Month: January 2016

Bible Reading + Focus

Knowing your learning style(s), and ways to help yourself learn, is SO important. I cannot stress this enough. It took until college for me to learn some aspects of how I learn best. And I find I’m continuing to learn new strategies to help improve my ability to learn all the time! For example…

I am a slow reader. Like, REALLY slow. My brain insists I read every.single.word. The idea of “scanning” a book makes my skin crawl. Many times, over just as many years, I have tried to read the bible all the way through. But my slow reading, and distractible brain, usually had me throwing in the towel by the end of January. Last year I tried to set up accountability partners and use an awesome reading app. But again, for a variety of reasons including my slow reading, it didn’t last long.

However, this year has the potential for a very different outcome!

A lovely lady from our church, who I just “friended” on social media recently, shared about an app. This one caught my attention immediately… it was a “read through the bible in a year” as usual. But this one is an AUDIO bible.

Using the Daily Audio Bible | read more at: www.oliverandtara.com

I am 100% an auditory learner. Anything I need to learn/memorize needs to be auditorily inputted into my noggin. In college, grad school and now with all the trainings and speaking engagements I do – it’s all auditory based. You’ll always see me with headphones in the week(s) leading up to the presentation, as I listen to the material over and over again. So an audio bible through the year? YES!

 

I also love it because it means Pip is hearing it too! Some days I’ll play it while I make breakfast or while we eat lunch. If it is a really busy day, we listen in the car as we drive between social engagements and appointments. I read a lot, but mostly on devices. Which means Pip doesn’t see me holding a physical book… for all he knows, I am back on social media again. (insert mom guilt here) So listening together to an audio book is really great for the both of us. And really, what better book could we be listening to?!

The narrator is dynamic, there is background music… overall it is REALLY well put together. Which my brain truly appreciates. I can’t recommend it enough. However, I realized I needed something to do with my hands when listening in the early morning or late in the evening all by myself. I fidget – I do not sit still very well AT ALL. So sitting and just listening wasn’t working. I found myself mentally “checking out” – which isn’t what I wanted when reading the bible! So, I was talking to a friend over the weekend about what to do. I love the new “grown-up coloring books” and have a very nice one, with beautiful pencils gifted by the hubby. I’ll often color in the evenings after Pip is in bed. But carrying those with me at all times wasn’t really realistic. But, as the saying goes, there must be an “app for that!”

Using coloring apps to stay focused! | read more at: www.oliverandtara.com

Sure enough, I found some great apps for adults to “color”! I gave one a try today and it worked wonderfully! I filled in a nice simple mandala while truly listening to readings in Genesis, Proverbs and more. This specific app is Colorfy, but there are many available!

So overall my message is this – there are some great apps to help you obtain some new goals this year. For me, it’s reading my bible more with even more focus. And these are what work for me right now. Saying a prayer I last longer than January for a change. And if not? Then I will give myself an extra helping of forgiveness and grace… then try again!

-Tara

One Little Word 2016

For the past 6 years we have participated in One Little Word instead of “resolutions” each New Years. It’s become a wonderful conversation we have together each December as a new year approaches. We discuss words we are thinking about, what we are “aiming” for and overall the “feel” of the new year. Those “words” have helped keep me grounded during infertility, focused during crazy times and reflective at the end of each year. Last year my word was “thankful”, and it was so amazing to talk with Oliver and hear how he saw me grow into this word in 2015.

This year I thought, mulled, prayed and really worked to find the right word. I almost went with brave, but Oliver agreed – it was “close” just not quite right. This year isn’t about enduring pain or facing danger. Then, as I was falling asleep the other night, I prayed for clarity. And the word just resonated in my soul…

Definition: showing an ability to take risks; confident and courageous.

YES! I have so many opportunities available to me this year, if I boldly take them. I’m finishing up certification in some training/assessments and clinics WANT this – if I’m bold enough to provide them! I’m becoming a mama to 2, and I want to embrace that with boldness. I’m praying and petitioning to God for a beautiful VBAC, and I’m going to have to boldly seek it to get it. I want to embrace “bold” this year with every cell in my body.

I also found bold can be defined as “having a strong or vivid appearance”. Now, this definition usually applied to color or design. But I really want to be strong and vivid this year, too. In my relationship with Christ, in motherhood and in the physical sense. Now, I’m not worried about my pants size. I’m focused on being strong enough to wear my babies, hike the mountains here, try rock climbing again and more. So please note I’m not saying “skinny”… I want to be STRONG.  And that is part of being bold too!

Do you pick a word each year? I’d love to hear what it is!

-Tara