No Guys in 2018: Progress not Perfection- Weeks Two & Three

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A lot has happened so far in January. So much so that I’m behind in writing this;) I’ll start by saying I’m surprised by how much our minds, our hearts can change when we choose  different actions. I know I’ve spent a lot of emotional energy on chasing guys whether I’m ready to face that fact or not. It can be hard being 32 and just not knowing. Especially when I’m such a planner. But to be quite honest, these two weeks have been so busy that I haven’t exactly had time to think about guys.

Work has been extremely busy and I love my job so much because it allows me to make a difference in the lives of so many. It’s truly rewarding. And for me, that feeling trumps the infatuation feelings I have when talking with potential suitors. Suitors, what a fancy word.

In addition to work, I’ve done some pretty cool things these past two weeks. I’ve had long, hard council meetings where I truly feel I’m making an impact on my community. It’s a nice feeling knowing you are a part of something that is greater than yourself. I caught up with some of my close friends, which seems like it’s harder to do when we are involved in so much. It was very much needed and long overdue. Went to a party. And an after party. In addition to maintaining relationships, I always enjoying meeting new people and fostering new friendships. Ones without a hidden, underlying question of “will this be my future husband?!”

Some other cool stuff I’ve managed to get myself into include making homemade cookies by myself for the very first time in my life. I’m still not sure how such a small amount of baking powder can make or break a batch of cookies. But whatever. I’m learning. Baby steps:) I was able to be in our city’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade which was so much fun. I love events like that where I can see how our community comes together and how truly blessed I am to be in the town I grew up in. My friend also sold me a NES Classic and I feel like such a nerd but that $85 purchase made me so incredibly happy. I’ve already gotten super far in Dr. Mario. Please don’t judge me.

The thing I’m most proud of these two weeks is spending a lot more time with my family and really seeing how truly blessed I am. I sometimes feel we take our families for granted, the ones who love us most. I’m excited about this. I also submitted my prospectus and it was such a freeing feeling. It motivated me so much and gave me that extra push that I could actually do this. That was huge for me.

It terms of my goals, not shopping has been going great! I started up my thankful calendar again. I only made it to Jan. 20th last year. Let’s hope I can do better this year:p I’ve been failing with the TV watching and have kept it on in the background. I need to work on this area still. And I’ve not accomplished what I had hoped to for my quiet times and Bible studies. I’ve listened to the Sermon on the Mount sermon, I’ve started the SRT’s Sermon on the Mount study but am only on like day two. Yea, not good. I’ve started reading through Matthew and am only on Matthew 5. While I’m disappointed in myself, I’m happy with how I’m actually studying God’s Word this time. It’s not about me checking off Matthew on my list. It’s about truly knowing the heart of God. I’m cross referencing for the first time! And I’m loving it. So I guess I will take my time. I just need to make more time. So that’s why I say progress, not perfection. I will get there.

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Pray & Finish: My 2018 Goals  

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I’ve spent several days, actually weeks pondering my thoughts for 2018. It’s going to be a big year for me for numerous reasons. Sometimes I look back at my life and am just in awe of what God has done in and through me. It’s just so exciting to see what He has planned next. I pray you find that same excitement, that same purpose and drive- the direction. God is such a light- as long as I’m looking toward that light. That’s the key.

So let’s talk goals. My two words for the year represent this season of life for me.

Pray.

I desire so badly to grow in this area of my life. Just to spend time with God more. Just in His presence. Enjoying Him. I also want to be intentional with writing out my prayers. I pray a lot but it seems very sporadic, which is fine, but I guess I don’t take full advantage of what God really offers. I suppose if I’m being really honest, I went through a period of time of thinking some of the things I wanted to ask God for or talk about seemed so trivial compared to other things. But I’ve learned that God cares about it all- He cares about me and every little thing that matters to me. And mostly, He is a big God so I know He can handle it all. Truthfully, I think God loves it when we talk about everything with Him and He loves to make us smile.

“When I’m not in prayer mode, I have good ideas. But when I’m in prayer mode, I have God ideas.” –Mark Batterson

Finish.

