faithful = fruitful

Happy 2015 dear Sugar Pie! My oh my! Where did last year go? Is it just me or does it seem like 2014 just flew by? Well, either way,  here we are starting a brand spankin’ new year!  As always I just get giddy thinking about all of the possibilities for the new year ahead! Last year I reached my goal of starting my Sweet Home Revival Video Series. I love dreaming up new ideas to encourage you, dear darlin’, in one of the most important roles that our world depends on us for! The role of Homemaker and mother! Our job is to be faithful in nurturing our home and family! Wholesomeness, goodness, love, care, guidance, nurturing and nourishment…all words that describe what our families need! Abraham Lincoln once said, “The strength of a nation lies in the homes of its people.”  You know, I do believe that is so true, a great nation begins with a good and loving home. That’s my passion. That is what drives me. So this year I hope to bring you more encouragement to help you make your home-life more fruitful.

Here’s how to make 2015 a more Fruitful year:

 1. Decide what you want. What is it that you need to change to make your life better? What do you want your home, family, job, relationships, to be like? What are your dreams and passions? What do you love? Make a rough draft list.

2. Choose a word for the year. This word can become your theme.  If you don’t have a word, join me and use mine! My word for the year has helped me guide my goals. At first I couldn’t decide if I wanted it to be Faithful or Fruitful. So I prayed about it. I felt the Lord spoke to my heart by revealing that when you are faithful at something you’ll become fruitful. Yes!! Fruitfulness comes by being faithful!

You know, if a farmer had a bag of corn seed in the barn but decided to sit on a rocking chair instead of going out to the field to plant that seed, he would not have any corn to harvest come harvest-time. Ah, but the farmer who plants that bag of corn seed in good soil and is faithful to tend and nurture his field will harvest a bumper crop of fresh sweet corn! We harvest what we plant. The devoted farmer is the perfect picture of what faithfulness and fruitfulness looks like.

“Whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.”  Matthew 6:33

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The definition for faithful is:  steady in allegiance or affection; loyal; constant, devoted, honorable, dependable.

The definition for fruitful is: producing good results; beneficial; profitable, abundant, plentiful, bountiful, flourishing, successful, gainful, rewarding.

Faithfulness and fruitfulness go hand in hand.

Fruitfulness is a result of faithfulness!

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I want to be faithful in spending time with the Lord and in His Word.

I want to be faithful in praying for my family.

I want to be faithful in taking good care of my husband.

I want to be faithful in taking care of my body.

I want to be faithful in planting seeds of goodness and kindness in the lives of others.

I want to be faithful to the gifts God has entrusted me with.

I want to be faithful to God’s calling on my life.

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3.  Seek God first and pray for His guidance in choosing your goals.  God tells us in His Word, “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33.

God’s Word ” is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path” Psalm 119:105. I decided a long time ago that I don’t want to do anything unless the Lord is guiding me to do it. Because if God isn’t behind it, it won’t be blessed. I want to live in His blessing.

“I can’t grow anything good without Him. Period. He wants me to plant good seeds in good soil, tend to them, prune, and generously share the harvest. But, I need His gifts of sun and water — I need His Son and the living water of His Word — to make anything good happen. That is just plain truth in my life.” ~ Lara Casey

“Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.” John 15:4

So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow‘ (1 Corinthians 3:7 NIV).

 

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4.  Write your goals down: Experts say that you are much more likely to accomplish your goals if you write them down. And the percentage of that success goes up exponentially if they are in view and you read them daily because, as we know, sometimes out of sight means out of mind.  Goals make our purpose in life clear so we don’t just drift through life. The Word of God says “Where there is no vision, the people perish” Proverbs 29:18.  The more specific you are the better. For instance instead of writing “lose weight” write how many pounds you want to lose or what your goal weight is. Also attach a by-when date.

I took some time to brainstorm and pray about which goals I was to focus on this year. It was such a happy feeling once I corralled all of my ideas that were running around my head onto a piece of paper. I actually had too many goals. In order for us to not become overwhelmed, it’s best to have 10 goals or less. So I had to cross some out and put them on the back burner.

I then designed my Goal list on the computer. I just think it’s more fun if you make your goal page look cute! I use Canva and PicMonkey. I LOVE these design applications! I plan to share about them more in an upcoming blog post, if you’d like me too! I printed a few copies. I framed one to keep on my desk so I can review my goals often, another copy went into my daily agenda planner and one for my Plan of Action binder so I can look at it there too. (The navy gingham agenda planner pictured above is the Day Designer by Whitney English. It’s my first time using it so I’m excited to try it out. Hopefully I’ll like it since it was pretty pricey. But if it keeps me organized, focused and on task it will be worth it.) Here are my goals for 2015:

2015 New year goalsHere’s the thing, my goals are set in place to give me direction, to help me fulfill my purpose. They are not meant to overwhelm me or cause me to beat up on myself if I mess up or miss a day. We all have days, for whatever reason, where we just don’t get as much accomplished as we would have liked. No worries! God’s mercies are new every morning. We can just pick right back up and continue doing a little bit each day, getting closer and closer to our dreams.

