This past weekend, I shared one of my first topics that I started speaking on over 12 years ago after I first survived cancer. The topic is called “Gifts Galore” and it’s perfect for anytime of the year, but especially during this season of giving. For the month of December, I’m going to share a few different gifts that we sometimes take for granted, and give us ideas as to how we can use these gifts to the fullest as we ANTICIPATE the coming of a New Year.
This week’s gift is this…a CALENDAR
Not only is a calendar a great gift to give or receive, but this gift represents the gift of TODAY! Every day really is a gift because we never know when our time on this earth will come to an end. Even in the midst of the most challenging times; just having another day to live is a gift and one that we don’t often think about because we are so busy with daily living. God’s Word is filled with reminders of this wonderful gift of TODAY and one of my favorites is also one of the most common verses:
This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
As women, we often find it hard to recognize the gift of today because we are so busy caring for others and keeping calendars, all while juggling jobs and other responsibilities. For most of my adult life, I have established daily practices that FUEL me for every day so that I can view each day as the gift it is.
Below are four things I integrate into my daily routine. They are nothing new, in fact, we find many leaders implement morning routines because it helps establish discipline and takes the focus of ourselves.
1. Prepare the night before.
This is a routine that many of the most successful leaders have adhered to. They prepare the night before by laying out their outfit for the next day; making a short list of the top 3 things they must do the next day and ending the day with a prayer of Thanksgiving. Even when things aren’t going quite the way we would like, we KNOW that God’s plan is best, so we can thank Him at the end of every day for the gift of that day.
You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine. ~John Maxwell
2. Morning quiet.
I know this is a tough one, but this is the MOST important element to starting a day with an attitude of gratitude, and also to be fueled with strength to accomplish all of those tasks waiting to get done. We find that our precious Savior, often sought out quiet times to spend with His Heavenly Father. He needed to withdraw from ministry to be refueled by the Father and I find that I desperately need time with my Heavenly Father in prayer and hiding His Word in my heart so that my well is filled for that day.
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. ~Mark 1:35
3. Prioritizing the tasks at hand.
I cannot speak enough about priorities, because when priorities are not aligned, they are like the car that is misaligned and always veering off track. We sometimes confuse the unimportant with the most important. If you struggle with establishing priorities (I know I sure do from time to time!), James 1:5 has a great reminder for us:
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.
4. Integrating Fun.
We can sometimes take ourselves so seriously and we haven’t taken time out for a little fun. Laughter is medicine for the soul. I recommend finding a video, story or quote that moves you to a great big belly laugh every day. Children are some of the best laughter generators, so just listening to them instead of brushing them off can bring on the giggles.
A cheerful heart is good medicine… ~Proverbs 17:22a
These are just FOUR of the things that keep me focused on recognizing the GIFT of TODAY. I know that you probably have some fabulous ones as well–so share them with us in the comment section below.