Recording some wins and also evaluating some deviations from the plan…<3


Happy Tuesday to you!

I just have a quick thought to share with you. 

You all know, if you have spent any time around here, that I do love my lists. 

On Sunday night I fill in the weekly portion of our family calendar from the month at a glance section. Then I send a text to Russ, Zach and Rachel double checking that we are all on the same page, literally, with what is going on for our portion of helping with kiddos and such. 

In a perfect world, I also take time to think about some meals and jot those thoughts down by each day so that I can make a grocery run on Monday. And I add notes about things that need to be done over the course of the week.

Sometimes this whole process can feel like just moving on to the next deal, as a friend of ours says. 

So a couple of weeks ago, I decided to start this Sunday evening task by jotting down some “wins” from the week before in the margins provided on the calendar I use. 

This involves looking back over the past week and remembering the actual days spent doing things for us and for others.

As I look at the things I had scheduled and the daily to do lists I had added to each day the previous week, it’s fun to write down things that felt like wins. 

They are little things, mind you. 

Things like I finally made that recipe I have been wanting to try, a good day at work, a family event, a recital, a writing goal met, walking every day to get steps in…just the small things that made the week better. 

It has been a reset in my mind as I bring closure to the past week and thank God for so many blessings that I may have overlooked. It also helps me to have a hopeful and positive attitude about the week ahead. It motivates me during the week as I face the challenges of meeting goals because I look forward to recording things that worked out.

As I am sharing this, it has suddenly come to me that this is the principle behind the Ignatian Prayer of Examen. It also occurs to me that this now means my short post is going to be longer, but oh well. 

The prayer is one that is a good one to pray as you are falling asleep at the end of the day. 

From a website by the Jesuits I found these simple steps:

  1. Place yourself consciously in God’s presence and thank Him for His love for you
  2. Ask God for grace to understand the things He is doing in your life
  3. Go back over your day and think through the moments, remember how you were feeling
  4. Reflect on your words and actions and ask if you were drawing closer to or pulling farther away from God in those situations
  5. Look forward to tomorrow and pray for how you can be more effective in working with God’s plan in the known events that lie ahead

It’s nice that there are five items as you can associate them with your hand and count off the steps. A “handy” memory trick <3

I would add that as you finish the prayer, you could open your hand and ask God for any forgiveness needed and then release all concerns, worries and guilt to Him as you fall asleep.

I know for me, I need to renew my mind by focusing, not only on the positives to be thankful for and to pray for strength in advance of challenges that will come, but to be thankful for God’s presence in my life each day . 

As I have incorporated this tiny addition to my weekly calendar prep, I have already noticed a tendency to be aware of the wins as they occur during the week. I am finding I celebrate and thank God more frequently during the week. And I find this attitude motivates me to not procrastinate as much or overthink. 

Okay…I still overthink but it’s a lot more light-hearted with this new habit. 

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