Marriage Matters Part 2: Building a Marriage with the Bricks of our Words

Here we go gals, let’s get building on our marriages.  And the bricks we are going to use come from our time we spend with Him.  I wrote about that in Part One: Building A Marriage That is Flourishing and Life-Giving.   If you haven’t read it go back and start there.

So you have spent time with the Lord and now you have some bricks.  But what kind of house will we build?  How does this work?

The Bible says:
By wisdom a house is built,
And by understanding it is established;
And by knowledge the rooms are filled
With all precious and pleasant riches.
Proverbs 24:3,4

Look what we get.  Rooms  that are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.  A beautifully rich, life-giving, flourishing marriage through wisdom, understanding and knowledge.  And we get those bricks in the time we are spending with Him.  These bricks help fill our house with precious and pleasant riches.

Let’s start with the bricks of  our words.  We can build up or tear down with our words.  We all know that.  Words can bring life.  Don’t you remember the hurtful things people say?  Those word wounds hurt long after they are said.

Let us be women who use our words, our bricks, to build into our husbands.

A wise woman builds her house, but the  foolish tear it down with her own hands. Proverbs 14:1

Affirm him with your words.

Things like, “You have what it takes.”  Or, “I Believe in the Holy Spirit working in you.”
It is not to early to do this with your sons, too.  Men and boys want to know that they have what it takes.

Find something to affirm in him.

“You are #1.”  I say this often to Craig.  We laugh about this.  But y’all, our husbands are fighting out there in a very rough world.  You are building a refuge, a sanctuary for him with your words.

Build with words of respect

In Ephesians 5:33 we see what God says about this:
 Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.
Ephesians 5:33

The Bible tells us to respect and our husbands to love.  WHY?  Because it is hard for us.

We want him to love us whether or not we are lovable, but he better be respectable before I can respect him.  But God says to Respect our husbands.

How do we respect with our words?

*Stop NAGGING


  We ask once and let God work.  Our timing isn’t always his timing.

*Stop second guessing

How debilitating is it when we say, “Yes, I trust you,” or “You’ve got this,” and then later come back and ask, “Are you sure?”   I have done this a kabillion times, just saying.

*Let him lead— No fear. 

We trust God and let our husbands lead.  Brick by brick we are building our home and we kick fear out as we trust God.

*Trust the Holy Spirit to work in your husband’s heart and life.


There is one Holy Spirit, and you are not it.

*Say yes! more


Say yes to his ideas.  His leading. His plans.  This took me a longtime to believe that the Bear had good ideas, too.  Really?  How silly of me.

Let’s let 2018 be the year of YES!  This also includes sex and we will get to that later when we talk about the bricks of our actions.

What is one tip or idea you could try this week with your words?  Write it down.  Ask God to help you.  Ask  a friend to hold you accountable.  Let’s get building marriages that will change the world one house at a time.

xoxo

 

Marriage Matters: Building a Marriage that is Flourishing and Life-Giving

I recently spoke at Mops at my church, and it was such fun to look out at all the freshly scrubbed faces and eager smiles.  My topic was Marriage or should I say—

Mawage. Mawage is wot bwings us togeder tooday.

Y’all I so wanted to say that line from The Princess Bride.  But, I did not.

Ok, now I will be serious and share with you what I said that morning. Today is Part one.

A Wise Woman Builds.

With God’s Help, You Can Have a Life-Giving Marriage

My main point was that we are all building our marriages.

A wise woman builds her house, but the foolish tear it down with her own hands. Proverbs 14:1 

I love how it says we build our house and tear down with our OWN hands.  Yikes.

I brought two bricks with me that morning.  You know how sometimes you feel like you are carrying a brick in your purse because it weights a ton?  Well last week I actually was carrying a brick- actually two bricks.

I used the bricks as imagery for the walls we build.

 With God’s help, we can build a marriage that is flourishing and life-giving.  A marriage that will change the world one house at a time.

This was my thesis statement.  Remember those?  Remember how  your English teacher in high school hammered that idea into you?

