We are excited to feature Lisa Braziel’s story on the Living by Design Blog this week. Lisa is the co-creator of the WORD30 Challenge. If it were not for her courage and commitment to clearing the clutter and making room for Jesus, this challenge kit would have never been created.
A Guest Post by Lisa Braziel
I was tired.
I had battled with my two kids to get them into clothes and out the door in the morning.
I had patiently endured the early morning traffic on my way to work and made it through a jam-packed day of back to back meetings.
I hit the road after the workday was done to try to beat the evening traffic back home so that I could make it home in time to throw dinner on the table, get the kids into the bath, wrestle them in their pajamas, and get them in bed on time.
I let out a sigh as my head hit the pillow at night.
I had made it to the moment of the day I could relax from all my striving.
I said a few words to my husband and then turned to my phone and proceeded to zone out for the only hour I had to myself all day by scrolling through my Instagram feed and continuing my Netflix series.
It had become my one selfish indulgence.
That one hour of “me” time I desperately craved all day.
Yet, something in me was stirring.
It was the start of the new year, and this daily pattern of striving and zoning out had left me feeling like I needed something more in my life.
Something more than a New Year’s resolution; I needed God to renew my energy and passion.I needed more than a New Year’s resolution, I needed God to renew my energy and passion.
That’s when the thought popped into my mind: “Give up Netflix.”
Surely, it couldn’t be that simple.
Immediately I felt myself thinking, “No, that couldn’t be it.”
I tried to ignore it, even searching for alternatives that were weightier or more meaningful.
Yet night after night, I felt more convicted as I tuned out and watched my shows that maybe, just maybe, Netflix had become something that I didn’t really want God to ask me to give up.
Deep down, it had become an idol.
It occurred to me that if I wasn’t able to give God something small like Netflix, my heart wasn’t ready to follow Him in the larger callings for my life.
Wanting to follow His guidance but not quite ready to go cold-turkey, I begrudgingly removed Netflix from my life during the weeknights – opting to replace it with reading God’s Word or other books or resources that would draw me nearer to God during this time.
After a few days, I started to mourn my removal. But as more time went on, I began to see just how much room this singular decision created in my life.
Slowly, I began to write, draw, and read God’s Word again.
I began to see just how beautiful it is when we follow God in faithful obedience.
Although I didn’t quite understand why God asked me to give up Netflix in the beginning, He slowly showed me that He was helping me create space to connect with Him on a daily basis.
In time, I developed a deep love for His Word and learned to abide in Him more.
From this initial “test”, I re-learned what it looked like to fill my mind and my time.
I learned how to replace the endless scrolling, searching, and vegging out with an intentional time of abiding, absorbing, learning, and growing with God.
Before I knew it, the idea of the WORD30 Challenge was born, and I want to invite you to join me in making MORE room for Jesus in 2019.Join in the WORD30 Challenge to see what your life could look like if you truly treated God’s Word as the actual Bread of Life.
What I’ve Learned: Less Striving, More Abiding
Through my personal WORD30 experience, I’ve learned a valuable lesson: God moves in powerful ways when we give up our sacred striving and comforts for the pursuit of God Himself.
Much like the woman who gave her last two pennies, our time is scarce but meaningful to God.
Every time I’ve given God the little time or little energy I have, He has taught me that any time spent with Him and in His Word is never wasted.God moves in powerful ways when we give up our sacred striving and comforts for the pursuit of God himself.
If you are considering taking the WORD30 Challenge, I will leave you with the following pieces of encouragement and advice on your journey:
1. Consider Your Sacred
What is sacred to me may not be the same as what is sacred to you. Ask that God would reveal the areas of your life that you may be hesitant to give Him. What would it look like if you gave this over to God?
2. Don’t Overthink
Sometimes it’s easy to get lost in the detail and spin around options and parameters. Try not to overthink or delay, move forward in obedience that is filled with the freedom you have in Jesus.
3. Prepare for the Journey
Much like you wouldn’t embark on a new diet without a plan, consider what tools and resources you can prepare to make your WORD30 Challenge successful. We have created a free 20-page kit to help you customize the WORD30 Challenge to fit your needs in this season.We've put together a challenge guide, a resource kit, and a structured plan to increase your chances of success with the WORD30 Challenge.
What is the WORD30 Challenge?
It is a 30-day “spiritual cleanse” where participants are inspired and equipped to exchange 2-3 worldly habits for 2-3 godly habits. Our free 20-page challenge kit is packed with resources to help you decide what you’ll give up what you’ll replace it with.
Here are a few examples:
- Replace Netflix at night with listening to Christian podcasts or sermons.
- Replace listening to the radio on your commute with Scripture memorization and prayer.
- Replace consumption with creation and hospitality.
- Replace watching sports on weekends with spending time in nature.
- Replace mindless scrolling on social media with reading God’s Word.
For some participants, success might mean achieving a 30/30 score on the challenge. For others, you may set your goal at 5-days a week, while giving yourself a bit more room and latitude on the weekend. Whichever measure of success you choose, be specific and make sure it is measurable and achievable in your current season of life.
We look forward to supporting you with tips, tools, and testimonials throughout the next thirty days.
– Lisa Braziel
Lisa Braziel is a working mom with 2 kids who is in constant need of more coffee and even more of God’s grace.