I do. I am. My week started off pretty rocky. It certainly started off rocky here in the United States. How did it start for you? You may have had some intentions that you were not quite able to stick with. I know I had planned on not getting on social media which I was doing fairly well with and then that exploded. lol. I saw several posts on people’s dry January plans had gone belly up or their fast on MSNBC was a wash.
It can suck to start something and so soon get off track but remember the good news. God’s mercies are new everyday. We can start over. I started today. I put timers on all my social media apps and I am replacing that with more writing and reading. I feel lighter.
So don’t get mad if you haven’t been able to attack your goals the way you wanted to. Start over. Its better to start again then get mad at yourself for messing up. I pray for my country, the United States and for you as well that we are all able to hit the reset button.
I have reached 200 posts! I am so excited. When I started this blog in 2017, I would have never thought I would reach 200 posts. I did. It was hard, scary, fun, nerve wrecking, I could go on and on but I loved it. Writing is something I always enjoyed since I was a kid but I didn’t know how I was going to pursue that as an adult. It was a dream, I put on a shelf. I am glad that I finally had the courage to pursue my dream and see where it could take me.
I have not had a year since this blog has been in existence that I have a post every month. I posted the second half of 2020. I only did a few posts in 2019 ( I was pregnant and had a baby). 2018 was my best year, 111 posts but I don’t think I posted every month. I don’t typically make resolutions but this year I will. Posting every month is a goal I am setting for myself this year.
I thank each and every one of you for your support. It makes me feel good that the words of my heart are able to impact so many people. People from all over the world read what I write and I am greatly honored by that.
I am excited to see where my writing will take me in 2021 especially because I am starting to take it more seriously.
The word I’m focusing on this week is reflection. 2020 was supposed to be the year of clarity. I remember everybody being so hype about 2020 coming, year of completion, year of clarity. Did those things happen for you? When I asked myself that question I had to say yes they did. 2020 did a lot of things for me that I certainly wasn’t expecting. I didn’t roll into the year feeling great. I didn’t feel grounded, I felt like I was just floating by trying to keep my head above water.
I went back and read my old journal from the beginning of this year and I had a lot of goals which I did end up accomplishing most of them. After reading my old journal, the biggest thing I noticed was that I felt a disconnect from God. I wasn’t feeling his presence. My emotions were very up and down. I also wasn’t going to church as much as I should and I wasn’t doing any bible study. I changed those things in the second half of 2020 for sure.
That’s the beauty in writing things down. January-March (pre-Covid) feels so long ago. I definitely feel differently about it now then I did when I was in it. While I felt a little lost going into 2020, by the time the end of December got here, I recognized I needed to make changes going into 2020. I wrote down all the things I wanted to do and I eventually did them. It just didn’t seem like they were happening fast enough. I didn’t really start implementing the changes I wanted to do until April 2020. I was forced to change because of Covid but it was for my good. Quality takes time.
I also made a vision board and found scripture to match up with the goals that I had. It was super helpful.
As we finally! finish up 2020 this is the time to reflect on what you have done and prepare for what you are doing next.
The great thing about change is that you don’t have to wait until the New Year to do it. You can start right now, today. Even if you only move a centimeter in the right direction. Its movement, it counts.
When I look at this list I see a lot of things that I have done in the past or still continue to do. Do you see anything that you do?
Do you want to be better disciplined? Ask God to help. He gave self discipline to us as a gift when he gave us the Holy Spirit. Its inside of us waiting to be used, we just have to ask. Everything you need to be great is already within you.
I think all the things on this list boil down to Fear. Fear gets me every time. I’ll have an idea that I like but I will scared that it will fail, that people won’t like it, that its not good enough. God didn’t give us a spirit of fear. He tells us all the time to that he will be with us. If he is with us what do we have to be scared about? I’m sure you see all the time, do it afraid. My girl (in my head) Joyce Meyer, just wrote a book called Do it Afraid. I haven’t read it, but I’m sure its good. lol
That’s how you get out of your own way. Do it anyway. Stop trying to be in control of every moment. Stop thinking of the worst possible outcomes. Start thinking of all the things that could go right. Reward yourself along the way. Don’t stop just because it gets hard. If you get off track, get back on. Its never to late to start over, change your mind, switch it up. Be kind to yourself.
These are the things we have to do if we really want to tap into our greatness. We can’t do it on our own. You can’t stop years of wrong thinking by deciding to just start thinking more positively. We have to ask God to help us. To walk beside us. We need to tell him I’m ready. I’m ready for the challenge, I’m ready for the pain. I’m ready for whatever you want to give me, however you want to stretch me until I’m operating at my best capacity. Until I am doing what you called me to do.
