When Your Quiet Time Feels Like a Chore, Focusing on One Word Changes Everything

When Your Quiet Time Feels Like a Chore, Focusing on One Word Changes Everything

THINK ON THESE THINGS

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble,
whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely,
whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

How does the most important person in your life go from being your focus to your “Well, if there’s enough time…,”?

If I treated my marriage that way, I would be in a world of hurt. But if I’m honest, that’s how I’ve treated Jesus at many points in my life. I can hang out with you when I have more time.

It’s funny – I never have a problem finding time to hang out with my husband or my best friend, even when it’s a crazy busy day. It may just be a quick dinner or even a quick chat on the phone, but I can always make time for those I love.

Plus, I’m thinking about them throughout the day. When I see a video Cheri would like or read an article I know my husband Roger would appreciate , I send it to them because I’m thinking about them.

So why was I so bad about hanging out with God?

After some analysis of what was holding me back, I realized it wasn’t Jesus I was resisting, it was the long list of rules I had set up for myself to make sure that my time with him “counted.”

You see, my time only counted when:

• I spent time in gratitude
• I spent time in prayer for other people
• I spent time in adoration
• I spent time listening
• I spent time in confession
• I spent time reading God’s word
• I spent time meditating on God’s word
• I spent time in silence
• I spent time in worship

Thinking on all the requirements I made for myself, it is no wonder I was skipping my time with God. If my husband had a list of demands like that, I would want to spend less and less time with him.

But here’s the thing – God did not come up with that list of demands. God has issued me a series of invitations.

To spend time with Him.

To talk with Him throughout my day.

To lay my burdens at His feet.

To ask Him to advocate for those I love.

Where did I ever get the idea that all of that was a requirement, every single time we met?

I’ve realized that my time with God isn’t an appointment to be kept – it’s a relationship to be developed.

That is why I’ve decided to keep my expectations small when it comes to my morning quite time. I’m “touching base” in the morning and inviting God into the rest of my day, into relationship.
One of the ways I am currently spending my morning time is by reflecting on one passage of scripture. The book Just One Word by Susie Crosby is a devotional that has one, focused word and verse for each day. It is so easy to carry that one word through my day, and like Philippians 4:8 says, “think on such things.”

I love that it is just one word, and one verse, to focus on throughout the day. And it’s amazing (or a God-thing, more likely) that each word somehow finds its way weaved throughout my day.
Are you overwhelmed by your to-do list when it comes to your relationship with God? Wipe out the requirements and lean into relationship.

One Word Can Inspire Unending Gratitude

There is power in words–the words we read and the words we speak. Power to build and power to destroy. One word—just one—is all it takes to turn a day around. Just one word is all it takes to set your mind on the never-ending power of God’s work in your life.

In these delightful meditations, Susie Crosby draws out one unexpected word from a daily Scripture verse—words like “steep,” “roomy,” and “multiply.” As she explores each theme, she shows you a mighty God who is there for you, who calls you to live, and who you can invite into your day with just one word.

Here you will find a simple and heartfelt recipe for keeping your eyes on Jesus throughout your week. Uncover a wealth of spiritual insight in just one word!

CONNECT & WIN

Stop by susiecrosby.com and get to know Susie and her heart for women who long to know God.

WIN a copy of Just One Word. To celebrate this new book, Harvest House is giving away 5 copies plus we are giving away a grand prize package including:

  • A copy of Just One Word
  • Rustic Felt Letter Board 10×10
  • A Notebook Journal
  • 18 Colored Felt Pens

Enter to win by answering this question in our comments section below: What is one expectation of your quiet time that has been holding you back from having time with the Lord? {We’ll randomly select 3 winners and notify them in the comments section by February 27th.}

*Giveaway open to US residents only.

REFLECT AND RESPOND

Today, be gentle with yourself and your list of requirements to get it “right” in your relationship with God. Focus on one word, one verse, and one act of worship. Ask God to keep the conversation going during the day and be open to hearing His voice.

Kathi Lipp and Clutter Free thank Harvest House for their sponsorship of today’s devotion.

