Monday, November 22, 2010

Challenge Week 1: Our Relationship with God

"It's not as important what a woman is as what she's becoming, for we shall be what we are now becoming!" Calm My Anxious Heart Linda Dillow

God has been doing some amazing things in my heart. He has been challenging me to take action in specific areas in my life. I am starting to realize, as mentioned in my previous post, that people who are successful in their personal lives are the ones who are intentionally pursuing growth. We don't just become godly women, we don't just happen to start acting more kind, or more loving, or more forgiving. Life is a process, a journey. And if we are not actively working towards growth, then we are either stagnant, or sliding down the slope, away from our goal.
As Christians, our goal should be Christ.
I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. (Phillipians 3:8)

What does that mean? What does that look like in my everyday life? As I have shared in a previous post, I have loved the Maximize Your Mornings challenge, where I have started getting up early in the morning to pursue God, plan my day, and exercise before my kids wake up. This has made a huge difference in my life towards pursuing God, and having the quiet time for Him to speak to me in the morning. Before that, I made a million excuses for why I didn't have time to spend with God, but it all came down to not making it a priority. Getting up early took away all the excuses because it is how I have gotten in the habit of starting my day!
So, pick a time. A no excuses time. Choose a time slot of 5, 10, 15 minutes or more where you can commit to spending time with God, daily. I remember someone once saying, "Even if we pick up our Bibles everyday and read while the coffee is brewing..." And if that seems like something attainable, then start with that!
Once you have a time picked out, then intentionally choose an action for God in a specific area. Try to pick just one area that you feel you need to work on. Pray and ask God where He wants you to direct your focus this week. Thankfulness would be a great place to start for this week! If you can't think of an area, then start there! Start living in a place of gratitude, and remembering that all good and perfect gifts come from above! If it is gentleness, forgiveness, love, joy, whatever it is, this week make it your goal to focus on this area.
Then, get a notecard. Write down your specific area of growth, and then pray over a verse to tag with it. Make it brief here, folks. Don't write a huge paragraph about your relationship with God over the last 5 years. Use your journal for that! We want something short and sweet and easily visible for throughout the day!
Now put it somewhere visible. If you are at home most of the day, post it where you will see it often. On a cupboard, on the kitchen counter, fridge, bathroom mirror, or if you are gone most of the day, then take it with you!! My goal here is to intentionally work on an area. I spend time with God in the morning, and then I get busy with my day. Lately I have been frustrated at my lack of rememberance for the areas I want to be working on. This way, my busy, scatterbrained mind can have visible reminders all day long to "be gentle," especially with my kids, my husband, and other people I encounter.
If you can, find a friend. Community is so important. If we can find someone else to do this small, simple thing with, then it will give us a sense of accountability. Ask each other how we did. One week. One goal. One verse. Can we memorize the verse? Can we pick one way to work on our goal per day? These things are up to you. Don't get too crazy!! I'm going for simple, small steps towards obedience. I need something visible. I need to be reminded.
The goal here is to practice redirecting our minds towards Christ and away from the lies and distractions that fill our day.
To quote my Pastor (Pastor Kevin @NewLife Community Church, Lakeview) from this morning's sermon, we need to "overthrow the altar of 'me' through God-imitating self-sacrifice." Let's move away from our day revolving around us and our kids and all the things of this world, and be more conscious of God moments. Sacrifice. Our lives as offerings. Our lives and our kids are important, don't get me wrong, but our growth towards Christ will shape our kids as well, and we also need to show them that He is most important in our lives.
So, to recap:
1. Pick a time
2. Intentionally choose an action for God in a specific area
3. Get a notecard
4. Put it somewhere visible
5. Find a friend

I hope someone out there will take these small, simple steps, and work on one area with me this week. If you have any comments to share regarding this post, please share, or you can always email me at
Go forth in the Lord this week, and I hope you all have more God moments! Happy Thanksgiving week!

Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight. Psalm 119:35

Join me next week for Challenge #2: Our marriages.


  1. Great post--practical counsel on walking with God. You nailed it--the toughest issue is staying proactively consistent.

  2. Thanks Stephanie! I've needed this encouragement, and am jumping on your 6 week challenge. :-)

  3. Thanks Stephanie for stopping by my page! I love the book calm my anxious heart it helped me through a rough time! I love the idea of notecards...keeping things fresh in our minds continually! Blessings!!!

  4. Stephanie, thanks for stopping by my blog. I really loved this post! I've been talking with my SIL the last few day about the importantance of having relationship with God, continually, not just when things are hard. I've been reading through the Psalms for the month of November and it's been so good to constantly delve into the Word!