I used to be a rebel. I absolutely abhorred making “new year’s resolutions.” I hated it, because I am a recovering perfectionist.
So then I tried calling them goals. That did not really work either because I still had the same mindset and still believed they were the same thing. I was just using a different word to describe them.
Then one day I realized that in order to have growth and maturity, I needed something to strive for. I needed to make goals. A friend once asked me that even if I do not achieve those goals, think about how much growth I have achieved just by striving towards the finish line?
So I started making goals. I still liked being a rebel and calling them goals and not resolutions. I felt that in making resolutions, I still striving for perfection. By making goals, in my mind, I gave myself the ability to be always striving towards them and moving forward but allowing myself some grace if I did not achieve them.
That is what God wants from us daily. He does not want us to be perfect. He knows that we cannot achieve that because we are human. What God does want from us, is a continual growth, maturity and race towards Him. He wants us always moving forward in the direction in of His throne.
As part of a challenge for my job, I had to write down 5 goals for 2013. I “cheated” and ended up with 7.5. I tried to focus on various aspects of my life rather than making them all work oriented. Then we had to post them on our Facebook account so that we are reminded of them, as well as being accountable to always moving forward rather than backwards. As another source of accountability, I’m going to post them here as well.
What are your goals for 2013? I would love for you to share them here.
Today is a new beginning. It is the time that a lot of people consider a “fresh start.” A time to make “resolutions.” A time to leave the previous year behind you and start over.
What most people do not realize, myself sometimes included, is that EACH DAY is the time for a “fresh start.” EACH DAY is a time to make new resolutions. EACH DAY is a time to leave the past behind you and to start over.
God does not hold grudges.
Does He remember? Of course He does. But every day that we choose to wake up and confess our sins and to make the effort to turn our backs to those past mistakes so we can move forward, is a day that God celebrates. It does not have to be a new month or a new year. It is something that we can do DAILY.
Am I excited about the “new year” and a “fresh start?”
Of course I am.
2012 was an especially tough year for my family. We had some huge trials and some very big hurdles to jump. In a way I am glad that we are leaving 2012 behind us. However, without learning to push through those trials and to jump over those hurdles, we would not have shown growth. Without all of those “troubles” we would not have grown closer to God, we would not have grown closer as a family, and we would not have become happier then we were in 2011. While we had some terrible paths to go down this year, my family was also blessed in ways we could never have imagined.
Life is all about perspective and how you deal with the hurdles. There were definitely days when I was whiny and angry and bitter and crying. But all I had to do was get on my knees, take it to God and leave it at His feet. Then He lifted me up, assured me of His love and faithfulness, dusted me off, and sent me back out into the trenches to do His work. In the process, He showed me that while you may be deep down in the dark crevices of the pit, there are still people who love you and accept you. He showed me that even though times can be very difficult and very dark, He can bring the light of His love and faithfulness through the people around you; people He has so carefully and intentionally placed in your life.
2013 is a new start. It is a time to leave the past behind and to move forward. It is also a time to reflect, to look at things with a different perspective, and to move forward in the direction of whatever “fresh start” God has planned for you.
The last couple of months I have felt like I am constantly behind on everything I am supposed to be doing and definitely everything I want to be doing. I feel like time is just zooming by and I cannot get it to slow down for even just a single day.
Life has been very crazy in the last few months. We have had some difficult things going on in our family. Yet, God has given us some amazing blessings; blessings that have humbled me and brought me to be completely face down on the floor before Him more than once.
At times, my vision still seems to be blurred. I am so busy, whizzing through life that my perception is too blurry to realize what is truly in front of me. Despite the increasing tests of faith and the difficulties we have been going through, we are all still together as a family. We all still love each other. We are all still sticking beside each other through it all; perhaps even drawing closer to each other.
As the Christmas season is upon us, I have really had to dig deep to “get into the spirit.” Sometimes it is hard to be joyful when the journey is challenging. But as I watch my 3-year old little boy’s face light up when he tells me “Momma! It’s Christmas time!” I am able to pause and take a moment to enjoy the journey God is taking me on. No matter how bumpy the road is, He still continues to bring me joy.
I think I may have posted this song on here before, but I want to share it again. Because every time I feel like things are collapsing in on me and my vision is getting to blurry, I remember this song and play it over and over again. I consider it my life song. I pray you can find some hope in it as well.
I love writing. I love God and scripture.
I finally realized that putting the two together would be amazing and a wonderful gift God had blessed me with.
I had thought it was the path God was leading me down this year. I had thought that God was finally going to have me use on of my gifts and I would be useful and helping people.
God had other plans.
This year (and remember I think of the new year starting in the fall with school) has looked nothing like I thought it was supposed to.
God has me in other places. He is using me in other ways.
At first, I thought I was just back to my regular mundane life. But as I stopped for a minute to take a breath, I realized that God is using me in ways that are far from mundane.
And just because I am not currently using the gift that I want to be using, does not mean that He does not have a plan for that gift in the future. Perhaps it is not time. Perhaps the person that needs to “hear” what I have to say is not ready yet. Perhaps I am not ready yet and He is still helping me to grow and mature more in my spiritual life.
I came across this devotional today in The Daily Bread. It seemed to fit perfectly with how I was feeling about my current life circumstances and the path I am on right now.
My first bike had one gear. Whether I was going fast or slow, uphill or downhill, that gear did everything. My next bike had three gears: one for level surfaces, one for going uphill, and one for going downhill. My third bike had ten gears, allowing me an even broader range of choices. Even though my last bike had several gears to choose from, I didn’t use all of them every time I rode. Some were best suited for starting and climbing, others were reserved for gaining speed, and others were best for a leisurely pace. But the thing about gears is this: Even though I wasn’t using all of them at the time, it didn’t mean I would never need them. The same can be true in regard to our spiritual gifts and abilities. During times when I feel I am not being used to do certain things I once did, instead of feeling useless and unappreciated I thank God for the “gear” I’m currently able to use. Just because a skill is not needed right now doesn’t mean it never will be. Our spiritual gifts are needed in different ways at different times. Needs and circumstances change in unforeseeable and unpredictable ways. The apostle Paul reminded Titus, “Be ready for every good work” (Titus 3:1). May that be true of us as well. ~ Julie Ackerman Link
“Trust God with your anguish; It will birth something precious out of it.” ~ Beth Moore, James: Mercy Triumphs
I have had a very dysfunctional life.
I am broken.
Just when I think that I have got it all together and that I am finally going to be able to move forward, something will trigger a past memory or emotion and I will fall down in pieces again.
I fall down a lot.
I am so thankful that I have the blessing of Jesus to pick up my pieces and glue them back together in His image. Each time I fall down before the throne in pieces, He takes each piece, examines it, shines it up and places it back where He wants it to go.
I am going through a difficult time in my life right now. Nothing life-altering, but I am not in a good place right now.
I am broken.
I have felt disconnected from God lately. I started a new bible study 3 weeks ago and I feel as if I am just going through the motions. I keep wondering where God is. Is He still there? Is He still hearing me? Why can I not hear Him or feel His presence? Where has He gone?
He has gone nowhere. He is still in the same place He has always been; right by my side.
I know that while I am in a “dry” spell right now, God is still there taking care of me. He is waiting. He is watching over me.
He is ready to pick up the pieces. And out of those pieces, a new chapter will be added to my testimony.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. ~James 1:2-4~