What Matters Most



O Hello and Happy New Year

Did you set up a New Years Resolution? Did you write down an Intention for the year? Did you choose a word for the year – or in my case, did a word choose you? Or is your tree still up, and you’ve said phooey to those New Years things that don’t last ever?

I am starting up again, finding a fresh swing of things, but its taken a while. What I’ve been doing a lot of the past few weeks, even prior to the new year,  is remembering, reflecting, reviewing, observing what last year taught me.  It’s been interesting, revealing actually. I’ve used my journal and calendar from last year.  I’ve let people I love and trust speak into my life to help inform what I will do and won’t do this year.  Using a white board (with all the colored markers – so much fun!),  I put a how-to/how-not-to plan in plain sight.

Have you taken any time at all to remember what happened last year?  Maybe some of that happened if you wrote a  Christmas letter.  I do one each year because I love getting real mail with photos, updates, and clever creative storytelling.  Snail Mail Media vs Social Media. It’s still something that works, something I love.  

I also love doing Caffeinated Woman Live every week, though as I’ve been reviewing and looking forward, the day and time for 2019 were questionable.  What has been clear is that I tend to show up at the last-minute for a lot of life.  And I have most of my life lived that way.  It may not be the best way, or your way, or a way other people want me to live.  It is the way I seem to be wired naturally which means if it’s going to change – and I want it to change – I have to be very intentional & strategic, about changing.  I am positive that people can learn behaviors that do not come naturally.  They require an attitude of willingness, a motivation, a plan for doing things differently, and good ol’ fashioned working at it.  It’s possible to do things differently, but impossible to do things different overnight.  

 Dear friends, if we are going to make resolutions, set goals/intentions, choose a word and live into it, we are setting ourselves up for some level of change.  We need to be clear on why we want to change something,  what we’ve tried before, and what might work for our unique personality and life circumstances if the change is going to happen.  

The reason I didn’t show up and do what I was excited to do last Tuesday on Facebook live is that I didn’t want to slide in at the last-minute, not fully prepared.  And I realized that Tuesdays at 10 are actually not what sets me up for giving you my best.  If you are going to give me 10ish minutes of your week, then I want to give you something that is worth your precious time.  I want to serve you with something of value.  I need time to sift, sort, choose carefully what is the best and set aside what is only good.  

Here’s a little change for me, maybe for you if you watch live.  The Caffeinated Woman will show up Live at lunch on Thursdays.  Of course you can always watch it later because its recorded.  Here’s another little change…If you know anyone who isn’t Facebook friendly but likes to read – I will post the transcript on my blog Crema which can be found at lauradegroot.com.

What I plan to do each week is inspire you to Live Wide Awake – to Wake UP and Pay Attention to your own life and to God who gave it to you. My hope is that you learn to know and love who you are as you know and engage with who God is.   I will meet you with a short story, a Pay-Attention Practice and then I’ll send you on your way with a blessing of favor.  

Understanding our being, loving who we are, participating in the healing and wholeness of our Inward selves will inform our doing, influence our activity and show up in the Outward presentation of ourselves to the world.

People asked Jesus, “What Matters Most?”  Now, if you were in that crowd and heard someone ask that question – are you going to perk up and listen closely?  Maybe write it down word for word?  Possibly start to do what it is Jesus says is most important?

When people asked Jesus – what matters most?, this is what Jesus said:

 “Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and muscle and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others just as much as well as you love yourself.’ (The Message/The Living Bible)  Do this habitually and you will live (Amplified Bible) (luke 10: 27-28)

It is interesting that universally,  New Year’s changes are centered around fitness, food, and finance.  I’ve participated many a first three weeks of January.   What if this year, the one small change you make is to center your intentions around doing What Matters Most according to Jesus:  Loving God with all of  your being.  And what if you set next to that, a choice  to understand, accept, and appreciate who you truly are (loving yourself). Pursuing that resolution has so many life changing consequences.  Knowing and loving God is transforming.  Knowing and loving yourself results in extending understanding, acceptance and appreciation to others.  This is a lifestyle change that you get to engage in your whole lifetime.  It’s worth it, in fact it’s the very most important thing Jesus said there is to lean your life into.  I would like to do that together here this year.  

For this week’s pay attention practice:  put a 20 minute time on your calendar when you can be alone in a quiet place.  If you are the journaling type, bring your journal from 2018.  If you are not a journaling type, bring your calender from 2018.  And bring a spare chair into your space.

Do some deep breaths to help you settle and pray this prayer – Jesus, I’m here because I want to love you and know your crazy wonderful love for me.  Help me see what you want me to see, hear what you want me to hear, understand what I need to understand.   Amen

Set a timer for 10 minutes.  Take that time to look back at your last year (via your journal or calender) and write down what stands out to you.  When the timer ends, set it for a second 10 minutes.  Set the spare chair in front of the place you are sitting.  Using your imagination – see yourself sitting in that chair. Based on what you observed from last year – talk to yourself with encouraging words.  Say it out loud or write it on paper.  

If you have extra time

  1. Set your timer for 10 minutes again.  Using your imagination, see Jesus sitting in the chair across from you.  See him smiling, leaning towards you eager for this conversation.  Know that Jesus wants what is best for you; he is for you; he loves spending time with you.  Listen to what Jesus wants to speak into your life.  Or, talk  to him about your observations from last year and desires for this new year

That’s what I have for you this week.  I’m glad to be back and look forward to what’s ahead.

Here is my blessing for you this week.

May you who have heard the call of Jesus’ love and grace and responded by entering into a union with God – no longer be spectators, no longer simply observe things about Him or talk about him from the sidelines, but instead – Stand Up and lean the full weight of your life onto Jesus, receiving all you can then releasing it back out into the world around you.  

Want to go deeper – here’s an additional Pay-Attention Practice

Read Luke 10: 1-28. What word or phrase stand out?

 Read it a second time putting yourself into the story as one of those who were being sent out with a buddy.  How do you feel about the instructions you are being given by Jesus?

 Read it one more time asking Jesus how this is relevant to your life today.

Want to have coffee with The Caffeinated Woman?

I want to hear from you!  I have a list of questions I’d like to ask you to help me better serve you here at The Caffeinated Woman.  Let’s meet for coffee.  There are three ways:

Simply sign up by clicking this link to choose a time slot that works for you this week Thursday.    You will get an email reminder that we are going to meet together at the time you chose.  This might be unfamiliar, but it’s simple.  Kinda like using Skype!

If that is a stretch, please email me at laura@lauradegroot.com with your phone number and we can set up a time to talk by phone.

Finally, if you live in or near Grand Rapids, let’s set up coffee time in person.  Contact me by email:  laura@lauradegroot.com.

I look forward to hearing all you have to say!

That’s all for now

Laura DeGroot – The Caffeinated Woman

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