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Hello mornings

Hello Mornings book

Hello Mornings book

This week I’ve been reading the amazing book Hello Mornings: How To Build A Grace-Filled, Life-Giving Morning Routine by Kat Lee, which you can find at Amazon here.

It’s about a simple, three-minute morning routine to help you build a daily, life-long, Jesus-centered habit to anchor you for every season of your life.

Now if you’re like me, you are so not a morning person, and you don’t exactly jump out of bed in the morning with glee.

In fact, let’s just be real here. Cheerful morning people can be irritating (and especially chatty ones)! The Bible even backs me up on this (sorta’!) in Proverbs 27:14, NASB:

“He who blesses his friend with a loud voice early in the morning, It will be reckoned a curse to him.”

Smiling woman. Image source: Unsplash

Smiling woman
Image source: Unsplash

But we can start our day differently (including our attitude!) with these 3 small, simple steps. Kat says, “Each morning can then become a launch pad into God’s amazing plan for your life!”

Here is the routine Kat introduces in this book that anyone can do:

The Three-Minute Morning:

1.Read/memorize/pray Psalm 143:8.

2. Look at your calendar for today.

3. Drink a glass of water.

That’s it!  Totally doable. Simple. Not hard!

She writes, “There you go. That will change your life. There’s nothing magical about each step, yet each one is crucial. Feel boxed in by how specific it is? You can change it up…”.

She said at first, she started it small, and at times it was messy or she was lazy, falling back asleep. But she kept on until it became a daily habit, then she wrote a blog about it, then a group challenge called Hello Mornings with thousands of women joining it.

Finally, to her surprise Kat was invited by the director of the child sponsorship program Compassion to go on one of their trips to the Philippines, the country where her mother was born (who had died nine months after Kat was born. Compassion’s director Shawn Groves did not know this when he invited Kat, but God did!).

Lakawon Island Resort, Cadiz City, Philippines. Image source: Unsplash

Lakawon Island Resort, Cadiz City, Philippines.
Image source: Unsplash

When arriving to the Philippines, Kat not only met the child her family had sponsored through Compassion for years, but a group of people was waiting for her at the hotel-the family that she’d never met! She was surrounded by women who looked like her–her mother’s sisters, brothers, nieces, and nephews. Not only Kat and her family were in tears, but Shaun and the Compassion team were, too (“all ugly crying right along with me,” she writes).

As Kat says, oh, how God redeems! And it all started with 3 simple steps in the morning for her! Just think what God can do for you!

Kat writes, “Taking the time to sit and savor all the possibility wrapped up in the next twenty-four hours is refreshing, inspiring, and invigorating. The One who, with a simple whisper to your heart, can make all right with the world, waits ever so patiently for you each morning. He knows you. He wants you. He remembers your biggest dreams, your secret hopes, and your desperate prayers…He is my greatest gift, the source of my hope and security. With Him, every single day, all things are possible.”

If you already have a morning routine, you can add this. And you don’t have to stop there.

Kat (I love her name!) encourages you to start small with these three steps, then dives into how to cultivate these daily, continuous habits of God, Plan, Move into a well-lived, successful life of faith and purpose. She includes delicious things like having a woven basket for your materials like your Bible and a notebook and a cup of joe (or hot tea), journaling Scriptures with fun, colorful pens, and doing stretches first thing or getting a FitBit to count your steps during the day.

