All in a Matter of Time

Thoughts on goal-setting and more purposeful living...

The New Year always brings about a fresh motivation for change and growth. Resolutions I've never been so keen on, instead I usually like to pick general themes for the year. Last year I focused on patience and gratefulness, which yielded a lot of personal growth in areas I never imagined being stretched.

My theme for 2012 is the all encompassing phrase "Live more intentionally", which covers quite a bit. Personally, I thrive on goal-setting. It kinda goes hand-in-hand with my incessant list-making. Every few months I try to sit down and reanalyze life and my own priorities. Shortly after we moved into our house last April I sat down to create my 'Home-Making Journal', which has pretty much become my catch-all for any and every to do list, shopping list, menu plans, list of goals, and just about everything else. On the front page I jotted down my life verse: (Psalm 73:25,26)

"Whom have I in heaven but You? And earth has nothing I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever."

as well as one of my favorite Elisabeth Elliot quotes:

"One does not surrender a life in an instant. That which is lifelong can only be surrendered in a lifetime."

I then jotted down a few very broad life goals for this stage in my life:

Live more purposefully.
Keep a clean, simple, organized home.
Manage my time effectively.
Cultivate calmness and patience.
Workout regularly.
Remain on top of Menu Planning.
Be more 'in tune' w/ God and what His will is for my life in this season.
"Wear out" every day.

I then created a list of priorities, followed by a list of questions to ask myself in preparation for each week. Depending on my current life season these priorities and questions will change:

Priorities for this season:
1.) My relationship w/ God.
2.) My family. Steve and baby, followed by the rest of our family.
3.) Making our home a calm, peaceful place to live.
4.) Ministry and cultivating relationships. "Doing life" with our friends. Encouraging and upflifting others.
5.) Work, doing everything joyfully and for the Glory of the Lord.

Weekly questions:
1.) How is my walk with God? How can I grow in godliness this week?
2.) How can I bless Steve this week? What can I do to prepare to become a mother?
3.) What is one thing I can do to make my home a better place this week?
4.) Who can I minister to/encourage this week?
5.) How can I best serve God at work this week?

My hope with these goals is to do a weekly analysis and plan for the following week every Sunday night with prayerful, thoughtful, intention. Using these questions as guidelines my weekly to-do list might look something like this:

1.) Stay consistent w/ Bible reading plan. Spend time in one-on-one worship.
2.) Pray for Steve every morning. Plan a fun date night. Continue sorting/organizing baby clothes.
3.) Do the dishes every night. Try my hand at making home-made bread. Clean out fridge.
4.) Send an encouraging note to a friend. Make time to have coffee with my sister.
5.) Work on having a joyful attitude, no matter how tired I may be. "Do everything without complaining."

I have come to realize that most of what I want out of life won't just 'happen'. Most of the habits I hope to break and the new ones I want to create will take time, effort and a plan. I am never going to be a very rigid planner, but with a few simple goals and more thoughtful preparation I hope to greatly improve on this, starting with baby steps of course.


Oceans Will Part

About two weeks ago I was woken up at 3 am with this weighing heavily on my heart. After some wonderful conversation with a friend yesterday I feel it may be time to share.

Two waves of Christianity stirring. 

The first is being lifted and washed up higher and farther away. Taken out to sea by the doctrines of relativism and mediocrity. Swimming in water that is even less than luke-warm. Splashing in tepid toilet water Christianity, so far diluted it is no longer nourishing to the soul whatsoever. It is an easy Christianity that is kind to the ego and allows a person to believe they are Christ-like by wading in ankle-deep authenticity. 

The second is a low, rooted people worshiping in dimly lit rooms. Where the presence of God is so heavy you can feel it on your skin like a humid August day. Slow, steady rumbles that are quiet at first, but grow in volume, confidence, and power. Waves of people yearning and calling out for the Kingdom on Earth as it is in Heaven. A people than might not necessarily notice their friends being swept away, because they are so caught up in the Presence of the Lord.

