Faith · Uncategorized

Five Minute Friday: Reflect

This week the topic for the Five Minute Friday link-up post is Reflect. What is a link-up? Essentially a link-up is when you join other bloggers and write on a similar topic. You share your blog posts with one another and begin conversations via a host site. You can head over to Kate Motaung’s page to check out other entries from inspired bloggers. Here’s my five minutes of uninterrupted, unedited writing on this week’s topic:

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Back in March I published a post entitled, Stop Thinking, where I expressed the importance of periodically reflecting on life and the direction you are headed. With those same principles in mind I am going to challenge you to take some time this week and truly reflect on where you are and how well you have met certain goals set for yourself.

I know for me it can be difficult to find time to reflect, but it is essential to becoming better in every area of life. Reflection can also help us to re-prioritize a life that may be unbalanced. And since my blog is all about my balancing act (or lack thereof) I think it is wise to spend some time today in reflection of who I am. Thanks, Kate, for providing me motivation to slow down and reflect. I am going to be vulnerable and honest as I reflect on my faith, family, friendships, and writing progress.

Faith– When it comes to my faith lately I’ve been letting things get in the way of my time with God. I need that time like I need air, and so it is evident when I’m not taking time every day to pray and read my Bible. I never neglect that time intentionally, but I’m guilty of sometimes putting it off til right before I go to bed and then falling asleep before I get a chance to dig in. It’s time for me to take back my time with God and pick up my Bible and declare that I WILL spend time in the Word EVERYDAY! (Even if that means sacrificing a few minutes of sleep) I’m looking for a good Bible Study and a female companion to help hold me accountable to seeing it through daily.

Family– Things are going well with the family. Lately, we’ve been  re-prioritizing and taking inventory of the things we have committed to by examining the motives in making those commitments. Every day I look forward to going home and spending time with my family. Arianna is at such a fun age where she has become a human sponge. She is growing and changing at such a rapid pace that I know some big decisions are coming up in the future. Pre-school is on the horizon and in order to make that work in our schedule some things will need to change. We are taking time now to pray and seek wisdom in several areas as we continue to grow and mature as a family.

Friends-Of all the areas I’m reflecting on I feel like the friendship realm of my life is where I’m lacking the most. It’s been hard to spend time with friends like I should with the distractions of the holidays and with being so busy at home. I love my friends dearly, and I hope to have time to reconnect with many of my friends over Christmas break.

Writing-As far as writing goes I’ve found myself in a bit of a funk. Things are going decently with my novel writing (only about four chapters left to go!!!), but I’m finding it hard to find time to write regularly each day. I’m in need of a jump start in the creative writing business. Oftentimes, I find that reading a good, motivational book helps out with that lack of creativity so I’m on the hunt for a good book. Please let me know if you have any recommendations.

The benefit of reflection is that it helps us to set solid goals for the future. Solid goals are those that hold you accountable to a timeline for achieving said goals. Based on these reflections I’ve set the following goals for myself:

  1. Find a Bible Study and a female companion to study with by the end of the year.
  2. Make a decision about pre-school for Arianna and send in applications the first week of January if the decision is to send her.
  3. Schedule a time to get together with friends before the new year.
  4. Start reading a motivational book about writing by January 1.
Faith

Stop Thinking

Reflection. Waiting. Silence.

What all do these three words have in common? Leadership.

It takes a true leader to stop and set time aside to reflect on one’s life. We can never attain true perfection in this life so there is always room for improvement and progress. Reflection means reviewing an action, conversation, or thought and examining what was good and what should change when it comes to that particular outcome.

I have been reflecting lately on my own life. What am I doing well? What can I do better? The answer is: everything. I do everything well, but I can also do everything better. I need to strive to be a better wife, mom, teacher, and friend. This will be accomplished by taking more time out of my schedule for myself. If I can spend ten or fifteen minutes at the end of a day in reflection I will see change. I need to reflect on what I could do differently in my life in order to be the best I can be. In order to serve others in my roles the best way I can I must first have JOY. Joy comes from the happiness one finds in life. I need to seek joy in spite of hardships. I need to take myself less seriously and relax knowing that God has everything in control even when I don’t.

Along with reflection I must also learn to wait. Not only does waiting mean the idea of putting off gratification in order to obtain something desired, but it also means to rest. In order to be the best I can be with my many roles I must learn the art of waiting and practice it on a regular basis. I so often run myself into the ground because my lifestyle is one that is constantly on the move. I often view sitting and relaxing with a negative connotation. However, rest is completely imperative to maintaining a balanced life. Currently, I am battling with a pretty nasty cold, and it seems like over the past few months my immune system has really been compromised. I can’t help but think that if I had spent more time waiting or resting then I may have been strong enough to fight off this cold. Rest gives your body an edge over illness, and so it is obvious I need more rest in my life.

Waiting is also about giving your will and concerns to God and allowing Him to direct your path. When I get caught up in my own busy life I rarely take the time to ask God what He wants from me or if I am doing His will. In addition to spending time daily reflecting I see now that it is so important to also wait daily on God. He uses this time to show you what you may have been too busy to see before or may have missed in the hustle and bustle of life. I currently have been praying for direction in some areas of my life, but have not felt God directing me. This is not a case of God not answering my prayer…I know that it is a case of me not listening for His answer. I’ve continued life at a busy pace, but God wants me to slow down and listen to what He has to say.

This leads to the third point I need to make. Silence. God speaks to us in the silence. If we can shut down our mind from distractions, God will meet us in the silence. This is such a hard practice for me to get into. My mind is full of to-do lists and ideas, but what I need to do for myself is shut down every once in a while and sit in silence. The silence makes us more apt to hear from God and feel His tugging on our hearts. Silence can be uncomfortable because it does force us to be aware of ourselves and surroundings. Silence goes against my nature, but it is a discipline I feel led to pursue.

A good leader takes time for themselves. You cannot constantly give,give, give without somewhere receiving. We receive from God when we reflect, wait, and observe silence. God can use us when He can work on us. I challenge myself as well as my readers to set aside some time to allow God to work in your life. Stop telling God and talking to God and truly wait on His work and answers. If you’re anything like me this is a hard practice, but it is so worth it to know that God has spoken over your life and you are following the will of God.

Reflect…

Wait…

and pursue Silence.

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