Too Broad.  Too narrow.  What do you want to say, Leslie?  What do you want the reader to hear?

This is what I want you the reader to hear.  To remember.

We can build our marriage brick by brick.   With God’s help, we  can build a marriage that is flourishing and life-giving.   A marriage that will change the world one house at a time.

I started out saying God’s best for us is a marriage between one man and one woman.   The world isn’t saying this right now.  The world is saying anything goes.  We are living in a time of cultural upheaval.  But you know me, and you know that here at Sursee Gal, I am going to hold up God’s truth over our opinions.

I know I sound like an old person, but hey, I am!  And it tells me in Titus 2:3-5 how I am to live and behave:

Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.
Titus 2:3-5

I see here that the first thing I am to do to encourage the younger woman to love her husband.

So no matter where you are in your marriage- a few month or  years or decades in, you can be a wise woman who is building, with God’s help, a marriage that is life giving and flourishing A marriage that will change the world one house at a time.

Can you imagine right now what it will be like in 18 years when your baby is grown and heading off to college?  My friends who are reading this in their own empty nest, nod and smile wistfully right here.

The days are long but the years are short. ~ Gretchen Rubin

Where do you want to be in your marriage in 18 years??

Where are you investing?

Your kids are only in your home for a short time…your husband, well, he is there for the long term.

What  are you building today?  What bricks are you using to build your marriage?

I want to talk about three things in this series.

How We Make our Bricks.  

The Bricks of our Words.

The Bricks of our Actions.

In Part one, we will start with how we make our bricks as we spend time with Him each day.

Brick by brick we are building walls.  Building, building. Are you building or tearing down?

Our time with Him is where we craft our bricks.

A side note here, remember gals, we are going to live Seasonally.

Seasons come.  Seasons go.  Seasons come back around. Things change right?  When I talk about time with the Lord, I know it is going to look different in different seasons.  Our relationship with the Lord is our brick making time.   When we spend time with Him, we create and craft the building blocks we need to build our marriage.  We need this time to make our bricks.  We need a faithful God with us.

The Bible says we need Him to build our house.  Look with me at Psalm 127:1:

Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.

God is always building something beautiful in you when you spend time with Him.  He is changing your heart.  Your mind.  Your thoughts. Your desires.

To build our marriage, we need His bricks, and we are making those bricks in our time with HIm.

But what does that look like- this time spent with the Lord?

It means you start your day with this time.  I think that first thing in the morning before the kids wake up and the day begins is a great time.

The Bible talks about this being an important time- this morning time.

Let me share a few verses about what God says.

Psalm 5:3
In the morning, O Lord, You will hear my voice;
In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch.

Psalm 90:14
O, satisfy us in the morning with Your lovingkindness,
That we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.

Psalm 92:1,2
It is good to give thanks to the Lord
And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning and Your faithfulness by night,

Our time spent in the word changes us daily. Unless the Lord builds, we labor in vain.

Daily. Monthly. Yearly. Our God is faithful.

We make bricks when we spend time with Him.

He gives us the material- The dirt. The water. The straw. The heat. The drying time.

Brick by brick we spend time with Him and make our bricks to build our marraige.

Practically speaking what does this look like?  I’m going to run through some ideas for you all that have encouraged me.

The Chronological Bible
It is easy to follow.  You can join with others.  It keeps you on pace.  It is exciting to finish the whole Bible in a year.

Reading through Psalms
Psalm 119 has so many beautiful verses about His word.  Camp out here to make some bricks.

Reading through Proverbs.
One for each day of the month. Keep it simple, gal.

Listen to it.
Listen on your phone while you are putting on your makeup, driving in the car,  or in the afternoon for a pepper upper.  LISTEN.

Art Journal
Take one verse and draw it.  Letter it.  Meditate on it.  Get your crafty side on.  ArtMeditations on IG is a new favorite of mine for inspiration.

Time with Him looks different in different seasons  How long it lasts, what you read, how deeply you dive. Give yourself grace.

