Saturday, December 31, 2011

A New Thing!

This time of year causes me to be reflective of many things, particularly about how I use my time and energy.  I never feel like I'm doing my absolute best using either and, because I know both are in limited supply both today and in my vapor of a lifetime, I desperately want to be improving and honing the ways I spend both my time and energy.

I think most people either are or are not believers in New Years resolutions...I don't find much of a middle ground.  I happen to be a believer.  January 1 is always like a grand reset button for me.  As Anne Shirley says, Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it....on a large scale for a new year.

There are so many areas I want to grow in, so many things I want to get better at, so many ways I want to be making an impact.  And I feel like time is so short as I watch my girls watching me.  They don't just see the "put together" woman who makes public appearances and serves in the church Sunday school, they see the woman who lives with them day in and day out.  With everything in me I wish I was the woman I want to be for them to be watching, not this package of imperfectness struggling to love others and clawing for God's grace.

And so...I do what I can do.  I lean into God all the more, lay down more of myself at the foot of the cross, yielding my plans and bright ideas in favor of His plans and His thoughts.

This is what the LORD says— he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. 

Isaiah 43:16, 18-19 

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. 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, 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

I found this list of thought-provoking questions.  I'm going to spend the next day or so answering them for myself and I'm sharing it here in case you'd like to do the same.  I'd love to hear your answers to one or more of them, if you'd like to share.

20 Questions for a New Year’s Eve Reflection

1. What was the single best thing that happened this past year?
2. What was the single most challenging thing that happened?
3. What was an unexpected joy this past year?
4. What was an unexpected obstacle?
5. Pick three words to describe 2011.
6. Pick three words your spouse would use to describe your 2011 (don’t ask them; guess based on how you think your spouse sees you).
7. Pick three words your spouse would use to describe their 2011 (again, without asking).
8. What were the best books you read this year?
9. With whom were your most valuable relationships?
10. What was your biggest personal change from January to December of this past year?
11. In what way(s) did you grow emotionally?
12. In what way(s) did you grow spiritually?
13. In what way(s) did you grow physically?
14. In what way(s) did you grow in your relationships with others?
15. What was the most enjoyable part of your work (both professionally and at home)?
16. What was the most challenging part of your work (both professionally and at home)?
17. What was your single biggest time waster in your life this past year?
18. What was the best way you used your time this past year?
19. What was biggest thing you learned this past year?
20. Create a phrase or statement that describes 2011 for you.

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