The Dawn of a New Year (January)


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As this year rolls to a close, I am faced with the inescapable fact that time passes all to quickly. It is with joy and thanksgiving that I look back over the year the Lord has given us and His blessings in 2010. As I peer into the unknown future, I desire to use each day that the Lord gives me to grow in Him.

Over the past few weeks, the Lord has graciously revealed many specific areas in my life which must be conformed to His image. I have earnestly prayed that He would do this work in my life, and that I would be willing to go through whatever this transformation takes! But I also realize that there are some keys to growth that I can instill in my life to encourage this growth, as I shared in the new winter issue of The King’s Blooming Rose.

So I have been making a list of 2011 goals, which in fact has grown to be quite long! Along with a few physical skills that I would like to learn this year, I listed several character traits that I need to focus on in 2011. To give myself a hard-set goal to reach this year, I have listed one topic for each month to grow in or learn. These areas range from submission, to honoring parents, to materialism, to time management.

Of course none of this can be attained by my own power. I am continually realizing the shallowness of myself and the humble state in which I stand before an all-knowing and all-able Father. Yet I find His promises to be comforting. The following verse has been going through my mind for the past few days and I am so thankful for it.

“Being confident of this very thing,
that he which hath begun
a good work in you
will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
(Phillipians 1:6)

I can’t describe what a privilege it is to be a daughter of High King…He accepts me as His own! Though I sin against Him daily and rejected His Son in my sin, He has forgiven me and offered to wash me clean! What a merciful God.

Setting Goals

So as we stand on the brink of a new year, why don’t we each make a few goals? One of my new year goals is specifically to read the Bible every single day for the next 365 days for at least 15 minutes (I usually read longer than that, but this is to account for those days when life is busier). I have challenged my siblings to join me on this as well. Will you? Will you invest in your walk with Christ? Is it work the time and effort to you? If you are willing to make this your own goal as well, I would love to hear! I can assure you that you will never regret this: “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth.” (Ecc. 12:1) Don’t forget God’s promise in James 4:8:

“Draw nigh to God
and He will draw nigh to you.”

What are your new year goals? I would truly be encouraged to hear how my sisters in Christ are striving to grow in the Lord in 2011. Let us encourage one another in His ways! Press on in Him, sisters – “O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.” (Psalm 34:3)

Grace and peace be to you this new year~

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6 c o m m e n t s »

JENNY I too have had my eyes opened to all sorts of areas I need to change. With God’s help in this new year I hope to make good progress with them! I wrote my resolutions and it did turn out to be a very long list. There is so much for me to change and so much for me to learn. I am excited though! My first resolution is all about improving my relationship with God. The new year seems so full of potential! I hadn’t thought of assigning my goals to a specific month but that is such a clever idea. Blessings, Jenny

SARAH  Jenny, thank you for sharing how you are establishing your own new year goals! You are right: there are so many areas to change. My list was long as well. May God bless you and grow you this new year!

BETHANY WARDSarah, What a wonderful reminder! I love all the ideas you gave, especially the monthly challenges idea! My new years resolutions are to: 1. Grow closer to Christ 2. Memorize 1st Peter 3. To pray a lot more often throught the day. 4. To read a pile of books which I’ve been wanting to read for some time. Thank you so much for the encouraging article! I really enjoyed reading it! (As always! :D) Bethany

SARAH Thank you very much for sharing your goals with us, Bethany! I am really encouraged by them and pray that the Lord enables you to reach them for His glory. Happy new years!

SAMANTHA R. I’m still working on my list of goals but I have quite a few in mind and have already tackled a few: like reading my Bible in just 90 days. I have already begun to see just how challenging this challenge can/will be and I can only run the race by His help and grace. Thank you for sharing and encouraging us!

BEKAH Thank you for this…funny how God has been showing me that too! He has been impressing on my heart ways I seriously need to improve and how that we are given today~ tomorrow it is gone and we can’t have it back. So how am I living it? Am I making good use of the life God has given me? An interesting way of looking at this is, He gave me life~ am I living it so that the time He spent on me was worthwhile, or could He have simply “skipped” me? By the way, I liked the pictures you used with this post. :)

CHARIS H I loved the way you put it Sarah! May God bless you as you serve & seek Him in the coming year. “when I awake, I shall be satisfied with thy likeness…” is my “goal” or rather prayer for this year–the likeness of Christ! I always enjoy writing out goals and this year divided it into several groups (spiritual, physical, homemaking, business, study, etc) with certain dates to due certain things by. Blessings!

MAGGIE B. Thank you so much, Sarah, for sharing about the new year and for challenging your sisters to make goals. What a wonderful article! I still need to write down a big list of goals for 2011 {time has already started to get away from me!}, but aside from some specific goals for around here, I do have a few already thought of. First off, of course, I so desire to grow ever nearer to the Lord through this year. I hope to learn to trust Him, come what may… Spend more time in His word… Finish some memorizing projects… Strive to help more around the house and be a better sister to my siblings… And speak out with great boldness about the Lord to those around me. May He bless you this year and always, dear sister!