God is building and making bricks during this time and we join in.

God tells us to Meditate on His word day and night. 

This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.  Joshua 1:8

Your time in the word gives you the materials for the bricks you build for your marriage. As you listen to Him and create space for Him, He will change you.  We have to slow down and do this.

What if this is hard for you?

*We can ask Him for a desire for His word.  He will do that.

*Be accountable with a friend.

*GIVE YOURSELF GRACE!  There will be seasons of plenty and seasons of want.  Just hop back in.

Without this time in the Word, we make our own bricks.

This is seen in the Tower of Babel story.  Listen to how they crafted bricks without God.  They had a universal language and gathered on the plain to do some building:

They said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and burn them thoroughly.” And they used brick for stone, and they used tar for mortar. They said, “Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” Genesis 11:3,4

The Lord came down to see what they had done and the Bible says he was not happy with this.  He saw where they were going with this- without Him, and so he confused their language and scattered them all over the earth.  It did not go so well for them when they worked and built without God, and it is the same with us.

Let’s be wise women who build our house with God as we spend time with Him.    With God’s help, we can build a marriage that is flourishing and is life-giving.  A marriage that will make a difference and change the world one house at a time.

I want to remind you, here, that even if you don’t believe this,

If you are thinking to yourself….Sursee Gal, I don’t buy this.

I can’t get up and do that….

You don’t understand….

I challenge you to ask for the Faith to believe.

God is cool with that.  He shows us in Mark 9:24 that it is ok to ask for faith.

Mark 9 tells the story of the father whose son was ill.  The boy was mute and filled with a spirit that caused him to throw himself into the fire and then into the water to destroy him.

It goes on to say that the father asks for help from the disciples, and they cannot help.  So the father finds Jesus and and the father tells him:

 It has often thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!”

23 And Jesus said to him, “‘If You can?’ All things are possible to him who believes.”

 24 Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, “I do believe; help my unbelief.” 

Do you see that?  The father says he believes and then cries out for Jesus to help his unbelief.  God knows us.  He knows we even need Him to give us faith.  He is ok with that. He is for us.

So gals, let’s ask for faith to believe that when we spend time with Him, He will change us and give us the bricks we need to build a marriage that is life-giving and flourishing.   A marriage that will change the world one house at a time.

In parts two and three we will talk about the bricks of our Words and Actions and how we use those bricks to  build our house.

 

 

I, Hereby Resolve to: Listen

In 2018, I, hereby do resolve to:

Listen.

That is my word for 2018.

What does that mean? I heard the Lord whisper, Listen, to me on a walk right before Christmas.  It was a few days before we were to get together with our dear friends and share our Words for 2018.  I hadn’t thought much about what word I was going to choose.  And then BAM-

L I S T E N

flooded my brain and I thought, YES!  That is it.

These past few months have been a season of waiting and listening.  I finished up my work at the church and was looking ahead to what was next.  My word for last year was Rest and Receive,  and I think I learned a ton about what it looks like to rest.  Really rest.

Am I good at it?  Well, let me just say I am getting better.  The Sabbath Society has helped.  Shelly Miller sends an email each Friday to encourage me to rest and practice sabbath rest.  I highly recommend this little blessing that pops in every Friday.

So Rest and Receive is about to segue into Listen.

Listen is a good word.  A hearty word.

In October I had an ear surgery to repair the hearing in my right ear.  Apparently the teeny-tiny little bones in my inner ear calcify and stop vibrating- boo- because that means you can’t really hear. This was the second time I had this surgery on the right ear- the first apparatus slipped and stopped working years ago.  I had the left ear repaired in 2015- Success!- and decided to do a revision surgery on the right ear in October.

It is amazing what doctors can do.  They fold the ear drum back- don’t cut the nerves or puncture the drum, take out the bad bone and put in a little titanium doo-hickey.  It is all kind of like the game Operation….bzzzzz.

So now I have bionic hearing in both ears.  Thank you, Lord.  While I was resting and receiving on the couch, I did a lot of thinking.  I realized that I had been learning about Resting, but was not doing so well on the Receiving.  Recuperating allows for a lot of receiving.

