Like many of you, I've been wrapping my head around new beginnings, new challenges, and new goals to strive for throughout the course of the next 366 days of 2016 (yay for a bonus day!). The year 2015 was all about digging deep and pressing on, and boy, did God give me opportunity upon opportunity to do so, as you've read over the course of the past year in this blog.
God whispered a word during my run one morning several months ago: aware. It stuck with me throughout these past several weeks and I take this word with me into the new year. I'm eager - as with any new year, quite honestly - to start fresh, hit the re-set button, continue to live for God's glory, as I know it all comes from Him and not a single thing I could ever do here on this earth could match His unlimited grace.
In 2016, I pray for God's work on my heart as I become more aware in:
- My sin - namely those sins that I flippantly shrug off and scarily hide and sweep off to the deepest, darkest parts of my heart.
- My time in God's Word - these last several weeks I haven't had a structured Bible reading plan or study to go off of. God has created me to be a creature of structure, a type-A junkie who loves and craves and thrives off of a plan. I'm excited to dig into 1/2/3 John study by MacArthur to kick off the new year.
- My family - Chunk out time after school/work each day when Mackie gets home and Brax wakes up from a nap and turn my phone completely on silent or (better yet!) off. Spend this time reading with them, dancing with them, going on outdoor adventures, cook dinner together, giggle, snuggle - whatever. Just be with them as their mama first, not a mama who's trying to be with them but constantly distracted by the darn phone/e-mail/Facebook/text messages. Same goes with Jack....part of that time will be when he's home during dinner, but also purposely chunk out time with him each night without any electronics around to simply talk, dream, plan.
- Purposeful work time - It's a huge answer to prayer having a more flexible job and work schedule - something I never want to take for granted. However, I tend to struggle shutting off work when the kidlets are in bed or after school when they could be watching a show, but really should be enjoying quality time with mama. Granted, there are seasons in my work year that I do need to dedicate every chunk of possible time to deadlines. But I find myself cramming too much work into the nooks and crannies of life. A lot of it comes from the lack of prioritizing and being constantly purposeful with work. I strive to get back to more purposeful planning in my work day that will lead to better productivity and home life balance.
- Reading (in general) - each year I create a lofty goal to read books more. I even go to second-hand bookstores and buy books, thinking I'll read them if I spend a little money on them. I want to read more. I get giddy hearing my book-loving girlfriends chat endlessly about their recent literary adventures. One said girlfriend posted Tim Challies' 2016 Reading Challenge - and I'm committing to the Light Reading Plan. This will be the year I become a bookworm again! (and this structure is just what I need!)
- Moving my body - you all know I love running and enjoy active living in general. I blogged about my 2016 running/racing goals in an earlier post. But I want to take it a step further (no pun intended) and move my body beyond the daily run/workout time. I received a FitBit Charge HR for Christmas and already I find the desire to move more throughout the day.
- Sleep/eating habits - I'd like to blame the Royals and their month-long World Series run for my super late nights in Oct/Nov. But it really comes down to not shutting down the television or social media. My body tells me to go to bed by 10 p.m. (or earlier!) most nights. I tend to stay up a good hour or two past that and my body pays for it the next morning in extra coffee consumption and less-than-ideal morning workouts. My goal is to be in bed by 10 p.m. on weeknights. Eating-wise, I'm getting back to using my weekends for meal prep and meal planning for the days and weeks ahead.
- Where the money is going - Jack and I already have started taking a closer look at various monthly bills and how we can save money or cut out unnecessary expenses. We've also been more aware of purchases and if we really need it (or will it end up in the garage sale pile a year later?). We're going with a simpler is better mindset and purging unnecessary items in our house, selling them and then setting that cash aside for date nights, special restaurant trips with the kidlets, etc. We're also working hard to build our savings these next few months now that Jack is wrapping up grad school and we continue to pay off some medical and other bills that unexpectedly came up this past year.
Of course these are goals I have, but ultimately know that God's will is best and may HIS will be done this year. I pray 2016 brings me closer to Him.
Happy 2016! May you enter these next 366 days energized and ready to live for His purpose - to GOD be the glory!