Strides of Increase, Week 5

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As you know, my word of the year is Increase. When I think about the word Increase, I think about personal growth, getting better, being intentional and purposeful. I wanted to post a regular update of sorts of how I’m using my Word of the Year in a personal way. Sure, it’s easy to choose a word to claim over your year, but if you do nothing with it, it’s really just a word.

So that is what I’m going to do with my word, Increase, and I’m going to bring you along on this journey with me. Hopefully it will inspire you to do the same with the word you’ve chosen and your own New Year’s Resolutions & Goals. Apply it to your life in a personal way and make some positive changes.

So how am I striving to INCREASE this year and this week specifically?
(Personally, Professionally, & in my Family)

  • I’m working to build worthwhile habits.
    January’s habits were…
    Re-establishing the Habit of Working Out – I accomplished this.
    Establish the Habit of Reading Aloud to my Children – I wasn’t perfect at this, but we did make strides. We’ve come to enjoy it. They especially like it when we have a special snack or treat while we read like chocolate milk. ūüėČ
    Establish the Habit of Daily Reading, Personally – I didn’t read every single day so I wouldn’t say that it’s a habit yet, but I did read one complete book and made some progress in a few others as well.
    February’s habits are…
    No Added Sugars – I felt like this was the next step in my journey towards health. I have a major sweet tooth, and while I do eat clean “most” of the time, there are a few tweaks I needed to make such as cleaning up my coffee, eliminating the “flavored waters” I drink that contain all the Aspartame, and other things I have on occasion like ketchup, salad dressing, dairy products, etc. I know that sugar-addiction is a real thing, and I would just like to eliminate this for myself and my children, in time. While I know that there will be some days that I do consume sugars (such as my birthday), I’m just tracking and seeing how many days I can possibly do without.
    -Being Playful – I am prioritizing doing fun things with my children in each and every day, even if it’s just joining them in what they are playing. I have a deep desire to just be present with them. I already do this, where I just soak up all the little laughs and try to memorize the details of their faces or how they form sentences and tell me stories. I can’t tell you how often I just watch and listen to them playing. It brings me so much joy! But I also want to do this in a way that is meaningful to them – where they know that Mom was not too busy to play with them and do fun things. I take this job of mothering very seriously, and I want to always be available to shepherd their hearts when they need it.
    -Drink my water – I already mentioned that I’m eliminating added sugars. This means the aspartame that was in my Crystal Light- typed flavored waters that were my go-to beverage. It’s unfortunate, really, because I find that without flavor, I don’t drink fluids much at all and find myself really thirsty. I’ve used this as an excuse to keep purchasing and consuming the flavored varieties, even though I knew they weren’t the best option for me. So now I feel like I really need to track how much water I’m drinking so that I am just more mindful of it. So far, I’ve found that I like room-temperature bottled water the best.
  • I want to GROW as a Christian and as a person in general.
    -I am loving Priscilla Shirer’s study called Discerning the Voice of God. At a time in my life where I feel so conflicted on so many things, it couldn’t have come at a more perfect time.
    -I also enjoyed watching Lisa Rippy’s videos of Financial Absolutes this week – It was full of practical advice of financial disciplines, but they were all from the Bible. I want to go back and watch her previous videos as well. She is a Facebook friend of mine that I’ve been following for some time now. I don’t remember who recommended her to me first, but I love what she’s doing with Interior Inspirations. She’s a very inspiring woman of God.
  • Celebrate the wins & Focus on the Positive. 
  • I want to build my blog and expand to new territories of influence.
    My blog is transitioning to Purposeful Planning soon.¬†I’m also recognizing relationships outside of my blog, home, and church that I have opportunities just to minister to people and be who I am.
  • GROW my Platform.¬†I’ve been seeking God about what it is that He would have me share with my readers and my social media followers.¬†There is a challenge this month on the topic of Self-Care, as well as a Facebook group to dive deeper into this topic with my readers.
  • Work on and Build each relationship.¬†To do this, I am studying the personality types and love languages of each of those in my immediate family. I am reading and thinking about how to create a life-giving home. I want to better understand, love, and serve those closest to me.
  • Focus on hearts & character.¬†These will be things we will focus on more in our home school and home-life in general. I will strive to be more like Jesus in my mothering and as a wife. Right now I am just focusing on being present with my family and children.So these are the ways that I am personally working towards INCREASE in my personal, professional, and family life. Now, go take your Word of the Year, and make a purposeful plan to bring about positive change in your own life. That’s what it’s all about!Ya’ll have a great week! Go make a plan to be purposeful!

