Nearing the end of January, first month of the year.

Now things are starting to get hard, and new habits, those things that we wear, start to wear thin.

Feeling a bit overwhelmed and not sure how to overcome.

So we nail it to our doors — our 25 point manifesto for sanity in 2013.

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1. First things first: Word in. Work out. Work plan.

Open your eyes every morning and just do three first:

Word in: Get into God’s Word and let it get into you.
Work out: Work out. Even  5 minutes of moving is better than nothing. (baby steps! together we can do this!)
Work plan: Write out the work plan. And then work the plan.

 

2. “What a heart knows by heart is what a heart knows”

Write your memory verses on a sticky note, on a chalkboard, for your pocket.

Because when you are memorizing Scripture, quiet time with the Lord — becomes all the time. (Who doesn’t want that?)

 

3. Flame first.

Light a candle first thing in the morning.

So you remember: You are the light that is put on a stand so that it gives light to everyone in the house.

 

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Summer Sound [Large View]

 

4. Your work is art: it needs a soundtrack.

Find your music.

Play your music.

Sing your music. This is profound.

Vincent van Gogh said: “When sailors have to move a heavy load or raise an anchor, they all sing together to keep them up and give them vim. That’s just what artists lack.”

 

5. Step on the Snake Before Breakfast

Before breakfast, crush one hard thing that is tempting you to think there are impossible things.

Before breakfast, crush that one thing and prove that all things are possible with God.

 

6. Stay in the pool

Michael Phelps said it in an interview: “You’ve got to stay working in the pool longer than others.”

Set the timer. Get in the pool. Stay in the pool. Do your work. Don’t get distracted. Don’t flit from one thing to another and back.

Don’t get out of the pool, don’t leave your work, until the timer goes. The way to win is to stay in the pool.

 

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7. Clean a space = clear headspace

Keeping the workspace clean, clears your headspace to think.

 

8. Go Slow. Life Zone.

Life isn’t an emergency. It’s a gift.

Life’s so extraordinary it warrants going slow, held in reverential awe.

Only the slow see their lives. Which makes it seem longer and richer.

 

9. Take your Laughter vitamins

The more you laugh, the longer you live. You can’t afford not to laugh more. Watch this. Make laughter your chocolate.

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10. No songs without rhythm

Every song needs a rhythm; every week needs a routine. Tie certain tasks to a day or another activity.

Always memorize after breakfast or always make a double batch of soup on Saturday.

Your life makes music when you play a string of tasks always together.

 

11. On 25, Take 5

For every 25 minutes “in the pool” working – take 5 minutes off. Live by pomodoros. Really. Life-changing.

 

12. Unplug to plug into your purpose

Only if you want to plug into peace and purpose and your big picture – then unplug for certain hours everyday.

Constant connectivity effects productivity like a marijuana high.

coffee

 

13.Watch Your Nos & Your Yeses will take Care of Themselves

Everything you say yes to, you say no to something else.

Are your yeses forcing you to say no to what really want to say yes to?

Don’t have guilt over a no – because every no is saying a better yes.

 

14. Daily Stillness Appointment

When is your 5 minute stillness appointment everyday?

Write that midday time in stone. No cancellations allowed. For 5 minutes midday, be still and cease striving.

Know He is God and the day looks very different.

Slow down: You only pass by this way once.

 

15. If the Heaven’s Declare, get out there.

The whole of the sky and the world is speaking endlessly of His glory.

When you step outside and listen, your soul revives. You need that.

You really need one walk outside a day.

 

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16. Work on your Wall before Noon

Before noon, work on your wall; lay three bricks down before 12.

If you don’t intentionally work on your wall, the tyranny of the urgent can make your life a rubble heap.

Like Nehemiah, build your wall, building what God has called you to, 3 steps everyday before noon

 

17. Envision the End Goal

Like God gave Abraham a vision of the stars of the sky and told him he would have that many children, hang up a picture so you always have a vision of your goal.

 

18. Consistently be Consistent

Random acts of greatness pale in comparison to habitual acts of faithfulness.

It’s not what you do every now and then, but what you do everyday, that changes everything. 

Do something at the same time everyday and you find yourself a new person.

 

19. Hard Stops

The only way to get anywhere safely is to make complete stops.

Make hard, complete stops at set times throughout the day to pray. Otherwise you’re risking a crash.

9, 12, 3, on the hour, might be times to set an a gentle, chime alarm for – and just stop and pray.

Praying at set times throughout the day is how both Jesus and the early church lived their days: God marking time.

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20. Do the Holy, Happiness Habit

Write down 3 things a day you are grateful for. Hunt for His glory. Look for the beauty. Count 1000 gifts.

All research says that giving thanks is guaranteed to make you 25% happier. Who. Doesn’t. Want. That.?

Thank Him for this is definitely God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Take the Joy Dare! Make right where you are your happy place.

 

21. Ebenezers for the Efforts

Mark little milestones! Celebrate the little things!

A treat at the end of the day, end of the week, end of the project, end of the term.

Hang a bunting. Taste something sweet. Take a happy, thumbs up picture to mark your progress!

Make an album of a year, of the process, of the overcoming.

 

22. Father Affirmations

You need these everyday. Whisper them aloud, who you really are if you are IN Christ:

I am complete in Christ. Colossians 2:9-10
I have direct access to the throne of grace through Jesus Christ. Hebrews 4:14-16
I am free from condemnation. Romans 8:1-2
I am assured that God works for my good in all circumstances. Romans 8:28
I am free from any condemnation brought against me and I cannot be separated from the love of God. Romans 8:31-39
I am confident that God will complete the good work He started in me. Philippians 1:6
I have not been given a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

 

23. Breathe

Breathing in and breathing out like this will radically change the quality of your life. Breathe.

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24. Hard and Bad? Hot Bath

An evening routine of a hot bath at the end of the hard and bad days?

Yes.

 

25. Rest so you can have the rest of God.

Sleep is more than your friend — it’s your God-given fuel.

Tomorrow always begins with the night before, so turn in early so tomorrow can turn out well.

 

~ Written for you with love, by Ann Voskamp
*Update: Because all you beautiful asked — we’ll try to have a printable of the Manifesto over @ A Holy Experience tomorrow/this weekend! So we can post the Manifesto for Sanity on the fridge :)

 

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Q4U: What else do we need to keep our sanity in 2013? Let’s all jump in and help make this a resource when we are overwhelmed:  What verse, what song, what comfort, what great idea — got a link for us? What really works for you when you are overwhelmed? 

 

(Reading in RSS or email? Jump into the comments right here: We’re all helping each other out here!)

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  1. 1

    I love your list! I just awoke to snow on the ground and I plan to not just bundle the kids up and send them outside, but to jump in there with them. I love singing loud & dancing with the kids while cleaning the kitchen after dinner which makes drudgery a delight!

  2. 3

    oh thank you. thank you. thank you. you have given words to almost all of my intentions for year. for our days to reflect this balance of the word and work and wanderings? amen.

  3. 5

    This was a super post for me to read to start my day. I especially like #8. As the mom of 2 boys, I feel like we always move fast. I purposefully try to slow down when we feel a flurry. This is a sweet reminder that it is so important. Thank you, Ann. My personal post today is a follow up to HOLD (on). http://graceglimmers.wordpress.com/2013/01/24/hold/

    • 6

      Jennifer! Your words! *Beautiful* Thank you for such an encouraging link! God just bless you abundantly today with more of Himself!

  4. 7

    Thank you for blessing me with this manifesto! I woke up feeling defeated my schedule and overwhelmed by circumstances. I’m breathing easier now. Bless you!

  5. 9

    Love this list. Great reminders. I especially love the reminder that “life is not an emergency.” So true.

    • 10

      (Secret: I have to preach that one aloud to myself often, Brittnie :) )

      • 11

        Yesterday I found this via twitter and broke. Besides being paralyzed at home from 2 surgeries at end of 2012 and trying to press into Him even deeper for healing from a mental disorder I can’t decide whether to get a bath, or do a load of laundry or eat so I don’t do anything usually. I pray. I always pray. But yesterday having to get out only to go to doc I was pressed HARD to stop by an old and very dear friends house. Upon knocking and asking if she was home I was told she was dead…since July. I was undone. Through the pain and shock later I found many things to be grateful for. Today I have lit a candle, put on music, trying to do a little laundry, encourage a few young girls.on twitter and finally run the pretty red ribbon through my heart shaped doormat for V day. I did remember to feed my poor dog which is huge…and myself. Feels like nothing. Because I still need a shower and don’t know how to get that done by myself or even w/a list. But I am grateful yet mourning and still trying to figure out how to take the next step. I so need your form it was like manna raining down from heaven when I got home yesterday from what was a tragic shock. Thank you.

        • 12

          Praying that God gives you strength for that next step. A wise person once told me in those moments when life is overwhelming just do the next most obvious thing.

          God Bless

  6. 13

    Oh sweet Anne, this homeschooling mama of 4 really needed this today. They grow so quickly and press in so fully on me, that my sanity…well it has been on the run lately.

    This gives me something to shoot for when it flees.

