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New Year, New Goals or New Year, Same Goals?

New Year, New Goals or New Year, Same Goals?

New Year, New Goals or New Year, Same Goals?

This year I think most people were more anxious for the start of a new year than ever before. Everyone wanted to leave 2020 behind. The year that was supposed to be filled with vision and clarity quickly became the year that no one could see the end in sight. 

It seems like as soon as December 31st hits everyone starts thinking about the new year and goals they want to make. Eating healthy, a new exercise routine, be more productive, etc. I am guilty of this myself. I love making lists and planning things out, so the New Year feels like a perfect excuse to do those things and set goals. 

I feel like there’s also an added pressure of doing this because you expect people are going to ask you what your goals are for the new year, when they see you. So you have to have something good to say, right? 

While I love new planners and setting goals and all the things that come with the New Year, one thing i’ve learned is that the new year is not the only time you’re allowed to set goals and restart.

I’m writing this with only a couple days left in January(I’m really trying to make sure I stick to my goal I set this year of posting every month) and this is about the time where the excitement of the goals you set are starting to wear off. Maybe your exercise plan was consistent for the first couple weeks, but now it seems hit and miss. 

You might be a few days behind in your Bible reading plan. Maybe you don’t even set goals because you are afraid of not completing them. 

 When we set goals and put things in writing it makes us feel vulnerable. It’s almost easier to not set a goal because if we aren’t successful with it and keep at it, there’s no written record of it. I used to not set goals because I was so afraid of not completing them or following through. I didn’t want to feel like a failure. Putting something in writing doesn’t have to be scary.

By not setting goals for myself I was hindering my ability to grow. I love learning, whether it’s something new or just a more in-depth study on something I already know. I never want to become content with where I’m at and stop learning. I want to learn and grow my whole life and part of that includes setting goals for myself that I’m working towards. 

 It doesn’t matter if you set your goals in January, April or June. It doesn’t matter if it takes you one month or two years to complete. What I think is important is that you are consistent. If you have ideas of things you want to do and accomplish, go after them. Be consistent in pursuing them. You don’t have to set goals, but I think we should always be seeking to better ourselves, and having a vision or idea of what that will look like is so helpful.

Our lives are constantly changing, so if you have a goal or plan for something and it’s not working, change it. Don’t wait until next January, change it now. There’s no rule that says we need a new year, new month, or new week to make a change in our lives, but when we think like that we usually end up using it as an excuse to never make the change.

This year I’m using the Cultivate What Matters goal planner. It’s been so good in helping me see the big picture of things that I want to accomplish, but it helps me break them down into manageable monthly tasks. You reassess at the beginning of each month so if something isn’t working you can change it and move forward. 

There is something rewarding about putting things to paper and being able to see growth in different areas of your life. You don’t have to become a new you in the new year, but there’s always something we can be working on. 

Take time to think about things you want to accomplish and set a plan in action to achieve that. Who cares if January is almost over, who cares whether you’ve already tried and failed, so what if you feel like you should change your plan in February. But pick something and be consistent in working towards it.

Hi, I’m Hannah.

I am a lover of Jesus, wife, and mom to 3 kids. Occasionally I like to share things that are on my heart and you’ll find them here. Thanks for taking the time to check out my site!

Studying Your Bible

Studying Your Bible

Studying Your Bible

I have such a passion for studying the Bible and truly knowing what it says. I hope that is something that becomes evident the more you get to know me. I have a heart for teaching people to read their Bible. To really understand it and study it out in great detail. 

The Bible says in 1 Timothy 3:15, “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” 

This is a big part of why I think studying your Bible is so important. I want to be able to give people a Biblical answer for why I believe the things I believe and without knowing the Bible I wouldn’t be able to do that. 

Studying your Bible is such an important piece of maintaining a deep relationship with Christ. Knowing the Bible and what it says is such an insight to the heart of our Creator. It’s here and waiting for us to open and spend time in communion with Him. It takes time, effort and discipline. If we do not have a routine or a good idea of how to do something before we start it’s easy to make excuses and come up with reasons not to do it. I find that having a routine and clear idea of how I plan to read or study my Bible each day is very helpful. I want to share some of the things that I do when I study in hopes of giving you some ideas in case you may struggle in this area.