    Look for these posts this week from me in our Self-Care Challenge:
    How to Care for Your Spiritual Well-Being
    How to Care for Your Physical Health
    Letting Go of Fear
    Just Do It

     

     

     

     

     

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Strides of Increase, Week 4

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As you know, my word of the year is Increase. When I think about the word Increase, I think about personal growth, getting better, being intentional and purposeful. I wanted to post a regular update of sorts of how I’m using my Word of the Year in a personal way. Sure, it’s easy to choose a word to claim over your year, but if you do nothing with it, it’s really just a word.

So that is what I’m going to do with my word, Increase, and I’m going to bring you along on this journey with me. Hopefully it will inspire you to do the same with the word you’ve chosen and your own New Year’s Resolutions & Goals. Apply it to your life in a personal way and make some positive changes.

So how am I striving to INCREASE this year and this week specifically?
(Personally, Professionally, & in my Family)

  • I’m working to build worthwhile habits.
    -Re-establishing the Habit of Working Out
    I worked out every day this week, except Wednesday. I even made my morning skill-practice sessions. We’ve got a good routine going now.
    -Establish the Habit of Reading Aloud to my Children
    I didn’t read to my children as many times as I would have liked to, but we still did some. I didn’t take the time to photo document the times we did though.
    Establish the Habit of Daily Reading, Personally 
    This week I read Reading People by Anne Bogel through chapter 6. It’s not much, but at least it’s progress. I think I can easily finish this book this week if I prioritize it.

    I’ll be working on new habits each month and tracking them in my planner. Next month starts three new habits and trackers for me.

     

     

  • I want to GROW as a Christian and as a person in general.
    I am loving Priscilla Shirer’s study called Discerning the Voice of God. At a time in my life where I feel so conflicted on so many things, it couldn’t have come at a more perfect time.

    Would yall just look at that sweet little hand trying to “color” here?

  • Celebrate the wins & Focus on the Positive.
    This week I received photo prints in the mail that I had ordered and added them to my Happy Planner. My Happy Planner just got Happier!
     
  • I want to build my blog and expand to new territories of influence.
    My blog is transitioning to Purposeful Planning soon. There will be a challenge this month on the topic of Self-Care, as well as a Facebook group to dive deeper into this topic with my readers.
  • GROW my Platform.¬†I’ve been seeking God about what it is that He would have me share with my readers and my social media followers.
  • Work on and Build each relationship.¬†To do this, I am studying the personality types and love languages of each of those in my immediate family. I am reading and thinking about how to create a life-giving home. I want to better understand, love, and serve those closest to me. 

     

  • Focus on hearts & character.¬†These will be things we will focus on more in our home school and home-life in general. I will strive to be more like Jesus in my mothering and as a wife.

    So these are the ways that I am personally working towards INCREASE in my person, professional, and family life. Now, go take your Word of the Year, and make a purposeful plan to bring about positive change in your own life. That’s what it’s all about!

    Ya’ll have a great week! Go make a plan to be purposeful!

    Look for these posts this week from me:
    Discover Your Passions (with Free Printables!)
    Determine Your Core Values (with Free Printables!)
    Letting Go of Perfection
    How to “Sabbath” (with Free Printable!)

     

     

     

     

     

     

Strides of Increase, Week 3

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As you know, my word of the year is Increase. When I think about the word Increase, I think about personal growth, getting better, being intentional and purposeful. I wanted to post a regular update of sorts of how I’m using my Word of the Year in a personal way. Sure, it’s easy to choose a word to claim over your year, but if you do nothing with it, it’s really just a word.

