It’s my birthday today!
Even at 65, I still love to celebrate … and be celebrated. White cake(s) with thick buttercream frosting, greeting cards, presents and sweet affirmations galore flowed all week long.
I’m not sure at what age you’re supposed to cut your hair short, retire to FL or stop wearing a tiara on your birthday, but apparently, I haven’t reached it yet.
It’s been a lovely birthday season!
Tomorrow, in the afterglow of all the celebrating, I’m taking a personal retreat to look ahead. To evaluate what’s working and strategize for the future. I want to be wiser, healthier, and more like Jesus next year than I am today.
Use it or lose it.
I don’t want to lose any ground I don’t have to surrender. As a matter of fact, I want to keep making progress in areas I have some control over.
Merriam-Webster defines progress this way: to move forward: to develop to a higher, better, or more advanced stage
Listed antonyms of progress are: decline, descend, deteriorate, weaken, decay, or relapse.
Progressing or decaying.
What does progress look like now? For me, it’s continuing to speak and minister to women at retreats, conferences and special occasions. (Maybe I can come to your church or camp – would you ask around for me?)
It means continuing to write words of encouragement. I have a new devotional book coming out in November, and I’m over the moon excited to share it with you soon.
It means training up the next generation. Multiplying the messengers of Good News with an online coaching program to help other women develop or grow a speaking ministry.
To keep moving, stretching and reaching out to Jesus. To know him more and experience God’s presence in my life and work.
What about you?
Whether or not it’s your birthday week, we each have to determine how to keep progressing so we don’t decay any quicker than necessary.
We are all Works In Progress. If we are not making progress we are stagnating or worse yet, decaying. Here’s what’s on my list to focus on in the coming year. Will you choose one to join me?
1. Love God.
Spend more time with the Lord. Talk and listen. Tell him all the secrets. Read His words back to him. Every day, find a way to acknowledge Him, honor Him or partner with Him.
2. Love People
Be kind. Love relentlessly. Be liberal with words of affirmation and encouragement. While being snippy and sarcastic may make us feel smart or superior … it won’t win hearts or demonstrate Jesus.
Isolation is a lonely and vulnerable place. Choosing to do life in community makes us richer and safer. It provides stability and support for all seasons and situations.
3. Love myself.
Eat something green that isn’t a jelly bean. Exercise a little. Sleep 8 hours. Save some money. Have some fun! Take a trip. Dance in the kitchen. Plan an adventure.
And give myself some grace! Forgive faster! Forgive yourself the harsh words, lousy choices, wasted time, inappropriate behavior, ridiculous expenditures, weight gain, missed opportunities and even that thing you think is too bad or too big. Keep short accounts and let stuff go that won’t matter in the long run.
Celebrate being a Work In PROGRESS!
I’d love to hear how you’re avoiding decay and/or how you’re making progress. Leave me a comment. I read every one.
Prayer: Lord, it’s so easy to coast. It’s so easy just to turn on the tv and veg out. It’s so easy to say I worked hard enough, served enough, done enough and sit down. It takes a lifetime to really know you and learn to love you with all my heart. Coax me to keep being a work in progress – In Jesus Name amen.