I have taken on a few lifestyle changes in the “new year”.
Prayer board: With new prayer requests, new to me, for ministries serving the “least of these” coming onto my radar, I have come to realise that I now have more prayer opportunities than I can keep track of on a daily basis or than I sincerely can sit down and pray for daily. So instead of limiting my window of prayer, I am borrowing a 2-month dry erase board from my parents and am going to start scheduling my prayer times for each day so I can pray for everyone during a week and not leave anyone out. Since I’m a visual person, this board will prove to be a quite useful tool in my prayer life. I am also in to process of organizing my prayer/ministry handouts/brochures in a binder so I can simply flip via country/ministry and pray more specifically.
Scripture in a Year: I have taken on the challenge of reading through the Bible in a year. I really needed to discipline myself in this area so many years before, but God loves Himself this slow learner as well. 😉 Matt and I found a printout that breaks up the reading to 4 chapters per day – totally doable. Requiring a total of like an hour and a half per day (if that). We started a bit late so in wanting to push myself to keep up the habit and make the time a priority I have pushed myself to devour Scripture at a feverish rate to begin and then will wean back to 4-5 chapters per day. Thus far I have filled almost all my free time with reading Scripture. I’ve read 18-26 chapters per day and been learning/retaining so much from Scripture. Really I have chosen to push myself really hard to “catch up” with the reading plan verses just start my reading plan in the middle of January because I know the greatest challenge in reading Scripture is not making time, but making the priority. So I am pushing myself very hard to make it a priority to think, meditate and read Scripture. But obviously this cannot be done in neglect of the God has given me. So I will not be keeping up this pace all year. But by the end of the weekend I should be “caught up” and be able to go to my 4-5 chapters per day routine.
Gratitude Journal: Theresa and Jenney and I have taken on the challenge of making a journal of 1,000 things for which we are grateful to God for. There is no daily requirement, but it is just in efforts to train our minds to be thankful for the daily normals that God has so blessed us with. I have forgotten some days – just being real, but I really have enjoyed taking random moments to think more about how much God has blessed me so in the little norms of the day. Our God is so good.
Been praying about starting a women’s Bible study in my home. This has been a topic of conversation with Matt for over 6 months. We talked about opening our home for a group Bible study and I think we’ve landed on having separate Bible studies due to the demands and joys of ministering elsewhere taking up a lot of our schedule. So I have been praying and hoping and desiring to start a Bible study focused on reading one chapter of Scripture per week and discussing it at a weekly “mid day” meeting while my kids are napping preferably. I have talked to a few about it to see if there’s even an interest out there. But really my heart just longs for Christ-centered focus and soaking in the Word. My heart longs for the true fellowships that Christ alone can stir in our hearts, leaving aside excuses and really running hard to self-discipline ourselves to be more like Jesus. So instead of looking for that environment, I thought I’d try to create it in our home. It’s like Anne Graham (Billy Graham’s kid) said in her study, “I was so hungry for that fellowship that I was decided to lead it.”
So just a few good and doable changes to refocus and continue to push myself to be ready when God want sot use me. It’s about being ready and available so that when God says “go” you’re alert and prepared to give it all. And since God says, “go” daily, I’m just trying to get with the program here.
More crowns for Jesus’ feet!
Side note: This is a beautiful post by my dear friend and missionary, Theresa on Resilience. Oh to not keep the focus on us by clinging to tragedy, but instead to leave the focus on Jesus’ power of His hope and sustaining character…