Monday, February 19, 2018

February Goals

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Last week, I posted my annual goals and word for the year. It has been a while since I have share my monthly goals. When I searched for goals posts, I realized that it has been since September! Oh my! In October I travelled to Dallas for a week, and then the holidays happened. After the holidays I had my procedure, so here we are in mid-February!

This year, I am focused on resting in victory. It is something the Lord has definitely convicted me about and challenged me to take hold of. I do not want to approach my relationship with Him or anything else in my life from a position of striving when I know that I am His.

So with all that said, I've given myself lots of grace. I have still been using Powersheets to help me with my monthly, weekly, and daily goals, but they have been mostly mental until now. Without further adieu, here's what I am working on this month.

Monthly

meal plan for March
send out first newsletter email
maintain Senior Star in Young Living business
contact more local businesses about oils
read The Connected Child
contact dream advisory council for CWJC
finish post for the Trying Collective
begin working on post for The Bud Co.

Weekly 

walk Bailey 2x
go to the gym 2-3x
work on my book
check in on a friend

Daily

pray
work on memorizing Romans 8
read the Word
don't complain
speak life


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

When You're *Still* Single


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Friends, let's be honest. Sometimes being single sucks. Especially around this time of year, when the commercials and ads are rampant with big diamond rings, ginormous teddy bears, gorgeous flowers, and all kinds of romance. It's enough to make even the sappiest of us want to throw up, or maybe just cry in the shower (I know I'm not the only one who does that).

If you've been around her for a while or know me personally, you know that prior to Rory, I was always the bridesmaid. You know that I dated one person and then married that person. And you also know that as I shared with you along the way, it wasn't always an easy journey.

Here's the thing about singleness that I think the church (and we) aren't exactly doing right. We don't know what to do with single people. There are Sunday school classes, small groups, and events that are completely planned around married folks with or without kids. But there just isn't always a lot going on for the YoPros (young professionals; y'all know I love my abbreviations). And us married people? We just want to marry off the singles because we love marriage so much! But friends. There's  a better way.

Singleness is not a curse. Singleness isn't something to get rid of or to treat like it's a disease. It's a gift. It doesn't always feel like it, but it is. The other day, I listened to an episode of a podcast called The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey (it's my fave). In this podcast, Jamie interviews women who are walking with Christ in many different ways, callings, and seasons. Her guest for this show, Tara Leigh Cobble was incredible, and she spoke so much truth that has been rattling around in my head ever since.

She spoke of how when we have a misconception of who God is, we are not living the way He wants to and not allowing His character to influence how we respond to what He chooses to give us. There are many single people, she says, who are angry with God because He has not yet given them a spouse. I was one of them for a while. But God, she says, is always kind. If what God does is always kind, then whatever situation He has put us in is His ultimate kindness to us.



Y'all. This was mind-blowing to me. I only wish I had grasped this when I was single. Heck, I wish I could grasp it now. We always want what we don't yet have. And yet God. is. kind. Always. Everything He does is an extension of His love for us. We have to keep our wits about us when we are tempted to despair and believe that He has forgotten about us. The opposite of that thought is truth; He could never forget about us. We are His beloved. He could never, ever forget about us, even when we are in the midst of a desert season or still in the waiting. He has engraved our names on the palm of His hand. His thoughts for us outnumber the grains of sand. This God isn't someone who's withholding from us or delighting in our misery.

So can we bring Him our questions, our fears, and our longings? The answer is a resounding yes. But we can also hope and pray that in whatever season we find ourselves, we ask that He be most glorified and that our lives and thoughts be consumed with Him and His goodness. Is your hope in finding your perfect mate, or is your hope in Christ alone? Our world is fleeting, friends. Marriage itself is for life here on earth, but heaven is waiting, and we must place our hopes there, where our Christ will forever be all we want and need.

So what now, you ask? Speak truth over your circumstances, life, and feelings, and know that the author of your soul loves you with a fierce and unrelenting love. Your life is good right now! So go live it and enjoy it, dear one. I love you friends, and I'm praying for you.


The Enemy Says
God Says
God’s Word Says
You are less than because you are single.
You are whole and made with purpose.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works; which God has prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
-Ephesians 2:10
Marriage is a reward and something you can earn.
All gifts come from Him. A gift cannot be earned.
Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
-James 1:16-17
He will not be faithful to His word.
He is always faithful. Always.
He who calls you is faithful; He will surely do it.
-1 Thessalonians 5:24
You’re the only one who knows how you feel.
He knows your every thought.
O Lord, You have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discrern my thoughts from afar. -Psalm 139:1
You are without hope.
Your hope is in Christ.
We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul. -Hebrews 6:19
Your life will get better with marriage.
The heart is deceitful. There are trials in all seasons.
In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart, I have overcome the world.
-John 16:33
Jesus is not enough.
Jesus more than enough.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. -John 10:10
It’s ok to settle.
Never settle. God wants the best for you.
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations.
-Ephesians 3:20-21
Satisfy your desires with lust.
Value genuine love more than the fleeting passions of lust.
Put to death, therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
-Colossians 3:5
Feel sorry for yourself and jealous of your friends.
Be content and grateful for what you have been given.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances.
-1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Your life will really begin with marriage.
Your life has already begun. (!!!)
So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.
-Psalm 90:12

If you liked this post, then you will LOVE my new book, Already Chosen, which is coming later this spring to Amazon. :)

Further reading: 

Thursday, February 8, 2018

My 2018 Goals and One Word



So I know that everyone has already been talking about goals and resolutions, and something like 80% of people have already failed at their resolutions. But for the last several years, I haven't made any resolutions, I've used Powersheets to help me make specific goals for various aspects of my life where I wanted to grow or invest in. And friends, it has made all the difference. A resolution usually is made when there is a desperate desire for change, but then the guilt sets in as you don't make the choices you know you should make and things just seem hard to keep up with. But a goal has a deeper meaning to it and usually reflects a desire for specific change within an area of your life. Or at least that's how I see it. :)

I took the month of January to focus on getting ready for and having my procedure and recovering from that, so I have had a lot of time to think about what I want this year to look like. Last night I told Rory, "I have three months left until I turn 30." Wow. That's a crazy thought. Not only do I want to enjoy the rest of the last year of my twenties, but I want to welcome 30 with open hands and an open heart!

