Extending my One Word Challenge

Extending my One Word Challenge

Kristin J

I am a girl who loves to sit with a cup of coffee and daydream. I am most passionate about Jesus, my family, and family ministry. My husband and I live in Oklahoma with our two precious daughters. I spend my days with my girls, discovering and growing alongside them! You can usually find us either in our sunroom, the park, or taking long walks through Target. :)
Kristin J

Latest posts by Kristin J (see all)

The One Word Challenge

Have you taken the “One Word Challenge” before?

This is where you select one word to focus on in the new year. You might approach it as a word to study, reflect on, put into action, or all of the above! I’ve been participating in this challenge for several years now, choosing words to help me grow spiritually, and I’ve grown so much each time.

Sinking Deeper into Goodness

As 2018 is nearing it’s end, I’ve been thinking and praying over my word for next year. I find myself in a different posture this time. I’ve been truly inspired by my chosen word, goodness, and I’m not quite ready to move on. I feel as though I’ve only just started to embrace it’s meaning in my life. I have learned to see God’s goodness around me, but I want to let it sink deeper.

I’ve begun to look at the way I spend my time and see what is good- what I need more of and what I need less of- but I want to choose the good more often. Some of the good I’ve chosen in my life is hard- so hard- and I want to let this goodness fill my heart with pure gratitude and gladness. I feel like I have so much more to learn! I want mastery, or I at least want to see the change more in my day to day life.

The nice thing about this challenge is that there really aren’t any rules so I can apply this idea to my life the best I see fit. This year, I see fit to grow with this word a little longer.

So I won’t be choosing a new word for 2019, rather I’ll be extending my challenge another year. I will be embracing the word “goodness” and applying it to my life in new ways.

How about you? Do you choose one word for your year? What word will you be claiming for 2019?

Read my previously written post on the “One Word Challenge” here:

Will You Take the One Word Challenge? 

 

Will You Take the One Word Challenge This Year?

Will You Take the One Word Challenge This Year?

Kristin J

I am a girl who loves to sit with a cup of coffee and daydream. I am most passionate about Jesus, my family, and family ministry. My husband and I live in Oklahoma with our two precious daughters. I spend my days with my girls, discovering and growing alongside them! You can usually find us either in our sunroom, the park, or taking long walks through Target. :)
Kristin J

Latest posts by Kristin J (see all)

Have you heard of the “One Word Challenge?” It’s not really a challenge so much as a focus. You choose one word to be your focus for the year. As a Christian, this word is so special when it comes after much prayer and with a focus on spiritual things.

“Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. ~ Colossians 3:2

colossians-3_2

This is my fifth year to do this challenge. Each year, God has revealed the perfect word for me.

There are many ways to approach your word for the year. You can use your word to inspire different goals. You could do a word study through the Bible on your word, or even find different books and podcasts for more inspiration. Over these last few years I’ve discovered my favorite approach:

Give God the ropes. 

Once I determine my word I like to let God take it from there. It is amazing how he orchestrates my situations so that I can learn more. For example, one year my word was grace. Our ladies’ bible class topic turned out to be on the book of James, which is laced in a message of grace. I spent my summer doing a personal study on James, and then we moved to a different church. Guess what their ladies’ bible class was studying? You guessed it–James. It was as if God knew how badly I needed the message.

The year I chose joy for my word still gives me chills. It was that August we discovered my husband had testicular cancer. We had several months of surgery, recovery, and many tests. I’d been praying about joy all year though. When I was anxious I would listen to songs like Chris Tomlin’s “Whom Shall I Fear,” and I found joy–true joy. Thankfully the surgery removed the cancer, and my husband has remained cancer-free! But experiencing joy amidst scary and unknown circumstances is tough, and I’m so thankful for the way God helped me grow that year.

