Monthly Archives: January 2018

I Love You

Sunset over the Gulf of MexicoI Love You, by Lydia Floren

“I love you.”  God says these three words to us over and over again, every single day. He did it yesterday, and He’s doing it right now. He’ll keep on doing it, tonight and tomorrow and the day after that.  But just because He is saying “I love you,” doesn’t mean we hear it, or that the meaning of those words sink in.

Our hearts have to be tuned in, to listen for that sweet message.

How God says “I love you”

God’s “I love you” might be a beautiful song, a stunning sunset, the encouraging words of a friend.  He may say “I love you” through a great conversation, a belly laugh,  a good night’s sleep. Or, an “aha” moment when a truth strikes home. Sometimes, He just whispers “I love you” in the stillness of our minds. And if we ask, he will help us to understand just what that means.

This is a little conversation I had with God recently:

“I love you.”

Thank you. But what do You mean when you say “I love you”?  And why does it matter?

I

I am the most powerful being in the universe. I made up love. I define it. I am only good. There’s no evil in me at all. I am patient, kind, faithful, generous–and present. I created you, and everything else in this world, and beyond. I wanted you with me always, and I sacrificed greatly to make this possible. I know everything. I am the only person that will ever completely know, and unreservedly love, you. I see you now, exactly as you are.  

I love you.

Love

I cherish you. I enjoy your company. I want the best for you. I’m here, and I’m not going anywhere. I see exactly what’s going on, and I’m guiding you. I’ve got your back. I’m providing for you. I’m healing your heart from the faulty thinking that has kept you in bondage. And, I’ve already forgiven every wrong thing you have done, and will do, to me. I adopted you. I respect you, and I am protecting you.

I love you.

You 

You are my precious creation. Before you were even born, I chose all the qualities that would make you uniquely yourself. And that hole in your heart? That is an incompleteness that can only be filled by me.  And I am filling that hole.  You belong with me.  You are wanted. You are loved. You are my beloved child.

I love you.  

I

LOVE

YOU.

I LOVE YOU.

I love you with an everlasting love.  Jeremiah 31:3

Blue pansies with the words "I love you"

4 Steps to Planning the Year

sunset over the seaby Lydia Floren

I am a planner.  Not in the “control freak” kind of way, just in the wanting-to-be-intentional-about- life way.  So, the new year is an important time for me.  Toward the end of the year, I start to think about where I have been, where I am going, and how best to get there.  In January, I typically set aside a day or two to review and  make some specific plans for the coming year.  What does that look like for me?  Well, it is different every year. Some years I am more detailed, others I just sketch out a more general framework. But my planning process always seems to involve these four steps:

Four Steps to Planning the Year:

  1. Reflect
  2. Review
  3. Refocus
  4. Revise

 

Reflection:

  • What happened in the last year?  Events? Relationships? Commitments? Life situations?
  • How have I seen God working in these things?
  • How have I grown? What have I learned?

Review:

  • What were my goals/priorities/commitments from last year?
    • Life goal:
    • Other goals:
    • Priorities:
    • Permanent commitments:
  • How has my time spent in the last year, aligned with my life goals, priorities, commitments?

Refocus:

  • Ask God, “What is Your perspective of what has happened in the last year?”
  • Are there any goals/priorities/commitments I need to change  or moving forward?
  • Are there specific plans that need to be revised? Ditched? Formulated?

Revise:

  • What do I see as the best strategy to achieve my goals in the coming year?  In two years? In 5 years?
  • How does that translate into how I use my time on a daily/weekly/monthly basis?
  • What will help me to keep my life aligned with these goals/plans?

During this process, I continue to pray and seek God’s guidance, insight, and wisdom in each of these steps.  And, at the end, I just give my new plans and schedule to God, and ask Him to show me what revisions need to be made.

What is your approach to planning?