Tag: oneword

Pursue: 6 months Reflection

Pursue: 6 months Reflection

One Word 2020 Pursue

John 10:1-6 (NIV) says, “‘Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.’ Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.”

There are very few milestones in my life where I can reflect back and identify I clearly heard God’s voice. Just like the sheep, I know my Shephard’s voice. For me, God’s voice is a thought in my head that comes with a sense of peace and an understanding that God is guiding me and it’s my choice to follow him or carve out my own path. Peace comes when I pursue God.

Six Months Focusing on Pursue

When God gave me Pursue as my Word for 2020 I didn’t realize how important the choice to intentionally stay present and focused on this word would become. In January Pursue was focused on pouring care and preparation into the Pursue Coaches’ Wives retreat in partnership with Illini Land FCA. I’m so thankful we weren’t able to have the retreat when we originally wanted to as it would have likely been canceled. God went before us and gave us an amazing weekend with wonderful coaches’ wives.

In February Pursue drove me to reflect on past Bible study methods. Adoration, Inductive study through Priscilla Shirer’s 5 P’s and choosing a study for Lent to acknowledge the 40 days leading up to Easter all prompted me to pursue God in different ways.

In March my one word Pursue helped me identify the need to look to leaders who would shore up a strong foundation in challenging times. Matthew 7:15-20 (NASB) says, “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits.”

In April focusing on the word pursue kept me focused on loving my neighbor and consistent in my integrity. Even when others who follow Jesus and say they are prolife were publicly announcing that the time to protect all lives was over and hat it was time to get the country back to work, and that we needed to begin to accept death was going to happen and just move on I was focused on Jesus’ words rather than man’s.

In May when I helplessly watched hate choke the life out of a man the word I’d put into pursuing God all the months before kept me moving forward one step at a time. As I watched those I love internally process, mourn, and lament in necessary ways I was able to fill a gap and Be a Voice for the Voiceless and call others to as well.

In June my understanding of the word Pursue allowed me to mourn and lament with God. I knew God wept with us as we watched the injustice unfolding before our eyes. I knew God ached as we heard the lies once again to justify and minimize the bad behavior of the powerful. I knew God saw all his children and loved us all, longing for all of us to unify and reflect his actions and words. God’s call for unity, care for the weakest of humanity, generosity, truth, kindness, gentleness, and all the other fruit of the Spirit has never changed and never will.

I’m so thankful God goes before us and prepares us for challenging seasons. We may not always know why God is asking us to do something, however, our Good Shepard loves us and he is always intentional to care for us the best way possible. While we likely will prefer that God would remove difficult seasons he loves us too much to allow us to remain complacent.

I have no idea what the next month holds as I continue to focus on my one word Pursue and how it applies to my relationship with God, however, I do know that I will be better off for it in the end, even if I shed more tears.

With-passion-I-pursue-and-cling-to-you.-Because-I-feel-your-grip-on-my-life-I-keep-my-soul-close-to-your-heart.
Four Months on Pursue

Four Months on Pursue

One Word 2020 Pursue

Well, it’s been four months since I started focusing on Purse as my OneWord for 2020. I think we all looked at 2020 with optimism. A new year is always a hopeful time to turn the page on a new opportunity and coupling that with the start of a new decade somehow felt even more optimistic. How could I have predicted what 2020 would really hold? No one could have explained how vital pursuing God and striving to keep my soul close to his heart would become as the world would slide into chaos.

The news mainly revolves around numbers and statistics related to the global pandemic, social distancing, COVID-19, a looming global financial depression, and so many conspiracy theories I know our grandchildren will someday wonder if we all took advantage of Illinois legalizing marijuana January 1st, 2020.

As state and federal leaders now weigh economic decisions with life and death ones the realization that our lives are in the hands of imperfect humans feels like the only truth where Americans find agreement although which ones are imperfect is likely up for debate. It’s easy to succumb to fear or lean into hopelessness. However, God has always been in control of the resurrection and redemption stories and he’s even shared the ending of the last battle on Earth as well as the playbook of how to live eternally in heaven with him.

