Happy Tuesday everyone!! Today we are going to talk about the word ASPIRE! Dictionary.com defines it as to direct one’s hopes or ambitions toward achieving something.
As I thought about this I began to ask myself what I aspire to be or achieve. Have you ever thought about that for a serious amount of time? I’m not just talking about off the cuff. I have a friend who jokes about aspiring to be a unicorn. I’m not talking about that I mean seriously aspiring to something worthwhile.
Here are my aspirations
I want to be a world-changer for Jesus. And that starts right here in my home. Then it extends to my church family and the kids hubby and I work with ,in Youth Group and then it moves from there to the Crisis Pregnancy center I volunteer at and then to here my blog. My own tiny piece of the internet . It’s through my words and actions that I bear the truth of the one who I belong to.
I want to be the best wife I can be for Hubby.
I want to be the best mom for T,K,J &S
I aspire to paint and to learn to paint. Not professionally just as a stress relieving hobby. Really it is about becoming the best artist I can become. (I do NOT aspire to be a professional )
I aspire to write a book. one day- or I guess more realisitically would be to publish a book since I am in the middle of writing said book….YEAH I just said tha!
To be the best wife of a pastor God has called me to be. I don’t aspire to be a people pleaser. I aspire to speak truth not to tickle ears.
When It comes right down to it it’s not about WHAT I aspire to do BUT how I do it. No Matter what I aspire to do I want to do it to the best of my ability and to bring glory to God in the process.
How about you what do you aspire to do? Let me know in the comments below!
So last year was my first year to really participate in write 31 Days. I was bummed to find out that it was the last year for the group. So this year I wanted to write 31 Days in October BUT I was unsure how to go about it. Then I had a BRAINSTORM. I had begun a hand Lettering Challenge at the beginning of the year sponsored by Dawn Nicole Designs. So I decided that these words would act as my prompts for writing every day in October of this year. So the word to start out October is ESSENTIAL. I have given my self 15 minute time limit, so let’s get started
Essentials to my Faith journey
Essential l#1 My Bible whether it is on my phone or a hard copy book I need this book to grow my relationship with Jesus.
Essential #2- Time. Now I am not saying that I have to have the time. What I am saying I have to MAKE the time- otherwise there will never be time.
Essential #3 A church that preaches God’s word. I just happen to be married toa pretty awesome pastor who takes care to preach what God’s word says and is not swayed by the world’s enticement to be comfortable.
Essential #4 A notebook- this is not essential for everyone but it is for me. I write a lot and I take a lot of notes. It’s how I remember things and it is how I can continue to grow by revisiting what I have learned.
Essential #5 (also my preference but NOT a necessity) is other books written by men and women who are strong in their faith. these books acts as an encouragemetn to me when I am struggliing.
Essential #6 is Christian music. This keeps me focused on the right attitudes and On God when I am not able to be reading my bible and or praying.
I don’tknow about you all but today I am tired but that *may* be my fault. Because I *may* have gotten my new planner yesterday. And I *May* have gotten a WEEEEEE bit distracted by said planner and I *may* have stayed up a TAD too long. BUT in my dfense. the rain did play a teensy part in my sleepiness.
The Weather:: Pretty sure Fall is showing up this week.
On the menu for this week::: Monday – mashed potato Sundaes Tuesday – Philly Cheesesteaks. Wednesday – Sloppy Joes and french fries (though this may have to change to something meatless) Thursday – Tater Tot Casserole Friday – Pizza, and wings Saturday – Chef salads Sunday – Roasted Chicked with potatoes and Crrots
On my t -do list::: Re-straighten the indented part of the living room (aka kinda my office). Craft Closet organized Closet cleaned. general cleaning maintenance. Laundry
What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating::: I’m going to participate in Inktober on my instagram. Im drawing cartoon animals (my own prompts) and focusing on Ohuhu Alcohol Markers
Looking around the house::: I have some cleaning to do. I have been in search of something missing and soI have ripped a part a few areas of our house that I need to put back together
FROM the CAMERA::
On my prayer list::: I have a friend who is really going through a hard time right now
It’s no secret, I am a spring/ summer girl. I love the warmth/ heat and the beauty it brings. I have been this way for as long as I can remember. But there is just something about fall. Matter of fact I love almost all things fall. There’s only one thing I can think of that makes me really REALLY not like fall as much as spring and summer- THE COLD!
But as I dit here staring at the beautiful upstate New York mountainside I can’ help but feel a sense of coziness. It’s my favirite kind of fall day. it’s GRAY which mean the fall colors just seem to POP even more than normal. I love rainy days to begin with but rainy fall days where ist is still warm enough to go jacketless and the leaves are in full color and still on the trees is one of my all time favorite things.
I really am thankful for fall and the reminder that there is a season for everything. and fall reminds me that sometimes there is a season to give things up JUST like the trees give up their leaves.. And yet there is no garuntee that those leaves will come back over the last few years we have had some trees die over the winter months for whateverreason.
