Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Dear Ladies,
I hope you had a WONDERFUL Christmas!  I will be writing to you in a day or so about our new study coming up on January 3rd, but I want to pass on to you an e- letter from Valorie Burton that was in my email this morning.  This is a wonderful read AND will get our minds thinking in the right direction for the subject matter in our new study.  Over the next week, please pray and ask God to reveal to you some of the "stuck" places in your life. It would be good to come to study with an idea of where God is prompting you in your own specific circumstances. I will be doing this as well--I am going to take advantage of my break from school and work to spend some extra quiet time, listening to Him.  We were encouraged to do this through our "More than Just a Good Bible Study Girl" study, and  its a great segue into what we will do next.

Much love to all of you!  I know it's the morning after a very hectic few days, but I hope as the week goes on you will be able to begin thinking about what is next for you in God's purpose and plan for your life ( read Valorie's #3 below!).

Merry Christmas! 

Dear Friends,
I pray this Christmas will be blessed, joyful and peaceful for you. As we celebrate the birth of Jesus, please remember the reason for the season! We are near the end of another year and I thought this would be a great time to pose five important questions for you. We become wiser when we ask ourselves the right questions and discover answers that focus us in the right direction. The right questions can offer you an opportunity to grow and consider better possibilities for your life. Over the next week, ponder these important five questions as you close out yet another year.
1. What is the biggest lesson God has offered me over the last year?  When we take time to learn the lessons that our trials and triumphs teach us, God is able to mold our character and use us in greater ways. When you ignore the lessons of life, you often find yourself repeating the same mistakes and enduring the same challenges time and time again.

2. What is my "divine assignment" at this stage of my life?  Our purpose can transform over a lifetime. In order to remain in synch with God's timing and purposes, we must seek His "assignment" in the various seasons of our lives.

3. This time next year, what would I like to see different in my life? In other words, what's my vision?  You need a vision for where you are going in the coming year. No matter how insignificant you think your life is, God wants you to be deliberate about setting goals and moving forward. God's word tells us to "write the vision and make it plain" (Habakkuk 3:2). That means we should write it down and make it clear and specific. Don't overwhelm yourself with a lot of "New Year's resolutions." Instead, choose something meaningful, even if it is a seemingly small change, and take deliberate steps forward.

4. What have I been procrastinating about?  Putting off goals and things that God has laid on your heart to do is stressful. Fear is often the culprit and the New Year is a great time to ask yourself if it is time to get unstuck and pursue certain goals or drop them altogether, thus freeing yourself from the burden of an incomplete task hanging over your head.

5. How could I make more of a positive difference in the lives of others in the next 12 months?  Our lives really aren't about us. They are about the purpose for which we were created. What is it that you'd like to do by this time next year that will impact others in a meaningful and positive way?

My challenge to you this week:
Be reflective this week and notice what you've learned and what you've accomplished this year. Celebrate your progress.

Journaling assignment:   
Answer each of the five questions posed this week. Is there an important shift or change you need to make as a result of the lessons and events of your life in 2011.

Merry Christmas!   
Valorie's Signature

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