Write the Vision


Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.

— Habakkuk 2:2 (ESV)

I love the prospect of beginning a new year.  It is filled with possibility and excitement.  It’s a chance to start over, an opportunity to think about where you want your life to go and setting goals to get you there.

Something I’ve learned over the past few years (and am planning to finally implement this year) is the importance of creating a vision board.  Last year, I wrote down things I wanted to accomplish in 2015 and, much to my delight, the majority (if not all) of them came to fruition.  Awesome!  This year, I want to add visual reminders to my goals … hence, the vision board.

That isn’t to say that I buy into the whole “Law of Attraction” and new-age concept that go along with many of the articles you can access pertaining to vision boards.  Nonetheless, I do believe that if you are a visual person and have a bit of a type-A personality, vision boards can be very beneficial in keeping you on track and focused with what you want to achieve.  By having your goals in front of you daily, research shows you are more likely to succeed (9 things rich people do and don’t do every day).  Whereas my #1 goal in life isn’t necessarily to make a lot of money, I do admit it would be a very nice (and welcome) benefit to satisfying two of my heart’s desires: 1) fulfilling God’s purpose for my life; and 2) helping lonely, hurting, brokenhearted people.

I don’t know about you, but the busyness of life keeps me very distracted.  At times, I almost feel like I have become so adept at multitasking that I have developed a full-blown case of adult-onset ADHD.  Being bombarded with e-mails at home and work, social media, and the responsibilities of being a mother have re-trained my brain to flip from task to task without really enjoying any of them.  To counteract that, mindful meditation and balance have become new words in my vocabulary.  Dr. Amit Sood and Dr. Roberto Benzo (MBSR training) have become beneficial gurus in showing me a new way to live life.

Habakkuk 2:2 refers to the vision God gave to Habakkuk regarding the fall of Babylon and His judgment of the Chaldeans.  Habakkuk was supposed to write down what God showed him so that the people could plainly and clearly discern what was written. 

In addition to creating a vision board, I will still write down my goals in list form.  Just the process of thinking about what goals I want to put on the list is helpful in reassessing where I’m at in life and where I want to go.  Once I know where I want to go, a roadmap will be important in getting to my destination.  Just looking at the vision board and “wishing” to attain my goals won’t get me very far (and is not the purpose of a vision board in the first place).  Follow-through and action are important.  I’d like to say that’s the “run” portion of Habakkuk 2:2, but I realize that throws the verse entirely out of context. Nonetheless, it does help me remember that movement is a necessary component of the written vision.]  The actual meaning of “run” refers to the common practice of the time where public notices were written on clay tablets in such large letters that they could be read easily by someone running by and also, perhaps, so that the reader could run and warn others (if the notice was a warning).

I think it’s also important to note that in the previous verse (Habakkuk 2:1), Habakkuk is on the watchtower standing guard.  He has positioned himself to hear from the LORD.  He has asked the LORD a question, and he is watching diligently for it while he waits.

I think we need to do more of that.  We need to ask the LORD more questions and then stand “upon the watchtower” scanning the horizon for His answer.  Habakkuk 2:3 tells us we may have to wait for it (until the appointed time), but it will surely come.  Once God lays something upon our heart, writing the vision (or creating the vision board) can remind us of what God’s purpose is for our life when the results don’t come as quickly as we would like.

Change is hard; but with proper motivators and a plan, it can be done.  In the year ahead, I encourage you to envision your future, seek God in prayer, and write down the goals He lays upon your heart (both short- and long-term ones).  You might be surprised at the results!

Wishing you a Happy (and Healthy) New Year!
Lori Lynn

 

Life Lesson #6: When Life Gives You A Do-Over, Take It!


“Hard is trying to rebuild yourself, piece by piece, with no instruction book, and no clue as to where all the important bits are supposed to go.”  — Nick Hornby, A Long Way Down

“It’s humbling to start fresh. It takes a lot of courage. But it can be reinvigorating. You just have to put your ego on a shelf & tell it to be quiet.”  — Jennifer Ritchie Payette

“It’s never too late to be who you might have been.” – George Eliot

“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. The old skin has to be shed before the new one can come.” – Joseph Campbell

It has been a year of change.  No doubt about that.  Hopefully, the dust will now start to settle, and life will get a little more even-keeled.  A little over a year ago, my divorce was finalized.  In the divorce decree it was determined that my ex-husband and I would need to sell our home, and I would have to find a new place to live.  It’s interesting how we can become so attached to things … things that, over time, really don’t mean anything.

I was not looking forward to moving.  I liked my house.  I liked my neighborhood.  Mostly, I was not looking forward to going through the mounds of STUFF that my ex-husband and I had accumulated over our almost 22 years of marriage.  The thought of weeding through boxes of paperwork and unforgotten items buried in the corners of the garage exhausted me even before I began the onerous task.

