Wow, another year has gone by and we get to start anew. Often January is a month where people take a look at their past year and do some reflections and evaluations. It is during this time that they resolve to make changes in their lives. Often the changes they plan to make are drastic as well as unrealistic. Let’s face it – lasting change occurs gradually for most people. When we set unrealistic goals and try to change too many things all at once, we often will fail. This is why New Years resolutions rarely work.
Reflecting and Evaluating
Today I sit the quietness of my room and take an honest look at the past 12 months. I invite you to take a moment and do your own self-reflection. Go to your favorite spot whether it be indoors or outdoors and without distractions. Take your favorite beverage, a pen and your journal. Sit quietly and enjoy the solitude of the moment. Prayerfully ask yourself the following questions and write down the answers as they come to you.
1. How did I cultivate a relationship with God? What did I do in order to foster my spiritual growth?
2. Did I take care of the relationships that God has given me? What did I do to show care to the people who crossed my path? How did I act with grace and kindness?
3. How did I care for my body? Did I seek to glorify God in all the choices that I made? What changes have I made and held onto?
4. Was I grateful? Did I make the choice to put on an attitude of gratitude each and everyday?
5. Did I let go of the hurts, bitterness, resentments, anger and unforgiveness towards others? What am I still holding on to?
6. What did I learn about myself this year? About others? About God?
My Personal Testimony
This past year has been full of change for me. It has been both exciting and scary as I walk in the unknown.
Relationship With God
My relationship with God has flourished and I am more in love with Him than ever before. I have made it a practice to join and follow through with bible study throughout the year and have seen a positive impact in my life. Through this, I feel more connected to God and more at peace with who I am and where I am in life. I have made it a habit to evaluate my spiritual journey and seek The Lords guidance on a daily basis. Reading the Word of God on a regular basis has fed my spirit.
Relationships With Others
I am a true introvert and have had to work on getting myself involved with other people. One of the tasks that I am working on is getting together with a friend (s) a few times a month. This has been a challenge for me and I have not always been successful, however it is an area that I will continue to work on. I have been encouraging and supportive of those around me and I am mindful of other people’s feelings. Being kind to strangers has been important to me and I engage in random acts of kindness.
Caring For My Body
This is an ongoing process for me. I have improved greatly and realize that there is still a lot of room for improvement. One of the activities that I engage in weekly is an accountability group. This has helped me tremendously with my nutritional, exercise and water drinking goals.
For the past 20 plus years I have focused on gratitude. I learned the importance of being grateful and how it affects every aspect of my life. Daily I recall at least 5 things that I am grateful for that day. Even in the tough days – I can find gratitude. It has positively enriched my life.
Letting Go and Forgiveness
This is a tough one I believe for many people – and I am one of those people. I had to really work on letting go this past year. There were some big hurts that occurred in my life and I had to go through the process of feeling them and then giving them to God. The days that I struggled with forgiveness were the days that I reminded myself that forgiveness was not a feeling, rather it is a choice. Once I make the choice to forgive and let it go, God can then begin the healing process in my heart. If you are needing some guidance in letting go please click here – 5 ways of letting go.
What Did I Learn
The major things I learned this year was love and courage. God loves me and wants me to be treated well. I also learned to press forward and have courage – even when the road I am on in unfamiliar. Getting out of my comfort zone is vital if I want to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in my life. Giving up is removed from my vocabulary and my mindset. I am stronger, braver and more capable than I give myself credit for. Letting go and forgiveness is essential for my healing. Balance is key for a healthy life and that includes rest. My relationship with God is the most important relationship that I am in. He loves me and He loves through me.
Lamentations 3:22-23 (amp)
“It is because of the Lord’s lovingkindnesses that we are not consumed,
Because His [tender] compassion never fail.They are new every morning;
Great and beyond measure is Your faithfulness.”
This scripture gives me hope and encourages me. It lets me know that it’s ok to not be perfect. I can be real before God – the good, the bad and even the ugly parts of me. It tells me that I get plenty of opportunities to start anew.
Not Just A Resolution
Starting anew does not have to only occur at the beginning of each year. It is not merely a New Years resolution. I am not one to focus on making resolutions – especially those that occur only once a year. It is a disappointment ready to happen. Instead I set goals throughout the year and I focus on being a better, a healthier and a purpose filled person everyday. My goals are attainable as I break them down in doable steps. For some guidance on setting goals click here — smart goals.
Everyday we are given the opportunity to make hundreds of choices. I came up with a list of choices that I have been working towards for several years now. There is no perfection in my list – just a daily effort to be mindful of how I am living my life. It is important that we stay mindful of the choices that we are making. I would like to share my list with you and I encourage you to create your own list.
Remember it is not about diving in head first and trying to accomplish too much in a short period of time. Rather it’s a daily map that we can use to live more enriched and purposeful lives.
I want to share with you a few scriptures to encourage you as you continue to walk in your life’s journey.
Jeremiah 29:11 (amp)
”For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
Micah 7:7 (amp)
“But as for me, I will look expectantly for the Lord and with confidence in Him I will keep watch; I will wait [with confident expectation] for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me.”
Isaiah 40:31 (amp)
“But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him]
Will gain new strength and renew their power; They will lift up their wings [and rise up close to God] like eagles [rising toward the sun]; They will run and not become weary, They will walk and not grow tired.”
Proverbs 16:9 (amp)
“A man’s mind plans his way [as he journeys through life],
But the Lord directs his steps and establishes them.”
I invite you to pray along with me:
Father God, Thank you for Your vast love and your never-ending mercy and grace. I am so grateful that I don’t have to wait until a certain day or season in the year to embrace the opportunity to become anew. Thank you Lord for showing me the areas in my life that I am doing well in. I ask that You show me the areas that You would guide me to work on. Help me to set realistic and attainable goals. Put people on my life’s journey who will encourage and teach me. My desire is to love more. Not only love others, but also love myself. Help me to show myself and others grace and kindness. Teach me how to balance work, play and rest in You. My hope is for kindness and compassion to abound in my heart and my life. Show me how I can make a positive difference in the lives of the people who cross my path. Direct my steps Lord, and equip me to do all that you ask me to do. In Jesus’ Name ~~~ Amen
My Prayer For You
Father God, I lift up to you every person that is reading this. Thank you for allowing me to speak into their lives. I ask that You bless them in abundance. May they see more love and grace in their lives and less hate and pain. Show them how to find balance and teach them how to fill their own cups, so that they can help fill others. Give them opportunities to love more and give more and to see the beauty in all people. May they prosper in every area of their lives – whether it be physical, mental, emotional, financial and/or spiritual. I pray that they will see Your hand over them and that they will know that they are special and loved dearly. May they experience mini miracles sprinkled throughout their days. In Jesus’ Name ~~ Amen
I want to encourage you to continue to press forward in your life. Get out of your comfort zone and take a risk. Let go and forgive. Build a relationship with God. Work on being kinder and be mindful of your gratitude. What did you learn about yourself in the past 12 months? What areas are you wanting to start anew?
Drop me a line in the comments. I would love to hear from you as well as pray for you.
Be blessed 💞💞💞