The One Thing Every Successful Woman (I’ve Ever Met) Does

The One Thing Every Successful Woman (I’ve Ever Met) Does

I know that I’m one of the lucky ones. (And when I say lucky, I mean fortunate.)

I have a career I love, one with purpose and meaning and serves God in a way I was created for, people I love working with, and enough income to not stay up late at night worrying about how we are going to pay the bills (most nights, that is).

But let’s be clear… my life was not always this way.

I spent most of my twenties and thirties living paycheck to paycheck, in a job that had no potential, loving some of my coworkers but barely tolerating some of the people I worked with.

Some of that was just finding my place in the world – it’s what a lot of 20 and some 30-year-olds do. But part of it was not really believing I could be successful in what I wanted to do in my life. It was easier (and safer) to just do the day to day and survive instead of having a hope for a better, more successful future.

When did things finally begin to turn around for me? Was it a job promotion or a new opportunity?

No – it was a planner.

It was a simple, paper planner that, for the first time, I actually used to plan what I was going to accomplish instead of using it like a calendar.

I started to write down my dreams and started turning those into goals.

And this is what I’ve noticed with every successful woman I’ve ever worked with:

Most of them have great teams of people.

Most of them get up early to attack their day.

Most of them have supportive family and friends to encourage them.

But all of them take time away from their crazy, busy, jam-packed days to pull back and plan for what they want.

How to Pull Back and Plan

I call it Pull Back Planning because I have to be intentional about pulling back from my regular life and setting that time aside to plan for my day, my week, my month, my year, and yes, my whole life.

Each day, before I end work, I take a look at what is coming tomorrow to see what I need to plan for, pray for and do. I apply the same principle to my week, month and year.

I love what Dave Ramsey says about budgets: “A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.” It’s the same with a planner – a planner will help you tell your time where it goes instead of wondering where it went.

Proverbs 16:3 (NIV) says:

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.”

I love that verse. But we have to know what we are planning to do in order to pray about it and commit it to God.

I want to give my readers the opportunity to try this out.

My favorite planner this year is Valorie Burton’s The Successful Woman Planner. I love the motivating, clarifying quotes placed throughout the week-at-a-glance page layout, and that Valorie (one of the most successful women I know) has shared her wisdom throughout those pages. It is my go-to planner for 2019. 

In order to be entered to win a copy of Valorie’s planner and a $50 gift card to Office Max, simply comment below and tell us the next step to success you want to take.

Offer open to US residents only.

Deadline to enter: January 30, 2019.

A bestselling author and Certified Personal and Executive Coach who has served clients in over 40 states and eight countries, Valorie Burton has written nine books on personal development, including Successful Women Think Differently and Happy Women Live Better. She is the founder of The CaPP Institute, providing tools and training that build resilience, well-being, and productivity for life and work.

She has been a regular contributor on CNN, HLN, and the Today show, where she gives practical career and life advice. She has also been featured in and on The Dr. Oz Show, NPR, Oprah Radio, Ebony, Essence, “O” The Oprah Magazine, the Chicago Tribune, LA Times, and hundreds of others. Valorie’s corporate clientele includes multi-million dollar businesses such as Accenture, Black Entertainment Television (BET), Deloitte, General Mills, McDonalds Corp., and many more.

Join 25,000 subscribers to her weekly e-newsletter at www.valorieburton.com and visit her company site at www.cappinstitute.com.

www.valorieburton.com

 

#319: How to Put an End to Performancism (Loving Your Work and Your Life)

#319: How to Put an End to Performancism (Loving Your Work and Your Life)

Kathi sits down with friend and coauthor of “Overwhelmed,” Cheri Gregory to talk about performancism. It’s important to know when to put an end to your day and stop working for the night.

Cheri shares some personal stories about how she was able to shift her thinking from one of shame and blame to one of, it’s okay to rest.

This is a great episode on how to spot performancism, call it out and find a better balance in your life.

In this Episode You Will Know:

  • What the word performancism means.
  • How to know if you suffer from performancism.
  • Why it’s important to stop and listen.
  • Why it’s important to be both comforting and practical.

