First February ROW80 Check-In

Lady Reading

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Scriptural Motivation for the Week

~ share a verse or brief passage with readers each Sunday

Let’s get started with a verse from one of my favourite books, the book of James.

James 1:17 says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” (ESV).

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Procrastination Goals

There are several things I put off doing for one reason or another. Each week I plan to accomplish 1-3 of these goals.

It was a good week but I have nothing “big”to report in this area.

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Personal Growth Goals

Listen to teaching or read something each week that will result in personal growth.

I began listening to Shaunti Feldhahn’s teaching “For Women Only” on RightNow Media. I’ve been married for over 33 years and have two grown sons. Plus I would number many men among my friends. And yet, I am learning things from this teaching I never knew. Good stuff!

Celebration Goal

~ focus on one amazing thing that happened during the previous week

When Kathy Collard Miller (writer, speaker, and amazing friend) asked if she could re-post my Horrible Housekeeper quiz, I did a happy dance. So cool! 

Spiritual Goals

Digging into God’s Word and spending time in prayer daily are at the top of my list.

I decided to go through the book of James a third time. There is such a wealth of knowledge in only five brief chapters.

Inkwell

Writing Goals

~ three devotionals per week for HopeStreamRadio

The plan is to be on track by February 12.

~ one book review per month for HSR

Since I’m actively reading thirteen books, I have lots of fodder … now just to make the time.

~ Deb’s book proposal (to be completed by mid-February at the latest)

I’ve begun to make some serious progress. Deb and I Skyped on Friday to discuss the next step on our writing journey. We talked about how great it would be to get away on a writers’ retreat. Maybe some day.

~ posts for this blog and my website

I would like to schedule for a month at a time (minus ROW80 check-ins) so I don’t have to cut back on the number of times I post per week.

~ guest posts for Christian Editing Services, Kimberley Payne, InScribe, Janet Sketchley, and the InScribe Professional Blog

Guest posting … one of my most favouritest things.

Keyboarding 2

Editing Goals

~ keep up with my current projects

I hope to get a ton accomplished this coming week. I start my job at the church Tuesday, February 16.

Training

Skills Development Goals

~ listen to at least one COMPEL Training podcast each week

I’ll be adding this to my Friday To Do list once I start work as the church admin.

~ participate in the COMPEL FB group (Check out the Friday Five posts on Mrs. Disciple’s blog.)

I will have to pare down my participation some, but I intend to continue as an active group member.

Book and Lilacs

Reading Goals

~ read from fiction and nonfiction books Friday, Saturday, and Sunday

I won’t have as much time for reading during the week, but I will go back to my plan to read on the weekends.

Meeting Online

ROW80 Sponsor Goals

~ visit my ROW80 peeps once or twice per week

I still plan to visit on Mondays and Thursdays.

Woman and Barbell

Fitness Goals

~ incorporate one new healthy habit per month

I certainly won’t be able to munch while working at the church, but I will have to be more deliberate about getting in those workouts.

What exciting new things are on your horizon?

Do Everything

Now there’s a blog post title that may send you running in the opposite direction, but give me just a couple of minutes. More accurately, give Steven Curtis Chapman a couple of minutes.

Some of you may find the graphics delightful. Others may find them a little distracting; if that’s the case, simply listen to the words. So real. So encouraging.

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17 ESV).

Last January ROW80 Check-In

Lady Reading

Celebration Goal

~ focus on one amazing thing that happened during the previous week

I received a copy of Dragonflies, Snowdrifts & Spice Cake by Tandy Balson in the mail this past week. And she included this in the dedication: “To my amazing editor, Steph Beth Nickel. You skillfully polished my words, provided valuable advice and in the process became a trusted friend.” Wow! Just wow!

Spiritual Goals

Digging into God’s Word and spending time in prayer daily are at the top of my list.

I am learning much by going through the book of James yet again.

Inkwell

Writing Goals

~ three devotionals per week for HopeStreamRadio

It is my goal to get on track before I start working at the church mid-February.

~ one book review per month for HSR

February perhaps?

~ Deb’s book proposal (to be completed by mid-February at the latest)

I have to buckle down and get this done.

~ posts for this blog and my website

It would be good if I could schedule more posts.

~ guest posts for Christian Editing Services, Kimberley Payne, InScribe, Janet Sketchley, and the InScribe Professional Blog

On track … yay!

Keyboarding 2

Editing Goals

~ keep up with my current projects

Things are going well in this department. In fact, my clients are a huge encouragement; they’re so appreciative.

