Well, it’s September! When did that happen?
As fall comes in, the weather cools off, and the end of year holidays are fast approaching, what is on your plate? Do you have a well-organized selection of items to accomplish or does your end of year resemble scrambled eggs?
Do you feel like every day is blending into the next or do you have items lined up on the calendar in a fashion that allows you to pick them off one by one?
I must admit since starting some contract work and graduate school while still juggling a family, an older parent’s needs, and the ministry, my plate runneth over!! Prioritizing what needs to happen over the course of each week has become necessary in order to make sure everything that needs to happen happens.
I have always been a pretty driven person and setting goals seems to be second nature to me, but it was not always that way. There are definitely times when I have felt my life adrift and had to reel myself back in to reality. Ever felt that way?
And since we have all struggled in 2020 with the whole pandemic thing, many of us are feeling like hamsters caught on a wheel, just trying to keep up.
Our saving grace is knowing that this is just a season! God has us, I promise.
So today, I want to get you thinking and motivated to look at the rest of 2020 as a time to prep, a time to plan, and yes, even a time to dream what your 2021 could look like. The one thing I do know is that if we don’t take the time to evaluate where we are and where we want to be, set some goals, and just work toward them, 2021 could be just as unproductive as 2020 with or without Covid-19 issues.
So, what does God say about all this planning and goal setting. Here is a place to start. The Bible states:
We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps. Proverbs 16:9 NLT
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV
God is not against goal setting, but He requires that we remain dependent on Him for how those plans manifest in the future. If we will allow Him into the process of goal setting and then execution, He will guide as along our path toward successful completion and the end result will be better than we imagine!
Now many of us read in the Bible about the Proverbs 31 woman and we love the passages that talk about her being worth more than rubies or that her children and husband called her blessed. But today, let us step back a moment and read it through again because when I read about the Proverbs 31 woman, I see a planner and a doer.
For instance, verses 13-16 state this:
She finds wool and flax and busily spins it. She is like a merchant’s ship, bringing her food from afar. She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plan the day’s work for her servant girls. She goes to inspect a field and buys it; with her earnings she plants a vineyard. NLT
Or we can look at verses 19-22:
Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fiber. She extends a helping hand to the poor and opens her arms to the needy. She has no fear of winter for her household, for everyone has warm clothes. She makes her own bedspreads. She dresses in fine linen and purple gowns. NLT
Now that’s being productive! In fact, I’m exhausted just reading it.
The Proverbs 31 woman is definitely a planner. To accomplish these things there must be forethought to what each day will look like and in what order it must go. And since we know from the rest of the text that she’s a very godly woman, I would suspect she has learn to allow God into even the most minute areas of her life in order to reach her full capacity.
Now in fairness to us and before we go off on a tangent about how we will never measure up to the Proverbs 31 woman, we must understand a few things about these scriptures. Proverbs 31 was not written about a “super woman” but was written from a mother to a son as instructions for finding a proper wife. Everything listed are character traits that would be ideal to find in a woman he is considering marrying. The tasks represent a good, hard working woman. They were never meant to imply that all these things would be done in a specific timeframe, like a day, a week, or a month, but that over time and throughout the course of the woman’s life, she would display such gifts and talents given to her by God.
And that is good news, because I willingly admit, I am NOT a domestic goddess!
What this woman represents is someone with integrity and goals. She also represents a woman who is following God’s purpose and will for her life. She is taking logical steps in faith and allowing God to control the outcome.
Here is how verse 27 translates in The Message version:
She keeps an eye on everyone in her household, and keeps them all busy and productive. MSG
There is our word for the month of September – productive! Behind every successful person in life, whether a homeschooling mom or a CEO of a local company, is the mindset to establish goals, have a well thought out plan to carry out those goals, and faith to execute them.
Today, tell me your goals? What do you want to really accomplish this week, next month, during your lifetime? Having trouble really deciding? Then consider enlisting the help of a mentor or coach. Why? Because there is nothing more motivating than an accountability partner. In addition, make sure you are prayerfully offering time to God to help direct your thinking.
Let’s get it!!!
Father God, we thank you that You are standing by waiting for Your daughters to rise to the occasion. We thank you that You want to be a part of every piece of our life. Allow our minds to clear. Give us peace and wisdom when setting up goals for the end of 2020 and into 2021. Let it all be to Your glory. Amen.
Founder, Transforming Love Ministries
Creator, She Steps Forward Women’s Conference
For more of Elaine’s story, you can find Love Echoed Back: I Cried Out; He Answered on amazon.com.
Please note all scripture references taken from the NIV, NLT, and the MSG.
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson