Last year was rough. Literally. It may have been because of all the hurricanes, earthquakes, and other natural disasters. It may have been because of all of the political controversies and war threats. It may have been because of the outrage of sexual assaults and misconduct cases making headlines. Or… It may have been the […]

Leveling Up All 2019

Last year was rough.
Literally.

It may have been because of all the hurricanes, earthquakes, and other natural disasters.
It may have been because of all of the political controversies and war threats.
It may have been because of the outrage of sexual assaults and misconduct cases making headlines.
Or… It may have been the fact that all of these things were happening at the same time you were experiencing rough patches in your personal life and spiritual walk.
Regardless of what’s to blame, there’s no need to throw a pity party (because we don’t do that honey.) The year 2018 was definitely one for the books, but don’t count it as a loss—count it as a lesson.
And as with any lesson, we learn, take notes, and apply that wisdom for the next lesson. This year is that next lesson. Let’s make 2019 the year of the comeback.
Let’s level up.
Now when I say “level up,” I mean taking the necessary steps in self care so that we’re physically, mentally, and spiritually prepared for God’s purpose. Do you think just because you had a rough year, God would give up on you and not use you to fulfill His Will? Think again, sis. Ask Moses, David, Jonah, Ruth, Peter, and Paul. They will all tell you the same thing:
The struggle IS real.
And so is our God. In fact, the Lord instructs us to come to Him when we feel all the heavy burdens of life or feel like giving up.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” [Matthew 11:28]
He knows that sometimes you’re too tired to think. He knows that mental strain and depression can trigger old, unhealthy patterns and leave you desiring your worldly habits of comfort. He knows that life can hit you like a punch in the gut and leave you breathless, dizzy, and unfocused.
So that’s why we have to be intentional about self-care. Remember that one time when Jesus left all his family, friends, and followers to go pray? (oh wait, He did that PLENTY of times):
But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” [Luke 5:16]
It’s completely okay to take a breather, step away from your usual duties and take a break to regroup. In church, the common term is a “sabbatical” leave. In corporate world, it’s considered “taking a vacation.” Most mothers call it “sending the kids to their grandparents’ house for a week.” Last, but not least, a psychologist or therapist will refer to it as “personal time.” You need time. Time to rest, time to mourn, time to think, time to reflect, time to forgive; time to heal. The Bible sums it up as this:
To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under Heaven…” [Ecclesiastes 3:1]
So shut off every bit of noise and distraction for a period of time, kick everyone out the house or lock your bedroom, ask God for clarity and direction, and just. . . be still.
Breathe.
Listen.
Repeat.
And then. . .come back.
And when you do, you don’t just come back….you be the comeback. Remember who you are and whose you are. Remember the purpose and burning desire God placed in your heart to follow or accomplish. You look 2019 in the eye and say “I’m ready now.”
This is it. Time to level up. . .for real. Time to tackle those problems from last year with informed decisions and solutions. With that said, use these four sectors of life as a starter kit to get back on track for the year.

FAITH

Start a Fast
– You can do one on your own, or collectively as a group or with your church for support
– Research the many benefits of fasting and abstaining from certain foods and physical restrictions, such as regulating your digestive system and increasing self control
– Study the types of fasts and how which one may better suit your needs
Complete a Bible or Journal Challenge
– Download the YouVersion Bible app and follow the “read a bible in one year” guide
– Journal every time you pray or spend time with the Lord, aiming for every day of the year
Join a ministry, support group, team, etc. for accountability
– Surround yourself with positive people who care about your well-being and encourages you to keep moving forward

 

FOCUS

Create a Vision Board
– Throw a vision board party and invite friends over to share ideas, crafts, and laughs while doing so
Declutter & Organize Your Home
– Sometimes it’s easier to think and maintain a good mood when it’s easier to navigate through the home
Mute or Delete Distracting Apps from Your Phone
– Whether it’s SnapChat, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Candy Crush, group chats, or more, cut them off

 

FITNESS

– Start a digital workout plan or join a local fitness group
– Try something new such as a dance class or signing up for a 5K run that’ll get you motivated, pumped, and tired by the end of the day

 

FINANCE

– Buy a budget planner/organizer to track your spendings and savings
– Follow some budgeting and finance gurus’ social media (Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, & blogs)
– Read books by finance gurus such as Dave Ramsey, Robert Kiyosaki, etc.)
– Open a savings account (automatic if possible) that will make space for all of the additional money that you want stored in a safe place in case of emergency
Ready? You should be. This is your year to come back stronger, wiser, and closer to God. You got this. Level up.

Ashley Cottrell

Ashley Cottrell

Interested in reading more of her work? Check out her blog: www.ashleyamor.com

With a B.A in English, Ashley Cottrell has written blogs for Virginia Bride Magazine, Bronze Mag, and has been a contributing writer for numerous other digital entities. Although a Virginia-native, Ashley resides in Puerto Rico fulfilling her passion as a freelance writer. She aims to use her gift of writing to inspire others and share the gospel of Christ. When she's not writing, you can find her nose-deep in a game of chess, Salsa dancing, or making homemade skin care products.
Ashley Cottrell

Latest posts by Ashley Cottrell (see all)


Tags: ,
%d bloggers like this: