31 Days of 5 Minute Writes – Day 29: Practice

Practice Makes Perfect!! Well, at least it improves!!

So we come to the end of my 31 Days of 5 Minutes Writes! Though I have missed a few days due to being out of town, I’ve made it a practice to write daily. My reason? To perform an activity repeatedly or regularly in order to improve or maintain one’s proficiency. (See definition below)

verb prac·tice

1.perform (an activity) or exercise (a skill) repeatedly or regularly in order to improve or maintain one’s proficiency.

I have done this 31 day challenge several times over the past few years, and it helps me to get a little better at writing my thoughts down. Just like anything you want to become a habit, or increase a skill, it takes practice. Olympic athletes – all they do is practice. Practice daily, for hours, for the next competition, the next goal.

I recently lost 60 pounds. How? Practice. Doing the same thing over and over repeatedly, regularly in order to improve the proficiency of my body. Learning how to eat better and improve my health. It took 7 months. But now – I don’t quit! I don’t stop doing what I have been doing for 7 months! If I go back to my old habits, I’ll go back to my old weight!

Though I most likely will not continue to write daily, I plan to write more often. I’ve heard it takes 21 days to create (or break) a habit, but 90 days to create a lifestyle.

How do you want to change your lifestyle in the next 90 days?

Practice. Practice. Practice.

31 Days of 5 Minute Writes – Day 25: Wait

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord! Psalms 27:13-14

We had wanted a baby for 4 years after we got married, and finally! I discovered I was pregnant! At the same time, my brother and his wife found out they were expecting! This will be fun! To share our pregnancies! And I worked at a daycare at the time, surrounded by babies!

However, at about 10 weeks along, we lost the baby. It was the most devastating thing that had ever happened to me. After so many years of waiting and we finally were expecting, only to have it all taken away.

Two of my sisters were also pregnant, and a sister-in-law. That was one of the most difficult few months to walk through. We went to visit friends in a neighboring state soon after the miscarriage. They didn’t ask too much about it, but she left a verse on the bedside table.

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord! Psalms 27:13-14

That is surely how I felt. Almost had lost heart. This verse has stayed with me through the years – every time I lost something: two more miscarriages, financial disasters, lost jobs, lost relationships. But I did not lose heart. Because I believed I would see the goodness of the Lord. In. the. land. of. the. living. That means right now. In this life. And I have seen the goodness of the Lord. Two beautiful, Godly, children. A wonderful daughter-in-law. A grandbaby! Financial recovery & blessing. Meaningful jobs. New friendships.

Waiting is not so bad when you know God has this. Be of good courage!

Wait on the Lord.

Wait, I say, on the Lord!!

31 Days of 5 Minute Writes – Day 24: Different

dif·fer·ent/ˈdif(ə)rənt/adjective

  1. 1.not the same as another or each other; unlike in nature, form, or quality.

Why do we sometimes feel out of place, awkward, or just downright uncomfortable around people who are different than us? If you think about it, we each are different than everybody else. Everybody. Our DNA is different. Even identical twins, who do share the same DNA, have different fingerprints. We have each had a different background and history – even our childhood experience is not exactly the same as our siblings. Every single person is different than everybody else.

So why do we pick out certain “differences” to be uncomfortable or fearful or judgmental about? We had no choice in the development of our individual DNA, about the family we were raised in, the area and atmosphere we grew up in. We have each made different decisions that directed the course of our lives. It’s pretty amazing that each person is so unique! Out of billions and billions of people that have lived, no one has had your exact experience! And out of only 23 pairs of chromosomes, God makes each person unique! He formed us in our mother’s womb and designed a plan for our lives. He knows each one of us!

For you created my inmost being;

you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place,

when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes saw my unformed body;

all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

How precious to me are your thoughts, God!

How vast is the sum of them!

Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand! Psalms 139:13-18

I am different. You are different. God loves each one of us! Try to get to know somebody who you feel is “different” than you. See how they differ from you; and how they are the same. Learn. Love. Live!

31 Days of 5 Minute Writes – Day 23: Need

need/nēd/

noun 1.circumstances in which something is necessary, or that require some course of action; necessity.

When Tony & I first got married, we chose Proverbs 3 as a chapter to live by for our marriage. Honestly, we should live by ALL the scriptures, but you get my drift.

We had been married a couple years and were preparing to move to Wisconsin. We had decided to sell one of our cars (well, it was my car). Tony came to me and said he believed we should give it away to some specific people who needed and could really use a car. My first reaction was, uhh, no, we need the extra money to make the move! He simply asked me to pray about it. Which I did. Then I read Proverbs 3.

Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act. Proverbs 3:27

Ok, ok, I get it! So we gave the car away. And guess what? God provided for us, too! In fact, we later received an unexpected vehicle through Tony’s job!

I’m telling this story to remind us to continue to be giving. There is a lot of need out there, and it feels so good to be able to meet some of those needs sometimes. I work at a food pantry, so I see a lot of need. Every week at staff meeting, we share our “joy” for the week. Usually it involves either someone thanking us for meeting a need, or observing one of our volunteers meeting a need.

Don’t you just know that it makes Jesus smile when we love others and share our gifts?

What need can you meet today?

