Progress Report

 

We are just a few weeks into the new year. How are you doing at your goals and resolutions? More than that, how are you doing at your progress as a human being, loved by God?

 

One of the things I have to remind myself of often is:

We are all works in progress.

Mirriam-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.

Progress being the operative word. If we are not making progress we are stagnating or worse yet, decaying.

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather not be known as “stagnant” or “decaying.”

7 ways to keep your work in progress.

1. Love God with all your heart.

Tell him your secrets. Read His words back to him. Praise him with your words and your actions. Every day, find a way to acknowledge Him, honor Him or partner with Him.

2. Love Your People

Be kind. Being snippy and sarcastic may make you feel smart or superior.
But … you won’t win their hearts or demonstrate Jesus to them that way, so be liberal with your words of affirmation and encouragement.

3. Practice forgiveness till you’re an expert.

You’ll add years to your life by forgiving yourself and others. 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.

4. Live in community.

Isolation is a lonely and vulnerable place. Choosing women to do life with makes it richer and safer. Ask for help. Share the burdens and the struggles. Celebrate the victories and the triumphs.

The richness of the relationships I have with my core group of women
provides us stability and support for all seasons and situations.

5. Take care of yourself.

Sleep 8 hours. Eat something green that isn’t a jelly bean. Exercise a little. Write some goals. Save some money. Wear pants with elastic waistbands, comfortable undies and sensible shoes.

6. Have some fun.

Listen to music. Dance in the kitchen. Bake a cake and eat it. Plan an adventure. Visit a distant relative, or a museum, or the Football Hall of Fame.

7. Celebrate life and be glad you’re a work in PROGRESS!

 

I’d love to hear what your best strategy is to avoid decay and continue to make progress.

Leave me a comment below.

 

Verse:  “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” -Isaiah 43:18-19

 

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.

4 Comments

  1. Darlene Skarda on January 21, 2024 at 8:49 am

    Hi Robyn,
    We’re in Flagstaff this weekend for retreat with Wendy Hagen. Theme is Divine Interruptions. Good.
    Remembering two wonderful retreats you gave us..
    Blessings!
    Darlene

  2. Darlene Skarda on January 21, 2024 at 8:53 am

    Hi Robyn,
    In Flagstaff this weekend for Retreat with Wendy Hagen on Divine Interruptions.
    Remembering two wonderful retreats with you.
    Blessings!
    Darlene Skarda

    • Robyn Dykstra on January 21, 2024 at 9:03 am

      Always lovely to hear from you Darlene. Thanks for the sweet reminder. I loved being with you all in Flagstaff.

  3. Connie Kubilus on January 21, 2024 at 11:27 am

    Yesterday we were with long time friends celebrating their family “Slava” in honor of St. John the Baptist. This is an Orthodox celebration that is similar to our Thanksgiving. They are thanking God for everything he has done for them and their family this year. It is a feast of food, family and friends. Thanks for your list of reminders for everyday things we can do to get closer to God. He gave us a paradise to live in we just have to focus on the good in our lives and the world. Praying daily for personal salvation, salvation for family and friends and salvation for our country and release of the Jan 6 hostages. Hope you are enjoying the New Year Robyn!

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