Tag Archives: goals

Bye 2017, Hello 2018

Do you feel that? It’s a New Year bursting on the scene. I feel it. I smell it. Everything within wants to follow it. New found hope is about to bust out and I think i like it!

Many of you are so incredibly over the hard-fought battles of 2017. You are ready for your fresh start. Before we sweep 2017 under the rug, can we stop for a moment and allow it to be our teacher first? It would be a mistake to not allow our struggles to teach us a lesson or two that we can bring into 2018- like a trophy of grace. My personal challenge to you as we close this chapter would be to ask God what He wants to teach you from 2017. We lift up our sleeves and see the scars that no one else sees, but we know they’re there. Let’s carry with us the truths from them- that God has brought us through another year. Some of us feel weary from battle- we drag our war-torn bodies over the finish line, thirsty for a fresh start. If that’s you, my bruised friend, my hope for you is that God will whisper ever so gently… that His mercies are new… fresh. That He alone can speak into those places that feel weary and battered, and that He will remind you and I once again, that He has fresh living water, ready to pour it out on all who come to Him. And that we can enter a place of rest when we enter His presence.

Matthew 11:28 (NLT)- Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”

Jeremiah 31:25 (NIV)- “I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.”

I have encountered many skeptical hearts on social media lately- they call themselves the rebels. I hear them chant, “No new words for the new year, forget the resolutions, no goal-setting.” And I get it. I understand their disillusioned hearts- the heart that has been burned and discouraged from all the many years of goal-setting and broken dreams. But I still hear His call… His call to dream, His call to new beginnings, His call to fresh vision…. And it whispers into my tired heart, Come away with Me and dream for my mercies are new every morning.. and I am not only intrigued by His whispers, I am hungry for more.

Call them whatever you want- dreams, visions, goals, resolutions- I call it a hope for a new year with some direction to spur me on to more with Him. But in order to not become disenfranchised, I need to make peace with 2017.

My Mantra: Let it go and shake it off

Dear 2017,

I write this to make peace with you so I can move forward and dream in 2018. I cannot carry into my new year any baggage of the previous year. As the popular Frozen song shouts, I’m letting go. I forgive those who have hurt me. I forgive those who either willingly or perhaps unknowingly have offended or hurt me. I let it go and shake it off. I will allow 2017 to be my greatest of teachers. Those things that are unfinished from 2017, I shake it off. I did would I could and whatever I didn’t do, I didn’t do. Instead of beating myself over the head about it, I make peace with it because I am not perfect, and my plan in moving forward is to not carry it with me into the new year. It’s time for a fresh start. I will dream new dreams and have new visions for the New Year. I also carry with me all of the incredible memories I did make in 2017. I will not forget all the things that God did in my life, my family, and our ministry… so many testimonies of God’s faithfulness! So good-bye 2017. Thank you for it all. Now, let’s get to this business of a New Year! 2018- I’m ready for you! Let’s do this!!

Sincerely, forever hopeful, always a dreamer…. Celeste

NEW YEAR, NEW WORD:

Every year I pray about my word for the new year. It’s a word that helps guide me and gives me vision and focus throughout the year. Some people ask me how to get their word. I just start praying about it sometime in December, I see what my previous year looked like, and I ask the Lord to stir something in me for the new year. This was probably the quickest I’ve ever received my word. I wasn’t even in a time of prayer, but was sitting at my desk, working on Christmas cards, and in my spirit I heard RESET. I’m not even joking- I quickly scribbled it down on the back of my address labels and said to myself, “Hmmm… that was strange.” And it stayed with me like scented perfume. I couldn’t shake it. I just knew it, that it was lingering for a reason. And there you have it- my word. I am ready for a reset in my prayer life (Spiritual disciplines), a reset in my physical body (hello treadmill and weights and healthier eating), a reset in my writing goals (already printed my editorial calendar so I can have some focus), a reset in my priorities, and finally, a reset in my home (January will be purge month and I couldn’t be more excited).  #reset #oneword2018

Praying for you, that God will show you a word or words that will help guide and direct you in the new year! If you already have your word, I would love to hear it!!

END OF THE YEAR RESOURCES!!!

Finally, I have found some wonderful resources to help you reflect on the year and start getting excited about the new year. I hope you enjoy these resources as much as I did!

Kristin Bonin’s Dream It, Do it Printables

Lara Casey’s Power Sheets

Jennie Allen’s Dream Guide

Amy Stockstill’s Year in Review

ibloom 10 End of the Year Reflection Questions

My Review of Lara Casey’s PowerSheets-

Just wanted to end this year saying THANK-YOU so much for sticking with me and being an incredible support and encouragement as I have wanted this space to be a place of growth and encouragement for YOU!!! I am looking forward to growing together in 2018!! Happy New Year friends!! Be Blessed!!

 

Ready or Not… It’s Summer!!

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Summer love. That’s all my kids and I have talked about for the last, oh, I don’t know, 60 plus days!! It’s our favorite. But then last week it hit me. My kids are about to be home every second of every moment, to which I know I will hear, “I’m bored” or they will hear me say for the umpteenth time, “Off the video games/computer- do something different.”