    Bless you.

    • 14

      Jesus keeps company with us and that keeps us , He keeps us.
      Just love you, Stacey. Right there with you and love doing life with you, with Him, sister!

  7. 15

    Remember that always……
    God is Big Enough

  8. 17

    “the next right thing”
    sometimes all i can do is the next right thing. whether it is picking up and putting away what my sight rests on or picking up the phone for that “meaning to” catch up or just going to bed. it is a one foot on the next rung setting me in motion when i am stuck. loving this list. will be coming back to process repeatedly. thank you. –kris

  9. 19

    This is a wonderful reminder. Thank you! Simple statements, simple photographs – profound wisdom. Thank you, Ann. You continue to inspire. ~jana

  10. 21

    Ann, this is exactly what I need! I am printing this out and revamping my daily routine. It’s always a busy season homeschooling 4 kids and chasing God-sized dreams–this is so helpful to me. Thank you for blessing me this morning! Love you, sweet friend! So much!

    • 22

      Praying for your God-sized dreams, Kris, the dreams He has for your 4 beautiful ones. With you, Kris — pressing into Jesus.

  11. 23

    Ann, the beauty of the TRUTH in this is stunning. I have been praying for direction on how to best mentor my daughter over the next {few} months before she is free to leave the nest. Thank you for reminding me of the the things my grandmothers knew but our lifestyle has pushed away. Oh, and the hot bath after a hard day? Yes a million times over, that one I know. Thank you <3

    • 24

      Ah, to be mentored in these things, Tammy!
      What a gift you are giving your daughter.
      *Thank you* for that encouragement :)

      And… that hot bath after a hard day? Oh. am. I. with. you. :) :) :)

  12. 25

    Setting some alarms today – 25 minutes at a time today and three for prayer time. That’s a new one for me. I can only imagine the difference it will make in my day. Distractions be gone. God be the center.

    Thank you, always, for pointing your readers to THE Author, Ann.

  13. 26

    A.men, Sarah!

  14. 27

    Extraordinary!

  15. 28

    Oh Ann, how I wish I lived on the farm next door. We we would be great friends.
    Thank you for encouraging my heart with your words.

  16. 29

    Oh Ann … yes! It’s all about a hot bubble bath at the end {or beginning} of a stress-filled day.

    But I can’t wait to sink my hands back into the warm earth again … http://creeksideministries.blogspot.com/2012/06/musings-from-wanna-be-gardener.html

  17. 30
    ro elliott says:

    Love this list…all is sacred…wrapped together to make us whole. for me…memorizing scripture…really…really letting it soak in…thanks so much for introducing us to scripture typer and building a community there…I have never been very successful at retaining scripture and especially in these older years…I have just completed Romans 1 ….doing some reviewing before I move on to Romans 8. God has already taken what has been sown and brought fruit so quickly…He is so faithful. love to you Ann…xoxo

  18. 31

    (((Ann)))

    This reminds me that *writing it down* is gentle push to making the thought a *reality*. All of your list is well intentioned thought I’ve surely had (though scattered). Thank you for doing this work for me, and anchor that mysteriously propels me forward.

    #paradox=beauty

    xo

  19. 32

    This list can be life changing Ann- a thousand thank you’s for it!

  20. 33
    Sarah Caldwell says:

    This list is life changing Ann- a thousand thank you’s for it!

  21. 34

    After years of homeschooling 3 girls, a career in an urban school district, and pastor’s wifing, I am renewed by your list! God is good – all the time! Now in the season of grandmothering and renewing my heart for all that God has in store.

  22. 35
    Anonymous says:

    Well said! Thank you, thank you. I needed to see and read this right now, this morning. It just affirmed everything I’ve been trying to do and why it’s important.

  23. 36
    Natasha d says:

    oh, those affirmations! thank you, Ann! I will be coming back to these affirmations intentionally this year!!

  24. 37

    I love this! I have been really working on purposefully living out a lot of these things this year, but I can see complacency from here. I need to add in more stillness and more slow, and I really. really. really. am glad for your reminder.

    Thank you.

  25. 38

    This is an amazing manifesto… Love it and I need to scrapbook it, print it or organize it in such a way that I can see it every day! I see the areas that I need to work on… Like this morning the sleeping in, instead of quiet time with Him and here it is 10:28AM and I’m feeling like my day is missing something… And the 5 minute full stops YES!!! Brilliant. One thing that I have changed this year is to keep my camera within arms reach… snapping moments of wonder and seeing God’s goodness captured in the frame… Thank you Ann… this is truly a gift!

  26. 39

    This is AMAZING and the perfect thing for me to read as I am struggling with deep depression and beating myself up, sitting in tears bc I got my daughter to school- 2 hrs late – again. Remembering that even though I walk thru the valley of the SHADOW of death, I will not fear. For these things are but shadows. They are not the truth. Jesus is. And for there to be a shadow there must be light. And His light is shining bigger and brighter than any shadow ever could overtake. I will spend time with just me and the Word. I will put down my ten books I am reading and I will ask Him to speak to me, personally. He loves to do that, I just need to let rest and peace be my salvation, for me MAKES me lay down in green pastures. He’s got this- every detail, my good Shepherd has gone before me, lighting my path for just THE NEXT STEP I should take. I will trust my Good Shepherd and I will follow. He is giving me courage and strength to be victorious in this battle. I already have the victory. I will thank Him for these things. I will look back and remember His faithfulness- His loving kindness that is weaving a beautiful, one of a kind, story….never leaving my side even when the shadows seem bigger than the light. He will lead me out if this place and I will be more like Jesus because of it. Thank you Abba.

    • 40

      My heart is heavy for you Brenda as I read this. I know all too well how you feel. I finally gave up fighting depression w/every pill and home remedy known to man, and just realized, hey, maybe this is exactly where I’m supposed to be. It brought me to my knees. Not such a horrible place to be. I know this sounds so cliche, but this too shall pass!!! Only God can turn ugly into beautiful…look forward to that! I will pray for you dear Brenda. You are most definitely not alone. And getting your kid to school late? Pshh. Not important. Hang in there! :)

      • 41

        Thank you so much sweet Sandy! Your comment made my night. Amazing how Sisters who don’t know each other at all can be such an encouragement with a few simple words. I have struggled with depression for over 10 years (I am 33), of and off. It has gotten progressively worse over time. We moved far away from anyone we knew a few months ago and it has been the hardest months….BUT, God is closer to me than ever before. He is speaking to me and I know He is in this. It doesn’t feel good, but it is definitely bringing me to my knees. And in moments of clarity I am thankful for this and know God is weaving my testimony. Pills and vitamins and etc – UGH. Never ending to find the right combination. I have been going before the Lord and asking for His wisdom. I know He will show me the path. Thank you for your encouragement!

        • 42

          Brenda, I know that when things are the bleakest for me, I need to hear His voice the most. I say two prayers that transform me: God, show me the truth about who I am, and show me the truth about who you are. Then I wait in expectation with pen in hand and give myself the freedom to write what comes to mind. He never fails to speak to my heart in places I need it the most. Keep pressing on and pressing in closer to Him.

          • 43

            Debbie, that is wonderful. I am writing those two things down right now in my journal (that I have been doing a lot of lately). Really, He has been speaking to me more than ever before, but thats bc I’m asking and seeking more. funny how that works.:) Ask and you shall receive, you have not bc you do not ask….so I decided to start asking! and then spending the time, and listening. no agenda. so much better that way.

  27. 44

    Thank you for this. Sometimes I know things to be true in my head, but it’s only when I see them print that they penetrate my heart.

    • 45

      Debbie, I copied and pasted this into an email to myself as soon as I read it. This is so simple but so perfect. Thank you for sharing this.

      Brenda, I am 53 and have struggled with depression for 25 years. Coming to a better, clearer knowledge of God made a huge difference in that along with finding a pretty good combination of medications, but I also have the most amazing therapist who truly cares about me and is not afraid to call ‘em as she sees ‘em and is respectful of my spirituality and seems to have her own as well (although ethically we really don’t get into her thoughts and feelings so much as mine). She has helped me with my self esteem issues and to see myself as my Father sees me and not beat myself up so much for things that are not, in the whole scheme of things, truly as earth shattering as they sometimes feel. If you can find a counselor, maybe at your church, who you can really open up to, who you don’t feel will be judging you, it will probably make a huge difference.

      And getting your daughter to school 2hours late? At least you got her there. You wouldn’t believe how much school my son has missed because I couldn’t get out of bed. It wasn’t until my 25 yr old had a frank talk with me on how much my behavior was affecting my13 yr old that I was able to open my eyes and change. So you are already ahead of the game! Give yourself kudos for that!

      (Sorry this is so long)

  28. 46

    A weekly phone call to hear my parents’ voice. (I’m really checking in on them but oh what it does for my soul!)

  29. 47

    Hi Ann, I really like all your tips, but I was wondering how to fit them in? I live in a big, noisy city and work a 9-5 job so as much as I want to seek calm and quiet it is pretty hard! Listening to my own music at work is not an option unfortunately.

    • 48

      Hey Sister! I so hear you :) In a house with 6 kids mostly 24/7, calm and quiet is crazy hard :) How about music just during your commute? And to unwind on the way home? A walk somewhere you can just look. up. and see how the heavens declare His glory!
      Find one place (a hall? elevator? stairwell?) for a 5 minute stillness break? A quiet island to close your eyes and breathe deep and focus on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.
      With you — one step at a time :)

      • 49

        Good points- so often I use my travel time to read, rather than just listen to music. And every so often I will walk by the Seine and listen to a sermon and it puts me in the right headzone to do my work for God.

        I love this about the body of Christ- that a mum in Canada can encourage a single 23 year old in France!

  30. 50

    Wow – great article! I need to get this into a document that I can print and post above my desk as a daily reminder.

  31. 51

    Can we do a printable version?

  32. 52

    Yes, definitely, Holly and Danielle — I will work on the a printable version for the 25 Point Manifesto for Sanity — I so need it! :) Stay tuned over at my quiet corner of the web? :)

    • 53

      Waiting patiently! Printing one for each family member, but especially ME! Some are habits already, but #15, #19, #21 and #23 I need a VISUAL REMINDER in this particular season. Thanks for the gift today and the printable gift when it’s ready!

  33. 54

    I love this list! Can we get it in printable form? I need to hang it up over my office computer and a few other spaces as well :)

  34. 55
    Jenny C. says:

    Ann, thank you for this list! I wanted to share a song that blesses me. I don’t know how to link to it but it’s on youtube: “Plumb – Need You Now – performed by Sagebrush Community Church.” I hope others are blessed by it too. Love in Christ, Jenny C.

  35. 56

    Feeling a shift in my life and how I move through my days…much which has been inspired by your words and this is additional guidance I need. Thank you.

    It is such a good reminder… cause when the hard days hit, it is easy to just sit , escape online and then everything becomes urgent. I don’t want urgent anymore.

    You are a blessing Ann! You truly are!

    Peace
    Jen
    @jenchic

  36. 58

    Just a BEAUTIFUL simple reminder! thank you!

  37. 59

    God knew I so needed extra encouragement today. Homeschooling 4 kiddos with a marriage falling apart so bad I don’t want to keep going. It is many days of begging God to “fight” for me and HE will and many times of talking “to” myself and doing the next thing. Thank you for this it is so helpful and helps me to see the grace that is so hard for me to understand but that God wants me to cling to minute by minute.

    • 60
      Jenny C. says:

      Hi Beth. I wanted to encourage you with a song I love. It’s on youtube (don’t know how to link to it, so sorry) and it’s by “Plumb – Need You Now – performed by Sagebrush Community Church.” God bless you and may you feel His comforting presence oh so near. Love in Christ, Jenny C.

    • 62
      Beth Williams says:

      Beth,

      Praying for you and your family. May God wrap His loving arms around you and give you the guidance and grace you need to keep going.

      I listen to Pandora’s praise and worship station (http://www.pandora.com). You put in your email and a password then click on the praise and worship station. They are playing “It is Well With My Soul” by Jeff Bjorck on piano. It is nice and quiet.

      Blessings!

  38. 63

    Thank you for this today. I am a teacher outside the home and one of my munchkins got a stomach bug in the wee hours of the morning. AS stressful as that was, I thanked God for giving me a day home with my babies. Your beautiful post reminded me of the importance of being grateful even in the mess.

  39. 64

    Oh so lovely!!! Could you make a modified printable version of this? <3

  40. 65

    Is there a link for this in a printable form….I would love to post it as a reminder to myself!

  41. 66

    I am so glad you are making a printable version of this. I know it will hang on my refrigerator front and center. Thank you Ann. You always inspire me. :)

  42. 67

    Hi Ann, I would like to print the 25 point manifesto for sanity but can’t find a print button.
    Can you help me?

  43. 68

    I cannot tell you how messed up my attitude and head is right now. I have pretty much given up. I’m. burned. out. and my home shows it. I’ve been begging God to make me think more of Him and less of me. But I know it won’t be a magical fix. Seems like every step I take in the right direction, there is a stumbling block. Thank you for these 25 steps. 25 seems overwhelming to me, but even if I concentrate on just 5, it will be better than what I’m doing now. Thank you Ann for always being transparent. It’s refreshing. I know you’re oober busy, but would you be able to put these 25 points in a smaller, printable format for my fridge??? Because if it’s not on the fridge, it will be forgotten! :)

    • 69

      Sorry, I see now that others were asking for a printable format too. Don’t mean to be a nag. : )

      • 70

        Sandy? You have no idea how I am right. there. with. you.
        This manifesto? Came out of tears and prayers and girl, you and me both: on the fridge! :) Stay tuned to the blog, for the printable this weekend?
        Sister? You are *not* alone. He’s carrying us. Let’s be faithful to just. the. next. thing.
        ((Sandy))

  44. 71

    I noticed that I started feeling a sense of heavy despair right before I got out of bed in the morning. I would feel so overwhelmed, and filled with shame and false guilt.
    I have begun talking OUT LOUD to God as soon as I feel it coming on. Giving the day to Him, acknowledging that He is in control, and that I need not fear. It has changed my mornings. Gotta kick that old devil right outta my bedroom!!

  45. 72
    Renae Hildebrand says:

    Something that God has challenged me with over the past 2 years to gain more sanity is to cancel everything… piano, soccer, baseball, taekwondo, the rushing after school to activities that I signed my kids up for inorder to be able to be apart of conversations with other moms… “so.. what are your kids into?” We go through the list and compare, and still feel like our kids aren’t smart enough, fast enough, busy enough, but we are all more then enough! So, as hard as it was to STOP, we did, and I am breathing easier, much less rushed, and taking the time to do things that set my kids up for success in God’s kingdom. God challenged me with the question ” what type of legacy am I leaving for my kids” the kind that says if you are busy enough then you acceptable or the legacy to stop and enjoy life, do what we were created to do.
    This is what I am doing for the sanity of our family

    • 73
      Anonymous says:

      I love this Renae!!! “Busy enough to be acceptable.” I am striving to give it up to live it up!

  46. 74

    This poured into some very dry places in me today.

    My focus for the year is ‘homemaking’ – and all the things that fall under it: mothering, homeschooling, marriage. And this manifesto? Pushes me further – just in time. Can’t thank you enough.

    Other things I need to stay the course? Reading. Scehduled, protected time with my husband. And fellowship.

    Grateful,
    Kate :)

  47. 75

    Stay tuned to http://www.aholyexperience.com this weekend — and we’ll try to have a printable up, sisters! :)

  48. 76

    Can’t tell you how this spoke to my heart today. I am at a very.hard.place at the moment and need all the tiny pieces of sanity I can find. This is a list that flows easy – not just one more thing to overwhelm. It helps me breathe through the hard things… :) Thank you for your heart for us and especially, your heart for Him. <3

  49. 77
    Phyllis Dillard says:

    KEEPING MY SANITY THROUGH THE SEASONS
    Winter – looking through photo albums and I have lots of them! (or putting pic’s into them that have been stacking up)
    Spring – flower garden preparation – great walks watching God unfold his magic once again & short Saturday trip to here & there with no agenda at all!
    Summer – flower gardening – keep on walking to take God’s beauty all in & short weekend trips to Kenosha, WI for that R&R & a swim in Lake Michigan
    Fall – cleaning out the gardens – still walking taking in the crsipness and God’s beautiful array of color & still going to Kenosha:)

    And – I AGREE – I need to have a copy of this one to put on my refrig and post here at work – BEAUTIFULLY written Ann!!!

  50. 79

    Thank you so much for this. I need the 5 minute stillness, the laughter, the celebration of little milestones, the breathing.

  51. 80

    Ann, I needed these words today (and every day!). Isn’t it funny how the best things can be so simple in theory but hard to practice?! Looking forward to the printout this weekend.

  52. 81

    So happy to see there’s a printable coming. I’ve been feeling like the days zoom by with only urgencies tended to, and not priorities. I have 6 teens and 1 almost-9-going-on-15 yr old in the house right now, and the clutter, the tasks, the errands, the relational complications can push even things like mothering and homeschooling, much less reading, focus, and rest, to the back burner. This could be a big help, I think. Thank you!

  53. 82

    The Father’s Affirmations – a friend and I put HIS promises on 3×5 cards, categorized by topic, struggle, truth. For example, when I have a day of struggle with the patience end of life I can pull out those 3x5s about patience and read HIS promises on the subject. Even if I don’t feel it in the moment, I can speak truth to myself! As I speak the truth on those cards, my spirit is refreshed and clarity comes to my brain! HIS Word is powerful. It is LIFE to a parched soul!

  54. 83

    Awesome…simply awesome.

  55. 84

    Singing His praises om the karaoke machine on the hard days ensures I hear the words about His faithfulness and love.