FitBit Versa Lite Edition Smartwatch

purple FitBit Versa Lite Edition Smartwatch

Kat writes about the importance of preparation of a “morning kit” for your morning routine with God. “I like to think of it like having a guest, except the guest is my tired, grumpy morning self. I prepare candles, coffee, a cozy corner, and all the little accoutrements of an inspiring morning time.  Few things make waking up early more fun than having a little nook all set up, ready, and waiting for me to snuggle down and let God fill me up so I can live the day for Him. If we put in the preparation beforehand, when the alarm goes off, the rest will be easy.” (pp. 164-165)

Coffee With God eBook

Coffee with God eBook

I share about my own routine in my book, Coffee With God, available at Amazon here. My own nook is our front entry room, where I have my Bible, journal, Sharpie extra-fine, black pens, coffee (recently I bought Cacoa Bliss to add to the coffee. It is so yummy and chock full of healthy ingredients, USDA organic, and gluten free–and you can drink chocolate without feeling guilty! I also keep a basket and a stack of good books on the little table besides the couch, from which to choose daily readings like Hello Mornings.

What I love about this 3 Minute Morning is that I know I can do this. I can wake up (eventually, if I have had insomnia the night before!). I can say a short prayer to God, thanking Him for a new day to serve Him. I can eat just a bite, like 1/2 a grapefruit, fruit and yogurt, or an egg. Then I start the red Keurig coffee pot (I add the Cacao Bliss and lots of creamer to mine!). This is my “coffee with God” time and one of the fave parts of my day.

Yesterday I implemented the “Move” part in Kat’s God, Plan, Move routine by cleaning the whole house. Today I worked in my little flower gardens, weeding. Can I just say weeding is hard work, especially if it’s been awhile since you did it?

Creeping Charlie weed

Creeping Charlie weed

Weeds are to flowers what sin is to our hearts. It is hard work rooting out these things, but with God’s help we can do it. Today I saw that the Creeping Charlie weed (also called ground ivy) was growing worse in our yard. It is a hard to kill lawn weed.  Even if you dig it out, its rhizomes are so invasive that leaving behind just one fragment can result in a new plant. This weed can take over your entire garden and yard, as sin can take over our lives.

purple & white annuals garden

purple & white annuals garden

 

rose garden

rose garden with stones

I encourage you (and myself) to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal anything that is a hindrance to your intimacy with God. Repent and ask His forgiveness and for God to cleanse you of this sin. He will show you if there’s anything there, and He won’t overwhelm you with all your sins at once.

Well, I’m not finished reading this book yet. But Kat encourages her readers to ask God, “Are the things filling my day the things You want to fill my day?” To align the rest of our day with God’s heart.

Heart on beach Source: Unsplash

Heart on beach
Image Source: Unsplash

*******

Do you already have a morning routine? How does this 3 Minute Morning Routine sound to you? Share in the comments below. 

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Declutter and Organize for 2015

Beth Jones, January 2015

Beth Jones, January 2015

Do you need to get organized and declutter for 2015?

This weekend I’ve been on an organizational roll! FEELS SO GOOD!

I went through my email inbox the last several months, finally finishing up this week with filing or deleting emails. I had 1000’s in there; what a relief to get the emails down to ZERO. My goal is to keep it at that or as few emails as possible in my inbox. I’m also unsubscribing to lists that aren’t serving my priorities this year; my time and yours is precious. Michael Hyatt has a great post on staying on top of your email here.

papers

papers

I bought a new address book and transferred addresses and phone numbers to the new one. Recently I asked our daughter Leah to find an address for me in my book, and she said, “This is a mess, mom!” Addresses were crossed out 3 or 4 times, so I bought a new one to fill out and use. I recorded our checking account numbers and ATM/Debit/Credit card numbers for safekeeping. 

address-book

address-book

I sorted through papers in my black file folder box – important documents, bills that have been paid off, bills that are due, speaking presentations and teachings, pictures from magazines as visual aids for speaking/writing, manuscripts for my books, etc. Each of these are in a separate, labeled, colored file folder. You can buy these inexpensively at Walmart.

folders

folders

I shredded a whole bunch of papers from my files. I love the shredder; it’s a great way to tame the paper tiger. One great book I recommend for organization is Organize Now!: A Week-by -Week Guide to Simplify Your Space and Your Life by Jennifer Ford Berry.

organize

Organize Now! by Jennifer Ford Berry

 I put all the critically important documents in the floral tote below  – copies of our marriage certificate, birth certificates, drivers’ licenses, insurance benefits, passports, etc. This week I’m planning to buy a fireproof-waterproof box to put them in. I also made copies of these to go into the black file folder box.

shredder

shredder

My goals this week are to clean out the fridge (that’s where all the tupperware has disappeared to – uneaten leftovers!) and to clean the stove…major but necessary jobs.  In the next few weeks, I’ll also be going through cabinets and drawers to declutter and organize more.