When the offer came on the last day of February from a buyer who was adamant about moving in on April 1, I was not amused.  Whereas I was extremely grateful that we had an offer, I was in the middle of the busiest season of the year.  In addition to working full-time, I am a part-time organist at my church, and we were in the middle of Lent.  Not only did I have quite a few additional church services to play for, but I had also taken over as choir accompanist, since our other organist had been diagnosed with breast cancer a few days before Christmas.  Asking me to move out of a 3,500 square foot home in one month was like asking an accountant to move on April 14.  It was a highly stressful time.  To top it all off, the place I was moving to–a townhome under construction–was not going to be finished for another two months.  I was temporarily displaced and living out of a suitcase with my parents.

Two days after moving into my new townhome, I had to fly out East to attend my son’s high school graduation and move him back home to live with me.  While I was away, my two daughters had to fend for themselves attempting to find things that no one had a clue as to there whereabouts.  It took me weeks after I got back to even find my pots and pans so, needless to say, we ate out a lot.  Definitely not good for an already stretched budget.

We survived and are just now getting more fully settled in.  We’ve made room in the garage for at least one car!

As if that weren’t enough stress on my plate, I decided to apply for a different job … a lateral move within my company … but I thought, “What the heck … new year, new life, new townhome, why not a new job?  I’ll make it a complete do-over!”  So, in a few weeks, I am about to embark on a new adventure with the hope of learning some new skills that will make me more marketable.  I am hoping within the next year to go back to school for my Master’s.  I am hoping to reconnect with my creative and less-stressed self from my pre-marriage days.

God has graced me with a do-over on multiple levels.  I could have chosen to ignore the nudges He gave me.  I could have chosen to accept some and decline others, but some of the circumstances surrounding the changes were too obvious to miss.  My new job, for example … it was as if God was flashing a big neon sign in front of my face with a huge, flashing, boldly outlined arrow pointing, “Go here!”  (Pretty hard to miss nudges like that one.)

For someone who likes all of her ducks in a row before taking on new things, those of you who have read my earlier posts know that if there is one thing that God has taught me over the years, it’s that He won’t show me the next step on my path until I take the one He currently places in front of me.  Therefore, I have no idea where these new changes will take me, but I do know I am on the right path.  Until He shows me the next step, I’m going to enjoy where I am at.  I need not fret.  I need not worry.  I’m where I’m supposed to be at this moment in time, and God knows where the next stop on my journey is going to land me.

Embracing life (at the moment) …

Lori Lynn

Dear LORD … thank You for new beginnings.  Thank You for giving me glimpses into my past and future seeing how You so beautifully weave past experiences and future opportunities together into a seamless masterpiece.  Continue to point out Your plans for my life by presenting me with opportunities too obvious to miss. (Those flashing arrows sure are helpful!)  In Jesus’ Name I pray.  Amen.

 

 

 

A New Day Dawning


The sun comes up
Its a new day dawning
Its time to sing your song again
Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes…

I heard Matt Redman’s song 10,000 Reasons for the first time last night.  The lyrics seem appropriate somehow for the beginning of a new year.  It’s a new start, a new day dawning.  Whatever 2012 brings, I want to keep praising the LORD.  Whatever happens… whatever lies before me, I want to keep on singing.

One of my favorite Christmas gifts this year is the Complete Jewish Bible. (No, I’m not Jewish.)  I put it on my Christmas list because I want to know more about my Christian roots.  I want to know more about the rich heritage that we have been given from the Jewish people.  How can we truly understand the Bible if we don’t try to understand the background and customs of the people from whence it came?  The great thing about this Bible, is it contains both the Tanakh (Old Testament) and the B’rit Hadashah (New Testament).  I am thinking that reading the Old Testament from a Jewish perspective will be the difference between seeing with 20/60 vision and seeing with 20/20.  It will be like getting a new pair of eyeglasses and seeing each blade of grass and each leaf on a tree… everything fine tuned.

But I digress…

The new year.  A time of new beginnings.  A time to start over.  A time to look back at the past year and think, “What wasn’t so great, and how can I change it to make it better?  What went well and how can I hold onto that?”

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past year, it’s that we do have choices.  We can change things.  We may not be able to completely change our circumstances, but we can change how we view them.  And I’ve learned that lasting changes take time.  Be patient.  Slow and steady wins the race.  (It’s true!)

Lori Lynn

But in my mind I keep returning to something, something that gives me hope — that the grace of ADONAI is not exhausted, that his compassion has not ended.  [On the contrary,] they are new every morning!  How great your faithfulness!  “ADONAI is all I have,” I say; “therefore I will put my hope in him.” 

–Lamentations 3:21-24 (Complete Jewish Bible)