Thursday, May 5, 2016

Reflections on Purpose: April

How is it already May? Seems like I just wrote this post..
ok, maybe I did, because half of April was over when I wrote the last one.

I've been reading some about our higher calling in life, trying to flesh out just what purpose is.

I've mentioned before that I tend to overcomplicate things. I tend to overanalyze and try to work out the details.

Life isn't always willing to let you do that. Sometimes things happen just because and you have to go with the flow, which I am NOT good at.

But as I'm thinking on purpose and intentionality and what that means in my life, I'm reminded again that we all were made for one thing. Fellowship with God, worship, and bringing Him glory. How I do that may look different than how you do that, but in the end it's the same result.

Our purpose is not about us.

It's about Him.

And sometimes, a lot of the time...
that means being open.

Not rigid.

Even if the to do list maker in me says, "Plan it!!! Set goals and figure out how you'll reach them."

Sometimes living with purpose looks more like being flexible and appreciating the moment... I've been reminded of that again and again this year.

So, that being said... here's my look back on April and where I am.

My 16 for 2016:
1. Live with Purpose- intentionally. Have I mentioned how I love my planner? And to do lists? And how I lived last year in a sense of chaos because I didn't use it like I should?

Well, I did.
And so far I'm doing much better using my planner and actually being productive, which is part of living intentionally with purpose.
I've also been thinking more about time management... funny; I'll be doing a session on that for some incoming Allied Health students in a couple of weeks, but it's something I still struggle with. I downloaded an app called Moments on my phone and I spend 2-4 hours A DAY on my phone.

What could I do with that time? That'll be my focus in May for living intentionally... putting the phone down.
At least some.

2. Exercise- Goal: At least five days a week, 30 minutes a day, and at least 10,000 steps 26/30 days or 27/31 days of each month (24/28 days in February). (Because nobody is perfect).

April was a bad month. I didn't average 10,000 steps. I only exercised 20 days, and I gained a couple of pounds... but I've started this month off wonderfully.  so there's that.
3. 1,000 Gifts- Gratitude Journal
Doing pretty good on this. Part of living intentionally is recognizing the gifts all around you. I'm almost to 500.
4. Scripture-
I finished April and am one day behind in May. I find that this truly does help me. A lot of times it's been just the verse I've needed that morning or night. Also, writing those words help me get it into my mind, which helps get it in my heart... and what's in the heart will overflow. I NEED His Word.

5. 365 Day Challenges- One picture a day and writing at least 10 minutes each day. One of my facebook friends developed a challenge and we even have our own hashtag- #write365.
Grace. That's all. And recognizing that even though I need the discipline, sometimes some things aren't the most important in life, and it's ok to realize that some things aren't necessary a priority. Or maybe that's just a cop out. I am doing better about the writing.! 

6. Reading Challenge-
I finished 10 books in April so I'm on track for meeting my goal. Not doing great on the other... I keep downloading series books on my Kindle. But the summer is almost here, my Kindle is fully loaded, and the books are piled up!

7. Chronological Bible- Still not caught up on this one but one thing I will do this summer is catch up. I WILL read the Bible all the way through this year.

8. As I mentioned before last month, I'm no longer writing down the words, but I do still get the email from an online dictionary and I'm learning lots of new words. Ok, maybe not actually learning them... but some of them you can't help but remember. Like today's was margauretize (not sure of the spelling), which I assumed would have something to do with a margarita... but no. It had to do with being of pearl color, or something like that. Not sure when a person would actually use that word...  ..

9. Random/Unrandom Acts of Kindness- Still looking for ways to randomly impact people through my words or deeds. Not doing something every day, but I am making the conscious effort to look for opportunities. I'm reminded of how cards are a lost art... maybe something to consider in the coming months.

10. Presence- Doing better about this, but I already mentioned my goal of putting my phone down. And also listening. And I also need to be nicer. Just today, I responded in a not so nice way to Caleb, which leads to him responding not so nicely to me, which escalates the matter. Intentional living is about enjoying the moment, and I"m still learning about that.

11. Cross something off of my bucket list. Nothing yet. But I emailed my advisor and I don't have to submit anything else for the class I'm in this semester. Just a lot of hard work the upcoming months as I crank out that research project. Prayers, please!

12. Be more organized. Procrastinate less. Fold the laundry as I get it out of the dryer and actually put it away =)
(I have a looonng way to go on this one... but that's why we have all year, right?)
Ok. I'm happy to report that I AM cleaning my office out at work. And I'm setting deadlines for assignments and working ahead... a little. And the laundry isn't completely blocking the back door... but that may or may not be because Wallace got bored one night.
13. Laugh. Everyday.  Hard.
Because laughter is truly good for the soul.
So many things to laugh out. I don't know that I laugh hard everyday, but I come close. And it truly is good medicine.
14. Keep a Sabbath day of rest.
I have done this. I have also, as I mentioned, used it as excuse to be lazy. I am trying to make an effort to use it to rest my soul... get in His Word more... appreciate nature and His creation.

15. Make new friends. Make time for old ones.
Just yesterday I wrote in my journal for God to open my heart to allow me to cultivate friendship. I'm so awkward, and I also have crazy expectations. I'm reminded to be a friend you must show yourself friendly.
Am I the only one struggling with this?
I don't think so... because I'm amazed at all of the groups there are on facebook. I"m in several... many of them through Christian groups where I don't really know the people.
The online world can cause a sense of  false intimacy. I can like someone's picture and then not speak to them in Walmart.
I'm trying to do better... even if it makes me uncomfortable.
God never said we could stay in our comfort zone... and it can be pretty lonely there.

16. Continue to love. Love Jesus. Love myself. Love others.
Living out my values: Be Yourself. Laugh Often. Live well. Love long. Just breathe. Work it out. Finish Strong. Hope always. Give grace. Positive Thinking. Jeremiah 29:11. Romans 8
I forget these values sometimes. I forget to give grace and find myself dwelling on the negative. I forget sometimes, even just to pause and breathe... but I'm finding that He reminds me. He brings them to surface. He is so good, y'all. Even when we're not.

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