Tag Archives: new year

It’s a New Year!

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It’s a New Year!

While I’m not a resolution making girl, I do enjoy perusing Facebook to take a peek at what others are resolving to do in the new year. Personally, I don’t make them because I tend to peter out early after attempting to go gangbusters all at once. I believe the key is to take small, baby steps until it becomes a habit (like 21 days, I think?).

Typically, one of the most common resolutions I see across social media is to get fit, and even lose weight. Not a bad idea and one I would benefit by ascribing to myself! So far in the infancy stage of this new year, I’ve seen everything from dream board parties to paying off debt plans, to being more intentional with people rather than cyber-friendships. One thing I haven’t seen much of so far is the desire to be intentional about growing in relationship to Christ. For me, this is one resolution I can sink my teeth into. I feel like it is out of this relationship that everything else stems from. Admittedly, since becoming a mother, I have struggled to keep my relationship with Christ my number one priority. I can’t say I wasn’t warned this would probably happen…

One of the best ways I can take care of myself is to spiritually feed my mind and soul. Hearing God’s Word spoken, reading it, meditating on it, praying it, and committing it to memory is what we were created to do as believers. I don’t know about you, but becoming a mom has quickly diminished time for myself. To be a good wife and mom, the most important thing I can do for myself is to spend time daily in His Word, after all, it’s our guidebook for living. In order to live how He has instructed me to live, I need to know what His Word says.

These days, “self-care” has come to mean the spending of money on yourself in the form of nails, salons, tanning, personal training, travel, botox…and the list goes. However, the best self-care in my opinion is to be a woman in God’s Word. All other ideals mentioned aren’t necessarily bad in and of themselves but they all share the same common denominator=superficial. At the end of my life, none of those things will matter or last. Additionally, finances are needed to keep the wheel of indulgence turning. Think about it: do you want to be remembered for your pretty nails, or tanned skin? Or, do you want to be remembered as a woman who revered God and spent her life growing to be more and more like Him?

My desire for the year 2018 is to be intentional about being in God’s Word daily and to allow it to shape who I am rather than succumb to the world’s influence. To turn to Him with my worries, fears, and problems first before exhausting all my resources and then in a last-ditch effort, seeking Him as my rescuer. To see life through His perspective rather than fear what may be lurking around the corner; and to realize that life is not about perfection, money, and things or a problem-free existence.

One way I hope to grow in my knowledge of Him this year is to try this Bible reading plan, which in my opinion, offers a little grace with reading only 5 days a week rather than 7. http://bibleclassmaterial.com/Catalog/Mark%20Roberts/BibleReadingSchedule.htm Of course, there are many, many different plans, tools, and scheduled reading choices out there. This is one that was recommended to me and looks to be a little more doable as a mom.

Won’t you join me??

 

 

 

 

 

Aside
hApPy??? NeW yEaR!

Most likely, you fit into one of two categories:

One, you love, love, love the blank slate of a brand-new year laid bare before you and you’ve already outlined your goals for the 365 days ahead. Or two, you’re a little fearful and possibly a little anxious about what the new year may hold and resolutions are the furthest thing from your mind because in your estimation they will never materialize, so why bother.

Perhaps surprisingly to some, I tend to lean more toward the second category. After all the excitement of the holidays, time with family and “get togethers”, I tend to feel a little blue once December 26th hits.  Possibly due to the fact that when I was growing up, it meant time to take down the tree, all the decor, and very quickly getting back into “the (dreaded) groove”. Then, there’s the weather which tends to be grey and gloomy with or without snow. The days just seem to melt one into another. At this point, I’m ready for summer. Heck, skip over spring! I’m ready for longer days with more sunshine and time to be outside.

At the heart of the “post Christmas” blues, at least for me, is the fear of the unknown. I am a little afraid, if I’m being honest, of what the next year may look like; or maybe, I’m just anxious about what the Lord may require of me in the year to come. What I fail to remember, however, is that God goes before me. He’s already in my tomorrows. He gives me the grace to face whatever comes my way when I need it. No, this grace doesn’t come early or late, but right on time. In fact, when I think back to times in my life when things did look quite grim, all I can recall is that God carried me through those times. He put people in my life (I call it ‘God with skin on’), to minister to me, to help me, to encourage me; sometimes in person and sometimes in the form of a cheery card, or a meal, even a meaningful prayer. The Lord is with me. He never leaves me or forsakes me. I have to make a conscious effort to factor God into all of my days.

