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0:00:32 – Speaker 1
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0:00:36 – Speaker 2
Have you ever stopped and thought about how our lives often reflect our focus? I mean, i’ve even heard it said that if you look at your planner and your bank account, it’s easy to see what’s most important to you, which, i’ll be honest with you. in preparing for the show, i was thinking about that and apparently, looking at those things, food is what’s most important to me. I spent all the money on it, i spent all my time planning it and my planner what’s for dinner tonight. So yeah, food, food for me.
0:01:03 – Speaker 1
It’s funny because Matt and I just finished our budget and one of the conversations was we have to decrease our fast food budget. We are a similar in that, sister. You know we’re joking about it, but it’s such a great question really. And you know I look at my planner and a lot of it is work stuff And I feel like what we do at nextTalk is so, so important, right. But even great stuff like volunteering at your church, you know it can take the focus off of God, like I hate to say that, but it can. even ministry can take your focus off of God.
0:01:41 – Speaker 2
I love the saying just because it’s good doesn’t mean it’s God, and I have to think about that often because I get caught up a lot at times in a lot of good stuff but God’s like, but that’s not what I called you to, and so that is a good reminder of that. And you know, mine is work too, but I don’t know, maybe yours is money, maybe friends, maybe your social butterfly always planning a million get-togethers and things or, like you said, volunteering, whatever it is for you. I think it’s important to identify and speak it out and figure out what am I putting my focus on?
0:02:11 – Speaker 1
Well, and I think a lot of times the good things we do, like volunteering, you know, especially this time of season, we’re more charitable, we’re thinking about others. You know we should be Even that sometimes we get so caught up in it that our heart is not right. So it may be about the Facebook posts that we’re going to make about serving meals, instead of, like, really preparing our heart to minister to the people when we drop off the meals. You know what I mean. That’s a good point, yes, like we really have to focus on what our heart is trying to accomplish with those tasks.
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What’s our motivation?
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So you say it so much better Like I had all the words. What is your motivation? Yes, Kim, What are we doing here?
0:02:56 – Speaker 2
I’ve noticed this Christmas I feel a little bit like we’re so excited to do all the traditional things that we’ve done in the past and you know, we’ve recently moved So it’s like decorating and it’s baking cookies and all the things, and we’re just pulled in a lot of different directions, planning all the fun stuff instead of waking up and thinking What is my real focus this Christmas season? What are we really celebrating? What are we doing here? Why is it that I’m more concerned about the decorations in my yard than the devotions in my heart? I think we need to reassess. That’s kind of where I’ve been.
0:03:32 – Speaker 1
So that phrase that you just said really convicts me, because I’m a big decorator and I like to get it done and get it right. You know I’m an Enneagram one Lord help me, you know and so I want to get it done and get Enneagram ones. By the way, decorating a tree with a kid is hard, oh.
0:03:50 – Speaker 2
0:03:50 – Speaker 1
Let me just tell you, because the ornaments need to be evenly spaced and we’re going to change everything. No, it’s all the things, all the things right, stress, but in my mind, let me get it all done, get it perfect, get everything where it needs to be, and then I can focus. And I think so many times, like God is telling me. The whole decorations can be messed up, they can be disarrayed, your house cannot even be decorated, but I’m still expecting your heart to be right, and so you saying that, kim, it really convicts me for sure.
0:04:22 – Speaker 2
Well, it came out of a place of reading some scripture as I was feeling this way Like what am I really focusing on here? What am I modeling for my kids? And I read the message version of Ephesians 5, 15 to 17. And I tell you what my heart started beating a little bit faster when I was reading it. I was like this is like a call to action. It was kind of like a reminder to focus on what matters Here. It is Don’t waste your time on useless work, mere busy work. Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.
0:04:52 – Speaker 1
That is speaking to my heart.
0:04:55 – Speaker 2
Mere busy work. The barren pursuits of darkness Expose these things for the sham that they are. It’s a scandal when people waste their lives on things they must do in the darkness, where no one else will see. Rip the cover off those frauds and see how attractive they look in the light of Christ. Wake up from your sleep, climb out of your coffins. Christ will show you the light. So watch your step, use your head, make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times. Don’t live carelessly, unthinkingly. Make sure you understand what the master wants. I mean come on.
0:05:35 – Speaker 1
Mm. I’m just picturing myself God looking at me out in my front yard fixing the lights, shaking his head like girl, i got so much more for you. Yeah, That’s a perfectionism.
0:05:47 – Speaker 2
Joe, Understand what I want. That’s what he’s saying. It’s not lights. If Jesus showed up at my door, would I be pushing him off till later and saying I don’t have time because I want my tree to be just right, Or sorry, Jesus, I’m going to volunteer at the soup kitchen because I wanted to look in on my Instagram. Come back later. And Jesus literally is sitting and waiting for us. He wants to spend time with us. He wants to be in communication with us through this season so that we remember the whole reason we’re celebrating. And a lot of us are pushing him off and focusing on the wrong things.
0:06:24 – Speaker 1
I mean, i love this And it really does hone in from all of that. It doesn’t use the word focus, but that’s what you think about Like. Be intentional with your focus, and that focus should be Lord, what do you want for me? What do you want me to do? How do you want me to serve? And when I do serve, make sure it is with the kind of heart, servant’s heart, instead of look what I’m doing.
