What Do You Want Your Life To Look Like?

What do you want your life to look like?

Often instead of focusing on what we would like our life to look like, we focus on what is wrong with our lives.
We say things like:
My house is a mess.
I really need to lose this weight.
I should do some laundry.
I need to have a quiet time in the morning before the kids get up.

Even if all of those things are true, thinking of them in the negative only stresses us more. Instead of thinking “I am more than a conqueror” or “I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency” we begin to think “I can’t” or “I’ll never have the life I want.” No one wants to live there.

Change your Mindset


Although I can’t promise the exercise I’m going to prescribe will make all of your obstacles go away, I do know it can help you change your mindset. With a more positive mindset, it’s easier to pursue your purpose. Remember yesterday, we spilled our dreams onto paper? Today’s exercise will help you visualize what that looks like in real everyday life so you can start working towards that vision. I’m not talking about some hokey pokey incantations and incense burning. I’m talking about imagining your perfect day and writing it down. The first time I tried this exercise, I was still homeschooling and trying to make the days as efficient, effortless, and educational as possible. That’s saying a lot, I know. But if we aim for nothing except surviving, that’s all we will do.


Nobody wants to just survive.


It had been my God-sized dream to homeschool. I was doing it! The only problem was – my vision and my reality weren’t synonymous. They were opposites. I decided to give writing down what I wanted my life to look like a try.
My perfect day looked pretty simple.
I wake early, make coffee, have Bible study time before the kids get up. I make breakfast for the kids and we eat at the table. We have fifteen minutes of chore time before we start school. We do Bible study and other group subjects together first. We have a snack together at 10 am. Then we divide into individual subjects.

I won’t share the whole day. You get the picture. The point is writing down what my perfect day looked like gave me something to aim for. Many times we just get up and hope that things will happen on their own and we beat ourselves up when they don’t. Then we feel powerless and as if we have failed. How can we say we failed when we don’t even know what we are aiming for?

“Do what you love, and you’ll stop being your own worst enemy.”

– Tommy Newberry, Success is Not an Accident

Don’t confuse what you love with entertainment. What you love is living your purpose today and doing it in the best way possible. Living your purpose starts with writing down what it looks like on a day to day basis.
Take the intersection of what you wrote yesterday with what you imagine your perfect day looks like (realistically) and write it down.
Don’t stress about goals and objectives just yet!

Brainstorm Your Dreams/Vision

Brainstorm Your Dreams/Passion

If you read and did yesterday’s assignment, you’ll have at least one of your passions pinpointed. Today, I’m going to list some questions to help you do some brainstorming. Brainstorming is a no-judgment activity. When brainstorming your passion, write down your ideas no matter how crazy they sound!


“How you see yourself on the inside sets the ceiling for what God can do with you on the outside. Your life here on earth is your special, unrepeatable opportunity to magnify the greatness God has placed within you.”

Tommy Newberry, Success is Not an Accident


We are designed to have a deep sense of purpose. When we live contrary to design, we end up feeling frustrated and lost. The problem is, most of us don’t take the time to dream. We don’t take the time to write or speak what we are called to do. We can get so caught up in living other people’s God-sized dreams that we don’t even acknowledge our own.


Here’s an example from my own life. I dug out an old journal to find this just for you!

You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you and I have appointed and placed and purposefully planted you, so that you would go and bear fruit and keep on bearing, and that your fruit will remain and be lasting, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name [as My representative] He may give to you.

– John 15:16

“Thank you for your Word. Thank you for the word “steadfast” (my word of the year in 2017). Thank you that even though my body is tired from this new schedule, I can remain steadfast and form new habits that make things more manageable… Thank you that this whole thing -writing-is not about me or how much I can do or how organized I can be, it’s about You, Your plan, Your ways.”

I was in a major transition in 2017. My homeschooling career had come to an end and I was transitioning into becoming an author. I had a new purpose but it took my habits a while to change. My body had to adjust to my new purpose. If you are wondering if I stayed the course, yes, I have. I wake up early to write with no problem now.

If I can do it, you can. Take some time today and brainstorm your dreams! (Don’t worry about goals and objectives right now, just dream!!) Below are the questions I promised to get you started!

What have you secretly always wanted to pursue?
What is the one activity you immerse yourself and lose all track of time?
What does your heart yearn to do more of?

*This one may take some quiet time. Block out what you see on social media or even what your church friends are doing. Looking at what others are doing can cloud our vision. Step away, find somewhere quiet, and be honest with yourself.

