Fire It Up February {and Jump Into January follow-up}

{do more}

Earlier this month, I wrote about the monthly resolution solution. I just completed my first monthly resolution and am excited to jump into another month with a new theme and new life-enhancing activities.

Here's a recap of January and a look at what's coming up in February.

JUMP INTO JANUARY {a follow-up}

Exercise has been my focus for January--starting a year of getting things done by doing something. I wanted to keep it simple, focusing on consistency rather than intensity. Four days a week I did this 4-minute-workout (also called "Tabata" or "Tabata Protocol") using my interval timer on the iPhone. (See more about this resolution here.)

Here's what I love about it:
  • Short -- I was able to fit this workout in every time, no excuses. Even the couple days I was feeling under the weather, I stuck to it because, afterall, it's only 4 minutes!
  • Intense -- Don't let the length fool you, it definitely gets the blood moving; the challenge comes in beating your own personal best.
  • Effective -- After these four minutes, I felt more alert and energetic and ready for the day--more than I can say about my previous routine (that didn't include exercise).
Taking two days off each week (Friday and Sabbath) rather than one, kept me motivated and rested (running after kids is sometimes workout enough). Then, each Sunday I did yoga-x from the P90X videos. The first session lasted about 15 minutes (don't laugh, yoga can be intense!), the next week I completed 30 minutes, and finally 50 minutes! That's a lot of vinyasas.

{old habits do die}

CONCLUSION:  I plan to continue working out, at least 4 minutes, 4 days a week. Daniel and I will be starting more of a workout routine, but this taught me that I can always do at least 4 minutes, 4 days a week. In the past, when I didn't have time to do 30 minutes or an hour, then I didn't do anything. Now, if I don't have 30-60 minutes or whatever my lofty exercise goals require, I know I can do 4 minutes and reap many of the benefits a longer workout would offer.

I'll also continue with more yoga at least once a week, and branching out from yoga-x. Yoga Journal put on a 21-Day Yoga Challenge with a new video each day that would be worth trying.

Here's more about the 4-minute-workout (Tabata Protocol):


In my previous post, I mentioned my goal to read one book each month. After reading an entire novel during a couple days of our Christmas vacation, I realized I'm not necessarily a slow reader like I have always claimed. I often choose books that I feel I should read, rather than finding books that interest me. By choosing books that I find interesting, creating time to read won't be an issue. I'll want to sit and read rather than turn on the TV "just to see what's on," or spend a few quiet moments reading when the kids nap in the afternoon rather than killing time on Pinterest. Maybe I won't choose to read every time, but perhaps often enough to finish a book in a month.

I did some research on books I'd like to read throughout the year--some relevant to specific month's themes, others are simply recommended. So many great books out there, I'm feeling overwhelmed choosing what to read and when! I also {finally} got a library card here, which will help save some money in this reading endeavor. For any books I can't get through our library, I'll buy discounted through Amazon, then resell them or pass them on to someone else.

{Sex God}

I did get to read a book this month: Sex God: Exploring the Endless Connections between Sexuality and Spirituality by Rob Bell. It's one I've owned for a while now and just haven't made the time to read it. It's a great book. He has great insight into stories and analogies I thought I understood, but now make so much more sense. I'll save the details for a separate review post for anyone interested, or just read more about it on Amazon.


I am so excited about what's to come for February! Fire It Up February is all about spiritual revival, spiritual disciplines and my relationship with God.

{The Life You've Always Wanted}

Last year, I read the book The Life You've Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People by John Ortberg. I learned so much from reading this book and definitely recommend it. Throughout the book and in the included study guide, he offers lots of suggestions and ideas to implement what he calls "training" on spiritual disciplines--suggestions and ideas that I wasn't quite able to fully experiment with when I read this book, as my attention was focused on a newborn and a bored preschooler. Now that life is a little less hectic (or I'm at least more adjusted to the changes), I'm ready to dive into all the things I learned and see firsthand how God can mold me.

Here's a look at what's to come...
  • A Dee Dah Day
  • {Partial} Extended Solitude
  • Ministry of the Mundane
  • Secret Service
  • TV Fasts
  • Daily Reviews with God
  • Strategic Celebration
  • Memory Verses
These are some of the great things John talks about in his book, and they get me excited about spending time with Christ and training to be a better disciple. I know it seems like a lot, and I don't want to wrongly give the impression that I'm trying to work my way to salvation or that I think I am capable of anything on my own.

Quite the opposite, this is all about Christ and what He is ready to do in and through me. John writes about the difference between training in spiritual disciplines and trying to be spiritual. In one, Christ works with me to improve my life, and no failure eliminates me from the training. In the other, I do things myself and find myself disappointed when I inevitably fail. I am ready to give up this "try hard" life and train in Christ's school of being His disciple.

Some things I'll do once in the entire month (i.e., a day of partial extended solitude), while others I'll do daily (i.e., reviewing the day with God), and some I'll do weekly (i.e., memorizing texts). I'm so excited and ready for this opportunity to refocus my faith and my life on the One that matters most!

{renew a steadfast spirit within me}