100 Simple Ways to Make the Days Count

This was posted here, originally: http://makethedayscount.com/2008/11/17/100-simple-ways-to-make-the-days-count/

I am reposting it here, on my own blog, because I think it’s a much-needed reminder! Enjoy! 😉

100 Simple Ways to Make the Days Count
Article by Christian Nanz and Make The Days Count Contributor Judy Mosley

One of the things I am still learning is how to make my days better by allowing myself to do things that bring pleasure to others and to me.  I am also learning how simple little things like making my bed can help me feel productive all day long!  They don’t need to be major undertakings.  It’s interesting that small things bring large doses of happiness or satisfaction.

For example, when I get up on the morning, I like to take my dog for a walk around the neighborhood. He loves going for a walk (and he expects it!), and yet I believe I appreciate the walk a much as he does!  It is my time to relax, be thankful for another day and enjoy.

Of course this is not an exhaustive list.  There are many things that are simple, inexpensive, and easy to do that can add to your day in an incredibly satisfying way.  Perhaps this will spark you to try some of the things on our list or to add to it with ideas of your own.

1. Smile

2. Take a walk

3. Make your bed

4. Give someone a flower

5. Send someone a card – just because

6. Write a hand-written note to someone you love

7. Color a page in a coloring book

8. Journal about your day

9. Make a funny face

10. Sing in the car – with passion

11. Tell someone you appreciate them

12. Walk away from an impulse buy

13. Hug a child

14. Before bed, write down the top 5 things that you must do the next day

15. Get rid of three things that you no longer use; donate them to charity 

16. Save your leftovers and take them to work instead of buying lunch

17. Take 5 minutes and pray about your day

18. Eat one of your favorite foods – slowly

19. Get up 30 minutes early

20. Forgive someone

21. Give yourself grace

22. Forgive yourself

23. Focus on one task – refuse to multi-task

24. Cut up a credit card

25. Learn a new word and use it at least five times

26. Before bed, pick up loose clutter

27. Trust your instincts

28. When you are wrong, admit it.

29. Tell the truth

30. Give something away – no strings attached.

31. Keep a pen with you at all times

32. Give someone a kiss on the cheek

33. Pet an animal

34. Start reading a book you can’t put down

35. Jump in a puddle

36. Let go of one lie you have believed about yourself

37. Finish one small project before bed

38. Make a list of 5 things that you are grateful for

39. Be kind to the cashier, no matter how they treat you

40. Take deep breaths

41. Stretch when you wake up

42. Go to the library

43. Set one only time to check your email daily; focus on everything else

44. Say “no” to that one more thing

45. Play with your kids

46. Look your spouse in the eyes

47. Learn a new fact and share it

48. Try a new recipe

49. Sit quietly for 5 minutes

50. Wiggle your ears

51. List 5 good things you want to do in the next year

52. Try to do a headstand

53. Laugh really hard with somebody

54. Avoid gossip

55. Turn off the TV

56. Cry it out

57. Refuse to freak out

58. Allow yourself to be happy

59. Look for the good in the moment

60. Be thankful for what you have already received

61. Plan an outing to look forward to within the next week

62. Eat your veggies

63. Tell someone you admire them and why

64. Give a stranger a compliment

65. Pray for someone who has hurt you

66. Put 10 dollars in savings

67. Look at the stars

68. Call your parents and tell them you love them

69. Listen when your teen speaks

70. Let someone go ahead of you in line

71. Wear your favorite outfit

72. Write down what you want to remember later

73. Listen to NPR

74. Turn off the nightly news

75. Buy a plant and keep it in your work space

76. Remember that what’s on the surface is not always the whole story

77. Eat dark chocolate

78. Look at a world map

79. Make yourself a homemade breakfast

80. Shop for your next outfit at Goodwill

81. Keep your head when you get angry

82. Release what you cannot control

83. Don’t take everything personally

84. Laugh at yourself

85. Vent to someone that get’s it

86. Exercise for at least 10 minutes

87. Let your no be no and your yes be yes

88. Touch your children

89. Let go of unhealthy relationships

90. Describe on paper an adventure you would like to go on

