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The transformation of 2015
Ever feel like you’re settling? Wrapped up in the comfortable folds of mediocrity?
Last year at this time, I emerged from a fog of deep depression. I thought my life was over because most of the kids moved out and my role as active mom seemed all washed-up.
But I finally decided to answer God’s call to put myself out there and blog to support other moms going through not only empty nesting, but the trials and triumphs of child rearing.
I can’t believe how much joy came from saying “yes”.
In 2015, I made a commitment to post each Monday. A faith-based post, called “52 Verses for 2015”, capitalizing on a passage of Scripture.
(Incidentally, I’ve left the original post unedited so you can see how far I’ve come. I wrote it from my old blog, “Live, Laugh, Love @ Ruthie’s Kozi Kitchen”.)
That one, simple (yet hard for me) decision lead to so much more.
If nothing else, it taught me one thing:
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You may be stuck in a rut like me, wishing for purpose, yet scared to jump out of the boat.
The biggest mistake you can make is to keep sitting and going nowhere.
Even if you just take one step out – you know your other foot has to follow. You can’t just leave one foot in the boat and one on dry land, can you?
It makes me think of Peter.
He got out of the boat too – not that he was in a rut, but I wonder if he was afraid of mediocrity.
None of the other disciples got out. They played it safe.
Not Peter. He went for it, hook, line, and sinker (ahem).
Your personality may not be as rash, brash, or bold as Peter’s, but you can absolutely do something about living in mediocrity.
Today, I share with you my story of how I got out of that boat and beat mediocrity, and how you can do the same in 2016!
The first thing I did to change was start moving. You can read more about my impression of God’s call to write here. I was tired of being scared.
If you’re in a mediocrity rut, you are probably scared of taking action regarding something you know God has laid on your heart.
If you are in a mediocrity rut, take this challenge to get out of the boat! Click To Tweet
I decided to be faithful to one post a week – every Monday. If no one read it – no biggie, I could just go hop back in that boat. (I had a back-up plan, see?)
But that’s not what happened at all.
And deep down, I didn’t want it to happen.
Making that one commitment showed me something:
Moms were finding encouragement in my blog posts.
That kept me going, week after week. I didn’t want to let them down.
I began to feel as if God could possibly use this ministry, and maybe I wasn’t washed-up after all.
2. Commit to daily Bible reading and prayer
This is why I sensed God’s call – I was listening. Having just finished reading through the Bible in a year, I decided to do it again in 2015.
There’s something about following a Bible reading schedule that just really works for me!
Getting a grasp on the Bible as a whole is a powerful, equipping tool. And it helped with my writing as well.
You may not be reading through the Bible this year – maybe you have another plan, such as a topical series or a certain devotional book you like to use.
It’s important to be in the Word a each day. Here are some ideas for moms of littles who have absolutely zero time alone. It doesn’t have to be an hour, a half hour, or even 15 minutes.
You are still saved if you don’t get to have devotions every day.
Little snatches of the Word here and there will help. Perhaps a Bible or devotional placed strategically on the commode, or on the kitchen counter top lying open. Words of Scripture written on 3×5 cards in the window sill or on the ‘fridge.
Prayer all throughout the day. I made a simple prayer journal and it’s been the best prayer tool of my life! You can read about it here.
If you are walking with the Lord, make a decision and get the ball rolling! Click To Tweet
3. Read “All the places to go” by John Ortberg.
No seriously. Read it. It was a game-changer for me!
The whole premise of the book is that there are many doors available in life. But you have to actually go through them. Our problem (especially we moms) in going through doors is that we’re afraid which door to select.
But if you’re walking with the Lord, you’re not going to make a sinful decision.
I know – you’re afraid it’ll be the wrong decision.
Often times, God’s not concerned so much with which decision you make so long as you are moving.
Very rarely in the Bible does God come to someone and say, “Stay.” Almost never does God interrupt someone and ask them to remain in comfort, safety, and familiarity. He opens a door and calls them to come through it. ~John Ortberg, All the Places to Go
Often times, God is more concerned that you are taking steps to move ahead. Click To Tweet
4. Seize opportunities
When I made the decision to get out of the boat and fight mediocrity, the door I chose was blogging.
I learned about a week-long blog mentorship program, so I participated and it gave me impetus to be bolder with the blog and pursue different avenues.