Grab a copy of You Don’t Have to Try So Hard-

Releases September 4, 2018

Ditch your feelings of inadequacy and finally come face-to-face with the bold, balanced woman God created you to be. Grab your copy from your favorite retailer and join our book club in September. All the details can be found here.

WIN A COPY OF YOU DON’T HAVE TO TRY SO HARD!

Enter to win a You Don’t Have to Try So Hard gift pack from Harvest House by commenting below: What is one way can put a healthy boundary in your life this week?

Downloads from this episode

The 3 Most Important Things to Know If You Suffer from Performancism 

How to Know If You Suffer from Performancism 

Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:

• Leave a note in the comment section below.
• Share this show on TwitterFacebook, or Pinterest.

To Help Out the Show:

• Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.
• Subscribe on iTunes or subscribe now.

Special thanks to Cheri for joining me this week! Remember to enter in the drawing for our “You Don’t Have to Try So Hard” gift basket and for your free download, “The 3 Most Important Things You Need to Know If You Suffer from Performancism and All the other Bad Behaviors” and “The 3 Most Important Things to Know If You’re Dealing with Somebody Who Suffers from Performancism.”

Meet Our Guest

Cheri Gregory

Cheri Gregory

Cheri Gregory is a teacher, speaker, author, and Certified Personality Trainer. Her passion is helping women break free from destructive expectations. She writes and speaks from the conviction that “how to” works best in partnership with “heart, too.” Cheri is the co-author, with Kathi Lipp, of The Cure for the “Perfect” Life and Overwhelmed.
Cheri has been “wife of my youth” to Daniel, her opposite personality, for twenty-eight years and is “Mom” to Annemarie (25) and Jonathon (23), also opposite personalities.
Cheri blogs about perfectionism, people-pleasing, highly sensitive people, and hope at www.cherigregory.com.

Eps. #317 Perfectly Planned – How to Capture Beauty and Order at the Same Time

Eps. #317 Perfectly Planned – How to Capture Beauty and Order at the Same Time

Ruth Chou Simons has come out with a tool for Kathi and fellow clutter-free people that you can start using now. Ruth’s new GraceLaced planner is a 17-month journey into documenting the daily things happening in each season of your life. It’s a time to slow down and enjoy all that God is doing.

In this episode you will:

*Hear directly from artist and author Ruth Chou Simons.

*Get motivated to start journaling those special moments you can reflect on later.

*Find out the reasons why it’s important to slow down and capture all that God’s doing in your life right now.

I am so excited about today’s podcast and can’t wait to share it with you!

Giveaway to Help You Stay Organized!

How do you up your creativity? Share your idea over on this post to be entered to win our grand prize sponsored by Harvest House Publishers so you can be creative and stay organized too.

 

 

Walk in Grace Through the Seasons

Approach each new day with purpose, led by truth from God’s Word. This 17-month planner from artist and author Ruth Chou Simons will help you organize your days and embrace the changing seasons of your heart. You will find:

  • artistically crafted weekly, monthly, and yearly calendars
  • ample space each week to keep track of to-dos and focus your intentions
  • special pages to note important birthdays or anniversaries each month
  • carefully selected, hand-lettered Scripture to encourage your heart
  • opportunities to record your prayers and favorite passages

This beautiful planner will help you practice everyday faithfulness and find God’s grace laced through each season of your life.

To purchase your GraceLaced Planner, click here.

Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:
• Leave a note in the comment section below.
• Share this show on TwitterFacebook, or Pinterest.

To help out the show:
• Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.
• Subscribe on iTunes or subscribe now.

Special thanks to Ruth for joining me this week!

Meet Our Guest

Ruth Chou Simons

Ruth Chou Simons

Ruth Chou Simons is a bestselling author, entrepreneur, and speaker who shares her journey of how God’s grace intersects daily life through word and paintbrush at GraceLaced.com – the popular blog, online shoppe, and Instagram community that reaches over a hundred thousand daily. Her first book, GraceLaced: Discovering Timeless Truths Through Seasons of the Heart, a winner of the 2018 Christian Book Award, released September 2017.