Training

Skills Development Goals

~ listen to at least one COMPEL Training podcast each weekday

I’m glad I’ve listened to the archived podcasts. It will be easier to stay up-to-date when I start working as our church administrator.

~ participate in the COMPEL FB group (Check out the Friday Five posts on Mrs. Disciple’s blog.)

I love hanging out with the ladies on FB. I have yet to make it a regular habit to pop over to Mrs. Disciple’s blog.

Book and Lilacs

Reading Goals

~ read from fiction and nonfiction books Friday, Saturday, and Sunday

I’m reading a fair amount throughout the week. Loving it!

Meeting Online

ROW80 Sponsor Goals

~ visit my ROW80 peeps once or twice per week

Yepper

Woman and Barbell

Fitness Goals

~ incorporate one new healthy habit per month

Cleaning the church is making a difference … and that’s a good thing.

How are things going in your little corner of creation?

Clutter Header

Re-Post of Horrible Housekeeper Quiz

I first shared this here in January 2012. I first wrote it for my Horrible Housekeeper blog before that.

It’s just a little tongue-in-cheek humour going into the weekend. Enjoy!

Instead of vacuuming, washing dishes, or doing laundry, you can take this quiz. (If you rush to do those things – or if you’ve already done them today – I can tell you now, you are NOT a horrible housekeeper.)

For each A, you score 3 points. For each B, 2 points. And for each C, 1 point. (You can keep track on that scrap of paper that is sure to be within arms length – if you really are an HH.)

1. How often do you vacuum? A. I don’t know where my vacuum is. B. At least once a month. C. When I’m having company.

2. How about dusting? A. I’m getting a jump start on my Halloween decorating. B. Who needs to dust? There are no flat surfaces visible anyway. C. When I’m having company.

3. When do you consider the dishes “done”? A. When there are no more left to put food on. B. When they’re in the kitchen. C. When they’re soaking in dishwater.

4. Describe your ironing habits. A. I don’t understand the question. B. I do it so rarely, my family is afraid of the ironing board. C. If I’m attending a wedding, I might iron my outfit. Okay, so if I’m in the wedding, I might iron my outfit.

5. Finish this old adage: A place for everything … A. … but I have no idea where that is. B. … and nothing in its place. C. … and that would be stuffed in the spare room.

6. Where do you keep your off-season clothes? A. The same place they’ve always been – the floor, the laundry basket, etc. B. Stuffed in a drawer. C. I shove them to the back of the closet.

7. What’s the first thing you do when you bring the groceries home? A. Debate whether it’s cold enough to leave them in the car. B. Collapse on the couch while someone else brings them in and puts them away. C. Take them to the kitchen and put away the perishables.

8. How do you organize your books? A. Remember what I said about no available flat surfaces? B. The ones I’m not currently reading are on the shelf. The ones I am reading could be anywhere. C. They’re on the shelves—in no particular order.

9. Thinking ahead, what is on your Spring Cleaning To Do list? A. Make a list. B. Hire a maid. C. Dust and vacuum.

10. At what point do you look around and let out a big sigh of relief? A. When quizzes like this are over. B. When you go back to thinking about anything except housework. C. When you find a chair to collapse into in your living room.

If you score 25-30, you get to join the ranks of Truly Horrible Housekeepers.

If you score 20-24, you earn the title of Horrible Housekeeper. Keep trying—or is that stop trying—and you can improve your score.

If you score from 10-19, there’s still hope.

If you score under 10, I graciously thank you for reading this post even though it is clearly not about you in the least.

Thanks to Pixabay for the header. That way I didn’t have to share a shot of my own horrible housekeeping.

Eagle

Free2Share

Are you a blogger? Are you brave? Would you like to share your first ever blog post with us? (If so, please include a link in the comments.)

Below is my poem “And So It Begins,” which went live on June 27, 2010, on my blog free2soar.

Free to soar …

Untethered.

Riding the currents high above the ground

Like a magnificent hot air balloon

Or an eagle gliding effortlessly.

While I soar …

Do I unwittingly send others plummeting to the ground?

Do I entangle them in ropes that hinder their flight?

Or do I simply leave them where they are?

Grounded.

As this adventure takes to the sky,

May we all fly a little higher

And help others do the same.

… they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31, ESV).

January 24 ROW80 Check-In

Lady Reading

Celebration Goal

~ focus on one amazing thing that happened during the previous week

While waiting for a friend to be moved to her room after surgery, I read and read and read. It was great. (And her surgery went well, which is far more important.)

