So, I have a confession. I love calendars. I mean, I put a ton of thought into which one I am going to get and I spend forever in Target comparing and opening and closing them. I need the paper to feel right, the color to be right, and it has to open and lay flat. I don’t like spirals, and I need organization helps (if you know me, right now you’re thinking that you aren’t sure that will really be able to help. The problem is way bigger than a calendar can fix). Anyway, this year I found a perfect calendar/organizer. It was a great color, had all the perfect amenities and was only $10!!! I got it home and began to get ready to unpack my new year into it when I discovered, much to my dismay, that it was a June through June calendar! In all seriousness I almost decided that I would have stopped planning by June anyway and kept it.
So, what’s the point? I promise I’m getting there. Whether you are a planner or a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-panter, it’s true for all of us that some things need planning. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Now hear me out, there is a time for spontaneity. There is great skill needed to roll with it. Some of the best things in life can’t be planned. However, there are some things that don’t happen without a plan, take exercise for instance. If you don’t plan on exercise and diligently work at it, you don’t get any skinnier. You can buy all the Beach Body DVD’s, but if you never actually find a rhythm and execute it, your waistline will not see results.
What are some things you want to happen in the New Year? How about your prayer life? It’s the only thing that you can add to your list that actually streamlines your effectiveness. For instance, When I take the time to plan my day around getting up and meeting with God first thing, then all the other choices I make are colored with His wisdom. If I invite God’s presence into even the most mundane of days, He can use it to teach me something. Starting our days with God works to execute the plan because He is holding the plan. He actually knows what’s coming.
What if we chose to stay connected to God as faithfully as we are connected to the Internet? How many times a day do you check in with Instagram or Twitter to see what the world is saying? How many times do you check in with God? Connection is vital. If we are disconnected from God, He’s still there but our power source isn’t hooked up like it should be. He is no less available to us, but we have to choose to plug in. It might seem funny at first, just like starting a new exercise plan, but I promise it won’t leave you craving carbs. Once you have done it for a week, it will start to feel normal. Keep it simple. Don’t get up planning to spend an hour with God in the morning, that isn’t realistic. Instead write down some things you want to pray, requests and thanksgiving, and then use that as a start. Read Psalms and write down some of David’s prayers as your own. Ask God for a verse, and then take it and write it out as a prayer for every day of the week. The key is being consistent. I have set the alarm on my phone for a different time during the day to check in with God. It doesn’t take long to just acknowledge and thank Him for being present with you, or ask Him about what’s on your heart at that particular moment.
Whatever you do, make a plan. The most important things in our life can slip right through our fingers if we don’t have a plan. Our relationship with God is no different.
I’m going to set aside 10 days for God to start my year. I’ll be fasting from something specific. I will also pray simple specific prayers each day. I didn’t start today, on January 1st because, well, I’m not that ahead and the New Year is always so busy it’s hard to do something the FIRST day. I will begin January 5th and roll through the 15th. If you are interested in the prayers or accountability, I’ll be posting the prayers on Instagram and you can follow @laurenmitcellwrites, or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will personally answer you and send you an email every day for the ten days.