This year, I couldn't just pin one word down as my "word for the year." In the past several months, I have been learning about what it means to rest in the Lord - to not approach my relationship with Him (or life in general) from a place of striving and trying to earn His favor, which is already mine through Christ Jesus. He has also been teaching me about what it means to walk in victory. Not just over sin, but in my attitude and in the way I approach life. Do I think of myself as victim of my circumstances or choices, or do I choose to see the world from a place of settled abundance and trust in Him?

I want to trust Him in all things and live a victorious life. So my phrase for this year is "resting in victory." Because I don't have to strive to do it all when He has already made a way. I don't have to live from a place of defeat when I am more than a conqueror through Christ. Over and over the Lord just keeps confirming it. I mean, I found out this weekend that my middle name, Nicole, means "the victory of the people" in Greek! Are you kidding me? God is so cool, y'all.

Without further adieu, here are my goals for 2018:

1. Memorize whole chapters of Scripture. 

At the Lifeway Women's Leadership Forum in November, Lysa Terkeurst said, "Jesus Christ saved my soul, but the Word of God saved my mind." Yes. All the amens to this. I want my entire life to be saturated with Jesus. Jesus is the Word of God, so the only way to do that is to know His Word!

2. Become a student of the Word. 

I absolutely LOVE to do a good Bible study or read a good book. Beth Moore, Francine Rivers, Lysa Terkeurst, Priscilla Shirer...I love to learn from wise women who are authors. But I also get so much more out of my time in God's word when I dig for the treasure myself. So this year, I want to do the hard work myself and dig deep!

3. Become more disciplined with money. 

I think this will always be something that I am working on. Rory and I don't abuse credit cards, our cars are paid off, and we try to save each month but also live generously. BUT. We could always learn more and do better.

4. Invest more in my marriage. 

At our staff retreat, our speaker told us that the best way to be a good parent is to love your spouse. Well there you have it. I want to always make Rory my priority (after Christ). I think that we love each other well, but we are most assuredly not perfect, and I want us to continue to grow together.

5. Continue taking care of my physical health. 

Last year I made some changes to my diet, and it changed a lot about how I felt from day to day. In the fall I added exercise to the picture when I joined a gym for the first time in a couple years, and it has taken me to the next level! I love my classes and want to continue to take care of myself and make good choices regarding my physical health so that I can do all that God has called me to do.



6. Publish my second book. 

EEK! This one is scary to write, but the time has come! All through last year I wrote my book in chunks, and this spring, I will release and self-publish it via Amazon. So. very. excited!

7. Advocate for kids in foster care. 

We are *almost* approved foster parents, in fact, our first home study is on Sunday! This calling is something that is so dear to our hearts, and I pray we can advocate for these kids and love on the ones who enter our home.

8. Lay the foundation for CWJC of Athens. 

So I haven't said anything officially here, but I am starting a women's ministry here in Athens! There is a lot more to that and it deserves its own post, but just know that I am crazy excited about it and will tell you all more soon. :)

9. Read 12 books. 

I mean, does this even need an explanation? And hopefully I will read more. :)

10. Have more fun!

Annie Downs, one of my favorite authors, always says that she wants to prioritize fun, because it is just underrated. And friends, there may be a million things that are completely out of my control, but I can control my attitude. And I want to have more fun. :)

What are you working toward this year?
What are you focusing on?

I'll be back soon with my February goals (even though it is almost the middle of the month. There's grace for that, right?!)


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Currently: February




Well my friends, it is February, the shortest month of the year, but maybe the sweetest if you are a fan of Valentine's Day. Valentine's Day used to be a difficult holiday for me, but when I lived in Mexico, it was a day to celebrate all of your loved ones, not just romantic love. That mental shift changed so much for me; I loved celebrating friends as well as family members. And of course now that I have Rory, Valentine's Day has taken on a new kind of sweet. This month there are lots of fun things on our calendar, and it makes me want to celebrate sweetness all month long. Here's what is going on currently:

finishing: This month I am determined to finish the final draft of my second book, and I am really excited to put together a plan for the launch of this special project!
subscribing: Thanks to my husband, I am now an avid podcast listener. I recently subscribed to Making Obama, which starts tomorrow, and I am super excited to listen. The show is produced by the same team who created Making Oprah, which I binge listened to in a matter of days.
wishlisting: In a short matter of time, our house will be open to kids in foster care, so I am wishlisting all kinds of things to make the kids room cute and comfy and welcoming.
watching: Last month during my recovery, Rory and I binge watched Fuller House on Netflix. This past weekend we started watching Planet Earth II, and I loved it!
hearting: All things cozy. I love a good sweater, blanket, and slippers, even though it has been in the upper 60s the last couple days!

Linking up with Anne today!


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