Tag Archives: New Year

January Tweaks

I read this great article today and thought it worth passing on.

http://www.fastcompany.com/3040340/how-to-be-a-success-at-everything/17-small-and-totally-doable-tweaks-that-will-change-your-y

All 17 of the tweaks make a lot of sense. I’m off right now to set my clock and make a morning list.

Here’s to a productive year!

Who’s batting for you?

Why is it that I only show true reliance on Jesus when I’m going through rocky times?  I’ve been working on processing an answer to this difficult and disturbing question for the last few days.  A few months back, I experienced a personal tragedy in my life that sent me running (really, beelining) to the Lord for the comfort, direction, and peace that only He could bring.  As a result, He pressed on me the desire to join a women’s group at my church, to meet one-on-one with the group leader at Panera’Baseball pics, and to start building friendships with some of the other Christian women at my church.  Boy, did I feel good!  After the study ended and I found myself in a better place spiritually and emotionally, my outings started becoming more sparse and even my time spent in Bible reading, prayer, and devotion started sinking depressingly low.  Looking back,  I’m forced to ask myself the question “Why?”.

The answer can be summed up in two words: independence and conceit.  Dictionary.com defines independence as “freedom from the control, influence, support, aid, or the like, of others.”  I must admit that I’m naturally a very independent, self-sufficient person, to the point where my husband has jokingly commented that I don’t even need him around!  That comes from many years of living on my own before getting married.  When times are hunky-dory, I find myself relying on me, myself, and I for just about everything.  But when times aren’t so swell and life seems to be throwing me curve balls, I find that I need someone bigger, better, wiser than myself to step in for me and to ‘play those innings.’

If I can wholeheartedly admit that Jesus is my answer when life throws those curve balls, and if He’s as wise, as big, and as strong as I know He is and is the provider of all good things (James 1:17), then why wouldn’t I ALWAYS want Him batting for me?  Really, I think I could do life better than He can?!?!  Wow!  Sounds a little conceited, doesn’t it?

As I start into another new year, my prayer (for myself and for anyone reading this) is that we will learn how to truly rely on Jesus, the Good Shepherd, the Wonderful Counselor, the Provider, not only when times are bad, but when they’re good as well.

Peace in the New Year

January 4

peaceWe all want peace, don’t we?  I mean, really, all the beauty pageant finalists answer their questions with the desire for ‘world peace’.   (That always cracks me up – it’s such a safe answer.)  But really, our homes, our community, our state, our country, our world would be a much better place to live if there was peace.

What about ourselves, do we have inward peace?  I remember a time when I was full of fear, afraid for my children, afraid for circumstances at work, afraid of just about everything.  During that time something profound happened in just a short little phone conversation at work.

Now, the caller didn’t know that I was experiencing such fear, but she ended the conversation with ‘God’s peace be with you.’  That statement hit me like a ton of bricks.  I thought to myself, that’s it – I don’t have peace, that’s why I’m so fearful, so nervous, so edgy.  I need peace amidst all of the circumstances surrounding me.

We all do, don’t we?  Every time we turn on the TV we hear of shootings like the ones in Newtown, CT, robberies, the fiscal cliff, stock market declines.  It is enough to make us fearful all the time.  But I learned a truth from that phone call years ago.

I need to remember where peace comes from – it comes from God.  I like to think on Scripture to help me internalize and live out my faith.  I wanted to know how to daily experience God’s peace amidst all the sometimes overwhelming non-peaceful things coming my way.

This is the verse I landed on and cling to in these times, ‘You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.’  Isaiah 26 NIV   I know that when I trust God – trust that He is in control, trust that He knows the beginning from the end, trust that He loves me –that He will keep me in perfect peace when the overwhelming circumstances and the bad news of the day come my way.  I don’t just know it, I’ve experienced it.

God’s peace be with you.

Who, me change my thinking?

woman thinkingJanuary 1, 2013

How eager am I to transform or change? Change is hard, downright difficult for me. And sometimes I can’t even see where I need to change. But I do want to change if I’m not living the way I should or thinking the way I should.

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing, and perfect will. –Romans 12:2NIV

Now that’s a hard one – my thinking, my mind. This verse says that I am transformed (reminds me of the transformers of the 80s – you know the ones that went from a prehistoric animal to a man, etc.) by the renewing of my mind. So it’s my thoughts that are misguided, it’s my thoughts that encourage me to mold myself after the culture around me, to the TV shows I watch, the websites I visit, the language I hear used at work or the reactions that have been engrained in me from childhood.

But how do I recognize wrong thoughts? I’m not sure, but I am thinking that first I need to become conscious of what I am thinking, saying, watching, doing. I need to catch myself thinking! And since I am a Christ follower, I need to match up those thoughts to what the Bible says.

One verse that should help determine if my thinking is good thinking or stinkin’ thinkin’ is Philippians 4:8 ..whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

If what I’m thinking and what this verse says don’t equal, then I need to do some serious self-examination – the truth is, sometimes I don’t want to hear and accept what the Bible says to think on – I want to be able to be mad, to jump to conclusions, to think the way I want to think. So it’s a bit of a fight until I make a conscious decision to recognize and honestly confess stinkin’ thinkin’ to God, then ask for his power to help me to think the way I should.

Then this verse says that whenI put this into practice I well be able to know what God’s will is in each situation. Wow, wouldn’t that be awesome to understand his will!

Hoping that 2013 is a year that sees my(our) minds renewed in ways I(we) can’t imagine and understanding his will better than I(we) ever thought possible.

What do you think?  Would love to hear your thoughts!

Blogging with Daughters

Janine and HollyIt’s almost time to say ‘goodbye’ to 2012, I look forward with
anticipation to 2013.  One awesome thing that will be happening this coming year is that my daughters, Janine and Holly, will be joining me in this blog.  We  plan to take turns posting from our daily times with God.

We are each reading Jesus Calling by Sarah Young and will rotate sharing insights we’ve  picked up from the daily reading.  Thanks Janine for purchasing the book for  each of us!  We will be remaining anonymous as to who is writing each day, but  if you are a good detective I’m sure it will be evident who is writing on which days.  So watch for us beginning January 1 and subscribe to our blog to keep up with each post!  Happy New Year!