Thursday, July 31, 2014

Managing Success...Successful Managing

At almost 26 years old, I am thankful for the responsibility and success God has afforded me in my career and personal life. 10% of the time, I feel like I have it all together. 90% of the time, I feel like I don't quite know what I'm doing and have that nagging feeling that I'm missing something big. Whispered prayers, an honest smile and a positive spirit can overcome the learning curve and many mistakes! 

One blessing and curse that God weaved into my fabric is a Type-A desire to be organized and scheduled. And thank God He put people in my life who would put up with my vacation itineraries, multiple calendars, menus, and extensive budgets.

With all that said, I do have a little Type-A advice for how to better manage your time and make the most out of your life - whether you are an I-even-put-showering-on-my-to-list control freak like me or someone who has never kept a schedule in their lives... Hopefully these points will encourage you. 

Know your priorities 
 Know what your life priorities are (God, family, friendships, your church, missions work, growing in a career, etc.) and then also know what your priorities in a certain season of life are (a specific project, a sick relative, starting a family, planning a wedding, working towards a promotion, getting used to a new job, etc.). Write these down. Have them ever-present in your mind. Discuss them with your spouse or a close friend or relative. And then focus on your priorities. This will help you make a decision when two events happen on the same night or two people need your attention. This will help you focus on what you want your life to be about. 

Know how you spend your time
What did you do today? Do you feel like you made a difference? Did you use your time wisely? We are all given 24 hours a day, 168 hours a week - and God has given us a specific time on earth. Don't waste it. A good exercise is to keep a record of all the big things you did in a day. Things that matter to you. Things that mattered. This will show you where your priorities are, where they should be and help you reevaluate how you spend your time. 

Set goals 
Daily goals. Weekly goals. Seasonal goals. And life goals. Goals are how you live out your priorities. How you control your time, instead of your time controlling you. Honestly pray about what God has for you in this area. Make your goals attainable. Substantial. Know what your seasonal goals are, how they work towards your life goals, and then use your weekly and daily goals to make those happen. You can set a handful of broad goals or have a more specific task-by-task to do list. 

Remember what matters
This is hard for me. I am a Martha through and through. Sometimes I have to make myself (using every clinched tooth I have) be more like Mary. If there are dirty dishes but Derrick wants to show me something, I have to remember what matters, take a deep breath and do the dishes later (or do them really quickly and then give him my full attention ;)...okay, not my point). If I have a deadline at work and a student walks in, that student deserves my full attention. They matter. 

Know your strengths and weaknesses
God made us all different, unique, strong and weak. I'm good at being organized and love making calendars and lists. I'm not so good when things change. I'm good when I get in the groove, owning a project, my music playing in the background. I struggle in group tasks and team projects. I'm good at connecting with people, but sometimes I let my nagging to do list keep me from really peeling back those layers. I like writing, cooking, cleaning, walking and studying the Bible. I'm not crafty, I can't paint, I don't run or play sports, and I get bored trying to how to do something new. 
Know your strengths and weaknesses. And be okay with who you are and how God made you. But never stop growing. 

I hope you'll get out a notebook and a pen this weekend and think through how you can better manage success (success in your life, with the skills and responsibilities God has given you - not the world's definition of success) and be a successful manager of the time and resources you have. 

And if you made it this far - and are still reading - thank you. Thank you. Thank you! I never feel worthy for people to actually read the whole thing! 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Just Move

About a month ago, I made a resolution to move. Move a little. Move a lot. Just move.

I would love to say that I walk 4 miles a day. Heck, I'd really love to say that I was one of those people who woke up every morning at 5 a.m. and ran 10 miles with a sports bra, matching sneakers and a smile. But that's not me.

I resolved to try to move a little 5-6 days a week. Sometimes that looks like a 1-2 mile walk around campus. Sometimes it's pushing myself to do 5 miles on a Saturday afternoon. Sometimes it's walking around downtown on vacation with my husband or playing frisbee for 30 minutes in the backyard. Sometimes it's a 20 minute yoga or pilates video at home. Most of the time it's somewhere in between all that.

It's not about how you move - or even how long you move (although I would advise you to aim for 20 minutes or more 3-5 days a week).

- Join a yoga or pilates class.
- Find a nature trail near your home.
- Walk around the neighborhood with friends.
- Play a game of basketball with your kids.
- Go on an evening bike ride with your husband.
- Go hiking with your family on the weekends.
- Wake up early and do a prayer walk.
- Find your favorite treadmill or elliptical at the local gym.
- Find workout videos on youtube for free and work out at home (Leslie Sansone is great for beginner walkers and Tara Stiles for beginners in yoga).

This week, I encourage you to make a motion to move.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

It's alive!

This is not at all what I was planning to write about today but...
In the quiet moments of life, I have a habit of overthinking...and on the way home today I overthought a thought that made me really excited. The kind of excited you get when you have a brilliant idea when you're lying in bed at midnight, that may not seem quite as exciting or brilliant when you wake up the next morning. 

Just go with me here. I hope you think it's exciting too. 

Think of a TV show, movie, song or book that causes you to get lost in its story. It takes you away. It gets you excited, emotional. Maybe it's an epic love story, a sappy drama, a historical fiction, a dramatic battle, an underdog story...but, when the movie, song or book is finished - you feel inspired. 

And then...nothing happens. 
It's not your love story. It's not a war you're fighting. It doesn't involve you really in any way at all. It's not happening to you. Sure, the story decided to share itself with you - but it didn't invite you to be a part of it. 

How cool is it that the Bible - and worship songs that put the Word into emotion - is different. It's an EPIC tale of war and romance, struggle and temptation, sin and forgiveness, redemption and love. It's a page turner. An emotional inspiration. And songs about it can bring joy to your heart and tears to your eyes in pure worship.

And you're invited to join the story.

It's real. It is your love story with God. It is a war that you're a part of. It involves you. It's happening to you. The "happily ever after" is an open invitation to anyone who wants to submit to God's love and the epic love story if for those who are a part of the Bride of Christ. 

The Bible is alive. The stories, the truths, the people within it's pages are real and relevant to you. The climax and the finale are all an integral part of your story. 

And that, my friends, is pretty cool. 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

She's back!

I have missed you, dear friends. And missed sharing my heart with you. I could say that life has been too busy the past six months and, while it has been busy, I guess I just haven't made writing a priority. I am happy to be back, with no promises of blogging often. I'm going to do what I can.

I believe that everything should have a purpose, and I want to be purposeful to use this blog to encourage women as women, wives and daughters of the King.

In an effort to hold myself accountable, I've created four categories/labels/topics for my posts. And, if things don't fit one of these four categories, I'll try to not waste your time with it. I want to speak truth and encouragement into your life and make this blog about me and you. 

HomeMade - Thoughts and tips regarding how to run your home with organization, wisdom, yummy food and happy times.

His Word - I believe God uses my strong love for studying His Word to help grow my spiritual gifts of knowledge and wisdom - although most days I don't feel very wise or knowledgable. I can't wait to share my journey with you.

Personally - Encouragement from me personally - as a woman, wife and friend - to you personally - as a woman, wife and friend. Including struggles, stress, hobbies, exercise, and anything else that I can share from my personal journey to encourage yours.

His, Hers and Ours - Marriage! One of God's biggest blessings and something I love to write about.

Can't wait to grasp your hand and begin this journey together...again.