So that is what I’m going to do with my word, Increase, and I’m going to bring you along on this journey with me. Hopefully it will inspire you to do the same with the word you’ve chosen. Apply it to your life in a personal way and make some positive changes.

So how am I striving to INCREASE this year and this week specifically?
(Personally, Professionally, & in my Family)

  • I’m working to build worthwhile habits.
    -Re-establishing the Habit of Working Out
    With sick kiddos and snow days this week, I missed my morning “Bonus Work” gym sessions, but I did make 4 workouts this week so I’m okay with that.

    -Establish the Habit of Reading Aloud to my Children
    We read several days this week. Layten also brought me a Playstation Game case for me to “read” to her one day, so at least I know that she’s enjoying our read aloud time. I took a few pics to document the books we read.

    This one was fun because Layten has learned how to say “apple”, and there are apples on literally every page.

    Establish the Habit of Daily Reading, Personally 
    This week I read Stronger than the Strugger by Havilah Cunnington, chapter 1 and Reading People by Anne Bogel through chapter 4.

  • I want to GROW as a Christian and as a person in general.
    In addition to my habit of reading the One Year Bible, this week I began my first supplemental study of the year – Priscilla Shirer’s study Discerning the Voice of God. It’s already SO GOOD! (And the video sessions are available free right now through LifeWay if you want to get a book a join me!)

    Would yall just look at that sweet little hand trying to “color” here?

  • Celebrate the wins & Focus on the Positive.
    I’m doing this by memory-keeping in my Happy Planner, but here is some photo documentation of a few things…

    A Moment that they are playing well together… definitely cause for celebration!

    Lawson lost his very first tooth! Literally about an hour after we noticed it was loose, he pulled it himself. I hope they are all this easy!

    Justin competed in the Hometown Throwdown CrossFit competition near us this weekend. He and his partner placed 5th in the RX male division. He had about 8 of our CrossFit members come out to support him, plus his family of course.

  • I want to build my blog and expand to new territories of influence.
    My blog is transitioning to Purposeful Planning soon. There will be a challenge this month on the topic of Self-Care, as well as a Facebook group to dive deeper into this topic with my readers.
  • GROW my Platform.¬†I’ve been seeking God about what it is that He would have me share with my readers and my social media followers.
  • Work on and Build each relationship.¬†To do this, I am studying the personality types and love languages of each of those in my immediate family. I am reading and thinking about how to create a life-giving home. I want to better understand, love, and serve those closest to me.

  • Focus on hearts & character.¬†These will be things we will focus on more in our home school and home-life in general. I will strive to be more like Jesus in my mothering and as a wife.

    This little fella is a “drink snatcher.” I’m guilty of usually being a little possessive over my drinks, but Daddy reminded me that one day I will miss having a little boy to come a snatch my drinks from me. #Perspective

    So these are the ways that I am personally working towards INCREASE in my person, professional, and family life. Now, go take your Word of the Year, and make a purposeful plan to bring about positive change in your own life. That’s what it’s all about!

    Ya’ll have a great week! Go make a plan to be purposeful!

    More photos from the week…¬†

    Playing “Astronauts” by laying their car seats down in the kitchen and using a slinky for a seat belt…. Love their imaginations!


    Justin and his workout partner… I love his game face!


     

Strides of Increase, Weeks 1 & 2

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As you know, my word of the year is Increase. I am so excited for this word God has given me and all He has in store for us this year! When I think about the word Increase, I think about personal growth, getting better, being intentional and purposeful. When I read the definition the words Intensity, Expand, Grow, and Swell stand out to me.

As inspired by Crystal Paine of MoneySavingMom.com, I wanted to post a regular update of sorts of how I’m using my Word of the Year in a personal way. Sure, it’s easy to choose a word to claim over your year, but if you do nothing with it, it’s really just a word. That’s why I personally love when I hear that some have chosen words like Intentional, Purposeful, or Grow – because these are words that signify that there will be some actual work and action put behind the sentiment. I sure hope that there is and that those who choose words like this, as well as others, are able to use them to make actual changes in their lives and see a positive difference.

