Tuesday, December 31

My One Word

I don't need to tell you how hard it is to keep up with New Year Resolutions. Why do you think they start pumping out the Weight Watchers, Curves and Nutrisystem ads like they're going out of style from about Christmas until February? They want to suck you in while you're most susceptible to change which just so happens between December 31st and January 1st. Yeah sure it's wonderful to sign up for a weight loss program, promise to spend more time with family, finally pay off those loans and what not, but how many of us fall off the bandwagon somewhere between March and April (if you've held on that long). 

What if this year was different? What if a year from now, you look back and think, "WOW, I really have achieved my goals & I'm better for it?". 

For the past two years I have forgone the typical "New Year Resolutions" in lieu of something I find to be much more practical, applicable and rewarding:
My One Word.
I pick one word that I am going to focus my energy, quiet time and effort on for the whole of that year. That one single word replaces all those broken promises to yourself. Your word allows you to have focus, clarity and direction in the new year.

You don't have to spend every waking minute focusing on that word and how it applies to your life. You reflect. You pray. You have quiet time. You meditate on how you want it to impact your life. It really is a launching pad for a life transformation.

For the past two years God has worked through me and transformed me for the better. Two simple words that I chose in January transformed my life each year; sometimes not in obvious ways- but as I sat there on December 31st each year, I reflected on the past year and was amazed at how quietly and strategically the Lord changed my heart, my mind and my attitude. Subsequently, other things that used to be on my list of "resolutions" actually got mastered for once. 

So who do you want to be in 2014?
 Do you want to have more faith? Do you want to be more focused? Do you need to have hope? Do you need change? Do you need to simplify your life? Do you need to show love? Maybe you need to surrender to God's will. Maybe you simply need to listen more.
 Decide who you want to be in 2014 and chose a word that will follow you this whole year; you'll be amazed a year from now how much God will transform you when you just pick one simple little word.

Check out http://myoneword.org/ for how MyOneWord began.

Tuesday, December 24

The 24 Days of Blessings

December is one of my favorite months. Not because of Hallmark Channel playing non-stop Christmas movies or the piles of holiday sweets that end up at your desk at work or even the lights; I love this time of year because it renews my spirit with faith and hope. I see so much hurt, pain and struggles in the world and it makes me want to extend my arms and help every single cause. Children, single moms, underprivileged families, abandoned animals, children in 3rd world countries, the lonely neighbor down the street... there are so many worthy groups and this is the time of year where humanity pulls together to help those less fortunate. 
Christmas is the season to count the blessings you do have, because as is evident in our world, everybody is not as fortunate as the next. In the 24-days leading to Christmas, I realized that I had so many blessings in my life that I don't thank God for every day and this is the time of year to stop. reflect. and give thanks.

The 24 Days of Blessings 

24. Clean, running water
23. A closest chalk full of "I have nothing to wear" clothes
22. A real bed 
21. Too many shoes to keep track of
20. Never having said "I'm starving" and meant it
19. A job that I actually don't loath
18. A warm coat for those chilly North Carolina days
17. Ladybug, my reliable (although she's getting up there in years) car
16. Being able to physically & financially afford to travel 
15. The gift of sight & sound
14. A Christmas meal that will leave you begging for Spandex
13. Witness true-love
12. Never having a Christmas without a gift under the tree
11. The blessing of knowing how to Sign, a language that is seldom learned but I find the most rewarding
10. Attending University, a right denied to many women around the world
9. The ability to read & write- still foreign to so many
8. The knowledge that God's plan for me is bigger than what I could have ever imagined
7. The military who make it possible for me to go to work in pants, pray, express my beliefs, and not worry about being attacked because of it
6. Parents who would lay down their lives for mine
5. Brothers who will stand up for me, even when I wasn't the nicest big sis
4. A handful of best friends who don't mind silly snapchats & texts
3. The wonderful unconditional love of my dog Abby
2. A family who loves one another
1. The biggest blessing of all: Jesus's birth

Merry Christmas to All