2015 for me was a once-in-a-lifetime marathon of 2 kids getting married, another having a baby, home remodel, helping out in an extended family crisis, showers, and riding the emotional roller coaster that came with each event. I had little time to process my thoughts and feelings. Every morning Life walked right into my house and dictated my day–all day long. It was wonderful yet exhausting.
2016 has been kinder and gentler. It has afforded me time to rest and process the past year. It has given me time to sit with God on His front porch and be content to hang out with Him.
To help me process and mindfully move forward with God, a few weeks ago He brought to my attention a list of five prompts to answer every evening. By answering theses prompts God is showing me more clearly how I am really living as opposed to how I imagine my days to be. He is also showing me who I really I am as opposed to my often inaccurate version of me.
Maybe you could use a more accurate perspective on who you really are and how you are spending your days. Do your days run together and you feel as if you’re not making progress in any area of your life? You want to be more patient, more present with others. You have plans to get a more fulfilling job, go back to school, or offer a hand of forgiveness to that strained relationship. You want to do better. You want your life to be a string of days that you look back on and smile about, not wish you had spent better. Through the discipline of answering these five prompts, I see my life as it really is as opposed to how I think it is. By answering these prompts I am making progress in becoming more of the person God designed me to be and making each day count.
I did not come up these prompts. I found them on Marelisa Fabrega’s blog, daringtolivefully.com (http://daringtolivefully.com/things-to-do-with-a-notebook).
Here are Marelisa’s five prompts:
- This is something that made me smile today:
- This is something that made me think today:
- This is something I wish I had done differently today:
- This is something I learned today:
- This is the good I did today: (I change the wording on the last one to: This is how God worked through me today.)
Through answering these prompts I have discovered who and what fills me up (Hint—often it is one very small person and his name starts with H—Harvey, our grandson!). I clearly see where I need to do better (be fully present in my relationships). I am challenged to think back through my day and remember it. In doing so, I evaluate how I lived my day and how I want to make changes. The prompt about “what I wish I had done differently” helps me see patterns of where I regularly fail. Identifying patterns of failure helps me figure out why I fail and then talk to God about how to do better. By answering the prompts “what I learned” and “what made me think today”, my mind is challenged to remember the details of new information I received. Often my answer to these prompts comes from my morning time with God.
Answering these five prompts every evening helps me to be more mindful about my life so I don’t miss any of what God planned for me.
Would you be willing to try an experiment? Find or buy a little notebook (I love Moleskine or Field Notes but any notebook or journal will work.) and every evening take about fifteen minutes to think over your day and answer these prompts. I’d love to hear how this process affects you and makes a difference in your life.
Brenda Garrison is an author and speaker who empowers women with the confidence to live their calling. Brenda is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Ministry Leadership with a Concentration in Women’s Ministry at Moody Bible Institute. She and her husband, Gene, are the parents of three young adult daughters and live near Metamora, IL.