Both waves alive and moving gradually further apart. And the Enemy using this to further pull people away. We must be keen to what our surroundings are. We must throw out ropes to pull people back to their roots.  And we must plant our feet deep and wide into the ground so we too don't get pulled away to half-heartedness. Not Christ-like, but Christ-FULL. Not 'politically correct Christianity', but fully saturated, unrestrained, Kingdom focussed Glory.

l   Post title inspiration: "Oceans Will Part"  -Hillsong United l


When All Else Fades

The Hope Of What Is Yet To Come

Just the other night
One hand reaching up to You
My heart skips with joy

Brilliant radiance
My face, warm from Your presence
Basks in the moment

My soul secretly
Yearns for You to take me now
To be nearest You

Because, that minute
Life and everything else fades
Drenched in Your sweet love

On a night like that
Forever can't come soon enough
So I will await

The beauty that ensues
To be made complete in You
And desire nothing else.


You Look Like The Songs

At this very moment I am so completely blown away by my God's decision to pour out favor upon my life, despite the absolute crappy job I've done serving Him. 

I mean, as a person I need serious work. I always tend towards pessimism and impatience. My polite friends say I'm a realist, but I know what I am. I'm sarcastic, crabby, and ill-tempered. 

The majority of the time I get absorbed with self-pity, self-centerdness, self-loathing, and self-righteousness. My eyes stray from the Prize so very often. Just look at me now, I'm happy and excited when things are going well for me. 

And yet 


Why?!?!??! One reason alone: I am His. 

With as weak as my heart has been at times, I know the God I serve, and I clung to this hope, which I will repeat one more time: 

Sometimes what comes easily for others, God reserves and holds back for a supernatural revelation of His glory. Hallelujah!!!! Would I ever wish to trade this testimony? Never!!!

Our Father delights in pouring out His favor on His children. There is nothing any of us can do to earn it. It is a gift. And if this is how much He loves me, with the darkest parts of my heart completely exposed to Him, He must be aching to see His love be made complete. To see as many of His children as possible rejoicing in His name. He wants to see you abounding and overwhelmed with joy. 

OUR GOD WANTS US TO ENJOY HIM!!!! To enjoy the blessings He gives us. To enjoy our time on Earth, and then have a rad party when we go home. 


"God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him." 
                              ---John Piper

I've been belting this song out all day:


Dreams Don't Turn To Dust

I want to be...

Kind instead of harsh
Loving instead of judgmental
Passionate instead of passive
Resolute instead of vagrant
Generous instead of greedy
Secure instead of vain
Hopeful instead of bleak
Tender instead of brash
Open instead of closed off
Steadfast instead of fickle

l   Post title inspiration: "Dreams Don't Turn To Dust"  -Owl City  l


Some days my heart just aches for people. People who need to know they are loved beyond comprehensible measure. People who are so close, yet so far from freedom. People who think they know what it's all about, but still miss the mark.

And that gets me wondering, does God think that about me? Does He mourn who I could be. Or is He satisfied with what I am now? Since I am redeemed, does He see me as spotless? Am I viewed as the final me, or as the work-in-progress me? 


Ripped And Torn At The Seams

The Heiress, The Liar, and The True Story
Beaten, battered, broken.
Dress torn, innocence lost, dreams stolen.
The Cinderella story is make believe,
But this is real, unrelenting deceit.  
She seems to recall being told that she was special, that she was priceless.
But everywhere she turns she hears the word 'worthless.'
He said that it's because she was His that she would be so viciously hated.
But someone else says it's her own fault that she's insulted and berated. 
There's that truth manipulated with a lie again. 
On her own there is nothing but a helpless, shell of a woman. 
And that's where the Liar would like to leave the story.
But grace brings restoration which transforms the broken into glory.
When the necklace was pulled and the pearls hit the floor
He wept with you, and promised you'd be restored. 
Bring you into wholeness, and adorn your head with a crown.
You'll kneel at His feet and lay it all down. 
That's the beauty of the reward. 
When it's given, it will be ignored.
Thrown aside by the wonder of His presence. 
Which completely overshadows the sufferings of the present. 
"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us." Romans 8:18

l   Post title inspiration: "Pendulum"  -Embodyment  l