So that is what I’m going to do with my word, Increase, and I’m going to bring you along on this journey with me. Hopefully it will inspire you to do the same with the word you’ve chosen. Apply it to your life in a personal way and make some positive changes.

So how am I striving to INCREASE this year?
(Personally, Professionally, & in my Family)

  • I’m working to build worthwhile habits. The 3 habits I am focusing on for the month of January are Workouts, Personal Reading, and Reading to my Children.
    I am working to re-establish the habit of working out and building that back into my routine after taking some time off with pregnancy complications and my miscarriage last month. This has been going well so far this month. I’ve lost some of my strength and abilities from taking a month off, which is pretty frustrating, but I’m challenged and excited to keep going and reach more goals in this area.
    I really love to read, but it’s one of those things that will fall between the cracks if I don’t make specific time for it. I have no specific goal as far as how much I read per day, but I’m trying to read 12 books this year so a book a month is the pace for that. You will most likely see benefits from this as the information I’m taking in is usually what comes out in my writing as well. Currently I’ve been re-reading The Fringe Hours by Jessica N. Turner, The Life-Giving Home by Sally and Sarah Clarkson, and Reading People by Anne Bogel. I read whatever I’m in the mood for at the moment.
    I really want my children to develop of love for learning and for reading. Currently, I have a kindergarten who reads really well but lacks confidence. I want to encourage him in this, and I want all of my children to see that reading can be a beautiful thing. It’s one of the things I want them to look back on our homeschooling years and remember fondly, but it’s not something I’ve been so great at prioritizing in the past.
  • I want to GROW as a Christian and as a person in general.¬†These things are already established habits for me, but I will continue in my daily readings in the One Year Bible and strategic prayer and journaling. I’ve also added in handwriting scriptures when something jumps out at me, which really I’ve always done as well. I just ordered the Bible study book Discerning the Voice of God by Priscilla Shirer, which will be my first supplemental study that I will do this year. It’s an online study made available through Lifeway, I believe. The video portions will be sent via email, and I will do the study portion throughout the week. I also love to listen to podcasts while I fold laundry or clean up the kitchen (it makes those tasks a bit more enjoyable too – try it!). This week I listened to “I’m Glad it Happened” by Elevation Church Podcast. Sooo good! There’s so much about this past year that I would’ve never wished upon myself or on anyone, but I can honestly say now that if God gets the glory from it and there’s a purpose in it, I’m glad it happened. Here’s a quote that I actually paused the podcast to stop and write down…
    “I’m not nervous, anxious, stressed out, maxed out… I know how this ends. God is going to get some glory out of everything I’ve gone through. The more I’ve gone through, the greater the glory. I’m glad about it. I’m not glad about the pain. I’m glad that in the pain, there is a purpose. I cried enough about it. I spent enough time wishing and praying it would go away. But now I’m standing here with my praise intact and in my right mind. I’m glad about it. I’m glad it happened.”

  • Celebrate the wins & Focus on the Positive. Sometimes it’s so easy to get stuck in the negatives and have a pity party. Been there. Done that. I am memory-keeping and journaling in my planner and noting the positive things. I also really love to write answered prayers in my prayer journal. I also have this picture in my head that I stumbled across a while back. It’s a framed poster, a beautiful one, with handwritten answered prayers. It was gorgeous, and I’d love to recreate it to hang somewhere in my home someday. Here’s a similar one that I found on Etsy to give you a visual.

