One Thing This New Year {Making our Mark}


Friends, I wonder…do I live each day with my mark in sight? Do I stay focused on where I’m going instead of where I’ve been? Do I keep my eye on the prize as I plan and prepare for what this year might provide?

Like Paul, have I made Jesus the master of my own life?

This New Year, as I mark up the calendar, as I make plans or resolutions or what have you. As I face what 2014 throws my way, I want to make sure I don’t miss my mark.

And I’m over at 5 Minutes For Faith talking about this very thing. I’d love to see you there, just click on the button below!

Thanks for sharing you time with me.

Simply striving,


The Calendar {Our Space to Create}

Cem ~ Greg Abel Photography

I stare at the empty squares until they blur from one to the next. We’re already days into the Calendar and yet, mine sits empty. Waiting to be filled out and hung where I see it most.

And it’s so crisp and clean and I’m trying to convince myself the only reason I don’t want to fill it out is because it’s time-consuming and mundane.

Yet a part of me just likes the view. With nothing to see but the image above…

Last year, I ended up with a calendar that had delightful pictures and wonderful Bible verses to focus on each month, but the squares were super small for each day. One thing listed and my day would look full. I grew to like it. Then, I grew to write in code so I could fit more on…

But the pictures…I never got over them.

This year, I found one that took my breath with each page. The images displayed captivated my soul as I saw beauty in the simplest of earth. If one can call the creation of this planet simple. Like we could even begin to comprehend how intricate a rolling hill covered in snow really is.

My heart has been lingering on this verse lately and I’m not sure why.

You are the Lord, You alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and You preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships You.
Nehemiah 9:6

To think. The same One who made all that we’ve ever known…The same One who designed universes we have yet to fully understand. The same One who conceived a place of no mourning or pain…is after me.

Even the one blessed to be the Host of Heaven sees He is worthy of our praise.

And as I look at glory filtered through light grazing these landscapes captured. As I fill these squares below, determining my everyday, may I never forget.

2013 has beauty to behold. Each day, I can make a point to capture the very essence of Him. Lingering on His face should remain my number one priority.

It is I who gets to create the atmosphere of worship. Me alone.

I hang the calendar up just as it is. And I’m certain I will fill some days with pertinent information. But for now, I’ve seen all I need to see.

I’m His. He’s mine. And His glory invades if I create space.

How about you, friend? How do you focus on His face? How do you create an atmosphere of worship in your everyday? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,


Linking with Emily and the beautiful Imperfect Prose family.
Today’s topic was: CREATE. Stop by and see what other hearts have created.

My One Word

It seems this book I’m reading is dictating my posts for this week…
As it should. It’s encouraging me to stretch myself. To strive further.

I’ve seen a number of blogs dedicate a year to one word. One purposeful word to describe what they’re striving towards for the coming year. I remember reading THIS POST last year challenging readers to pick one word for their entire family to strive towards. Twitter has been buzzing lately with others finalizing their one word and I must admit, I had decided this was one challenge I could never do.

I’m indecisive, friends. Big time.

But I can’t get it out of my head. My journal is filling with one word sentences.Words like Grace, Joy, Present, Focus, Glory, Driven, Faithful, Steadfast, Praise, Thankful and Seeking adorn the margins

and I have determined I must choose.
One word to encapsulate what I’m striving for in 2012.

At first I had settled on Present. Yes, that would be my word. For that’s what I’m striving to be each day. But I felt a nudge to go further. I can do more than be present.

During my devotions the other day I was reminded of a sermon I heard awhile back on these verses:

Philippians 3:10-14

10 I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, 11 so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead! 12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

And there, in the margin, were my old sermon notes. Words I needed to read this day.

You see, the sermon was about how Paul lived life with a definite decision (vs 12). He decided Jesus was the best one to master his life. He chose to live accordingly. Paul also lived with a determined priority (vs 13). He decided one thing to set his priorities on: Focusing ahead towards The One mastering his life while not being deterred by the past (vs 13).