When we trust that God is who he says he is, we can have a relationship with our Creator on earth and in heaven. God draws us to him because he loves us and wants to have a personal relationship with each of us. He knows us well, after all, we’re his children. But he also wants us to know him well.

I knew my focus on Purse would start with Psalm 63:8 but I didn’t realize how vital the discipline of keeping my soul close to God’s heart would be in 2020.

With-passion-I-pursue-and-cling-to-you.-Because-I-feel-your-grip-on-my-life-I-keep-my-soul-close-to-your-heart.

In January, I assumed 2020 was going to be a busy year. I shared that with you and also shared that I believed there were several reasons God was asking me to focus on the discipline of pursuing him to keep my soul close to his heart.

Here’s what I featured:

  • Understand that the years ahead would be hard, but success was possible with obedience.
  • That obedience would require the Israelites to take courageous steps of faith previous generations weren’t willing to take.
  • Reminder from Joshua to “Be careful to obey the law”, 
  • Reminder from Matthew “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
  • Understand that as we pursue God we seek the truth even when it’s not the popular opinion. 

It turns out that all of the things God was bringing to my attention for me to study and shore up my convictions around would soon face testing. Not in the way I imagined, and certainly I wouldn’t be the only one tested. Since March everyone’s faith and convictions have been tested along with our resolve and our ability to reflect Jesus well. Churches have shifted to virtual services, and the definition of what it means to love your neighbor has taken on a whole new meaning. Ed Stetzer summarized things clearly in a recent article for Christianity Today “On Christians Spreading Corona Conspiracies: Gullibility is not a Spiritual Gift” Ed wrote:

As Austin Jones tweeted, “Last week my Facebook feed was full of people posting crazy Covid conspiracy theories, followed by posts about evidence for the resurrection. I don’t think they realize the message they are actually sending.” Indeed.

Jesus last earthly words in Acts 1:8 promised us that we would receive the Spirit’s power and we would bear witness to Jesus. You don’t need the power of the Holy Spirit to be undiscerning, and you aren’t bearing witness to the saving work of our Lord by spreading conspiracies.

I’m grateful that many, many pastors and church leaders and their churches have used this unusual time not to spread conspiracy theories but to proclaim Christ, not to feed their fears but to serve their community.

Let’s continue to provoke one another to good works, hold to what is true, and refuse that which is false.

It’s become even more vital to pursue God’s truth rather than to rely on man’s words in 2020.

Other Ways I’ve Focused On Pursue

I’ve spent time reviewing my Bible study methods which I’ve updated and republished.

Adoration Devotions

Priscilla Shirer’s 5 P’s

Additionally, I focused on 40 Days of Decrease for Lent devotions and was able to see again how Jesus pursued the disciples until the very last moments they were together in the Garden of Gethsemane

One of the highlights of the year so far was the Purse Coaches’ Wives Retreat

which was a huge blessing.

Purse Worship Song that’s Hitting Home

Goodness of God Lyrics:

Verse 1
I love You Lord
Oh Your mercy never fails me
All my days
I’ve been held in Your hands
From the moment that I wake up
Until I lay my head
I will sing of the goodness of God

Chorus
All my life You have been faithful
All my life You have been so, so good
With every breath that I am able
I will sing of the goodness of God

Verse 2
I love Your voice
You have led me through the fire
In darkest nights

You are close like no other
I’ve known You as a father

I’ve known You as a friend
I have lived in the goodness of God

Bridge
Your goodness is running after, it’s running after me

Your goodness is running after, it’s running after me

With my life laid down, I’m surrendered now, I give You everything

Your goodness is running after, it’s running after me

After four months of focusing on my OneWord for 2020 Pursue I’m still learning a lot about God and how I can apply the discipline of drawing my heart and soul closer to him. How are you doing with your OneWord for 2020?

Book Review: 40 Days of Decrease

Book Review: 40 Days of Decrease

Book Reviews

This year for Lent I committed to read through Alicia Britt Chole’s devotional 40 Days of Decrease.