0:06:49 – Speaker 2
And really I think if we were to wake up every morning God is a God who fulfills His promises And if we woke up every morning and we said Lord, show me, show me what you want for my day, for every moment, for every minute, for every second, i am listening, i am watching for you. He would show up, he would show us. He wants so much to be in communication with us And I just think that’s a really practical step in the morning just to say I’m here and I’m listening. This is your day, not mine.
0:07:19 – Speaker 1
That is an easy thing I think we all could do, and it not just be words, but we truly mean it. We truly mean it and I want to talk about some other practical things because, especially in this season, there’s so much that we can sign up for and go to and check off the box, but do they really matter? Are they really fulfilling a purpose? Yeah, you know, we used to do all the things, we had all the traditions, and as my kids have gotten older, they’ve they’ve told me we don’t like this tradition, we don’t like, and I I’ve had to be okay, letting go.
Which really cool about this new season is, i feel like we’re doing new things, fresh things, and One of the things that we’re doing is studying Luke as a family together, to like prepare our hearts for what Christmas really means this year and man the fruit of being able to gather on the couch and talk about scripture and Jesus’s birth and miracles that he created. It’s just. It’s just created a new, i don’t know, like a fresh wind in my family. It’s been so cool to see how the Holy Spirit is speaking to both of my kids and my husband and I, and We were intentional about making sure that God is at the center of this Christmas season.
0:08:33 – Speaker 2
Imagine that studying scripture in Preparing for celebrating Jesus, like it seems so obvious, so simple, right Yeah, and yet we’re like doing all the other things and we put that on the back burner Christmas baking cookies, the challenges, the you know neighborhood Drive-thrus, the hot cocoa bars, you know all.
0:08:54 – Speaker 1
The course, there’s nothing wrong with any of that, and if you are the type of person that likes to go, go, go, go, go, fill it all up, they let all that. But I just can’t. I’m too old anymore, i can’t do it. I’m wearing bifocals now, come on, i’m still in denial about that.
0:09:11 – Speaker 2
Is that Santa? over that I can’t tell.
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When you hit your 40s, everything changes.
0:09:18 – Speaker 2
Well, there are that. Those are simple, but, yes, they do take Intentionality, and I think that’s really what we want to say here today. It does take you refocusing on what’s important and taking steps and Making decisions that lead you to the feet of Jesus.
0:09:37 – Speaker 1
You know, another thing that we did is I we’ve always followed this advent calendar And it was kind of kiddish and you know, my kids have done it every year until they basically know it, and this year I just threw it all away. I mean it was great, it was Bible verses, right. But they’re older now and I’m like, does it even Matt? like they have these things memorized? Yeah, like I wanted to mean something and so I started writing my own little Prepare our hearts for advent thing, and one of the first things we did was every day beginning in December 1st, is we would go around and say One thing we loved about somebody in our family, like the, the four of us.
So We did this for three days. So you had to cover everybody. So even siblings had to find something They love about the other one, right, yes, and we had some ground rules, like it couldn’t be just a blanket You love Jesus or you follow Jesus, because that’s kind of a standard that we have in our family, right, mm-hmm. And but it had to be something specific about this person And man, the fruit of that. Like just hearing what my kids thought of me, you know you don’t really ask them to yeah, about a good characteristic And, in turn, me really thinking about my kids and what I love, about their uniqueness and what they bring to the world.
It was just a really cool conversation and I think it really prepared our hearts. We’re also gonna talk about our grandparents and our friends And then we’re gonna focus on. My whole plan is, with this advent thing is then to also Turn it around in the last week and focus on Jesus and how his characteristics you know We have our faults, you know and and humans have their faults, but he is like this, this perfect package of all these amazing fruit of the spirit characteristics, and that’s kind of the way we’re going, but so far it has been amazing and I feel like it’s really helped prepare our hearts In a fresh way that we haven’t done before.
0:11:31 – Speaker 2
I think that’s awesome and very practical, very doable, and it kind of speaks to one of the things that I started doing this year I’ve done it before, but it’s been a minute Is to not just think about your priorities and focus, but to write them down, and I like to do it on my bathroom mirror, so literally when I’m standing there I can say, oh, i want to do this, this, this and this, but these are my priorities and does it work with my priorities?
So if it’s Jesus, family, fellowship, whatever those are for you and you think about, i’m going to go to 22 Santa parades, like, does that allow for these other things? No, it doesn’t. I’ve got to say no to some things so I can say yes to things that align with my priorities, and so that, on a practical level, has really helped. And I have found that we’ve said no to a lot more things this year, because what my kids want to do is snuggle on the couch in Christmas PJs and do our family devotion together, because that has really brought us together too. That’s a new thing for us this year, and so I think just having intentional time to think through what is important for you and your family will help this process more than anything.
0:12:42 – Speaker 1
I think that’s so important, kim to make sure you’re writing out the priorities and asking yourself does this fit within that?
0:12:50 – Speaker 2
Because we can all fill up our calendar with busyness, but we really have to be intentional about that goal And, that being said, one of the things that we identified, mandy and I, for this Christmas season is that we wanted to be intentional about having downtime to be refreshed and restored with our family and in our faith life, and so that means stepping away a little bit more from work, so we’re going to take a day off just to be still. So, as we’re taking time off, we pray that you will do the same. Think about what’s important for you and your family and filter what you’re doing through that and be intentional about keeping your focus on the real reason for the season. Merry, merry Christmas.
Transcribed by https://podium.page