Beyond the Fasting – Follow Up

I am having a great morning. I pray that you are also. Are you still thinking about how to follow your consecration? I am. Today, I got an idea.

As navigator on a U.S. naval warship, one of my responsibilities after every completed drill, evolution, inspection or port visit was to write the “after-action report”. It is basically a summary of the event. Some version of a similar document is used in schools, service organizations, nonprofits, and government. The report serves several purposes. It is beneficial for recording the event as well as sharing observations. As you can imagine, the summary is extremely valuable and there are several components that make it so. One value is that it is a collaborative effort. Although I was responsible for starting and compiling the information gathered, the content was provided by other department heads on my ship and me. Once I gathered all of their input, I presented my draft to the Commanding Officer. He made his edits and then added his own observations. Once the report was approved by the Commanding Officer, it was published. (You see, I have been writing and publishing for a while now). The published after-action report is most used for the lessons learned within the document.

I remember after I submitted my first couple of reports to my Commanding Officer, he pulled me aside to give me some helpful feedback. He said, “NAV, the after action report is not just to rehash the series of steps in the evolution. These observations will empower other Commanding Officers to make informed decisions about similar operations that they will be involved with in the future.” That nugget of wisdom has helped me throughout my writing journey. I challenge myself to write content with an inspiring angle. Lessons Learned and For Action Items are my specialty.

This morning as I prayed, I was reminded of the after-action reports that I have written over the years. Whether I served as a board member or volunteer for the Vacation Bible School, I have used that concept of empowering others to make informed decisions many times by sharing my past observations. It is a valuable practice. You can incorporate the idea of after-action reporting into just about anything. That includes fasting.

As I stated yesterday, I know there are some things that God said to you during the consecration. You don’t want to forget them. You also don’t want to negate doing the assignments He gave to you. Better yet, you want to improve for the next time you decide to commit to a period of fasting and prayer. That being said, you want to draft a consecration after-action resolution.

I used resolution, rather than report, because this summary requires that you make a decision to ACT.

Here are some important items you want to include in your resolution.

       The date/range of days of your fasting period

       The specific goals/mission/challenges you had for your fasting period

       Any people that may have participated with you 

       Your lessons learned

       State your action items – things you were urged to do during the fast

       Plan for the next period of fasting and prayer.

End it with a resolution for what you commit to doing as a result of what you learned during this fasting period. It helps to put it in the form of a confession. You may even decide to use scripture references to help you remember it and cement it.

This resolution is great for your family members to get involved because you can gain the different perspective from them as to what they learned during the consecration and what they want to focus on for the next time you decide to do it together.

Later this week, I plan to share my resolution.

Feel free to share with me any ideas you may add to your after-action resolution in the comments below. We learn from each other.

“Heirs Together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.”

This Family is His Family.

Love Your Legacy,

Mrs. Q.

Day 3 – Family Ways to Consecrate for 21 Days

Congratulations, you are halfway through the first week of your consecration!

At this point, you’re realizing that it takes the right mindset during fasting to accomplish the will of God concerning you. I’ll be honest, that is not easy.  The mind seems more difficult to tame than the fork during the consecration. That is precisely why it is important that we invest, sacrifice, and devote our time for sacred submission under the power of the Holy Spirit. 

All five of these ACTION ITEMS are meant to help you keep your focus on the gains in your consecration. I pray that these tidbits are helping you push onward. We are going to make it these 21 days. You’re already 4 days in. Let’s keep going!

Morning Devotion

Read Luke 8:40-56

Jesus was known to the people of his time as a teacher. Teachers attract people that need their instruction but they also attract critique. Throughout the ministry of Jesus, he finds many that need him but he also finds those that wish to analyze and evaluate him. The critique means that the “word has gotten out”. The stories of the “woman with the issue of blood” and the daughter of Jairus in Chapter 8 of the book of Luke demonstrate the great magnetism of Jesus Christ. In the same way that these miracles that Christ performed established his most wanted status, we can share our stories of Christ’s influence in our lives.

Today’s Faith Sight Word

TESTIMONY. According to the children, to share how good God has been in your life is to share your testimony. The type of people you attract denotes the effectiveness of your testimony. Keep sharing your testimony!

Recipe for the Fast

Vegetable Lentil Stew

– cumin powder ( 1 pinch)                                – okra

– turmeric (1 tablespoon)                                  – 1/2 cup of diced onion                     

 – can of tomatoes (drained)                              – 1 cup of lentils

– minced garlic (1 tablespoon)                          – 3 cups of water

– olive oil (3 tablespoons)                                 – sliced carrots (1/2 cup)

– diced celery (1/2 cup)                                    – cubed potato (1/2 cup)

In a 3 quart pot, bring water to a boil. Add lentils. Boil 20 mins. In a skillet, add all vegetables with seasoning herbs. Saute’ until onions are lucid. Add vegetable mixture to lentils in water. Pepper to taste. Serve when lentils are soft but not mushy. 

