#Oneword 2017

I believe that God gave me my “one word” and Scripture for 2017. I wasn’t looking for it. In fact, I thought about not having a “one word.” I’m not into fads. 

My precious sis Maria
My precious sister Maria

But as I sought my sister Maria’s counsel on an important matter at the end of 2016 (she’s my sister and a therapist!), she encouraged me about being intentional–doing things on purpose. Here below is what she emailed me:

“My word for the last few days is “on purpose.” We have to do things on purpose – get closer to God and family and friends. Make time to do things. Improve ourselves like health and money management. I guess my question is what can you do on purpose to make things even a little better?”

She also wrote, “I so get feeling like things are stuck in a rut, an endless pit of crap. We can’t control other people, only ourselves. If this was a therapy session, lol, I would try to have you identify three things that have shown improvement in the last month (exercised more, prayed more, went to a workshop, etc), then three things you can do on purpose to improve things. And I am preaching to myself! I love you immensely. Praying God will fill your heart to overflowing!”

Then as I sat in church yesterday in my black dress, cloaked in an emerald-white sapphire necklace and bracelet and many questions about life, our pastor Jeff talked about being intentional in 2017. There’s that word again. When God says something once, I listen. When He says something twice, I sit up and pay much closer attention. Third time, I know He’s a-shoutin’ at me!

2017 One Word Intentional

So my “one word” for 2017 is intentional. 

I didn’t really want the word. It’s tired, overused, much like the word “purpose,” which I’m all over and about in my mission encouraging women to use their gifts for God and doing what they love.

But it’s a word I need in my life. Down to my writing bones. (This phrase came to mind, remembering author Natalie Goldberg’s excellent book, Writing Down the Bones.

The definition of intentional, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary online is:

  • done by intention or design; 
  • done in a way that is planned;
  • done in a deliberate way; not accidental.

Synonyms for intentional are:

  • voluntary
  • willing
  • deliberate.

Voluntary implies implies freedom and spontaneity of choice or action without external compulsion.

Willing implies a readiness and eagerness to accede to or anticipate the wishes of another.

The antonyms (opposite meaning) and near antonyms of intentional are even more intriguing:

  • nondeliberate;
  • nonpurposive.
  • accidental;
  • hit-or-miss;
  • aimless;
  • coerced;
  • forced;
  • casual;
  • impulsive.

As I look over and reflect on these lists of words, I ask myself: am I willing to do what God says to do in 2017? Will I obey Him? 

mule Image source: : http://images.wisegeek.com/mule-near-grass.jpg
mule
Image source: : http://images.wisegeek.com/mule-near-grass.jpg

Everyone who knows me knows that I’m stubborn as a mule. I like to think of it as “being my own person”–independent, a free spirit. But many times it’s just plain defiance and obstinance. No one is going to tell me what to do, by God! Not even God!

Control. Pride. “Stiff-necked” the Bible calls the Israelites. This trait cost many of them their lives in the wilderness.

So I surrender. Thy Will Be Done. https://youtu.be/Dp4WC_YZAuw

Beth Jones Women's Conference Speaker & Author
Beth Jones
Women’s Conference Speaker & Author

My prayer for 2017 is that I’ll be intentional:

  • in seeking God and His Kingdom first;
  • in taking care of my health;
  • in my marriage’s healing and restoration;
  • in spending time with my children and grandchildren;
  • in speaking to empower men and women;
  • in writing more books;
  • in sharing the good news of Jesus Christ and lead the lost to salvation;
  • in generous financial giving to others in need;
  • in intercessory prayer and spiritual warfare;
  • in walking in peace, not worry, fear, frustration, anger, stress;
  • in being  a productive, profitable Proverbs 31 woman.

My Scripture for 2017 is Ephesians 5:10, The Message: “Figure out what will please the Lord, and then do it.”

What is your “one word” for 2017 and why? Please leave your comments below.

Have a blessed, happy, and prosperous New Year 2017!

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Hot chocolate with marshmallows and such

Image source: Lightstock.com
Image source: Lightstock.com

Golden Hues

“Autumn brings cooler days

Effusing fiery golden hues.”

~ Copyright 2012 Joseph May

I have a new addiction this fall: pumpkin spice cappuccino. Between that and Sonic grape slushes, I’m not doing a very good job of conquering my sugar addiction, so please pray for me! (Yes, seriously, pray.)

Below is a picture of me with my cappuccino before church yesterday. Pastor Jeff taught on discipleship and I was challenged by his question: who is discipling you and who are you discipling? We all need a Paul (teacher) and a Timothy (disciple) in our lives. 

Me with pumpkin spice cappuccino
Me with pumpkin spice cappuccino

I’m also loving the beautiful colored leaves. This is my fave time of year, besides spring. It used to be winter until the last couple of icy winters, where our car’s tires were sliding on the highway and it freaked me out. Planning to get new snow tires soon! (I also dislike all the germs and how people get so sick during the winter…especially if it involves anyone in my family!)

changing leaves
changing leaves

 

colored leaves
colored leaves

 

yellow leaf
yellow leaf

Although fall and spring are now my fave seasons, I’m still a snow bunny at heart and love how pretty the white snow looks outside, but my husband Ray (a paramedic) says I don’t have to work in the slushy mess like he does. He’s right. I get to enjoy looking at it from inside our toasty warm house, under a soft blanket with my fuzzy socks and drinking a hot chocolate with whip cream!

Heart socks
Heart socks

My sweet Facebook friend Debbie Oliver is constantly posting pics of delicious hot chocolate with marshmallows, whip cream, and sprinkles that inspire me, like the one in the pic below! Debbie is founder and group leader of Debbie Oliver Ministries. Isn’t she beautiful? Her heart is, too! I hope one day to meet her in person. 

Debbie's hot chocolate
Debbie’s hot chocolate
Debbie Oliver
Debbie Oliver

We’re now in the final quarter of the year. It’s a great time to examine the goals you made at the beginning of the year. Which ones have you accomplished? Which ones remain undone?

Let’s finish 2016 with intention and obedience. God still has things He wants you and me to do this year! Pray and ask Him what that is, and then obey. 

Metamorphosis: Transformed from Fear to Faith
Copyright 2016 Beth Jones

The remaining goals I have for this year are:

  • Improving my health and fitness (eating healthy and walking/jogging 3-4 times a week; I need to get back on track!);
  • Working on my marriage (improving communication; dating; intentionally building intimacy);
  • Praying daily for Ray, our children, grandchildren, and other family and friends;
  • Outsourcing help for my newest books – hiring a formatter to format my Word file for Kindle at Amazon for my new book, Metamorphosis: Transformed from Fear to Faith, and hiring a graphic designer to design the cover for my eBook, How To Write Fast: Making Your Writing Dreams Come True, to get it ready for print (a physical book copy) for you.
  • Traveling. I have a specific place where I’m praying to go this year, if God provides financially (just one of many!). Where do you want to go? “You’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So… get on your way!” (Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!)

Are you enjoying this fall? What are your fave things about autumn? 

What remaining goals do you have for this year that you need to get done? Leave your comments below. 

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What is obedience?

What is obedience to God? I learned this from the leaders Roger and Laureen Traver at the Moumtaintop Ministries marriage retreat in Kansas City, Kansas, this weekend with my husband Ray, which I’m going to blog about this week.

I thought what they said was powerful and true, so I made a graphic from it at Canva.

Obedience is…

Obedience

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