Start somewhere. This is probably the best advice I ever have to offer, and it seems like the best place to “get back on the horse” with the blog.
I know I’m not alone as a person who gets overwhelmed by all the things that end up on my to-do list. Sometimes that’s a self-inflicted wound because I take on too much. Sometimes it’s an uphill battle against perfectionism and depression.
When things feel too big to even be possible, I just start somewhere. There’s the old saying that the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time, or the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Pick your favorite metaphor, and just start small.
The elephant I’m probably struggling with the most right now is decluttering, so I’ve been applying the “start somewhere” motto to it. It’s not fast work for me, but every time I walk into a mess, I just pick a spot and start working from there. If that even feels too big, I set a timer for 15 minutes and give myself permission to take a break if I work through the timer.
Whatever elephant you’re trying to eat, I have no shortcuts for the actual work. But I do know that the only way to tackle it is to start somewhere and just work through each step as it comes. I know that makes it sound very simple, but simple doesn’t always mean easy. Sometimes simple is ridiculously hard, and that’s okay. Most of the time the hardest part of the work is just getting started.
The last month or so has been a bit of a dry season for me, and I have been in need of some doodling therapy.
I love Johanna Basford’s coloring books and tutorials, and she’s a lovely person to watch for inspiration. A simple flower wreath seemed like a great way to lighten up a page and the current funk in my brain. Check out Johanna’s site here. You can even get a free coloring book download if you sign up for her emails (which are wonderful).
And when sins have been forgiven, there is no need to offer any more sacrifices.
Hebrews 10:18 NLT
Write this verse out several times. You may want to play with the font and create a lettering design, but spend time writing this verse over and over. Let your fingers work through this thought as you meditate on the verse today.
I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep. I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd.
John 10:14-16 NLT
Write a paragraph or two to describe Jesus as the good shepherd from a sheep’s perspective. What does the sheep know about Jesus from following his lead? What characteristics does the sheep appreciate about Jesus? What makes Jesus such a good shepherd compared to other shepherds?
This is what the Lord says – the Lord who made the earth, who formed and established it, whose name is the Lord: Ask me and I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come.
Jeremiah 33:2-3 NLT
“Go ahead, ask me.” God repeatedly tells his people to ask, and he will give us incredible things when our hearts are in tune with his: knowledge, wisdom, daily bread, grace, the desires of our hearts… What do you want to ask God? What remarkable things would you like to learn? Write down five “interview” questions you have for God.
One day some people said to Jesus, “John the Baptist’s disciples fast and pray regularly, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees. Why are your disciples always eating and drinking?” Jesus responded, “Do wedding quests fast while celebrating with the groom? Of course not. But someday the groom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.”
Luke 5:33-35 NLT
Jesus is the bridegroom of the church, and in this passage, he alludes to his role as the groom. While Jesus was present with his disciples, they didn’t fast; they celebrated his presence. When we are in the presence of Jesus at the wedding feast of the Lamb, we will no longer fast. Imagine what the feast table will look like, and write a paragraph or two to describe the scene.
Let us be glad and rejoice, and let us give honor to him. For the time has come for the wedding feast of the Lamb, and his bride has prepared herself. She has been given the finest of pure white linen to wear. For the fine linen represents the good deeds of God’s holy people.
Revelation 19:7-8 NLT
We the Church are the bride of Christ, and the bride’s dress at the wedding feast of the Lamb is made of pure white linen that represents the good deeds of the church. Draw a dress that you imagine the bride of Christ would be wearing on the wedding day. How would you represent the good deeds done by the church?
Accept my prayer as incense offered to you, and my upraised hands as an evening offering.
Psalm 141:2 NLT
Our prayer is an offering to God. As you pray today, draw an incense censer, and fill it with some key words from your prayers. While you pray over those things, draw the smoke of the incense coming up from each request as a symbol of them rising to God.
Abraham was, humanly speaking, the founder of our Jewish nation. What did he discover about being made right with God? If his good deeds had made him acceptable to God, he would have had something to boast about. But that was not God’s way. For the scriptures tell us, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” When people work, their wages are not a gift, but something they have earned. But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners.
Romans 4:1-5 NLT
We learn through the law and scripture that it is not humanly possible to work our way to righteousness in God’s eyes. We can be counted as righteous and holy only because of our faith in Jesus who forgives us. Look at yourself through the filter of God’s forgiveness. Who are you in Christ? List three attributes you have in Christ. Use those three things to write a poem of thanksgiving for God’s mercy.