I always look forward to the beginning of a new year. It is a wonderful time to start making all those lists that give me such great joy! Yes, I am one of THOSE people...you know the ones...they never feel complete unless they have at least multiple lists of things to check off. I have been so neurotic about my lists before that I have intentionally written things I had already completed just so I could draw a line through it and sit back and revel in the beauty of being able to check off something else! So, the thought of reevaluating goals, plans, lists, etc. actually makes me very happy. This is my element. So, how does one go about planning for the upcoming year? I will share with you some of my thoughts on the matter and I would love for you to share with me as well. First of all, nothing should be written down apart from a time of prayer and seeking the Lord's mind. There are many things in life that are worthy, but not what God wants US to do. I had to learn that lesson the hard way. I would see something that wasn't getting done and feel that is was my job to do it. I would burn myself out because that is not what God had called me to do. Now I have learned the art of saying no and praying before I rush into commitments of my time and energy.
1. First, always in planning for the upcoming year is prayer. And when we pray about our priorities, we realize very quickly that our relationship with the God of the universe is our greatest priority. Nothing else compares to this. Nothing now and nothing in eternity. To lose our closeness with Him is devastating...both to our own spiritual wellness and the effects we will have on everything else we do. So, the main priority should be what am I going to do this year to find out more about God...to develop a real breathing, living, loving relationship with Him? If you have not already, what about reading the Bible through in a year? If you have before...now make it a priority to do so every year? How about guarding your quiet time better? What spiritual books might you read as well? Is there a specific area that the Lord is working on in you...patience, anger, envy, etc. that you could read about from other Godly sources? Now, this is only after you exhaust what the Bible has to say about it because that is always the BEST source. But I know personally, not having those Titus 2 women around me that the Bible talks about...I have gleaned greatly from books by Titus 2 women who have taught me so many things through their writings.
2. Secondly, once I pray about what God would have me personally do, I pray about what God would have me to do as a mother and a wife. How can I better bless my husband? What ways can I assist him better in the avenues that God has called him? What ways can I make our home more of a haven for him? What about my children? How can I address needs they have individually? What ways can I bless them? How can I begin to spend more one on one time with each of them? Besides our relationship with the Lord, our relationship with our families are of utmost importance. Our marriage should be a reflection of Christ and His church. That is nothing to take lightly. Our relationship with our husbands is a witness to a world that is reeling from sky high divorce rates, infidelity and so many other problems. What a privilege to show the world God's way! The same with our children. Building relationships of an eternal nature not only makes our families more enjoyable, but it is a further witness to what a Godly family is all about. Do you memorize scripture? How about making it a family goal this year? These things will obviously work more smoothly if they are decided upon as a team...husband and wife together. Since my husband is currently in Afghanistan, many of the practical workings of this will wait until he arrives home and we can work on these together. But, some things, like memorizing scripture, reading through the Bible, etc., can be started right away. Bless your children this year with more saturation in the Word of God. It is one gift that He promises will not return to Him void.
There are other areas I have floating around in my head that I will be discussing with you in Part 2 of this. I would love to hear how you are evaluating your goals. One of the great things about blogging is how we learn so much from a community of believers. May you have a blessed New Year!