91. Eat by candle light

92. Eat dessert first

93. Dance to your favorite song

94. Unplug what you’re not using

95. Trade books with someone with different tastes than yours

96. Do one load of laundry a day

97. Go to bed one hour earlier

98. Find a new habit to replace an old-unhealthy one

99. Listen to an audio book in the car

100. Say a prayer for someone else

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On Self-Control

Product DetailsMy ladies’ Bible study group recently finished up Beth Moore’s study, “Living Beyond Yourself“. I missed several weeks of it, as I got bored and let myself stay home. 😦  Mind you, I also was busy for a few of those weeks with an online course I took, so that’s more of a valid excuse. LOL

Anyway. The last week was on self-control, and as that’s something I struggle with a lot — especially in the area of eating — I figured I’d better get the homework done, and show up for the DVD session. So, I did.

And, these are my notes (some quoted directly out of the book) from that week:

SELF-CONTROL

* Self-control is the decision to remain within the boundaries of victory

* our god is whatever we worship (focus on)

* obsession over the physical body is IDOLATRY!

* from a strictly biblical point of view, physical fitness is probably more about FREEDOM than about size

* Satan wants us to be addicted to things (food, pop, exercise, people, etc) ~ we lose our focus on God and then don’t trust God to free us from those addictions

* we need to find the size that’s right for us ~ the one where we don’t have to obsess about every bite that we put into our mouths, but where we also aren’t totally neglecting our bodies, either.

* one of our goals should be to recapture the lost art (practice) of MODERATION!

* self-control is our protection against the attacks of the enemy … he can’t “steal, kill, and destroy” us if we aren’t giving in to his schemes.

* 1 Corinthians 6:12 ~ “”Everything is permissible for me”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me”—but I will not be mastered by anything.”

* Awake every morning to the challenge: “Choose…this day whom you will serve!” (Joshua 24:15)

* any day not surrendered to the Spirit is virtually surrendered to the flesh by default! We will slip back into what comes most naturally for us: our sin nature.

* if we are completely cleansed and yielded to God, we will be submissive to His will, we’ll be restrained, and we will be self-controlled.

* Genesis 4:7 ~ “…sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.”

* our choosing to eat in moderation, and to exercise our physical bodies, is an act of worship to God ~ we are caring for the temple of the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20)

* 1 Corinthians 10:31 ~ “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

* it is not God’s will for us to be mastered by anything other than Him. He wants us to be free from obsession (over eating, over how we look, etc).

* Galatians 5:1 ~ “So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.

One in a Million” study: Week 6 notes

One in a Million: Journey to Your Promised Land by Priscilla Shirer

WEEK 6 ~ Notes:

* Joshua made obedience a PRIORITY.

* What do we miss because we don’t obey God immediately?

* Keep your eyes peeled for God’s activity and follow after Him! ~ Ask Him to heighten your awareness of His presence & activity in your life.

* the best example of ministry is when people just point out Jesus (John 1:35,36).

* Start living today like God has already performed the biggest miracle of your life … It takes FAITH to start preparing ourselves for a miracle we haven’t even (yet) seen. (Hebrews 11:1)

* Every good thing isn’t necessarily a GOD thing.

* What “good” stuff do you have to pass up in order to spend more time with God?

:: Many modern Christ followers fall short of placing full confidence in God’s power and abilities.

:: Neither Moses’ nor Joshua’s background made them likely candidates for the roles God chose for them… In both instances, the Lord enabled these faithful men to handle their assignments… Both were sovereignly asked to lead without prior training.

:: Joshua’s quick acceptance showed more than just his willingness to obey; it pointed to an unwavering courage in the face of risk.

:: Joshua demonstrated complete confidence in the One who was on his side (Romans 8:31).

:: God assured Moses that his inability could not override divine ability working through him. The same is true of every circumstance in a believer’s life.

