Did you get a new planner this year? I did. I didn’t know I was going to, but I did.
It’s black with gold writing on it that says, the best is yet to come.
I figured since I got it, I would need to use it myself. You know, since I got it in January and I didn’t have time to give it to anyone else–and it’s only good for 2016. I thought it might just be like a glorified calendar–you know, cute and with a hard cover.
But after opening it up, I soon realized I was wrong. And the more I flipped through it, the more I realized what a blessing this little book is going to be to me this year.
This planner is like no other planner I’ve ever seen or used.
It’s 5 1/2″ by 7 3/4″. The front and back are hard covers and they are connected to the thick paper inside by a gold 1″ spiral. Had I bought this in a store myself, I think I would have paid at least $20 for it. I was really impressed with the quality.
Once I dug into it, I began to notice it wasn’t your average run-of-the-mill planner. The first page reads, “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4.” I knew something was different about this one.
Next was a bucket list that encouraged Dream, Listen, Plan, Pray. This was followed by simple to fill-out charts, breakdowns, and a refocus cloud to fill out. The idea is to get back to what really matters.
Why did God put you here?
How will you work toward fulfilling His plan for your life?
I took a couple prayerful days and filled it in. What were my passions? What were my obligations? What is holding me back or down? How will I center on Jesus to get past these things and work toward the life He meant for me to have?
I almost didn’t go through this section. I’m not a firm resolution person. I’m a person who knows what I want, tries hard to focus on God’s Will, and I don’t change my end-point until I’ve got there and I’m ready for a new goal.
But I did, and I’m so glad. To have written down what really matters, what gets in my way, and what I need to let go of was refreshing.
But it doesn’t end there.
Whomever designed this planner knew well that resolutions and new goals abound as January begins and then for many, fade… And they weren’t going to let that happen.
Each season begins with heart checks, generosity planning, and a refocus cloud. As you use your planner, it encourages you each season to humble yourself as you look again into your heart to answer a few questions that get you back on track should you have fallen away from your goal.
This is the first planner I’ve ever seen that helps you plan who you will bless in a given season, and how you may need to adjust your commitments and/or how you spend your time.
Should you need to refocus more often than that, each month ends with a praise report. This is brilliant.
Do you ever look back on the last few months or years and wonder what you did that mattered? Or how Jesus showed you love? Just imagine if at the end of every month you sat down in prayer and asked for His revelation–and then you wrote it down.
Not only would we be more aware of the blessings our Lord bestows on us, but I can really see how this would improve the praise we gave back to Him.
Do you have a planner? Does it encourage you to plan to bless others? Does it encourage you to plan to take time and recognize your blessings? Plan for praise reports? And dare I ask, have you ever planned out how you will “walk the walk” so-to-speak?
I tried it this month, and I can say I feel more appreciative of not only God’s blessings in my life, but also more appreciate for the people in my life. I’ve always prayed for the people around me, but now I’m looking at their names in this beautiful planner all the time and it’s just encouraging me to pray more.
I received this beautiful planner as one of the items in my January Faithbox. Each month I receive a new box with Christian encouragement. (I’ll tell you more about what was in it in a minute.)
I wanted to do the Faithbox thing for the next year to help me keep my faith strong and grow it. Nothing will ever replace my bible or my prayer time. But what about the other times? This world does not scream Jesus loves you. It screams sin, rebellion, and be your own god. And I, for one, don’t like hearing this everywhere I go.
Faithbox was something I looked into as a way to encourage me in my daily walk. I planned to go through the entire box every month and use every item in it to bless others–because I feel Jesus’ love when I am able to step out and bless others through Him. My intention was that my faith would stay strong and even increase by passing the good stuff along.
I had no intention of using anything in the box selfishly. But I have changed that with this planner. I am using this planner for myself–to help me schedule out how I will walk the walk all day every day for the next year.
Each month has different items, and this planner will likely not be in any future boxes. However, they do have a certain amount of extra boxes from each month that are available to order individually should you like (affiliate).
How Did I Use Everything Else In There?
Everyday Faith monthly devotional: There is a new devotional book for each month if I understand correctly. It is firm enough not to get bent up and easily destroyed, small enough it fits into your back pocket, and has room each day for any notes you may want to jot down. I sent this to a friend of mine that lives in a very spiritually dark place (but not before I looked through and admired it).
10 Blank-inside appreciation cards: These cards have beautiful, slightly muted pictures on the front and are blank inside. They encourage the recipient to send them out as thank-you’s and gifts of appreciation to others. I have a few left, but I spent time writing notes to various missionary friends of mine about how amazing I think they are and how much I value them. These were women I haven’t spoken to in quite awhile. It filled my heart to sit and write words of my love and appreciation to them.
My-Intent bracelet: This bracelet is designed to put on your wrist and be worn until it falls off. While wearing it, the person is reminded to pray and seek their purpose for this year. It reminds the wearer to pray, ask, and listen for God’s answer. I sent this to a dear sister in Christ who has found herself again in a season of singleness. She has had to reevaluate which direction God wants her to take, and thoughts of her flooded my mind when I prayed over the recipient.
4 Organic Jasmine Green Tea bags: I used these to have tea parties with a couple of ladies in the community who have needed encouragement (and witnessing to) since they love tea. I don’t have any tea since we don’t drink it, but these ladies had previously asked for tea dates to discuss some issues. Seemed like an easy answer there.
Gifts That Give booklet: Monthly booklet from Faithbox discussing the contents of the box, as well as those partnering with them and their vision to encourage Christians worldwide in their faith.
If you haven’t read about my plan to keep my faith strong and growing this upcoming year, you can read it here to understand my full intention with this project. In 2016, I have asked Faithbox to partner with me. They have generously joined me in my goal and supplied my Faithbox in exchange for this post.
Stop by and check out their monthly Faithbox plan (or 3 month plan) for yourself. I had no idea I would be as inspired as I am–I hope you too will be pleasantly surprised.
Who else is a Faithbox fan? I’d love to know what you did with your box this month (or even previous months).