Here’s a little about the author: Alicia holds a doctorate in leadership and spiritual formation from George Fox Seminary and serves as the founding director and lead mentor of Leadership Investment Intensives (www.leadershipii.com), a nonprofit devoted to providing customized soul-care for leaders in business and ministry.

In 40 Days of Decrease, she poses different questions designed to encourage daily pondering rather than guiding the reader to focus on one single sacrifice. Traditionally people give up something like sugar, TV or social media for Lent, however Chole’s approach is to bring the reader through the days leading up the Jesus’ Crucifixion in John while at the same time offering a history of the Church practice of Lent through the centuries. She asks:

What if you fasted regret? What if your friends fasted comparison? What if your generation fasted escapism? What if your community fasted spectatorship? Such heart-fasts could trigger a spiritual revolution! 

From 40 Days of Decrease by Alicia Britt Chole

As with many things in church history the practice of Lent has gone through several evolutions. Chole doesn’t comment on what is “right or wrong” she simply presents different traditions. Each day includes a reflection of the Bible verses, historical information about Lent, a challenge to fast something, and a reading in John that begins the next day’s reflection.

Lenten Fasts

Lent began in February this year and obviously this book was written years before we experienced a global pandemic, however, each day I found myself in awe as present-day news and Chole’s reflections around the days leading up to Jesus’ Crucifixion called for similar considerations.

Chole encouraged daily fasts that created space for reflection in the following areas:

  • Loving your neighbor
  • Isolation
  • Selfishness
  • Truth from fiction
  • Poor leadership
  • Identify crisis
  • Stewardship
  • Reflecting on how we would spend our last days if we could choose
  • Dancing in the dark days to display trust
  • Reality vs. Hypocrisy
  • Obedience
  • Restricted freedom

Throughout the 40 days of Lent, I was continually reminded there is nothing is new under the sun just like it says in Ecclesiastes. I found this oddly comforting, even if it was also a bit gut-wrenching some days. Ultimately, the reminder that Jesus understands our anguish, fear, and hope that God will intercede and change our circumstances was comforting. The fact that Jesus followed through even when his circumstances didn’t change, especially after he spent sp much time loving the disciples and reminding them to love their neighbor was a timely reminder of Jesus’s compassionate love for us even though it was incredibly painful for him.

Ultimately, my hope was that focusing on this devotional over the Lenten days would be another layer of perspective on my OneWord for 2020 which is Pursue. Most days I spent time reflecting on the challenge Chole posed. No challenge was easy enough to resolve in a 24-hour period. In fact, my guess is many would take a lifetime to master.

Our Responses Matter

In the last few days of the devotional Chole shifts to remind the reader that the disciples spent time mourning the loss of a dream. Their teacher and friend died before their eyes and with it so did the future they thought they were planning together.

Chole points out that even though we may be drawn to numb ourselves in seasons of mourning and grief spiritual formation calls us to a different response. God pursues our hearts and asks us to trust him even when we’re facing an unknown future.

1 Peter 1:3-9 The Passion Translation says:

“Celebrate with praises the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has shown us his extravagant mercy. For his fountain of mercy has given us a new life—we are reborn to experience a living, energetic hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. We are reborn into a perfect inheritance that can never perish, never be defiled, and never diminish. It is promised and preserved forever in the heavenly realm for you! Through our faith, the mighty power of God constantly guards us until our full salvation is ready to be revealed in the last time. May the thought of this cause you to jump for joy, even though lately you’ve had to put up with the grief of many trials. But these only reveal the sterling core of your faith, which is far more valuable than gold that perishes, for even gold is refined by fire. Your authentic faith will result in even more praise, glory, and honor when Jesus the Anointed One is revealed. You love him passionately although you did not see him, but through believing in him you are saturated with an ecstatic joy, indescribably sublime and immersed in glory. For you are reaping the harvest of your faith—the full salvation promised you—your souls’ victory!”

