I have a confession. January is almost over, and I’m still struggling to start new. I generally hit January 1 with big goals mapped out in a new planner. I end the month with boxes checked, well on my way toward the best year ever. Even after declaring it’s ok to start late, I haven’t really gotten started.
My fitness goal includes exercises three times a week. Instead, my Garmin keeps lowering my daily step goal and giving me the “get up” beeps. I want to memorize two verses each month; I picked one out but have yet to actually write it down. The date night with my husband hasn’t made it on the schedule. Neither has the one-on-one activity with each child.
I also set a goal to post here once a week. While I missed the mark already, I am super excited about Heather Gerwing’s new monthly link-up, Share Four Somethings! You see, with a list of a lot of self-proclaimed failures, her link-up is an invitation for me to celebrate good things at the end of each month. Even with my long list of unmet goals, January was good.
Two words: Instant Pot. I ordered my IP on Cyber Monday. I started with the water tutorial and moved on to rice. Now I use my IP almost nightly. Chicken breast from frozen to tenderly cooked in ten minutes*. Soup is ready in five. In my 8-qt IP, I can cook five-plus cups of brown rice to use in recipes throughout the week. With a saute function, the high-pressure cooking setting, and the crockpot feature, I can ditch my crockpot, rice cooker, and some of my cookware. What are your favorite IP recipes? Send them my way! (*These cooking times do not account for the time it takes the IP to build pressure.)
In his end-of-the-year message, my pastor asked us to pray these three things for our new year: interactions with the right people, find ourselves in the right places, and our feet pointed toward the right path. Those words resonated with me. I write them down each week in my planner as a reminder. Even if I don’t make progress toward a single goal this year, I want to be in step with God’s will for my life. He may have a different idea for me. This three-part prayer keeps my heart open to where he leads. Will you pray this for yourself, too? Right people, right places, and the right path.
At the beginning of the month, Mark Zuckerberg announced a change in Facebook algorithms. You should begin to see more personal posts and fewer business posts. Facebook wants to promote personal connection versus marketing ploys. As a writer, my heart sank a little; Facebook is my primary source of traffic. Now I need to learn a new marketing strategy. However, as a faith-based writer, I quickly turned to the Lord. As my friend, Andrea Stunz, says “Jesus is my platform.” If God calls me to write, he will take my words where they need to go. What I learned: Mark Zuckerberg can’t stop God’s plans and purposes.
That being said, I want to extend a two-fold invitation. First, visit and like my Facebook page. Algorithms may try to keep us apart, but we won’t let them! Second, subscribe to the MrsDisciple emails (top corner of the homepage). This ensures my sometimes-once-a-week posts find you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
One goal I did meet this month: reading three books—one fiction, one non-fiction, and one classic. I ended up reading (with the help of audiobooks) five books. If you haven’t read Wonder by R. J. Palacio yet, please do. Palacio crafts a beautiful story of friendship, acceptance, and resilience. I also enjoyed Liane Moriarty’s kind-of-a-murder-mystery Big Little Lies. Moriarty tells a story in the most interesting way. She leads readers on a trail toward the ah-ha moment using quirky characters and relatable scenarios.
I’m not finished with “Something Read” (you know how I am about book recs!). I chose Michael Eric Dawson’s Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America as my non-fiction book this month. While I do not agree with all of Dawson’s talking points, my eyes were opened to what being black in America feels like. He offers a perspective that this white girl needed to see. This book stretched my thinking in a good way. (Please note: the language in this book is strong.)
My Reading List for January:
I hope you can find things to celebrate this month. Start with Heather’s prompts: something loved, something said, something learned, something read. Share in the comments or link-up on Heather’s blog. Even with late starts and no starts, it’s been a good month!
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