  56. 85

    Dearest Ann,
    Just what I needed to hear, Thank You !! For almost 3 years, since my husband left, I have been flailing around half dead and unaware. Father awakened me a little bit ago but i have a hard time organizing days and work and kids. So, you have given me a great gift today. Can’t wait for the printable version. THANK YOU and GOD BLESS

  57. 86

    This is a wonderful list. I kept saying yes, yes as I read it. I have found 50 working with 10 minute break works best for me and the stillness each day is a must. This is one list I plan to copy and keep by my desk. Thanks!

  58. 87

    I head to the Kansas City House of Prayer online and listen in. This is a good place for me and is a beautiful thing.

  59. 88

    Ann–

    You are amazing. Your words encourage me on a daily basis! Confession: I’m a college senior and I always read your words during my early class…I have to make sure I mute my computer before I read so the piano music doesn’t come floating from my laptop!

    Thanks for your encouragement. I can’t wait to print this out and put it up…perhaps in multiple places! Such beautiful words. He has truly given you a gift.

    XOXO

    • 89

      (Warm wave, Blair! *Sorry* for the music ~weak smile~ *Thank you* for grace, sister! Jesus carries all onward to Home! Abiding with you…)

  60. 90
    Debbie Kay says:

    Hi Ann, this is one of the most awesome messages (and pictures!) I think I’ve received from you in the almost 1/2 yr since I found you! This list so spoke to my heart-I have to do lists with better to-do lists on top of them and then I feel so flustered nothing gets done. I was trying for a while to make this list printable, with tough luck, so I took a break to come here and read other comments and there it was! God told me to stop what I was doing, what was making me frustrated and here I read you are going to do a printable list for us. I plan on making this my priority to-do list and I know now the other things can fall into place. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and your messages. I just bought your latest book, too! God Bless

  61. 91

    I love these and will share with the single moms I work with.
    Thanks!

  62. 92

    This beautiful list is immensely valuable, and your beautiful heart for Christ and for women shines through it all. But am I the only person who thinks it is also overwhelming? There is no one more likely than I have been for most of my life to enthusiastically jump on a list of great ideas like this only to find myself in the Slough of Despond because of it.

    To me, most of these seem worthy of being taking separately as a new habit before the another is taken up and woven into one’s life. Women are especially susceptible to “shoulds” and “oughts,” and I see this as another way for many to feel an even greater sense of failure because they couldn’t keep up. And, dear Ann, many women long to emulate you and your walk with Christ. It’s a very long list and some (maybe even many) will take it as a list of rules and become even more driven or depressed—perhaps both. The very things that begin as disciplines of grace easily turn into the opposite when separated from the power of the gospel. I have only my flesh to offer, and I must fall on Christ and His power for my idolatries and daily failures. Habits that address “being” can become nothing more than another “to do” to be checked off the list. (Even something so simple (and wonderful) as a hot bath, much less sufficient rest, is an impossible challenge for some moms of young children.)

    I think if I were adapting this for myself or a discipleship group, I would separate out the core habits as those on which all others can build. And I would frame it all in the gospel for daily life, especially as it relates to our daily sin and failures. Everyone needs to know what to do with failure because it is common to us all. Even our outward successes can be dismal failures in accomplishing what is actually intended.

    Some “habits” could easily just be “suggestions” to support a habit. Lighting a candle, for instance, is just a (great) way to remember a principle. Perhaps the first point on the manifesto should be “one thing at a time”? And “do what you can as you can”?

    I was young and am now old. Perhaps I feel all this so strongly because I’ve set out so many times on a course that has produced self satisfaction when I had a “success” and paralyzing guilt when I’ve “failed.” And I’ve seen many others follow the same path. At times, I regret to say, I’ve been their leader down that path.

    • 93

      Beautiful thoughts and I humbly, quietly agree…. I wrote this out of my own deep struggles right now and needing to have a scaffolding for my life, a big picture kind of vision, and pray that if its grace to one person? And if it’s a burden, then may the Holy Spirit lift that from you and sweep the whole thing out of memory. I’m messy and deep in my own trenches here singing, and begging no one to emulate, but only fix eyes on Jesus and I’d count it a joy to sing with them, one small step at a time.
      *Thank you,* sister…

    • 94
      Kristen says:

      Thank-you for your comment Ellen, it made me feel more peaceful! Every paragraph resonated with me and I could feel your care and compassion – as if you had me in mind as you wrote it!

      Beautiful ideas – ideals – on this manifesto, but sounded absolutely overwhelming to me this morning when I’m on the verge of sanity and adding even one or two of them to my day feels like it would require all my effort, never mind 25.

      Ellen, your wise words helped me feel less alone and pathetic in my reaction/struggle with this list and the many other personal manifestos I lay over my life and then measure my own failure by. I wish I could sit down with you over coffee – I think you would have an understanding, listening ear and some excellent perspective to give me as someone who has already walked a similar road!

      Thanks so much for taking the time to make your gentle, thoughtful comment – it blessed me! Blessings to you too

  63. 95

    Love these 25 Ann! I have learned much from you, my friend. Thank-you for your faithful, diligent, consistent offerings of daily wisdom, Truth and humble outworkings of His inner work in you. Your sacrifice is “acceptable” and is being richly blessed for the multitudes! Oh, and I look forward to the printable version too. I will be also be adding your “4 ways to love your man” reminders to my dailies…it’s where He’s growing me most right now. Much love, grace and peace to you as you work your plan…

  64. 96
    Hope Lantz says:

    Dear Ann, Thank you for the encouraging boost of spiritual as well as physical tasks for my daily to do list. I have gotten out of routine enjoying my son being home from college and need to get back to the daily duties. Thanks for the reminder.
    I love the way Christ moves you to write,
    Hope Lantz

  65. 97

    Susanna Wesley, mother of John and Charles, and 17 other children, is reported to have sat down on a chair and throw her apron over her head when she needed quiet time. Her children knew well enough to leave her alone, too.

    Be still and K.N.O.W. that I am God! -Psalm 46:10

  66. 98

    Thank you!

  67. 99

    I really love this, Ann! So many good things to take to heart here.

  68. 100

    I need to look at these everyday! Thank you.

  69. 101
    arlonne says:

    This is truly wonderful…thanks so much! It makes a lot of sense!

  70. 102

    Precious Ann,

    I been blessed by your writing many times and I *so* wanted to be encouraged by this. I really did. Instead I found myself weeping and counting up the things I’m supposed to do to me more sane and more focused on the right things (read the Word first thing, walk, be still for 5 minutes, stop work every 25 minutes and take another 5 minute break, stop and pray 3 times a day, work on my memory verses, light a candle, set a timer, clean my workspace..)

    I work full-time, not by choice. I spend over an hour in the car every day just getting my kids to/from school and music/sports lessons. I have no idea how to make this beautiful message fit into my life.

    I wanted to be one of the thankful ones. I wanted to love this. And I’m sure I should. But how does this work for a mom with a full-time job. I’d *really* like to know. I’d be afraid to print this out because it would become a list of all the things I am not doing because there are not enough hours in the day.

    Even as I type this I realize it sounds like I’m having a pity party. I’m trying not to. Am I the only one struggling with these questions in the quiet of my heart?

    • 103

      Oh Faran, ditto! That was my first thought too. I work two jobs. I take my 5-year old to one of them during the day and do the other between 9pm and midnight (writing curriculum). Daily walks and baths would have to happen at 1am. So many lovely blogs like Ann’s out there, and most of the posts on them just make me feel “less than”… :(

      • 104

        Warm wave, Faran, April! As the mama of 6, homeschooling, mothering, writing, speaking, blogging, and farming full-time with my husband, I’m with you, juggling and struggling and trying to find the balance — and simplicity, for me, hasn’t been having a simple, easy life — but it’s been a matter of focus — simply on Christ — in the midst of the whirl. And the daily walk? Is just to the mailbox down the lane and back :) But five minutes to breathe deep and look up and feel the wind. And yeah, the bath? Is after midnight.

        But it’s worth it to laugh. To count gifts, just in the midst. To just memorize His Word while we are driving here and there, to turn the timer on and focus while working, to now and then celebrate at the end of the week.

        For me, this is about not adding more, but gently caring for myself in the midst of the work I already have. About prioritizing, being intentional, and mindful — thankful. Does it always look like this everyday? My, no! :) But is this the general scaffolding for the day and is it helpful to organize the work already before me, work I have to do one way or the other? For me, humbly, yes. Here, it’s worth it to take a minute to turn on praise music, to laugh with the kids, to give thanks for something right here, to have it taped to the mirror so I can see it, affirmations from my Father.

        I humbly, sincerely and *earnestly* apologize if anything here added more or kindled feelings of less than. Please, if the Holy Spirit makes it clear that there is nothing here for you that can bless or encourage you in your unique season of life, sisters, I’m so with you — take a deep breath, brush the dust off your feet and move on into the beautiful happy that’s He’s given you right where you are!

        Write your own manifesto for your own sanity, for how the Holy Spirit is clearly directing you! :)

        You are loved by our Father and all these Cross-clinging daughters !

        • 105

          Thank you Ann and Anonymous! And just so you know, instead of stopping in my car to pick up the mail, I am going to drive home tomorrow and then walk to the mailbox. Baby steps! And I just might try that midnight bath tonight… I know that the “less than” is my own misconception…and I’m working on it with God’s help!

