Sunday, December 30, 2012

New Years and all it brings

Tomorrow (in about 11 hours) my husband will be preaching about the New Year and choices we can make to draw closer to God and be who He has created us to be.

It gets me thinking... what are my goals for this next year? I really enjoy New Years, every single year. (Mostly because it's the anniversary of my very first kiss ever! You can read about that here.) I feel like New Years is a clean slate, an open book, and opportunity to grow and change. What do I want to work on in my life? Where do I want my focus to be?

I think there's something special about picking a time and place to make a decision. We as humans need a little push sometimes to motivate ourselves. If the moment is not just an average decision, I do believe we will give it more time and thought. At least for me this is true.

I think of all the camps, retreats, overseas trips, and conventions I've gone to starting with my first Christian kids camp. At all of these events I was challenged to make decisions, to focus on my relationship with God and direct myself towards His plans for my life. I was challenged to stop and ponder where my life was headed. We all need these types of moments, even if they aren't necessarily held in a building seating 10,000 people. It could be a quiet moment in the bedroom with the lamp dimly lit. It could be a sentimental moment with a best friend over coffee. It could be a powerful moment holding hands in prayer with a spouse. It could be a sweet moment crouched down with a child on the floor. I don't think it matters where the moment happens. I think what matters is that it happens.

What are your priorities in life right now? Are they how they should be? What should be rearranged or changed in your life to keep your top priorities in check?

What things in your life need to go? Time wasters? Things that may be good but aren't keeping you focused on your priorities. What things did you sign up for but later realized aren't the best fit for you? What areas in your life are consuming others in an unhealthy way?

What relationships would you like to pursue? Do you have a mentor? Someone you can call or email at a moment's notice for advice or prayer? What friendships do you need to keep you inspired and joyful? What friendship are pulling you down? Is there someone in your life God is nudging you to reach out to?

What topics do you want to learn more about? What are you hobbies, dreams, aspirations, passions? How can you achieve these aspirations and continue growing and learning more about them?

Which character traits do you want in your life? Which ones would you like to toss in the dumpster? What books, study guides, or activities would help you adopt the right attitudes and life habits?

These are just a few questions to ask yourself that may help get the creative juices flowing. It may also help to talk about your ideas and aspirations for the New Year to a best friend, pastor, or mentor to help keep you accountable. Speaking out truth is powerful. Dialoguing with someone about your personal goals is worth it.

What about me? What are my goals for this next year?

1. To focus on the fruits of the Spirit in my personality, my mothering, and my marriage. Especially patience and peace. As sleep gets interrupted, mornings come earlier than I desire, alone time becomes almost non-existent, and days are full of picking up toys and spit-up, I need His loving guidance more than ever.

Galatians 5:22-23

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

2. To learn more about being a pastor's wife- loving and leading others with passion and humility. Whether by books, online articles, or personal mentoring with women I look up to.

3. For continued focus on my children's spiritual life. This could fit under the category of homeschooling. The schooling part I always want to grow in, but more importantly it is helping my children grow spiritually and giving them the tools they need to listen to the voice of God. I believe children can have powerful and divine moments with the Lord. And I also believe there is power in the day-to-day "seemingly mundane" moments of pursuing God. Someday my children will be grown and living their own lives, and I want their faith to be their own.

4. And finally, to find and pursue friends in my new town to walk along this journey of life together. I've moved 6 times in my life, each bringing unique friendships along the way. It wasn't easy at first, but over time I've learned how to open up quickly and seek out friendships. I'm expectant for who God has placed here in this new chapter of my life.

Here's to 2013. I'm praying and expecting the Lord to do a great work in my heart and through my life.

I lay it all down at your feet, Jesus. Take me as I am, yet change me from the inside out.

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