You crown the year with Your good blessings, and You leave abundance in Your wake. Psalm 65:11
I rang in the new year with friends in a low key, hang out and watch fireworks evening by the lake. It was wonderful. And I spent New Year's Day doing absolutely nothing. I had planned to be a bit more productive, but it didn't happen. Exactly what I needed. I finally got out of my pajamas at 4 A.M. this morning when I got called into work. I think I slept 20 hours in 24 and I don't even feel a little bit lazy about it :)
I always kind of hate for New Year's to be over because then the holidays have officially come and gone. But, I always love it too because we can get back to real life which in it's own mundane way is comforting.
I love new beginnings. I love the opportunity to start again at any point. And I love most of all that Jesus welcomes us to leave what has been behind and press on to what He has in store for us in Him. We don't have to be what we've always been. We don't have to do what we've always done. We can be better. We can be different. We can be more faithful and more focused. We can step into all that the Lord has for us in this moment, this day, and this year.
I don't know what God has called you to in these 12 months, but I do know that we are closer to eternity with every breath we take. Knowing our days were numbered and planned before the foundation of the world, it makes no difference whether we are 20, 60, 80, or somewhere in the middle. We could be living our last moments on the earth even now. How are you living them in preparation for eternity? Personally, I don't want this day to be wasted. I don't want these moments to be thrown away and completely miss the opportunities God has placed in my path for such a time as this.
I certainly believe in a balanced life, but I feel like God is calling me this year to be much more focused on Him and what He is doing in this life. I guess if we're going to be "out of balance" it is better to lean a little more towards Him! I'm excited about the opportunities that are presenting themselves to grow in my relationship with Him.
-I'm super excited to start Beth Moore's Bible Study the updated version of Breaking Free with some of my very favorite people January 12th. I have done this study twice before. It's amazing, wonderful, painful, and breath taking. One of my favorite thoughts from it is that God did not intend for us to manage our strongholds, but to be free of them. I think freedom in Christ is difficult to grasp and even more difficult to maintain, but it is certainly God's best for us.
-I love the bible study I'm in on Tuesday mornings on Systematic Theology. My favorite parts of college were those classes that didn't just teach the bible, but debated topics that were not so black and white. It's one of those bible studies that you think about all day and then at like 3 p.m. you think, No way! That is so neat! Almost as if God has everything figured out. Maybe that's just an ongoing revelation to me :)
-I'm looking forward to some opportunities for accountability. I really, really don't like the whole concept of accountability, but my relationship with the Lord has grown and prospered over the years with accountability in ways I could never produce on my own. And being keenly aware of this, I'm jumping in with both feet believing that growing in my relationship with the Lord is more important than anything else.
-I'm not going to read the whole Bible through this year or read the Bible in 90 days both of which I have done and loved. But I am planning to stay in the Word, and listen to the audio version of The Message this year.
-One of my favorite things of last year was reading books for Thomas Nelson and blogging about them. What's not to love about free books? I have read some life changing material and some not so life changing material both of which I really enjoyed. I'm looking forward to reading much more for them this year and along with my own blog book club having some great conversations about books.
And with that we embark on a new year filled with adventure. Praying that you wouldn't miss a single blessing God has in store for you and that by this time next year with have fallen more deeply in love with the Lord than you are today.