The roll out of each new year brings with it a sense of anticipation that the upcoming year will be as good or better than last year.  Here are a few SIMPLE things that can help move your life, relationships and business or ministry forward in 2019. If you lay a strong foundation in your personal life it will reflect  positive results into your professional life. In addition to what we share in our 7 Simple Skills for Every Man or Woman books, there are a few traditions and tools that help Bill and I make forward movement each year:

adventure pam farrel verse 2016Pray for God’s Heart: In January, we completed a “seek week” where we step out of our “normal” schedule and take a little more time to pray, worship  and explore scripture.

I have found ANY week of the year that you create more space for God can be your “seek week” and God will grant you wisdom and insight from heaven’s view point.  My goal at the end of seek week is to have a verse for the year that I can hang my heart on.  This year, God lead me to my Word of the Year: Adventure, because the road ahead is bringing a lot of change. We are currently packing to place our home on the market. We will then downsize and move our home (and our Love-Wise ministry) nearer Bill’s aging parents.  (Read the details on how and why I selected My Word of the Year  and  the powerful results that can happen by using a Word of the Year to focus your energy.)

I am a woman who loves the outdoors  and  I have learned on these adventures that  a positive attitude, an inspired heart, a determined spirit and a flexible plan can help you overcome ANY challenge turning OBSTACLES into ADVENTURES.

As I prayed over a few verses I thought might help me “Embrace Adventure”, my friend, Vicki Heath, the President of First Place 4 Health, and author of Don’t Quit, Get Fit,  recommended one I had already been pondering:

“…no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined the things God has in store for those who love Hipsalms 55 22 bible artm.” (1 Cor 2:9)

Paint the Promise:  Last year I began Bible art journaling. One day in a quiet time, I read Psalms 55:22 and then dug into my Logos Bible software to study deeper meaning. What I discovered is when we “hurl” or throw our “burden” God sustains us. It is interesting that the word burden can also be translated gift, assignment or allotment.  So things that we think are heavy burdens, God sees as a gift to our life! And the word “sustain” means God will “nourish” or “nurture” us so we can achieve that heaven-sent assignment.  In SIMPLE terms, this verse is a promise that God will uphold both us and our ministry or calling. God will uphold YOU and YOUR ASimple Skills Pam Farrel Quote changeSSIGNMENT!  That is Good News for a New Year!

Plan Specifically:, I will have the joy of leading a workshops on my new book 7 Simple Skills for Every Woman: Success in Keeping It All Together. One of the activities I enjoy most is leading woman through the process of creating her own personal plan of success. Part of that plan will be to help her identify her word, verse and theme for the year. We will then put feet to the dreams by setting some goals so she can  make progress in her life. You can download the goal setting YOUR BEST YEAR YET worksheets Bill and I use to help you set some key goals for 2016. (for couples /  for women)

Project Success: Next, work your goals into your daily life. One way we do this is by sharing breakfast together, pray over our days and once a week we use a worksheet to talk through what we believe God wants us to accomplish that week. (Click here to download Weekly Meeting: Marriage Unity  worksheet) We often go to a Christian bookstore and buy other items with our word or verse of the year on them adventure mug scrabble(mugs, journals, art or plaques).

Prepare a Team. Each day at 3:20, we pray Ephesians 3:20 over our life, our family and those I might be with. We have recruited a team who also pray Eph. 3:20 over our life and ministry too. So as I close this business minded blog, I am praying God’s blessings and vision over your ministry:

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us

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Pam Farrel is an international speaker, author (or co-author) of 44 books including her newest, 7 Simple Skills for Every Woman: Success In Keeping It All Together . Pam and her husband, Bill, are co-Directors of Love-wise.com  and in 2016, after they reach their goal of relocating, want to begin traveling and speaking in the countries that represent the 15 languages their books have been translated into.

