i never made new years resolutions until a few years ago. even now, i wouldn't exactly call them new years resolutions, more just reflections on ways i want to grow in the upcoming year.
this has been a really healthy practice for me. i love praising God for how he has moved in my life over the past year, confessing my sin of the past year, and praying through ways i want to grow in the coming one, and even setting specific goals for the new year.
if we aren't careful we can just drift through life without ever pausing to reflect. today's culture makes this especially difficult as we have every manner of diversion (tv, iphone, computer, internet, etc) to keep us from thinking. i encourage you to take a mini-retreat sometime within the next week to pause and think about your past year and upcoming year. sit down at home or at a coffee shop with your favorite hot drink; and let your mind go to dream, journal, pray, read and think.
here are some questions you could ask yourself to get your thoughts moving.
thinking through the past year...
what am i thankful for?
how has God grown my character since last year at this time?
what steps of faith have i taken? what has God done through that?
what sin patterns do i need to repent of?
what major events happened this year? how have these impacted me?
and looking ahead to the next year...
what steps of faith is God challenging me with?
next year at this time, what do i want to be true of my life?
what aspects of my character do i want to pray for God to work in?
how can i be a better spouse/employee/parent/etc?
how can i grow in my ministry? who's lives do i want to be a bigger part of?
what is my plan for reading my bible?
what do i want to learn more about this year? what books do i want to read?
i'd love to share with you some of my reflections and goals, in hopes of inspiring your mini-retreat.
this past year, God has grown my character in many ways:
*decreasing my selfishness... i am able to spend much more of my day focusing on others
*helping me to memorize more scripture
*increasing my trust in him, recognizing his sovereignty more deeply, trusting his fatherhood and provision more
*BIG increase in my joy (an answer to prayer! and i am praying that he does more in this area!)
*making the gospel, the good news that jesus saves sinners, the main thing in my parenting
*giving me more opportunities to point to jesus in my conversations with those who don't know him
*increasing my humility, reminding me that the way i do things isn't always THE way things have to happen
this upcoming year, i am asking God to help me grow in these areas:
spiritually [walk with God]
*i want to read through the bible with the m'cheyene schedule, and read from for the love of God daily [i have the book, but you can also get it for free from the blog i linked to.] my goal is to read at least 2 chapters of the bible per day before reading any other books or getting on the computer.
*read operation world daily and pray for the nations i read about
*pray for God to grow my trust in Him, help me to take steps of faith, increase my love for others, increase my wisdom and increase my eternal perspective
vocationally [keeping our home]
*increase the nutrient density in the meals i make by cooking with more bone broth, organ meats, and veggies. i also want to start making water kefir on a regular basis [a wonderful probiotic drink, similar to a natural soda]
*create a housework schedule [i thrive on routine. this should also help me prepare for our family size to grow]
*start getting up at a regular, early time [something between 6 and 7 in the morning. this will be a must after we get chickens, but i hope to start before that]
academically [reading and research]
*continue to research vaccines
*read nourishing traditions by sally fallon
*read God so loved, he gave: entering the moment of divine generosity by kelly kapic [i asked for this for christmas last year... hopefully i will actually finally read it!]
*read a book about infant potty training [not sure which one yet]
*research backyard chicken-keeping
*research and learn more about herbs and essential oils, in order to incorporate these more in our natural health and wellness regimen
ministry [pointing others to the love of jesus]
*prepare [physically, mentally, spiritually] to welcome another [foster] baby into our home with joy
*i have a goal to have daily interaction with people who dont know jesus. i dont want to be stuck in a bubble of people who are just like me.
*increase my focus on discipleship and building into other women from church, helping them to know and love God more and fulfill their role that he calls them to.
*pray for more opportunities to be involved in our neighborhood and community