31 Days of 5 Minute Writes – Day 22: Strong

strong/strôNG/adjective

  1. 1.having the power to move heavy weights or perform other physically demanding tasks.
  2. able to withstand great force or pressure.

My Goals right now: Healthy & Strong!!

H – Habits of

E – eating

A – and

L – Lasting

T – tendencies

Y – yielded from

S – Striving

T – through

R – repetition

O – of

N – New

G – Goals!!

31 Days of 5 minute Writes – Day 21: Active

active

adjectiveac·​tive | \ ˈak-tiv  \

1: characterized by action rather than by contemplation or speculation

If you’ve been at church for any length of time, you have probably heard this verse:

12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12-13

To me, this is what sets the Bible, the word of God, apart from other books and writings. It is “active”. Though we can read the Scriptures passively or contemplatively, it becomes active when we turn it into action. In fact, it doesn’t become active, it already IS active. So many times I have heard, or read a scripture that I have already read many times before, and it suddenly speaks to me in a new way. That, my friends, is alive and active!

Our next step is to make it active in our own life. Do it! Live it! Be characterized by action rather than just contemplation and speculation.

31 days of 5 Minute Writes – Day 17: Consistent

con·sist·ent/kənˈsistənt/adjective

  1. acting or done in the same way over time, especially so as to be fair or accurate.

I am in the midst of a 90 day challenge. Started on October 1 – 90 days until the New Year! How are those 2019 resolutions coming along? I make a long list every year. This year I haven’t touched some of those items, some I am working on, and at least one I have hit out of the park! (that losing weight issue!)
You may have heard it takes 21 days to break or build a habit, and 90 to make a lifestyle. What that means is consistency. So I am taking these 90 days to take steps to make some more lifestyle changes!

1) Exercise daily
2) Read 5 books
3) Spend at least 5 hours a week on my health coaching business.

So far I have exercised daily, read 1 book and halfway through another, and been fairly consistent on my health coaching.

It takes consistency to create a lifestyle. This is true for your job, for parenting, for marriage.

What are you going to do with the next 90 days (now about 72 days)?? Choose 3 things that will create change in your life! List them below, or message them to me, and I will pray for you and hold you accountable! And you can do the same for me!

Let’s be consistent!

31 Days of Free Writes – Day 16: Avoid

avoid

verb\ ə-ˈvȯid  \avoidedavoidingavoids

Definition of avoid

1a: to keep away from b: to prevent the occurrence or effectiveness of c: to refrain from

It is to one’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel. Proverbs 20:3

A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid anyone who talks too much . Proverbs 20:19

My day is short, my post is shorter. And I avoided finishing this post til late.

Avoid strife and quarrels. Avoid gossipers.

That is all.

31 Days of 5 Minute Writes – Day 15: Open

Do you have an open mind? Should we have an open mind?

What is the definition of “open”? Most definitions in the Merriam Webster dictionary have 1 – 3 definitions. The word, “open”, has 20 definitions (with 32 additional specific definitions) as an adjective, and 14 as a verb, and 4 as a noun.

Definition of open mind

a willingness to listen to or accept different ideas or opinions

Well that sounds nice, and I think we should take a minute to listen to people and their ideas.

However, these are also definitions of open –

  • relatively unguarded by opponents
  • of a relationship not restricted to one partner at a time by mutual agreement
  • exposed or vulnerable to attack or question 

When you look at “open” in this way, it may not be such a good idea. While I agree that we should welcome discussion and discourse over different ideas than our own, I also believe that we need to guard our heart.

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. ” Proverbs 4:23

Guard your heart. What is the context? The first 22 verses of Proverbs 4 speaks about wisdom, knowledge, understanding, taking heed of God’s word. It warns against taking the path of the wicked.

 Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Proverbs 4:25.

Get wisdom. Get understanding. Guard your heart.

Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law. “

And here is the best open door:

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. “Revelation 3:20.

31 Days of Free Writes – Day 14: Voice

Isn’t it interesting how we can recognize somebody by their voice? We know that everyone’s fingerprints are different, which is just amazing to me, how the ridges on your fingers are different from every other person?? And of course, everyone’s DNA is different, so that is an identifiable element. But our voice. Even our voice can be used to identify us! Siri can even recognize our voice and open our phone, or give us information based on our voice.

How amazing and creative is God?? He goes to great lengths to show us that we each are individually designed and created, and there is no one else like us.

His sheep hear his voice. Have you heard His voice? I have. Not His audible voice, but I frequently know when He is talking to me.

My husband is a funny, clever guy. Since I have been with him for 30 some years, I know his voice. Not only do I know his voice, but I recognize if somebody tells me something he said. “Yep – that sounds like something Tony would say!” How do I know? Because I’ve spent years with him, listening to his voice, watching how he operates, and observing how he reacts and responds to others. So when someone says, “Tony told me such and such, ” I recognize whether it’s something he would have said and done.

That is how it is with God’s voice. The more time you spend with Him, the more time you spend in His word, and the more time you spend observing other people who know Him well, the better you will recognize His voice.

The next time you are wondering if God is whispering in your ear, speaking life, blessing, or even conviction, test and see if you think it’s something God would say. You just may discover that you can hear His voice.

His sheep hear His voice.

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