Welcome back to our FINAL week dedicated to fresh starts in 2019. Today we are covering next steps. Often, the new year is a fresh opportunity to reevaluate the things we have not been doing and set some intentions. The stereotypes here look like diet plans and gym memberships and whatnot, but I would encourage you to let your fresh starts reflect the ways your very own life needs to experience growth. Sometimes the thing that can get the next big hurdle to shift is just doing the next right thing.
For example, if you want to start grad school this year but it just seems too daunting, do the next right thing of narrowing your selection pool down to five universities based on your budget or specific programming needs. If you want to completely declutter your house, zero in on the spot that is really getting under your skin and make a goal to completely organize that space by the end of February. If you want to make your relationship with your mom right, do the next right thing of committing to sending a Monday morning text with some encouragement and a prayer for her week. Just doing the next right thing can be the change maker. We are never too busy, old, young, or frustration prone for good change to happen.
It’s week three of our four-part fresh starts series and we are talking today about all the ways we can take a fresh start in the content we consume. The thing is, we can make significant changes and improve our lives in more ways than just starting a five-day-a-week exercise routine or eating Keto for the next two months.
In my mind, one of the quickest ways to improve your life is to feed your mind well. Everybody takes in content, and honestly, it might be the thing you do most in a day. Whether it’s instagram stories or New York Times articles or a cat video, there are a million ways that we will consume content. So what if the small and critical shift you make this year, is to try and invest time into mostly high quality and enriching content. Here are three ways you might approach that:
Welcome to the second week of fresh starts! Hopefully last week challenged you to dig into your faith based routines and explore a little deeper this new year. This week we’re talking about refreshing the choices we make with our diets. As I’m writing, I’m ten days away from wrapping up a Whole30. After 20 days of no added sugar and no grains or dairy, I’m READY to return to the world of Oreos and pasta. But! I’m hoping some of the switches I learned to make over the last several weeks will stick long term.
I’m convinced that long term change happens when the little shifts become lasting. Here are three little diet shifts that I encourage you to incorporate into your diet this week. If these don’t work for you, try something else, but when we don’t give up, the good stuff starts to happen. Even if you’ve felt defeated in this area a million times, it doesn’t mean that this can’t be the week that you finally find the changes that really work for you.
It’s 2019 and the year is feeling fresh and new. I don’t know about you though, but this is always the time of the month when the shine of the new year is starting to fade and keeping up all the positive changes gets a little tougher. SO! We are kicking off a series here on the blog all out how to maintain and even push a little further into the fresh starts of 2019.
First up, and most importantly, let’s discuss how to find a fresh start in faith. Faith is a one size fits none topic where the answers for you are definitely not the answers for me, but I think there are a few (mostly) universal practices that can help move you closer to the things that really matter.
1. Scheduled Quiet Time
I believe in first things first, and when it comes to quiet time, I take that literally. I have found such growth when I make pursuing Jesus one of the very first things that I do with my day. It can be difficult to prioritize anything when it isn’t a part of your routine. So let me encourage you to pick a place, a time period, and a method to guide your quiet time and then stick to it no matter what. For me that looks like my dining room table, from 7:20-8:00am, and touching on Scripture, prayer, and outside reading/study during those minutes. Does that time sometimes get shortened? Sure. Do I sometimes feel disconnected? Yes. But mostly, that time is consistent, enriching, day-shaping. If you believe Christ comes first in your life, I would encourage you to put him first in your day.
2. Bible Study
We are better together. This could not be more apparent when we look at bible study/Lifegroup/small group communities. My Lifegroup and I meet every Monday night for two hours of prayer, study, and mostly, pouring deeply and well into each others’ lives. My community of Christian women holds me up and I cover them in prayer. We keep each other accountable and cover the breadth of scripture in my basement once a week. And because we are a community of women who love each other outside of the 2-hour bible study window, we also go on weekend trips and watch the Bachelor and celebrate Galentines Day together. These are the women who will throw my baby showers and be on the other end of the phone if the worst is happening. That’s what community does. It brings out the best in you and always points you to the cross.
3. Prayer & Fasting
My church, Rock City, dedicates the last 21 days of January to a corporate period of prayer and fasting. If you want to remove barriers between you and hearing the voice of God, this is a wonderful and challenging way. Ben and I have joined our church in this fast for the last two years and to say it has been transformative in our faith walks would be an understatement. If you know in your heat that it is time to break some chains and get some answers in your story, it might be time to consider a time of prayer and fasting. If you want to learn more about that, you can click here.
Ok friends, that’s all for today. Next week we will chat about finding and protecting fresh starts in our health. Talk soon!
Welcome! I'm a wife, third year music teacher, Jesus follower, and am chronically curious about just about everything. Join me as I kick off this adult life.
"I am the Vine, you are the Branches. If you abide in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."