I realized that I am very much a to-do gal.  A gal who’ll get ‘er done!

I also discovered that a lot of my self worth comes from this same activity of getting it done.  Hmmm, let’s insert the word Receive now, and that’s what the Lord began to teach me as I received my self-worth.  My identity from who God said I was. And I listened and listened.

Which brings me back to my word, Listen.  I am asking the Lord to help me listen to Him,

to the word,

to the Holy Spirit.

Listen-really listen.

Like sit still in my chair and just listen.  Usually I am jabbering away all my ideas. Fears. Requests. Questions.

This year I want to just L I S T E N.

Also I want to listen better when I am with Craig or a friend or a family member.  I don’t want to  try and think of what I am going to say next, but instead, I want to listen to what people are saying and let it soak in.

My boss man at church where I worked last year told me that the biggest gift I could give when I met with a gal was: my presence.

My listening.

He was, oh so right.

I can see that played out all last year, and I want to get better at listening.

So with my new bionic hearing, I am going to listen to God.  Listen when I get together with others.  Listen to you, sweet reader.

I’d love to hear from you if there is something you would like me to write about in 2018.  I am going to try and be more diligent in my writing this year- #2018goals

Probably been on my goal list the last five years….argh.

I bought an old school paper calendar and plan to keep my writing goals/agenda in it.

The things I hope to write about in 2018 are:

Things I am learning.

Things I am cooking.

Practicing Hospitality and Celebrating

Embracing your seasons of life

Can’t wait to begin this adventure with you.  I love Sursees, and I think you will love some of the ones I am going to share with you this year.  And maybe we will both get a little better at Listening…. xoxox

Mentoring Matters :: Jesus Sees you

I have so many thoughts all the time. My mind is thinking, thinking, thinking all. the. time. So today I am peeling back the skin and letting you know one thing that is rolling around in my head.

 The idea of seeing others.

Really seeing into them and then speaking to them what you see
to bless and encourage.

As some of you know, I served part time on staff at our church as an Interim Co-Director of Ministry to Women.  Wow, what a mouthful.  But I do like the way we say it around here—-Ministry to Women.

One thing I learned while working there is the idea that we are all part of ministering to women.  

We are all a part in our conversations, in our actions, they way we invite women into friendships and how we encourage women with our words.  In fact that is one of the things I say to women:

“Wow, gal, you are doing the work of a minister to women.”

When I accepted the job last year, one of the reasons I said yes was, I wanted the Lord to use me to speak life into women who feel like they are not doing much or who think, “It doesn’t matter what I am doing.  What I do isn’t important.”

The women who faithfully serve behind the scenes by just getting up and                  taking care of their kids.

Or the gal who is loving her roommate or the people with whom she works.

Or women who read their Bible and try to put into practice, however imperfectly,    what they are learning.

I want to say, “Good Job!  I see you!  The Lord sees You and You are known.

Our world recognizes the big things- the BIG career woman who is CEO.

The woman who writes and speaks and has 10 books and a conference.

The gal who starts a non-profit in another country or maybe it is just the gal who does it all perfectly, or so it seems to us.

Jesus is pleased when we do the work He has called us to do right in our own sphere. The work we have right in front of us.  The daily things of living our life.

I am not saying don’t reach for big things and do them.  But remember the everydayness of life is more common.  It keeps coming at us.  It is in this common dailyness that I encourage you to be content. You are right where Jesus wants you.  The right now and here of life is part of His plan for you.

And, Jesus sees you in the everyday.  The common.  The daily things of  your life.

I am writing about this to remind ME, y’all.  I want the big, the exciting- and yet, I see in the word that it is in the small and daily that He works on our soul and our mind and heart.  This is where He sees us.  The hidden quiet places. The secret acts of worship we do.

I see this played out in the Old Testament when I read:

To the Lord your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it.  Yet the Lord set his affection on your ancestors and loved them, and he chose you, their descendants, above all the nations—as it is today. Deuteronomy 10:14-15

God sees His people and He loves them.