          • 106

            Taking the advice of both of you and about to run myself a midnight bath. Working full time too and finding only these late late hours to myself and my quiet house. Perhaps I shall add bubbles.

            ~warmly, Lisa-Jo

        • 107

          Anne-

          Thank you for your response and, sweet thing, you have nothing to apologize for. Your manifesto is filled with good and Godly ideas to keep pointing us to Christ. I like the idea of thinking of it as a general scaffolding (although mine may only have 3 legs to start with ). I also appreciate the idea of just writing my own or–as another sister suggested–taking a few each week to plug in and try on and incorporate as I can.

          As April said in a later post…baby steps!

      • 108
        Anonymous says:

        Faran and April,

        Sweet sisters, you are so far from less than! You are brave, wonderful, resourceful mommas. God knows what is on your plate right now and knows the limit of your strength. I have lived both ends of this spectrum. For those of us who are struggling to doggie paddle in the fast current of life, only one thing is needed… Focus on our Savior! As I look back on the times where I thought hourly ” I don’t know how I’m going to keep going – this is too much! I truly can’t do this…”. those were the times I grew closest to God, simply because it was call out to Him for sanity every hour or give up completely. I still don’t know how I managed… Except that His loving guidance softly answered my panicked cries with what the next thing should be and what to say no to. He will lay each “next step” on your heart as He wants you to focus on it.

        God knows your heart and loves you more than you can fathom. Trust His goodness and love…the rest will get sorted out one way or the other!

    • 110

      Dear Faran,
      I can really identify with your questions about how to integrate this beautiful manifesto into my life, which looks quite different in the details, and I have such a tendency to beat myself up over the “should’s” when they don’t all get done.

      Not in any way to speak for Ann, because I never could!, but just maybe I need to wrestle through my own manifesto? Maybe I need just five points on it…this month. And then a different five next month, and the next after that? Maybe these are not rules for life but an example of a pattern of life that will look different in its details, but will have the same heart longing to walk with the Lord and in His Word?

      I pray for us both that the questions we are struggling with in the quiet of our hearts will be used of the Lord to teach us the way forward in this new year, His way, for us. The path of life for each soul is special and unique. I am grateful for the way another’s unique path can be used by God to help me think more deeply about my path. And I pray that as you seek the Lord, He will show you your path to sanity in this new year.

      Blessings and Peace on you!

      • 111

        Love your heart in this post. I was once a single mom/widow. Working full time and trying to be it all and do it all. Now a grandma to five adorable grandkids under the age of four. So I can tell you gals from first hand experience. It is never Jesus heart (nor Ann’s I’m sure ) to make you feel ‘less than’…. That is the enemy. He is a liar. So enjoy Anns beautiful ideas (hot bath at the end of a hard day?) and seek the Lord for your own sweet list? There are women just like you- just like I was – -who would love to read what you come up with.

        Love In Jesus
        Rhonda

      • 112

        Thank you for these words, Lacy. I think because I am sadly so busy that I like the idea of someone else’s pattern that I can follow. Especially someone like Anne whose heart for the Lord I admire. Because surely her pattern is good, right? But perhaps it’s not *my* pattern, and that’s why it feels hard and not as life-giving as I long for?

        So I appreciate the suggestion to try a few habits, find what fits, and create my own pattern. I am reminded that the Lord doesn’t need me to be like someone else. And, in fact, He doesn’t even need my life to be different than it is right now, much as I might want it to be. But He so desires me to *be* different in the life I have right now. Grateful. Open. Humble. Willing. Seeking Him first.

        Grace and peace to you!

  71. 113
    Dorothy says:

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful photography. An old art that you are allowing God to use to bless others!

  72. 114
    Sarah Starr Vincent says:

    May sound crazy, but if my nerves are frayed, when my nerves are frayed: I drink one or two glasses of water. Or three.
    But then I live in Nicaragua and drinking water is a constant.
    Sarah

  73. 115

    I long for connection, friendship, family, love, but summed up with the word; connection, that is another key to my sanity.

  74. 116

    I was encouraged by this list today. As a task-oriented person with 4 very young children, I get discouraged so easily by not achieving the goals I set for myself. Yet I find it does wonders for me if I make the time to take my children for a half hour walk before lunch, and take a half hour rest after lunch. It would seem that taking this “extra” hour out of my already full day would make things worse, but it doesn’t!
    And I’ve also discovered the joys of having certain chores on set days – there are fewer things forgotten or left to rot/sour/smell etc.

  75. 117

    Right here, now, today…just the words I needed. Eagerly waiting for the printable, knowing that the gentle reminder will lead me to better habits. Quiet moments between my Father and me…calm. In the midst of homeschooling, and knowing that it is exactly where God wants me, yet wondering why it is so.very.hard.right.now. The tears (mine and the children’s!), the frustration, the attitudes, and the whining…I am seeking the joy. Praying (lately, pleading) for glimpses of it, for His fingerprints on our days. Add to that the beginnings of our homestead (new town, new home, new animals), laundry, and life…overwhelming and wonderful all rolled into one! yes!

    Your words are constantly a blessing…never burdensome, but always pointing me to Father. It isn’t about what I do wrong (and there is plenty of that), it is about loving Him more. Pressing into Him…and showing my children the JOY in living for Him!

    Thank you, Ann! Cannot wait for that printable! :) And for today, I will just breathe…in.out.in.out…and smile! :)

  76. 118

    Today is a loooooong Hot bath kinda day!!!

  77. 119

    Who in the world has time to do all of this? Honestly, these types of posts make me feel like a total failure as a Christan woman, wife and mother!

    • 120

      ((( April ))) )

      Oh sister. Yeah. Yeah. (((you)))

      As the mama of 6, homeschooling, mothering, writing, speaking, blogging, and farming full-time with my husband, I’m with you, juggling and struggling and trying to find the balance — and simplicity, for me, hasn’t been having a simple, easy life — but it’s been a matter of focus — simply on Christ — in the midst of the whirl.

      For me, this is about not adding more, but gently caring for myself in the midst of the work I already have. About prioritizing, being intentional, and mindful — thankful. Does it always look like this everyday? My, no! :) But is this the general scaffolding for the day and is it helpful to organize the work already before me, work I have to do one way or the other? For me, humbly, yes.

      Here, it’s worth it to take a minute to turn on praise music, to laugh with the kids, to give thanks for something right here, to have it taped to the mirror so I can see it, affirmations from my Father.

      I humbly, sincerely and *earnestly* apologize if anything here added more or kindled feelings of less than. Please, if the Holy Spirit makes it clear that there is nothing here for you that can bless or encourage you in your unique season of life, sisters, I’m so with you — take a deep breath, brush the dust off your feet and move on into the beautiful happy that’s He’s given you right where you are!

      Write your own manifesto for your own sanity, for how the Holy Spirit is clearly directing you! :)

      You are loved by our Father and all these Cross-clinging daughters !

  78. 121
    Kristina says:

    Ann…
    Such good reminders and encouragement! I am going to share them with my dear friend Kelley and ask her if she would like to be accountability partners in this quest. Also with my daughter, who is about to ask an older friend to be her accountability partner. Awesome!
    ~Kristina

  79. 122
    Jessica says:

    Can’t wait for the printable version! Thank you Ann for all your beautiful words and inspiration.

  80. 123

    Hello Ann, Just saw where there might be a print up , Yes? I’m so glad for that, because I was about to try and cut, and paste, and print; and, then cut, and glue… I think your was will be easier!

    Blessing on you, sister.

  81. 124

    wow Ann! these were absolutely wonderful!!! my favority song right now is “Show Jesus” AND that’s what YOU do, everytime i get your emails…i just think about them until my head hits that pillow!! i just love the way you show jesus!!! just like the song….our pastor from our church just recently retired and that’s what i wrote in his card ….thank you for showing me jesus….that’s how i want to be, more like that…gimmie that, gimmie that…anytime, anywhere, anyplace…it always speaks to me…it’s so inspiring !!!! little bit of the lyrics!!! happy january to you!!! AND thank you for blessing MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!

  82. 125
    Mary E Flanagan says:

    Thank you. I’m completely overwhelmed–near tears many moments with caring for my 98 year old mother. Enough is never “good enough” but I remember that God accepts me just as I am. I don’t have to be “good enough” just loved and serving. So many of your words encourage me–breathe, joy is worth the wait, searching for gifts in blue today and God did provide a blue jay to set the tone. Phil 4:13 “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Thank you.

  83. 126

    I need to remember balance between work and play. I need to remember to take time to play. It relaxes and reconnects me.

  84. 127

    Be disciplined by the 12 Spiritual Disciplines. Make a consistent, concerted effort to ask for, allow, acquire one discipline/month of this new year.

  85. 128

    I really Love this…I would love to have the printable version to keep me headed in the right direction :) thanks so much

    • 129

      I would love a printable as well. This is really good.. Thanks, once again and increasingly so, thanks…….

