Operating in Faith walking in God’s Calling

Word of the Year

My chosen phrase for 2020 is “operating in faith”, to begin walking in God’s calling for me. I have verbalized God’s calling easily to others yet haven’t moved as much as I needed to act this out. As I prayed over what my word of the year should be, I felt Him impressing this phrase on my heart over and over.

Working on 2020 plans I began to think how the word “go” is tied to that. When you think about the word go, it implies action. The word begs for forward motion. And as you move momentum builds.

So if I say I feel God’s calling to go and yet remain still, how can I expect God to grant me more when I cannot handle what I have?

Walking in God’s Calling

His word speaks to this in Luke 12:48. To paraphrase, those who have been given little will be entrusted with little and those who have been given much will be entrusted with much more.

To be given more in terms of growing my blog, growing a ministry, and more importantly growing my relationship with Jesus, then I have to go.

I knew I wanted more from life this year. I knew God wanted more both from me and for me.

That last part is critically important. God is FOR me.

Operating in Faith – His love and will

Consider Ephesians 2:4 – “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love that he had for us,”.

Or 2 Samuel 23:5. David on his death bed declares the goodness of the Lord. That He alone orders our steps, keeps covenant with us and brings about our salvation and desires.

Desires according to His will for us. What we want needs to line up with what God wants.

The goal is not to go more so I get more. God isn’t an ATM.

His calling makes me move

To succeed in God’s calling for me I have to GO! My answer to Him requires action from me.

But it can be hard and scary to go where we haven’t gone before.

Therefore my phrase for the year, “operating in faith” fits well. My going requires faith that He has my back. And God’s calling will always be backed by His word.

Operating in Faith walking in God's calling

Action Plan for 2020

There are 5 areas I feel God calling me to grow and go deeper with Him. As a result, in 2020 I have committed to “GO” in further in my relationship with Jesus:

  1. By leading more confidently in my women’s group.
  2. By reading specifically selected scripture and devotional to gain more knowledge of Him.
  3. By learning specific blogging tools to expand my ministry.
  4. By praying specific, detailed prayers.
  5. By being mindful of my words with my husband.

I’ll be detailing the how and why of my “GO” action plans to answer God’s calling in 2020 over the next month. My prayer is they will inspire and motivate you to “ GO” with God too!

Prayer

Jesus,

Let us be encouraged and empowered by your Holy Spirit to “GO” in the direction you have chosen for each of us in 2020. Give us wisdom to learn what is needed to live out our calling. Let us not fear or put off your instruction and will for us. Don’t let us be like Jonah. Fill us with a boldness to bring the gospel into every aspect of life and to do so with humbleness. Amen.

4 things I want to leave in 2019

As the decade ends, there are some things I’m ready to leave behind.

As I stare at 2020 I realize there are things I want to leave in 2019. Leave for good. This decade has been a hard one. It has been marked by financial strife, personal health issues, relationship problems and more moves than I would like to count.

As I reflect on what the decade has taught me there are some things that I want to leave in behind and not visit again.

By God’s grace this next decade will be the beginning of my life.

Strange statement seeing as I’m 44.

Obviously not new at this going around the sun thing. However, I have let life drag me along on this journey rather than taking charge and charting my life according to God’s will for me.

I’m done settling for less than God’s best for me.

Here are 4 things I am leaving in 2019

  • Self-doubt. I am a Child if the King, an heir with Christ. As such there is no reason for doubt to enter in. I will trust.
  • Quitting. If you want change and growth you cannot keep quitting those things that are stretching you. Fear is not a reason to stop. Growing weary is not a reason. What others think about it is not a reason. Keep going.
  • Intolerance of others. I expect more from some than they can give. I judge too harshly…not out loud, but in my mind and it affects my ability to love well.
  • Fear. I have lived most of my life in fear. Worry over what I cannot control. I am relinquishing this area to God and trusting in Him that I will overcome.

I’m not going to pretend that there will not be hard things to come in 2020 or even in this new decade as a whole. However, I know that with a change in perspective and a change in attitude that this next year and decade will be better than the last.

Through prayer and planning I aim for this decade to be God focused, kingdom minded, and light filled. How can it be anything else when my eyes are turned towards Him?

I am ready to begin my life now. Welcome 2020!

The World or the Word?

Having the right mindset is a matter of choosing the world or the Word.

The last few years have been a struggle in various ways for my husband and I. Financial hardship has especially taken a toll. Therefore mindset has been negatively impacted.

As a result there have been many things we have wanted to do that have had to be set aside. Home purchase, vacations, replacing old furniture.

None of these things are critical. Yet I have sometimes allowed self pity over my situation to keep me focused worldly instead of diving into the Word. Human nature does that.