Later when Jesus comes into the world, He sees all the people and talks with them and touches them, eats with them and heals them.  He asks them, “What do you want me to do for you?”  When the blind man standing outside of Jericho calls out to Jesus,  Jesus hears him and asks:

 “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”
“Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.  Mark 10:51-52

 He is asking that of you, too. He sees YOU.  What do you want, daughter?  Are you telling Him what you want? Need?

He has this.  He sees you. And He loves you and calls you beloved.

We can do this, too. We can look at the people in our lives and speak life.  We can see our friend or spouse, our children and neighbors.  We can look and see and speak life to all of them.  We can tell them what we see and be an encouragement.

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all,  in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now.  For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
Philippians 1:3-6

This is the Sursee for today.  To see others and to speak love.

Who do you know that needs you to see them and speak love?  How are you going to do that today?

 

 

I love the word Lavish

When I taught high school English, I repeated over and over to my students, you need to use Strong Verbs in your writing.  We would count them and underline them to show how they make a difference.  In the editing process the weak verbs are tossed out and the strong verbs hustle in.  These hefty verbs we call strong verbs paint a picture and allow the reader to  enter your imagination and see what you see.

The Bible is full of strong verbs.  This morning I am thinking about this word:

lavished.

It has so much richness to it.  In the dictionary it means:

bestow something in generous or extravagant quantities upon..

or this

cover something thickly or liberally with.

 I think of the medieval court and the brocade, satin and pearl festooned dresses of the ladies in waiting.  Or I imagine the full bounty of a Tuscan table groaning under the weight of cheeses and meats and freshly baked breads set on a crisp, white linen tablecloth.  So many images dance across my imagination.

I spotted this word in the book of Ephesians this morning:

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us.
Ephesians 1:7,8

I love that we get to experience God lavishing His grace on us.  I want to roll around in that today.  This is what I want to think about and use to replace the lies rolling around in my head.

He lavishes us with His grace.

Recently a friend texted me after I won something,

So So So exciting to witness Jesus lavishing his love on you through this experience.

I loved that she used the word LAVISHING.  Felt like a little wink from the Lord to me.

Let’s remind each other of this truth today.  He lavishes us with His grace.  A great Sursee for us all.  Let’s roll around in the grace He lavishes on us and then lavish others with it. I need the reminders, you?

August is the New January

August is the new January.

Are you with me?  Does August bring a spring to your step as you think about new possibilities and starting over as summer comes to a blistering halt and the first puff of Fall comes?

I remember when Craig and I were first married and working with the high school kids at our church, we chaperoned a Labor Day getaway to the Frio River.  That Saturday night a storm blew in and cooled us off and blew the last vestiges of summer away.  What a weekend.  What a great start to Fall!

I feel the freshness of a new year in August with back to school sales and the starting of the school year.  New Bible studies begin, classes start everywhere as people come back from mountain retreats and lake house porches to start a new year.  Kids have grown up over the summer and enter new grades and life begins with a new rhythm, leaving the lazy dog days of summer behind.

Fall brings new smells and  the promise of new beginnings.  Something about those back to school sales and rows and rows of supplies all standing like little soldiers in the aisles of Target make me happy and ready to go!

Sometimes I like to call August  the new January.  As you know I love New Year”s Resolutions, but I am not always the best at keeping them.  But I do like making them.  This year my main resolution was to Rest and Receive, and I think I have been doing a pretty good job of that.  I finished up my year commitment on staff in Ministry to Women at my church and have had a pretty free July and August.  We have spent sometime in the mountains, and I have enjoyed sweet time with our grown kids.  I’ve been doodling and journaling and thinking and praying about all the ideas He has put on my heart.

We are now a little more than halfway through 2017, but I feel like it is a new year with new beginnings.   What kind of beginnings are you thinking and dreaming about?  Do you feel it in the air like me?

