Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Journaling, Writing for Growth

As you go through A Fruitful Year, a portion of each month's activities will be journaling. This is not just any journaling but rather spiritual journaling or journaling for growth. This means that you are looking within and writing to assist you in growing. You will be given prompts to help you think and learn about yourself. Let me define the type of journaling a bit with some examples to help you understand this. 

A diary is probably the simplest of the journals we are talking bout. This is where you write the events of the day. There is not much deep thinking. It is a statement of what happened that day. So, a simple diary entry might be: 


Journaling can include some of the elements of a diary but takes it further and begins to touch on feelings. Let’s look at the diary entry above and turn it a bit into a journal entry.


There is a bit of feeling in there, but it does not look at what is really happening or what God has to say about that. 

Journaling for Growth looks within looks at the heart and working to discover the deep roots of what we are doing. Journaling for Growth looks at what God says about the issue or might begin prayer asking for help. Let’s take the same example and look at it as a journaling for growth entry. What are the heart issues?


As we look within, we do see overspending but we see discontent, we see a love of pleasure. We see areas that God wants to change. 

Journaling for Growth requires:

1. Honesty with ourselves. You need to be willing to take the time to look at your own life and see what God sees.

2. Knowledge and God’s wisdom. Our thoughts and how we look at the things need to be done with God’s wisdom and God’s truths. We need to keep in line with God’s word.

3. That we be willing to change based on what we learn. You can be honest with yourself, you can know God’s truth but if you do not change you will not grow.

Journaling for Growth will take time to think, write, analyze what God says, and then change. This is not a quick fix. There might be layers that need to be worked through. As we work though this, our journal will help record growth and change.


I know journaling even in general can be hard. Take the time this year to grow and use a journal to help record that growth. 

Will you join me in Journaling for Growth this year? 

Beth

Monday, January 15, 2018

Necessary for Success - Accountability Partner

Why is it easier to do things with other people? Think about it for a minute. Do you find it easier to exercise with someone else? Maybe it is easier to have someone help you declutter. Why is it easier to do things with other people?


Last year I did a big walk. I did it with three friends. We began training in the cold, gray days of winter. Our long training walks were on Saturday morning. There were many mornings that I would have much rather stayed in my warm bed then get out and walk in the cold, rainy weather but I got up and went because I knew a someone else was expecting me to be there. I might have taken a shorter walk if I was alone but together we walked and talked. Doing it with friends was so much better.

An accountability partner is more than just someone to do things with. This is a person that knows you, can speak honestly, someone that you respect and will listen to, and someone that can point you to the truth.

An accountability partner that knows you will be able to help you look at yourself. They should be able to see the negative and the positives in your life. Sometimes we focus on the negative and need to be reminded of the positives. An accountability partner that knows you will also know your family, your house, and your schedule. You need someone that knows you.

A Fruitful Year is not just about getting things done. It is about abiding in Christ and bearing fruit. You need an accountability partner that can point you to God’s truth. There are so many voices around us but we need to be hearing God’s truth in our lives. Your accountability partner should be encouraging you to listen to God’s truth.

You need someone that you can be honest with. Someone that you trust will keep information confidential. As you work through the year, you might have difficult things to discuss and you need someone that you trust.

An accountability partner helps you to keep going. They speak encouraging words when you are ready to quit. An accountability partner might be able to come and help you get a project done.

Your accountability partner doesn’t need to be in the same location but it does need to be someone that you are communicating with regularly. Talk to that person about what you are doing. Give them information about A Fruitful Year. Share your goals. Let them know what you are expecting from them. Ask questions and get their input. Listen to them.

Daniel was faced with a difficult situation. He was taken as captive and then chosen to be taught the literature and language of the Chaldeans. Part of that learning time was following the king’s diet. Daniel knew that diet would defile himself and so he asked to be given a diet of vegetables. Daniel had friends joining him and following this with him. He also had God’s favour in his life. Daniel had others joining him in this.