Lord, You died for me to live life to the full. Your children shouldn’t have imposter syndrome we are daughters/sons of a king. Everything I need to be great you equipped me to do. Because you love me. You decided what you wanted me to do before I was born and then put together the entire thing while I was still in my mothers womb. Help me get out of my own way. Help me water the seeds of greatness you already planted inside me. Help me stay steadfast and rely on you, not on me. In Jesus name. Amen
My friend dropped this in the group chat the other day and it was great reminder. Even though we are at the end of the year doesn’t mean God can’t show out. Its funny in our human mind it feels like there isn’t enough time left to start something new or break a bad habit or let something go. Not true.
With that in mind, I decided to pull out the vision board I made at the beginning of the year.
Did you make a vision board this year? Do you still look it at? If not pull it out. Now is a good time to evaluate and see the progress you are making on your vision. I completely understand that this year probably looks nothing like you had originally planned it to be. That’s ok. This is a great time to make adjustments if you need to.
One thing I plan on doing with my vision board before the year is over, is finding scriptures to match the pictures and phrases I cut out. I believe it helps to have a biblical backing that way you know what you want is confirmed in the word.
I also need to tweak some things I put on there. I was in a different headspace back in January/February then now. This is ok. We are not people who are meant to be static, change is fluid. We aren’t locked in to anything.
I have something easier for you if you don’t feel like making a vision board. I wrote out a prayer and then I found a scripture to match my prayer. Having that scripture to go along with my prayer helps me when I feel like what I am praying for isn’t happening or its moving slow. Having the scripture as the foundation lets me know that what I am asking for is in God’s will because it is in his word. For the word of God will not fail. Luke 1:37
We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better. We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light. Colossians 1:9-12 NLT https://bible.com/bible/116/col.1.12.NLT
God please give me wisdom to be a good wife, mom and leader. Help me instead of taking on my friends problems pray for them more. Help me count my blessings and be thankful for everything I have. Help me not compare my life to anyone else’s.In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
*It has taken me 4 days to write this post and 4 hours today. God has something big in store for me because this should not have been this hard. If you are trying to do something and things keep getting in your way. do it anyway. I am going to keep pushing and keep getting better, no matter what!
One thing I’ve picked up during this odd year of 2020 is unlearning.
What have you had to unlearn? For me it’s been a lot. I used some of these thought processes for protection to make sure I wouldn’t get hurt. Im learning to be more vulnerable, to trust more, and I realize I don’t need to think this way anymore.
1. Everything is not what it seems. Sometimes our perceptions are wrong. We are making decisions based on limited knowledge, our bias, our feelings. All those things could potentially not be right. Keeping this in the back of my mind has helped me look at things from all angles before making a decision.
2. Everything is not black or white or even gray. I was very much a person who thought things were one way or not. No shade but, it is what it is. In the this world of COVID-19 I’ve learned things are not always one way or another. There could be a third option that I never even considered.
3. Everyone doesn’t have to move at the same pace. I used to think I was behind everybody in spiritual knowledge, in having kids, fancy careers. However I have to remind myself that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. God put me in this place. It’s not a race. I’m not competing with anyone, not even myself. There are no timelines or schedules because God’s timing is always perfect.
4. What works for you, may not work for me. This is another small thing but changing my thinking has been huge. The first thing that made me think of this is the natural hair movement. You can watch tons of tutorials and it still not turn out right. Follow someone’s regimen to the letter and still not get the changes you were expecting. What worked for them may not work for me. That can be applied to just about anything in life.
5. People aren’t judging me. People aren’t looking at me. Or even thinking about me. Folks are more concerned about themselves than they are with what I’m doing, wearing etc. Letting this go allows me to live more free.
6. Its never too late. For anything. Ever. The older you get the more people start to tell you your too old for this or that. Not true. It’s never too late. If your good, it’s going to come through in what you do. You want to make a career switch? Do it! You want to move out of state? Do it! Nothing is holding you back but you.
These lessons have been huge. They may seem like simple changes but they represent gigantic changes in mindset. As we get to the last quarter of the year think about how you might need to change your mindset. Its never too late.
Rainbows are a sign of Gods promises. He put up the first one after he flooded the Earth and saved Noah and his family.
