Thursday, December 21, 2017

Xmas: Offensive or Not?

Xmas is a common abbreviation of the word Christmas. ... The "X" comes from the Greek letter Chi, which is the first letter of the Greek word Χριστός, which in English is "Christ". The "-mas" part is from the Latin-derived Old English word for Mass.

Something I reflected on a few years ago...
When you come to train tracks, the sign says: Railroad X-ing...X used to (and OFTEN still does!) stand for cross!  So if you CHOOSE to, you could look at it as an opportunity to take offense OR to remember X isn't taking the place of Christ, Christ took the place for us on the CROSS!
And it's an opportunity to tell those who use X for Christmas THANK YOU for reminding me that Jesus Christ took my place on the CROSS!

Just a thought...

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Stop Procrastinating and Start DOING!

We should be well on our way to decluttering by now, right? Well, maybe there are some of us who made that list and became overwhelmed at all that needs to be done. How on earth did we accumulate so much STUFF?! I want to encourage you today, dear friend, that while the work seems a task too impossible to tackle, we can and will accomplish all that comes into our hearts to complete in our houses (2 Chronicles 7:11, NJKV).

If looking at the list makes you feel as though there is no point because you can't get it all done in one day, then set a timer for 20 minutes and do what you can. Set a goal to complete one or two things a day on the list. Listen, the stuff didn't accumulate in 20 minutes, 20 days or more than likely 20 months! It's going to take a little while to get through it. But you need to just keep moving forward because that is making progress and that is our overall goal!

Have a blessed week!


Monday, October 23, 2017

Starting the Week Off Right!

Good morning! How was your weekend? I hope your decluttering list wasn't too intimidating for you last week. Remember, just take one day at a time. This week we will begin with decluttering our first room! Are you excited? Scared? Wondering what lost things you might actually find? I know the feeling well. Just take one room, one area at a time!

As we prepare to declutter our homes, I want to share with you how I get ready to do all that needs to be done each day. Are you ready? It's my daily routine! My daily routine is not going to look like yours at all, so please keep that in mind. My routine does have some similar components to every successful person's routine, though! I get up after a good night's sleep, make breakfast, do my daily devotion, make the bed, exercise, and get dressed for the day. That's my routine in a nutshell. In reality, it looks more like this:

  • Licked awake by hungry puppies (2...Chihuahuas who are 2 years old!)
  • Let puppies outside while I get their breakfast ready
  • Let puppies in to eat
  • Load dishwasher
  • Let puppies back outside after they eat
  • Make my nutrient dense shake
  • Let puppies back inside
  • Turn off porch light before heading back upstairs
  • Read devotions
  • Do my workout for the day (sometimes twice a day!)
  • Make my bed
  • Shower
  • Get dressed for the day
  • Take care of business items (respond to emails, write blog posts, contact clients/customers, etc.)

All of this I do between 7 a.m. and 8:30 a.m.! In the midst of all of that chaos at the start of the day, five things help me start the day off right: get a good night's sleep, eat breakfast, exercise, daily devotions, and getting dressed. It might seem pretty simple, but for some people, getting all five items done every day is quite the feat. If you will commit to doing those five things every day, I know you will be more productive, have more energy, and be more successful in your decluttering goals.

Start the week off right!


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Hump Day Encouragement

How have the last 2 days gone for you? Were you able to make a list of everything in your house, car, and computer that needs to be decluttered? Are you feeling a bit overwhelmed at all that should be done? I understand completely!

I want to encourage you today by reminding you that you didn't come to have clutter in just one day, week, or even one month. So don't expect that you will overcome it in a short amount of time either! I know that can be easier to say and hear than to heed. I am the kind of person who sees all that has to be accomplished and will try to finish it--ALL in one day! But that just isn't practical nor is it healthy.

If your list is intimidating, here is a simple solution for tackling it: start with the room you spend the most time in. If you have to take something from that room to another, just set it down in that room and walk right back to the main room you are cleaning; otherwise, you'll get sidetracked and won't finish either room!


Monday, October 16, 2017

Decluttering: You Have to Start SOMEWHERE!

First, I have to apologize for not writing since JULY! I've had some things going on that distracted me from my blog, and, well, there's just no real excuse. I'm sorry I abandoned you for nearly 3 months! In that time, the Lord has really been dealing with me on some things (which I will share with you in the coming weeks!), and I am seeing the importance of connecting with you every week.

Today, I want to begin a series on clutter. Stop right now and look around your present area. Are there papers everywhere, dishes in the sink, clothes lying around waiting to be folded and put away (or WASHED!), are there toys piled up, is your bed unmade, or is that catch-all table somewhere under all that STUFF? It is in my house! What about this? Do you have dozens, hundreds, or THOUSANDS of unread emails? Does your car have empty fast food cups filling the floors?
If any of these sound like an area in your life, I have good news for you! You can start to declutter TODAY! We'll talk about just how to do that this week, but I wanted you to begin to think about the clutter that we have all just become comfortable with. We don't realize that it is taking over various areas of our lives...until someone drops in for a surprise visit, asks if you read that email, or a child needs that one shirt for a choir performance!