For me, what stood out about 40 Days of Decrease was how Jesus pursued relationships with the disciples up until the last moments he was with them. He modeled for them how to care for each other and when he was gone they instinctively gathered back together to support each other. Jesus knew Judas would hand him to his enemies and he knew Peter would betray him three times before he hung on the cross. He knew his mother would need someone to lean on and John would take the job seriously. He knew his friends intimately, and he knows us intimately too because he pursues relationships with us as well.

I’m thankful for the opportunities to pause and reflect over the past 40 days and while this is a study that focus on Lent I encourage you consider carving out time to go through this devotional anytime you’re looking to reflect on your relationship with Jesus and flesh out ways you may need to purge your opinions for God’s because the more we reflect Christ the more peace we’ll find within ourselves. I know because I’m currently living through a global pandemic and most days I describe myself as grateful.

Adoration Devotions

Adoration Devotions

Adoration Devotions

As I focus on my one word for 2020 pursue and pursuing God more intentionally this year I’m revisiting different Bible study and prayer disciplines I’ve incorporated through the years beginning with adoration.

Growing up in the church you will likely learn a lot of catchy phrases that come to form a language of their own, but don’t make a lot of sense to people outside of the church. Additionally, because the lingo seems familiar to everyone around you, many times it can feel intimidating to ask for clarification if you don’t understand something as clearly as you perceive others around you may grasp. 

One of those phrases is the ACTS prayer:

Adoration: Praise God for who he is/For his character

Confession: Tell God about your personal sin and corporate sin, ask for forgiveness

Thanksgiving: Thank God for how he is present in our lives, what he has done and what he will do 

Supplication: Dialogue with God, ask for clarification and guidance about situations, pray about needs, wants, fears, joys.

The ACTS prayer is a catchy way to make sure that we have an order to our conversations with God, but they aren’t a requirement for prayer. Growing up I found this structure helpful, but I didn’t fully understand the difference between Adoration and Thanksgiving. 

Thankfully Sara Hagerty has taken the time clarify Adoration in detail. She also has a monthly adoration plan you can follow to help put this important prayer discipline into practice.

The Discipline of Adoration

Life is hard and often feels deeply unfair. In recent years documentation of depression is on the rise as well as teen suicide.There is no doubt that people are outrageously more cruel to each other with the ability to hide behind fake identites. Bolstered by the example of poor leadership that is justfied by those who call themselves moral, for many there doesn’t seem to be a safe place to turn for help. 

But God is always available to comfort his children. He loves to reveal his character to us when we ask, and he is unchanging so we can always trust him. Adoration reminds us God is our comforter. Consider Psalms 23.

Psalms 23

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

 You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
    forever.

Adoration Tools

I mentioned Sara Hagerty has a monthly guide. I’ve also found the book Adoration Prayer Book by Bob Hartley very helpful.  Hartley says “Adoration is the pattern we see in heaven! The Lord is surrounded by worship and adoration continually throughout all of eternity.”

If you haven’t included adoration in your journaling or prayer times maybe this is the month to give it a try!

One Word 2020: Pursue

One Word 2020: Pursue

One Word 2020 Pursue

I’ve participated in choosing One Word for several years now, and I have found that each year has challenged me to consider different aspects of my relationship with God and to take a deeper look at my choices with intentionality. Past words Growth, Still, Ready, and Inquire have created filters for the seasons that have helped to block out the white noise and keep my focus on God.

Each year I’ve used the process outlined by the oneword.org Pick a Word outline. And with prayer and a few weeks of intentional listening, the word would become clear. This year was different. In the planning for the Coaches’ Wives retreat in partnership with the Illini Land FCA we met to decide on programming direction.

Liz texted me and said “I feel like we need to name this retreat Pursue” and I knew in my gut she was right. The group chose Colossians 3:17 NASB which says, “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” as the theme verse, so Purse fit, but Liz was honing in on this word for more than one reason. Colossians 3:17 is the last verse in a section of with the heading Put On the New Self even though these headings were added much later, they summarize the sections well.

Colossians 3:1-17 is a call to righteous living. It begins this way “Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.”

