For the past few years I have spent New Year’s Day looking back and dreaming forward. I write down a list of things I’d like to accomplish not just in the next year but also for the years ahead. Some of the things are specific to that year, but others are more like bucket list items. And, every January 1st I choose a “word” for the coming year. I never shared last year’s word on my blog because quite frankly, I wasn’t sure how it was going to work out. You see, I looked at my list of goals for last year and although I wanted to pick a cheery word like “Shine” or “Joy” I ended up choosing “Be Disciplined.” Yes, I know that is two words. That’s the joy of making the rules, you can break them whenever you like.
I set out to be more disciplined. I ate right (except when there was cake around), I exercised more, and I worked on a project that I wanted to complete. But, if I were to be honest, as the months went on I didn’t feel like I was doing a bang up job of being disciplined. And then I was diagnosed with a gluten intolerance and had to once again change up my eating habits. One day I wasn’t feeling well, I was discouraged, and a friend was praying for me. She said, “Lord, Nancy has had to be so disciplined with her food choices . . . . “ I don’t even remember what else she prayed because I kind of got stuck on that whole discipline idea. Even though I was feeling like a bit of a failure in the area of being disciplined God reminded me (through my friend) that I hadn’t been a complete flop after all. He’s good like that.
Here we are once again at the beginning of a new year and quite frankly, I was having a little trouble setting goals. We’re smack dab in the middle of my husband’s treatment for multiple myeloma and it just seems all consuming some days. But, the treatment won’t last forever and it’s really a poor excuse for not setting any goals. Because not setting goals would imply that I don’t have any hope and that is simply not the case. So, with a little bit of thought I was able to set some new goals, add to my bucket list AND pick a new word for this year. Wondering what it is? Wait for it. (There’s a story behind it. There’s always a story.)
Last week when I was putting together my end of the year post I noticed something. You may not have seen it because I didn’t write about every little detail (I’m sure you’re grateful for that.) Here’s what I noticed. All along the way, through every step of the year, God did some pretty amazing things. Some people might call it a coincidence but not me. Because when you start to see a trend of God’s faithfulness over and over again calling it coincidence would just be blasphemy. And the funny thing is, I wasn’t even really looking all that closely at how things were working out, I just noticed little things along the way.
So, even though I already had a great word picked out for 2014 I changed it . . . to WATCH. When I was a kid whenever I’d see someone doing a magic show it seemed like they’d always say, “Watch and be amazed.” But God doesn’t do magic tricks; He works miracles! So that’s what I intend to do this year, watch and be amazed. I’m going to keep my eyes open and my mind focused on the many ways that God is working in my life. I think it’ll be amazing!
Want to join me in watching? Send me stories of the ways God amazes you in your everyday life. You can email them to firstname.lastname@example.org and maybe every few weeks I can share them on my blog and we can all celebrate together the amazing ways that God shows up Every. Single. Day.
I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations. Psalm 89:1