  • I want to build my blog and expand to new territories of influence. When I first wrote this down as one of my goals, I didn’t exactly know what I meant by it, but I’ve already seen this one begin to play out. My blog has expanded to Purposeful Planning, which will launch on Patreon tomorrow, January 15th, as well as Purposeful Planning on Instagram. With that, my territory and people that I am able to influence has definitely seen some Increase. This is exciting, and I pray that I am able to use that for God’s glory and not my own.
  • GROW my Platform.¬†I’ve been seeking God about what it is that He would have me share with my readers, my patrons, and my Instagram followers. Currently, there is a Self-Care Challenge on Patreon, and I will most-likely be posting soon on the blog about how to create a life-giving home, as well as other intentional and hopefully inspiring posts like this one.
  • Work on and Build each relationship.¬†To do this, I am studying the personality types and love languages of each of those in my immediate family. I am reading and thinking about how to create a life-giving home. I want to better understand, love, and serve those closest to me.
  • Focus on hearts & character.¬†These will be things we will focus on more in our home school and home-life in general. I will strive to be more like Jesus in my mothering and as a wife.

    So these are the ways that I am personally working towards INCREASE in my person, professional, and family life. Now, go take your Word of the Year, and make a purposeful plan to bring about positive change in your own life. That’s what it’s all about!

Word of the Year for 2018

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I’m sure you’ve heard some people talk about their “Word of the Year”. It seems to be a new trend, especially when it comes to thinking about starting a new year and new year’s resolutions. I first heard the idea a few years ago, and I absolutely love it!

A couple of years ago the word I chose was “Intentional”, and that was a great choice. So many aspects of my life were summed up in that word, and it inspired me to be purposeful in all of my roles as a Christian, as a wife, and as a mom. This year, for whatever reason, I did not choose a word to focus on for the year. It’s been a hard year…. a year of many trials and lessons learned. If I were to sum up this past year with one word though, it would be “Identity”. This was a year of discovering more about myself, who God created me to be, my purpose, and my individual personality and giftings. Yes, it was a hard year, but there were many many good things that came from it as well.

As I’ve started thinking and praying about this next year, God gave me the word “Increase”. Personally, I love that it’s another “I” word, but it seemed to me like kind of a selfish word to define my year because when I first heard it, the first thing that came to mind was “financial increase”. And yes, I would like all of our basic needs to be met so that we are free to help others, but I am also content where we are. Like, okay, God, but that’s not a word I can tell people. They will think I’m greedy.¬† But I went with it and looked up the definition to gain more clarity.

increase – (verb) become or make greater in size, amount, intensity, or degree; add to, make larger, make bigger
synonyms…. grow, get bigger, get larger, enlarge, expand, swell; rise, climb, escalate, soar, surge, rocket, intensify, strengthen, extend, heighten, stretch, spread, widen, multiply

increase – (noun) an instance of growing or making greater
synonyms… growth, rise, enlargement, expansion, extension, multiplication, elevation, inflation; intensification, amplification, surge

So after reading the definitions of the word and the synonyms, I absolutely want it to be my word of the year of 2018! I’m reminded of the Prayer of Jabez, “Oh that You would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from hard times so that I will be free from pain.”
1 Chronicles 4:10

Jabez wanted to succeed and increase his sphere of influence for God. What is important here is that when we want to reach for goals and accomplishments that we have God on our side. Proverbs 16:3 says, “Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.”

So I’m really excited about this next year. I love new beginnings! A new year, a new month, a new week, and a new day – even if it’s a Monday, especially if it’s a Monday! Since we only have a little time left before our new year begins, this week on the blog – we will be talking about goal-setting and planning out our year! Subscribe, if you haven’t already so that you won’t miss it.

And while I don’t know that every aspect of the word Increase will come to fruition for us, I do know that I’ll be starting out my year thinking and praying about my relationship with God and how I can INCREASE there… how I can grow, intensify, be strengthened, and rise. It’s going to be a good year!

The Lord has remembered us; he will bless us; he will bless those who fear the Lord, both the small and the great. May the Lord give you increase, you and your children! May you be blessed by the Lord, who made the heaven and earth! Psalm 115:12-15

What word will you choose to focus on this next year? What word will define and inspire you to do greater things in your 2018? Pray about it, and I’d love to hear which word you choose!