Keys to Happiness

In the secular world, material things and business success are supposed to bring you happiness. This is reflected in every aspect of our western culture from movies to music as people are portrayed as happiest when they are acquiring things or career success.

Those barely getting by are not applauded…in fact, they are often portrayed as inferior.

As Christians, we know things are not what makes us happy. The joy of a new home or a job promotion will fade.

We get it twisted

And while we know this to be true our human nature rebels against it.

We want the things. We want success. We want recognition.

When placed in appropriate context these are not necessarily bad. Unfortunately, our perspective is often skewed and we desire more world than we do Word.

The World or the Word?

Kingdom Mindset

Shifting from a world view to a Word view is essential in influencing the culture towards a relationship with Jesus. Looking at the world through the lens of the Bible shapes our lives, our homes, our communities and thus this world.

Satan prefers we remain focused on the world so he attacks with worry, hardships, fear, and the pursuit of power (success) to distract us. If Satan can keep you focused on chasing success and things, then he keeps you from Kingdom work.

Jeremiah 29:13. Psalm 19:14. Isaiah 26:3. Psalm 112:7.

All four of these verses point to peace and joy and a lack of fear when our gaze is turned on God.

Becoming Wordly Minded

Obviously reading your Bible helps get the Word in you. But it isn’t enough just to read it.

Life application and change only happens when you pursue a deeper relationship with God. That requires studying the Word.

Set aside time for prayer and meditation on what God would have you glean from your scripture reading each day.

Be intentional about your studies as you would were you in school. Take notes. Read multiple versions of the Bible. Use a good Bible commentary to enhance your understanding.

Progress not perfection

Give yourself grace in adapting to study of the Word. If this is not something you have ever earnestly pursued, it will take time…like any new habit.

5 Tips for New Bloggers

Although I have been blogging for over 10 years, I have been anything but consistent.

As such, in many ways I am still working to figure out this blogging thing myself.

A calling, a mission

Almost three years ago, I felt God laid on my heart a ministry need for women. To share my experiences and testimony in order to encourage others.

Ok, so that is the reason many women do women’s ministry right?

Many women’s ministries I am familiar with however, address those who are married with children.

I am married, but no kids. Not able to have children. Multiple chronic conditions.

And my marriage has had some serious ups and downs. Our family has been through a lot of grief and loss.

These struggles are the testimony I feel God wants me to bring forth in transparency. To show other women like me that there is hope. That God redeems and restores.

That He is enough.

So what does that have to do with blogging advice?

You need a strong why to offer a mission and vision that your readers can relate to. And then the work begins.

5 blogging tips pin

Commit to the work

Here are the 5 things I am committing to this next year to grow this ministry God has given me.

  1. Make time to write daily. Not everything you write will wind up on your blog. BUT, the more you write, you will get better at crafting your stories, you will bring new ideas to fruition and you will figure out how often you should post based on the time you can commit.
  2. Learn Social Media. You can use all the platforms, but you don’t have to. If you are new to social media, I suggest picking one that you like best, and learn everything you can about it to leverage your blog. Grow that platform, then learn another one.
  3. Take a class. There are some great bloggers in the ‘sphere that offer courses on blogging and social media. Research, find one you like and that is highly recommended and take a course, follow their accounts and learn.
  4. Join a writing community. This has been a big help for me. Facebook has some great faith based writing groups. They consist of seasoned writers…and us newbies. They are places to share your writing, ask questions and get tips. They kind of rock!
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/kingdombloggers/
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/1883153105322982/
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/1636189639833806/
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/saltandlightgroup/
  5. Get good with graphics! A picture is worth a thousand words, right? Your graphics that you use on social media and your blog are what draws people in first. And you don’t need to be an actual graphic designer to make cool designs. My secret weapon…and it’s free…Canva. Trust me, you will love it!

 

 

I hope these tips get you thinking of things you can do to commit to improving your blog and your writing in general.  I have a long ways to go before I would call myself an accomplished blogger so if you have some tips for me I’d love to hear them…shoot me a comment will ya?

Favorite Blog Posts…

Favorite blog posts

For those who may be new to my blog, today I thought I’d do a round-up of my favorite posts to date.

All of these were written at different points of pain or struggle in my life. Writing allows me to journal through those experiences to grow and heal. It’s been a tool I’ve used since I was a child.

Even the act of writing is soothing to me.

My prayer is that these posts will touch others and help them grow and heal as well.

8 Favorite Blog Posts

Returning to my first love
Do You Know How to Fight Right?
Hope in everything but God
Outside vs. Inside
Darkness cannot stay where there is light
5 important promises when everything seems to be wrong
Guest post on marriage on With Purpose with Lo Tanner
Not so different

If God uses any of these posts to speak to you, would you drop a comment and let me know?

Be blessed.