Last week was such a busy week! My daughter was taking all her finals, I felt really tired & sluggish, we celebrated the life of my brother-in-law because it would have been his 35th birthday and stupid cancer took him way too early, I realized by Thursday night that I should really do end of the year teacher’s gifts because I know what they do is incredibly hard and wanted them to know we appreciated them, my sons shoes are falling apart, holes and the bottoms are falling off, Joel’s backpack is literally not holding things anymore because the zippers been broke, Joel’s glasses are officially broke- arm off, and they all 3 are past due for eye exams and their dentist check up. My mantra last week, “One more week,” and then the one I’ve been saying to my kids all year long, “We can do hard things.”

So as I fumbled through printing tags early Friday morning, running to Wal-Mart for cookie dough (hey, it’s as ‘home-made’ as we’re getting this year), and I baked (yes, it counts) and showered, and tagged and tied, and delivered, and ended up picking my kids up early (hey, it was a major rain storm). I sat for a moment on Friday after the boys had been home for a couple of hours and heard those famous words, “Mom, what should I do?” To which I quickly replied, “It’s not summer yet. I’m not starting it until Monday, You’ll have to get creative.”

I love most everything about summer. I love the smores, the games, the jammies, the laid back schedules, the friends over, the adventures, the smell of sunblock, the watermelon, the beach, the swimming, the BBQ’s.

But I like to be ready for summer, and as ‘ready’ as I am to not make lunches or wash uniforms, or wake up to take them to school and pick them up everyday, I’m technically not ‘ready’ yet.

I was talking to my friend Cindy yesterday and we both feel like we’re behind, as if everyone has already signed their kids up for camps and activities (or at least it feels like it). And I’m not sure about your town, but around here, stuff fills up so fast! I don’t want to overfill our schedule, because I know we are going to be CRAZY with 3 weeks of camps in July for Big Red Ministries, but I also know there are some things they’ve expressed interest in that I would love for them to do.

It’s my personality to like to have beach & pool food ready, have meals planned out, have summer snacks available, have them signed up for a few fun things, have a summer calendar so everyone in the house knows what we’re doing, start the summer with a clean house & laundry done, and to have days for just rest. For some reason in this season, I feel so unorganized! And I like to have a summer reading list and my workout routine, and goals for summer writing/podcasting/speaking. And I want to add into my schedule time to write a book I’m working on. I don’t want to get to the end of the summer and say, “wish I had…” I know, I know.. I have issues.

So, summer starts Monday!

As I was feeling a bit overwhelmed (okay, a lot) on Friday, mentioning to my daughter that I still have so much I want to do before I say it’s summer, she said, “Mom, you don’t have to have everything done and organized before summer can start.”

And she is so right. Just when I feel like I don’t have issues with control anymore (pride, party of one), the Lord uses my 15-year-old daughter to snap me back into reality. I have to be okay with the fact that all my laundry is not folded yet, and that my piles of mail still need to be filed, and that I haven’t scheduled their eye & dental appointments yet, and that I don’t know or have my meal & snack list yet.

For the love.

Learning to let go of ‘the way I think it should be’ is hard, but the more I stress myself out about it, the less fun I am to be around, and the more time I’ve wasted just trying to control everything.  I know I can work on things as I go, and enlist my little summer helpers! And whatever doesn’t get done, well, there is grace for that!! The Lord is also dealing with my heart about lowering my expectations, because when you’re like me and you have so many expectations of doing everything, you end up not enjoying the stuff you are getting to do, because you’re so focused on that list!

Have a list but don’t let the list have you.

The most important thing I can do is this…

Matthew 6:33 (NLT)- Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. This summer I want more of Him. If we get to the end of the summer and I’m closer to my family and closer to Him- all is well. It will be a great way to start the next season.

So here’s to letting go and being okay with imperfect, sometimes unorganized, and still learning… me. The good news is this- when I put Him on the top of my summer list, He redeems the time, He helps me to be present each day, and He brings me joy regardless of my circumstances. He reminds me that the most important thing this summer will be people- Enjoying my family & friends, and making beautiful summer memories right in the middle of the messy.

Repeat these ‘I ams’ after me:

  • I am NOT in control but I know Who is.
  • I am a beautiful mess, but I’m His mess. And He loves me, so that’s enough for me.
  • I am surrendering my summer list to Him. “Lord, your will be done.”
  • I am okay with being a work-in-progress. At least there’s progress.
  • I am going to be fully present this summer- by the grace of God.
  • I am inviting the Holy Spirit to interrupt my schedule.
  • I am all in…. let the games begin!!

What about you? Do you try to be super organized or do you like to just go with the flow or are you somewhere in the middle? What summer prep do you like to do? Are you planning some fun adventures with your kids?

Blessings on you and your family and… Happy Summer!

Celeste

What I Learned from My Running Group

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 1 Cor. 9:24 (NLT)- Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win!

I used to run when I was in High School. For me it was my therapy. When my parents would be fighting at home, I would take off, and run as fast as I could. And I didn’t know it at the time, but I was fast. If you’ve ever seen the movie 4 Minute Mile (its on Netflix), I was that boy. He had a very rough home life and he would just run to clear his mind and push through the pain. In the movie his mentor, who was like a dad to him, told him, “You have to face that thing that scares you the most.” This is a must watch video clip from the movie! (Click here)  4 Minute Mile

For the first time in his life, this young man finally had someone who believed in him and called it out of him. I will never forget when I was in 9th grade and I had basically given up on pretty much everyone and everything. I was failing all of my classes, I would regularly cut school, and I didn’t feel like I was good at anything. I was in my PE class and they had us running. The Running Team was out there practicing. I remember as I was running by, overhearing the coach say to one of the runners, “she’s pretty fast, go run with her.” And this guy from the team ran with me and pushed me to push myself. The coach approached me afterwards and asked me to join their team. I don’t remember his name or what he looked like, but I will tell you what I do remember. I remember for the first time someone seeing something in me and calling that thing out.

I have been pretty consistent at one thing in my life, and that is running. There have been times in my life when my kids were little that I stopped all together running, but it’s in me, and I always find my way back to running. This past year I joined a running club, M2M. I will be quite honest with you, because, well, that’s all I know how to be is honest. When I moved here from Colorado I wanted to join a cycling group or a running group but I never felt good enough or fast enough. I was always worried I would slow the group down, because I ‘thought’ if you’re in a running group or club, well then, you must be really good and really fast. I always just felt like I was just regular and had to wait until I was really good to join. I have since discovered that this just wasn’t true at all! There are several really great running groups in the Valley and they are all for all levels! Over the year I have thought about this group and how we, as Christians and the church, could learn so much from a running group.

Why I love my running group:

1)  They motivate and encourage me to be my best. I love all the smiles and high fives and words of encouragement I get on a run.

2)  When I feel like giving up (stopping), others are there to push me to keep going.

3)  I am not alone.

4)  I am a part of a team.

5)  I didn’t have to look any certain way or be any certain shape or size to join the runners group. They seriously just love everyone. And everyone is invited!

6)  I am always being invited to events and activities to keep me plugged in.

7)  I can go to as many or as few running activities as I am able. But they never give me the cold shoulder or act awkward towards me if I haven’t been in a while. If I haven’t been in a while, they’re just happy to see me back.

8)  When I’m on a run and it gets hard, I’ve learned to push through it.

9)  We are like one big happy family.

10)  You don’t have to wait to join until you are super fast or super buff! We all are at different levels and we all learn from each other and grow together.

I’m not saying everyone is born to be a runner or you aren’t living unless you’re a runner. I’m simply taking the lessons I’ve learned from my own experience and running with it (you see what I did here?!).

Here’s my top 10 of what I learned from my running group:

The lessons (taken from above) that I learned from my running group make want to grow and become a better person.

(1) We should continue to motivate others to be their best and be all that God has called them to be. We should be giving high fives and celebrating others.

(2) We should be somebody’s cheerleader and when they feel like giving up, may we be the ones to encourage them to keep going.

(3) We should remind those around us that they are not alone.

(4) As Christians, we should spend less time this year focused on those things that separate us, and may we spend more time focused on what we do have in common! We are all on the same team here!

(5) We should love people just as they are! We shouldn’t care so much about if someone is like us or not, or their age, or how they dress, or their size. God loves all people and so should we!

(6) We should continue to go to events, bible studies, conferences, and retreats to stay not only plugged in to our church, but to grow in our walk with Jesus.

(7) We should welcome people if we haven’t seen them in a while instead of making them feel like they’ve been backsliding. We don’t know their circumstances. We don’t know if their kids have been sick, or they’ve been sick, or they’ve been out of town. They definitely aren’t going to want to come back if they’re feeling judged.

(8) One of the biggest life lessons through running and being in this running group is that my body can actually do way more than I ever give it credit for! Being a part of this group has shown me that. I’ve done so much more than I would ever do on my own. And it’s the same way in life- when life gets hard, you remember that you can do hard things and you learn to push through. You can actually do so much more than you give yourself credit for.

(9) I have a friend who doesn’t have any family here and their running group is their family here. It’s the same with the church. I’ve heard others refer to the people in their church as their church family. And we should resemble a family. We won’t always agree. But at the end of the day, we’re family and we’ll agree to respect each others opinions whether we agree or not. That’s what family does. And most importantly, that we’re there for each other. If anyone is hurting or has a need in our group, may we be the first to step up and see how we can help carry the burden.

(10) Some people feel like they have to be spiritual enough first before they can go to church. This couldn’t be farther from the truth! That’s what church is for- to grow together and to learn from each other. None of us have arrived and we won’t arrive until our life is done and we meet Jesus face to face! We are all on a spiritual journey and we’re all in a different place in our walk. This is how it should be. Don’t wait to come to church… just come!

Whether you are a runner or a jumper or a dancer or a Zumba master, or a cyclist, or a jujitsu person, or a speaker or a writer or a mamma or _____________ (you fill in the blank here)- may we all take these lessons, and figuratively speaking, run our race to be all that God has called us to be!

Hebrews 12:1 (NLT)- Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.