  86. 130

    Ann, sweet Ann. My life has been so messy these past few years, but this one we just left behind in particular. As I struggle to get control of it again, and find my balance once more, this is just what I need. Thank you for being so transparent and sharing it, and yourself with us time and time again. I am starting to feel that I’m being called towards something else, and if I would only take the time to be quiet, and listen, He would lay it all out before me. I am going to start with this list. Maybe not the whole thing at once, but a few at a time, until each one is new habit to wear.

  87. 131

    I have decided that I want to live my life following Ephesians 4,1-4. This is how it is written in The Voice bible: Live a life that is worthy of the calling He has graciously extended to you. Be humble. Be gentle. Be patient. Tolerate one another in an atmosphere thick with love. Make every effort to preserve the unity the Spirit has already created, with peace binding you together
    So when I am feeling scattered, flustered, or otherwise not at peace I keep repeating to myself, “thick with love, thick with love” and it reminds me how I should be, and how I want to be and most importantly, how He wants me to be.

  88. 133
    Christi says:

    I needed hope today. Not sure i wanted to see tomorrow. but i saw little bits of hope and beautyIn your post. And lots of Jesus. So, right now I take a breath and say thank you.

  89. 134
    Hopeless says:

    I’ve tried everything. The days are long the years longer. I have a severely disabled child who is 7 now. Seven years of human excrement 7 years of sleepless nights, 7 years of hopelessness. No list can make it better, Jesus just does not hear me. No respite and Joy is just no more.

    • 135

      Praying for you, Hopeless.

    • 136
      Donnalee says:

      Hopeless, I am so, so sorry. You are exhausted in every way. I realize that you might not have 5 uninterrupted minutes at a time to listen to the link below, but even if you can only listen in snatches, this message so worth it, by a dad who knows, who’s been at the absolute breaking point. Oh, Hopeless, I wish so much I could put my arms around you right now! It does sometimes feel like Jesus doesn’t hear us in our distress, but His own cry on the cross was “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” He knows every ache and every temptation we face, and no matter what our feelings tell us, His promise is that He will never leave or forsake us. I am praying for you now, dear sister.
      http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/conference-messages/parenting-when-your-heart-is-continually-crushed

      • 137

        Father God, you created this little life and this momma whose heart is so heavy. I pray that you will surround her with your peace. I pray that you tangibly show her your love today and in the days to come. Give her glimpses of your light when all she sees is darkness. Help her to keep moving forward one small step at a time, to find contentment in pouring love into this little life. Show her she is not alone – she is LOVED. Amen.

    • 138

      Very dear Hopeless. You have been so on my heart since I read your post last night. I have a 12yo son with significant disabilities, though likely not as severe as your child’s. There isn’t any chance that you live in the Puget Sound area in Washington State, is there? How I would love to be a listening ear for you, some kind of support. What you are doing is hard in a way that few things are. I am praying for you – may our God give you a brand new name.

    • 139
      Carol Harkins says:

      Dear Hopeless,
      Your heavy journey impacts all of us who have read it, and we will pray for relief and for help. We are never as alone as we feel in desperate times, because we have Him and the Spirit who prays when we do not know how (or are too weary!) And now, Dear Hopeless, you have us to pray for you. I , for one, would love you to continue to share. This communicty could be an authentic small group for you if you would let us be :)
      Prayiing now . . .

  90. 140

    Hi Ann, loved your book so much I shared it with my two best friends who then bought copies of their own to re-read. So for Christmas I bought us all 3 yourdevotional book and we are all writing at least 3 things aday to be grateful for! Loved your list of “Father Affirmations” and will personalize and add some of them to my journal! Ps. I also shared this blog post on FB to spread the gratitude attitude!

  91. 141

    Ann, such wisdom. Thank you for allowing the Father to work through you to help us in such a tangible way. Excellent suggestions!

  92. 142

    So wonderful. Thank you 1000 times over.

  93. 143

    This truth keeps me going, step by step, every one of these late days…walking through a hospital…
    “I know who goes before me, I know who stands behind!”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vBDKtzzrR4

  94. 144

    Thank you!
    I’m looking forward to the printable version :)
    Blessings
    <3

  95. 145
    rpsdiane says:

    Do you want to write something about healthy food or drinking water?

  96. 146
    Mallory says:

    Wow. This is such a great summary for a good day. It was as if you posted a big old flashlight for us to use! Thank you for this! I had been trying to establish a new routine and a way to keep encouraged and motivated to walk in His presence. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  97. 147
    rpsdiane says:

    …That’s not really sanity though!

  98. 148
    rpsdiane says:

    Great ideas too. Thanks. So many gems!

  99. 149

    Beautiful and helpful.

    I figure if I can do #1 on Feb. 1st and remember to do it again on Feb. 2nd, I ‘m making progress. If I can apply 5 things in one month and 5 more habits the next month, I will be making progress.
    One step at a time… A wonderful reminder and tool for the Holy Spirit to use to help me grow on day at a time.

    Thank you for sharing what you are learning and putting into practice.

    XO

  100. 150
    Ann Power says:

    Hi there! Can anyone help me find the free JOY printables (not the Joy Dare). I read through the 25 Sanity Tips & found them, but when I clicked back onto the page…poof, they were gone. The first one was a blue & brown banner with the 3 letters, J O Y spelled out. The others were so pretty and colorful & it was suggested that we print them and put them around our house. Can you help, pretty please.

    thanks- Ann

  101. 151

    Oooooh, Ann! This is coming at the perfect time for me. I have been greatly overwhelmed with my seven, and feel that there are too many things that fall under my responsibility and I don’t feel as if I’m doing any of them well. (or to the extent I’d like to) I am expectantly awaiting the printable version… so many of these things I’ve been working toward in my days… it is so nice to see them in one beautiful spot. THANK YOU

  102. 152

    For me it is taking time to reflect on God’s faithfulness…that helps me to keep my sanity. To know that He knows how many hairs I have on my head. And listening to Christian music and allowing the words to become my prayer to the God who created me.
    Last evening my Bible Study Siestas and I began the DVD series of One Thoousand Gifts…thank you for your transparency Ann and for sharing your life and the lessons learned. May God continue to bless you and your sweet family.

  103. 153
    Carol Hulin says:

    Dear Ann

    Sometimes I read you posts and think they just apply to married women, moms…of which I am neither. But this post. YES!!!!
    I can do this. I work the 3-11 p.m. shift (and some 11 p.m. -7 a.m.), so my schedule is a little whacky. But it’s modifiable (is that a word??!!) Doable. Self-caring, something I don’t do well. And, yet it will be a challenge too. A good challenge to learn to take time for me and Him.
    Thank you dear one

  104. 154

    Ann, this is what I have been craving! Like having the best gourmet salad with all of the yummy extras when you haven’t seen a veggie that wasn’t fried in over a week! I especially love “every no is saying a better yes”. My biggest struggle is time management and this one simple phase helps prioritize so many things! Thank you for nourishing me from the fruit God is growing in your spirit!

  105. 155

    This is what I have been craving! Like having the best gourmet salad with all of the yummy extras when you haven’t seen a veggie that wasn’t fried in over a week! I especially love “every no is saying a better yes”. My biggest struggle is time management and this one simple phase helps prioritize so many things! Thank you for nourishing me from the fruit God is growing in your spirit!

  106. 156
    Carolyn Brown says:

    Beautiful words from a strong honest woman. Glad you’re making a printable version. I’ve already printed your Before You Click sheet. I have it propped up near my nest. Have you made a printable of your clipboard list of daily To Do list ? If so could you tell me where to look? I recently found you through Holly and am sharing your words with my friends.

  107. 157

    Ann,
    On behalf of the single moms (and all the other exhausted ones) thank you for including ‘a bath’(smile) because sometimes it is ‘the daily stillness’ and the place for ‘Father affirmations’ too!
    And warming the body slows everything, bringing sleep. Yes – here’s to baths!

  108. 158

    Great list. Listening to classical music is very calming, and definitely is a gift from God that keeps me sane in difficult times. My favourite piece is “Sheep May Safely Graze” by Bach. I listen to it regularly when feeling anxious or overwhelmed and never tire of it. I think of Jesus as the Good Shepherd along with Psalm 23 as I listen, realizing that no matter what’s happening, He’s with me, keeping me safe.

  109. 159

    Thank you. So much. Trying times such as these can leave me spinning. I am grateful for the encouragement.

  110. 160

    love your list, love your heart and love a hot bath. just soaked in the tub and soaked in His word. be blessed!

  111. 161

    I remembered the quote by Van Gogh as I was washing the dishes. I feel like I am moving a heavy load and so, I turned the music on and sang songs of praise, because i am tired and the doctor hasn’t called with the results from my precious little one’s MRI yet. So needed to pray and sing and cry. The sunset was beautiful out the window and the kids were all playing and rolling around and god provided me with a few moments to be unguarded and honest with Him, before they all come in and my face needs to be dried off and i need to wear a smile.

  112. 162

    Thank you for this post and that the 25 may be able to appear on my refrig and at my desk at work. I have been able to share your website with friends at work and they are recognizing God working around them; even in the hard things. Thank you for such a beautiful website.