Sometimes we have to say goodbye or set aside something that we once loved for whatever reason. I am ina season of letting go of somethings. i have no idea of I will ever pick them back up again and that’s ok. Somethings are just in the “stuff” catergory. and somethings I should havenever picked up to begin with. Like helping with something I don’t really enjoy or something that is seemingly changing directions and purpose. Somethings are distractions and somethings could be a way of life. All things that require much prayer.
Now don’t go wigging out on me because We aren’t moving and we aren’t changing ministries! AND I am not stopping blogging though as you all know this was something that I have laid aside for a season.
And just like Spring is a season for new growth fall is a time for pruning back. it’s when we weed out the dead plants in the garden and we prepare for next spring. we plant bulbs that will pop up after the winter’s deadness.
Here are a few other things that I really enjoy and am thankful for
apples with caramel
hot apple cider
pumpkin spice EVERYTHING
ALL the smells of fall
And that is just to name a few. It’s the simple things we need to practice in thankfulness.
So it’s your turn:
What are you thankful for in this Fall season oR whatever season you happen to be in right now?
For more of my Thankfulness Challenge posts click here.
“Lord, Please help me! I am feeling so distracted.”
If you were to look I my journal over the last few months that simple prayer is exactly what is repeated dozens of times! But Monday night I was left holding a lot of wasted time and nothing else. I spent an entire afternoon looking for something that I didn’t really need. and what hit me right square in the face was that I had let this simple thing distract me…from a good deal, Let me Explain…
Eyes Wide open to Distraction: My Play Notebook
Back in April or May, I began to frantically write- write like I haven’t done in over a year. I was working on our churches Christmas play I had decided to write. That book never left my side for nearly 3 months and then I took my infamous writing trip. You know the one that I got pneumonia and hubby had to come and get me early because I was sooooo stinking sick!!! Well I know I had it with me there BUT when I came home, I’m not the one who emptied the truck and I honestly don’t remember putting my stuff away (I’m the only one who would in the case of my personal writing stuff). So it has been unaccounted for since the end of July.
I didn’t take it back with us in August because I knew that I would have no time because a large chunk of that time was spent hanging out with friends and family. We came back home and two of our kiddos jumped right into school the next day. Then the other two and we won’t even go into the drama that ensued with that experience.
We have finally set into a routine and I have a plan to accomplish the play and some other things. I could have sworn I put it in my craft room- but it is GONE. Thankfully as I have written the play I have sent pictures of the written play to my stage manager by text. So Monday I printed them out. Monday afternoon I put them in my writing notebook and I was all ready to sit down and blog HOWEVER about 1 o’clock something in my brain switched and I went on a massive hunt throughout our whole house seeking out this notebook…..THAT I ALREADY HAD ALL THE INFO OUT OF! I had to stop searching to make dinner and I was grumpy. After dinner I sat down here and my desk and I flipped through my devotional book I have been working on (I was behind in) and my fingers HIT the lone page flag sticking out of the side and I knew exactly what the page flag said “DISTRACTED”. and I knew EXACTLY what verse was on that page
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your Soul, and with all your might.
BAM!! I prayed right then and there and asked God to help me yet again to fight the distraction I was getting caught up in. BUT don’t think for a moment that some silly notebook has been all that has been distracting me.
A Million and One Distractions
NO, I am NOT going to list them all here. But for each one of us, distractions can look completely different. From one moment to the next it can look different for me.
Let’s start with defining what it actually means to be distracted!
1. unable to concentrate because one’s mind is preoccupied.
Did you catch that? According to Deuteronomy 6:5, I’m supposed to be loving God with all my mind- focused on him. devoted to him. When I am distracted am I loving God with all of my mind? I know I am not.
Here are just a few examples of my distractions in the past:
Phone: ok ok if we are honest we all sometimes run to our phone as an on-purpose distraction. Yes, you read that right. We ACTIVELY chose to be distracted. This can be a good thing OR a very bad thing. And the major question we need to ask ourselves is this: Is what I’m doing right now helping me in some way or is it keeping me from doing what God has called me to do?
Relationships: yeah this one can lead to all sorts of distractions. Whether it be our kids, our spouse (oh yeah you read that right ) friends, co-workers, boyfriends/girlfriends. those who dislike us…Honestly, I picked the closest people in most situations.
The problem of relationships is when the relationship distracts you from what God has called you to do. And that number one calling is to OBEY God and to turn AWAY from sin. So if ANY relationship is asking you to sin we need to guard against that type of distraction.
However. there are other ways relationships can become a distraction. What if the relationship wants you to neglect your responsibilities? I have people in my life who have chosen abusive spouses/boyfriends/ girlfriends over the safety of their children. It is incredibly hard to watch someone be OK with CPS because they can’t let go of the boyfriend. (Thankfully this has recently changed).
There are those who neglect their marriage for their kids or their job or friends or…..you fill in the blank!
Circumstances- (This one is huge for me). I have come to the realization that it takes extra work on my part in being devoted to God during hard circumstances. Now y HARD I don’t necessarily mean only those that are sad or depressing. For me, it can mean in those moments of being tired- exhausted. Mentally, emotionally and physically. If I take my focus off of God during these times and stop loving him with everything I’ve got, THAT”S when the fiery darts start coming in rapid succession.