I love each new year because it gives you a fresh start. I love decluttering and organizing for the new year. It gives me such relief and freedom. It makes room for the new and exciting. It lets you breathe and declutters your mind and soul as well.

Are you decluttering and organizing for the new year?

What do you need to declutter, organize, give away, sell, or throw away to make room for the new in 2015? Share your comments and tips below.

“Own less, do less, and say no.” – Geoffrey Godbey

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random thoughts

www.lightstock.com

www.lightstock.com

I hope you had a blessed Christmas with family & friends. I had one of the best, most peaceful ones I’ve had in a long time!  

This year we had our family Christmas dinner at our oldest daughter Heather’s house. Everyone brought a cooked dish (instead of me cooking everything and hosting it at our house!): Ray’s infamous holiday ham that our kids always request at Thanksgiving and Christmas, my sweet potato casserole, Heather’s green bean casserole, Eden’s creamy mashed potatoes, and apple pie with vanilla bean ice cream. We opened gifts Christmas Eve with our kids and grandkids.  It always makes me happy to see them open presents. 

The best gift of all is Jesus and my precious family.

I am eating too much lately, and Ray buying me delicious chocolate-covered cashews for my Christmas stocking, with other candy bars, doesn’t help. They are addictive. 🙂

chocolate covered cashews

chocolate covered cashews

I’ll have to do a detox to start off the new year. I have a recipe that I found online:

  • 1/2 cup pineapple
  • 2 large cucumbers
  • 1 bunch kale without the stems (4 cups chopped)
  • 1/2 lemon, squeezed
  • 1/4 inch ginger
  • 1 bunch mint (1 1/2 cups). Blend together.  

Are you excited about 2015? Personally, I’m so glad that 2014 is almost over. It was a hard, challenging year.

God showed me ahead of time before 2014 hit that it would be hard, and a friend confirmed that when she was praying for me at the end of 2013. But she encouraged me God would strengthen me through it. And He did.

I believe I obeyed what God told me to do and as a result of that, it was a fruitful, productive year. I hope that I’ll obey Him as well in 2015.

Valorie Burton

Valorie Burton

In speaker/author Valorie Burton‘s ezine today, she wrote: “Every year, we are bombarded with “Year in Review” headlines. The best dressed, the top songs, and most fascinating people of theyear. But I like to do my own “Year in Review,” a self-reflective recap that helps me see how much richer I am at the close of another year. “Joyful is the person who finds wisdom, the one who gains understanding. For wisdom is more profitable than silver, and her wages are better than gold,” Proverbs 3:13-14. So at the end of eachyear, you ought to find yourself a little richer. Whether you view the experiences you’ve had this year as good or bad, each one offers an opportunity to become richer in wisdom and head into the New Year better prepared than ever to live wisely and be resilient.”

She then asked what you learned in 2014. I think it’s very important to reflect back on your year at the end of each year. See what went well and what didn’t. What you learned. What mistakes you made.

What successes and accomplishments you achieved. How you grew.

What things you checked off on your bucket list. You do have a bucket list, don’t you? If not, then start it today!

Maybe one thing on your bucket list is to write Morning Pages. While I don’t agree with all Jennifer Blanchard or Julia Cameron say, Jennifer writes about the benefits of Morning Pages in her post here.

Or maybe in 2015 you want to write a fiction book (my client and friend Dana Arcuri just wrote the first chapter of her fiction book, whoo hoo!). Start writing!

