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If we do not carve out a time and place to pray and dream with the Lord about our lives, then we can easily be swept away by things that do not truly matter.

People say, "We make time for what's important." I believe this, most of the time. What you spend your time on habitually does tend to show off your priorities. But sometimes we are not making time for what's important, because we haven't yet established what those things are.

Being intentional with our time, talents, and treasures is vital to our impact in today's world and our own personal heart & soul health. There are distractions and diversions thrown at us literally every minute of our awake hours.  If we do not carve out a time and place to pray and dream with the Lord about our lives, then we can easily be swept away by things that do not truly matter.

The week between Christmas and New Year's is maybe my favorite week of the year. Client workload is down, as most people are still on vacation. The bustle of the holidays has slowed, and I would be happy to spend the entire week in my pajamas at home, thinking, praying, writing, and dreaming. 

It's like the Sabbath of the year, and it is the perfect time to retreat and refocus, set your intentions and dream about the new year. I feel the Lord whispering, "Come away, my beloved, into My presence, and let me show you great and wonderful things."

With Jesus as our example, we see in Scripture that our souls need to retreat in order to carry on with our lives and ministries with vigor.

Luke 5:16, "But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray." (ASV)

Mark 1:35, "And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he (Jesus) went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed." (KJV)

We cannot create more time--we have all been given the same amount. What we have been given is the ability to choose how to spend our time. Jesus often went away to pray. The most "successful" life and ministry in history took the time to retreat. We also must carve out sections of time for reflection, prayer, heart work, and dreaming. There is time for this, but will we take it?

The Holy Spirit, our great Comforter and Guide, is always beckoning us to delve deeper into our relationship with God, Himself. Find time to meet with Him this week.

Here are some goals:

RETREAT
Retreat involves carving out both a time and a place. Find a quiet corner for a few hours (or a few days!) and pray. The retreating to pray fuels the ability to pray without ceasing.

RE-EVALUATE
Think over last year's successes and lessons. How are things going? What are your takeaways from the year? What needs to change this year? Sometimes priorities need to shift because our lives are shifting as we grow in faith and mission. Ask yourself, "Am I still, truly, making time for what is important?" What held your attention and focus last year may not be where the Lord wants to take you this year. Looking back with joy, and looking forward with faith is how we continue to learn, stretch, and grow. 

RE-ESTABLISH
What is God is speaking for 2018? What are those "big rocks" (www.refresh-women.com/blogother/putting-in-the-rocks) for this year? Re-establish the vision, and ask for fresh aspects of the vision. Dream about 1 year, 5 years, 10 years in the future. Even spend a moment dreaming of 20 years from right now. What will matter 20 years from now? Spend time establishing and developing those things this next year. Taking the time to focus and hear the voice of the Lord over your life creates a long lasting atmosphere in which we can 'hear along the way.' 

REFRESH
Finally, be refreshed in His presence. It is His presence that refreshes our souls and it is our intimacy with the Father that speaks to our identity. This is what gives us strength to face the day, week, month, and year with purpose.

Carve out your time and place this week, it's worth the effort!

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About Marianne Sloan

Marianne Sloan is passionate about Jesus, her family, and living simply, intentionally, and with great joy. She has found that there is no greater life fulfillment than following hard after the God who has created her, knows her by name, and who loves her. The wife to Luke, and mama to four, Marianne and her family live in beautiful Tennessee. She is a homeschool-mom, web-designer, and nature-lover. Spending her days raising and teaching her four littles keeps her hands full, but when she's not mothering, working or teaching, she loves to read, write, garden, and run. You can connect with Marianne on her BLOG          { mariannemsloan.com } and INSTAGRAM { @marianne_sloan  }.

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