Spiritual Goals

Digging into God’s Word and spending time in prayer daily are at the top of my list.

I’m seeing the significance of familiar scripture verses in context in a fresh new light.

Inkwell

Writing Goals

~ three devotionals per week for HopeStreamRadio

By January 24, I hope to be on schedule. Let’s make that next weekend.

~ one book review per month for HSR

There’s still one more week in the month. It can happen.

~ Deb’s book proposal (to be completed by mid-February at the latest)

This past week did not unfold exactly as expected, but I have to make this a priority.

~ posts for this blog and my website

I spent ages listening to songs, looking for some to share with readers. I’m thinking of starting a favourites series on Monday that includes more than just songs.

~ guest posts for Christian Editing Services, Kimberley Payne, InScribe, Janet Sketchley, and the InScribe Professional Blog

I have two guest posts to write this coming week.

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Editing Goals

~ keep up with my current projects

I’m getting pretty close to completing one project and have taken on yet another, which is coming together quickly. I soon have to devote far more time to the fantasy novel I’ve been working on for a third client. (I did fire off another chapter on Saturday and that is a very good thing.)

Training

Skills Development Goals

~ listen to at least one COMPEL Training podcast each weekday

I will listen to the one new podcast posted each week now that I’ve listened to all those on the website.

~ participate in the COMPEL FB group (Check out the Friday Five posts on Mrs. Disciple’s blog.)

I love this group … so supportive.

Book and Lilacs

Reading Goals

~ read from fiction and nonfiction books Friday, Saturday, and Sunday

I’m making significant headway in several books. Yay!

Meeting Online

ROW80 Sponsor Goals

~ visit my ROW80 peeps once or twice per week

I look forward to cheering you on, peeps.

Woman and Barbell

Fitness Goals

~ incorporate one new healthy habit per month

I’ve still got six weeks to work through Fit for Faith. I best buckle down and do better. At least cleaning the church is making a significant difference. Cool!

What are you celebrating this week?

Measuring Our Worth

I am thrilled to have Ashley Geist-Cusick guest posting today. Ashley and I “met” through COMPEL Training.

Take it away, Ashley …

Why is it that our self-worth is sometimes so deeply and directly connected to how productive we are? I believe in hard work, sticking with something until finished and persevering to and through goals, but at what point does our attachment to achievement become toxic?

I’ve noticed that I am very hard on myself when I’m not producing.  I need to be making money, choreographing, writing, cleaning, working, or achieving some sort of goal to feel good.  None of those activities are bad, humans are designed to work, think, and improve our surroundings, but when we base our worth and self-concept on these activities, we miss the point of living and get hurt in the process.

Why do we not celebrate days spent at rest like we celebrate and applaud days spent working or accomplishing tasks? It is rare and precious to hear anyone say, “I enjoyed a refreshing day of rest. I took a nap, exercised, and read a good book; it was much needed and wonderful.” Instead, we hear, “My day was great, I got a lot done!”  or “Well, I didn’t get as much done as I wanted to, but I guess I needed to rest.” (Yes, I am frequently guilty of these last two!)

Why is it that we treat our bodies as machines and are annoyed when we need a break to recharge? Even our electronics need to recharge! I am embarrassed to say I’ve felt bad about being sick. You can wash your hands until they are raw and eat oranges until the cows come home, but we are humans. We are living beings, and the fact is that bodies get sick.

Being sick at different times in my life has shown me that our true value lies in who we are and not on our busyness or how much we can make, do, or produce in a day’s time. Our value lies within our character, our integrity, and our ability to give and receive love.

When I had the West Nile Virus and wasn’t able to accomplish much in the ways of work or expended energy, I learned that I could still be a good listener. I could still encourage. I could share love with others. I could pray. I could do the best that I could and be grateful for that much each day.

I sometimes forget those lessons and need to reflect and be reminded. I am thankful for my work, I enjoy it and do it with gladness, but the most important parts of our journey through life are the lives touched and the love given, and those two things are immeasurable.

As always, your feedback is welcome & appreciated!

Ashley is the director of a Lutheran campus ministry organization, a fine arts instructor specializing in dance and piano lessons, and the owner of her own small business as a Mary Kay Beauty Consultant. Ashley has been blogging for about two years and enjoys world travel, service work & trips with her college students, reading, cooking, and spending lots of time with her precious family, friends, and fur babies! Check out her blog at quipsandtips.wordpress.com