One thing I am doing is decluttering: going through my email inbox, closets, and drawers. Making room for the new.

I believe God has shown me that 2015 is a pivotal year (of crucial importance) for me and His people.

Do you have your “one word”, your “theme,” and/or your scripture for 2015? I encourage you to pray, asking for His protection, wisdom, and blessings in 2015 over your and your family and loved ones.

I’m taking the next few days to just pray and get God’s wisdom and direction for 2015.

Do you have your yearly planner/calendar yet?

I found one at Walmart with these beautiful yellow daisies on the front cover and this scripture, “My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.” (Exodus 33:14)

Vision Publishers planner/calendar

Vision Publishers planner/calenar

We don’t know what the year ahead holds. Let’s approach it prayerfully and with an open, trusting, faith-filled heart. Sometimes God does unexpected things in our lives.

An entrepreneur friend of mine recently took time out to fill out her yearly calendar, scheduling teleseminars, local live events, and quarterly coaching programs, and was so excited about these plans…then she was hired for a J-O-B she’d applied for (outside the home, due to financial pressures). I believe the J-O-B is just temporary. Sometimes for a season we may do something that we don’t want to do, but God has us there for a reason for His unseen purposes and glory. 

Sometimes we are shaken. Right now my father is experiencing health issues. He’s been fainting. His diagnosis: syncope (fainting), which may be caused by irregular heart beat or blood flow.

 Last year he had a 92% blockage in his aorta, and this year he had a 83% blockage in his aorta. They just put in 3 stents and did an angioplasty. This past week after he returned home, he fainted at dinner time, and had to be taken back to the hospital. He was just released yesterday. 

Here is a picture of me with my dad several years ago.

Daddy and me, Valdosta, GA

Daddy and me, Valdosta, GA, a couple of years ago

It’s unsettling when your parents are aging and/or have health issues. It’s an acute reminder of your own aging and mortality. None of us like to think about these kinds of things, especially around Christmas time when it’s supposed to be fun and full of joy. But these things are part of this drama called life.

I saw a sign in town today which read, “Collect moments, not things.” Wise words. Make precious memories with those you love. Never taken anyone or any day for granted.

And enjoy it, and use our gifts for God’s and others’ joy. For Christmas, one of the gifts our daughter Leah requested was watercolor paints. She is an amazing graphic artist, but wanted to try her hand at watercolors.

This week she painted a sun and blue mountains picture. I think it is beautiful and am going to frame it and hang it up on a wall.

Copyright 2014 Leah Jones

Copyright 2014 Leah Jones

One of the gifts I received, that I’d requested from Ray and our daughters, was a Blue Snowball mic to make better audio quality podcasts, webinars, telecalls, etc. Ray said, “It’s a strange looking thing.” But I’m so happy I got it!

You can subscribe to my podcast here at Itunes. The “No Place For” podcast series from Galatians 5 is wrapping up soon.

me and Snowball mic

me and Snowball mic

 I’m also booking speaking engagements for 2015 and 2016. You can contact me here if you’d like me to speak at your event, or know someone who needs a speaker.  I love encouraging women to fulfill their purpose and use their gifts. I will go wherever God wants me to go. 

“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Our daughter Heather bought me the Cinderella glass slipper that I saw and asked for, to use as a visual aid when I speak at conferences in 2015. (My signature talk is The Cinderella Story: The Power of Shoes about women walking in their unique purpose.) You can see the glass slipper on the right in the pic below. 

Glass slipper

Glass slipper

This post was just some random thoughts.

me - 2014

me -2014

 I want you to know how much I appreciate you. Thank you for coming by my website and joining me on this wonderful, sometimes scary and uncertain, but always adventurous journey called life.

I’m looking forward to seeing the great things God will do in 2015. He is good. He is worthy to be praised.

I’d love to hear how your year went and what your plans are for 2015. Leave your comments below.

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