Happy New Year!

Welcome 2019! 

Doesn’t this photo describe the new year?  The bright, clean snow and the crisp, clear, blue sky.  I love it.  Reminds me of the new, empty calendar and the fresh, clean start we all have.  Every new year I’m also reminded of the clean, unblemished heart we receive when we put our trust in Jesus.  The way He wipes away our sin and gives us a fresh, clean start is so beautiful.  

I always enjoy reflecting on the previous year: re-reading old blog posts and journal entries, and thanking God for His faithfulness at every step.  Then spending some time thinking about the new year and filling out my new calendar.  Years ago I gave up resolutions (I was always disappointed when I couldn’t keep them!) and now just spend some time thinking about goals and new ideas in smaller chunks.  Monthly or quarterly goals have always worked better for me and I’m continuing that this year. 

I looked back to last January to see what goals I had and am excited to say I kept most of them!  
* Run diffuser more 
* Lengthen Quiet time 
*15 minute declutter every day
*Take a walk

This past year I’ve used On Guard in our diffuser more, lengthened my quiet time most day, and walked 5-6 days of the week (right in my living room!).  I plan to continue these three things – they’ve become habits every day which I’m so grateful for!  I didn’t do as well with decluttering but will incorporate that into this year’s goals.  

I keep a running list of tasks and projects that need done or things I’d like to try and this year I’d love to try to finish some of them.  Some of these things have been on a list for years and years.  Clearly they aren’t urgent items, but still things I’d like to do.  Now that the kids are in school all day I’d like to try to accomplish some of them.  I’m planning to choose one or two to do each month. 

I’ve been purging items here and there this past year, but would really like to work through each room and get rid of things we’re not using or wanting to keep.  I found some organizing books at the library last week which always spark my interest and give me motivation.  These books aren’t going to solve my problems, I don’t really need organization, I just need to get rid of the junk in the house.  The books are just fun and get me moving!  

I’m also reading the One Year Bible this year!  I’ve read the bible through before – in college and it took far longer than a year – but I’d love to do it again.  I’ve had this bible on my shelf for years and decided it’s time to try it.  I remember my friend Monica saying she didn’t want to get to heaven and have to tell the Lord that she didn’t have the discipline to read all of the words He gave her.  Yes!  While reading random passages in the bible is still good, I’m finding that reading chronologically is very beneficial.  Seeing God’s story unfold in order is so special.  

The One Year Bible is set up to read a portion of the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs each day.  It is still skipping around a little, but the larger sections of the OT and NT read more fluidly which is nice.  The reading for each day really is doable and not overwhelming.  And, the most exciting thing – I’m seeing things in scripture that are new!  I love that about God’s Word.  A verse that I read right over years ago might speak to me in a completely new way today because of circumstances and life lived since then.

Hebrews 4:12 (ESV)

12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

For years I’ve read the Jesus Calling devotional, but I received Jesus Always for Christmas and plan to read that instead this year.  Another wonderful collection of daily readings by Sarah Young.  

And lastly, I’m planning to schedule more days at home for me.  During the past few months while the kids were in school I was far too busy away from the house.  Part of that was Christmas preparations and shopping which is not an issue now.  I also spent quite a bit of time meeting ladies for coffee or lunch to catch up and encourage each other.  One of the best ways I know how to maintain friendships is with face-to-face time to share our hearts.  That takes time away from home, although sometimes we do meet at my home.  I’d like to find a better balance between staying home so I have time to work on the things that need done and being out maintaining relationships.  Maybe schedule a coffee or lunch date once a month at the most?   I love having entire days at home where I can work and putter around keeping our home.  I look forward to more of these this year.

Do you make new year resolutions or goals for the year?  I pray as we head into 2019 you’ll find some time to reflect and also look ahead to where God is leading.  Doing this soul-searching is so beneficial in itself.  God takes our meager, broken efforts to change and molds us into something beautiful.  I’m so grateful for that!  May God bless our efforts to seek His direction for the new year!  

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