Plan Out Your Vision/Goals Through Journaling

*Week 2 of a month of journaling

“Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.”

-Psalm 127: 1

Before we even start with this week’s topic, I wanted to share the scripture above. Planning a vision isn’t about exotic vacation homes or thousand dollar purses. It’s about what your purpose on this earth is. It’s about building a life that will bless others. Having a God-sized dream is all about God, not us. He has given us gifts, talents (see Matthew 25: 14- 30), and life experiences. He wants to use them in a specific way. This also doesn’t mean you’re going to be Insta famous (unless God wants you to). This is all about where ministry, mission, and motivation all intersect. Think about this for a moment. With no time constraints, financial constraints, or health issues, what would you do? I’m not talking about vegging in front of the tv, I mean what would you work at? What excites you? Home design? Baking? Photography? Writing. Homeschooling? Organization? Running a food pantry? What is the thing you do which makes you lose all track of time because you are so into it? This can be different for each season of your life. And here’s the kicker, it should be something that lines up with the Word of God. Right now, where do you park your passion? Take a moment and write down the answer.

What Does “Chosen-ness” Look Like in Daily Life?

If you missed the first post in this series, start here.

You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you and I have appointed you [I have planted you], that you might go and bear fruit and keep on bearing, and that your fruit may be lasting [that it may remain, abide], so that whatever you ask the Father in My Name [as [a]presenting all that I Am], He may give it to you.

John 15:16

 Instead of accepting, acknowledging our chosen-ness we sometimes are like the toddler who lost his grasp on his helium balloon who walks around, head down, searching for it while it floats on the ceiling. Our chosen-ness is there, up there in God, not down here on earth in taking spa days and having luxury cars. When we put our self-worth in those, yes, it’s going to fail us and make us miserable. We cannot have self-worth without God-worth, that’s the way God created us. 

The Donut Man said it best. “Life without Jesus is like a donut ‘cause there is a hole in the middle of your heart.” Instead of focusing on choosing to fill our hearts and lives with Jesus, we may walk around empty and stuffing that hole with whatever we think will build our self-esteem. And we will fail. EVERY TIME.

What does “chosen” look like in daily life?

If you read all of John 15, there are some startling revelations about what it looks like to live chosen. First of all, a sign of being chosen is we bear fruit. As I apply this to my own life, I realize that if I’m not bearing fruit in the purpose God created me for, then I’m going to wither up and be miserable.

Being chosen means getting pruned. Have you ever used pruning shears to prune a bush or tree? You’re cutting parts off. Sometimes it means cutting little new growth called suckers. These suckers sometimes grow at the base of shrub and suck out nutrients before they get to the top of the plant. They are “wick” as Mary says in The Secret Garden but they are actually life sucking. Not life giving. Being chosen looks like pruning all the things out of my life that do not bear good fruit whether they seem “wick” or not.

I may be jumping around in the chapter a bit, just bear with me (get is? bear fruit, bear with me?) Another important sign of our chosen-ness is we “abide” or “dwell” with God. When I think of the word dwell, I think live. We live with God . We invite Him in to all parts of our lives. We depend on Him in all situations. He is our source. Our life-line. Sometime we fight our life-line like those times when I was in labor and I fought the oxygen mask because I was focusing so much on surviving the pain. We must remember, apart from Him, cut off from Him, we can do nothing. He is our oxygen. When our version of self-care cuts off our union with God, we will lead fruitless lives that don’t effect eternity in positive ways. Our treasure will be here on earth amassing material things or coddling earthly bodies that age, wrinkle , and pass away.

Your essence (who you really are and Were created to be) vs your personality (the armor you adopt to protect yourself in a broken world).

Your essence is the part that is made in the image of God. Essence is the part that is fearfully and wonderfully made. It’s the part God sees and loves and says is good.

Then we, adapting to a broken world filled with broken people, adopt a personality that puts up a barrier between us and God, and us and others, and us and our essence. And it causes all sorts of problems until we make our way back to our essence and live from there instead of from our personality. We end up looking for the balloon in other ways. We define and defend our personality instead of going back to our essence and our chosen-ness.

Chosen is not self-serving, it’s Christ serving.

It’s probably our own fault but when Christians begin speaking of self-care and chosen-ness, we get the wrong mental picture. We picture ourselves on a massage table being served fruit-flavored sparkling water. It’s okay to do those things, it’s not what chosen means. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Chosen as a daughter of the king means we serve the king. We serve others. Not ourselves. 

