Mental Post-Its

Thoughts, Notes, and General Mental Mayhem


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2013: The Halfway Point

simplify

Ok, so it’s technically it’s a little past the halfway point of 2013, but I should get credit for the update anyway.

For those of you following along at home, you’ll remember that my word for the year was SIMPLIFY. Just in case you’ve recently started reading, you can read all about it right here. The gist of having a word for the year is that you use a theme to look forward at the year, thinking about what you want it to be. This is the reverse of looking back at the year to see what happened. It’s a more proactive approach. My decision to use the word SIMPLIFY was to have a cleansing effect on me in several different ways. I want to live more simply. I have more than I need. I have more things and thoughts to occupy my time than I feel like I should, from items in my home to emails in my inbox to preoccupations and more.

A few of the items I originally listed include getting rid of things in my home, removing myself from email lists, working on my budget and paying down debt.

Some of the things I’ve done so far this year are:

  • Reinforcing the concepts through books, articles and conversations.
  • Donating and selling things in my house.
  • Getting off some email lists.
  • Paying down some debt.
  • Taking a look or two or three at my budget.
  • Not committing to events or people I didn’t feel would be best for me at this time.
  • Using eMeals.com to prepare meals.
  • Following a chronological Bible reading list.
  • Focusing on only a couple of volunteer activities.

Honestly, these are still all ongoing. I can still make improvements during 2013, and intend to. It may seem like a pretty good list, but some items are further along than others. None are probably as far along as I’d like them to be, but they are in a much better place than they were seven months ago and that’s important to remember.

I definitely need to listen to my theme song and read by theme verse more throughout the year. They’ll help keep me motivated. But I am proud to say I have done a little hell-gate prevailing, though again, there’s still much more to be done. And that’s the really fun stuff. 😉

So, there you go. I’m checking in, and keeping accountable right here. And I’ll definitely let you know how this year shaped up in a few more months. Fingers crossed, I’ll be able to report more progress. Scratch that: I WILL be able to report more progress!

If you’re doing something similar, please let me know how your 2013 is going. I’d love to hear!


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Be The Blueprint

As expected, Sunday was a really good church service at Blueprint. I knew I would go in and get pumped up by the New Year energy of the crowd, and be encouraged to start January off right. I needed the fuel to get a jump start on my theme for 2013, be renewed after the weird year that was 2012, and grab an early anchor point to dig in and move forward in new possibilities. I was not disappointed with the new “Be The Blueprint” series.

In fact, I decided to outline some of my notes from Sunday here in case you could use a good dose of perspective and inspiration as well.

  • Too many times we reflect not on our blessings, but what we feel God is withholding from us. We take a victim or woe is me attitude.
  • We aren’t here to simply exist. There is a reason you and I exist. What do you exist for? (Proverbs 29:18, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” KJV)
  • Too often we don’t spend our time living, but trying not to make God mad.
  • Blueprint’s DNA: The gospel changes people, and people change the world.
  • Blueprint’s mission: To unleash healthy people to do ministry where life exists.
  • Blueprint’s strategy: Growing in the gospel in the context of family while living on mission.
  • We are less proactive in church, but usually more reactive and defensive. We need to be on the attack. (Matthew 16:18, “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” ESV)

5 Reasons We Need to be Burdened By Mission

  1. Mission grows our affections for Christ, taking us from conceptual to effectual.
  2. Mission aligns our hearts with His, causing us to move from passive to compassionate.
  3. Mission reestablishes our identity, remind us we are God’s chosen vessel.
  4. Mission reminds us of our deficiencies, driving us to pray.
  5. Mission reminds us of His sufficiency, strengthening our faith. (Did you ever think that maybe the feeding of the 5,000 and 4,000 weren’t for those fed, but for the disciples?)

I’m praying you find your mission, or continue it, in 2013. It’s not easy, but totally worth it. Living differently is definitely living better. I think I’ve had a few different missions during my life, depending on my life stage and circumstance. The one I’m currently on has been building over the past few years, and it’s still really exciting to me. I’m excited and curious to see where it leads me this year.

It was a breezy 50 degrees when I walked out of the church service on Sunday, but I didn’t care. I was on fire.

 

If you want a little more, here’s a great blog post on the Blueprint site from Pastor John on the New Year.


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My 2012 Theme

Well, as some of you may know, a few friends and myself pick a theme for the year, and have done so for the last few years. This tradition is loosely based on the Jewish Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur. My friend, Daron, inaugurated it about five years or so back. Since then, I’ve really latched on to it and look forward to discussing my theme with close friends.

The basic idea is that instead of merely looking back at the year to see what happened at the end, you start the year by looking ahead to see what you think the year might be about. Then you use the theme as a lens in which to view things throughout the year and see if you can incorporate it. At it’s basis, it’s a way to be proactive/responsive to the year, and not let the year just happen to you. It’s an intentional way to live rather than reactive…which is how I prefer to live.

Now, come December, I start this process again. I evaluate the year, see how things went, remember what happened, take stock of my responses or reactions. Sometimes the theme has changed completely over the course of the year. Sometimes the theme still holds true.

2011 was an interesting year. Very different from others for a variety of reasons. After taking a hard look, I feel like the theme “Prioritize” held up pretty well for the first half of the year. For the second half, I’d say it was more like “Heal” because it was a time to recoup from all the changes life brought. Lots of changes during the year and the few months at the end of 2010. So, the latter half of the year gave me time for myself to rest. That’s not something I have ever been great at doing, in any way shape or form, so perhaps it was good that it was thrust upon me.

But I feel like I learned a few things along the way. After all, what a waste it would’ve been for me to go through it and not learn anything. And now I feel like I’m up for something similar and something different in 2012.

Anyway, all this is leading up to my 2012 theme. And after a period of reflection, I have decided to go with “Prioritize” again. I want to give it another go and see how 2012 shakes out differently. I believe it will, and I look forward to seeing the ways that it might.

So here goes….

Word:
“Prioritize”

Verse:
Proverbs 16:3, “Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.”

Song:

“Empty Me” by Jeremy Camp