It's not unusual for me to want to come up with a catchy phrase or acronym to help focus on a goal. It's also not unusual for me to use my gift of taking scripture out of context and apply it to my scenario.
“So here's what I think: The best thing you can do right now is to finish what you started last year and not let all those good intentions grow stale. Your heart's been in the right place all along. You've got what it takes to finish it up, so go to it. Once the commitment is clear, you do what you can, not what you can't. The heart regulates the hands. 2Corinthians 8:10-12 The Message
In the above quote Paul writes to the Corinthians re their intended financial gift, but when I read this verse a few years ago it jumped out and applied itself to a writing project. In pondering 2018 and goals the verse came back to me and once again I apply it to a writing project.
Over Christmas my husband and I were in N Africa, and every time I visit my daughter and her family I come with away with an urgency to to pray—especially for their ministry and the daily challenges they (especially my grandchildren) face living in a Muslim culture. Focusing on prayer is always a good start to the year. After starting with the idea of Prayer I began to play with the P words ... and more goals for the year popped up.
Pursue inner Peace It is a pursuit. Thou wilt keep him in Perfect Peace, who's mind is stayed on thee. As I pray my mind will be focused on God, and my peace increases. As my peace increases I can extend it to others. Recently I heard a pastor reference Paul's frequent salutation of “grace and peace.” He challenged us to respond to situations with a simply reply: someone cuts you off in traffic—Grace & Peace, You're put on hold—Grace & Peace, someone gets under your skin—Grace & Peace. My husband and I have tried it on each other a few times. It's helpful.
Partnership—after being solo for a decade, I have husband to consider ... we are learning to do things in partnership. Thankfully I am partnered with God in this.
Practice His Presence-being aware of God at all times throughout the daily activities.
Praise & thanksgiving. Living in gratitude and giving praise to God for all his goodness.
Power—a reminder to myself that we are given the same power that raised Christ from the dead. (Can I really grasp that? Why do I still struggle?)
and Publish? Publish-how did that get into here?
Susan Barclay, in her January 4th post, aims to finish her first draft of a novel, even if it lies on the shelf somewhere ... and Joylene Bailey responded that this thought also released her from the pressure—just finish the work, move on and let God guide for the next step. Well, I haven't got a novel I'm working on, but I do have a short manuscript from before life got crazy and I got married. While taking the creative writing course through U of C a few years ago, we submitted our final project. It was to be the beginning of a longer work, or a completed short work intended for possible future publication. And here it sits on my computer waiting for such a time as this. At the time my preceptor for the course told me she hoped I would publish it. Perhaps this is the year to do something with it? That is a scary thought. But an idea has already come to mind: to have a certain number of copies printed to give as gifts to my family, and close friends. The manuscript Becoming is a collection of prayers, anecdotes and declarations of hope ... a series of inspirational notes to move forward in life.
So how do I sum up for my goals for this year?
Prevail and Persevere ... Keep at it. It is easy to get discouraged as all these things have been on lists before. What makes me think this time is different?
PRAY and then
Plan—I need a scheduled plan to make this happen. Daily I want to commit to thirty minutes of prayer and initially I thought thirty minutes of Proprioceptive Writing. Then I realized that the writing part needs more flexibility and Prayer is the focus. Perhaps I need to partner with someone to keep me accountable?
There is a plethora of possibilities that I could proceed with Panache ... but even better to proceed with PRAYER.