  113. 163

    Oh goodness, yes. This needs to be something I can print and hang up and read every morning. Ann, you speak right to the very souls of women, those of us (all of us?) who have plates piled high and spinning with ALL THE THINGS we “have” to do. Beautiful, encouraging words.

  114. 164

    Ann – I should write you almost every day – because almost every day you help me grow in my walk with Jesus – you help me be a better wife – a better mom – a better friend – a better pastor’s wife – just all around a better servant of Jesus Christ. Thank you for this! I am going to print up the printable and put it at work and at home – You have been such an amazing gift from God in my life – I read 1000 gifts, and started reading your blog – and there are just no words to convey to you how much you have ministered to me. Blessings my friend (I feel like we are friends :)

  115. 165
    Brittany says:

    Precious. I really needed this. Totally printed out as a reminder for me. :) it’s so amazing how the little things in life make it so meaningful. It’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day chaos and forget about doing these things that are life-changing.

    God bless you, Ann. I read your blog everyday and you have really inspired me in more ways than you will ever know.

  116. 166

    laughter – YES.

    http://hillpen.wordpress.com/2013/01/10/laugh-until-life-makes-sense/

    Great creative list, Ann!

  117. 167

    Encouraging and inspirational. Thank you for this list Ann, I will be sharing it with our readers. ~Alexis on behalf of everyone at A Moment with M.O.M.

  118. 168

    I say out loud what I KNOW about God. HE is Able. He sets captives FREE. He scrapes calluses from hearts. He is LIGHT. He is Joy. He is mighty to save. He is the beginning and the end….. so I just keep saying what I know until this trembling heart is solid in who HE IS! Sometimes I start this “saying” before I crawl from my warm covers….. so I can do my day.

  119. 169
    Marilyn says:

    Live in day-tight compartments.
    Jesus said it…each day has enough trouble of it’s own. Don’t carry today’s into tomorrow, and don’t borrow tomorrow’s for today. And remember his great and precious promise that he will never abandon you. Emmanuel: God. With. Us.

  120. 170

    Thank you thank you for using your gifts to inspire and INcourage us all!!!

  121. 171

    Make love with my husband :) Because in this season of life, it requires intentionality, time protected, even fought for. Few things so life-giving, just as our loving Maker designed. And now I think I’ve been on the computer long enough… :)

    Looking forward to your printable version – how gently you spur us all on, Ann.

  122. 172
    Gwendy Kem says:

    Hi Ann! Love blog & look forward to EVERY post! We are working on “unplugging!” Please share with us your family secrets on unplugging! Do you keep Internet use isolated to one area in your home for school purposes? How does Voskamp family manage computer/phones/Internet? Never see laptops or phones in your beautiful photos! You are so well “plugged in” and so well “unplugged” at the same time! Please give us tips on navigating this new techno patenting era!

    How do you do it Voskamp style!?!

    Thank you for your precious ministry!
    Gwendy

  123. 173

    Ann, I love the picture of your little girl’s feet. My son had crooked little toes at that age too. He grew out of it, but looking at your picture made me think of how adorable those little kid feet were!

  124. 174
    Susan W says:

    Hi Ann … Thank you for this post. They are all good ides but even if we just do one, it can bring us closer to God. My life has become very messy after my husband had an affair and we are now divorced. I am sad every day, but investing time focusing on Jesus brings joy and it’s the only way I have gotten thru this hard time. Even when we can’t understand the “whys” of this life, it’s still true … “All the time God is good, and God is good, all the time.” I’m so thankful for you, your ministry, and the encouragement that comes from your blog.

  125. 175

    Oh Ann, you are the best Christmas gift I received last year! My nephew gave me your link and I signed up for e-mail right away. In answer to your request for comment on what refreshes me during my day, I would say a moment at my piano, or listening to worship music. A candle a day! What a great idea! I loved the “two feet of water” picture. Thank you for taking the subtle and turning it until it reflects the sublime, the divine humor of our Creator, His delight in us, and His unending love. I’m up in the wee morning hours because something I put off had to be cleaned and the act of cleaning it has awakened me. So, the Lord and i spend a lot of times in the watches of the night. I rarely sleep early, but when I do, it is a sweet gift. May this day bring you unexpected joy!

  126. 176

    “Work on your wall . . . ” Yes. This. The deliberate, intentional choosing of a deeper closeness with Him.

  127. 177

    Oh, I love this, Ann! And the whole time I was reading I was hoping that there would be a printable version at the end of the post! So I was overjoyed when I read that you will be putting one together! Thank you so much!

  128. 178

    Spent hours yesterday going through all of these amazing links and will likely do the same again today…why I was not signed up before for your blog, Ann, I am not sure. I suppose, huh, I just said this yesterday about something else, when the student is ready, the teacher appears.

    My husband is not a very religious man, but I plan on sending him at the very least the link to your brief video with all of that amazing photography and the perfect words paired along side…those photographs nearly brought me to tears. The beauty that you capture makes me reaaaalllly want to keep on my track of simplifying life, eliminating clutter, stuff, mentally, physically, environmentally. It is so hard to focus on what’s important otherwise.

    I’m afraid I have nothing to add to this amazing list. I just want to bask in it, be encouraged to live by it, to fold it into the rhythm of my family. My dreams have just grown in size by incredible leaps and bounds. I wish I would have read this 3 years ago before the birth of my first son…one of the things I need to work on with him is eliminating TV as a babysitter when Mama is trying to work or cook dinner or clean or shower or write an email or write a blog post or or or or or…..it is going to be difficult but I really feel God is calling me to at least reduce ALL of our time in front of screens. I was just about to say there are not enough hours in the day…I think maybe I need to limit my own “screen” time in front of the computer to only the hours I’m actually working, if possible. That may just make the difference I need to pull the boys together and play, bake, read, learn…

  129. 179

    I have been keeping a random gratitude list/journal for years, but there was no consistency. Reading your book and delving back into the beauty of everyday things and the INCREDIBLE, ASTOUNDING, MIRACULOUS, AWE-INSPIRING little gifts God gives us every day took my faith another steep deeper, richer, closer to my Father. It felt like I went from acknowledging Him to sitting on His cozy lap, protecting me, loving me.

    THANK YOU, ANN!!!!

  130. 180

    what does #16 mean?

    “16. Work on your Wall before Noon
    Before noon, work on your wall; lay three bricks down before 12.
    If you don’t intentionally work on your wall, the tyranny of the urgent can make your life a rubble heap.
    Like Nehemiah, build your wall, building what God has called you to, 3 steps everyday before noon”

    please advise. ;)

  131. 181

    This is posted next to the kitchen sink:

    Psalm 34:4
    I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.

    Solace and promise for all that comes our way.

  132. 182
    Sheri Aubrey says:

    I am 7 months from turning 50…I have been an elementary teacher forever…I feel as though God is changing my zeal in other directions…loved the one about building your wall…3 bricks before noon…trusting God to lead! Thanks for your books and your website! They are beautifully life changing!

  133. 183

    Awesome words of inspiration-thanks for sharing this! Looking forward to getting a printable copy! Blessings on you.

  134. 184

    I may need to read this several times today…because it’s hard to breathe right now…so glad a printable is coming I will need it.

  135. 185

    I especially loved the Father Affirmations! I plan to memorize these and when things get tough, which seems like everyday, I will recite them and I know HE will make me strong! Thank you Ann~
    I am complete in Christ. Colossians 2:9-10
    I have direct access to the throne of grace through Jesus Christ. Hebrews 4:14-16
    I am free from condemnation. Romans 8:1-2
    I am assured that God works for my good in all circumstances. Romans 8:28
    I am free from any condemnation brought against me and I cannot be separated from the love of God. Romans 8:31-39
    I am confident that God will complete the good work He started in me. Philippians 1:6
    I have not been given a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

  136. 186

    beautiful. all of it.~ and can i say when you write in a place like this where there are comments i am always amazed {truly} at your attention to answer so many, and with nothing but complete graciousness and humility.

    your words are powerful, yes. but it is your spirit that draws me in every time and keeps me coming back.

    i like “hanging” around you! xo

  137. 187
    Anonymous says:

    I’m so looking forward to being able to print out your 25 point manifesto for sanity. Thanks!!

  138. 188
    Pam Garton says:

    Oh, Ann, how I needed this today.

    Thank you.

  139. 189

    This is great! Thank you, Ann. The one that really convicted me was “stay in the pool”. Wow. I tend to be unfocused and more excited about future possibilities than present tasks. This is a simple phrase that I can recite to myself. Stay in the pool. :)

  140. 190

    Ann, I can’t tell you how this post put some God-breathed wind in my sails today. I am hanging by a string- stomach flu in the house, four littles 9 and under with number 5 in the oven, homeschooling like a non-schooler, I just don’t even know where to begin at times. And breathing? What is that? I guess it’s what the Lord will do FOR me if I ask Him to! That would be if I could roll my body off the bed at a decent hour! But- for now- I will visit this list- a lifeline- leading me to the Cross. Where I can breathe, my chest will lighten up, and I can drink the blessings in front of me. At times my gratitude list feels so empty?! Empty as in thank you for my cozy sheets, my warm tea, the house we are safe in, my sweet innocent children, etc. But as I write this it occurs to me- take the next step. Take the next step. And so I will sign off of this computer and walk to the King, bow down and pray He lifts me up. YOU ARE AN INSTRUMENT OF HIS LOVE. THANK YOU FOR BEING OBEDIENT TO THIS INCREDIBLE CALLING. What a tremendous blessing you are and I can’t wait to meet you, dear sister, someday if not on this Earth in our forever home.