Maybe you are going to take a new class.  I am thinking about taking this class.  Doesn’t that look fun?  Wanna join me?

Maybe you are going to start a new Bible study or small group.  Maybe you are heading out on the adventure of homeschooling or another year of the same old, but your kids are entering a new era—a new school- a fresh middle school- the first of high school- or could it be sending your first off to college?

I think it is nice to take this time to check on our goals or dreams.  What kind of adventures do you want for the second half of 2017?

Where do you want to grow?

What did you say you were going to be doing back in January and how are you doing with that goal?

Can you find a friend and share with them where you are and where you want to be?  Accountability does wonders for keeping those dreams alive.

I am thinking through all sorts of plans, schemes and dreams.  It feels fresh and new right now, and I embrace it all.  A time for looking for Sursees.

A new school year, a new beginning for us all.  Share what you are about to start or where you want to grow here in the comments or with your people. Here’s to August being the new January! xoxo

What I Keep Asking

As I am studying the book of Ephesians, I ask the Lord for a verse. A verse to rest my mind on and stay my thoughts. I feel like sometimes I am going a little crazy and so I think, I need a verse.

I read in other’s writings how the Lord gives them a verse during a season, and I think, I want that, too.

So as I dance around in Ephesians and make my little verse cards printed in colorful Flair pens with doodles and scrolls, and I keep asking for a verse. A verse that would center and hold me during this season of change and transition. These are two words that I fight and run from. Not really my cup of tea to change…or transition.

As I meet with my mentor this week and write down the encouragement I receive, I write down what she says.

Start at the right place.

We keep talking and she asks me what was that verse I shared with her last month?  The one that really encouraged me.   I look it up because of course it has flown out of my head.

“Oh, it’s Ephesians 1:17.”

And I write the words down in my notebook.

Start at the right place
Ephesians 1:17

All of a sudden there it is- I see it in my own handwriting, right under my nose. As if God had written it for me. And I feel a deep sense of His presence and love for me. Something I have been asking for and praying into, He answers.

So this is what I keep asking. Straight from Ephesians 1:17.

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.

 

It is all right there.  Ask Him.  He will give.  Not more things, but a spirit of wisdom… a spirit of revelation.  WHY?  So you and I can know him better.

Isn’t that what I have been asking him for?  Yes, it is.

Is this what you might be asking for?  Do  you want to know him better and wonder how to do that?  I do.  And I see in Ephesians 1:17 all I need to do is, Keep Asking.  Keep Asking.  Keep Asking. He will give.  He will give.  He will give.

Let’s ask together.  That would encourage me.  How about you?

Happy August and Back to School Planning

I was thinking about y’all and remembering that August is a great time to plan for the new school year.  I have some ideas for you whether you homeschool or send those kiddos off.  Check it out on this post for some great ideas.  Happy August, y’all. xoxo

New Year’s Resolution Thinking

New Year's Resolution

I love New Year’s Resolutions.  Do I keep them? Well, maybe. Kind of.

This year when I was searching for 2016’s Resolutions, I discovered something terrible–

I make the same New Year’s Resolutions.  Every year.  And I never keep them because they go outta sight, outta mind, around February 1st.

I write them in different notebooks every year, in a rush to get them down and set.  Then I set that very same notebook down and can’t find it/remember where it is/ lose it.  Ack.  I am a mostly organized person so this drives me crazy.

One year I talked a friend into doing this Setting Goals System on Steroids curriculum.  Not the real name…will protect that company.  We ordered our pages and set our goals after hours of pinning interest boards and listing our good, bad and ugly to prepare for the monthly inventory.  This notebook was intense.  It had each week of the month sectioned off into tiny little squares where you had to put an X if you had completed that days specific goals.  So really 5 x 5 Xs.  Oh, my.  I gave up after about a month. I just couldn’t keep up.

Now I appreciate what she was trying to do. You have to review your goals.  They need to be measurable, etc.  And you have to basically remember from day to day what those goals are.

