Wed., Jan. 16, 2019

Philemon 1:20 – Yes, brother, I want this favor from you in the Lord! Refresh my heart in Christ.

Recently, I took a few hours one afternoon/evening and thought about what some goals are I have for myself in the next 365 days. I was not making resolutions. I contemplated areas where I want to improve in myself.

Goals vs. resolutions. Is there a difference?

I believe there is. Would you like to know my perspective?

Good. Here it is.

A resolution is a firm decision to do or not do something. A goal is the ambition to work towards a desired result. A resolution says, “From here on out, I will (or will not) …” A goal says, “Step by step, I’m going to work towards …”

See the difference?

I can “will” myself not to eat sugar. But I know there will be a day when I will. If I make a resolution not to eat sugar, I set myself up for failure. If I make a goal to consume less sugar and work towards a specific goal, I give myself grace to achieve this over time.

So, what is one of my goals for 2019?

Not to ADD more to my life but to freshened up things that are already a part of my daily journey.

Rather than look at a complete life overhaul (which is exhausting, demanding and unrealistic for me), I want to challenge myself to make slight changes and adjustments. Maybe it’s more of a mind shift in how I think about things. But after years and years of trying to do the overhaul method and failing miserably, I challenged myself to come up with a different approach.


Freshen up it is.


Here’s a very simple but quick way to illustrate what I mean.


Before Christmas, we decorated our beautiful front porch for the holidays. Our gorgeous porch is the first spot that welcomes people into our home. It truly is the place where people can begin to feel the warmth and welcome I desperately want them wash over them as they come into our home.


My sister, Debbie, helped decorate for Christmas. We took very simple things I already had, tastefully arranged them and inserted some beautiful evergreen arrangements Debbie whipped up. I purposefully suggested keeping this area less Christmasy and more wintery so it could transform from pre-Christmas to post-Christmas with little effort.


The post-Christmas biggest challenge? See the cute little bench. The one Hubby Rick made from a $12 headboard that I purchased at a thrift shop? It needed to go back inside the house. It moved out here to make room for the Christmas tree. But now, the bench needed to go back inside the foyer, it’s rightful location.

This would be a quick refresh, not a big overhaul.


First step – remove the white Christmas lights sprinkled in throughout the decorations. While it still looks cool at night, it is time to stop turning on the Christmas lights. Sigh.


Second step – move everything off the bench, clean it and move it inside.


Third step – move existing decorations around to make a winter wonderland without the bench.


Total time to refresh the porch? 10 minutes.


The only added item is the bin that now holds the sticks of wood. The bin was inside the parlor over Christmas. The sticks of wood were outside. I just put them back together and found a spot for them. Done.


The whole refreshing time did take a few more minutes. Once everything was in its place on the porch, I put the bench back in its normal spot inside and added a few things to make it look cozy. I think this took another 5 minutes.


And my heart sang with joy.


Why remake when all we have to do is refresh?


Where can you spend 15-20 minutes today and refresh something that will bring joy to your heart?

I’m calling today “Refresh Wednesday.” Look for more “Refresh Wednesday’s” coming up; little things I’m doing to help me work towards achieving goals in the next 365 days. Things that are quick, easy and help my heart sing.

For a quick refresh in my life, I am grateful.

Almighty God – You designed us just the way we are. Yes, you might want to make a few changes to our choices and behavior. But you give each of us unique personalities and perspectives. Place on our hearts little ways we can refresh our life today. Help us see the best way towards long-term change may not be a huge overhaul but simple steps on a regular basis. Amen.

Blessings –


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