  141. 191
    Beth Williams says:

    Loved loved loved this post! Spoke right to me. When life hits hard I usually take a walk with music or exercise. I also enjoy quiet times with Pansora praise and worship music–www.pandora.com.

    I would add reading or listening to the Bible daily. I make it a habit to read through the Bible each year. It is amazing what you can remember and how much you learn.
    Also I enjoy taking a shower with just a lit candle and complete utter darkness. I use that time to pray about my day, family, friends, etc.

  142. 192
    Carol Harkins says:

    I feel like you have written directly on my heart ~ thank you, this, one of my gifts today :)
    My friend and I email 3 Gifts every single day to one another (not to be repeated) and this small discipline has fed us both on the worst of days! Thank you Anne, for blessing so many hearts with your practical tools for living love.

  143. 193

    All I can say is AWESOME! Can’t wait to delve deeper into the individual parts!
    Thank you!
    Blessings abundantly to you!
    Susan G.

  144. 194

    So a few days ago I favorited a tweet of someone that said this blog post was so helpful to them. I quickly skimmed it and it was late so I decided to come back later. So now I am back and as I am listening to the music playing (I think from the new habits daily planner page) I am thinking how I can feel the presence of God so strongly just from the music. My eyes looked around your page and I saw the words The Holy Experience. I am not kidding you that I was at a playdate on Thursday and had a friend tell me how much she loves your blog. I got a piece of paper out of my purse and wrote down the blog name (it’s still in my purse). And here I am. Nice to meet you:) Beautiful blog!

  145. 195

    Hi Mrs. VosKamp, what I did this week that I know will bring me joy and peace throughout the year was sponsor a child through Compassion International. I felt like God wanted me too; almost to the point of getting out of bed to register. I am now a grateful sponsor of Drissa, 4 yr old boy in Africa. I think being a small piece of his life will show me what it means to be gratefully real. Thank you for your encouragemt to be a sponsor.

  146. 196
    Margaret Polino Nicholas says:

    Ann you in courage me everyday. I stepped out of my comfort zone to host a meetup. Now I am so scared. However, after morning reading I am just going to do my best, with help from above!

  147. 197
    Vicki Burns says:

    The book, Telling Yourself the Truth by William Backus so subtilly altered the course of my life in dealing with the everyday cloud of depression. It’s the snake I crush everyday to get put of bed.and now I get joy too?!!! Thank you!!! And I thank Him!

  148. 198
    Vicki Burns says:

    The book, Telling Yourself the Truth by William Backus so subtly altered the course of my life in dealing with the everyday cloud of depression. It’s the snake I crush everyday to get put of bed.and now I get joy too?!!! Thank you!!! And I thank Him!

  149. 199

    YES! THIS!

  150. 200
    Celeste says:

    This list was more than just what I needed…it’s divine.

  151. 201
    elizabeth says:

    So quickly I shared this on facebook. What a blessing it is. Thank you. Just… thank you.

  152. 202

    Have to add my kudos to those already given. SO much good advice here, based on scriptural truth or wise counsel (#3, for example, about lighting a candle). Thank you, Ann, for your careful thought and considerable effort to create such a useful, inspiring list. I’m excited about the results these strategies will surely achieve, especially when multiplied by the dozens of other sisters who plan to embrace this manifesto!

  153. 203
    Diane Jacobson says:

    Thank you Ann for posting the 25 Manifestos. When you wrote about taking the three times out of the day to pray like at 9,12 and 3, I was so excited. For the last 5 years God has given me a special word during the Advent/Christmas season for the new year ahead. This year my word is TIME. I received a new watch and now you challenge me with this important discipline to set aside time for prayer. It put a smile on my face. Thank you so much for this gift and for confirming the importance of my new word ‘time’. God’s Word in Ecclesiastes …”a time for every purpose under heaven.” Your timing is great. Your sister in Christ, Diane

  154. 204

    Thank you for this.

  155. 205

    Thanks for reminding me to breathe! I am committing myself to a 5 minute stillness appointment each day. Thank you for helping me remember that connectivity is the most lasting kind of productivity.

  156. 206

    Hey Ann,
    I have a question about the joy dare… Sorry, it’s not actually related to this post… I’ve counted one thousand gifts this year (hurray!) and I’m wondering how to enter the draw for the camera. Is it too late?

Trackbacks

  1. [...] so I read Ann Voskamp’s 25 Point Manifesto for Sanity in 2013…wow…love it.  Her question to us at the end…What else do we need to keep our [...]

  2. [...] Keep reading all 25 Points of the Sanity Manifest for 2013….  because we all need a care guide. [...]

  3. [...] 25 Point Manifesto for Sanity in 2013 | (in)courage. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. [...]

  4. [...] site that is a daily devotional for women. Great great article up right now called 25 Point Manifesto for Sanity in 2013. A couple favorites from the [...]

  5. [...] 25 Point Manifesto for Sanity [...]

  6. [...] www.http://www.incourage.me/2013/01/25-point-manifesto-for-sanity-in-2013.html Share this:FacebookPinterestTwitterEmailLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. [...]

  7. [...] at (in)courage Ann Voskamp offered 25 practical ways to remain grounded [...]

  8. [...] I will be sharing from time to time my thankful gifts here.  Scratch that.  Why not dedicate Fridays to keep track of my 1,000 gifts?  One thousand things to b thankful for, right here, on the blog.  Can I do it?  In the meanwhile, be sure to visit Ann’s facebook page and blog.  [...]

  9. [...] 25 Point Manifesto for Sanity in 2013 by Ann @ (in)courage ~ Once again I am encouraged and challenged by Ann’s words. [...]

  10. [...] all you goal setters and list makers, this is a good one over at (in)courage, from one of my favorites, Anne [...]

  11. [...] piano music and said, “Okay, okay. I can do that…I can maybe, kind of, sort of do that…”This is the list she gave. (Caution: It may be mind-blowing to all you ENFPs out there.) So Friday morning, I woke up at 5:30 [...]

  12. [...] favorite bloggers about how she is struggling with keeping routines.  In her post, she linked to a 25 point “Sanity Manifesto” that she had found encouraging.  (Are you seeing a pattern here, or is it just me?)  My first [...]

  13. [...] peace I’ve felt today while Eric has been sick, even in the hospital… amazing 108.  The Manifesto 109.  A neighbor who showed up to help me shovel the snow 110.  Snow… so pretty, so [...]

  14. [...] 25 Point Manifesto for Sanity in 2013 [...]

  15. [...] 25 Point Manifesto for Sanity in 2013 by Ann Voskamp at (in)Courage and Ann offers a free printable at her blog  A Holy Experience. [...]

  16. [...] y’all . . . today is February 1. Still time for a solid, fantastic fresh start. This 25-point manifesto for sanity in 2013 (by the brilliant Ann Voskamp, of course) sets the stage. It’s full of both grace and [...]

  17. [...] 25 Point Manifesto for Sanity in 2013 | (in)courage [...]

  18. [...] -From Ann Voskamp,  A 25 Point Manifesto for Sanity in 2013 [...]

  19. [...] I’m trying to stay focused on the positive, so one of the Sanity Manifesto points that I really focused on last week was to write down three things each day that I was [...]

  20. [...] I need to keep standing on the promises (#22): I am complete in Christ. Colossians 2:9-10 I have direct access to the throne of grace through [...]

  21. [...] 25 Point Manifesto for Sanity in 2013 – (in)courage [...]

  22. [...] one of my favorite writers and author of One Thousand Gifts, Ann Voskamp, wrote about a “sanity manifesto” that speaks to this very issue. I love her suggestions and believe they are even more important [...]

  23. [...] one of my favorite writers and author of One Thousand Gifts, Ann Voskamp, wrote about a “sanity manifesto” that speaks to this very issue. I love her suggestions and believe they are even more important [...]

  24. [...] Voskamp has written a splendid post –25 ways to save your sanity in 2013—which gives us an insight into her holy, near monastic life!! and how she does it all—runs six [...]

  25. […] This is the list she gave. (Caution: It may be mind-blowing to all you ENFPs out there.) So Friday morning, I woke up at 5:30 and prayed through the Divine Hours. Then I pulled out my “Day’s Draft,” wrote down, You are my hope, O Lord, my confidence since I was young. I lit a candle (Ann Voskamp’s idea) to remember that I am the light that is put on a stand so that it gives light to everyone in the house. And I was ready when Brooksie woke at 6:30. I was ready to chat with him and read stories and snuggle on the couch. Our “Morning Routine” was written on the marker board. […]