In my short minds-eye vision of being a child and coming to the table (I shared here), being chosen means accepting the invitation to dwell with God. It means accepting the invitation to enter the conversation with other family members in the body of Christ. For me it means writing this post. It means writing and speaking the words God has put on my heart instead of shrinking back and thinking I’m an afterthought and no one wants/needs to hear what I have to say. I’m not sure what it means for you. I encourage you to think about it. To pray about it. Have some thoughts on your chosen-ness? Feel free to share in the comments!

* Kristin collaborated on this post, specifically the section on essence! Thanks Kristin, our conversations always stimulate deeper thoughts and good words!

My Word for 2020

I started choosing a word a year many years ago because some friends told me about it. Actually, God chose it for me. Some years it took months for me to hear it. Some years I tried to reason it out of existence. The word would sneak into my thoughts again. The word would suddenly appear in my Bible reading, in conversations,  and on signs. Then I wrote it down in my journal. (You can read about last year’s word here). About four years ago, I found out Debbie Macomber wrote a book –

ONE PERFECT WORD: ONE WORD CAN MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE

I checked out of the library on cd and listened to it on a solo trip to South Carolina. I had lots of “aha” moments during the listen and wished I could write and drive. If you are wondering what all this “Word of the Year” stuff is, I recommend you read or listen to her book! On to my word. 

My Word for 2020

In September I attended Winsome Retreat for women at White Sulphur Springs. I really needed some time with the Lord. My stress level was on overload. I needed to make some drastic decisions or my body would go into full-on CFS crash mode. I’ve been there before (almost bedridden) several times. I know the signs. 

My problem? I like to work. Really. I do. I like to do good things that help people. I like to do ALL the things. What happens is I treat life like a buffet, I put all the good things on my plate, I try to do them all well and I get sick. Literally. Then one by one or all at once, I have to quit, I have to scrape all the things into the metaphorical trash.  My body crashes. 

My Vision

I was really hoping for an angel appearance at the retreat. I wanted an angel to show up and read a list of items to “scrape off my plate” followed by a “thou shalt do this.” I didn’t get one. What I did get was a tiny vision in my minds-eye during a worship session. I was suddenly a freckle-faced toe-headed little girl with my hair sticking out on the sides. The table was laden with food and adults were sitting around it. I heard a voice say, “Act like you are chosen, come to the table.” I walked to the table and climbed up on a stool. I was grinning. That’s it. 

As I drove home, I kept thinking of the word chosen as I listened to Taylor Leonhardt’s “Diamonds.” Here are some of the lyrics:

Shadows can speak louder than anything

And you believe the lies they’re saying

You are not an afterthought, love himself dreamed you up

Dressed you in diamonds, called you his star

Been hiding all this time, your hands over your eyes

I see you, darling, you have my heart

Not good enough, that’s what you tell yourself

Invisible, nobody notices

You are not an afterthought, love himself dreamed you up

Dressed you in diamonds, called you his star

Been hiding all this time, your hands over your eyes

I see you, darling, you have my heart

I see you darling

You’re a precious thought hidden in the heart of God

How good it is to know you

You became a word none of us had ever heard

How good it is to know you, how good it is to know you

I cried as I listened to “Diamonds” over and over the hills and around the mountains. I often think of myself as an afterthought and truth be told, I hide behind work. 

With all this talk about self-esteem and the Christians yelling things on social media, “Don’t talk about self-care or self-love, just talk about Jesus.”

Before you pick up a stone and pelt me with it, may I point out that being chosen was God’s idea. Not man’s. The whole reason we live and breathe on this blue and green orb is that God chose to create us. He chose to love us. He chose to adopt us as His own because it was his kind intent.

Even as [in His love] He chose us [actually picked us out for Himself as His own] in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy (consecrated and set apart for Him) and blameless in His sight, even above reproach, before Him in love.

For He foreordained us (destined us, planned in love for us) to be adopted (revealed) as His own children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the purpose of His will [[a]because it pleased Him and was His kind intent]—

– Ephesians 1: 4,5


I’ll end with the above Scripture which is one of my favorites! Make sure you read it a few times and let it soak in. Did you chose a word for 2020? Feel free to share it in the comments! Join me here next time for “What Chosen-ness Looks Like in Daily Life.”