Psalm 63:8 TPT

Our retreat will focus on encouraging coaches’ wives to courageously step into their full calling and to pursue living out their strengths, gifts, talents, and skills. Additionally, we will encourage wives to look to the Bible and learn from the Lord from other people’s stories.

Pursuing these disciplines isn’t a one-time thing. It’s sometimes daunting when we remember we will never finish learning about God. Our Creator is more complex than we can even begin to put into words. However, as we pursue understanding more of his character and heart we will naturally align ours with his and pursue the things that delights him. These are all good things and they will invite us to flourish in the totality of who God has created us to individually be.

As I reflected on the word Pursue and all the applications for the retreat I knew that this word was just as much for me as for the retreat. 2020 is going to be a busy year, the discipline of pursuing God to keep my soul close to his heart feels like the perfect focus for this season.

What Does This Look Like?

I think that we sometimes step into seasons expecting that since we are committing more intentional time focusing on God that things should somehow be easier. But, that’s not always the case. Not that this means life will be miserable, but I think we can consider stories like the Israelites in Joshua and the lives of the disciples and know that life will not automatically become filled with riches and glory. In fact, if you find yourself in the presence of someone demanding those things you need to walk away as quickly as possible. But that’s a side note.

In Joshua 1 Moses has just buried Moses at the top of Mt. Siani and Joshua is the new leader of the Israelites. They have wandered in the desert for 40 years and are ready to take the land they were promised by God.

God speaks directly to Joshua and says these words which are recorded in Joshua 1:1-11:

After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide:  “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites.  I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses.  Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west.  No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.  Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.

 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.  Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (emphasis mine)

Pursuing the Lord Begins with Listening

Joshua spent years in God’s presence watching and listening as he served Moses. He saw every miracle Moses performed at God’s direction. Still, when Joshua took command God began by telling him THREE times to be strong and courageous.

God knew what was ahead for the Israelites. He knew how hard the years ahead would be, but he also knew success was possible with obedience. That obedience would require the Israelites to take courageous steps of faith previous generations weren’t willing to take.

“Be careful to obey the law”, is the other thing God says to Joshua. We now live under the New Testament laws, which doesn’t cancel out all of the Old Testament laws, but Jesus’ death does allow us to live under a new covenant (Luke 22:20).

We aren’t only supposed to be careful to obey the law, we are to meditate on it daily. We should know God’s boundaries so well that when anyone twists God’s words for their benefit we identify it quickly and redirect our focus back to God.

Matthew 6:24 NIV says  “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” While someone may be tempted to take this verse legalistically and say point out that Jesus was only referring to money, the Exodus 20:3 begins lists the first of the ten commandments which is “You shall have no other gods before me.”

It is vital that as we pursue God we seek the truth even when it’s not the popular opinion. Joshua and Caleb were the only two who believed the Israelites could take the Promised Land the first time, had the other then spies listened the nation wouldn’t have wandered in the desert for forty years.

Ready

Ready

one word 2018 ready

My #oneword2018 is Ready and I’m writing about why over at The Glorious Table today!

Here’s a preview:

This fall, during a morning walk, I experienced something new. The subdivision we moved to last March has several sections of cornfields waiting for new-home construction. These wide-open spaces separate groups of newer houses connected by sidewalks, which make a perfect walking path. While the weather allowed, my morning routine began with a long walk, listening to a podcast. As fall began to transition to winter, I discovered the inconvenience of the wind.

After four years of living in the mountains, I had forgotten how unprotected we can find ourselves in open spaces. Most days weren’t a problem, but our warmer-than-usual fall mornings occasionally included a wind that made my nose run, eyes water, and cheeks sting.

The frustrating part was that being in the wind was unavoidable. I had no way to walk around it, and nothing shielded me even partially from the brunt of its power.

Head over The Glorious Table to read the rest.

one word 2018 ready

 

2018 Goals and PowerSheets Stratey

2018 Goals and PowerSheets Stratey

2018 Goals and PowerSheets Stratey

This year my One Word is shifting in a way that feels like a complete 180 degrees from the 2017 word Still. I’ll explain more about my 2018 One Word in January. For now, I’m going to let you in on part of the heart preparation that I have been focusing on intentionally.

