I have listed quite a few goals for spiritual change in 2012. I am not one to typically make New Year’s resolutions, but this year, I really felt God was challenging me to work on several specific areas. I shared those goals in my last post, ‘What If…?’ .
Today, I want to share the practical side to a few of these goals. (And, perhaps, some of you with similar goals might join me!)
1) Being filled more with gratitude than complaining
My dear sister in law bought 1000 Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are for me this Christmas. With the break in school and some uncommon free time, I devoured the book!
Here are some of my favorite quotes from Ann Voskamp’s book – so poignant -
…how else do we accept His free gift of salvation if not with thanksgiving? Thanksgiving is the evidence of our acceptance of whatever He gives. Thanksgiving is the manifestation of our Yes! to His grace. Thanksgiving is inherent to a true salvation experience; thanksgiving is necessary to live the well, whole, fullest life. (p. 39)
…that habit of discontentment can only be driven out by hammering in one iron sharper. The sleek pin of gratitude. (p. 50)
To name a thing is to manifest the meaning and value God gave it, to know it as coming from God and to know its place and function within the cosmos created by God. To name a thing, in other words, is to bless God for it and in it. (p. 53)
God gives gifts and I give thanks and I unwrap the gift given: joy. (p. 57)
So, with my pen and gratitude journal in hand, I am taking the challenge to write down and name 1000 gifts from God this year! Want to join me? Over at Ann’s website, A Holy Experience, she is kicking off the year with a challenge to us all- The Joy Dare: Count 1000 Gifts in 2012 (and a giveaway!).
2) That I pray more diligently
Again, my sister in law shared with me a link to Praying Proverbs 31: Prayers For a Daughter’s Virtue. It is a book written by Tracy Glockle that contains prayers for our daughters that stem from Proverbs 31. Over the course of 10 weeks, I plan to pray for each of our three girls – focused prayers on virtue, purity, vision, service, etc. After completing this, I hope to pray for our sons using Warrior Prayers: Praying the Word for Boys in the Areas They Need It Most by Brooke McGlothlin. I also want to regularly pray through the related Scriptures that accompanied each of my goals. Intentional, focused prayers that offer me one way to pray more diligently in the new year!
3) That my children witness me growing in Christ-likeness
I can only grow if I am studying His Word! I already read the Bible daily, but I want to have a plan to dig deeper. After growing and being challenged in the Good Morning Girls’ Ministry of Motherhood Book Study last summer and then taking the fall study off due to WAY TOO MUCH on my plate, I am now ready to dive back into the online winter study. For the next three months, I hope to study, verse by verse, the book of Ephesians. Good Morning Girls has made it so easy to start! I just need to print the schedule and S.O.A.P study sheets out, place everything in a binder, and prayerfully work through the verses each morning.
4) That I fully trust God for all the unknowns
I will have many opportunities this year to trust Him for the unknowns! With our involvement with Wycliffe alone there are a myriad of unknowns - What is the timing of us being fully supported and able to be released for our assignment? When do we place our home on the market and how do we find time to prep the house for sale and continue to have time for day to day duties and homeschool? How long will it take to sell? Where will we be living at the end of this year? What are the logistics for taking the required linguistics courses? I could continue to ramble on with questions, but that is not productive. I must turn to Christ and trust Him fully for the timing and details… and rest secure in His loving hand. I plan to reread and reflect frequently on His past faithfulness and on my growing compilation of 1000 gifts. Being able to remember Christ’s past faithfulness will help me to not be anxious about the future.
He is the potter and I am the clay. May Christ mold me-
my heart, my mind, my actions
– to be what He desires for me to be.
Through His strength. For His glory.