This season in my life, like many of you are or have experienced is one where I am reflecting a lot on my life as a whole. Last year, at the beginning of the year, I decided to have a theme for the year to help me filter my commitments, my goals, and to help keep my life constantly moving closer to Jesus. To say I never derailed this year on my journey would be a complete and utter lie. However, as I have been reflecting on my life, I have come to the conclusion that 2018 has been one of my most productive years yet for Jesus. When I came up with the word for the year, I wrote it in my journal but spoke it to no one. I wanted to keep it between me and Jesus, but mostly because, if I failed in living life through the lens of that word, no one would know. Why would I do that? Well, the word should give it away. My theme for 2018 has been
This is a huge area of struggle for me. In nearly every aspect of my life, discipline is an issue. So I knew it was going to be a huge one to make a priority in EVERY part of my life. But, in so many ways, discipline has become less of a cuss word, and more of a comfort to me. Here are some ways that I applied discipline to my life.
- Jesus. I struggled with have regular “appointments with Jesus”. I often cancelled, or told him that I would reschedule. But this year, I have made it a goal to meet with him regularly. And there have been weeks where I have failed this. But, God’s grace is enough for me to not give up. I have also learned that God just truly wants to spend time with us. (I know, what a groundbreaking discovery!) But, honestly, I have found freedom in studying scripture some days, while others, just reading a book about Him, and other days do neither of those, but just journaling about what’s going on in my life – a letter to Him. And still other days, I just spend time talking to Him in the car from one destination to the other. So while my methods have broadened, my relationship has deepened. And in this, I am becoming disciplined.
- Health. This one has come a little later in the game plan for this year. But, God knew what I needed when I needed it and he supplied me with a great friend who is overly positive about all things (which, truly, I needed that when it came to eating boiled chicken for week straight). I have began to discipline my mind to know that all progress is just that, progress. Sometimes you feel better, stronger, more muscular, slimmer, but the scale is a liar. And other days, you cling to the truth that the scale is right on, even though you feel like a sumo wrestler. Allowing myself to operate within boundaries and to consistenly use the gym membership that I have been paying for for two years, has caused me to be the healthiest I have been since college and I have began to see the results of my work. And in this, I am becoming disciplined.
- Momming. This year has been a year of firsts for my kiddos. It’s the first year of consistent school 5 days a week. Adlee is in Kindergarten (dual language at that) and Elcee is in school every day of the week. They are both taking dance at a new studio this year and Adlee has started her journey in the musical world – taking piano lessons (and she really is pretty good!) Figuring out new routines and rhythms can be super stressful. But, a couple things have remained the same no matter how different our days have become. I have given my children back to Jesus after they were born, so they are His. But, it is still my honor and my privilege to lead them to a place, where one day, they meet the One whom they belong to. No, I’m not talking about when they die. But, one day, they will begin to see all they are learning about Jesus, and His goodness, is really true. Not just stories they have learned, but history that has been made. I imagine that day will come when they go on their first missions trip, or when they develop long term friendships that end up bringing their friends to know Him. I’m excited to see how all of that plays out. But for now, and for always, I will model what walking with Jesus looks like. And each day, before they leave for school, I pray with them. It’s always the same prayer, but its never any less heartfelt. “Dear Jesus, be with my sweet (insert name/nickname of choice) today. Help her to have a good day, help her to learn lots, and Jesus, please keep her safe. In Jesus name, Amen.” It’s not profound. But sometimes I add in a line there that says “Jesus, help her to make new friends today, and to be a good friend to everyone.” This line is usually prompted by a story they told me the day before about so-and-so not being nice. And, each night, before bed, Josh and/or I pray with our sweets. We pray that that they sleep well, that they have good dreams, that they don’t dream about dragons, or monsters, or burgans. And speak into their heart a glimpse of how much we love them and we are proud of them. This has been something that I have done since they were born, but, now, they ask for us to pray with them, usually after the other parent has prayed, they want more. Sometimes they want to pray for themselves and others. And in this, I am becoming disciplined.
- Destiny. What a loaded one. This year, I have taken on some new things to help me define and discipline my destiny. Obviously, this blog has become one of my efforts to both share my heart and to encourage others who are walking through life and wanting more from it, or just a desire to go deeper with Jesus. I want my destiny to be painted and plated with the goodness of God. I want it to shine for Jesus. I want people to look at the life I lived one day and say “She loved Jesus, and she helped me love Him more too.” Andanother huge way I have been able to discipline my destiny is to help create and organize a local women’s conference that we hosted for the first time ever in 2018. It was truly a dream-come-alive type of moment, and I’m so excited for this year’s conference. It’s our teams heart to have ladies from all over the community come and either meet Jesus for the first time, or to know Him better and to “sparkle” for all that God has called her to on this side of eternity.
I made “destiny” a separate point, but really each of these areas are playing into my destiny. I already have a theme for next year (I will share with you soon!) But, I know that discipline is going to be something that I am forever working on, getting better at, and likely never perfecting. Destiny is not just about dreaming big dreams or having huge visions (although those are a part!) But destiny really starts with discipline. So, as we begin the holiday season and the end of the year celebrations, I want to encourage you in this: have a theme for your year. It will both help you focus your goals, and it will also help you say no to things that would keep you from accomplishing those goals! Whether you have adopted the “theme for the year” method or not, I would highly suggest 2019 be a year of “Discipline”. Because afterall:
Discipline is the expressway to your destiny.
Stay tuned for profound thoughts.