Confession

Repeat as many times during the day as you remember it.

I will testify. I will tell of the goodness of my Lord because I was made to bring glory to Him. I grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity.

Storytime

Recommended for ages 3-6 years old

Peanuts: Be Yourself

This book tells the story of each of the Peanuts characters. It is a character empowerment book that celebrates the individual personalities and interests of the Peanuts gang. While it may not be considered a “Christian Children’s book”, it is certainly an inspiring resource for developing positive self-esteem and encouraging your youth to tell their stories in their own unique voice. This one was a gift to my family and all of my children love it.

Feel free to share with me your experiences during your consecration in the comments below.

“Heirs Together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.”

This Family is His Family.

Love Your Legacy,

Mrs. Q.

 

One Year Ago Today

WE HAVE A ONE -YEAR – OLD IN THE HOUSE!

This blog, Notes and Commentary, was born one year ago today.  Looking back on that first post really enlightened my perspective on this anniversary. Because I started, I have something to look back on. Because I started, I have lessons to share. Because I started, I am closer to where I want to be. And because I started, I am not where I used to be. Celebrating the success of starting!!!

We started Notes and Commentary sharing about jotting down the ideas, experiences, and notes on our lives. That focused evolved within the year. We realized our strong love of faith, family, and community is our worldview. The emphasis on noting is still present in the content. The blog reminds us of what God is speaking to us. “Notes are birthplaces of ideas. Notes are content” (Written in that first post).

Within the past year, I started a notebook I labeled “Big Idea Binder” and I asked God to help me stay mindful that I cannot abandon the ideas just because they are not ready to be birthed. I wrote them in the binder and I asked God to teach me to trust Him that He will guide me to bring them to fruition in his timing. ACTION ITEM: Make Your Big Idea Binder. Insert every idea that comes to your mind. Pray over these ideas and ask God to lead you into the next step for each of them.

June is my birthday month and that is what led me to start the blog in June. I promised myself I would write every day for thirty days. Well, I couldn’t keep it up for thirty days. I only wrote eleven posts in June 2016. But 11 is still more than 0. I share that to encourage the writer reading this post. Leave Your Zero Today. (That will preach!)

Here are a few things I learned giving birth to a blog.

  • Just Keep At It. It doesn’t have to be long or brand new content. Use your notes from past experiences. Read and write about what you read. Help yourself by reading blogging insights.
  • Create messages that inspire readers to act. I try to add an action item in all my content.
  • We can research for too long. You will not know everything there is to know about blogging when you start. Most of your development comes from trial and error. So just get started!
  • Use your notes and ideas for yourself and stop giving them away. It is okay to be selfish.
  • Accept help and ask for help. You don’t have to do this alone. Several people offer free information online. Reach out to a fellow blogger. Join a blogging community. I joined a Facebook community of Christian Women Communicators led by Kia Stephens and I love it!
  • Pay for resources. Why do we starve our creativity by being stingy with helpful purchases?
  • Educate yourself. Take some courses on software. Pay for consultation time. Read the fine print.
  • WordPress is not that simple. (Mind you, if I had done the previous action well before I started my blog, I may think differently.) Theme searching is nerve racking. I think new bloggers just wants to load the software, get the theme and get creating. Why does it have to be so hard?
  • Market yourself. Tell people that you are writing (I need help in this area.) Shy doesn’t sell.
  • Support other writers. Publish helpful resources. I often share the resources of those people I follow because it is helpful to me. Michael Hyatt, Natasha Robinson, Jonathan Milligan or Jeff Goins do not pay me a dime to drop their names in my post. Their information is helpful to me and so I share it with other writers. I was never involved in competitive sports. I hate feeling like I am in competition. If God disliked voices being heard at the same time, we would never have heavenly choirs. Be in concert, rather than competition. The role for creatives to play is to find those with whom you can collaborate and advocate for your respective messages in unison.

Henri Matisse said, “Creativity takes courage.”  I also think it takes consistency. I set a goal to write for thirty days last June. Well, that wasn’t a realistic goal. I had a two-year-old in the home and I just started a new job. So I failed in that 30 – day writing goal. By next June, I will have a better sense of my blog schedule and routine. My goal in this next year is to write more consistently in my worldview and establish myself as an authority on the topic of Family and Servant Leadership for communities and non-profit organizations. Notes and Commentary will become a resource hub and so the blog is going to share more applicable information with our audience. More action items! More how-to-teach content.

