“The first step is the most important. It is the most crucial and the most effective as it will initiate the direction you have chosen.” Steve Backley
Today is our first step into my new blog focus for 2015.
I apologize that we are halfway through February before getting here, but, you know, life happens.
As it should.
I’m glad I allowed my journey into a new year to play out for a bit before I attempted something new. This is where I’d like to begin before I tell you where we’re going.
Our deepest need, as human beings, is to walk intimately with God. He made us for this very reason. The problem is that we look for the key to life in other places. I’m guilty and that’s where I’ve been wrestling at the start of this new year.
Actually, wrestling is too tame. I just came out of a battle…like just today. Life sideswiped me and caught me off guard. I’m sure there’s an enemy in the mix, but, honestly, I haven’t been myself. The details of this will probably come out in future blogs, but for today, I think I can finally see that I haven’t been intimate with God.
This is where things get interesting, though, because I haven’t stopped reading my Bible, praying, doing life in fellowship with others, or attending worship. I just piled some other junk on top. I wasn’t honest with myself or with God on some things. I sought comfort and pleasure in larger doses. I wouldn’t say God felt distant, but I didn’t feel attached, because I, rather blindly, chose to be more attached to other things. That’s something we don’t like to think about–that we’re always attached to something!
Another thing that’s been harder to unearth at the start of 2015 is this: I haven’t been intimate with myself. I’ve done the trash talk again. I’ve shoved difficult feelings down in the gut with a swallow of blood red wine and a chocolate. It’s taken over a month into this year to get honest with myself and with God. I’ve been pissed about some things. Confused and disagreeable about thorns which remain in our home. The enemy has weaseled into corridors and left me shaking a fist at the seeming injustice of service and sacrifice that comes to no avail. I’ve also had to admit that in the pursuit to be available in an online world, I’ve neglected the people right in my midst. I’ve been forced to tighten my boundaries, which is difficult for a tender heart toward others to do.
But as I write today and lick my battle wounds, I now see God’s hand. I recognize His evidences of grace in my life and the life of my family. I see where we’ve walked these last few months and I see the change it has made in me.
Change is hard and He’s asked me to make some. There are some changes I don’t even understand, and surely others won’t either, so I’ve had to face that attachment–the one that wants to me care more about what other people think, instead of God’s purpose for my life. I could blame the launch of my book for much of this. It’s changed my life in some ways. But I believe this is more the results of walking with God and taking action in areas where He’s led me.
If I had to summarize where my blogs are headed in 2015 it would be in this one sentence:
Self-coaching through the lens of scripture.
What does that mean?
To introduce the new Chicks with Choices blog focus, it means two things: Sunday’s Reflections and Wednesday’s Action, but allow me to explain…
First, we must learn to filter everything through scripture.
I’ve been reading the Bible for twenty-five years, but it’s been sporadic at times and in no particular order. This is fine, but more often than not, I’ve read it through the lens of Bible studies, commentaries, or Sunday sermons. Never have I read the Bible in full…just me and the pages.
To begin 2015, I made the decision to read the entire Bible in a year.
I’m on week 6 and have gone through one legal pad with random notes and meditative thoughts. The reading plan I’m using has me covering entire books, but bounces me from the Old to the New Testament. As of today, I’ve read through Genesis, Matthew, and Exodus. Tomorrow I begin Mark.
Obviously, I won’t touch on all my notes as I read through the Bible this year, but I’d like to share what God is teaching me through His word. I pray that it helps you throughout the week.
With that, I introduce:
Sunday’s Reflections: Devotions to Bring God Into Your Week
Maybe you won’t get to these blogs on Sunday, but they will be ready and waiting for you on Monday morning. This devotional focus at the start of each week will set you on the right path.
As powerful as devotional living is, however, if we never set our convictions into action, we are left with only nostalgic thoughts. Reading scripture doesn’t mean much if the words don’t make a difference in our daily decisions.
This is where the Self-Coaching come in.
With that, I introduce:
Wednesday’s Action: Self-Coaching Questions to Drive You Toward Purposeful Decision Making
There are several key words in the above sentence, but the one I want to draw your attention toward today, is this one: Questions.
I’m back to where I started in this post… Our deepest need is to walk intimately with God, but all too often we look for the key to life in other places. One of those places is through the screen. You’ve heard me say it before, and I will keep saying it! Our modern life pulls us away from authentic relationships. We are isolated as we browse through pseudo-connections on social media, which leave us lonely, jealous, anxious, and scattered as we ping-pong between increased choices.
This is where I can plug CoffeeHouse Chats(Tm), but there’s more to this than just authentic relationships with others. I’ve been slapped with the reality that we are pulled away from a relationship with ourselves!
The last thing I want my blog to be is one more place to adopt an opinion. I want my blog to be a tool in which you find the right answers for yourself, by asking of the right questions!
Wednesday’s Action blogs will not mean adopting and initiating a performance from my life! Wednesday’s Action blogs will mean getting honest with the question posed and discovering the action step you should take. You will be self-coaching. I’ll just ask the questions.
Change will never occur unless the decision for change happens within.
Are we ready? I’ll see you this Sunday!
Final note: The easiest way to stay up to date and connected with my blog is by clicking on the “subscribe” button at the top right of this page. By subscribing, you will simply receive an email with the blog content (no more than twice a week, I promise). Thanks for joining me on the journey!
Photo Credit: Flickr (Creative Commons)
Kim’s signature closing:
Welcome new readers, and those well loved! My deepest desire is for you to know Jesus real. He is not just a positive thought, a model to follow, or a comfortable space to hear love. He is life. Adventure. He can be the very air you breathe with just one decision. I never knew Him until I ended up sitting on a dirty field in India. He met me there, and that gripping tale of redemption is found in my life’s work: The Chance to Choose: Become Who You Were Meant to Be One Choice At a Time. I’d love all my reader’s to know the story. It is there where you’ll understand me, and the One I serve, best. Click on printed/signed copy, or Kindle version (also available on Nook and Apple iBook) to purchase, and if you need more, check out the book trailer below: