Welcome to Proverbs 31 Wannabe where Alexis Heaslip, a stay at home mother of two and follower of Jesus, shares her personal walk with Christ. Her goal is to help women explore the Bible and walk with Jesus by being a Proverbs 31 Wannabe. In this exposed, Alexis reflects on 2022 and what she’s learned.
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28 December 2022
A Year Reflection
1. PODCAST INTRO (1-2 MINUTES)
Start with podcast music to set the stage (appx. 15 seconds before speaking.)
A. Voice Introduction
i. Hi there and welcome to Proverbs31 Wannabe where we discuss biblical womanhood in our constantly busy and sometimes crazy daily life. I’m Alexis Heaslip and as a wife and mother of two, I am always striving and praying to be a Proverbs 31 woman of faith. This year has been a whirlwind and I cannot believe that its going to be 2023 in just a few days. The holiday season has gone by in the blink of an eye, and as the year winds down I want to take the time to reflect on the big things that I have learned this year. SO let’s dive on in and see what I’ve learned, how I have changed, and what I want to work on this next year.
ii. Theme music (10 second segue)
2. What I Learned & Change for Next Year
A. Two Kids Equals Adjusting Time Management
- This past year has been an exciting and chaotic year for our family. In November of 2021 we went from a family of three to a family of four. Although this was an extremely exciting transition going from a boy mom to a boy and girl mom and I was ecstatic to grow our family, it brought about a realization that my time management skills needed some refinement. I will be the first to admins that I am not the most organized person in the world. I really wish that I got that OCD schedule loving and organizing queen status from my mom- who thrives with labeled and color coded bins, but that’s just not how I naturally role. Organizing and time management don’t come naturally to me and, although I have gotten a lot better over the last four years, adding a baby to the mix really threw me in for a loop. The first two months of Colette’s life were actually pretty smooth because my husband was able to take FEMLA leave off and it was such a blessing to have him home for all that time. I had support and help from my mom as well which I am eternally grateful for. But once my husband went back to work, even though I thought I was prepared- it turns out I was not. On top of having a precious newborn, I also had a four year old boy who is the energizer bunny as well as three online college classes to balance with due dates, quizzes, and tests. Not to mention the housework (which I don’t enjoy doing). For the first two weeks of the new normal with my husband back at work I floundered because I felt like I had no game plan. I was exhausted. I was a little overwhelmed, and most importantly- I hadn’t turned to God for His guidance. Once I came to that realization that I needed God’s help, I prayed. I asked him for help. I prayed that He would show me ways to be better organized and make this transition in my life one where I don’t slip into depression, which has happened in the past. The Lord brought to my mind this scripture that is found in Philippians 4 verses 4-7 which says: “Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” After taking a few days to meditate and pray on these verses, I was able to clear my head of the feeling of being overwhelmed and I set in a written planner a weekly plan that laid out what I needed to accomplish each week: each week I wrote out assignments that were due, Colette’s feeding and nap schedule, Luke’s school times and activities, meals and when to prep them, and a cleaning schedule. Notice how I said I wrote these things out. I have always been the type of person to write things down. I need to physically check things off for my brain to remember to do something or I will forget. One of my best investments for helping me stay on track and finding a schedule that fits my needs is a good planner. I personally love the Christian planner (not sponsored by the way) and through the help of the planner and writing my weekly goals down, I was able to find a new groove for my family. Some things took trial and error- for example, my cleaning schedule.I will leave a link in the description if you want to check out the Christian planner. I went through a couple of different schedules before finding the one that works best for me. I could do a whole podcast about cleaning and my dislike for it but that’s for another time. Because of my growth in time management, and I know that I can still improve on that, I finished two semesters this year with great grades, my children being happy and healthy, and me learning more about different things such as new cleaning techniques, finding time for things that I love such as this podcast, and prioritizing my time with family and talking to God in daily prayer. The beautiful thing about time management is that it is constantly changing and evolving and just because it’s written out doesn’t mean it has to be set in stone. I’ve heard many moms like me say things like “If it’s not on the calendar I’m not doing it.” Or I have heard the opposite where some people say “we just go where the wind takes us.” After this year of growth, I have found myself in the middle. I am open to changes in my schedule but also need some structure. And what gave me the ultimate peace is when I offered up my time to the Lord so that my time is spent doing His will. It’s so easy to forget that in the business of being a mom in a world that doesn’t slow down, that our goals should be to fulfill His will for our lives. If one day you don’t accomplish your cleaning fully but you spend time playing with your children and telling them stories-that’s ok because ultimately we as parents, we as moms, are here to raise up our children to know and love God. That is what I try to keep in mind when making my schedule each week. Yes I have things to do- but do those things while keeping Jesus at the center of it all. (Theme music segue)
B. My Prayer Life
- The next big hot ticket item that I grew in and changed some things about was my prayer life. I don’t know about you, but being a mom, I let the excuse of having two small children be a way out of spending time with God in prayer. I would tell myself oh I’m just so exhausted because Colette only slept for two hours in between each feedings and would say things like oh I just don’t have the mental capacity to pray right now because I am so tired. I know we’ve all been there as moms. Having a baby is a lot of work and it is tiring, but that’s no excuse for not taking the time to pray. This really hit home to me one Sunday when our youth pastor at church had a sermon on Sunday and he talked about prayer and making the time to pray. He really laid it out on my heart during that sermon about how it doesn’t take much to spend time with God. We spend so much time doing other things in our lives: whether it is social media or reading a fiction book or watching TV, those things take up a lot of time but prayer? A lot of the time we just don’t give it a second thought. He talked about how he told the high school students that even if it’s just a two minute check in with God in the morning and that’s it, that’s a great start to grow in your prayer life. Something is better than nothing. God is just so happy whenever you talk to him. He wants us to have a relationship with him. He wants us to come to him and all things just like we would text a friend. So after that Sunday I was really convicted of working on my personal prayer time. One thing that has really helped me is on the Bible app there was the daily verse of the day and they made it like a Snapchat story where you watch a 1 to 2 minute video of someone who gives their personal thoughts on the verse of the day, there’s a little one to two minute read of a devotional, a little prayer to go with the verse, and a verse of the day image to reflect on. I try to make it a habit of starting off my day with this little verse of the day story prayer time. Before I do anything else: before I check Facebook or get up out of bed and start my daily routine, I want to be in the word and have my little moment of prayer with God. When I do this first thing in the morning, my heart is ready and my mind is prepared for the day. It’s such a great and easy way to connect with God first thing and it only takes a couple of minutes. Another tool that I have tried out this year that I really enjoy is that I made a homemade prayer board. Now I am not a crafty girl so mine is not really pretty but it does the job. I literally went to my dollar general and got a tri fold like what you use in a school presentation, got some clothes hangers and glued them on to the board, and use index cards and a sharpie to write out my prayer intentions. I have divided up the trifold into four sections: the first section I labeled adoration, the second section I labeled confession, the third section is Thanksgiving, and the fourth section is supplication. I have put my prayer board in my kitchen because I am in there a lot and if anybody comes to me with a prayer request I am mediately write it down and put it on my prayer board. Anytime I want to thank God for something I write it out and put it on my prayer board. Having this visible and tangible way of thanking God, adoring God, and asking for his supplications and confessing when I’ve done something bad has really helped me to be more grateful for the things that I have. What’s great is that I keep the index cards and I am able to look back throughout the year on different things that I have prayed about and it is really fun to see how I have grown in my prayer throughout the year. The third thing that I have done this past year is making sure to pray with my children consistently each night before bed. Establishing this routine has been so much fun. I have different children’s bibles- one is a rhyme bible, one more a traditional story bible, and another with beautifully illustrated pictures. We read a bible story together in the evening, talk about it, and then pray before bed. It’s been such a joy to see how much my son loves the different true stories, the questions he asks, and hearing what he wants to pray for. I wish I could say I did this sooner, but before this year it was extremely inconsistent. But that is the joy of growth. That is the joy of walking with the Lord- that you can look back and see how you have changed over time. At first I would beat myself up for not doing better, but over time I realized that my prayer life is a journey. Through verses like Romans 8:26-30 which says “And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.” I can take comfort in these verses knowing that it’s ok to start small and grow over time in my journey of prayer. (Theme music segue)
C. Social Media
- Social media- a word that makes people cringe and jump in anticipation all at the same time. My relationship with social media is one that I am still working on but I have made progress. I came to realize this past year that social media is filled with so much darkness and negativity.From cancel culture to body shaming to unrealistic expectations of how people live- the social media platforms and the people on them are in need of some hope. Up until this year I would only occasionally share something that referenced scripture or my faith walk, but this year God put it on my heart that there are so many lost people on social media and what better way to spread the Gospel in 2022 than by posting verses and my walk with Christ online. In no way do I say that I have all the answers, and in no way am I claiming to be a theologian with years and years of school, but what I do show and share is my personal walk with God and my prayers. Jesus tells us that we are to “go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” You know how I talked earlier about the verse of the day, well I saw that as an opportunity. I use those beautiful images and share them on social media with a small prayer. I try to do this every day, although it doesn’t always happen, and it’s just one small way for me to share the Word with others. Another aspect of social media that I have been working on and still struggle with is the scrolling. I did not realize just how much time I was spending on social media and it was embarrassing when I looked at my screen time. Thankfully, many smartphones such as an IPhone have settings where you can set app limits. I have set limits on my phone as well as downtime where it locks you out of everything except calls and texts. What a struggle but what a difference it has made. Instead of focusing on what everyone else in the world was doing through a filtered lense, I was able to spend more time on things that were in the here and now- family, taking care of my home, and being more present. I still most definitely struggle with this and struggle with implementing this with my children. For example, my son has an iPad and my daughter loves cocomelon. I do my best to keep to the rules I have set so that a majority of the day is spent away from the screens. Some days are better than others, but as I pray about it and keep practicing what I preach, it gets easier, be it slowly easier, over time. So many Christians I know say that social media is bad and terrible. Sure there are parts that are-but if you shift your mindset to social media being a tool to teach others and show others the love of Jesus, we might be able to impact people who have never heard the message of Jesus before. What a joy it would be to one day hear that a post that a Christian made on social media changed the heart of another person towards Christ. That is my prayer for this coming year-that we take what the enemy meant for evil and turn it for good. I think that’s a beautiful goal -to reach those on social media with the Gospel of Christ. I will still have my boundaries with social media- time limits and downtime, but I will focus my time that I am on social media to show others the joy of following Christ and how having a personal relationship with Him changes everything. (Theme music segue)
3. OUTRO (2-3 MINUTES)
A. Recap: This year has truly been a whirlwind. I am so thankful that I was able to take the time to reflect and realize how much I have grown this year. I pray that you take the time to do the same- take a couple of minutes to reflect- what did I learn this year? In what areas did I grow? What are some things I need to work on? Is there something I should change for 2023? What do I need to thank God for from this past year?
Dear God, I am so thankful that I have the freedom and ability to worship you.I am grateful to have a family that loves and supports me, and that I have the opportunity and responsibility of ministering to my family so that they know You and love You. As I have reflected on this past year, Lord, I am amazed in how much a person can grow and change in a year and I thank you for the growth in my prayer life, in my time management, and in how I approach social media.
Lord I pray for all of those who are listing in- that they are able to reflect on this past year, that they turn to you for guidance, and that 2023 brings them closer to you. I pray for those that do not believe in You, Lord. There are so many lost people in the world today. Lord let us be an instrument of your peace. Let us be the light in the darkness so that more people turn away from self-reliance and turn their hearts to you and Your mercy.
Lord I pray that this new year of 2023 brings joy, growth, and that more people come to know you. Thank you, Lord, for all that you have done, all that you are currently doing, and all that you will do this next year. In your name I pray, amen.
i. Music segue
B. Call to action: Thanks to listening to Proverbs31 Wannabe. We hope you enjoyed the program. If you enjoy our show, please rate and review us on Apple Podcasts—and be sure to come back next week as we jump into the new year, filled with hope and anticipation for what is to come. Until then, this is Alexis Heaslip, and I hope you have a great rest of your day. God bless.
C. Closing theme