In past years I jotted down things I wanted to work on . 5-10 goals to focus my year. Well, not in 2016.
2015 was a big year. We returned to our home state from Texas, grieved loved ones passing, supported sick family, watched friends get married and have babies, law school, finding jobs, i dealt with depression, buying a house and spending the summer renovating, finding out there’s a baby of our own on the way, scaling literal mountains and figurative ones, and so. much. more.
In 2015 I didn’t complete all my resolutions. I wanted to read 20 books, loose 15 pounds, find a job I love, spend time with God everyday, and complete one photo shoot a month. These were all really good goals to focus my year and they did just that, provided some direction. But in reality I only completed one- finding a job I love (Nanny). For the others I gained 10 pounds (so far) with this little baby on the way, I read maybe 4-5 complete books and only partially read some others, my time with God was sporadic (but there was growth), and honestly I haven’t put much effort into advertising my photography hobby.
I sat down a few weeks ago to write my 2016 goals and my head started spinning. We had just found out this baby is a girl, little Elizabeth Anne, and my being a mom had suddenly become very real. So my head spun with all these plans of how to be a good parent- healthy and fun and strict but loving, of all the things i wanted to do before she arrived and all the things in my self I felt needed changing before being able to be that “perfect mom.”
It was overwhelming.
So I asked God, How can I be a good parent? and I opened up the Word.
And I read, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of scoffers, but his delight is in the instruction of the Lord, and on His law he meditates day and night.” Ps 1:1-2
And then in my study book I read, “Prayer without ceasing is only possible in a life of continual thanks.” (One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp)
So my 2016 “goal” became simple: draw close to My heavenly Father. and how do I do that? By being in His Word (the Bible) and practicing thankfulness.
Most days this simply looks like reading a few verses as I eat breakfast and then intentionally looking for things to be thankful for in my day. This thankfulness draws me into prayer more often and allows me to notice God’s hand working throughout my day. At some point in my day I try to sit down and journal all the moments and things I was thankful for. I hope to be able to fill up a whole journal by the end of the year- but I don’t want that to be my reason for writing down gratitudes, my reason is to intentionally grow closer to God.
I pray that for you too, that amidst all your good resolutions and life’s chaos you take time to slow down and practice thankfulness. Intentionally look around and thank God for your life.