2017 Focus

Have you heard about the trend to choose one word for the year rather than make New Year’s resolutions?

I am pretty wordy (I guess you know this if you read my blog, lol) so choosing just one word is difficult for me.

The last few years I’ve had some new year’s resolutions AND tried to pick a phrase or bible verse to focus on for the year.

This year instead of a word/phrase, I’m picking a song.

Magnify” by We Are Messengers

I love the chorus:

“God, be greater than the worries in my life,

Be stronger than the weakness in my mind,

Be louder, let your glory come alive,

Be magnified.”

I’m praying that in 2017 I live so that God is magnified in my life!

What’s your word for 2017?

2013

Lamentations 3:22-24

New International Version (NIV)

22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”

 

I am so thankful that God’s mercies are new every morning.  God offers me (and you) a fresh start every day – not just on January 1st of a new year!

Looking back over my goals (aka resolutions) for last year, I have to say that I didn’t do a very good job of sticking with them.  So I am going to continue on in 2013 with some of the same ones.  (if at first you don’t succeed blah, blah, blah!)

This year, I want to…

use more of my daily prayer time to listen.

be more disciplined about keeping my home.

spend more one-on-one time with each of my kids.

be more intentional about investing in our marriage (we started this last week by having a lunch date!)

and in general, live more abundantly in Christ (from John 10:10).  What does this mean?  I’m not sure yet – but I do know that I tend to set a lot of limits on myself and my loved ones – limits that are not necessary.  I’d like to do a better job of loving my family more abundantly, serving them more abundantly, and giving time & attention to them more abundantly.

This song, “Live Like That” by Sidewalk Prophets might do a better job of summing that up.

So where are you headed in 2013?

 

 

january thoughts

As you read in my last post, I determined to listen to God more this year.  In other words, continue to have my usual prayer time, but to listen instead of petitioning.  In a practical sense, this meant for me that I would spend one morning doing my usual praying (see here) and the next day I would just spend the time quiet with God. 

I tell you, He does not disappoint.  There are several things that he’s impressed upon me already this year. 

The biggest one is that I want to be more about His Kingdom this year than my own.  I was trying to explain this to a couple of friends last week and I just wasn’t explaining it well.  But when I got home later, this verse of a song went through my head and I realized it totally summed up what I’d been feeling.

“You put me here for a reason
You have a mission for me
You knew my name and You called it
Long before I learned to breathe

Sometimes I feel disappointed
By the way I spend my time
How can I further Your kingdom
When I’m so wrapped up in mine?”

~ Mercy Me “In the Blink of an Eye”

For me, as a stay at home mom, it’s so easy to focus so much on what’s going on in my own home and with my own family (and become overwhelmed by that), that I think I miss opportunities to be God’s hands and feet.

But in 2012 I want to be building His Kingdom, not my own.

Some of this thought process began back in December when I read my friend Esther’s blog post here about pleasing Jesus when we give out of our lack.  And since then, this thought has been rolling around in my head – the thought that I can only be about building God’s Kingdom when I am willing to give out of my lack.

So, I’ve been asking and listening, on alternating mornings.  This morning I knew I would be going to MOPS and I asked God that if there was someone who needed His encouragement, His love, to put them in my path.  Wouldn’t you know He did just that? 

Amazing what happens when you listen and obey.

So I’ll ask again, what do you want your 2012 to be about?

In 2012, I’m going to work on…

more listening and less talking…

to God.

more “yes”s and less “no”s…

to the people I love.

more “no”s and less “yes”s…

to unhealthy foods.

more reading and less tv.

(I got a Nook for Christmas!)

more order and less chaos.

(I need to get back to doing this.)

more exercise and less excuses.

(why is it so hard to make time to exercise?)

more face time and less Facebook.

(last fall hubby and I started to devote a Sat. morning/month for each child to have one-on-one time with Mom or Dad.  We hope to continue this in 2012.)

 

What do you want more / less of in 2012?

You CAN do it! (aka, our goals for 2011)

Every year Dave and I sit down and come up with a list of goals for the year.  (more about that here).

Last year we actually accomplished only two of them –

  1. for Dave to finish up his on-line coursework with a Master’s in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Engineering with a 4.0 GPA.  I’m proud to say that he did it!  (what a relief, by the way, that it is over!!) 
  2. to have a date night at least once per quarter.

The one we have had on our list for several years but have so far failed miserably at is having a once/week devotion with the kids.  (Why is this so hard for us, anyways?  if you have any suggestions for what works for you, let me know!)

This year, again, we have several goals.  But there are a couple that I want to mention because I know they will be difficult for us-

  1. Losing weight.  I have posted two graphs on our bathroom mirror to track our progress.  Along with a big sign that says “You CAN do it!”.  (and I can never say that, by the way, without thinking of the movie The Waterboy).  My 20th high school reunion is in the fall – I’m hoping that will give me motivation!  But in actuality, we really need to lose weight and overall make more of an effort in the area of our physical health.  I also personally have a goal for my diabetes control to get my blood sugars under better control. 
  2. Praying together daily.  This is one we haven’t tried before.  Obviously we’ve prayed together before but not on a regular basis.  But so far we’ve been doing it – and it really is wonderful.  I know that there is something about praying together that brings you closer and I am hoping this becomes habit.
  3. For me to do a girl’s devotion with Miss L every night.  I think we need this time together and that it will be really valuable time spent.  But it will be difficult for me to set aside that time, as many nights by the kids’ bedtime all I want to do is curl up into a ball on the couch BY MYSELF.  So far it has been great – the first night we started out reading verses from a King James bible and the word “stirreth” made us both crack up uncontrollably.  I hope this continues to be as fun as it has started!

There are others, but again these are the ones that I really hope stick!! 

Philippians 4:13 “For I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength.”

What are your goals for 2011?

Immanuel

I’ve been reading the book, “The Practice of the Presence of God” by Brother Lawrence.  I’m not finished with it yet – it can be a bit of a struggle because of the language and deep concepts.  But I have been particularly enjoying it because of the timing – reading it during the Christmas season when we celebrate Jesus’ birth – Immanuel – God with us. 

The main premise of the book is to guide one into learning how to pray continually, and to apply our each and every thought and action to God.  God is with us, and it seems to me that applying myself to Him like the book encourages is the best way to remain in Him (John 15:5).

There are a couple of quotes from the book that I wanted to share with you…

“…we ought not to be weary of doing little things for the love of God, who regards not the greatness of the work, but the love with which it is performed.”

“…in order to form a habit of conversing with God continually, and referring all we do to Him, we must first apply to Him with some diligence;  but that after a little care we should find His love inwardly excite us to it without any difficulty.”

“…We must, nevertheless, always work at it [practicing God’s presence], because not to advance in the spiritual life is to go back.”

At this time of year when I am thinking about New Year’s resolutions, this last quote is meaningful to me.  How can I grow spiritually this year?  How can I apply myself diligently to continual prayer?  How can I be a good steward of this life – my body, my time, my talents – that God has given me?

I’ll share a couple of my resolutions with you… losing weight (of course) in order to be a good manager of my body, doing weekly devotions with our whole family, and cutting back on computer time in order to be a good manager of my time and our household. 

I pray that you have a blessed year and that you are also seeking to advance in your spiritual life!  Have you made any resolutions to help you do this?  Please share!