I love the New Year. I love setting goals and then looking back at the year and seeing how far you've come. I believe in the freshness of a clean slate, like the snow that is falling outside my window right now.
SARK, an artist and author, said that we should look at instead of making "resolutions", to start a revolution instead, and to do the things that our heart loves. I like that.
Also in Christian circles I've heard of instead of creating lists, choosing just one word. But to a writer, just one word is difficult to say the least. If I had to choose just one word it may be something like "Joy", "Strength", or "Faith". But those are all such different things.
So for me, in 2014, I am going to aim to do the things that make me happy, that make my heart happy, and help me reach my goals. But even more importantly, I am going to put God first.
My goals for 2014 are:
* I am going to reach my goal weight (lose 20 lbs) by staying within my calorie range and working out 4x per wk
* I am going to read the entire bible in a year
* I am going to get in enough water and more freggies
* I am going to swim and do yoga once a week
* I am going to renew my family and household, breaking old habits starting with me.
* I am going to yell less, and think before I speak more.
* I am going to worry less and pray more.
* I am going to rediscover my creativity and what makes me happy through writing, starting with once a week.
I started today off right, with the bible and a Sparkpeople egg white and spinach omelet
After I read my bible I checked my email and I received an email today with an important word from Wendy Blight, a Christian author.
She references Romans 12:1-2 which says:
"So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering ... Fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it ... God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you." (The Message)
She goes on to help us write a prayer (the rest below are Wendy's words and not my own)
Using this passage, let's write a New Year's Prayer. But not just any prayer. Reread Romans 12:1. There is a powerful little word tucked in that first sentence. Paul tells us to take our lives and place them before God as an offering.
Together, let's make a New Year's offering.
We can make all the resolutions we want, but we can't change ourselves. But when we willingly offer our lives to God, He will change us. The NIV translation of Romans 12:2 says, "...be transformed by the renewing of your mind." The renewing of our mind requires inward change and comes from God at work in us. It requires diligence on our part. It requires changing our thoughts, our priorities, and goals to be aligned with those of Christ.
It's baby steps. And it doesn't require changing everything all at once.
Let's begin today with our first step ... a simple prayer, offering our hearts to God.
Heavenly Father, I praise You this day as Elohim, God my Creator. You are the Author of my life. You are the Strength of my heart and my Portion forever. You are all I need. My heart's desire in this New Year is to grow closer to You. In knowing You better, I will know myself more because my identity is found in You.
I want to become a woman after Your own heart. God, I ask You to help me each day carve out time to spend with You. Give me eyes to see, ears to hear, a heart to receive, and a mind to understand all that You will teach me. Make my heart tender to hear Your voice each time I meet with You.
Take Your Word and penetrate my heart. Create a hunger deep inside my soul for more and more of You. May nothing else satisfy me more than You.
Give me a heart of humility. If there is anything in me that keeps me from hearing You, reveal it to me. Convict me. Move me to confession. Cleanse my heart and renew a right spirit within me so I can be in perfect fellowship with You.
Fill my heart with Your truth. Plant it deep so that it takes root. Move me. Change me. Transform me. Empower me to live out what I hear and learn.
Every day of this New Year, make my life one long walk of obedience in response to Your Word and Your Holy Spirit Who lives and reigns in me. Let Your love and Your Word shape my life. This is my prayer offering. I ask this in Jesus' Name, Amen.
Now let's commit together to pray our prayer throughout the year ... asking God to change us from the inside out ... in baby steps.