If I am totally honest, I have struggled hard with constant low grade anxiety, some sadness and that mid-morning tired feeling that is, well, exhausting. I’m not without a pool of good reasons for the state of my heart and mind. Even so, it’s been a hard Fall.
My boy has been in Italy for almost four months. His absence is the equivalent of removing one of the strong rocks in my life. Perhaps that’s an odd thing for a mom to say about a child, but that’s who Quinn has been for me. He comes home soon, only to leave again in January. Woe is me as my nest empties.
At the office, I had several difficult issues to work through. As a professional woman with a commitment to excellence and desire to deliver a job well done, those obstacles were/are hard! I’m reminded by my wise counselor Dan not to personalize the professional – – what a difficult practice!
When my self talk and prayers hit bottom, I force myself to speak truth to myself.
I remind myself of my worth by framing my purpose in light of Jesus’ love and kindness toward me. It would be nice if my world served up everything I needed to feel secure and confident. But then I would have no need for God.
I keep a quote in my planner to counteract my performance oriented personality. I feel life rise up in me when I am kind to myself in this way.
There is no shame in being proud of the smallest amount of progress.
Morgan Harper Nichols
I acknowledge that my soul craves connection. In the big picture, we all need it. As an individual, connection keeps my head above water.
I try not to overlook the small things that life delivers when the big things are not in view. Small things like – Mom, will you bake banana bread? The girls love your recipe. Or, my mom and her husband picking up a Christmas tree for me and getting it on the stand.
Friends, this has been my hard Fall.
Despite myself, I pursued intentional joy during my hard Fall – – which brings me to my Fall bucket list share.
As you know, my bucket lists are intentional guides to help us live out love, self-care, creativity and hospitality in every season.
As we say #GoobyeFall, I am sharing with you some of the pics from my Fall bucket List adventure. I hope you enjoy the pics. I truly hope you too pursued joy this Fall.
Whoosh! And the month of January is almost at its end.
January represents some of my favorite themes. I’ve always been madly in love with fresh starts and new plans.
For me, 2020 brought into focus the meaning and pursuit of rhythms in my life. I welcomed back the word intentional when it comes to rhythms.
Intentionality has been overused in my opinion.
Be Intentional. Blah, blah, blah.
If you don’t actually put some power behind the punch of intentionality, it’s just an intention. Intentional gets washed away with every distraction, moment of exhaustion or stressful season.
When I hit bottom physically, emotionally and spiritually almost five years ago, I started from scratch. I began to rethink the meaning of time. I rescripted the physical part of my life to be kinder to my mind and soul. I figured out what made me tick in a healthier way and moved toward my giftings. I began a different journey because the old ways were crushing the person that God made me to be.
I am going to share some of the key areas I hit on this January. All three will lead you to rhythms that ground you and stand as your safety net as you intentionally become more of the woman God made you to be.
Word of the Year
My purpose in sharing is for you to consider what hits home for you. My purpose is to encourage you to begin a godly pursuit in the areas that spark your heart. There isn’t anything you can’t accomplish if you are utilizing your daily calendar with a purpose and a vision.
By accomplish, I specifically mean, pursue with grace, as your anthem.
Your daily calendar holds the key to becoming who God made you to be.
It’s January. Ask yourself a few questions. If you have been checking in on me on Instagram, I’ve been offering up journal questions to help you move into the new year.
Your answers fuel and speak into your daily calendar. If there’s a disconnect between what you think, who you are and how you are living your life, then sitting down with your calendar is your next step.
When I hit bottom, one of the tasks my counselor gave me was to write out my weekly calendar including the stuff he was suggesting for me to do to get healthy again.
When your brain is scattered and your heart is broken, writing out a life-giving calendar is not easy. But I did it. I now check myself with this exercise when I feel lost or when my purpose feels foggy and dim.
There is a lot we don’t have control over in this life. But I honestly believe that we have more control over how we spend our time than we think.
Try the exercise and you will find a viable path to God’s plans for you this year.
Side Note: Have you heard of the bullet journal?
It’s basically merging your journal, planner and daily rhythms into one notebook. If you like artsy things, but aren’t quite the Picasso you’d like to be, this is a great creative outlet.
I started strong week one of 2021 (with the bullet journal), but I realized that it would take more time and effort that I was willing to give. So, I used my favorite planner and added the bullet journal style to it. Less time but still serving my creative outlet.
Word of the Year
I love quizzes and tests. Isn’t it fun to learn about yourself? To get to the bottom of why you need so much alone time. Or why you are uncomfortable with conflict. Or why it’s hard to ask for what you need. Yes, so fun.
It’s not that having a word for the year changes everything. The value is in the time it takes to consider the themes God is speaking into your life.
If you haven’t landed on a word yet, here are some clues to help you reflect.
Look at the photos in your phone categorized by the twelve months of the previous year.
Page or scroll through your 2020 calendar.
Do the same with your journal.
Write down the books you’ve read and the bible studies you’ve completed.
Bullet your successes and failures from the past year.
Anything else you can think of that allows you to review the past year.
What are the common threads? What is God speaking to you through your reflection? What were your blind spots? Hopes? Dreams come true? Things you’re still waiting for?
All of these arrows will lead you to a word or phrase. Go ahead, give yourself the freedom to reflect.
It’s okay to cry as you reflect if you feel it. Angry? That’s okay too. Grateful? Some years are abundant even in loss and grief.
Let it out and then let it grow into something fresh and new for the new year.
My word for this year is Shed and here are the reasons why.
I believe strongly in visual inspiration for the things God is leading us to. A vision board is a daily visual reminder of your goals. It’s not the place to write the goals or the place to execute them (i.e., daily calendar). The vision board is a place to articulate your dreams through images and words.
I have a ton of fun with boards with the ladies who take my Follow Your Call class. We create idea boards as we brainstorm God’s call over each woman’s life. But I’ve never done it for myself at the beginning of the new year. Here’s mine.
Here are the tools to create your own vision board. I hope you will grab your girls and do it together.
Whoosh! And the month of January is almost at its end.
Even so. It’s not too late to embrace fresh starts and new plans.
Go ahead. Be intentional. With your Calendar. Your Word for the Year. Your Vision.
When the distractions come rolling in. When the occasional exhaustion sets in. When the unexpected, impossible circumstances arrive. Your time. Your words. Your vision. These God inspired truths will be your safety net.
When your brain is scattered. When your heart is broken. When your purpose feels foggy or worthless. Your time. Your words. Your vision. These God inspired truths will ground you. These truths will cast you back to hope. There is no greater weapon against the darkness than hope.
You can always return to the good journey. The path that is fertile ground for a healthy mind and soul. The path that honors and refreshes your body. The steps that lead you toward your giftings. You can always reset. You can always choose to become more of who God made you to be.