:: Stepping into the abundant life of promised-land living takes courage.

:: The battles you’ll fight and the unconventional means by which the Lord may ask you to fight them will require a firm commitment to do as God asks.

:: The Devil will not wait patiently for you to acquire your God-given inheritance. He knows that once you enter the abundant life of Canaan you will never want to leave. His goal is to scare you off before your palate can grow accustomed to the taste of milk and honey… the task of taking Canaan is upon us. Now is the time to move forward without fear.

:: Will we accept our posts? (those given to us here & now)

:: Often we become so consumed with envy over what God asks someone else to do that we fail to get around to what God asks of us.

:: Promised-Land living is largely about knowing, accepting, and doing God’s will for us.

:: The Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts to all believers in Jesus Christ. God designed each gift to enable a believer to accomplish His calling on his/her life. When a believer exercises their gift, they build and encourage the entire body of believers. Since every gift is necessary, none is more important or critical than another (1 Corinthians 12:1, 4-31).

:: God uses our current experiences to prepare us for what’s ahead.

((…to be continued…))

One in a Million” study: Week 5 notes

One in a Million: Journey to Your Promised Land” by Priscilla Shirer

WEEK FIVE — notes:

* when you break the barriers, people SEE the difference!

* “You can’t do what you’ve always done and expect different results”.

* Joshua & Caleb were willing to do things differently.

* Kadesh-Barnea was an oasis: the oasis of complacency. It had just enough for the Israelites to survive… This oasis had the benefits of the Promised Land, but none of the fullness of it.

* Are we at an “oasis of complacency”? You’ll know you are when:

1) the Promised Land starts looking way too risky.
2) you start feeling like you’ve arrived (like there’s not much more you can do in your Christian life).
3) the enemy stops trying to hinder your progress (you’re no longer a threat to him).

* God has given you a ‘cluster of proof’ about His goodness and faithfulness, despite a life of disappointments.

* are you okay with “just enough”, or are you longing for the fullness God has for you? (John 10:10).

* despite proof of God’s goodness, we still choose to say ‘nevertheless’, and refuse to believe in His ability to care for us.

:: God will always send us what we need, exactly when we need it.

:: getting closer to Canaan would mean leaving familiar comforts.

:: change was indeed coming. Following God’s instructions was of the utmost importance.

:: When our souls begin to stir and the Holy Spirit gently begins nudging us to turn, set a new journey, and go, we can know that God is moving us to a new place in our relationship with Him.

:: if I chose not to cooperate within a new set of parameters, I would continue in frustration as I missed the joy in this season in life and potentially delay the new the things God had for me.

:: your destiny of abundance is waiting!

:: Above all else, the Devil hates Christians who intend to enter new territory with God. We, like Moses, must anticipate our Enemy’s desire to thwart our progress as we move toward God’s plan for us… We are going to have to fight for it.

:: We cannot allow complacency or a false sense of security to numb us to Satan’s advances. Complacency is his most valued position for the Christian. So, he uses fear and doubt as tools to keep us from moving into new spiritual territory.

:: Success against any enemy was guaranteed only if God’s presence remained exalted among His obedient people.

:: We must daily seek fellowship with God.

:: I’m convinced that God often gives us a view of Canaan through the lives of other believers so that we might long for the spiritual milk & honey ourselves.

:: Disobedience was actually a sign of unbelief in God’s ability, as well as a defamation of God’s character.

:: Rebellion, disobedience, and unbelief…will keep us from walking in the full measure of freedom and abundance that Christ offers.

:: When rebellion against God marks our lives, it shows our lack of trust in Him. If we don’t believe Him, we won’t fully commit to obedience.

:: God apparently granted Moses divine sight to better view the blessings ahead. I believe He did this so that Moses would (1) develop a better appreciation of God’s provision, (2) truly long for the fulfillment of God’s promise, and (3) recognize the tragedy of missing out on the promised land’s blessings.

:: God’s invitation to experience the milk and honey of Canaan was not for a select few but for the entire group redeemed from Egypt.

