Essential Verses | January

 I've decided to pick a verse to focus on each week this year and at the end of each month, to share those verses with you. Sometimes you have read a verse a thousand times, but one day, something just clicks and you see it all differently. That's why I want to make it a point to really meditate on a verse each week.

These are some verses that stood out to me during my Bible study in January.
What verses were your eyes opened to this month?

21 Days of Prayer and Fasting // Week One

One of my biggest goals for 2017 is to step up my prayer life. Prayer is a vital part of a Christian's life, and I gotta admit, I've been slacking. I've been going to Highlands off and on for over a year now and have heard some amazing things about 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting, but I haven't participated, until this year. I really felt the urge to give up something for 21 days and to use this new found free time advancing in my walk with Christ. 

So, from January 8th-28th, I will be doing what is called a "soul fast". I'm not going to be fasting from any food item, but if that's what you feel called to do, do it! Personally, I'm giving up Facebook and Netflix.

Over the last few weeks, I've been feeling convicted about the amount of time I waste on Facebook and watching TV. I meaninglessly scroll through my FB feed multiple times daily. Don't get me wrong; social media has it's place. It brings people together and can be a great way to keep in touch, especially for our family and friends who are far away. But when does it become a hindrance? I think we can each search our own hearts on this issue, but to me, it becomes a problem when I start using it to: compare, "stalk", brag, argue with strangers on different subjects (yep), and distract. 

As far as Netflix, it's pretty much a huge time waster in general. I enjoy watching TV and movies just as much, if not more, than everyone I know. TV and movies are generally very appealing to us because they distract us from our everyday normalcy and our problems. But keep in mind, television feeds our minds with all kinds of useless information, two of which are untrue expectations of love and relationships and a total absence of morals. 

 Both of these things have been weighing heavy on me, so I'm going to do without them for a total of 21 days and then slowly bring them back, if I feel the need to do so. 

What is one thing in your own life you could do without?

Beaming with Positivity

Do you know what can be a real wet blanket on a good day? When someone radiates negativity. Nothing brings my mood down faster than a complainer or a pessimist, someone who sees only the empty half of the glass.
Sure, it's hard and sometimes downright impossible to see the good in everything. I'm not suggesting you be blind to the world or it's problems. But here's the thing; the way the world sees us is based a lot on our attitude, so as a follower of Christ, it's very important we exude life and joy. Here's a few ways we can be a little more positive!

1. Stop complaining. This is a hard one and I struggle with this sooo much. As a teenager, a guy told me "I've never met someone who complains as much as you." Ouch! That was a wake-up call. Who wants to hang out with that girl? What an easy question to answer: nobody. Be more mindful of your words. You don't like this song? Ok, understood, but you don't have to tell someone who does enjoy it. Hate your job? Maybe instead of telling everybody about how much it sucks, look for something else.
“What you're supposed to do when you don't like a thing is change it. If you can't change it, change the way you think about it. Don't complain.” -Maya Angelou

January Goals

Who doesn't love the hope for change a new year brings? As usual, I set a lot of resolutions but I'm going to try breaking them up into smaller, more attainable goals monthly. Here's what I'm working on in January.

faith...Go to church every Sunday; Participate in 21 days of Prayer and Fasting. I really want to focus on my prayer life this month.
finances...Stick to my credit card payoff plan suggested by and save $200.
self...Be more positive. Do a random act of kindness.
to read...Read 2 books; 1 fiction and 1 nonfiction.
to cook...I really want to make some homemade potato soup and try a different chicken salad recipe.
health and fitness...No sodas for the entirety of the month. Go to the gym twice a week.
relationships...Be more encouraging.
home...Find a cleaning schedule that works for me. Decide on a color for the dining room and start purchasing painting supplies.

What are your plans and goals for 2017?

Currently | January 2017

I haven't posted a currently post in a while, but I really want to get back into the habit! So for all of you who cannot function without knowing what I'm enjoying, here we go.

anxiously awaiting...As much as I hate to admit this, I'm ready for some warmer weather. These cold, dreary, short days are becoming pretty depressing.
enjoying...The excitement/hope for change that escorts a new year.
feeling...Stuffy, due to allergies, and cold. Due to sleet.
wanting...A long, hot bath.
watching...I'll Have What Phil's Having on Netflix.
reading...Chasing Elephants by Brent Crowe and Organized Simplicity by Tsh Oxenreider

What things are you enjoying this month?