This word is important to me because there are a lot of things I plan to finish this year. The big one being able to finally GRADUATE with my PhD! This has been a long time coming. Additionally, I have several studies and books I’ve started but never finished so this will be a year of finishing for me. My goal is to really dive into certain books of the Bible and understand them more deeply, rather than saying I simply read the entire Bible again this year. The following is my plan for the year so let me know if you want to join me with any of it or have questions!

Sermon on the Mount- She Reads Truth
Book of Matthew
Sermon on the Mount sermon message
66 Love Letters book- Matthew

Lent Study- She Reads Truth
The Risen Christ- She Reads Truth

Book of Hosea
Redeeming Love book
Hosea- She Reads Truth
66 Love Letters book- Hosea

Women in the Word- She Reads Truth
Woman of the Word book- Jen Wilken

Book of Ruth
Book of Esther
Ruth & Esther study book
66 Love Letters book- Ruth
66 Love Letters book- Esther
Esther- She Reads Truth

Circle Maker book study with my brother

Book of Philippians
Book of Colossians
Book of Galatians
Book of Ephesians
Philippians- She Reads Truth
Colossians- She Reads Truth
Galatians- She Reads Truth
Ephesians- She Reads Truth
66 Love Letters book- Philippians
66 Love Letters book- Colossians
66 Love Letters book- Galatians
66 Love Letters book- Ephesians

Book of James
66 Love Letters book- James
Faith Workout book

Reformation study- Desiring God

In Everything Give Thanks- She Reads Truth

Advent study- A.W. Tozer or make my own:)

Additional Books:

Wholeheartedly Singles devotional
Love & Respect book
Authentic Love book
Essentialism book
Wild & Free book

Additional resources:

Soul sessions
Porch podcasts

Miscellaneous goals:

Thankful calendar
Fitness
Guitar
No clothing related purchases *insert shocked face*
Rememberlutions- write down cool things that happen throughout the year
Write down every TV show or movie I watch to make me feel bad about how much time I waste:p I’m hoping this list won’t be too long at the end of the year!

Lastly, I’m saying “see ya” to all the unhealthy relationships. As mentioned in my previous post, this is the No Guys in 2018 year. I won’t be pursuing guys anymore. No more entertaining guys “just in case” they really have a good heart, no more making excuses for them. I know what I’m looking for and I’m not willing to settle or compromise in even the dating realm anymore. I don’t care how old I am or the fact that everyone and their mother likes to tell me my eggs aren’t getting any younger. Life is short and I’m on a mission. I’ll be providing updates on my challenges, fears, and where my time and energy goes instead (see above haha). Should make for an interesting year;)

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No Guys in 2018 Challenge

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This time last year was completely different. I went into 2017 thinking I was dating someone I would eventually marry. So many hopes, so many expectations. But things happen, truths are revealed, and things don’t always go how you planned. I realized in the first half of the year I wasn’t with the best person for me. And that’s okay- that is what dating is for. The second half of the year was spent going on random dates, entertaining different guys. No real commitments, no real depth formed. Trying to make things work with guys I knew I shouldn’t be with in the first place. There was a lot of emotional time and a lot of thoughts spent on guys who never should have received that much energy. While there were certainly fun times, I wish I spent some of that emotional energy on other things…

More schoolwork

More family time

More hobbies

More time with God

So this year I plan to try something a little different.

A no guys in 2018 mindset.

What this is

I plan to blog more of what happens in my day-to-day life involving guy interactions, my struggles, my priorities, and what I do with my time. Instead of spending emotional time thinking about guys, figuring what they are thinking, or whether or not they like me, I plan to be more intentional about NOT doing those things. Not talking about guys. Not trying to figure them out (because who really can anyway:p) My blog focuses a lot on advice and stories but mostly past experiences. And I’ll still continue to post those, as well.

But this year, I wanted to do something to show my readers (aka YOU!) more of the real me, currently. Some days may be rough. And some days may be amazing. But I think that’s the beauty of blogging and being real with you. I mean, what does a 32-year-old virgin who’s chasing after God do anyway?

I feel girls, whether we want to admit it or not, spend so much time thinking about guys. What they think of us. Whether they like us. What we should do. What we should say. When we’ll get married.

