Wednesday, February 4, 2015

February's Three Little Words

Well, it's February now, so I suppose its time to move my thoughts and plans for 2015 (as promised) out of my head and into the writing realm. I've been "prepping" this post in my head for weeks now, as I tend to do, and realized that the things holding me back are exactly what I want to overcome this year. My good friend and blogger, Natasha Red, challenged her readers to choose a word to define their hopes for 2015. She chose three words, so I'm taking that liberty too! My 2015 words for the year are:

Author and researcher Brene Brown says, "we live in a culture with a strong sense of scarcity." Living as Americans, this is hard to imagine, but from the moment we wake up, our focus is on what we don't have enough of. "I didn't get enough sleep." "I don't have enough time to eat breakfast." "I don't have anything to wear." "Have I done enough to please my boss today?" "Have I worked enough hours?" "Did I spend enough time with my spouse?" "Did I get enough exercise today?" The list never ends... If we are not careful, the time/money/days/opportunities will slip away, right in front of our eyes. I for one do not want that to happen. I want everything I do to have a purpose. So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31) I want my work to be intentional. I want to be intentional about building relationships, developing and nurturing friendships, and strengthening my marriage. I want to make things happen, not let things happen to me.

This word - enough - is a mantra in itself that helped me a lot through the latter part of last year. It is a Biblical truth that I so often lie to myself about. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Psalm 139:14) I am more than enough, made in the image of God. I don't have to do anything to be good/successful/smart/beautiful enough. I just put a sign on the wall in my bedroom that reads, "let whatever you do today be enough." One small word, one huge impact on the way I talk to and love myself.

Another gift I received from Natasha Red was awareness of an incredible product I'm just now diving into, Lara Casey's Power Sheets. One of Lara's themes is, "progress, not perfection." Yes. When I set BIG goals, like I'm doing this year, I have to focus on so much more than the end product or the ultimate picture. Instead, I must look ten steps ahead (not ten miles) and make daily/weekly/monthly progress towards my goals. Progress is encouraging, it's nurturing, it drives me to keep moving towards good goals. Perfection is paralyzing, unattainable, and discouraging. "Progress, not perfection."

Moving forward this year, I plan on sharing, more specifically, my monthly breakdown of "goals with grace" for 2015. I want to create accountability as well as choose faith over fear by writing down what I'm working towards. For now, here are some overall goal themes I've set for 2015:

  1. Let God's word be a lamp unto my steps. I'm striving to spend every day in the word, and read through the entire Bible this year. I'm following a chronological plan on my phone app to help keep me on track, but I'm also journaling along with my reading for thoughts, application, and questions.
  2. Get back to the basics health wise. Eat more vegetables. Drink more water. Do more yoga. Integrate more essential oils into my life. Go to be earlier. Nothing complicated, just good old tried and true healthy living.
  3. Use encouraging words. With myself. With others.
  4. Put my marriage first. Weston and I have already started a fun new habit of scheduling a lunch appointment together once a week to make sure we are intentional about our time together.
  5. Pursue the passions God has placed in my heart. I'm starting to set and stretch for some professional goals that align with the strengths, passions, and desires God has placed in my heart. To start, I am regularly praying for Him to give me opportunities to do so. Faith over fear.
  6. Spend less, give more. In pursuit of a simpler life, I'm looking for opportunities to give the gifts God has entrusted us to steward away, while minimizing the worldly clutter in my own life.
  7. Read more books that interest me. For the past 22 months I've had my reading pretty much laid out for me. And while many of my graduate school material was very interesting, I'm looking forward to keeping that learner habit going once the books stop being assigned.
  8. Use our home to bring glory to the Lord. From the moment we decided to move, Weston and I both agreed that we would do so only under the intentional practice of opening our home to serve others and build fellowship. We're off to a great start, and we plan to have many more parties and dinners here with family and friends each month.
  9. Blog well and blog more often. Each time I meet you here, I am fed. I hope that sometimes, I feed you. God has given me a gift and a thirst to share my words, and I'm going to do it more often and more purposefully this year.
  10. Find a work rhythm. Working from home with a flexible schedule is still very new and different to me. From designing a better work space to learning to better block my time and schedule, I want to get into an efficient and effective work groove.

2015 is going to be a BIG year. It's the year I'll graduate with my masters degree (9 more weeks, but who's counting!). It's a year I am putting goals out there, BIG goals, and taking daily steps toward achieving them. It's the year I move past daily to-dos and into the land of BHAGs (big hairy audacious goals). It's a year for growing physically, growing spiritually, and growing personally. It's a year to walk closer to God, pursue His will passionately, and push aside my own fears for faith. 

What are your words for 2015?