Dec 31 2016

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Be transformed in the New Year with the PARK Plan

Be Transformed with the PARK PlanBe transformed in the New Year with the PARK Plan

Back in October, I had my gallbladder removed. Not the kind of life change I was expecting. While recovering from my surprise surgery, I felt a tug-of-war between required rest and my building frustration from not being free to do all I wanted and felt I needed to do.

This war is not unlike regular life with its time and resource limitations. Superwoman is a myth, but it doesn’t mean women don’t try to be her. Limitations vs. Superwoman is a set up for frustration. Having a transformed life means not chasing after the myth and finding peace in who God has made us to become.

A day or two of rest is good fabulous, but an extended rest demands much of a mind and soul. If you want to face the question of personal value, try not doing what you normally do, and the self-worth nagging thoughts will come as time ticks away.

As I sat in bed, the desire to use my time productively grew. How often does a mom of four get rest time like this—time to do whatever I wanted as long as it didn’t involve lifting more than 10 pounds. No home chores, doctor’s orders—it’s a mom fantasy except for the control monster that grows when the home ship isn’t run to her standards.

Then came the Five Minute Friday word, park. (Read my original post here.) As I thought on the word, park, the answer to use my time well appeared on the page. Not only could I PARK while I recovered, but I could make PARK as a part of my life. At the time, I wasn’t thinking so much about being transformed. I was simply trying to use my recovery time well and help myself transition back to normal life. But as I PARK-ed more, I saw changes in my life. (The PARK Plan addresses self-worth and the control monster.) Transformation is a journey beginning with one step in the right direction, and I had begun the journey.

Plan with Your Soul

In this world, with all its demands, productivity plans abound, ones to help set goals and plan out weeks, months, and days. I find them helpful, but I want my spiritual life incorporated within those plans. If you’re a follower of Jesus, productivity apart from Him is futile.


For apart from me, you can do nothing. John 15:5


Apart from abiding in Jesus, we do nothing. What? That sounds crazy.

Nothing. Let that word marinate. It’s a showstopper word if you believe it’s true.

I believe it’s true. In the face of this verse, I have to admit I’ve done a lot of nothing over the years. Ouch. Part of me still needs to reconcile that thought.

I don’t want to spin my wheels doing nothing. If I’m going to put in time and effort to do something—anything worth doing—I need to live within the bounds of an abiding relationship with Jesus.

Just like me, your soul is not an optional component in your life. Planning without your soul is like forgetting you have a body and mind. Forget one elemental part of you (body, mind, spirit), and you’re headed for a train wreck down the road. If you don’t think that’s true, stay up all night, and then take a test. Or, read a few hours of tragic news and try to sleep. You might pass the test or eventually fall asleep, but it’s no way to live.

The PARK Plan is a method to plan life with your soul—to plan on abiding in Christ while living a real life.

Join me in PARK-ing in 2017

I am offering exclusive access to the PARK plan for my e-mail subscribers. If you sign up to receive my e-mail blog updates, you will also receive a special subscriber-only e-mail explaining the PARK plan plus free printables to make working the plan easier.

PARK Plan printables

Here’s what to do:

  1. Sign up to receive Realing in Life in your inbox. (If you are already a subscriber, you are already set.)
  2. Check your inbox for the first installment of PARK beginning on January 1. (If you read this after January 1, no problem. Any day is a good day to start the PARK Plan.)
  3. Set aside 15 minutes to start your PARK transformation.

I look forward to hearing from you on how God is transforming your life as you PARK.

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  1. Kelli Anthony

    Thank Cheryl! Love what I’m reading so far! I can’t wait to print out my PARK plan and get started!
    Kelli Anthony 😊

    1. Cheryl

      I’m so glad. Let me know how it goes.

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