Arabah Joy, a grounded Christian blogger I’d been following, began a Christian Blogger’s Bootcamp and I joined.
That choice alone was probably the best I made all year, because it opened up the world of blogging and how to go about it successfully.
I made new blogging friends and joined several Facebook blogging groups.
I moved my blog from Live Laugh Love at Ruthie’s Kozi Kitchen to this one. All on my own! (You guys – seriously, I am the least technical kid on the block, so I know that was a God thing!!!)
The Lord opened a door for me to do some guest speaking.
Next year, I will be co-hosting Tuesday Talk with a wonderful group of moms who rock at homeschooling, crafting, cooking, and serving Jesus!
In 2016, I will also be a regular contributor to a blog with an excellent group of godly women called, Satisfaction Through Christ.
Friend, you have opportunities right under your nose.
1) Take a few minutes to sit down and write them out.
2) Then, pick your top 3, and start with the first one!
2016 could open up a whole new world for you!
Favorite blog posts of 2015
Whew! What a year 2015 was! Full of family, traveling, blogging, and serving.
Below, I’ve listed a few of my favorites throughout the year. You can pick one or two and see the transformation yourself!
How to actually laugh at the future – based on my verse for the year, which is the basis for this blog – Proverbs 31:25
How God is our Light, Strength, and Hope – the story of how I gained strength to emerge from the fog of depression with Scripture.
The truth about launching our kids – A cute analogy from the movie Finding Nemo, and how I discovered I wasn’t Dory after all.
How God cares for our launched children – how I came to let go my fears about my kids.
Moms of sons: 3 tips for when you’re tired of putting the toilet seat down – every mom of boys can relate!
How to raise your daughter to confide in you – what I did to build a solid relationship with my girls
The Fire helmet from my 31 Hats Mom Wears series – How we almost burnt the house down several times, including the story of Roscoe, the dangerous iguana, who set his tank on fire.
5 Key strategies to keep your marriage alive – tips from Jim and I that we have learned through trial and error.
How to rear your little boy to confident manhood – a short guide to follow and how I raised my son (he’s 24 now, boo hoo)!
3 tips for perfectionistic moms – because, well, I’m a perfectionist. And I learned to “Let it goooooo”
How about it? Did you have a favorite blog post this year? I’d love to hear!
Read, enjoy, and ponder what God is leading you to do in 2016!
One more push in the right direction!
If you are looking for a new way to go about setting and accomplishing goals for 2016, check out this post I wrote on Grace Goals – a mini E-course for gaining ground! I’m going through the course myself, and it is so very beneficial, I recommend you look into it! I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised – it’s very affordable, and the course begins with a Facebook group December 28!
Just in time for Christmas!
I’m SO excited, girlfriend!
I have a new free gift for you to access when you sign up to receive my newsletter (which by the way is chock full of valuable resources, with a little bit of humor thrown in)!
Don’t miss out on this offer – “5 Secret Strategies to keep your marriage thriving” (the sequel to Five Key Strategies to keep your marriage Alive) -and when you sign up, you will ALSO receive my “Top Ten Tips to Rearing a Confident Young Man!”
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Thanks, and may you experience Christ’s presence in the little things this season.
What a year it has been. You are a motivation tool for many and an encouragement. So looking forward to our year together on Tuesday Talk and more of your Godly wisdom.
You can say that again, girl! Wow we didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into, did we? And what a joy it has been to come to know you and to be invited into the “inner circle”! I’m so excited – what an amazing group of women we have, they are so SO sweet and supportive.
People just love you, Michelle, your bubbly nature and friendly comments exude warmth and affirmation. Love being a Gigi alongside you!!!
You had a great year, Ruthie! Praise God for that. I’m so glad you said yes to the call to write! You’re doing a great job, made so much progress! You inspire me! 🙂 Looking forward to see what surprises God has in 2016. I need to take the plunge myself and move to self-hosted, but I’m scared because I’m no techie either and I have to do it myself, definitely. I think you did it yourself, right? 🙂
Love John Ortberg, will have to check out that book.
Thanks, sweet friend! I can’t believe how far I came – and all credit belongs to the Lord for leading me through every step. I can help you when you’re ready to rock, girlfriend! (I’ve got the inside scoop!) And the J.O. book – a MUST read for 2016! Happy Christmas and New Year!