Chapter 10: Get the Conversation Started

Chapter 10: Get the Conversation Started

Welcome to The Mom Project. For the next few weeks, we’ll be launching my book The Mom Project by hosting several mom friends who have tried it out for themselves. They read the book, completed a project from the book with their kids, and wrote all about it. And these are real moms. Busy moms. Unsure-of-themselves moms. Single moms. Special needs moms. Working moms. Stay-at-home moms. They do the hard working of mommyhood every day, and have found fun ways to connect with their kids in the simple activities found in The Mom Project. Read on to hear their experience:

The Project:

Making a connection with my three kids who are ages 11 and twins who are 9, is a challenging enterprise. Life with three kids close in age will always be a challenging task. I desire connection with them but homework, errands and the minutiae of a day always seems to corrode time. I pick them up from school and then all of a sudden it is time for pjs and brushing teeth. Dinner is a gamble. Who is done with the day already? Who is grumpy because they don’t like what is on their plate? Who is annoyed at their sibling who is sitting where they wanted to sit. Connection at dinner is a miracle akin to the parting of the red sea… okay maybe not to that level but I mean when it happens I am giddy. The Mom Project suggests thinking beyond dinner and encourages thinking outside of the box I typically try to operate in. I’ve been reminded through the Mom Project that well-intentioned isn’t the same as intentional. Maybe this is obvious to most but I think this is a game-changer for me. Intentional connection requires a bit more than me saying, “How was your day?” and “Don’t forget to eat your veggies!”.

The Plan:

Here’s my reality. The best time to connect with my kids is at bedtime. They always want me to lay down with them and chat or just cuddle. The stress of the day is mostly over and their defenses come down. This is, of course, the time when I am the most ‘done’. It is 8 pm and I am ready to tap out. However, I want to connect when they already want to connect by intentionally creating space for this to occur. My plan is to spend time once a week in each child’s room and just sit and be – maybe we will have a snack, cuddle or just have a tickle fight. Just 15 minutes one-on-one with each child is what I am looking for.

Results:

They love it. And so do I. Connection is honestly what I love most about being a mom (it is certainly not the homework time) and so I started looking forward to my time with each child. Some evenings I could sit with all three kids for just a few minutes each and even that short time was a welcome few moments of connection. Bedtime may take longer, but I also come downstairs from tucking them in with a full heart.

What I learned:

Some nights are better than others to try and do this and so I need to be flexible. I did this project while my husband was out of town and it will be great for us to take turns taking a few extra moments one-on-one with the kids. The most necessary component of this is a willing heart ready to sit and just be, because you can’t rush and you have to be present. I have to be less concerned about what I have to do next and what is still waiting for me to take care of.

Extra Tips: Some days one of my children will need me more than another. When I sense that a particular child needs me I can take extra time to connect with them at bedtime. Also, with a little planning ahead I can include a favorite snack or look up knock-knock jokes ahead of time to share.

Ready for your chance to win a copy of The Mom Project? To be entered into the drawing, just comment on this post and you’ll be entered to win. *Only US readers are eligible to receive the free book.

___________________________________________________________________________________

Bethany Howard lives in Tucker, GA with her husband, three kids, dog and cat. She enjoys words, her children’s laughter and any dinner she doesn’t make. She’s recently developed a passion for dark chocolate covered almonds. She doesn’t aim for perfection because that is unattainable so you just might be comfortable visiting www.bethanyhoward.com where Bethany wades through the ups and downs of life to discover kindling for joy and growth. Click here for a free download on being the best mom you can be for your kids (it’s not what you think it is) and to subscribe to Bethany’s blog.