This past year has been the most exciting! Out of pure faith, I chose the word hope. Believe me, I did not want this word. For some reason, the Lord put it on my heart. God showed me much about hope, but the greatest excitement was finding out just days before Christmas that I was pregnant after dealing with minor infertility issues for most of the year. God is good, and year after year God has shown me his faithfulness through my word challenges.

I enjoy giving God control and seeing where he’ll take me, but I do seek out inspiration along the way as well. Apart from prayer here are some other ways I’ve focused on my one word:

  • At the beginning of the year I look for a few key verses to meditate on which relate to my word.
  • Find a special way to keep the word nearby. This past year, I found a tea bag rest that had my word–hope–on it. Seeing that nearly every day was a gentle reminder.
  • Make a Pinterest board! Fill it with quotes, verses, articles, and pictures that will fill you with inspiration. Don’t forget to check in and browse your board every now and then.
  • Be on the lookout for books, Bible stories, and Bible studies that relate to your word. (This is something I pray about, asking God to put the right material in my hands.)
  • Make a playlist of Christian songs that remind you of your word.

The One Word Challenge has truly been a blessing for my soul. I grow in new ways each year and I’m so excited to see what God will show me this year!

You might be thinking, “This all sounds great but New Year’s Day has passed and it’s too late to start this challenge.” No way! Last year it was almost the end of January before I committed to my word. (Remember when I said I didn’t want the word hope? I spent a few weeks wrestling with God over that one!) So if you’d like to shift your goals to something simple but very meaningful, I encourage you to pray about it and see what God has in store for you!

Have you ever done the One Word Challenge? How has God revealed himself to you through it? I’d love to hear your testimonies in our comments!

What is your word for this year?

give-god-the-ropes

Three Prayer Challenge

Three Prayer Challenge

Kristi F

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 5 crazy, homeschooling children ages 10 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.
Avatar

Latest posts by Kristi F (see all)


An Unusual Birthday Request

Several years ago, my friend asked for a very unique birthday present. It was such a humble request with divine consequences.

As I sat reading her request, my heart filled with joy at her obvious love and her eternal focus.

Her request was simple:

In lieu of presents, she wanted all of her friends to pray for the salvation of one of her dear friends.

Her request lodged in my heart and in my daily planner. I wrote down her friend’s name and prayed over that friend for that entire year.

Her request made me realize that oftentimes we talk too much. We try to convince someone of the beautiful truth that we know and love, but we don’t spend enough time praying for them.

we-try-to-convince-someone-of-the-beautiful-truth-that-we-know-and-love-but-we-dont-spend-enough-time-praying-for-them

Yes, of course they need to hear the truth, but their hearts also need to be prepped to accept it.

God is amazing in His ways to bring people to Him. The devil is fighting so hard to keep them from hearing and believing, so we need to fight the spiritual battle. We need to get on our knees and pray for that person to be open to hearing about the Lord and trusting Him.

This past Sunday, I was reminded of my friend’s humble request when our preacher shared a challenge a neighboring congregation does daily. It’s simple and powerful:

Choose three people every day who don’t know the Lord and pray for them to know Him!

How wonderful is that?

It only takes a little time and a whole lot of love!

Who are three people you can pray for today who don’t know our Lord and Savior already?

Maybe it’s a dear friend, a family member, a co-worker, neighbor, or classmate. Maybe it’s the cashier, a waitress at your favorite restaurant, your mailman, UPS guy, or your child’s teacher. Whomever it is, write their names down today and pray over them.

Then Jesus told them this parable _ Lost Sheep

Lord, we praise your name for saving us and caring about every single “sheep” that is lost. We thank you for asking us to be a part of your plan to spread your Word.  We humbly ask that we will call out in Jesus’ name for each person who we know doesn’t have a relationship with you yet.  Help us to stand up courageously and fight spiritually with prayer. Help us live out our lives in such a way that brings you glory and brings them to you.  In Jesus’ name we pray – Amen!

Are you ready to accept this challenge?

