Life Plan: Marriage

marriageSix months ago I would have told you that Jay and I highly valued our marriage and were in a good spot.  While those things are both true, what I recognized through the life plan writing process is that we were doing very little to grow together as a couple.  

 

Our house is BUSY!  The kids are at ages that they are very demanding of our time, energy and focus.  What I started to realize going through the life plan process is that we were spending time together as a family, but it was totally focused on the kids.  We would start to have a conversation and about two sentences in we were interrupted.  By the time the kids went to bed, we were both exhausted and would turn on mindless TV together but purposeful in-depth conversations was the exception and not the rule.

 

Our family had become very child-centered and not marriage-centered.  I started to realize that this was an area of my life that I needed to make a change.  We have begun to be more purposeful in having conversations.  Actually turning off the TV and getting the kids busy on something else, and having real conversations.  

 

Someone gave us a devotion book for married couples when we got married and I have to confess it sat on the book shelf unused for years.  Several years ago, we opened it and found that it was a perfect way to start our mornings together.  It is a quick read, includes scripture, devotion, prayer and a thought/question. I won’t lie and tell you we do this every day, because we don’t, but some is better and none. Being in God’s word together, even if for just a few minutes has been a wonderful thing for our marriage.

 

The other thing that I have changed in this area is praying more diligently for Jay.  Some of the things that I pray for him . . .

  • that he continues to seek the Lord and grow in relationship with Him – Prob 3:5-6, Eph 5:15-16
  • that he will walk in obedience and glorify the Lord in his choices – 1 Cor 10:13, John 7:17-18
  • for wisdom, knowledge and understanding – Eph 1:16-19, 2 Peter 3:18, Prov 2:7, Prov 9:10, Psalm 112:1
  • that God would bless the work of his hands – Psalm 90:17, Col 3:23-24
  • for his health, safety and protection – 3 John 1:2, 1 Cor 3:16-17, 1 Cor 6:19-20, Psalm 4:8, 2 Thess 3:3
  • for our marriage – Eph 5:23-29; 1 Peter 3:7
  • that he leads our family well and is a Godly father to our kids – Eph 6:4, Col 3:21, 2 Tim 2:1-2

 

marriage

Jay and I are celebrating ten years of marriage TODAY!  It’s been a wild and wonderful first 10 years and I have no doubt with some intentionality that the next 10 years will be even more wonderful!

 

Self-Care

self-careSo you are probably asking yourself one of two questions right now . . . What exactly is self-care?  OR  Who has time for self-care?  I’ve had to work through both of these answers as I’ve gone through the life plan writing process and what I’ve come to find is that this, along with my faith/spiritual growth, these are the two areas that fuel and drive all of my other areas.   When I’m not pursuing the Lord through prayer and reading His word daily and when I’m not taking time to refuel myself, I have very little to give others.

 

Self-care is purposefully taking time to improve you and your physical, mental, and emotional health.  It’s doing something or could be taking time to do nothing, to refuel and restore your joy.  Self-care can come in many forms.  There’s no one size fits all.  The key is to find something that gives you a feeling of joy, fulfillment, and renewal.

 

This is one area of my life that I was neglecting as I first began the process of life plan writing.  Probably because I didn’t value it and didn’t fully realize how taking care of me helped to propel my other life accounts forward.  I started adding self-care into my daily schedule by planning about 30 minutes a day (sometimes broken into smaller chunks of time) to be alone and do something that relaxes and rejuvenates me.  Some days that means just sitting in the backyard for 10 minutes, without my phone, to think and pray.  Some days that means picking up a book to read. Other days it means turning on a favorite show, kicking up my feet, sipping hot cinnamon tea and taking time for me despite the disastrous state of our home.  I don’t think the difference for me came in taking the time, but in the shift of my attitude.  I have started to release the feelings of guilt for not being up and “doing”.  There will always be dishes that need to be done, laundry that needs to be folded, toys that need to be picked up and blog posts that need to be written, but I’m started to really enjoy taking time for me and not feeling guilty.  

 

After a short time of relaxing, I’m able to jump up and get after my daily to-do’s with much more efficiency and I’m much less likely to jump to frustration with my husband or kids.  It’s amazing what a little self-care can do!  Try it!

 
I’d love to connect with you.  Share how you are doing with self-care or what you will do to incorporate it TODAY in the comments below.

Life Planning: Spiritual Growth

life planning spiritual growthThe process of life planning has been a very eye-opening and beneficial one for me. In far too many of the areas of my life that I would consider a priority, I found that where I wanted to be and where I actually was were FAR from the same.  My spiritual growth was one of these.

 

When I started life planning in March, one area that it was very clear that I wanted to be more intentional, focused growth was my spiritual life.  I love the Lord, have given Him my heart and desire to walk with Him daily, but when I really looked at what I was daily doing to pursue this growth and relationship, I fell VERY short!

 

My goal is to live my life in a way so that there is no question of my faith or loyalty to my Savior.  I want others to see Him in me and know where my joy and hope lies.  My desire is to be growing in my relationship with the Lord through Bible Study and prayer, understanding and walking out His purpose for me.  The reality was that I had been very ‘hit and miss’ with my Bible study and prayer time and I didn’t have a solid plan or focus in these areas.  I don’t know how I thought I was going to grow in my faith by going day to day “winging” in without a plan.  As a part of my life planning, I put pen to paper and started writing down some action steps.  I came up with four very simple and manageable, but doable action steps and I came up with a plan to implement them.  Three months later, I decided to go back through this process with the ladies in my Intentional Living Academy.  While I certainly haven’t attained all of the goals in this area, I have made huge steps in the right direction just by implementing those 4 action steps.

 

I’m such a believer in the process that I take the ladies in my Intentional Living Academy through because I’ve seen it work in my own life as well as in the lives of others.
If you are interested in talking more about life planning, your goals or my Intentional Living Academy, please reach out to me via the Contact tab at the top!  I’d love to help you life your best life!