I fully believe it is Satan’s goal to get me to that place. When I reach the point of exhaustion and those darts start coming I can no longer batter against the enemy and I am left feeling like a failure, not being able to give anything.
Busy-ness- This one goes hand in hand with circumstances but can have a different attitude behind it. We often get so wrapped up in the doing (our to-do list- OUCH) that we forget what our purpose is. (yep you guessed to love the Lord Your God with All Your Heart Soul and Mind.). Don’t get me wrong you can get plenty done off your to-do list and not be distracted from your purpose, that’s where 1 Corinthians 10:31 comes in ” whatever do all to the Glory of God (My paraphrase).
I picked a few. I told you I was not going to write an exhaustive list. If you find Yourself saying not today Lord because._______________. You really need to re-evaluate what you are doing and why. If something is keeping you from spending time with God ask yourself why and ask God to show you what is standing between you and him. He wants nothing more to answer that question. But I will warn you (only because I’m speaking from experience) it’s gonna hurt. We are blinded sometimes by our own desires and rights – but it’s that willingness to let Jesus be Lord of our life that brings us closer to him.
Combatting the distractions: How do we love the Lord with everything we’ve Got?
Ya know it’s funny because everyone wants a to-do list that they can just check off and say “Ok, I’ve done A, B, and C. Now I’m not distracted anymore. I hate to say it but it does not look like that. It’s not about doing more stuff. In fact for some of us- THAT”S what got us here, to begin with. Instead, it’s a change of attitude and a shift in focus.
The first focus shift should really be towards PRAYER. The Bible tells us to pray without ceasing. This isn’t about 24/7 prayer it’s more like having a constant conversation with someone.
if you were to look on my phone you would see this text thread. It has 3 other people in it and honestly, it’s never really far from the top. Why? because we check in with each other. sometimes it’s a funny story, somedays it starts out in a REALLY strange place and ends in the serious, I need prayer moments. THAT”S what God wants from us. An ongoing conversation. He wants to hear our funny stories, our happy moments and our struggles. He wants us to say Thank you Lord when something amazing happens.
The next focus change really comes from a heart of wanting to be more Christ-centered in our daily walk. This is Taking that to-do list and set it on the back burner. I have come to a place in my life where I have realized I can’t just get ride f the to-do list BUT I can give it to God and allow him to modify it. This is hard but when I keep the idea in the back of my head that I might have some holy interruptions is keeps me from having bitterness and anger when things don’t go my way.
Another focus change we need to make it taking our eyes off of us and putting them on what God has told us to do. When we get wrapped up in MY rights, MY beliefs, MY goals, My Dreams, My____________If you are putting My in front of something chances are it’s a distraction. As a believer, we have surrendered our “rights”. We have yielded our opinions and we should come to a place of not my will but yours, Lord.” I know I posted about last year in my influence series BUT Jesus didn’t want to die on the cross. That’s why He asked God to “Let this cup pass from me”. I don’t know about you, but I fight against wanting my rights every day. I want the injustices-especially against me fixed. I want to say some days “Lord that verse is so outdated, surely that can’t be for me”. But the reality is…it is. Whether I like it or not. Having a submissive attitude to God changes our focus and removes distractions this world bombards us with. Because I am MY biggest distraction!
And the last thing that is probably the biggest we females deal with (I know it’s incredibly hard for me). is making it a practice to turn to God when problems strike instead of turning to people. We need to trust God with everything we have got. This is so hard because at times we can convince ourselves that God isn’t listening, he doesn’t care and /or he isn’t doing it fast enough! Yep, I am a fixer by nature. I want to just take control and figure it all out. This type of attitude though doesn’t make me focus on God more it makes me put the focus on ME- Again I am MY biggest distraction.
BUT I’m not you and You Aren’t Me (not the same distractions)
I mean seriously, like I had to say that (Sorry I am the master of the obvious sometimes). But in all seriousness, we often think well, that worked for her so I am going to adapt it for myself. Then we get frustrated when it doesn’t work. the problem with that is your struggles with distraction might be different than mine, or they might appear the same on the outside but the reality is the root of the distraction is VERY different. So then what?
Well, we need to begin somewhere and that somewhere happens to be at the feet of Jesus. We need to be willing to do the hard heart work with Him. We need to let him show us where to start and how to change our focus.
Are you willing to start there?
So about that Missing play notebook?
It was serving as a distraction. I was distracted by a silly notebook that I had ALL the info out of.
The long and the short of it is this: It didn’t matter. Most things that distract us, don’t matter. There are big things that keep us distracted too. But at this point, I had to let the notebook go. And I have. And ya know what- it was freeing and I have been far more focused on the things I am supposed to be focused on. I still get twinges of angst over not knowing where it is. and I just keep giving it to God. I have all the important stuff out of it.
I have let it go. I’m not holding onto it.
What are you holding onto? It’s time to let it go.
NOW it’s your turn
What is your biggest distraction? Let me know in the comments!