Happy New Year!
Yesterday, for the first time ever, I saw two swans swimming on my lake, so I’ll open with swans.
I don’t exactly do New Year’s Resolutions. But I do like to make New Year’s Goals — measurable, definite plans. I like to make seven.
Last year, I accomplished exactly half my goals. Exactly half because I’d split one into two parts and did one of the parts. And got three others done.
For example, this year I’m borrowing an earlier year’s goal. One year a few years ago, I really did work on a book for a half-hour per day every day of the year. This year, I want to focus on that again. I’m going to modify it slightly and set a goal of working on a book three hours per week.
I’m going to try to do it every week, but even if I miss a week or two, this sets my intention for what I want to do.
I also like to choose a Theme for the year and a Verse for the year.
This coming year will be my first tax year with no dependents other than myself (if all goes well). This brings up many issues about meaning and purpose. I wonder what God’s doing in my life and why He brought me down this path.
I had started feeling Anxious and I know the road to Peace from Philippians 4:6-7 — “Do not be anxious about anything, but by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds, in Christ Jesus.”
Thinking about that verse gave me an idea to come up with seven 2016 Prayer Requests.
Instead of me trying to do things, I’ll be asking God to do things!
When I say 2016 Prayer Requests — I’m not necessarily asking God to complete these things in 2016. But I’m planning to pray these requests every day of 2016. These are the desires of my heart. I plan to present them with thanksgiving. And be comforted to know that God is working on them.
Some of them are related to a goal. For example, one prayer request is that I get a book published. My part is to plan to work on a book for three hours per week every week this year. But I have no control over whether I get published or not. I’m going to ask God to work on that part!
And making the request will keep me going on my part. After all, it doesn’t make sense to pray to get a book published and never write or submit one.
Another example is related to my debt. I have way too much of it, and blame my divorce for most of that. But my divorce is long over, and I want to dig my way out. If I pray and ask God that I will get out of debt, it will help motivate me to meet the goals I’ve made to pay down that debt by a certain amount this year.
Four of the requests are that sort of thing. You might call them selfish, but I’m thinking of it as knowing the desires of my heart and bringing them before the Lord.
One request is that my two kids will find meaningful and well-paid work!
I thought I’d make the final two requests more general, trying to keep me where I want to be: First, I’m going to ask God to continue to guide me this year and that I will follow His leading. Second, I’m going to ask God to help me touch lives.
And the Theme and Verse this year? TRUST. I’m placing my requests before God, and now I want to trust Him.
Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge. Selah
But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
He will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.
I like the idea, though, that I am looking forward to what God will do in the New Year.