Well, we are half-way through January. How are you doing with those New Year’s Resolutions?
One of my goals has been to eat healthier (of course… isn’t that everyone’s?). My sister was recently diagnosed with celiac, and she has to eat gluten-free. So when we had an “If You Give a Pig a Pancake” birthday party for my daughter this past weekend, I looked online for a pancake recipe I could make with whole oat flour. A friend of mine uses this flour exclusively because she is on the Trim Healthy Mama eating plan. I found these Oat Flour Almond Butter Pancakes with just a hint of cinnamon added. Let me tell you– I LOVED these pancakes and preferred them over the regular ones! We served them with sugar free syrup and fruit toppings and they were a hit! I also may have eaten the leftovers for dinner.
Another goal was to unrush myself. A long time ago I read somewhere that one of the most important spiritual disciplines is to eliminate hurry. I have been known to clean out cabinets when company is coming over instead of cleaning off the counter and vacuuming. Why I do this, I don’t know. It seems to be a scrambling of priorities. Or I simply get in the cleaning and organizing mood and go crazy, meanwhile adding more work to my plate and neglecting the important things (like making sure I have food for everyone.)
My plan for this is to get up early enough to make sure things get done in a timely manner. I also prioritize my time with the Lord because that always makes me be still and reflect. I begin my quiet time with Kristin’s Daily Grace planner so that I can write down my to-do list, schedule, and notes to myself. This way I can concentrate on my reading. (Otherwise, I’m thinking of the million things I need to get done and have a hard time focusing.) If things come to my mind during this time, I write them down so that I don’t get distracted. I also use the “notes” section to write down names of people I want to share an encouraging verse with, any updates to prayer requests I need to check inquire about, cards to send, and anyone who comes to mind while I’m praying or reading.
My new favorite notebook this year has been the Prayer Journal from The Daily Grace Co. I want to make prayer a priority in 2017, because I know this is the secret to having more communion with the Lord. My attitude is so much better when I take time to bring my praise, confession, and requests to the Lord. This journal helps me keep things in proper order. I also want to be more intention about praying God’s Word this year, and this journal even has a section for a verse I’m praying.
I picked up Praying God’s Word by Beth Moore at an estate sale last year. I can’t wait to dig into it to learn how to unlock the power of praying Scripture.
I have been able to read one book already this month (due to borrowing it from someone and needing to return it). I know I’m late to the party, but I just finished The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst. The Lord has made it clear to me that I need to address my fear-of-man and people-pleasing tendencies. One of the reasons why I’m so rushed all the time is because my schedule is too packed. If I’m going to be able to spend more time with my family, just enjoying life, I need to be willing to tell myself and others no. Sometimes, it requires me to say no to activities, projects, and favors from friends. But sometimes, the hardest person to tell no is myself. Saying no to complicated Pinterest unicorn heart cookies and opting for a store-bought Valentine for my 5-year-old class saves me time and eliminates the sugar equation (you’re welcome, moms). (But they’re so cute!) Saying no to mopping the floor and yes to the Lord during nap time is always my best yes. Getting take-out the night before a birthday party at my house is probably my best yes. Less preparation and less cleanup. A friend of mine usually washes her children’s pajamas every single night. In order to eliminate two loads of laundry a week, she has opted to have them wear their pajamas twice before washing them. (I know, it seems irrational.) Small choices like this give us more time with our husband, less hurry, and just enough sanity to make it through the day.
I also want to get better at memorizing Scripture. Over the last two years, I’ve had the opportunity to memorize the book of James thanks to an intense accountability program called D-Group (short for discipleship group). You can find more information and a group near you here. Another tool for memorization would be Beth Moore’s Siesta Scripture Team. I did this a few years ago with two friends and it was a good way to get the Word in my heart. No matter how you implement memorizing Scripture, I think the key is to have accountability.
If you don’t traditionally set goals or make resolutions, I encourage you to dream a bit. And then put some checkpoints in place so that you will make small steps towards your goals. If, at the end of 2017, you haven’t been as successful as you hoped, you will at least be that much closer. So thankful that the Lord gives us a chance every day to start fresh and new.