:: Our enemy, the Devil, stands behind any feelings that make us consider ourselves outsiders uninvited to a life of relationship with God. Remember, while Christ offers abundant life to us, the Enemy will do everything he can to steal, kill, and destroy its possibility in our lives. (John 10:10)

:: God doesn’t revoke invitations to a dynamic relationship with Himself.

:: God often asks us to embrace a new phase of the journey that sometimes requires that we leave behind the familiar to embrace the new.

:: Whether we’ve lost a friend, relinquished a job, or even said goodbye to a long-time, comforting habit, we need time to mourn… The Bible clearly supports the idea that sometimes people need to grieve. (Romans 12:15)

:: …they made a choice to stop participating in the traditional mourning activities and continue moving forward in the journey.

One in a Million” study: Week 4 notes

One in a Million: Journey to Your Promised Land” by Priscilla Shirer

WEEK FOUR ~ notes:

* Steady as you go!

* uphill portions of our journey cause us to refocus on God and His purposes for us.

* you can always find God in the wilderness because there’s always a glimpse of Him.

* even when we’ve left Him [God], He still loves us, and wants to romance us.

* The wilderness reveals to us:

– the PASSION of God
– the POWER of God
– the PURPOSE of God

* how can the wilderness be attractive? … because of its end result: our strengthened character, and our improved perspective of God and His ability, etc.

* God wants DAILY interaction with us.

* the twelve disciples left everything to follow Jesus… and He provided everything they could ever need!

* there is HOPE on either side (of the wilderness)

:: God wants intimacy (a close association) with His people and wants us to hunger for it too. We should desire Him above all else. God will do whatever it takes to keep our minds purposed on this goal — even if that means delaying the satisfaction of Canaan (our Promised Land).

:: the primary reason why God allowed the wilderness was to bring the Israelites to this place, where the process of intimacy would begin.

:: your wilderness experience is to bring you to remember what Christ did for you, acknowledge what He is currently doing, and recommit to personal intimacy with Him.

:: God graciously works to stir in us a fresh passion for Him.

:: God has a master plan far better than anything I could imagine!

:: sometimes God allows hardship to graciously show us we desperately need Him

:: the place that seems distant from your desired destination provides fertile soil for God to reveal Himself to you.

:: unholy humans cannot fellowship with a holy God as long as the filthy stench of sin hovers around our lives. When our souls stink with the putrid odor of rebellion, the Father is forced to hold us at arm’s length (Isaiah 59:2).

:: if we continue to sin against God, He still loves us but He restricts fellowship with us.

:: holiness connotes the idea of living in dedication and devotion to God’s service.

:: the sheer joy of knowing all that God had done for them in spite of their shortcomings and disobedience should have glued them to His side (Romans 8:1).

:: God desires for His children to hear His voice and see His activity.

:: He will often allow wilderness journeys to position us so that our spiritual ears are more receptive to His message.

:: …they settled for less than a face-to-face encounter with their mighty Deliverer. I think Christians still tend to ‘stand at a distance’.

:: in addition to what God may teach us through those whom He places in our lives, you and I need a personal connection with the Lord.

:: The ancient Middle Eastern shepherd’s relationship with his sheep was complex and intimate. Without a shepherd’s loving guidance, the sheep would stumble upon disaster and perish. When a shepherd found that a particular lamb refused to obey, he would break the rebellious lamb’s leg so that it would need to be carried. Slung across the shoulders of his shepherd, the lamb became accustomed to the voice of the shepherd in a new way. When healed, the lamb followed the shepherd without question. Why? Because through a season of pain, he’d become acquainted with the voice of the one who loved him.

:: obedience to God was a requirement if the people were to receive the benefits of their covenant relationship with Him. Only after their commitment did God offer to let them hear Him clearly.

:: we must choose to commit to obedience if we want to walk in the fullness of an intimate relationship with God. Without our obedience, we will find that our connection with Him seems distant and out of sorts.

