Monday, January 5, 2015

A Year of Thanks… Take two!

Can you believe it’s already 2015?  I can’t.  Time is going by way too fast.  I’m not ready for the next year.  I still have goals to reach…Personal deadlines to meet.  I didn’t read enough books, exercise enough, save enough, or seek God enough.

I did accomplish a lot of things I set out to do last year, but it always seems like those things we didn’t finish are what sticks out the most in our minds.  I’m sure glad each year we get to start over.  We are given a clean slate, a fresh page, and a new perspective.  New is good.

I’ve decided to take a different approach concerning goal-setting as I consider the upcoming year.  Instead of weighing myself down with a list of self-imposed expectations, I am changing things up.  Don’t get me wrong… lists are good.  In fact I love lists and make them every day.  

Goals are great too.  Yes there are some things I want to accomplish this year, but I’m not going to write them down and set a deadline this time

For me, this year is going to be focused on one word… 


“surrender” can be defined as this:   
to give oneself up into the power of another: yield

I want 2015 to be a year of me surrendering and yielding to God every step of the way.  I want His will and His way every day!  I want to seek Him first instead of running ahead of Him with my own ideas of perfection.  I want to fine tune my listening skills.  I want to learn to hear His still small voice perfectly as He guides me into His best for me. 

Surrender.  It’s me giving up my way so I can experience God’s plans for me.  A verse comes to mind along these lines…

“With God’s power working in us, God can do much, much more than anything we can ask or imagine.”  Ephesians 3:20 (NCV)

My plans seem great to me, but God’s plans for me are so much better.  Beyond what I could hope for or even imagine.

I want God to order my steps and lead me where He wants me to be this year.  I have a verse I memorized years ago that has stuck with me ever since.  It has been my go to verse in many seasons.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.  Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT)

Surrender.  It’s me laying ME down so God can shine through.  Surrender, Yielding… It’s a daily struggle of my flesh and spirit.  When I am weak, He is strong.

Two years ago I started a new tradition.  I saw the idea on Pinterest.  It’s called a “Thank You Jar”.  The idea behind it is to record and collect all of the good things God does in your life over the course of a year.  At the end of that year, you empty the jar and read the blessings you experienced.  The results are powerful!

New Years Day was our second year doing this.  We had watched for God-moments all throughout the year.  We scribbled them down by the month, documenting the event that occurred, and threw them in our jar.  

By January 1, 2015 our jar was bursting from the seams.  As we poured out the papers on the table to split them up to read, my heart beamed with joy.  God had really showed up in 2014.  He wasn’t there just for the big moments.  He met us daily with our struggles and victories.

The papers we read recorded seemingly insignificant things to others, but simple answers to prayer for us.  We collected 40 in all!!  God was there!  He provided, He healed, He opened doors, He fulfilled dreams, and He met us right where we were.  He was faithful!  This is a tradition we will continue… an attitude of gratitude for what God has done and is doing. 

I’m looking forward to 2015.  God has some amazing things in store for us.  I’m watching and waiting for those God-moments as I surrender my life completely to Him.  My “Thank You Jar” is ready to be filled.  How about yours?

Living to leave a legacy,

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