Week 10 • Day 1 • Get A Vision

Subscribe to the Podcast: Apple PodcastsSpotify

“Where there is no vision, the people perish.”
Proverbs 29:18

Last week I shared a little story about my inability to get my junk together. I suspect some of you can relate in your own way.

I still don’t have it all figured out, but I’ve improved and watched some of my visions come to life in elated disbelief. My personal hang up is this predictable pattern where I’ll get it together for a brief time to accomplish a goal, but once it’s finished, I take my foot off the pedal. I coast, and while coasting, I don’t go to God as often. I downshift into autopilot. The renewal of my mind is less consistent. Predictably, I lose some of those good habits while negative one’s creep back in.

The only difference is now I don’t panic. I don’t beat myself up.

I just realize, it’s time to get it together. And it’ll be okay. I know what to do.

I learned the method I’m teaching this month by simply watching my mom when I was a child. She instinctively lived her ideal life, by writing her ideal life down. She had a vision for her morning, her day and her evening. She wrote down her vision for holidays, her hobbies, and her devotion to God. I’m not naturally this way. I tend to fly by the seat of my pants. For the longest time, I’ve had this belief that I’m the type of person who does her best work, last minute, under pressure. So when she’d call me in late October, pen in hand, attempting to discuss our upcoming Christmas party in painstaking detail, I wanted to squirm under her grip and speed away like the cat from Pepe Le Pew.

But now that I’ve suffered long enough under the stresses of flying by the seat of my pants, I’ve come to see the wisdom in her method. And it’s the method I’ve been able to fall back on, time and again, to live an ideal life. It’s the only way I’ve been able to accomplish some big dreams, while maintaining a peaceful, good family life (most of the time).

And it starts with a vision. A crisp, clear vision. Someone once gave me this illustration and it helped me, so I’d like to share it with you.

Imagine your dream or your vision as a giant castle. It’s hard to imagine how something so massive, so beautiful, could ever be built in the first place. It’s enormous, majestic – its construction so seemingly impossible. But it’s quite possible, if you realize, it was built one brick at a time.

And so is your vision. Your vision is built with bricks, and bricks are choices we make every day. Choices are a brick that can build or expand our vision. Or, they’re choices that tear some bricks down. Sometimes our bricks don’t quite fit, grinding construction to a halt … until we get our stuff together.

If we look at the entire castle, we think, this is impossible. 100 pounds! I can’t lose 100 lbs. Pay off $100,000 in debt! There’s no way I could ever pay off 100K in debt!

Yes, you can. Brick by brick.

And if I may just add, at least in my experience, the more I depend on God, honoring him, stewarding what he’s given me, laying down my bricks day after day …

… the more miracles seem to happen in my life. It’s as if my commitment, my discipline, my dependance on God, lifts me up into a faster current.

I can’t explain it, or prove it to you, you just have to experience it for yourself. It’s really quite amazing.

So, let’s begin.

Keep the vision of the BIG castle in your heart, that’s important.

But with your mind, just focus on the bricks.

Today, I woke up at sunrise and spent an hour with God. Put up the brick.

Today, I went for an hour long walk hand in hand with my husband. Put up the brick.

Today, I wrote one chapter, read my child a book, made that important phone call, applied for the job, signed up for the bible study …

See where I’m headed?

This week, I encourage you to find time to get cozy. Get your favorite coffee or tea. Settle into a comfy chair, then get in prayer. Ask the Holy Spirit to be right beside you, and together, create a vision for your day and create a vision for the things most important to you.

First, I want you to start with writing out “Your Ideal Day.”

What is your ideal morning ritual?

What is your ideal day or workday?

And what is your ideal evening ritual?

Get as detailed as you can. I’ve attached my ideal day at the end, to give you an example if you need it.

Vagueness leads to vague actions. It opens the door to disruptions and chaos. Will every day be perfect? No, of course not. But if we’re intentional and commit to our ideal life, while having grace for life’s unexpected interruptions, then it will be almost impossible to not be happier, more relaxed, and more fulfilled. It’s been said that …

Discipline = Freedom
Freedom = Happiness
Happiness = Progress

Without a vision, there’s no progress. Without a vision, the Bible says – we perish.

So, now it’s your turn.

What’s your ideal day?

We’ll take the rest of this week to break it down. Excited yet? You should be.

If we perish without a vision, imagine how we’ll live with one.

ANNA’S EXAMPLE IDEAL DAY

I would wake up gently around 5 AM. No loud screeching alarm clock, I will wake up gently by setting my watch to gently vibrate at 5:00. I have already scheduled my coffee to brew at 4:45 AM, so I’ll wake up, put on my robe and pour myself a cup of coffee with a little cream. This feels comforting to me and I deeply enjoy it (I know these details are laborious, but they matter. They’re vitally important to the foundation of your vision so don’t run away just yet!)

Then, I will spend a full hour with God. After that, I will do my writing. Soon after, I’ll get dressed and wake up my girls.

Now, my daytime ritual.

Some of you may need to get ready for work. If my girls are at school, the ritual looks different than if they’re at home with me that day.

If they’re home from school for whatever reason, my ideal daytime ritual looks like this:

The girls and I eat a healthy breakfast and then it’s play time in our backyard. As the girls play, I pull out my laptop and continue working until roughly 11 AM. At this time, I put my computer away and do an activity or we’ll run errands. We may play in the backyard while I tend to the garden. We may go the park, a story time event at the library or the children’s museum.

After a couple hours, we’ll come home and have lunch. I’ll pick up the house a bit and do any chores that need to get done while the girls play.

At around 2 PM, it’s wind down time. Poppy will go down for a nap, and Lucy will have a quiet time either reading or watching an educational TV show, resting.

I will take this time to finish my work for the day.

At 4 PM, I put the computer away, get dinner started and wake the girls.

5 PM – dinner and then lounging time with my husband. Clean up kitchen and living area.

6 PM – I check email and catch up with comments, messages or notifications on my author platform.

6:30 – we go for a slow enjoyable walk as a family if the weather permits or simply spend time indoors as a family. All devices are put away for the evening.

Now, my nighttime ritual.

7:30 – Bath time and/or pajamas, lights in the house are dimmed and girls have quiet play while I read.

8:00 – We clean up toys, brush our teeth, read a bedtime story and lights out.

8:30 – Brew my favorite sleepy time tea. I get out my planner and set goals, intentions and to-dos for the following day. Then, I pull out a fiction book and read until I get sleepy, usually around 9:30.

Go to bed.

Sigh. Perfection. Now what’s yours?