First of all, there is no right or wrong way to read your Bible. The most important thing is that you are reading it.  Reading your Bible can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. Secondly, you don’t have to have a perfect setup in order to read your Bible. You don’t have to wake up at 5am while everyone else is still sleeping, brew yourself some coffee, have light music, a cozy blanket and a lit candle. If you have this idea in your head that you can only read your Bible with a perfect setup, you are probably never going to read your Bible.. Reading your Bible is more important than creating the perfect quiet time setup. Do what works best for you and the season of life you’re in. If that means reading your Bible at 8 o’clock at night that’s perfectly fine.

My quiet time is more productive if I can do it before my kids get up. Unfortunately, this hardly ever happens. My kids get up early and I’ve just learned that they are going to be a part of my “Quiet Time.” Realizing that my time in the word was not always going to be peaceful and quiet has helped me continue to read the Bible every day. I no longer have this idea in my head where I can only read until my children wake up, or if it’s perfectly calm and quiet in my house. If my children see that I’m reading my Bible when they get up they know that they may have to wait until I’m done before I start doing all the things for them. They know this because they have seen me consistently reading my Bible enough in the morning to know this is our normal routine. It doesn’t mean they don’t interrupt me or ask me things while I’m studying, but the more that this happens on a daily basis, the easier it is for them to expect it. My kids will often just grab a book and sit next to me when they get up and see that I’m still reading. 

Having an idea of what I’m going to read each day is also very helpful for me, especially because I know I have limited time. Knowing what I’m going to read helps me not waste time each morning thinking, “Hmm…what should I read today?” I usually pick a book of the Bible to read and when I finish it move on to another book. I don’t read the books in any special order.  If I don’t have something in mind to read when I sit down or just decide I want something different that day, I will often go to the Psalms and pick a chapter to read. Anything you read from the Bible is going to be beneficial for you. It doesn’t matter if you read a whole book in one sitting, or just one verse, what matters is that you are opening God’s Word and allowing Him to speak to you through it. 

Here are a few things that I have found helpful in studying the Bible:

 

  • Know what you’re going to study before you start. Choose a book of the Bible or have something in mind that you want to read the day before, so you aren’t using all your time searching for something to study.
  • Study with a pen and journal. I like to write down anything that sticks out to me while I’m reading. If I have any questions about something while I’m studying I’ll write those down and if I don’t find the answers as I’m reading I will look those up in a commentary or concordance when I’m done. Writing down the things that stick out to me is also helpful for me in remembering what I’m reading or studying.
  • Look up words that you don’t know the meaning of or understand why it’s being used in that context. There have been times when I didn’t understand a verse or passage and looking up the definition of the word helped me understand what it was talking about. Looking up words in the dictionary and also in a concordance can be very helpful.
  • Check cross references. This is also helpful if you have words or passage you don’t quite understand. Cross referencing allows us to let scripture interpret scripture. 
  • Pray while you read. If you’re struggling to understand a passage that you’re reading, ask God to reveal it to you. When we pray during out study time we are allowing the Holy Spirit to come in and work in us. 

 

These are things that are helpful to me. It doesn’t have to be what you do. If you do all of these things already, great. If you look at this list and think, I would never be able to do all that, that’s fine too. Maybe you can take a couple of these things and start applying it to your quiet time and see if it benefits you. The most important thing is that you’re opening your Bible and reading it every day. God longs for us to have a desire to know Him and the best way for us to do that is to read His Word. He wants us to meet with Him every day, He wants to be the one who fills us up. 

I’m going to link a few resources and websites that I use when I study as well. I plan to share more about these in my stories on Instagram next week, so if you would like to see more information about any of these resources be sure to follow along there.

 

 

I would love to hear how you study the Bible and get in The Word each day. Feel free to leave a comment with what works for you and any tips you may have. I think there’s always something we can learn from each other.

Hi, I’m Hannah.

I am a lover of Jesus, wife, and mom to 3 kids. Occasionally I like to share things that are on my heart and you’ll find them here. Thanks for taking the time to check out my site!

Grace Poured Out

Grace Poured Out

Grace Poured Out

It had been one of those weeks. You know, the week filled with appointments, social commitments, church things, and extra needy children. My husband told me to take a couple hours and go have some time alone. He usually sees the warning signs of me needing to go and recharge well before I do, and I’m forever grateful to him for it. There’s something so refreshing about going somewhere to write and pray without someone asking me to make them a snack, help them in the bathroom, or to find a lost toy. 

I’m an extrovert and a people pleaser. I love surrounding myself with others and doing all the things, but there comes a point when I need to take some time for myself to process things, refresh my soul, and pray. So Jared sent me away to my favorite coffee shop(Amity), so I could have some quiet time and journal. This is my go-to spot when I need to think and write or prepare for an event. I do most of my best writing there. I ordered a pour over and sat down to start writing and praying. While I was praying I asked God what He wanted me to learn during this season. I wrote in my journal:

 

Give… Pour Out… Serve… Love… Empty… Fill… 

 

Give myself to others, Pour out myself into their lives, Serve them and Love them, Empty myself doing His work so He can Fill me up again and again and again. 

 

That was two years ago, during a season where it seemed like all my husband and I were doing was working, giving and pouring ourselves out. God was telling me to keep doing the exact thing that I felt like was draining me both physically and spiritually? I looked back in my journal and I realized He was showing me something that was there the whole time, but I just wasn’t seeing it. The word Fill. Everytime I felt like I couldn’t do any more or help someone in any other way, He somehow filled me with enough strength to do it. This changed my whole perspective. At first I could only see how I was emptying myself doing His work, but now can see how I was continually being filled with more of His grace.

Then I read  Titus 3:4-7, which says “When the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” God graciously pours out His Holy Spirit on us. Without Him continually pouring His Spirit out on me, I would be weak and tired. I would feel empty. It’s God’s grace that’s being poured out on me every day.

 Because of His pouring out I’m able to surround myself with people and look for ways to serve them and pour myself out to them. One of the ways God showed me I could do this was through writing. I’ve obviously ignored this for a long time, but I feel like it’s time now. I’m going to lay aside all my fears and put to rest the voices in my head that tell me I have nothing to share. 

I’m excited to see where this journey takes me and how it changes and grows my spiritual life. I have complete faith that God is going to use my own words to help me understand Him better. If there’s something that resonates with you along the way, that’s great. My prayer is that you would be encouraged and you’ll find Grace Poured Out here.

Hi, I’m Hannah.

I am a lover of Jesus, wife, and mom to 3 kids. Occasionally I like to share things that are on my heart and you’ll find them here. Thanks for taking the time to check out my site!

Introduction

Introduction

Introduction

Writing a blog. This has been on my mind for a few years now and I really didn’t think I would actually do it. I had hundreds of excuses as to why it wouldn’t work. Hundreds of reasons why someone wouldn’t ever want to read it, etc. But here we are… 

I should probably start by introducing myself. My name is Hannah, I’ve been married to my husband, Jared, for 8 years. He teaches 8th grade math at our local school and runs his own photography business. He is my best friend and greatest encourager. We have three children, Elijah, Micah, and Amelia, who keep us on our toes and laughing constantly. We live in the beautiful Finger Lakes where I spend most of my days working in our home, spending time with friends, playing at the lake with the kids and homeschooling our oldest son. I love coffee(my husband spoils me and roasts his own coffee beans), reading books, journaling, cooking, and going on adventures with my family. I have a heart for community and building lasting friendships.

 My real passion though, is studying the Bible. I enjoy spending as much time as I can in the Word and learning all I can from it. God has laid it on my heart to share what I learn with others and I’ve been ignoring this prompting for quite some time now. Through encouragement from my husband and friends I’ve decided to start this blog. My hope is to share with you things the Spirit lays on my heart. Things that are revealed to me during my quiet time. Things that can encourage and lead you to a closer relationship with Christ. My desire is for women to know as much as they can about the Bible. Really study it in detail and grow in it. 

Imagine a little girl sitting at her desk in her bedroom. She has journals, notepads, pens, pencils, highlighters, all sorts of things to write and create with. This little girl sits for hours just taking pen to paper. She may not know how to spell words correctly, or have a specific reason for writing at the moment, but there she is, spending her time at her desk, writing. 

That was me growing up. I loved writing letters to friends(this was before e-mail) and writing short stories. I would take old books and highlight and make notes in them like I knew what I was doing. Perhaps this is where my love for studying came about. I always tried to be a perfectionist. I wanted to be the best at whatever I was doing. I wanted to know as much as I could about whatever I was learning. I feel that same passion about the Bible. I will never know everything about the Bible, but I’m here for the long haul to learn as much as I can while I’m on this side of heaven. Let’s get our Bibles and start studying and learning together! 

 

Hi, I’m Hannah.

I am a lover of Jesus, wife, and mom to 3 kids. Occasionally I like to share things that are on my heart and you’ll find them here. Thanks for taking the time to check out my site!

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