A very wise former co-worker of mine used to remind me that most of the things we worry about in our lives never come to pass. They don’t materialize. They don’t come to fruition. So, why do we put ourselves through the torture of buying trouble for our lives? Why do we torment ourselves with such anguish? I’ll tell you why: the enemy wants us to forget that we have the Lord Jesus Christ at our disposal. He wants to render us useless and have us while away our days wringing our hands in disbelief. We need to remember that God is on our side, as believers in Jesus Christ. If we truly put our faith and trust in Him, we have nothing to fear!

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Phil. 4:6)

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.  (Isaiah 41:10)

For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. (Isaiah 41:13)

 

 

hApPy??? NeW yEaR!

is it a NEW year?

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autumn-832334_640Happy last day of 2015!

Was it a good year for you? Before you answer that, let’s quantify “good,” shall we? In this context, “good” means: spiritually satisfying. Are you content with your QT (Quiet Time), how is your faith? What about your prayer life? Are you plugged into a Bible study group or class? Do you have a mentor who is pouring into your life? In turn, are you pouring into a younger person’s life?

Over Christmas, I was finally able to sit down to watch the movie, “War Room”. My husband and I had wanted to see it for some time but, well… life happened. My in-laws afforded us the opportunity to watch the movie while they watched our busy boy. I had heard many great things about this movie and I agree, it was a good movie. It challenged me. In it, I loved the character of the woman (Miss Clara), who mentored Elizabeth (Priscilla Shirer). I loved watching how Miss Clara slowly, yet purposefully, poured wisdom into her young protegé. It paid off in spades!

For me to be a better Mom, wife and daughter, it is vitally important that I’m spending time daily in God’s Word. It can be trying and it can be difficult to squeeze in the time, but I’ve found it to be a discipline like any other. Typically, I’m ashamed and embarrassed to say, it’s quite short. Sometimes only 10 minutes, but I try to cram in as much as I can into those fleeting few moments. Setting the day right with your ‘spiritual vitamin’ makes the day go so much more smoothly. How? Well, first of all, it takes my mind off of “me” and what “I” can accomplish or control in “my” day. Rather, my focus is now turned to Him and how He will lead and guide me through the day. Perhaps He has some ‘divine appointment’ for me that I would certainly not be clued in to if my focus were only on me and my agenda. We are such selfish people by nature that if we don’t ask the Lord to order and guide our steps, it will become all about “me,” “my” wants, and “my” needs.

Truly, this is living life upside down. I like to think of it as exchanging my life for His. It’s no longer about me. By allowing Him to live in and through me, great things for the kingdom will be accomplished. It all starts with a Quiet Time of prayer and Bible study. We have to still and quiet our minds so that we can hear God’s voice above all others. To discern His voice, we have to know His Word. Once we know it, we can then hide it in our hearts and minds so that our lifestyle reflects it through the aid of the Holy Spirit. Once that happens, we will be able to pour into others.

Transforming your mind in this way will start you off on the right path for the New Year. I’m ready to jump in with both feet, how about you? Do you have a devotional to help you get into God’s Word? If not, check out my ‘devotions’ page to get some ideas. Another great tool is to have a journal where you can write down your prayer requests and then mark when the Lord answers them. This idea was beautifully portrayed in “War Room”. I love to do this because it clearly demonstrates for me an exact point of need and an exact time of answer. This grows and stretches your faith to see how God works in your life. You can always go back to your journal when a new trial presents itself to remind you that He met your need back when, and He’ll surely meet your need now. Just be sure to be specific in your requests so that you will more clearly see God in the details of answering your prayers.

2016, we’re not afraid of you! We are setting our minds on the only One who can make our path clear and straight, directing us in the way we need to go!

 “Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
    don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
    he’s the one who will keep you on track.
Don’t assume that you know it all.
    Run to God! Run from evil!
Your body will glow with health,
    your very bones will vibrate with life!
Honor God with everything you own;
    give him the first and the best.
Your barns will burst,
    your wine vats will brim over.
But don’t, dear friend, resent God’s discipline;
    don’t sulk under his loving correction.
It’s the child he loves that God corrects;
    a father’s delight is behind all this.”

(Proverbs 3:6-12, MSG)