:: the more fully you set your heart to follow Him, the clearer His voice will become.

:: ‘Trancendence‘ means God is distinct, above and separate from all earthly and heavenly creation. ‘Immanence‘ means that God is everywhere present with His creation, sustaining it by its presence and power ((God has an equal balance of both… He is both transcendent and immanent at the same time.))

:: As we neglect the Lord’s transcendence, we allow Almighty God to become so personal that we treat Him more like a casual friend than our holy God (Psalm 33:8). We must remember that He is intolerant of rebellion and is characterized by His wrath and justice as much as by His mercy and grace… Though He is incredibly holy and all-powerful, He [still] chooses to seek a relationship with us.

:: God cannot be treated with casual indifference.

:: a  healthy reverence should mark the believer’s relationship with an awesome God.

:: God didn’t display His glory on the mountain so that the people would run from Him, but so that they would run to Him.

One in a Million” study: Week 3 notes

One in a Million: Journey to Your Promised Land” by Priscilla Shirer

WEEK 3 ~ Notes:

* God is predictable in His character, but He is complete unpredictable in His activity.

* Our God is good and kind.

* It may seem impossible, but God has already guaranteed your victory in Scripture.

* It causes you to walk through the wilderness a little differently when you know your victory is sure.

* Moses gave the Israelites 4 instructions:

1) Be FEARLESS ~ by the Holy Spirit’s power in you, you do not have to fear!
2) Be STILL ~ don’t sit down, or you’ll fall asleep on the job! Engage your will, and have a firm resolve.
3) Be WATCHFUL ~ we’re often too busy looking forward to the next season of life that we miss what God is trying to do for us right now! Don’t wait for the problem to go away — open your eyes to God’s blessings today!
4) Be SILENT ~ train yourself to be quiet and to stop complaining about your circumstances.

* If we really believed that there was Someone out there who is in complete control, we wouldn’t get so flustered and stressed when life got chaotic.

 
* Two of the greatest sicknesses plaguing Christians today are in the “IF” family:

1) What If…?
2) If Only…

* Ask God for a continual awareness of His activity in your life.

* What concerns you, concerns God. He cares about the little things as much as the big things.

* Abundant life, promised land living, is not for tomorrow — it’s for today! Watch for it.

:: one of the reasons for the wilderness seasons of our lives is so that we’ll start expecting more out of God than ever before.

:: stop complaining, and start asking for and anticipating God’s supernatural activity. Expect the unexpected.

:: God can work out every ‘impossible’ situation for His glory.

:: when we see that following God includes challenges, we start to question His authority. Worse yet, we long for the very thing from which Christ freed us… The idea of relying on a God we can’t see makes us feel out-of-control and weak.

:: when God allows you to face a ‘Red Sea’, don’t become discouraged. Don’t whine and question the Lord’s ability. Expect that God is positioning you to see Him work in your life in a unique and unusual way.

:: every wilderness journey has a ‘Marah’, where refreshment and hope seem imminent but fail to deliver …’Marahs’ position us to put our hope not in ourselves or in the world but in God. We can’t anticipate and provide for life’s trials, but the Lord can and does.

:: Without God’s influence, nothing in this world can really quench the deep thirst of our souls.

:: Scripture is clear that God hears and responds to the cries of His people… He can take your biggest heartache –the one that causes your chest to ache with frustration– and turn it into the sweet spot on which your spiritual outlook hinges.

:: God is both powerful and reliable. He could effectively rescue [the Israelites] from anything.

:: we can’t have the benefits and blessings of Canaan without first learning how to walk through the wilderness in dependence and faithfulness.

:: Yahweh allowed the Hebrews to experience an inner emptiness that they did not have the ability to fill. He wanted them to experience the abundant supply that only God’s pantry can offer.

:: a time of waiting and patience followed each miracle. The Israelites had to trust in God’s love and protection even when the miracles decreased in frequency.