 Pray over these three people now, before you even close this post!  

If you comment with their first names, we will pray over them too…not just today but all month!  Who can we pray for?

Continue to be Encouraged…

The 3 Prayer Challenge pinterest

 

Changing Churches Praying the Psalms Preparing for a Mission Trip Building Up Your Leaders

Road Trip Tips: Traveling with Little Ones

Road Trip Tips: Traveling with Little Ones

Kristin J

I am a girl who loves to sit with a cup of coffee and daydream. I am most passionate about Jesus, my family, and family ministry. My husband and I live in Oklahoma with our two precious daughters. I spend my days with my girls, discovering and growing alongside them! You can usually find us either in our sunroom, the park, or taking long walks through Target. :)
Kristin J

Latest posts by Kristin J (see all)

Does your family have a road trip coming up? Perhaps you are putting off travel because the idea of a long drive with a baby or toddler seems daunting. With family eight hours away, we’ve become pros at long drives! It’s not always easy, but it can be done. It’s even possible to have some fun along the way! We have made the drive between south Houston and central Oklahoma too many times to count with our little girl, so I hope some of the lessons we’ve learned will encourage you as you plan for your long trips!

Road Trip Tips for Babies and Tots:

1. Pack with bags.

Organization is crucial!

Pack one bag with snacks, eating supplies, and bottles/cups. (If you are pumping, use a separate bag for pump supplies.) Bring plenty of snacks! We’ve found it works best to let our tot graze rather than depend on scheduled meals and snacks. It keeps her happier on the road. We try to keep the snacks pretty healthy, like cheese, fruit, raisins, and pretzels. But be sure to have a treat for the last leg of the trip which always proves challenging!

Bring a second bag with diapers, wipes, changing pad, change of clothes, and gallon ziploc bags for any messy items.

A third bag can be packed with small books, toys, and additional entertainment items. Try to pack a variety of items including some new ones for added interest.

Note: this is what you need for your drive time–not your entire trip! You’ll feel like you’re bringing your entire house when you travel with a little one!

2. Milk.

The little ones have to have it. If your kids are anything like mine, they like it warm. This can be a challenge while on the road! My favorite way to find warm cow’s milk is at Starbucks. You can ask for a small glass of milk steamed to the “kid’s temperature” and transfer it to bottle or cup. If you need to warm up mother’s milk or any other milk you’ve packed, Starbucks, as well as many other fast-casual restaurants, will bring you a glass of hot water you can use to warm your bottle in. Sometimes gas stations have warm water for tea you can use as well!

3. Chick-fil-A.

Enough said. This is your ideal stop for food and/or restrooms. You will always find clean bathrooms with changing stations at Chick-fil-A, and they treat people with young kids like royalty.

4. Let them move! 

Park stops are great when the weather is nice! You can pack a picnic or pick up some food in the drive-thru to enjoy outside. I highly recommend you take at least thirty minutes to let your kids eat and burn some energy. If they have been snacking, they might not need to have meal time, so let them just play! If the weather isn’t great for outdoor play, look for a restaurant with a play area. Tiny ones can even play in the car.  While our daughter was still in the infant stage, we made sure to let her have some time to play on our laps and enjoy snuggles on our stops.

Depending on your trip, there might be time to see something interesting along the way. It might seem inconvenient to make stops for play, but it can do quite a bit for the mood of the trip!

5. Dress comfortably. 

Road trips are not the time to pull out the baby jeans and all the extra style. Keep them in soft cotton that is easy for diaper changes. If you’re traveling in cold weather, I recommend keeping their clothing light. You can wrap them in blankets when you go inside or put on their coat when it’s time to play. Babies can quickly get too hot in those car seats once the heater kicks on, and then they might get grumpy!

6. Relax and give yourself plenty of time.

Add on at least an hour and a half to your usual drive time. If you are nursing you’ll probably add even more time depending on the length of your trip. It is not safe to nurse while the car is in motion! Know that there will be more and longer stops–and be okay with that. Your kids can tell when you are stressed and it will cause them to get worked up. There will probably be some tears, but hopefully some naps too! There can be lots of opportunity for fun. Don’t keep yourself on a tight schedule or it will be stressful! Proverbs 14:29 has some great wisdom for us on our road trips: “Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.” Patience will go a long way when you’re in tight quarters as a family!

proverbs-14_29

7. Youtube

Many parents have all sorts of screen time restrictions (especially for the youngest children), but if you find yourself in stop-and-go traffic on a road trip you might want to reconsider. Our favorite song videos to watch on Youtube are from Little Baby Bum, Baby Joy Joy, and Super Simple Songs. If you do not have an entertainment system in your car you will need this in your bag of tricks!

take-the-trip

Traveling in the car as a family has potential challenges but it also has potential joys. You have time to bond and enjoy each other much more than when you are spread about at home. If you are traveling with little ones, the home of extended family is most likely your destination. I cannot express how important it is to take your kids to see the ones you love. Don’t let a long drive hold you back. Make the effort and take the trip. Let your kids fall in love with their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Explore God’s world together, from your car, and may your family go on many adventures, growing closer on each one!

What are your best tips for long drives with little ones? 

 

road-trip-tips-traveling-with-little-ones

road-trip-tips-traveling-with-little-ones-pinterst

Be encouraged by these posts as well!

Tips for flying with a toddler Speak Life Stop bullying yourself Mom Burnout Likely

The Encouragement Challenge: Loving God with Body, Heart and Soul

The Encouragement Challenge: Loving God with Body, Heart and Soul

Kristi F

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 5 crazy, homeschooling children ages 10 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.
Avatar

Latest posts by Kristi F (see all)

Have you ever read the verse “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” and wondered HOW?

Of course, we want to do this!  More than we can ever verbally express, we want to live for God with our entire being, but how?  Then I think of Luke 2:40:

And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him. (NIV)

When I read this, I fill with hope.  Jesus grew.

It’s a process.  It’s all about growing in the Lord. Growing is a process.  A seed must be planted and watered.  The roots must grow deep into the earth and bring about stability so the rest of the plant can grow without toppling over.  Slowly, it matures until it is ripe and ready for harvest.

We are no different than Jesus. We will love him with all our heart, all our soul, and all our strength, IF we are willing to take the time to plant the seed, water it, and let it take root in our lives. We’ve got the grace of God and the Holy Spirit is living in us!

As I think of this verse and how we want to grow more in love with the Lord daily, I realize that we have to incorporate our entire beings, not just our spiritual side.  We have to engage every part of ourselves–our body, our mind, our heart, and our soul!

So I want to introduce this challenge–a challenge to myself and to you as well to take small steps to a big life change.


The Encouragement Challenge Social media

“The Encouragement Challenge”
is all about focusing on our walk with God and not just fleeting New Year’s Resolutions!

Day by day, what we are seeking is to grow our relationship with our Savior Jesus Christ, and many times we need a physical friend (as well as the Holy Spirit) to encourage us along the way as we invite Him into all areas of our lives.  So that is our challenge for January.  We want to walk with you on this journey as we grow closer to our Lord and encourage you every step of the way in all areas of your life.

Starting January 4, we will be offering interactive ways to encourage you as you take small steps to make a big life change.

1.  Sign up now to receive our newsletter so you can receive all the info that will keep you encouraged during “The Encouragement Challenge” including:

  • The Encouragement Challenge Calendar so you can stay on track to fulfilling what God is calling you to this year.
  • A Weekly Exercise Video Series that includes daily exercises with a video at the end of the week that includes the entire combination. This is a 5-minute exercise series that will help everyone (from beginner to returning from injuries to advanced) strengthen their bodies with things around the house.  This will help us strengthen our bodies so we can physically serve our Lord, our families, and others. Double or triple this series for a more intense workout and still get it done in 15 minutes!
  • Scripture memorization cards.
  • A list of encouraging music that will get you moving and fill your soul with inspiration.

2.  Follow us on Twitter & Periscope at Create_GreatDay!  Kristi will be scoping her Encouragement Challenge journey and would love for you to share yours too! It’s a great way to stay accountable.

3.  Share your wins with us on our Facebook page! We will have a daily “Encouragement Challenge Wins” thread where we would love for you to share your  daily wins with us.  You might share what passage you read that day, what devotional book you’re enjoying, or that you drank water instead of a Coke. Whatever you are focusing on, we want to cheer you on too!

4.  Mark your calendars for January 30 from 9:30am-12:00pm.  Our very own contributors Julie and Toni will be facilitating a Real Food Cooking Class in Edmond, OK.  More details to come.

Here’s a glimpse into the first exercise of the first week’s series.
It make look easy but it will build your strength!

Julie Wulfert is a certified group fitness instructor with over 22 years of teaching experience She is also a board certified holistic health counselor.  She leads an amazing workout session every Monday &  Wednesday from 8:45am – 9:45am at the New Hope church of Christ in Edmond, OK.  Each class is $5 and you are welcome to attend.

 

Right now God might be wanting you to focusing on one area.  Great, let us be your cheerleader along your journey and you can be ours!  Just knowing that we have others who are walking the same struggles and being accountable gives us the courage to continue on even when we don’t feel like it.


heartI’m sure you already have an idea of where you want to grow in the Lord first, but if you need some ideas, I will throw some out too.  We encourage you to be praying about how God wants to grow you and follow His lead.

Honoring our bodies as a temple of the Holy Spirit by:

  • Treating our bodies with respect.
  • Listening to God’s image of us instead of the world’s image of us.
  • Exercising in order to become physically strong to do God’s work.
  • Nourishing our bodies better so we can stay healthy.
  • Working towards honing a skill that God is calling us to use for his kingdom.
  • Removing addictive behaviors whether that’s what we consider smaller things like binge junk-food eating to what we normally consider vices–smoking, excessive drinking, sex outside of marriage, etc.

Filling our hearts and minds with the things of God by:

  • Being in God’s word consistently.
  • Memorizing scripture and writing it on our hearts.
  • Filling our minds with things that are noble.
  • Taking the 30 day KLove challenge of listening to Christian music for thirty days.
  • Choosing different TV shows (You know, not watching the ones we watch but wouldn’t feel comfortable watching if Jesus were sitting next to us.)
  • Taking our thoughts captive.
  • Believing what God says about us instead of others’ criticisms.
  • Not harboring negative thoughts of others in our hearts.
  • Believing we are worthy of God’s love. (Oh, how Satan uses the world to smash our image!)

Growing spiritually by:

  • Praying more – maybe starting once a day or working towards praying without ceasing.
  • Praying for others specifically.
  • Allowing joy to be present in every situation.
  • Living in the understanding that no matter what happens on Earth, our souls are forever protected by God.
  • Trusting God to be faithful.
  • Obeying the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
  • Engaging our children in our spiritual growth so they can grow as they walk with us.
  • Picking a devotional book to read through or a Bible study to attend.

These are all just ideas. The list is endless, but pray about where God wants you to start.  We are each on our own journey but here to encourage each other along the way.  Our journeys will look different from anyone else’s. I will be focusing on some of the things above this year and can’t wait to learn what you will be focusing on!

Untitled design (43)

The best piece of advice I’ve ever received about making changes in my life was this:

Pick one thing you want to add to your life and start adding it.  Once it feels natural and you’ve got the hang of it, add the next thing.  This will keep you from being overwhelmed and stressed out.

Small steps in one or more of these areas will open our lives to loving God with our complete being!

 

Pin It on Pinterest