Ha.  I realized on Dec 24th this past year that I can’t even remember what my Word was for 2016.  Then my sweet daughter-in-law pointed out my cute chalkboard with the word WRITE on it.  “Isn’t that your word, Leslie?”, she gently asks.

“Oh, yes, I think it is,” as I hang my head in shame because it was sitting right there at my sink.  All Year.

Remembering is important when you are trying to keep a goal. Pretty basic.  So how do you remember?  I think one way is write it down.  In a book that you keep all those type things in. And then maybe you write it down in your To-Do list every day.  And maybe you tell people, because maybe they will remember and keep you accountable.  That is what I am counting on for 2017.

Having Time to do your new goal is also super important! I realized that I don’t carve out time to do my goals.  I write the same goal down and then don’t adjust my schedule to help me keep that goal. For example, I noticed in December when I started this process I found several notebooks.  Each notebook represented a year of goals and I saw that I wrote down “Read More” each year.

But did I actually read more? Well kind of, but not like I would have liked to.  I realized that doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is also the definition of insanity. I know that I am not insane.  But obviously in this area, I am insane.

So in 2017 I have been working on this goal setting a little differently.  I decided that I needed to actually  schedule a time each day to read.  It was going to take a little work on my part.

I like to read at night.

I like to go to bed at the same time each night. We decided 10:00 pm was a good time to turn out the lights.

It takes me about 20 min to get ready for bed.

I realized I just puttered around each night up until said bedtime and then rushed to get into bed, but then there would be no time to read.  SO- A lightbulb flashed, and I came up with this brilliant idea.

I would start getting ready for bed at 9:00 pm.  Everything would stop at 9:00, no matter what I was working on, and I would get ready for bed.  Then I would have 30–40 minutes each night to read and also accomplish 10:00 pm lights out.

Brilliant!

And guess what? It is working!

Some nights it is super hard to not do one more thing- one more email.  One more text or check on something or throw something in the laundry or do one more to-do because you know, “it won’t take long.”

Now I put it all down because I have a SURSEE waiting.  30-40 minutes to READ.  Yippeeeeeeee!

But, it is work. It takes saying no. Now you might be thinking, hello? That is not that hard to figure out, but for me?  Well, it was a little hard.  The idea that I had to say no to somethings, to say yes to, reading, that was a hard concept.  I think I can keep packing the stuff in on top of other stuff and get it all done.  But my end of the year realization was, I had spent another year trying this stacking and packing, and it didn’t accomplish my reading goal.

This year is different.  I am getting ready for bed a little earlier and letting somethings go at night.  And I finished my first book of 2017 two nights ago.

What about you?  What New Year’s resolutions are you making and what are you letting go of or changing in order to accomplish your goals? Do tell.

#RestandReceive is also going well.  I am practicing resting in His word and His truth and receiving so much goodness. This “Read More” goal is also a subset of the Rest and Receive.  I have a few more resolutions that I will spill out over the next few weeks.  Sursees Galore. Plus I will share with you some of the books that I am enjoying as a result of carving out time.  Cheers to you whether you make goals or not.

xo

How to Pray for the Ones You Love

flowers for friends

Hey gals,

Wanted to share a little Sursee here today about prayer.  One thing I have learned from others is that praying actual scripture is a great way to pray for someone.  I was reminded of this  as I was praying for one of our sons, and I thought, ” I will just pray Ephesians 3:14-21 for him.”

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man,  so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love,  may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,  and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us,  to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

Ephesians 3:14-21

When I woke up today, I thought I need to share this Sursee with y’all.  Maybe someone out there might be encouraged by this.  This is why we need girlfriends and conversation and community. When we share what we are learning or discovering or trying in our lives, we spark ideas in one another.  You tell me something you are learning, and it spurs me on to love and good deeds.  Then I share something I am learning to encourage you.   Yay! for girlfriends.

So here is your Sursee for today: Use Scripture to pray for your kids.

I even made a printable so you could print it out and put it in your scripture journal or send in a card to a friend or tape to your mirror.  The possibilities are endless.

Here is to praying through scripture.  Cheers!