For if you don’t learn to deal with your past, it will determine your future.

It seems, based on my notes in my Bible, I summarized the sermon to say:

You must be decisive
or you will live your life by default.  

You’ll miss your mark


And those that know me well know I struggle with this. I struggle with being decisive. With not living by default–going with the flow. Why, look at how I almost passed over this opportunity of choosing my one primary thing I will strive for in 2012.

Yes, this will be the year I will focus on fixing this. I will be:


I want to live on purpose. I want to make it count.
With my eyes fixed on the prize.

After all, God made me with a plan in mind. Big plans — that make a difference in this current life I’m living. I can’t pass by the opportunity to glorify Him and reveal what He has in mind for me.

So I will be intentional in my:

  • Relationships
  • Homemaking
  • Parenting
  • Blogging
  • Eating
  • Budgeting
  • Planning
  • Comings and Goings

I will not find comfort in saying “I don’t care” or “I don’t know” or “whatever you think is best.” No. I will remain focused on the goal and contribute.

Yes. I have decided. I will be intentional. And share my journey with you along the way.

How about you? Any tips for me?
If you chose one word to strive towards for the new year, what would it be? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,


UPDATE: To read how I have been striving to accomplish this, you can read THESE POSTS.

Am linking up to:

Blogging Resolve

The New Year is approaching fast and I am determined to make it count.

I have been reading “The Resolution for Women” by Priscilla Shirer. What a perfect time for me to read this as it is encouraging me to find resolve and live more intentionally in 2012.

It’s the reason I want to share with you what I have resolved
for this blog heading into the new year.

Here’s a glimpse of what I’m planning for each category and would LOVE it if you had suggestions or further insight into these:

My least viewed category and my most favorite. Music is a tremendous part of my life and I wouldn’t feel right not sharing some of that with you. I plan on sharing music each Monday that coincides with my blogging topics for the week. Possibly some hymn background lessons thrown in as well. If you can think of topics you would like covered here, please let me know.

I still struggle with the basic question of who wants to hear me ramble on about the thrills and trials of my parenting?

I do intend to finish the Praying with Purpose series as I am still striving in that area. I also have a number of posts written about things like picking battles I will scatter in throughout the course of the year.

Based on the stage my parenting is in, I hope to share my journey this year as we finalize our plans for educating our children.

This category is the very reason I started blogging and I fully intend to make it shine in 2012. I plan to write at least one post a week on the topic and have a variety of series conceived regarding finding joy in the pain, the mundane, and the everyday. I am determined to share more of my personal 1000 Gifts list. I’m just not sure how to go about that yet. Suggestions are welcomed.

This is my most fluid category since I post real-time quandaries I am experiencing during my daily walk with the Lord. I pray He continues giving me something to share each week.

There is one topic I have been putting off but will share with you soon: My thoughts on the Proverbs 31 woman.

Would you believe this is the most clicked on category on Simplystriving? And I only have one post here currently (my most viewed post)! I enjoy talking budgets, decorating on a budget, eating naturally/more organic on a budget, and discussing time management strategies. And I always thought I would share my take on these. Yet, they don’t feel right on here. I’m still praying about this and might use this as my guest-posting category (if I’m ever blessed with the opportunity to guest post on a blog where this content does fit). Your thoughts are encouraged here. Are you missing these posts?

I want to get to know you. And I don’t know a better way than to share more of me with you. For 2012, I might share more about the books I’m reading or things I’m trying to take off of my bucket list. If there’s anything in particular you’d like to know more about, please let me know.

That’s Simplystriving in a nutshell!

Because I love lists, I plan on posting a page/tab at the top of my blog where you will be able to view topics I’m intending on writing about in each category. When they’re written and posted, I will link to them there–all on one page. Hope to have that up in the next couple weeks.

How about you? What would you like to read more about on simplystriving in the coming year? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,