This past Sunday at church Pastor gave a message called "This New Year." As the week has unfolded and I've ready many, many Facebook posts regarding resolutions and changes people want to make, coupled with all the challenges that my running groups have put out there, I have decided I'm not making a resolution. It isn't that I don't think I need goals or changes in my life, we all do. Each and everyone of us need a goal and change. We need the discipline that a good goal creates and the necessary pain that change gives. Now, don't misunderstand what I am saying, change for change's sake isn't good, but I think if you were to look deep you'd find one thing. I know I have. Allow me to explain.
Year's ago, when I had my first interview for a promotion with my company, I was taken aback by a question the manager asked. I should tell you that I am a very outspoken person (no, it's true!) and in some circumstances, like when I'm really nervous, I like to lighten the air so-to-speak by joking around. Well, this manager was new to the company and I wasn't familiar with his mannerisms, nor he, mine. He did not find me amusing, nor did he like small talk. (I should tell you he later became my boss and we work really well together still, though I no longer work for him.) Anyhow, he asked me "How do you eat an elephant?" I laughed. I mean, WHO eats circus animals? (Yes, I asked him that question!) Then I just shrugged my shoulders and said, "one bite at a time?!" Guess that was the right answer because I got the job! I say all that to say this: 2014, the whole year, the 12 months, 52 weeks, etc. is nothing more than 365 days. Days people, days! One year, is merely a compilation of days. Don't try to tackle the whole year at once, live it one day at a time.
Pastor's message was based on Deuteronomy 11:8-12. Seems like a weird bit of scripture to base a New Year's message on, but it fits so well. (It helps that he kind of, you know, showed how it fits!!!) In the passage Moses knew that the people needed to keep a positive attitude in order to keep going. Um, duh! Truth of it is, life does stand still when you let the ick and the overwhelmingness of the situation take control. And I will be the first to admit that in very specific areas of my life I lack the faith necessary to keep going. This is one of the changes that I want to make. I want to give this one thing fully, completely to God to handle. Each day. In each way. I know He won't let me down. Besides, God knows what is best for everyone. (Philippians 3:13-14)
Just like the land that Moses was leading the Israelites to, a land with mountains and valleys, this next year is going to have ups and downs. There are going to be good days and bad days. In fact, the Enemy WILL bring out things in 2014 that will try our faith. It is his goal after all to get us to live miserably. I have seen several times posted on Facebook a link of an idea pinned to Pinterest. You take a quart mason jar, you can gussy it up if you want to, but the idea is to put in little reminders of the good things that happen to you over the year so that on New Year's Eve of that year you can be reminded of the good that the year held. Here's the linky! I am a firm believer that each day has a win. In fact, at the office I make it a point to share with my coworkers the win of the day. Yes, it is at times, something as simple as not spilling my coffee all over my paperwork (this is a frequent issue!) Wouldn't it be great to put all those wins together to show the beauty each day held in 2014? This is a goal I am making for myself and each of my Littles.
The land that God gave to the Israelites was flowing with milk and honey. Now, yes, we could take that literally and think of the board game Candy Land and see rivers of milk and rivers of honey, but the truth of it is that it was a land that held all the provisions the people needed. And like them, God will provide the necessary things we need in the New Year. Don't misunderstand this. It isn't a name it and claim it kind of thing. Remember that God knows each of us better than we know ourselves and these things that He is going to provide are not always the things that we want, but they will be what we need. In fact, while typing this I am reminded of that fact for myself. I don't like it. Not one bit. I mean, I know what I want. I know what it is that I want more than anything, but I also know that for it to be the best, I have to leave it to God. He will also give us spiritual things, ministry things, and witnessing things. These are the things that will grow us to be more like him, to reach others, and make our lives richer and fuller. But I think the most beautiful thing He will give us are the protective things. God will protect us! But beyond that He will encourage and strengthen us. Sure, it may not feel like it while it is happening, but I think we often miss the forest for the trees. (Or maybe that is a problem only I have.) However, the truth of it all is, what we receive depends on us. (Perspective people, it's a beast.) One of my goals is this, to receive each "thing" I can. Philippians 4:19
While I'd like to sit here and promise all of you the best year of your life, I cannot. I cannot promise you anything. Heaven's I can't even promise you a blog filled with worthwhile musings, but what I can promise you is - if you give it all to God He will be there. In fact, He promises us that time and again in His Word. I know, more than anything, the desire and want to go at things on your own. To try to fix things and do things your way. I think a lot of failure comes from that. I DEFINTELY know that a lot of heartache comes from that. I think Andrew Murray said it best, "Do not strive in your own strength; cast yourself at the feet of the Lord Jesus, and wait upon Him in the sure confidence that He is with you, and works in you. Strive in prayer; let faith fill your heart-so will you be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might." And this, this, is my ultimate goal for the new year, to cast myself at His feet. To become the woman that He designed me to be. Genesis 28:15
To all of you, those who come back post after post to read what I have to say and to those who will stumble upon this for the first time; we don't know what this new year will hold for us - the decisions, the challenges, the disappointments, the blessings, the joys, etc, but the one thing we can hang our hat on is that God is in control. He is going to be there with us each and every day. In fact, he is already IN each day before it comes. And one last thing I want to leave you with, something that I want to not only remember, but to actually apply: God always gives the best for those who leave the choice to Him! Happy New Year to you and yours, may you find the win in every day.