Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Single Life Part 3: Love Yourself

One thing I have been working on as a single person is learning to love myself and who God created me to be.  How can we truly love others when we don't love ourselves?  I don't think that is possible.  My hope is that this post will be an encouragement to you, and will help you to recognize how wonderful you truly are!

God both tells and shows us who we are all throughout the Bible.  He begins in the very first chapter in the very first book!

Genesis 1:27 ~ "So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them."

We are not exactly like God, but we are a reflection of His glory.  We can find our worth in Him.  Because we were created in His image, we should love ourselves as He loves us.

Luke 12:7 ~ "Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  Don't be afraid: you are worth more than many sparrows."

God knows us so well that He knows exactly how many hairs are on our heads.  He determines our worth.  By finding our own worth and loving ourselves, we can have a closer relationship with God and better live out His plan for us.

Jeremiah 1:4-5 ~ "The word of the Lord came to me, saying, 'Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.'"

Psalm 139:13-16 ~ "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.  Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."

God knew both Jeremiah and David before they were even conceived, and He had a plan and purpose for both of them.  The same goes for you and I.  God knew you before you were even conceived.  He planned you.  He created you exactly as He wanted you to be.  He has a plan and purpose for you.

John 3:16 ~ "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

John 15:16 ~ "You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit - fruit that will last - and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you."

God chose YOU!  He loves you!  He loves you so much that He gave his one and only Son for you!  Jesus chose to love you, and He chose to die for you.  You were chosen for a purpose, to bear fruit - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galations 5:22-23)

Ephesians 2:10 ~ "For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

Ephesians 4:22-24 ~ "You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness."

God considers us to be his handiwork or masterpiece.  How dare we treat ourselves any other way?  He loves us as we are, and created us as we are for a purpose.  He has prepared that purpose for us in advance.  So put off your old self, and put on your new self.  See yourself as God sees you.  Love yourself as God loves you, and BE who God has created you to be.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Goals for the Week 8/24-8/30

I didn't complete all of my goals last week, but I think I still did pretty darn good.  Getting my sleep, eating, and exercise habits back in order is tough!  So if I can get those things taken care of, I am happy!

Last Week's Goals:
  • Get on a consistent sleep schedule (Go to bed at 9:30, get up at 6:30)
  • Continue with healthy eating 80/20 plan
  • Keep track of eating on My Fitness Pal
  • Start Bikini Body Mommy
  • Exercise 6 days per week
  • Finish You are Loved Bible study
  • Finish church craigslist ads

This Week's Goals:

  • Be intentional and truly enjoy my last week of nannying
  • Make curtains for laundry room
  • Keep track of eating on My Fitness Pal
  • Exercise 6 days this week
  • Keep consistent sleep schedule (Bed at 9:30, up at 6:00)
  • Finish "You are Loved" study
  • Prepare Esther study
  • Edit blog

What are your goals for the week?  How did you do on your goals for last week?

Friday, August 22, 2014

Rise and Shine Challenge Days 4 and 5

I didn't get around to blogging yesterday, and the assignment for the day seemed redundant for me, because the only schedule I have is for myself.  So, I decided to just do two days in the same post.

The Day 4 assignment was to create a nightly checklist to prepare for the following day.  I feel like I've already gone through that, as I prefer to do much of what might be on a nightly checklist (prepare lunch, pack bags, pick out clothes, etc) in the morning.  The earlier I get up the morning, the more prepared and alert I feel once work starts.  So, my plan is to keep those things in my morning routine, for now.  If I later decide to start working out in the morning again, I may have to readjust.

The Day 5 assignment is to think about what starts your day off well.  For me, having a "schedule" in the morning before work starts my day off well.  I do things in a certain order, and I get thrown off when that gets changed.  Spending at least 30 minute chunk of time every morning in God's Word, along with praying and/or reading a passage before I even get out of bed help me especially with my attitude as I go about my day.

