January 20, 2015

Reaching the Goal

Posted in Christianity tagged , , , at 9:40 pm by Staci Hart Mauney

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize…. (1 Cor. 9:24)

At the end of December, I finally completed my Master of Education in Secondary Education. After three long years of taking night classes, online classes, and hybrid classes (class set up both online and in a classroom), I had finally reached my goal. Many days, it seemed I would never make it – there was always one more paper to write, one more lesson plan to create, one more deadline looming. Time with my family and friends suffered as I poured myself into my studies, and I set aside writing almost completely, except in the summer. I often felt overwhelmed as I struggled to juggle my schedule of being a full-time student and full-time employee. Unfortunately, one of the things that suffered most was my relationship with the Lord. The time I used to set aside for Bible study was suddenly filled with research for my next paper. My prayer time was rushed so that I could get to my next assignment – and sometimes I forgot to pray at all until I sat down to take the big final exam. When I slowed down long enough to recognize this, I took steps to repair this, such as carving out time for devotionals and prayer – but then life quickly picked back up and I was back in the same old routine. Read the rest of this entry »

January 6, 2015

New Year, New Word

Posted in Christianity at 10:03 pm by Staci Hart Mauney

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience…” Col. 3:12

For the last several years, I have participated in the one word challenge. I first learned about the challenge by listening to the radio. I had never heard of it before, so I began to do some research. I learned the purpose behind the challenge – instead of making resolutions that I would inevitably give up, I would choose a word to represent a character trait I believed God wanted me to focus on for the year. Each year, I prayerfully chose a word and verse to accompany it, and by the end of the year, I could look back and see the path of growth that my life had taken. Of course, it was not easy, and there were bumps and setbacks along the way. But by keeping my word in front of me, and with gentle reminders from my friends and family to find out how I was doing, I was able to concentrate on the area in which God wanted me to grow.

This year, as I prayed, I kept coming across the word, compassion. I knew this was the word God wanted me to choose. I have placed it on my refrigerator at home and my desk at work. I have told my family and friends so that they can hold me accountable again. Growth is a process, but with Christ’s help, I can learn to be more compassionate and those around me will feel the love of Christ as I interact with others.

Prayer: Father, shape our lives as we learn to be more like you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.