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2017 Ain’t Over Yet!

Let me tell you, my 2017 was HARD! But you know what? It’s okay. I’m not running from it. A young lady in the store said to me, “I can’t wait for the year to be over!” Is that your sentiment too? Y’all, 2017 ain’t over yet. If your year was hard, I want you to rejoice and celebrate because you are here. You are an overcomer. You still stand. So while we are still in 2017, give God a shout of PRAISE that you made it!

 

Have you seen them? My social media feeds have been FULL of them; all the promises that 2018 claims to hold.

 

It’s Your Year

 

Strong, Healthier, Wiser

 

The Year You Finally Go For It

 

The Year You Say Yes To More Happiness, Friends, and Love

 

Your Year To Sparkle

 

[bctt tweet=”Cute memes filled with sparkle, shine and happy don’t always translate into days filled with peace, progress, productivity and joy.” username=”inspiredfully”] And while the start of a new year may be a welcomed invitation for a do over, it can also induce fear, anxiety and failure. So let me tell you right now, I am praying for you. I pray you aren’t feeling pressured with the end of 2017 chomping at the bit. Yes, the close of the year is fast approaching. In fact, including today there are just 4 days left in this year. If the thought of that makes your pulse quicken, PAUSE. Take a few deep, cleansing breaths. Remember that the Lord created the world and every thing in it in a mere six days. So here’s the plan for FINISHING 2017 In 3 Easy Steps.

 

Step 1: No Condemnation

 

Conviction is from God. Condemnation is from the devil. The enemy of your soul wants you to accept his lies as truth. He wants to sow seeds of doubt, discouragement and dissolution. But God wants HIS truth to liberate you. And the TRUTH says, Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:1-2).

 

Step 2: Focused Reflection

 

Grab a pen and spend a few quiet moments of focused reflection. One of the hallmarks of successful people is to review their year. So let’s close out 2017 by gaining insight through purposeful reflection. Then use that wisdom as a springboard for launching into 2018. Did you have ONE WORD for 2017? Reflect on how that word manifested this year. Then answer the following questions:

 

What great accomplishment did God perform through me this year?

 

What new thing did I learn this year?

 

What one thing would I have done differently?

 

What was my biggest challenge?

 

What caught me by surprise this year?

 

What was my biggest lesson learned?

 

In what ways did I grow emotionally and spiritually?

 

How am I different this year than last year?

 

For what am I most grateful for this year?

 

What was one key relationship from this year?

 

What is one thing from this year that I need to let go of?

 

 

So what if you find this year did not go as planned? Well, you’ve had an opportunity then for scripture to come alive in your life. The Word says a man’s heart plans his way but it is the Lord that directs his steps (Proverbs 16:9). Remember, no condemnation. Celebrate the successes you did have. You made it this far and that is evidence enough that a miracle has taken place. You are a walking, talking miracle.

 

Step 3: Prayer

 

How sweet it is to commune with God in prayer. As you pour your heart out to God, He will pour into you. As you reflect on 2017, thank Him. Thank Him that you lived to see another year. Thank Him specifically for the myriad of ways he provided for you in 2017. Thank Him for protecting you in 2017. Thank Him for prospering you. Thank Him for being your healer, redeemer and way maker all year long. Ask Him for insight, revelation, and direction. Ask Him for the discipline, courage and fortitude to carry out what He whispers to your heart.

 

Set your heart on making these last few days of the year count BIG. And you know what? I know that you can do it. You will not look at these last four days and be overwhelmed. You will not use these last four days to condemn yourself for whatever happened the other 361 days of 2017. Through focused reflection and prayer you will be firmly established to conclude this year in a way that honors God and honors yourself. You WILL have a strong finish to your 2017. It ain’t over yet!

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

 

Happy to connect with these friends sharing the Good News Mommy Moments, Purposeful Faith, Chasing Community, Salt & Light, Grace & Truth, Faith N Friends

 

(First appeared on Inspired Life December 28, 2016 but revised and updated)

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You Were Made To Be Courageous

Resolution \ˌre-zə-ˈlü-shən\

The act or process of resolving: the act of answering, the act of determining.

 

With the New Year upon us, people often use this time as a springboard to adopt new beliefs, habits, or behavior. We see an increase in gym memberships, church attendance and a decrease in drinking, smoking and the like. But…mid-February many of the resolutions that began strong on January 1st have stalled. There may be vestiges of activity or forgotten altogether.

 

So instead of making New Year’s resolutions that will fade away in a matter of weeks, I invite you to join me in resolving to live a life based on principles. A principle is a belief that helps you know what is right and wrong and influences your actions. Starting tomorrow, I’ll share some of the principles that guide my daily living. In living out my principles I have adopted one word for the year that serves as the rails on which my principles glide. My #oneword365 for 2015 is COURAGE.

courage scrabble

Last year my word was RELEASE. When this word chased me down at the end of 2013, I didn’t understand it, I didn’t want it and I couldn’t see how it was going to be applicable in my life. But it proved to be the perfect word for I was truly granted release. Release from shackles that I didn’t even know I was wearing, released from childhood hurts, releasing myself to give me permission to ENJOY life and not live this self-imposed martyrdom.

 

Now that I am FREE, I feel I’m going to need COURAGE for the next leg of the journey. It’s going to take courage for me to:

 ~Be willing to take risks

~Look fear in the face and not be the one to back down

~Purposefully parent my children in love yet administer correction with grace

~Know when to speak up and when to be silent

~Expand my business

 

I was made to be courageous.

 

“Just keep on trying, and trying and trying. You’re a lion. In your own way be a lion”. So go the lyrics to a song from my absolute favorite movie soundtrack The Wiz. In the movie Diana Ross as Dorothy coaxes the Lion into remembering who he his; he is a lion, standing proud and strong, the bravest of them all.

 

Like Lion in The Wiz, I was made to be courageous.

lion

In being released, I turned my walk into a run and my run into a soar. And it’s certainly going to take courage to look around as I glide at new heights. When I look down from this new vantage point it may be intimidating.

 

Over the weekend, I had an opportunity to take a ride on the Capital Wheel; a ferris wheel over 180-feet tall. When I entered my little cabin, I was slightly apprehensive but was walking in my newfound courage. As I chatted with my friend, the wheel began to turn. So engaged was I in the conversation, that I didn’t realize we had made it to the top of the circle. It was only then did I look up and out the window to see how high up we were. Fear tried to creep in as the magnitude of the height became real to me. So while the new vantage point was intimidating, I stood on courage and enjoyed the ride. And after the 1st rotation, it wasn’t scary at all. In fact, it was kind of monotonous. Score 1 for Team Courage!

capital wheel 1

I was made to be courageous.

 

Time and again scripture admonishes us to have courage.

 

Deuteronomy 31:6

Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”

 

And one of my favorite scriptures,

 

Joshua 1:7

Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.

 

A final thought…

 

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Marianne Williamson

 

Celebrating my 2014 Release and intrigued about how COURAGE will present itself in 2015.

 

I was made to be courageous.

You were made to be courageous.

 

What goals, plans or words have you chosen to live out in 2015? Let me hear from you.

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired to Life Fully!