“Living on purpose turns comparison and coveting into compassion and cheering on.” Lara Casey

Living on Purpose in 2018

Living on purpose is always the goal, but without intentional focus, resolutions can quickly fall apart. What I love about the PowerSheets system is that it begins with asking the question Who am I really? The encouragement is to think beyond a job title.

A cultivated life isn’t about doing more, it’s about doing specific things well. “Good goals are about cultivating what you’ve been given well.” Cultivating a life lived on purpose includes answering why not simply what. There are a lot of great things that sound important or noble, but they are not within the skills and gifting of the people attempting to accomplish them.

Big Picture

S.M.A.R.T. goals are always going to have a greater chance of success because they are written with specifics at the root. PowerSheets helps to take specific goals and break them down into actionable steps.

This year my goals will sit under a few umbrellas:

  • Physical health
  • Spiritual health
  • Intentional investment in relationships
  • Career and skill development (writing)

Steps

Each goal includes actionable and measurable tasks that are broken into three categories. Monthly, weekly, and daily aspects of goals will help to ensure my focus stays on cultivating well.

Here’s an example:

Big Picture Goal: I will focus on my physical health including exercise, water intake and dietary because hypothyroidism is a serious condition. To live my best life my physical health cannot be ignored.

  • Monthly: Doctors appointments
  • Weekly: meal plan and freezer cook to minimize unhealthy meals
  • Daily: cardiac and strength training exercise, food tracking via My Fitness Pal

What I love about PowerSheets is that each month includes space for evaluation and tending. Progress however small should be acknowledged. There is always space for adjustments as life becomes busier, but this system helps to keep the eye on the prize.

As the big picture referred back to bite size pieces chip away and the larger goal. Since the goals and action steps all point to a why and the what the ability to invest in the process becomes just as important as the end result.

 

Reflecting on 2017

Reflecting on 2017

reflecting on 2017

As 2017 comes to a close, I am taking time to reflect on goals I established in January as well as things I hope to accomplish in 2018.

My 2017 Goals Were:

  1. Practice Iva May’s Chronological Bible Study
  2. Explore 3 theologian’s practice of the discipline of listing to God
  3. Read 20 books
  4. Complete one Beth Moore Workbook Bible Study
  5. Explore and practice being still in the midst of chaos

Practice Iva May’s Chronological Bible Study

When I set this goal, we were living in Virginia, and I wasn’t sure what would be available to me wherever we landed. When we moved to Illinois the opportunity to participate in Bible Study Fellowship opened up.

Although I’m still practicing Iva May’s principles, I’m doing so focusing on the book of Romans, not the whole Bible.

Explore 3 theologian’s practice of the discipline of listing to God

I’ve expanded my Podcast’s significantly.

Three specifically on listening to God are:

I read Whisper by Mark Batterson too. Although I did explore this subject, I also know I could have done a better job. Still, there was a theme that emerged. Annie Downs says it best. When we don’t know what to do, and we are waiting for God to guide us we just keep doing the last thing we know he told us to do.

God knows our hearts, and he delights in our desire to obey.

Read 20 books

Finished! I’ve compiled a post with all of my book reviews which you can see later this month on the 28th.

Complete one Beth Moore Workbook Bible Study

Nope. This one was not completed. I did participate in an online workbook study where we completed Hayley DiMarco‘s Overwhelmed. It was an excellent study.

Explore and practice being still in the midst of chaos

  • I’ve spent a lot of time this year learning to slow down. I’ve worked on sitting back and observing the whole story instead of jumping in to help where I can.
  • I’ve worked on saying no and delegating.
  • I’ve said yes to new experiences and relished in being lead vs. having to lead.
  • We downsized our home with our move and delegated chores to our boys, less time cleaning up after others has created space for creativity.

Overall, my goals were established when life looked very different and even with a move 14 hours away and the chaos and stress that comes with a life transition with that type of experience I feel like 2017 was a success!

I’m focusing on 2018 goals Thursday and letting you in on my Lara Casey.

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