So there you have it. I have shared our journey from a reflective point of view.

Jeff Goins is right. One year later, I am so happy that I started.

Happy Birthday Blog!

 

 

My Write Path: “It is Not Too Late for You (or Me)”-Episode 2

I said this is the last episode of My Write Path and it is worth repeating, people are often curious about progression.

Since I started this blog, I find myself reading the posts of other bloggers wondering about their “success path” and trying to follow their timeline.  But as I shared in the last episode, my sitting, reading and watching their work was hindering my own progress.  I am not pointing the finger at them.  I am very much to blame.  I was spending so much time on the sidelines that I wasn’t putting action to what I learned from dissecting their stories.  I read and I listened in on the webinars.  I admit, I kept wishing I had started a long time ago.  I found some old piece of my work in a journal and thought, where would I be if I had gotten off my tuff then?  Well, I am so glad that God heard my foolish thoughts and told Jeff Goins to send me this message, It’s Not too Late.

Why It’s Not TOO Late For Us To Become Writers

I am actually a subscriber to Jeff Goins’ emails but I missed this recent message from him about Sandy.  He was announcing that he would be releasing a 3-part interview he recorded with Sandy Kreps, a student of his who founded the popular blog modernsimplicity.org and recently became a published author.  I had not opened the email yet.  But then I saw two message from another influencer of mine, Jonathan Milligan, who mentioned these same videos with Sandy Kreps.  When Jon sent his message, it made me think, “you probably want to go back and take a look at this if Jon has mentioned it twice now.”  So I did.

jeff-goins-and-sandy-kreps

I actually downloaded the transcript for the first two videos before I watched them.  (Jeff really knows how to do it doesn’t he?)

After I watched them both, I went back and read the transcript of the first one specifically because I was intrigued by Sandy’s timeline on her way to becoming a professional writer.

So here is what I gathered:

  • Sandy, a full-time wife, and art director gave birth to her first child in 2005.  (That probably means we are about the same age.)
  • So in love with her first child, she dove into the world of mommy blogging in 2007.  Her first son ignited the “blog spark”.  But she only considered it a hobby.
  • She was laid off her job in 2010 and wanted to stay home with now two boys because her husband traveled a lot.  She still needed income.
  • The lay-off fanned the “blog spark” into a burning flame while unemployment checks provided a bit of kindling.
  • She signed up for the first Tribe Writers Course with Jeff Goins in 2012.  Meanwhile, hubby is not so sure about all the social media stuff that is going on.
  • She spent 2007-2012 teaching herself “the ways of a professional writer.”
  • With the support of the Tribe Community, she released her first ebook on Amazon called Fresh Start.  More book ideas followed and she just keeps writing.
  • She attended the Tribe Conference in 2015.  During the conference, her table talk manifest into a JUST DO IT challenge and she finished the book she had gotten stuck on in 90 days.  One month after finishing the book, Mommy Simplicity, it was published and on Amazon.  She went from stuck to a book published in print in 120 days.
  • Today, Sandy Kreps is a Lifestyle Business Writer full-time.  She has four books under her belt, 12000 email subscribers, blogging business and repeated writing income.

What the success of another person should mean to YOU

If you are able to read this post and look back on Sandy’s story like I did, guess what?  YOU ARE ALIVE!

The timeline was important to me because it spans eleven years from the time her son was born until today.   Which speaks to the beginning question that Jeff asked in this video series, “Can this still be done today?” It’s never too late.

I paid particular attention to the point Sandy made about the years from 2007-2012 that she spent “teaching herself”.  I think intelligent creatives really think we can “figure it out.”  I read something in Jonathan Milligan’s blog that made so much sense to me regarding our sensation with “gathering information.”  He says, “education without action is futile. I see it first-hand all of the time. People take courses, but never take action.”  When I think how relevant that statement is, it stings like a hornet.

In October 2015, I participated in Michael Hyatt’s virtual stream of his Influence and Impact Summit.  Since that week in OCT last year, I have listened to about 25-30 webinars from professional bloggers and creatives who are using the gift God gave them to get their message out to many.  I wish I started then.  I’m convicted of being a bystander.  However, I plead NOT GUILTY of sitting on my gift.  Not Anymore.  It’s Not Too Late for Me.  You Either.

I’m On My Write Path.

Q.Nikki

This post is dedicated to my loved one who have believed I can write and prayed for me to believe it too!