Saturday, December 28, 2013

One Word 2013 Recap

The last few years I've chose a "One Word"

Instead of making a resolution for the year, choosing instead to focus on a word that can encompass your daily life and challenge you in many areas throughout the year.

In 2012, my word was JOY. 
After reading Ann's book One Thousand Gifts, I was challenged to seek JOY in the mundane, in the daily tasks, in the hard stuff and in the fun stuff.  My friend made a beautiful wooden JOY sign and it has a prominent place in our home to this day, reminding us to be JOY and to live JOY.

In 2013 my word was CHANGE.
It was a word that scared me, and yet I decided to embrace it, all aspects of it. 
Change in my heart, my thinking and our lives.
Little did I know that soon after choosing that word, our lives would begin changing in many ways, the biggie being with Trev's job and our church 
(when your Senior Pastor up and leaves things get hairy for those on staff) 
I talked about embracing change, the painful change and the exciting change. 
I think my friends blame me for how much change happened in 2013 and I was asked to have "the council" review my word for 2014 ha!

So, what to pick for 2014???

In 2014 my word will be RHYTHM. 

It's no secret life in the ministry is a little bit unsure and a little bit nuts. 
It's also no secret we have three small boys, two of which are twins and a puppy. 
These things can make life a tad chaotic and a little like I'm grasping for breath at any moment.
Something I want to work on this year is creating a RHYTHM.
A RHYTHM in our home, in my life and seeking RHYTHM and consistency where I can to not only help create discipline in my own life, but create a home where there is an ebb and flow.

It's a challenge for me because I'm tired, I am impatient and I'm totally clueless when it comes to these twin almost 3 year olds. 
I'm challenging myself to be purposeful and consistent. 

The council seems to feel it's safe to pick this word, so I'm going with it.

I challenge you to pick a word, something that stretches you a bit in all areas of life and embrace it throughout the year. And write about it. Blog, Journal, Tweet...whatever makes you happy. Don't just let it be for naught. 

You can link up starting in 2014 in a multitude of places, here are a few:

(Melanie also has a free template to use for your own One Word!)

Also, use #oneword #oneword365 on Twitter to follow others joining in!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Bowen Family Christmas Letter Blog Style

Merry Christmas!

Top Highlights of 2013:

Our 10 year Anniversary and trip to Disneyland sans kiddos!
Running my second Marathon and doing it with friends.
Finishing classes for ordination

Going to Haiti with Trades of Hope
Trip to Disneyland with Trev for our 10 year anniversary 
Running a Half-Marathon

Turning 5
Getting a Dog
Playing Soccer

Turning 2
Going to the beach
Going to to Zoo

Turning 2
Sunriver with friends
Learning to ride a trike

Christmas came early for our family last week when we welcomed Sloane into our family!
An 8 week old Black Lab, she has been such a fun addition to the family and the boys are in love!

We hope you have a fabulous Christmas!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Trap

There is a trap we fall into. It happens to everyone, but it seems to be an epidemic among women.

Busy mean good. 
Lots of things going means you care. 
Doing multiple things means that you are investing in others and that it's important. 

It's not true.

My friend Lindsay has been talking and writing about this very topic and I wanted to chime in here on the blog.

Many of us have likes, passions, and gifting in several different places. We also have natural skills that we can use to do many things, and we use them in situations that allow us to adapt, but that doesn't mean we are supposed to be doing it.

We may have good organizational skills, so we find ourselves serving in an area that has us organizing things or people. We do it, and we do it well. It burns us out and doesn't fulfill.

We may have good leadership skills, so we find ourselves in charge of a project or group that we run really well and it's productive....but it doesn't fill our tanks, make us passionate or cause us to wake up that morning and be confident we know we are living the life God intended for us.

I remember feeling like I didn't think I was good at anything. I could do a lot of things fairly well, but I didn't feel I excelled in any one particular area and I dove into so many different ministries and projects trying to figure out what really clicked. 

I would dive in, thinking "well, I like this or that so I can do this!" Only to feel burnt out and bored a few weeks/months into it. I couldn't figure out what was wrong with me. Why can't I keep at it? What is causing me to lose interest after only a little while? I can do it, I'm good at it, but why am I left wanting?

God began to reveal to me that while He created me (us) with many giftings, talents and skills He really has created each of us with something that we are passionate about, something that fulfills us, fills our tank and doesn't burn us out.

I also began to learn, that while things may get dropped in our laps that are exciting and amazing opportunities, we don't have to do them.

Say what?! Someone calls you out of the blue with a fun project, incredible opportunity, fun adventure and I need to say NO!?

You say:
"It made me feel so good they called me"
"This is a great opportunity, I can't say no"
"They need me, they have already asked others"
"I am good at it, I should do it"

Yeah, not so easy, I know....

I had to figure out what really gets me going
What do I know that He has placed on my heart.
What is it that gets me excited?
What did HE create ME for?
Once I figured that out, I had to let everything else go.

Yep, even good things. I had to create margin in my life for the things I KNEW I needed to be pouring myself into, and let the other things go.

Not gonna lie, that isn't easy. Just as I was figuring out what I should be doing, a whole bunch of awesome things got dropped into my lap and I really had to think hard about it. It isn't an easy thing, to say NO. Especially when it's good things you are saying NO to. 

I think it helps set a precedent for others though, saying NO to good things so you can say YES to the awesome things. If more people did this, there would probably be less burnout and less exhausted people running around people pleasing. 

So I began to create the margin, saying no and streamlining things to allow myself the time and space to do what He created me to do.

Say no, to say yes. That's sorta the bottom line. You have to let go of the guilt, the pressure and the expectations others may have and realize that when you do this....this no to good so you can say yes to great- you are living out His purpose for you and living in His will and that is the best place you can be.

Don't fall into the trap. Find out what makes you tick and do that.

 Don't do anything else.