The Mom Project, Chapter 4: Home, A Safe Place to Land

The Mom Project, Chapter 4: Home, A Safe Place to Land

Welcome to The Mom Project. For the next few weeks, we’ll be launching my book The Mom Project by hosting several mom friends who have tried it out for themselves. They read the book, completed a project from the book with their kids, and wrote all about it. And these are real moms. Busy moms. Unsure-of-themselves moms. Single moms. Special needs moms. Working moms. Stay-at-home moms. They do the hard working of mommyhood every day, and have found fun ways to connect with their kids in the simple activities found in The Mom Project. Read on to hear their experience:

The Project

“I have an idea.” This is one of my favorite lines that my family hears me say right before I introduce a new plan. I’m sure over the years those words have evoked concern to some and excitement to others since my ideas tend to be outside the box and usually require some work. Like the time I said, “Hey Brian, I have an idea. I want to be a surrogate and carry other people’s babies.” That story is for another time, but more recently, about 3 years ago I had the idea to downsize and become a part of the “Tiny Home Movement.” My family was quickly on board. We decided we wanted to have a tiny home so we could have more time for our family (instead of maintenance on our things), to keep our current house as an investment/rental and most importantly to make financial changes so I could work towards being a part time WAHM (Work At Home Mom) so I could have more time and energy for our family. Despite the close quarters with 2 teen girls and the love-hate relationship with a tiny home that has brought, we have loved the “easy-ness” of simplifying our lives and being able to have more time to make memories as a family. As a part of this season of life, I’ve been reading The Mom Project and have loved all the fun and simple ways it gives to connect and make family memories. So now I have an idea! I’m going to share with you how I did one of the projects from the book with our girls. Welcome to our world.

The Plan

Since our girls are both in the phase of wanting to re-decorate their rooms, the project “Add a Few Creature Comforts” is perfect. They both literally have printed out inspirational photos from Pinterest in their rooms of how they want their rooms to look. If only we would be chosen for Fixer Upper, we would all be in heaven! (We only live a couple hours from Chip and Joanna Gaines, so if any of you have a connection, hook me up!) For the project, I am going to take the girls to the store to have them pick something special that will help make their tiny space more of their own and more enjoyable for them. To start off I had to choose the time and the place. Since we live outside of town and the girls go to a charter school, I get to drive into town and pick them up every day from school, so I chose a day that we didn’t have anything scheduled after school. I also chose Hobby Lobby since it is located in between school and our home, has lots of home decor and styles to choose from and I had a gift card! That’s a triple win in my book. I also let the girls know ahead of time what we would be doing since they are at the age that they tend to make plans in their head for their own lives and time and always appreciate a heads up.

Results

I picked the girls up from school and reminded them we were going to the store so they could pick out something for their rooms. They had forgotten, so they both were excited for this after school fun shopping trip. After some time wandering around the store checking out all the options, they both fairly quickly made great decisions. Trinity chose a black storage box and a white wooden organizer. Selah chose a metal organizer and two storage boxes (probably for all her homemade slimes).

What I Learned

I was surprised that both girls chose storage and organizational items! I thought they would choose more “fun” decor pieces like a mirror, wall hanging, pillow or candle. I loved that they chose pretty, yet practical pieces that would help them stay organized and keep their rooms and stuff under control. When given the option to make decisions for themselves, our girls often surprise me with mature decisions. Sometimes we as parents, just don’t give our kids enough opportunities to choose for themselves or we don’t allow them to have the natural consequences of their choices, good or bad.

Extra Tips

To add to the fun and challenge, I gave both of our girls a $15 limit. This meant they had to do the math to figure out the cost of what they wanted (since a lot of decor items were 50% off) and they had to stay within budget. These are everyday life skills that we all need and that I like to throw into the girls lives as much as I can. Also, don’t forget to take pictures when you are making memories. Don’t overdo it though. Make sure you find the balance of being in the moment and taking pictures to help keep that moment forever. Enjoy our pics!

Hope you loved this peek into our tiny world. For more ideas on connecting with your kids, check out “The Mom Project.”

“Ready for your chance to win a copy of The Mom Project? To be entered into the drawing, just comment on this post and you’ll be entered to win. *Only US readers are eligible to receive the free book.”

_____________________________________________________________________________________

 Bio: Written by Tiffany Jo Baker, a mom who has birthed 7 children, but only 2 of them were her own. This 3x Surrogate, now Couples Life and Fertility Support Coach, continues to help couples birth their dreams and thrive thru infertility. Are you “Thriving Thru Infertility?” Free Quiz Here.