I have spent a lot of time thinking and praying about the new year. I am always so hopeful at the beginning of the year. It is a fresh start; it doesn't matter what the past years have held, this one is completely new. It is like a blank canvas- anything can be painted through out the year. I love that.
It is especially poignant this year as we are in our very own house for the first time ever. It feels like life is finally ours. We can make our own plans, set our own budget, decorate any way we choose and basically life our lives how we want to. To say I am excited about the possibilities of 2012 is an understatement. I am so burst at the seams, cant hold it in, words can not express, overflowing with joy and optimism, about 2012 that well...lets just say I am pretty positive about how awesome this year is going to be.
I have learned a lot in my short and (lets be honest here) fairly sheltered life. I have been stretched more than I thought possible these last two years, and have finally arrived at a place of calm. Not an unsettling calm- like the calm before the storm- just a new found peace. And it is lovely. Which brings me nicely to my "theme" for 2012.
Peace and Contentment.
I have struggled with contentment pretty much my whole life. Peace is right up there with it. I let so much rob me of those two things. I have not been intentional in my choices, thoughts and actions to keep peace and contentment at the forefront. So this year my goal is to have a year calm with life, situation, circumstances etc... I understand there will be difficult and trying times in the year ahead. That is simply the nature of life in a fallen world. But it is my attitude that will (hopefully) be different in dealing with those situations. When difficult things come my way I so often resort to the 'woe is me' meantality. Sometimes I just get angry and become a not very nice person to be around. But rarely do I go straight to prayer, straight to Jesus and surrender to Him, accept His will and then act accrdingly. It is all about choices. And this year I want to choose Peace and Contentment.
Aside from a 'theme' I have also made some goals and prayers lists. I do this every year, but it usually just stays in the back of my journal for only my eyes. But I am sharing a picture this year. You must feel so fortunate. (picture from iPhone, ignore the quality)
Here is how it works. I have 6 main categories: Spiritual, Physical, Financial, Outreach, Sacrifice and Personal Enrichment. The 7th category is a fun one: Just for Fun. That is includes the silly 'resolutions' like try a new hairstyle or paint my nails a funny color.
In each of the main 6 categories I have 5 goals that I want to accomplish this year. Some are fairly small. For example, in the 'Spiritual' section one of my goals is to do a Bible study at my church. Easy and achievable. Some are more far reaching. For example, in the 'Outreach' category I have listed to become actively involved in OATH. OATH stands for Oklahoman's Against the Trafficking of Humans. Not an easy subject and not an easy thing to become actively involved in. The training is intense and the subject matter is difficult. But I have thrown myself in whole heartedly, really feeling the Lord's direction in this. And I truly believe God has amazing things for this in the coming months.
The 5 goals in each main area of my life are reasonable goals. I have found that if I break things up into smaller, manageable pieces I actually accomplish tasks. Same with goals. Instead of making a giant list with 20 or 30 things I want to do (which I have been known to do in the past) I prayerfully consider each area of my life. And then come up with 5 goals that I feel are important.
Just to mix it up, each category has a special "no pressure extra goal" written in red. This is exactly what it says. A no pressure, 6th goal in each of the categories. For example, one of my goals in the 'Physical' section is to run a half marathon in 2012. That, at least at this point, seems pretty doable. New baby girl is due in May so plenty of time to recover and train. The no pressure, extra goal is to run either a full marathon or 2 halfs. It is something fun to work towards, but not one the original 5.
I have taped these goals to the door in my bathroom. I look at them every single day, multiple times. I read and re-read them. And it has made a big difference so far. Granted we are not even through January, but nothing like starting strong eh?
As for prayers, I have made a specific list of prayers for Rhys, our marriage and my 2 girls. (can I just say that I LOVE writing that- 2 girls!) It goes something like this....
Things as simple as 'eat a bigger variety of food' to 'understand her need for a savior' are only Eleri's list. Again this is taped in my bathroom where I see it countless times a day. A great reminder to not only pray for my children but to pray specifically over some of their specific needs.
So there is it, 2012 goals. Here's to a great year!