What I am about to share with you is particularly important, which is why I did not talk about it during Holy Week (the more important week!). In case you did not realize this, last week was the end of the first quarter of 2021. Yes, I kid you not; the first quarter of 2021 is gone!
So, let’s take a breather, my friend, because…
We are prone to push through this life without any pause to ponder our plans, or lack thereof… And it seems the years will just keep rolling through without any real sense of purpose if we are not careful. The first quarter of the year may now be tucked away behind us but that does not mean we are done with it just yet.
Take note! This is a time sensitive opportunity to do a wellness check on ourselves, so guard against considering it as just another routine task. We have a tiny little slither of time this week to reflect before we become fully emerged into this next quarter. I have four (4) areas of life to review with its own directive (yeah, I can be a little bossy like that at times). So here goes:
1.Plan with a Purpose!
If you have a planner, it’s a good time to flip back through and see how your life, in general, is going. Is it going in the direction you hoped for at the beginning of the year? I use Polly Payne’s Dream Planner, and it has pages to facilitate this quarterly review. Did I say I love it??? See Polly’s Dream Planners HERE.
Did you know that it is hard to plan without a plan? Stay with me…What kind of life do you want? I’ve titled mine and created an acronym. It is called LFOI and it stands for a Lifestyle of Faith, Order, and Influence.
My lifestyle of faith includes:
- Daily Bible Study using Cyndee Ownbey’s READ Method,
- Structured prayer journaling, using my book Organizing Your Prayer Closet (Abingdon Press) and
- Church engagement (not church attendance). My husband and I co-lead a Sunday School Class.
My lifestyle of Order encompasses planning and creating order through processes of organizing my home, housework, and health (exercise, meal planning). I have schedules and designated days. For instance, Monday is grocery day; Wednesday is laundry day. There is a lot to this, but I will spare you. I’ll just say that I built it all from Pinterest.
My lifestyle of Influence is all about my ministry and HR/Safety consulting services. I love sharing what I know so I write social media and blog posts, books and now courses. I want to be poured out like a drink offering, fully leveraged, and fully expressed. Serving in this way makes me happy.
2.Lead in the Right Direction!
If you are in a leadership role, it is a must to review your mission, vision, values, and goals and see how your enterprise is doing in relation to them. If your initiatives are not supporting your organization’s MVVG then you are off course already, but never fear… it’s never too late to course correct.
In corporate America, I once worked for a values-based leadership company that had 14 values. When I would make a strategic decision, I would review my plans against those 14 values.
As Director of Women’s Ministry at my church, our mission statement was to Reach, Mature and Mobilize. I made sure that the things I implemented in that ministry lined up with that salvation growth cycle.
In addition to your measuring women’s ministry to the church’s mission statement, evaluate how your women’s ministry is doing the following:
- Encouraging a prayerful life
- Creating fellowship
- Discipling Women
- Reaching inward
- Reaching outward
- Blessing Women
- Challenging Women
- Listening to Women
- Engaging Women in Ministry
If you would like to do all the above with your women’s ministry, I’ve got one program I used for six (6) years that you may find extremely interesting. It’s called JOPPA and you can learn more HERE in this private Facebook group that includes several videos, a brochure and other materials.
3.Reawaken Your Dream Weaver!
If you have a dream or new endeavor that has captured your heart and passion, now is the time to kick the tires on your chosen vehicle and look under the hood. Is it taking you where you want to go? For me, this is the hardest one of the four. Dreams and new exploits typically involve charting unfamiliar territory. Thus, I am not always sure that I am tracking well because of the blind spots – I don’t know what I don’t know. So, I spend much of my free time listening to podcasts, educating myself, executing what I can now and planning future states for my dream.
4.Plan to Pray!
And if you are prayer journaling, as I am, may we especially reflect on what God is doing. This gives us clues as to where we want to be. I use my award-winning prayer journal – Organizing Your Prayer Closet (Abingdon Press). I review all ten (10) compartments of my structured prayer journal.
It’s important to take account of any area you are struggling with and identify any spiritual stronghold that may require more than prayer (fasting breaks the yoke!). I think it is also important to acknowledge when God answers prayer; otherwise, we are just throwing up problems for the Lord to just fix. I find it insightful to note how God answered the prayer and when He answered the prayer. And most importantly, thank Him for answering my prayers.
My reflection goal: To stay in step with God’s Spirit.
It’s that simple. If none of these things lead to a life exalting Him, then why bother with any of it. If you do nothing else, do this one four-part quarterly review. Reflection is good for the soul!