accountability partner


I always enjoy taking time in late December/early January to think about the year ahead.  What are my goals for the year?  How do I break those goals down and take steps day by day, week by week, and month by month so that I can see those goals accomplished by the end of the year?  Even though it takes a little while, it is worth it for me to take that time to think, write, and decide.

My list of goals are grouped into three different categories: personal, home (family), and work.  Once I have a realistic listing of 5-6 goals for each group, I decide on specific deadlines for each one.  Then, I print my list out and keep it in my journal.  At the end of each month, I take a couple of minutes to read through the list again to see what I have accomplished – I love checking things off! 🙂 – as well as see if I am on track to accomplish those goals that are more long-term in nature.

One of my personal goals for 2010 is to continue to memorize Scripture, so I have updated that SK webpage and will attempt to list each month’s passage.

Have you taken the time to list your goals for 2010?  If not, I would encourage you to do so!

Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.  Proverbs 16:3 (NIV)

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I am sure that most of you look as happy as this woman as you juggle all of life’s things from day to day 🙂 …

happy-juggling-mom

….but, I have to admit, there are a number of times when I feel like this woman as I attempt to balance all that life has for me…

struggling-juggling-mom

One day at a time, sweet Jesus!

Know that you are not alone in your quest to juggle and balance all that life has to offer.  May you be encouraged that He will not give you more than you can handle.

Let me encourage you (and me!) to give everything to God each morning.  He is faithful to help us to prioritize and handle each one.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)

snowstormThe long, cold, dark, snowy, gray, and blustery month of January in Western New York – it is tough for me not to have even just a little bit of the wintertime blues during this time of the year.  I just can’t seem to get warm, and I shiver at the thought of having to head outside, even to grab the mail from the mailbox.

Because of these conditions, I am especially thankful, then, for the mysterious warming of my heart as I read God’s Word.  His words keep me from depression, from anxiousness, and from self-pity.  Each time I sit to read, He fills me once again with the daily bread I need.

As I finish the Christmas carol devotional book I have been using (okay, okay, so it has been a month since Christmas, but the words of the carols have been wonderful to continue reading even after the “season” of celebration), some of the words within this poem/hymn struck me profoundly as I read them this morning:

How lovely shines the Morning Star!

Thou mine, I Thine

Keep me kindly in Thy favor, O my Savior!

Thou  wilt cheer me; Thy Word calls me to draw near Thee.

(How Lovely Shines the Morning Star!, Philipp Nicolai, 1597)

There is always hope and joy that is found when we rest in Jesus!  Thank you, Lord, for carrying me through the dark, dreary days.

Life itself was in him, and this life gives light to everyone.  The light shines through the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.  –John 1:4,5 (TLB)

stop_sign

 

Take a few slow, deep breathes…

(Seriously, take 30 seconds and do that.  It’s amazing how well it works in helping you to slow down!)

Now grab a hot cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate and then come right back (don’t let ANYTHING distract you in the process!) to read the following excerpt from a devotional book I have been reading throughout this Advent season:

What is Christmas?  Is it simply a yearly excuse to engage in extended spending frenzies?  Is it nothing more than an annual exercise in overindulgence?  Is the holiday season merely a chance to cut loose and party?  While Christians are quick to answer these questions with a resounding “no”, we too often miss the real “reason for the season”.

Christmas is more than just a day set aside to mark the birth of an ancient religious leader.  It does commemorate Christ’s birth, but it also has a much greater, more practical significance.  In Christmas we find a unique opportunity to celebrate a two-thousand-year-old birth with the birthday boy himself.  The message of Christmas is that Jesus is alive to celebrate with us.  As this carol [“The Happy Christmas Comes Once More” by Nicolai F.S. Grundtrig, 1817] reminds us, he is the guest of honor at this wondrous yearly feast.  He is the star attraction and central focus around which all the festivities should revolve.  Even now Jesus is patiently waiting to gain entry to our hearts, homes, churches, and cities, so that he may celebrate this joyous occasion with us.

In the flurry of activity that we call Christmas, our attention is easily distracted from the one we seek to honor.  Yet the heavenly Guest continues to call to us.  He patiently raps on the door of our heart, ready to come in and fellowship with us.  What will our response be?  Will we hear him?  Will we welcome him in?

Christ in the Carols (Thirty-One Devotionals for Christmas and Advent) by Christopher and Melodie Lane, 1999

Friend, there is still time to celebrate in this way.  Don’t feel like a failure if you are realizing how much you have been running around like a crazy woman these last few weeks.  Start right now…start today and really enjoy and bask in the real reason for the season.  Spend time with the birthday boy.

Look!  Here I stand at the door and knock.  If you hear me calling and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal as friends.”  (Revelation 3:20)

I just finished reading through the book of Ruth in the Bible and was struck by a short, simple yet profound verse.  Actually, it is only one sentence that is found in chapter three, verse eleven:

All my fellow townsmen know that you are a woman of noble character.

noble (Oxford American Dictionary) – having or showing fine personal qualities or high moral principles and ideas

As I read the story of Ruth once again, not once did I think of her as an outgoing person or an extrovert. On the contrary, I considered her quite meek and mild-mannered – one that went about her business without much conversation, debate, or uproar. She did not seem to try to draw attention to herself.

So, if my assumptions about her are accurate, how would “all the…townsmen” know of her “fine personal qualities and high moral principles”?

She led a simple life of quiet servanthood. A life that spoke volumes.

The Bible passage I chose to memorize in June came from Isaiah, chapter 26, verses 3 and 4:

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.

Al de carácter firme, lo guardarás en perfecta paz, porque en ti confía. Confíen en el SEÑOR para siempre, porque el SEÑOR es una Roca eterna. –Isaías 26:3,4

Thanks for keeping me accountable!

Your turn to share: What verses have you been memorizing lately?

Thank you so much for all your comments and prayers for us as we presented at the retreat last weekend.  We had a good time meeting new friends as well as catching up a bit with long-time friends.  I am still praying that each one of us continues to wrestle with this concept of simplicity; I think it is a daily decision to live that lifestyle, don’t you?

accountabilityIt is already the beginning of another month – can you believe it??  That means it is accountability time for me with regard to Scripture memorization. I want to confess that I was not able to memorize both passages that I had listed on the Memorizing Scripture page.

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