Do you realize the power of your pen? That's right, that small little ink pen that you carry around in the bottom of your purse. Yes, the one you can never get your hands on when you need it most. I encourage you today to pull it out and keep it near so you can use it to capture the hopes and dreams you have hidden in your heart. Our pen is made for more than creating shopping lists and writing reminder sticky notes to place on your mirror. While using the pen for those things is important, it is equally important to realize there is more power in that pen than we truly realize.
Everything you have and will encounter as you go throughout your day was likely imagined first through a person's heart and mind, and then through a pen. The clothes you are wearing, the car you drive, and the application you use faithfully each morning to download a morning motivation or to kick off your morning work-out were likely first sketched out with a pen. All of this and more started with someone who had a vision in their heart and simply wrote it down before it ever came to be.
The word of God tells us to Write the Vision and Make it Plain, for a reason. It is because there is power in the pen. The simple step of writing down your hopes, dreams, and prayers is the first step to putting things into motion. Now, yes, we realize there is more to be done than simply writing it down, but taking that first step, jump starts it all.
Today, I encourage you to pick up your pen and write down the things that you have hidden in the recesses of your mind and heart. No matter how large or small, write it the way you see it. Don't overthink it, just dump it on the pages of your notebook or journal. Once you do that, sit with it, pray over it and revisit it often. You never ever know how God will grace you to make those dreams a reality.
QUESTION: Have you ever written something down and stumbled across what you wrote years later, only to be amazed that the very thing that was once an idea, has now become a reality? What was it?
We live in a culture that's quick to point fingers, call out our faults, and gasp in horror at each other's failures. And as parents, we are easy targets, are we not? Have you ever pretended not to look at the young mom struggling with her toddler at Target? What about that time you wrestled with your thoughts after overhearing about your neighbor's teenage daughter who...?
It's easy to fall into the trap of shaming (even if it's just in our heads) those around us who've experienced "failure". So... bringing it closer to home... what about when it's our own kid who's made a poor choice? Shame-free parenting is a two-way street. And we need to pay attention to how we treat ourselves AND our kids when failures occur. Which they most certainly will.
First off, nothing is off the table. Our kids have to feel like they can come to us with anything, no matter how big or small. Allow for open dialog in your home. If you have young kids you can start today and set a firm foundation as they transition into the teen years and adulthood.
If you have older kids, it may be a bit more challenging to get the conversation going, but it can be done! Even when it comes to tough and touchy conversations, by the grace of God, you can start a healthy and productive conversation that allows them to express themselves.
Second, grace is the key to everything. God’s grace has been extended to us as parents, and we, in turn, must shower our kids with grace. This means creating a judgment-free zone where no topic is off-limits and where our kids know that they are loved and supported regardless of what they are struggling with. Having received grace, we must extend grace.
Third, as parents, we can’t afford to beat ourselves up. We are going to blow it - no matter who you are. Asking for forgiveness from our kids is a great way to model humility when things don’t go well. In most cases, kids can be quick to forgive and actually extend grace back to us as parents. Combine these actions together and live in the freedom of shame-free parenting.
Let's put this into practice:
Source: Axis - https://axis.org/
When it comes to achieving your dreams and accomplishing your goals, it is very easy to put the work off until you have all the ducks lined up and are assured everything is going to work out, but does that ever really work? You already know the answer...NO!!!
The reality is no matter how hard we try we can never get everything worked out perfectly. And the reality is while we are trying to do so, we are losing valuable precious time. I challenge you today to rethink your strategy when it comes to achieving your personal goals or obtaining the things that are most important to you. Make a decision today to do the work as if you know everything is going to work out.
QUESTION: What is one thing you can do today to move closer to your goals?
As you jumpstart your week, be aware there will be many things that may come your way to steal your time and distract your mind but remain laser-focused. There is work to do, dreams to fulfill, and a purpose to be pursued. Get in the zone!
Starve your distractions and feed your focus. It's going to be a GREAT week.