L.E.A.P. – actively (December 29)

3, 2, 1, ACTION.

Only 3 days in the countdown to the new year!

Are you ready?

"Prepare your minds for action..."  1 Peter 1:13

[This was one of my dad’s favorite verses, which seems appropriate for a military man.  I grew up hearing this verse quoted so often I know it by heart.  How appropriate that this is the verse that has been on my mind the last few days!]

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A new year is about to begin.  All over the world, people are getting a fresh start… new calendars, new goals.

Grace is built into our year.  Isn’t it great to be alive!

I feel reflective, hopeful, expectant.  I love sitting here in my cozy corner, early in the morning while the rest of the household is asleep, with the only sounds I hear being the wind blowing snow outside my window and my fingers typing on my laptop.

I need this quiet time at the end of December to read, pray, plan, write, organize…

But, it’s action that breathes life into ideas I put on paper, making daydreams a reality.

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Goals are just ideas until a specific strategy is set in motion.

  • A marathon is finished by the runner because he put his shoes on and trained for months;  strengthening his muscles, his heart, and his lungs to have the endurance to complete those 26.2 miles.
  • The vacation is enjoyed because the budget was made, the check book balance, the reservations made, etc.
  • The office organized, …
  • The degree earned, …
  • etc.

We can see the required steps to be taken for others to begin their quest, …

  • clearly defined goals
  • measureable steps
  • specific deadlines
  • consistent accountability

So let’s be objective and apply  common sense wisdom to our own dreams this month.

The best things happen with God’s help, but once we’ve sought the LORD, know His will and that the desires of our heart are honoring to Him, it’s time for action.

My “L.E.A.P. Year” will soon be coming to a close (February 2017).  Though I hope to use this again over the next few years so it will become a polished tool before the next Leap Year (2020).  And, though I have many “new” ideas that I’ve already set in motion for 2017, I want to maintain the habits I’ve formed over the past months, take on this month’s theme with zeal and energy, and finish well.

ACTIVELY –

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I want to LIVE actively…

As Longfellow, one of my favorite poets wrote,

“Let us then be UP and DOING with a heart for any fate;

Still achieving, still pursuing;

Learn to LABOR and to WAIT.”

Patiently moving forward until I reach the desired end.

  • off the couch
  • shoes on, finish line marked out, training schedule printed, pedometer/Garmin on, …
  • laundry washed, folded, delivered, …
  • menu planned, guests invited, …
  • research in progress, folder of information collected, reservations made, …
  • calendar/chore-chart/schedule printed, pen handy to mark off progress/success
  • …  (What do you want/need to do?)

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I want to ENJOY actively…

No sitting on the sidelines for me.  I want to be involved.

  • playing the game, doing the puzzle
  • baking the cookies
  • visiting the neighbor
  • taking the walk
  • seeing the sights
  • volunteering for the cause
  • joining the team
  • participating in the conversation
  • mentally engaged in learning
  • … (What do you want/need to do?)

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I want to ADD actively …

I have something to contribute.  YOU have something to contribute.

  • attentively – my time: just listening, giving pertinent advice…
  •  beautifully – my creativity: art, music, cleaning, decorating, organizing…
  • generously – being a blessing by sharing my blessings
  • humorously – my laughter, my sense of humor, not taking life so seriously and helping others to do the same…
  • … (What do you want/need to do?)

 

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I want to PRAY actively …

I want to pray and then get up, keep on praying (without ceasing) while be part of the answer!

I have my regular prayer list, and the 12 priority prayer requests that I write each December during my 12 days of prayer, and recently the LORD brought to mind a neglected step from my first Prayer Notebook (the 29:59 plan written by Peter Lord), to TAKE ACTION, to end each prayer time asking the LORD, “WHAT TO YOU WANT ME TO DO?”;  waiting for the answer, and once I have the direction from the Holy Spirit, to take action!

  • When you look at your prayer list… (What do you want/need to do?)

So?  What do YOU need or want to do this month?

Sometimes the LORD does not give me a specific command.  Often times He gives me His peace and an open blessing …

It’s as if He says to me, “I see your heart.  I know your desire is to please me.  You’re a mature young lady of faith.  Go ahead, Little One, I’m letting you decide.  Let’s see what you will do based upon all that you’ve learned about Me?  What do you want to do?”

I muster my wisdom and courage, apply the James 3:17 principle that my mom impressed upon me year after year as a child, make the plan, present it before Him, and He gives me the green light of His blessing.

I am setting out on some physically and mentally ambitious adventures this year.  I have butterflies of excitement and nervousness in my stomach just thinking about them now.  This year is a year for discipline and action.   The month of JANUARY, how I start, has great significance in how the rest of my year will go and completing these wonderful challenges.  With clear and measureable goals, I know that when I look back on 2017 at the end of the year, I will have much to celebrate.

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As I post my “Live, Enjoy, Act, and Pray ACTIVELY” reminder now on the bulletin board in my prayer corner, I am praying for you.

Regardless of how you choose to challenge yourself to grow this year, I hope that you will be inspired to be an original.  If you are reading this sentence, I am praying for YOU.  May the LORD give you fresh encouragement and motivation in your pursuit of Him (seeking God and prioritizing your relationship with Him above all else).  May the Holy Spirit give you practical insight in how to keep it real, unique, alive, and your own!