Life comes at us fast and furious. Do you ever stop and think about why you do all the things you do? Is there any planning involved or did you get sucked into the pull and pace of our culture?
I do. I am right now, sucked into a thousand things – and all of them are good. But are they God things?
God is really pruning so much away in my life right now. And it is hard.
Have you ever thought of God as a gardener?
Gardening is a hobby of mine – not one I planned either. I remember the day hubby and I closed on our home. We were so excited. The new paint colors had been picked (still waiting on that to be finished 😉 ), The boxes were packed, everything was in order and we were brimming with excitement.
Our home belonged to a sweet couple who were full of… details that closing day. They told us so much – about things we didn’t understand.
Every beautiful plant and tree that drew us to this house had a name, species and special care instructions. Yeah, I didn’t write any of that down.
There were strange words like prune and mulch being thrown at me.
The gentleman was telling hubby all about augers and main clean outs and spring cleaning.
LOL, we left that meeting convinced these people were strange… and a little terrified that we had no idea what they were talking about!
Bit by bit we lived out every piece of advice they shared – not by following their instructions and preparing in advance! Each and every thing was learned through trials.
Hubby learned how to auger the back cleanout and clean the gutters each spring.
3 years into life at the new house, my elderly neighbor called me to the fence.
“Do you know why your lavender bush is not blooming?” he asked. “Well I wondered why it was growing so tall but not blooming” I hesitantly answered. “You haven’t pruned it since you moved in (picture accusing eyes). If you prune it to about a foot it will bloom next year. If you keep ignoring it the plant will die”.
Lesson learned! If you don’t prune the bushes back – at the right time- they don’t flower the next year.
God is pruning away the things in my life that do not bear fruit
Y’all, pruning hurts.
The things God is pruning away are good things -things I love. Ministries I have served in for years. Hobbies I’ve enjoyed for years. This pruning is making time in my life.
God is challenging me to pursue my calling.
huh… I didn’t even know I had a calling until last year. Little by little God has shown me that not only do I have a calling – we all have a calling.
The problem is I get sucked into the busy cycle of life and settle for the status quo -missing God’s best for my life.
Today I want to challenge you to begin planning to defy the status quo with me.
Take time to think through the Why behind what you do each day. I am right there with you!
These are the questions I am asking:
- What stage of life am I in?
- Do the things I love doing (or spend the most time doing) fit this life stage?
- Do I have dreams and plans for this coming year?
- God does… so if God does I should. (If you ask Him, He will tell you!)
- Can I do something today to take 1 step closer to those dreams?
I am learning to hold my Dreams and Plans up to Psalm 37 and ask myself some hard questions:
- Am I Trusting in the Lord?
- If someone looked in on my life would they say I Delight in the Lord?
- Have I committed my way to the Lord?
If we do, He will give us the desires of our heart!
Ok, so we are going to ask God to tell us what to dream and plan. What do we do with those Dreams? Plan Backward from the end goal… Let me give you some of my personal examples.
Dreams/Goals for myself as a Women
Spiritual Goals – to be better at prayer and more intentional at Bible Study
- To get better at those I need to plan time to do them more consistently.
- Planning time means rearranging things that are not as important – maybe saying no to some things in my life to create that space – Pruning!
Physical Goals – to eat healthier and take better care of my body!
- This one has actually been on my list for years -without much success. Iam trying a new Faith Based Weight loss program (Faithful Finish Lines) the 1st of the year (Cross your fingers and toes for me – and come join me if this fits your life!)
Ministry Goals – I have dreams of writing a book, launching a Bible Study… (it’s okay if our goals look different!)
- Both of these take time – I could use some time management tools (comment if you have any for me 😉 )
What are your Dreams as a woman?
Goals/Dreams for myself as a Mom
- What dreams do I have for my children?
- I don’t mean career dreams, but character dreams.
I have 2 beautiful Little Blessings. They were born sinners. My dream is for their salvation. Not only salvation, but that they would own their faith and be walking in it when they leave my home- ready to make a Kingdom impact on the world!
There is a deep desire that drives me to teach them Random Acts of Kindness -to the fringe in our world.
Honesty and Forgiveness are also a deep desire I have for my children. They are lessons I learned the hard way and I want them to walk in the Freedom they bring.
What are your Mom Goals/Dreams?
- What is 1 step you can take today to begin parenting with these End Goals in mine?
Dreams as a Wife – Backward Planning to keep Hope and Joy in my Marriage!
My Desire this year in Marriage is to become better friends.
1 step I plan to take is to plan (and follow through) 2 Date Nights – Fun Date Nights. I made a plan last year to set aside the pressure of responsibility and just have fun with hubby… then life happened and my plan fell apart. God is pruning away my Pride in this season!
Today is a new day. I can try again! Say it with me ladies – I can try again!
Yesterdays failure does not have to define my today!
What are your desires for your marriage?
Wait… I didn’t ask you what you want to change in your husband. Think about it this way:
If your husband were perfect (stop laughing or snarling -whichever you may be doing right now), what would you desire for the next year of your Marriage?
Can you think of 1 practical step to take toward that goal today?
Maybe you can’t think of a desire… I get that, I was in that place a few years ago. God took me through a crazy season. What I learned from that season has changed my marriage and home so much that I am left breathless in awe of God today!
If you need some help Finding that Hope and Joy in your Christian Marriage I’d like to invite you to be part of a Free (for now) Online Study in January. Classes begin January 9, 2018 – RSVP to hold your place (space is limited)!
Will you take the Backward Planning Challenge?
These are just a few ways that we can begin taking back our life from the pressure to conform to our culture.
If God is pruning the things that do not not bearing fruit it is for great things! Let’s work with Him in the process.
Stop today and plan 10-15 minutes to reflect on your goals and dreams.
What do you want in your life and your family next year, 5 years from now, 10 years from now?
What are you doing today that will make that happen?
Are you doing things that will hinder it from happening?
Name 1 step you can take today to reach your dream.
I pulled together a Printable Pack to help you start Intentionally Planning Backward!
Can I pray for you about this step? Just comment “Challenge Accepted” below and I’ll be lifting you and your family up today!