Philippians 1:9-11 I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation – the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ – for this will bring much glory and praise to God.

Luke 24:45, 46b – 49 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. “There is forgiveness of sins for all who repent. You are witnesses of all these things. And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.”

I think the number one most important habit that has changed my life is daily reading/journaling through the scriptures and prayer. Having a time to reflect on what really matters and who really loves me changes everything. Now I’ve seen and heard about situations where people have this practice but come out of their prayer closet in an angry mood. That has happened to me. It’s as though I was praying to me, to my needs, to my desires instead of listening to what the Spirit was leading. Coming to the Father without a laundry list of to dos but simply to spend time with Him helps me to not come out of the morning prayer as a white-washed tomb, a selfish time bomb ready to explode on anyone who doesn’t give me what I want. Because this is not about me, but what the Spirit is leading.

So this morning I woke up at 7:20 which is a bit later than I expected – which is to be expected because I went to bed late. Think I told myself earlier this week to get to bed at a decent time? Suppose I should set a clock with bed and wake hours? Maybe.

As for the 31-day challenge goals:

  1. Becoming emotionally healthy, holding love and tenderness in balance with boundaries. Met with a wonderful mom last night to pray for the teens in our school, the coaches, and the other players. She has such a sweet spirit and we are going to look for each other at the games and try to reach out to other parents who also want to see some healthy changes in the basketball venue for the Christian schools.
  2. Reading two books a month and not grazing over 2 and never finishing a book. Listened to “Range” yesterday. “Learning is best done slowly to accumulate lasting knowledge, even if it means performing poorly on tests that monitor progress. The best learning looks inefficient – like falling behind.” Well then we are doing fabulous!!! Ha!  I also read some more from “Boundaries” and it is actually so humbling and empowering at the same time. This is a must read for Everybody.
  3. Staying on target with spending plans in time and money. Only two days left in January and I’m so happy with the progress made. Learning to simply show up, not expecting perfection, just take the next step is empowering. This lesson spills over into every area of life really. As for money, I’ve been logging our expenses each day. This seems to be a system that really works for me. Using an inexpensive 6-column columnar pad allows me to enter the top 6 spending areas where we want to create more discipline (groceries, dining out, entertainment, children’s personal items, fuel, and our personal items). I write the total monthly budget for each area at the top and have plenty of lines to make the daily entries.  I just tally up twice a month. Wish I would have started this YEARS ago! But now is better than never.

Well onto our day! Our son has a home basketball game today so he gets to dress up in a suit when he gets to school. Tomorrow is the game with the other Christian school. Praying for God’s leading and presence to be evident there. He has laid this on our hearts to pray for the basketball teams and we have. We continue expecting great works from Him. Fun times!

Alan is #15