After you define your 10 goals, the next step is to create a Plan of Action 3 ring Binder with 10 page tabbed dividers, one for each goal. Then for each goal list at least 5 things you need to do to head in the direction to accomplishing that goal. These are your Plan of Action steps. You can use an online app like Evernote to collect everything if you’d rather. I like to do both because if I want to review what my next step is while I’m out waiting to pick up Summer from school or something, I can go to Evernote on my iPhone. It syncs with most mobile devices.

I refer to my binder when I’m planning out my week and plug in the time slots for when I can work on that goal. Here is a blank Goal sheet for you to print out and use if you’d like:

Goal sheet 2015
DSC085335. Be faithful to do a little bit toward your goals and dreams each day: whatever it is that you want to achieve or become better at…be faithful in doing those things…a little bit, every day.

If you want to write a book…be faithful to write a little every day (A writer writes!).

If you want your home to be more organized…be faithful to un-clutter and clean a little bit each day, one drawer, one shelf, one closet at a time.

If you want to save money for clothes, car, home, redecorating…save a little bit of money each week. (I have a friend that saves all her $5 bills in a jar to go toward her family’s vacation each year).

If you want to be a better photographer…be faithful to practice taking photos and study camera tips on a regular basis to gain more know-how.

If you want to lose weight…be faithful to eat healthy, drink more water and exercise.

If you want your marriage to be stronger…be faithful to be a blessing to your husband, encourage and build him up daily.

If you want to be a more loving mama…be faithful every day, in encouraging and nurturing your children, praising, laughing, hugging and guiding them tenderly.

If you want to be closer to God…be faithful in spending time with Him, in praise, thanksgiving and prayer.

Here’s the good news…

IMG_0611If every day you poured water into a jar, before long the jar would be overflowing.

Likewise, when we are faithful to do the things God has placed in our hearts,

and we do a little bit today…

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and a little bit more tomorrow…

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and a little bit more the next day…

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Guess what honey?

We will be overflowing with joy as we become fruitful by being faithful!

A little bit really adds up! Can I get a YEE HAW?

You and I can be faithful to do a little bit each day!

We can do this! YES INDEED-Y!

“A faithful man will abound with blessings” Proverbs 28:20

Life is what you put into it.

Jason Womack says “Chipping away at a goal a little bit at a time is the most efficient strategy to get better. This applies to every area of our life. The way people cause momentum in their lives is they improve little by little in specific areas of their life. If you improve a certain area by only 1% a week, you’re going to have generated consistent, significant gain in just one year.  If you read (books to help you grow) 1% more each day… or you drink 1% more water each day…you show more kindness to others…whatever it is you want to get better at…what may feel like a small tiny improvement over a week and then a month and then 6 months and then 12 months –it’s going to be huge!”

If you want to be…do!

i can do this

6.  Be your own cheerleader! What we say to ourselves has a lot to do with what we can or can’t accomplish.  Be your own best friend. Be your own loving mama. Tell yourself encouraging words that you would tell someone you love to inspire and motivate them. Speak kindly to yourself. Don’t allow critical words or fearful thoughts to enter your heart. “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23

James 3: 4-6 compares our tongue with a rudder on a ship, it sets the course for our life:  “A small rudder on a huge ship in the hands of a skilled captain sets a course in the face of the strongest winds.  A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything – or destroy it!  A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos…”

I think the thing that holds us back the most are the negative things we tell ourselves. When we voice those thoughts “I can’t do this…this isn’t going to work…this is too hard…I’m not talented enough…I’m such a failure…” (All the things I’ve told myself in the past) When we speak those things our ears hear it, it goes into our heart and we begin to believe it.  Don’t let those negative thoughts be the boss of you and your dreams! Declare, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!” Philippians 4:13. Say Amen Sistah! God is right there ready to help us!

Positive, grace filled words will help keep you moving forward and add sweetness to your life! Proverbs 16:24 “But Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.”

You are precious, loved, and a one of a kind, treasure! Read Psalm 139! God is always watching over you…He loves you so much He just can’t take His eyes off of you! You adorable thing you!

You’ve got to know too that you don’t have to be perfect. I learned that a long time ago! Been there, done that, got the t-shirt! So if you mess up and start saying not so nice things to yourself, hush those words sistah and start singing praise songs to the Lord. The joy of the Lord is our strength!

One of my favorite verses is Jeremiah 29:11  “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Every morning before I get out of bed I repeat the scriptures from Psalm 118:24 and Psalm 23:6: This is the day that the Lord has made I will rejoice and be glad in it….Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the presence of the Lord forever. Amen.” This sets a blessed tone for the day!

“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good.

At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing

if we don’t give up.” Galatians 6:9 

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7. Make sure to take time out for fun and rest! Get your goals set, create a plan of action but then be sure to schedule time to  get refreshed, to regroup and to breathe. Our motivation becomes reignited when we have something fun to look forward to. So whatever it is that puts a twinkle in your eye and pep in your step make sure to do those things! I would love to know what you LOVE to do that ring joy-bells in your heart! Do share in the comments below!

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Well Sugar Pie, may you have a blessed, faithful and fruitful 2015!

As always I love hearing from ya!

God bless your darlin’ heart!

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Aunt Ruthie

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