The Abundant Mama (host of this challenge) hosted a live Q&A session yesterday, and has it recorded for those of us who missed it here.  I personally haven't watched it yet, but wanted to put it out there for anyone following this challenge, and for myself to watch later.

So, back to the day 5 assignment.  What starts your day off well?

Read Through the Bible with Good Morning Girls

I have been leading Good Morning Girls studies for the past 2 years.  GMG has recently changed.  The old GMG has now become Love God Greatly, and Good Morning Girls is forging ahead in a different direction, going back to the original creator, Courtney at Women Living Well.  I have already posted on Love God Greatly, as I will be leading the Esther study through them beginning September 1.

Courtney at Women Living Well/Good Morning Girls has a great study coming up.  Her plan is to read through the Bible, a chapter per day.  This will take a few years, but it gives us an opportunity to really take in what we are reading.  She, along with other bloggers, will be blogging as we are reading through God's Word.  You can join an accountability group if you'd like, or comment on the blog posts and find accountability that way.  If this sounds like something you'd be interested in, take a look at the website, and specifically the Good Morning Girls posts here.

Let me know if you plan on joining in!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Rise and Shine Challenge Day 3

Well, apparently I got a little ahead of myself yesterday.  I should have just focused on sleep cycles and getting quality sleep, and today focused on routines.

My only real routine so far is shutting off my computer and phone, and praying before bed.  Some people clean up the house, write a to-do list, drink some tea, read a book, or something else.  Typically by the time I realize I should be heading to bed, I just want to get there.  I don't want to have a long routine of things to do.  So, ideally, this is what my routine would look like:

  • Put away whatever I am doing
  • Brush teeth, wash face, take out contacts, etc
  • Turn off electronics
  • Climb into bed, read the Bible and/or a devotion, Pray.
What does your ideal bedtime routine look like?

IF: Equip

I came across this really wonderful (and simple!) Bible study earlier this week, and I just had to share it!  It is called IF:Equip, which was founded by Jennie Allen, one of my favorite authors.  Check out Anything: The Prayer that Unlocked My God and My Soul and Restless: Because You Were Made for More if you are looking for something to read.  Even if you aren't looking for something to read, check them out!  They are worth your time!

IF:Equip is actually the website where the Bible study takes place.  Currently, they are studying Galations.  This study just started on Monday, and I will post the links below for the past 3 days so that you can catch up if you'd like!  Each day, Monday through Friday, a small passage from Galations is posted, along with a short video and 3 questions:

If you believe this is true, what does this mean about:
The World?

It is so simple!  Because there is just a short passage, you can focus more on processing than reading.  The questions are the same every day, so that helps as well!  If you subscribe to the IF: Equip blog, you get the study automatically in your email.  How easy is that!?  For those that are looking for more interaction or discussion, the comments section at the end of each day's post is used for that.  Here are the links to the study for the past few days....

Galations 1:1-5
Galations 1:6-9
Galations 1:10-24

Let me know if you decide to do this study!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Rise and Shine Challenge Day 2

I am officially caught up!  It's kind of sad that I was behind on this challenge, since the challenge is about getting up early and being productive!  Day 2 was better, and I am excited to see what Day 3 brings, but I better stick with today, and take it one day at a time!

The assignment for today is to consider sleep cycles and bedtime routines, for yourself and your family.  I just have myself to think about right now, and that is enough for me!

I'm working on making a habit of shutting off my phone and computer at 9:30 pm, so that I can be in bed by 10:00 pm.  I think I not only get to bed at a better time, but have more quality sleep as well.  Keeping up with an exercise routine helps me to sleep better too.

I don't have much of a bedtime routine.  I like to have an intentional prayer time before bed, and like to pray as I'm trying to fall asleep as well.  I would like to get into the habit of reading the Bible or devotional, either before or within my prayer time.

What helps you to have quality sleep?  What bedtime routine do you have in place?