Do you have an accountability partner? What is one thing that you will ask that person to help you with this coming year?

Beth

Friday, January 12, 2018

Logistics and Biblical Counselling - Combining Two Different Things

I thought I would pause in all the instructional information posts and just share a bit about me and my heart as to why I am writing A Fruitful Year. I am not sure that this is necessarily an easier topic to write about but it will give you a break from feeling like all I am doing is telling you what you need to do. I shared a bit of the story behind A Fruitful Year here. Go read that and hopefully I will not repeat myself.

Grab a cup of coffee or tea or just a glass of water. Coffee is my drink of choice.


I am a planner. I love having a plan.  I spent a number of years working in manufacturing logistics which included scheduling production and shipping finished goods to meet orders. I was a logistics manager. Most of that time I was working in an office in Asia. Part of my job was to consider capacity, lead-times, demand, all with the goal of getting a finished product to the retailer in a timely manner.

So that is a bit of my planning background. I love to do lists and being able to tick off the things as they are finished. Planning and goal setting is a big part of A Fruitful Year but the deeper part if our relationship with God.

It was while I was living and working in Asia that I took my first Biblical Counselling course. That was the beginning of my Biblical Counselling studies. I have since done further studies. The hardest part about that are the difficult things I learn about myself. The best part about that are the difficult things I learn about myself. Learning these things helped me to grow in the Lord. I want to encourage women to grow in the Lord.

I write from my experiences. I write from what I have learned about God. I write because I need this. I feel that A Fruitful Year brings those two things together.


My prayer is as you follow along this year you will be encouraged to grow and also get things done.

So if we were sitting having coffee, what questions would you ask me?


Beth

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

You Need a Plan



You need a plan. You took the time to write a goal. You need a plan. 

A big part of accomplishing your goal is your plan for that goal. Goals take time. Goals take work. Sometimes Goals require some money. Goals take diligence and discipline. You need a plan on how you will reach the goal.

One of the things that I think you need to consider before making plans for your goals is the events and things scheduled for the year. If you have a two-week holiday in the summer that is going to reduce how much time you have to work on some of the goals. Look at your calendar and see what is already scheduled for the year. Those things might have some tasks associated with the event.

Once you have an idea of how much time you have available. Look at your goal. How much time do you anticipate it will take to accomplish that goal? Then plan time and do it. Most of the goals are things that we will be working on over months. We need a plan and also as we are working the plan we are seeing progress.

How do you plan your goal? One way is simply divide the goal into 12 and do 1/12 each month. For some goals that might work but you also need to consider that some months you might not have the time to devote to the goal.

Depending on the goal it might make sense to have a weekly task that will work you towards the goal.

You might need a month or two where you are focusing on a specific goal or goals. Get a big portion of it done. Winter months are perfect for doing some of those indoor activities. See how much you can get done before spring arrives.

Look at the goals that you have written. Write a plan for how you will accomplish that goal.

Are you thinking that writing the plan will take time that you could actually be working on the goal? Yes, it might take a bit of time but the plan will help you to know what needs to be done and how to do it. The plan is a bit like the map. A map helps to guide to from your location to your destination.

We can set goals and we can plan. I think those are good things but we need to remember that God is in charge of our plans. He can change our plans. His plans for our life are perfect.
We do the best we can with the bits of knowledge that we have but God is all-knowing.

To live A Fruitful Year we need to be abiding. As part of the abiding, we need to be listening to the Spirit and checking our goals and plans to be sure that we are following God’s ways. This is not just at the beginning of the year but throughout the year. Abide in Christ and listen to the Spirit.

Hold your plans loosely in your hands. Be willing to change the plan for the day, the week or even the whole goal if God calls you do so. Remember the words from James 4:13-16, specifically verse 15. 



When your plans change, trust that God is working and he has a better plan and goal for you at this time. 

Do you have plans for how you will reach your goals? Have you written these down?



Beth

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