My birthday was Sunday and it also reminds me of Gods promises. I got pregnant around my birthday two years. On this day as I’m writing this (9/10) I was told I wouldn’t be able to get pregnant on my own. So every year since then it all comes back and reminds me that God is a promise keeper. He does what he says he will do. He doesn’t lie or change his mind. I know that in theory but its nice to have a reminder.
My birthday has always been a big deal to me even from when I was a little kid. Its at the tail end of summer so it could be blazing hot, last year it was 90 degrees! Or it could be cool and chilly. It has always signified new beginnings for me, even more so than the beginning of the year.
I remember my 33 birthday that was supposed to be my Jesus year and that didn’t happen. Last year was just survival mode in learning how to be a new mom. 35 though…will this be my year?
I dont want to say so and it isn’t but this year feels different. I think the biggest change is consistency. I have been exercising 5 days a week consistently since August 3.
I have been going to noon day bible study on Wednesday at church since May.
I’ve been doing the work to make lifestyle changes that I can sustain. Sustainability is key. I used to start off super hard but I couldn’t maintain that momentum.
I used to worry about what I could do to keep the momentum going. I was so worried about the something disturbing the joy I was feeling that I wasn’t enjoying it.
Not anymore. I am making sure to take each day one at a time and that has helped tremendously. I am learning how to stop my negative thoughts in its tracks. I am exploring new things and becoming open to new ideas and thought processes. I am learning how to be 100% me, 100% of the time.
I set that goal in December but I didn’t start working on it really until we were forced to stay in the house. The last six months have been a lot of work but I have definitely reaped the benefits.
I recently wrote a post about using my friends to keep me accountable in my writing and someone in the Christian Writers Network group I am in asked me some great questions.
How do you find an accountability partner?
If you have a network at church I would start there because hopefully you can find like minded people. If not there then a trusted (girl)friend who respects your goals. You also could try special interest group like the Christians Writers Network that I found on Facebook, or weight loss group, alcoholics anonymous, etc, it really just depends on your goal.
What do I look for in an accountability partner?
I would make sure this person can call you out if you are not getting your goals done. So you want your accountability partner to be someone you trust. You also want to make sure they are not too busy to check in with you about your goals. I would also try to find someone who has similar goals. If you are trying to work out 3x a week, it may not be a good idea to have your friend who doesn’t work out hold you accountable to that goal. I asked my friends to hold me accountable with this blog because they read it consistently and if I miss a post they would say something.
What is expected from both partners?
Both people should be able to check in with each other to make sure they are staying on target, pray for each other and (respectfully) call you out if you start to slip. You should also motivate each other to stay faithful when it gets hard.
I think support is important in your accountability partner too. You want someone who can work out with you sometimes or by the product you are trying to sell, pop in your Zoom meeting or read what you’re writing. You don’t just want somebody who keeps you on track. You want somebody that believes in what you are doing and that you be will be successful.
Be open with your accountability partner not just about your successes but with your failures as well. Be open to their feedback, good and bad. This person is just trying to help you grow. Respect any meet ups or check ins you have. If you aren’t going to respect what you all have set up, you won’t be able to get the full benefit of the process.
I went on a nature walk with some of my friends that quickly turned from just a walk into a lost in the woods adventure. It was very interesting because we moved off the trail very quickly and did so without hesitation. As we started to walk we ran into some really random things in the woods that we would not have seen otherwise. My friend said if we would have stayed on the path we would see things we would not have expected. When she said that to me, it really struck me. God used her to give a message to me and I don’t even think she realized it.
How often do we want to follow the the path of least resistance? How often do we think we have to go the same way everyone else went to accomplish a goal?Getting to your dream might not be linear. It probably won’t be. There will be hills to climb and creeks to jump over. You may even get lost. How often when you are in pursuit of your passion do you lose sight of the vision?How often do you go back and check on the goal to insure your moving in the right direction?
I often get caught up in the how to accomplish the goal that I miss the actually accomplishing of the goal. I get bogged down in the research and laying out the plan. How often do we get caught up in the work that we lose sight of where we’re going?
We need to embrace the times when we go off course. I get so focused on things have to be done in this order or in this fashion, that I miss the inspiration. This post wouldn’t even exist if I had not have stopped working on another post to start it. I didn’t use to do that. If I sat down to write I had to finish that piece before I started working on another. I would never stop in the middle of something to write an idea down.
I’m beginning to shift my thinking and I am excited about where the road will take me. Don’t put yourself in a box as you are pursuing your passions. Remember that there is no one path to success. Someone told me that we should celebrate the steps, not just the destination. Its hard to do that when we are so focused on the goal. Being willing to go off course, could open you up to a world of possibilities.