• Tammy Arlene

Let’s not look in the rear view mirror at past mistakes. Together, we can look forward and press on toward the goals we were designed for by God.

If something is important, we will make time for it. For example, if we have a favorite television program, we may record it and make time to sit and watch it. It brings enjoyment, so we spend intentional time watching, even binge watching. Likewise, if we have a friend that we value, we make time to spend with them in person, virtually, writing letters, or talking on the telephone. Time equals value.

Shouldn’t our spiritual and physical health goals have value as well? Let’s follow the example set by Paul when he wrote to the young Church in Philippi.

Philippians 3:14 (NIV) – “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Do you have something important that you feel God is drawing you toward? Something that you often say to others?

A few examples from my own life include:

Reading the Bible daily

Writing/Journaling about what I learn from my bible reading

Praying to God with thankfulness throughout the day, starting when my eyes open in the morning

Creative writing for publication

Writing Bible Studies to encourage women

Healthy mindful eating

Daily exercise

The primary reason I’ve struggled to accomplish goals is because I didn’t make time for them. If I had to be honest, the things that I didn’t accomplish were not goals at all, they were wishes. It boils down to the fact that I didn’t see value in the thing I wished to accomplish, therefore, I was not intentional about spending a few minutes or more a day to devote to turn these wishes or desires into true goals. I’ve used lack of time as an excuse, yet I’ve spent minutes to hours watching silly animal videos on social media. I placed priority something other than what God was drawing me toward. That is embarrassing to admit, but sadly true.

In some cases, I’ve let others discourage me from following God’s calling just when the ember of passion for the goal started to heat up. Beware! That is Satan’s attempt to put out the passion and purpose filled fire that God gives all of us! Many of us have been discouraged and hurt by family members or pious appearing religious people. That internal injury may have left us doubting our callings. This is a topic that I can and will explore more in the near future.

What reasons do you have for not pressing toward turning God’s encouraging whisper into a goal? Do you see others who are doing the thing/things that you wish you could do? Do these people have more minutes in their day that you do? It may seem like they do. They don’t. They just have placed value on the task, and therefore, dedicated time to it.

Do you want to press on, making progress toward a goal God has placed on your heart?

If so, I’ve listed a few steps that have helped me. Pick a goal. Let’s do this together.

1. Name it. What is one thing that you hear yourself saying out loud, or in your head, that you would do, if only. . . For example, “If only I had more time, I’d devote 15 minutes to quiet time reading my Bible and listening to God first thing every morning.”

2. Write it down! I like to use 3 x 5 cards. Anything will work. Write “Starting tomorrow morning, I will devote 15 minutes(minimum) daily to reading God’s word.”

3. Be intentional ahead of time. Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier than usual. Prepare yourself to dedicate time to this goal. Using the example above, place your Bible and a journal on your bedside table. Or, if you are a coffee drinker, put these items next to the coffee maker so you grab them when you get your first cup of the day.

This is what I like to call an intentional chain reaction. I grab my coffee and read the Bible. I am already in the habit of getting a cup of coffee first thing in the morning, I just add another step to what I already do. Having my Bible right there serves as a reminder and eliminates the excuse to go get it if I am tired!

4. Do it, rain or shine! There are many theories about how long it takes to create or break a habit. I know that it is easier to break a habit than create one. I am a firm believer that we need to press deeper within ourselves than just creating a new habit. We have to prioritize what God wants us to do, know deep inside that this is important for our Christian walk, and dedicate ourselves to reaching toward the goal.

5. Reward yourself. Maybe hanging a paper calendar on the wall and putting a big check mark on the dates you accomplished your goal will motivate you. Or, even better, you can list the passages you read on the calendar so you can see the progress made at a glimpse.

6. Accountability partners are great. Is there someone that you know that has a similar goal? You could report in daily or weekly on your progress. If you don’t have an accountability partner, you can email me and let me know how you are doing. I’d love to encourage you.

7. Don’t be hard on yourself. Remember how I mentioned above that others may discourage you from pressing toward your goal? We can do that to ourselves and stop progress in its tracks. If you miss a day, pick up the next day and keep going. There may be a morning that the alarm doesn’t go off and you need to rush off to work. Or a family emergency disrupts the schedule. Grace, my friend, is a free gift from God. Trust me, He knows what you are going through.

Here is another much needed reminder from the Apostle Paul. Philippians 3:13 (NIV) “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.”

Let’s not look in the rear view mirror at past mistakes. Together, we can look forward and press on toward the goals we were designed for by God.

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  • Tammy Arlene

I am excited to announce that I will be traveling to Columbus, Ohio to speak about my book later this month and participate in the Author Academy Awards. We made it to the top 10 in General Fiction! I can hardly believe it.

I have a favor to ask.

If you haven't voted for my book, can you take a minute to do so? Coming Home is on Tab5 / General Fiction and I've added the link below.

I appreciate your support!

You can also register to watch the award ceremony online as it happens!

Here's the link:

#AuthorAcademyAwards #Finalist #AAE

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  • Tammy Arlene

Have you felt conflicted lately? I feel like I am constantly surrounded by contradictions! I'll share my thoughts on one that has come to the forefront for me.

We are told to use technology to get more done. To use apps, multi-task, sign up for auto renewals and rely on our smart phones for most everything so we can free up time - to do more stuff, and make ourselves busier! Are we helping ourselves by doing this? Or just creating a more frenzied life that is too stuffed full of tasks that drain our energy? Phew, I am tired just typing that.

As a contradiction, a new wellness trend is a focus on mindfulness. Experts say we need to slow down, be in the moment, aware of what is going on in our lives at all times. Focusing on our breath, feeling each footfall as we walk, meditating and listening to our bodies creates a happier and healthier life is good for us. So, should we walk around in a daze or sit criss cross apple sauce all afternoon? Nap our afternoons away as we contemplate how our heart beat works?

Can we balance the two? Is there a happy medium?

Let me give you an example of how I should be more mindful. I've been automating, relying on technology and living a frenzied life lately. I felt like I was getting more done, but truth is, I was getting lots of things half-done!

Last week while rushing from one work meeting to another, I ran out of gas! My handy automated gas gauge and "miles to empty" gadget malfunctioned. I received notice a while back about a recall on the system that I ignored because I was so darned "busy." I ended up waiting on the side of the freeway, other cars swishing by at 75 miles per hour, until a good friend (Thanks Deb!) arrived with a can of gas. Had I been more mindful, I would have realized that I drove for over a week, and many miles, on that tank of gas without the needle moving on the gauge. Better yet, I would have taken my car in for the necessary repair when I received the notice! I wasn't mindful, I was too busy rushing around from place to place and this incident caused me to slow down (or literally STOP) in my tracks to think about how much I rely on technology. The car is going in for repair Saturday, by the way!

Yet, I do have a lot to accomplish with my job in management/insurance sales. Then there is family to care for, finishing my BA, and finding time to work on writing! Setting up automatic bill pay has been a big help, I no longer write checks to mail out. And, I am thrilled to have discovered a wonderful bit of household technology that I have come to rely on. This may sound silly to many, but I asked for a robot vacuum for Christmas. This gadget has saved me so much time. Sweeping and vacuuming have never been mindful acts to me, and I am happy to automate them. Coming home to clean floors is such a treat.

I have decided to compromise. Yes, I will continue to automate. At the same time, I will focus on slowing down and completing one task at a time. Most importantly, if automation saves me time during the day, I will use that time to take a breath (or five) instead of filling every minute with tasks that may or may not be important. I will take time for "me" and my health by not working or using my phone while I eat scheduled, healthy meals.

In the next post, I'll share what I am doing to get things done more efficiently. I am a work in progress, and glad you have joined me on my journey.

P.S. Have you had a chance to read my book? If you have read it, I would appreciate if you would give me a review!

It is on sale now! Hardcover, paperback and ebook are reduced on Amazon! Search "Tammy Arlene Coming Home" to find it! I'd love to hear your thoughts.

All my best,

Tammy Arlene

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