I’ll be using the #noguysin2018 hashtag to document things I’ll be doing instead of this. I’ll be posting weekly updates of what’s happening in my life. I’ll also be writing little notes and putting then in a jar to celebrate small victories of focusing on what’s important and not entertaining guys I shouldn’t be entertaining. I think accountability is huge so I think this will help a lot.

What this isn’t

Contrary to what it may sound like, this isn’t technically a “no dating” year for me. That is too confined and restrictive, in my opinion. I will still go out. I will still talk to guys. But I will be more honest. With myself and with others. I’ll be direct. I’ll be intentional. My mindset will be focused on the dreams God has placed in my heart. If a guy happens to come into my life, so be it. But honestly, I just don’t want to spend the emotional energy on trying to figure this out anymore. I don’t want to talk to guys just for the sake of talking to guys. For attention. For validation. There is so much I want to do. So I’m ready for 2018, with so many hopes and so many expectations!

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Tithing your time

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I love setting a lot of goals and therefore, new year resolutions stress. me. out. I started to think about the standard ones I typically set- read the entire Bible this year, only listen to Christian music, go to the gym more, eat healthier, write more, read more, and on and on the list goes. But this year I decided to try something a little different. What would happen if I consolidated everything? What if every area of my life could improve if I only changed one thing? I’ve read many scriptures in the Bible about tithing and giving God the first 10%. Scriptures on tithing your time.

I thought about how we are quick (or not) to throw 10% in the offering plate and be on our way. But what if you gave God 10% of your time? Could you do that? Would it be easier or harder than giving monetarily? Regardless, this is what I’ve decided to do. I do spend a lot of time with God but not 10% of 24 hours. If you are like any of my friends or family, you might be thinking that is A LOT of time. It is but not really.

What can you do for 2.4 hours a day?

Bible

Read the Bible. Listen to the Bible. Meditate on God’s Word. Journal about it. I like to sometimes just pick up the Bible and randomly a chapter. I also enjoy picking a book of the Bible and take my time, analyzing verse by verse. One method that has helped me to be more focused and intentional about my reading has been the SOAP method. Basically, you write down a scripture that stood out to you, your observation of the scripture, how it applies to you, and a prayer.

Devotionals

Devotionals can help add a different dynamic but remember they are still man’s words. I like to use them to stir new ideas and think about God’s Words in a different way. A few of my current favorite devotionals include She Reads Truth, Quite Women Co., Max Lucado (several different devotionals), Jesus Calling (by Sarah Young), and Oswald Chambers (My Utmost for His Highest).

Christian Books

Just like devotionals, books offer another perspective and have a way of grouping themes for better comprehension. You can also read about specific things you want to focus on. Worry, fear, relationships, giving, leadership, goals, you name it. I always like to use the fish method that one of my friends told me about. With fish, you eat the meat and throw out the bones. With books, you take the good and throw out the bad. A few of the books on my list include You and Me by Francis Chan (I love his books!), The Four Loves and Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis, and Live Love Lead by Brian Houston.

Sermons

I love listening to podcasts on some of my favorite pastors and teachers. In addition to a couple ones locally, some of my favorites include Andy Stanley, Charles Stanley, Ben Stuart, Matt Chandler, Francis Chan, Joyce Meyer, and Joel Osteen. I am not saying each of these people are perfect but I enjoy the scriptures, teaching, and focus each one of them provides.

Music

Worship music is my favorite. And there are some really great Christian bands out there that help you focus more on God and less on worldly things. Some of my favorite bands include Hillsong, Swithfoot, Kutless, and Everyday Sunday.

Community

Lastly, there are things you can do that involve other people. Church will be one of them and probably the only thing I’ll do consistently. But other ideas include bible studies and small groups.

These are some things I’ll be doing this year. If you have any suggestions for books, music, devotionals, and/or sermons I’d love to hear them. My goal is to spend at least 2.4 hours a day focused intentionally on God. While at the gym. Early in the morning. Before I go to bed. On my lunch break. While driving. The point is- if I am intentional, I know I can do this. Whatever your goals are for 2016, I pray you find your purpose and the motivation to be all God created you to be!

Happy New Year!

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