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This Christmas, I had the joy of speaking at many women’s teas and Christmas events. My message was on “Christmas Light” and it is based on our family’s Christmas Advent Wreath and Dinner and Dialogue traditionpam speak christmas ncc 2015. We use Isaiah 9:6 as the center of our celebration and conversation because it is the center of the hope and light we all enjoy because of Christ’s birth.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,  Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”

This Christmas, which name of Christ are you leaning on? Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father or Prince of Peace?

Those same four names can lead us to creative ways to bless back those who have been a blessing to us during the past year. In doing so, we reflect the light of God’s love.

For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light (Psalms 36:9)

advent wreath candlesFor those who have blessed you, not just personally, but professionally, let’s look at 4 simple ways you can boomerang back some of the blessings that have been extended to you:

Wonderful Counselor: Give those who supported you a little support too. Send them a book (video, conference scholarship, a meeting with a mentor or counselor, a day away at a conference grounds for solace) that equips them for an upcoming important event in their life (marriage, birth of a child, care for a parent), or comforts or lends wisdom for a struggle he or she might be working through (that they may have shared with you).  This can be a fun way to express your creativity too. For example, we often give our book, Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti,waffle spaghetti with ws book  and wrap it in a pasta bowl with spaghetti noodles, waffle iron with waffle mix and the utensils needed to cook these up. On occasion I have a friend in ministry close enough to send a fun gift to– like our Red Hot Monogamy book wrapped in a set of sheets, or in a basket of fun “hot items” like Red Hot candy, hot tamales, a gift card to a Mexican food café, or a collections of hot sauce bottles.

Mighty God: Offer to pray them through a difficult situation or circumstance. Send Bible verses, prayers,  or a Bible gift item with a verse they can hang their heart on to have hope. My friend, Lisa Copen, of Gutsy Goodness, has an invisible illness that keeps her in daily pain, yet she runs Rest Ministries to help others in pain and she also creates beautiful messages of hope on necklaces. During a difficult season in my life, God led me to Neh. 8:10 “The joy of the Lord is my strength.” Today, I wear that phrase to encourage me on a necklace Lisa made for me.

Everlasting Father: Good dads make life just a little bit easier. Perhaps your gift can help lighten the load or ease the work of someone who has eased your load. Options can include gift cards, but you can also add your logo (or theirs) to tools that people need for work as a small reminder that you care: usb drive, coffee mugs, water glasses, sticky note holders, coasters, desk accessories are all items we have receivedbrave book courage mug and given.  (Often your local Christian bookstore is a great place to find unique gift items with some deeper scriptural meaning– and it is a terrific way to thank your bookstore with your business!) For example, to go along with my book Becoming a Brave New Woman, I was able to purchase a coffee mug with a verse on courage on it to give to some brave women who had helped me be brave.

Prince of Peace: One of the best gifts you can give a leader is to enrich their own walk with God. You might give them a beautiful book mark, a new Bible, or a new devotional. The year A Couple’s Journey with God book was released, some of our friends got a copy of that devotional with some travel items like luggage tags, flight ticket holder and passport cover. Our book Devotions for Men on the Go and Devotions for Women on the Gocouple journey luggage tag have been given with items to keep those friends “on the go”: coffee gift card, coffee thermos or dark chocolate espresso bean candy; gas fuel card; or cute key chain or fitness item.

To gain creativity, think of your life, and a walk a mile in your own shoes and ask, “What would make my life easier, stronger or better?” Make a list of those items, then put on your friend’s tennies or heels and  walk through their life asking that same question. Chances are the circle of their life and the circle of yours will over lap and there may be items in your world or the books and resources of other author friends you know that could bless those around your ministry.

 

pam bill merry christmas sign 2013Pam Farrel, with her husband Bill, are the authors of 40+ books. including their newest 7 Simple Skills for Every Man and 7 Simple Skills for Every Woman. They are the co-directors of Love-Wise.

 

 

 

 

 

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