:: the spirit of complaint often takes this pattern. It begins as frustration and spreads into a raging flame of disgust, whining, and longing for something other than what God provides. Complaining is what kept God’s people from passing their spiritual tests… Grumbling blinded them to the fact that the in-between time was part of God’s plan.

:: we must choose to carefully guard our reaction to in-between times (Phil.2:14).

:: discipline your mind to focus on the good.

:: the wilderness is a blessing meant to help us see God more fully and completely, to help us love Him more wholeheartedly, and to show us the importance of committing to Him above all else. It provides a vital and necessary prerequisite to reaching the spiritual abundance He wants to give.

:: God wants for you to give Him, His influence, power, and ability more weight in your life.

:: we must trust that God will choose to work in a way that both brings Him glory and serves His purposes for our lives… the Lord is not bound to our whims… we cannot make demands of God and grow disappointed and angry when He doesn’t move in the way we expect.

One in a Million” study, Week 2 notes

One in a Million: Journey to Your Promised Land” by Priscilla Shirer

WEEK 2 ~ Notes:

* God CHOSE the wilderness for the Israelites… it was no accident!

* When we get eye-to-eye with a challenge, it calls out the potential in us.

* Wilderness times help us to see God (and ourselves) in a new light.

* Isn’t it just like God to NOT do things the way we think He should?

* The best way to learn to be disciplined is to be in a situation where you have to exercise self-control.

* God wants to develop us, and He uses the wilderness to do it.

:: What seemed, to the Hebrews, like the best path to freedom, would have caused trials that they were not ready to face. (Proverbs 16:25)

:: The road God chooses for us is often not the road we might expect. He often chooses a wilderness journey for us to give us an opportunity to experience Him in a way that we might miss in a place of ease & convenience… His goal is to make us more dependent on Him.

:: Only wholehearted devotion would ensure their entry into the promised land.

:: You can be certain that God is looking out for your greater good…

:: God sees the end result.

:: God doesn’t mind our questions, but we must never allow our questions to overshadow the fact that God has all the answers.

:: God wanted their allegiance, their loyalty in the face of difficulty, and their thoughts focused not on the big, threatening enemy but on Him as Provider and Protector.

:: Freedom from Pharaoh was to set the people’s hearts on the complete service and worship of God… to acheive intimacy with Him.

:: We must synchronize our primary purposes with God’s… we can neither accomplish abundant life with God nor overcome the enemy’s advances without the Lord’s help… He wants us to lay aside our determination to do life our way and follow Him.

:: God is ALWAYS in control.

:: Never forget that God is the source of all good things.

:: The key to taking full possession of the land God promised was obedience, but the key to finding full appreciation of it was found in remembering God’s goodness and protection through their extended years in the wilderness.

:: The true test of our commitment is best seen when there is no refreshment in sight, just plain after plain of dry wasteland.

:: God still chooses to display Himself to people today when, for reasons we’ll never know, He orchestrates nature or circumstances to dramatically show His presence… He still wants to make Himself fully known to us and does so by working through what He’s created.

:: God gave the weary, thirsty Hebrews exactly what they needed to suit their precise circumstances… God knows exactly what is needed to refresh you, too!

:: Our Father will remain mindful of us, knowing our needs and caring for us in the midst of our journeys.

:: Reminding ourselves of God’s love for us in the wildnerness is always of utmost importance.

:: The Lord will abundantly supply all of your needs. (Philippians 4:19)

:: God strategically places “Elims” (oases) in our paths that will refresh us when we think we can stand no more.

:: Keep your head up and your feet moving forward as you travel on your life’s journey. God loves you and has not forgotten you… Press On!

The Motions by Matthew West

This song is so powerful… “just okay is not enough“… that’s the line that gets me.

Are you just “going through the motions” of a Christian life? Or, are you living every day in the abundant life God has for you?

I don’t want to spend my whole life asking,
what if I had given everything
instead of going through the motions?

~ Matthew West, “The Motions

If you want to make a commitment to stop going through the motions, click here to go to Matthew’s specially-created website for this purpose! 😀