some time to just reflect on the goal I had set and what was happening.

Just because it is not going the way you want, doesn't mean you quit the goal.

Just because it is hard,  doesn't mean you quit the goal.

Just because you don't see the results you want, doesn't mean you quit the goal.

I looked at the goal that I was ready to quit. I wrote about why I had written that as a goal. What was the motivation in the first place? That helped me to see that I really didn't want to quit.

I really needed to look at the heart issues of why I wanted to quit. Heart issues are the things that are going on inside. That was not pretty.

When I looked at those heart issues, I saw that I wanted to quit because I didn't want to deny myself, this goal required a bit of extra planning, I was envious of others. I saw that I was lazy, I was envious, and I was self-indulgent. I told you it wasn't pretty. That is not a reason to quit.

I knew that I needed to change the heart. I need to be willing to deny myself. I needed to be diligent. I also realised that this was a goal that was bigger than just me doing it on my own. It was something that was going to require God's help.

After a bit of journaling and reflection, I was renewed and ready to work on that goal. I knew it would be hard and might take some extra planning. I was not going to quit.

What do you do when you are ready to quit?

Beth

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

I am an alien.

I am an alien. No, I am not green and have antennas. I am a foreigner. I live in a country that is not my home country. I am a stranger. The dictionary defines alien as, "belonging to, characteristic of, or constituting another and very different place, society, or person; strange."


Foreigner is one of the identity boxes that I tick. When I need to fill out forms, my race is often one that I have to pause as it doesn't find the typical list given. Being a foreigner can be difficult at times.

My accent is not from here. I have words that I struggle to pronounce. I have to pause and think what is this called. I have a few words that I don't think my mouth was made to pronounce it the way it is said here -- aluminium and garage are two of those words. I will say that I have been told I have a good accent. I have had people tell me they like my accent. I had years to work on that accent but it is not an accent from where I live.

My thinking is different. It might not be noticed. I find it slight at times that I view things differently. I have had to adjust how I write the date. I am used to the week on a calendar beginning on Sunday and that recently got me in trouble as I looked at the calendar and scheduled something thinking it was the date for Saturday but it was Sunday. In the end it all worked out. I realised that even after years here I still think differently.

When I lived in Asia, I looked like a foreigner. My hair was a different colour. My skin was whiter and my nose was bigger. I was a foreigner. Here I blend in a bit more.

As I reflected on my foreigner identify, I was thinking about how I can make that positive. It felt like a negative which was more my feeling than the feelings of those around me. I have to say I have felt welcomed and loved here but at times it is tiring to be a foreigner. It is hard being different.

This can be my reminder that I am called to be a foreigner here on earth. I am to be living different. My accent should reflect God. My thinking should be eternal focused.

So while I might struggle with the foreigner identity, it is a reminder of how I should be living life. As a Christian, I am a foreigner. My citizenship is in heaven and someday I will be home.

Do you have an identity that you can view positively? Share that with me in the comments.

Beth
Pin It

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

If you are not going to track your goal, why do it?


Track your progress. Know what you are doing toward reaching the goal.

We need to set goals. If we don't have a goal how do we know what we are working towards. I really do think you need to set a goal. Goals help to give us action. So you need to set goals.

What do you do after you set a goal? Hopefully you have created a plan of action on how you are going to work towards that goal. What about tracking the progress of the goal? Do you have a plan on how you are going to track progress?

Tracking progress can encourage us to keep working towards the goal. If we are focusing just on achieving the goal we might miss the progress which can be as important as the goal.

Tracking progress can give us an indication on how we are moving towards reaching that goal. If you have created a SMART goal, it is measurable and it has a time frame. Tracking the progress will help you to see if you need to work a bit harder, faster or maybe even that you can slow down a bit.

Tracking progress can help us to evaluate the goal. If we know the progress, we are making we will know how achievable the goal is. In some of the goals progress can be as important as completion.

So how do you track your goals?

It will depend on the goal. When I wrote my goals this year, next to the goal I wrote how I would track the goal. I prefer pen and paper and something that I will have easy access to and will keep through the year. Most of my goals are tracked in my planner. Some are shown on the calendar. Some are lists in the back of my planner. I also try to do a monthly wrap-up touching on some of the key goals here on my blog. You can read my January review here.

You need to find a way to track your goals that works for you and for your goals. I like pen and paper but that might not be the way you work. You might have a chart to goal as you progress through the goal. You might take photos of projects as they are finished. Find a way to track your goals that works for you.

Your goals are personal. Your tracking is personal.

Track your goals. Show your progress. Know your progress.

How do you track your goals? In the comments give me some of the creative ways you track them.



Beth

Monday, February 5, 2018

3 Reasons We are Commanded to Love

If you are following along with A Fruitful Year, you have already done your planning and preparation and now February is when we begin to look at specific fruits of the Spirit. Looking at what that means and how we can walk in the Spirit with that character quality. February's topic was introduced here.


As I pondered the character quality of love, I spent time reading I John, I Corinthians 13, and John 15:1-17. In John 15:12 Jesus commands us to "love one another". That is not the first time that has been commanded. Remember the lawyer that came to Jesus in Matthew 22:34-40. He asks which is the greatest commandment. Jesus' response is, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your should and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbour as yourself." (Matthew 22:37-39 ESV)

Why are we commanded to love? God views our love as important and something that we need to do. He has commanded us to love.

1. Love does not come naturally. Naturally we are selfish, look out for ourselves, do it our way, defend ourselves, we don't love. We do not naturally love. We need to be commanded to love.

2. Love is something we can do. Just because it does not come naturally does not mean that it is not something that we can do. Love doesn't just happen. Love is an action. Love is something that we can learn. Love is sacrifice, thinking of others, and so much more. Love involves the mind and intellect it is not just an emotion. We can love.

3. Love is the basis for all other character qualities. Jesus said that this is the great and first commandment. I Corinthians 13:13 says that, "the great of these is love." Love is listed first in the Fruit of the Spirit. Love is the foundation for our character qualities. If we are loving, we will be kind. If we are loving, we will be honest.

These are just some of the reasons why God has commanded us to love him and to love others. Our love to God should be in response to his love to us. Our love to others should flow from God's love to us. Our obedience to God's commands show that we love him.

Are you obeying the command to love God and love your neighbour?

Beth

Thursday, February 1, 2018

January - End of the Month

In past years it has been helpful to me to just review what has happened in the month and how I worked towards my goals. I shared my goals here.

I have been following the 90 Day Bible reading program. It is fast paced but it gives me good overview and I see themes and things repeated. As I am reading, I have written down some verses that are just great to pray or use in worship. Yesterday as I was finishing reading I Chronicles this passage was just one to pause and use in a time of worship.


I use my planner both for planning, recording various things that happen during the day, and also for tracking my goals. I am a paper and person. This is my first year to really use PowerSheets. I had the six month last year but didn't use it. PowerSheets is helping me to track my goals.

I struggled this with the goal of losing weight. I won't bore you with all the struggles but I will say that it has given me an opportunity to look at the heart issues that were causing this struggles. I will share a bit more about that later. That goal was not as easy as I thought though I didn't think it would be that easy.

I want to grow in relationships. That takes a bit of planning and time. I was blessed to have a cup of coffee and time of prayer with one friend. We enjoyed dinner and games with other friends. I need to come up with some new meals for company. Any ideas?

I have been sorting through Home Educating things. I managed to get rid of quite a bit of it in January. I still have two boxes that I want to get rid of. I have a cleaning schedule and the weekly things are getting done but some of the things that are not weekly seem to get missed.

I read eight books in January. I am working to read a variety of things this year -- Christian living, Biblical counselling, classics, books from my shelves, current books, books about missions, productivity books, and more. I said it was a variety of reading.

One of the books that I read was Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World. This book challenged me to focus a bit and also to think about what is distracting. I will share a bit more about this.

January was a good start to the year. I am looking forward to more of A Fruitful Year and trust that each you will grow this year.

How was your January? Have you made progress on your goals.

Beth

Monday, January 29, 2018

Focus for February

If you are following along with A Fruitful Year, here is the focus for February. January was preparing both in setting goals and just getting ready for the year. February begins taking some time to focus on the fruit of the spirit. We will start at the beginning.


The basis for our love is God. I John 4:8 states, "God is love." Before we can think about how we love God and others we need to think about how God loves us. What words would you use to describe God's love?

  • Sacrificial
  • Eternal
  • Unconditional
  • Generous
  • Giving
  • Forgiving
  • Active
  • Life giving
  • and so much more

The goal this month is that you will love God more and love other more. The first and greatest command is to love God. Why do you think that is the first and greatest command?

In the month of February there will be journaling prompts to help you think about how you love God and other. There will be some devotional thoughts about love.

Think about God's love shown to us, what words would you add to the list above. Leave me a message in the comments telling me that word.

Beth

Saturday, January 27, 2018

My Goals for 2018 and My Word for the Year

I had a number of thoughts of things I wanted to do this year. I had things I want to finish, things to try. I wrote them down and it looked like a big "to do" list. Then I started to group them together. I thought I had a goal but not quite. As I worked through this, I decided on my word for the year.

GROW

Somehow the Word of the Year came easier than the goals but then I began to look at my lists and my word for the year and it all came together.

My goals for 2018 are all based on growing. When I looked up the definition of grow, I realised that things need to be nurtured to grow. So I need to nurture and focus on these goals. These goals should help to determine what I do this year.

1. Grow deeper in my relationship with God
Why? God is my loving heavenly father. He desires a relationship with me and I want to grow in knowing and serving him.
  • Reading through the Bible
  • In Depth studies
  • Memorising passages of scripture
2. Grow in health and strength
Why? I need to do this so that I am a good steward of my body. I want to glorify God in this way.
  • Lose weight - getting to my target weight
  • Run another 10K and get a new Personal Best
  • Get more haircuts than 2017 (I only got my hair cut once and really I need to do it more often.)
3. Grow in my relationships with others
Why? God has called us to live in community. We are to serve one another, love one another, pray for one another. In order to do that I need to be develop and grow in my relationships. This is going to be a challenge because it includes so many people -- immediate family, extended family, local friends, friends far away, supporters, and more.
  • Outings with family
  • Text and Skype
  • Coffee/Tea with friends
  • Hospitality
  • Letters and email
4. Grow in efficient and effective use of our home
Why? I desire for our home to be easy to maintain so I have time for other things. I want it to be easy to practice hospitality. 
  • Declutter
  • Organize
  • Use and enjoy things
5. Grow my blog
Why? I want to use my experience and the truth of God's Word to encourage others. 
  • Write regularly
  • Create a workbook for A Fruitful Year
  • Create journaling prompts
6. Grow and enjoy my hobbies
Why? This can bless my family and others. This gives me a creative outlet. 
  • Read 60 books (I have categories of books and types of books broken out.)
  • Sew 4-6 quilts (this is going to stretch me
  • Keep scrapbooking caught up
  • Less Unfinished projects
I am sure some of the things under the goal might change but keeping the goal in mind will help know what are the important things to do to reach that goal.

2 Peter 3:18 fits with my goal for the year. To grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and to bring him glory in my life. I have been writing that in the margin of my planner each week so that I can keep the goal in front of me. 


What are your goals for 2018? Share some of them in the comments.

Beth

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...