The first step in decluttering any area of our lives is to realize that we DO have clutter! Take inventory of the areas that need to be gone through. Start with the area you spend the most time in. Make a list of the things that need to be done in that area. If it's the kitchen, for example, your list might include: load dishwasher, empty dishwasher, clean microwave inside and out, throw out old fast food cup, put towels in drawer, throw old mail/junk mail out, wipe down coffee maker, wipe off counters, organize plastics cupboard (how many of us have DOZENS of Tupperware type containers with NO matching lids?!), etc. Don't do anything in that area yet. Then go through other areas of your house and take note of what needs to be done. Perhaps there are things that can be kept. Maybe a toy is broken and should be thrown out. Maybe you don't use that trendy copper pan and you can donate it. What if your unused items could be sold and bring you a little extra money?!

These are all starting points in the journey f decluttering your life. You may be trying to figure out why getting organized at home is so important. Well, Terri Savelle Foy says, "The way you do anything is the way you do EVERYTHING!" In other words, if there are areas of your life that are cluttered, there are likely areas of your spiritual life that are cluttered, too. Matthew 7:16 says, "By their fruits you will know them." In other words, what your home looks like, your car looks like (inside, not the type or value!), is what YOU look like! That's powerful, isn't it?

So this week, let's prepare to get started on decluttering our lives. Start by making that list, but don't start on it just yet. We'll get to that, don't worry! Before you know it, your home, life, and fruit will reflect your organization!

Have a blessed week!


Monday, July 31, 2017

Is Your Eye on the Prize?

If you've been reading my blog for any amount of time, you know that I love vision boards! They are, I believe, an integral component to us realizing our dreams and goals AND accomplishing them. Imagine for a moment, that I were setting out to take a road trip. For many of you, that's not difficult to imagine. I LOVE road trips! Okay, so I get in my van, gas tank is full, and I head out of the neighborhood. I then leave town, and eventually, I'm on the interstate, and I'm going. Do you see any issues with this? Let's see if we can find some...

First, while I have a full gas tank now, I can only go as far as that tank will take me, right? I mean, I didn't say I brought so much money for gas, so it's safe to say, I don't have anything more than the gas already in there. How far will that take me? From Colorado, probably to Goodland, Kansas; Chadron, Nebraska; Casper, Wyoming; or Trinidad, Colorado. Suppose I set out for California or even Kentucky. Will what I have now get me there? Of course not. We must plan for the trip, right? Think of the bridesmaids who were waiting for the groom to come and had their lamps full. They were ready and had enough for the "trip" as it were (Matthew 25:1-10, NLT). We must bring enough for the wait or the trip or we might miss it!

Next, though I do have a cell phone, I don't have a map on this fictitious trip. And worse than that, I don't actually have a clear idea of where I am going in the first place. Proverbs 3, 14, and 23 and Psalms tell us that we need to follow the path of the Lord:

Finally, no one knows my plans--not even ME! I cannot realistically jump into my van and drive away taking whatever may come. No, that would be irresponsible. And God doesn't want us to do that either. He wants to be the one to tell us where we are going, how we will be going, and most importantly, WHEN we will be going. This is why our vision boards are so very important to our lives.

We must have a clear vision for what we are doing or we are really of little use to our local ministry or ourselves. How can we lead if we don't have direction?

Keep your eye on the prize that God gave you the vision for! You will accomplish it! How do I know? Because He said that everything we put our hands to would prosper!!

Have a blessed week!


Monday, July 24, 2017

What Kind of Runner Are You?

Running has not been my "thing." I would probably have a t-shirt that says, "I don't run and if you see me running, you should probably run, too, because something is probably chasing me!" But as I was studying my Bible school book, "The Challenge," I realized something that will probably shock those who know me. I...AM a runner! 

I'll explain that in a minute, but first, I want to talk about the different kinds of runners. 
First, there are the traditional runners. They are the ones who wake up in the morning and go for a morning run and come home from work and run again. I am not that kind of runner! 
Next, there are those who run from situations, issues, problems, and trouble. They get so overwhelmed by all of it, that the only solution is to run and leave the problem behind. The trouble with this kind of runner is that the thing they are running from usually follows. This runner runs to excuses, but is never at fault. I am not that kind of a runner (though I used to be). 
Then, there is the person who runs toward danger only to help someone in need, like police and firefighters. They constantly think of the well-being of others ahead of themselves even to the point of putting themselves in danger if it means saving someone else. I like to think I am that kind of runner, but I've never been in a dangerous situation to know for sure. For now, I am not that kind of runner. 
At this point, you are probably thinking, "What kind of runner is she talking about if she isn't any of the ones she's mentioned so far?!" Well, there is one more I'd like to talk about. I am a vision runner! I am the kind of runner who gets a vision and runs toward it! I am running toward all that the Lord has shown me to do with a zeal! I see what He has planned for me, and I want it! I want it ALL! The trouble for me comes when I see all the things and want them all--right now! 

Everything He has planned for me and for you isn't necessarily going to come to fruition immediately, though, and certainly not necessarily at the same time. I often get so excited about the prospect of all I have vision for that my wild horses run, well, WILD! And the only way to deal with that is to rein them in...through prayer. When we get a vision for something, we have to be sure we are seeking the Lord in it all first! Then, and this is a tough pill to swallow, we have to be okay with Him leading us away from one of those things--for NOW! He doesn't give us a vision for something and then take it away. Remember, He is not a man that He should lie nor a son of man that he should change his mind (Numbers 23:19). If He gave you a dream or vision, you can be sure He has a purpose for that! Our job is to be patient and do what He has shown us to do in due season.

What kind of runner are you? Are you running from problems or running toward the vision God has given you? Keep the vision in front of you, seek the Lord, and you'll find out in what direction you're running!

Have a great week!