Moving Purposefully Into A New Year

Dear Friends,

"I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us."  Philippians 3:12-14 (NLT)

As has been my habit in recent years I'm giving time in January to seek God and ask what he wants for me in 2016.  Just like Paul, I want to keep moving forward with intention and purpose.  I want to be deliberate in all that I do.  By the end of this year I want to be closer to being the woman God has made me to be.

1. My relationship with God This year it's about pursuing a deeper relationship with him and enjoying a closer walk with him.  The Bible says in 2 Peter 1:2-3 "Do you want more and more of God’s kindness and peace? Then learn to know him better and better. For as you know him better, he will give you, through his great power, everything you need for living a truly good life: he even shares his own glory and his own goodness with us!" (TLB)  I want to learn more about walking in step with him.  As it says in Galatians 5:25 "Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit." (NIV)

Two specific things I want to do is to develop my prayer life. To develop the skill of listening prayer and having a continual conversation with him.  The second is to read a book every other month by a Christian writer who I can learn from and which will be of benefit to my journey with God. 

2. My role as a wife.  We read in Genesis 2:18 "Now the Lord God said, 'It is not good (beneficial) for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper [one who balances him—a counterpart who is] suitable and complementary for him.'"  (AMP)  This year I want to be deliberate about finding practical ways to support and encourage my husband.  To provide him with a safe place where he is free to just be himself.  To be the kind of helper as described in the verse above.

3. My role as a Mum.  My children are growing up, I have a son who is nearly eighteen and a daughter of fourteen.  But they still need me to be their Mum, just in a different way to when they were younger.  This year I'm going to use the opportunities I have to encourage my daughter in her strengths as one way of boosting her self-esteem.  I want to make sure I have time for them both, whether it's just to listen or to play a board game with Josh on the rare occasion he asks me to.

4. My friendships.  Invest time in the friends I am close to.  To seek ways of spurring them on in their own journey with God.  To have fun together.  To learn from each other.  To laugh with them and cry with them.

5. My ministry/service.  To look for ways to develop further in my writing and teaching ministry.  To follow God's calling on my life.  To be a blessing to others.

I realise that in some of these areas I need to be more specific in what I intend to do.  To consider practical ways of carrying out my plans.  To find ways to monitor my progress and my achievements.  This is what the rest of January will be for me as I continue to seek God's direction in every area of my life.

I am aware that having written about it in my blog, I don't want to just forget about it until another year begins.  So what am I going to do?  I'm going to write it in my journal - a place of easy reference for me.  I'm also going to share my thoughts, my plans, with one or two friends who I can trust to keep me accountable.  Who can check up on me at regular intervals to ask me how it's going and to see if I'm on track.

Rather than having a verse for the year as I have done previously, this year I've chosen a word to focus on and which fits with all I've already shared.  The word for me is PURSUE.  This year, 2016, is all about me pursuing:
- pursuing God wholeheartedly
- pursuing his calling on me as a woman, a wife, a mother, a friend and his servant.

To Think About:
Why not take some time out with God and ask him what he wants for you for this year.
You may find it helpful to break it up in to specific areas, such as those I've shared above.  You may have different areas of your life you want to focus on.

Will you share it with someone close to you who will help keep you on track?

Is there a particular verse or word you sense God is drawing you to have as your focus verse/word for the year?



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