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Devotionals

hello 2014. Goals + Prayers for the New Year...


This year, 2013, has been full of so many different things for me, personally.

As a Christian, I can honestly say that, when I take a step back, I can see how much I've grown this year. I've put bitterness aside, almost completely. But I still have so much further to go. The good thing is that I'll never be perfect, and I'll always have a good challenge ahead of me.

This year...
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I've learned to love a little more and care about petty things a little less.

I've learned that Jesus is love, and not that silly kind of love, but real love. And I'm learning to love more in every day situations, and big situations too.

I've learned that I could be a better help mate to my husband, and that I've slacked so much because of my own delusions and emotions getting in the way. I let my emotions take over more places in my life than they should, and then motivation slips away.

I've learned that being a mom is hard, and it doesn't get any easier. In fact, it gets harder. I've learned that raising my child simply isn't enough. I must train him and prepare him for the world, not just life.

I've learned that people can change, you can teach an old dog new tricks, and life will throw you curve balls eventually. I've learned that too much of a good thing isn't a bad thing....and that too much of a bad thing can deteriorate your mind...even the simple things.

I've learned that reading the word more often uplifts your spirit, and can turn an amazingly bad day into an incredible one, if you truly yearn to learn what His word has for you.

I've learned that my life is on display for everyone to see, and I must display a life worthy of His praise -- in the wise words of a local Pastor.... I don't want to be known for who I am on Sunday, I want to be known for who I am Monday through Saturday.

So with 2014 lingering just a few days away, I decided to sit down and make two lists for myself that can simplify 2014 a little better.

Let me first start by saying that these are not New Year Resolutions.

I.hate.those.

These lists are real, They are beneficial. They are practical. And I can almost guarantee that everything on them will happen....if I allow them to.

But, before I post them, I'd like to encourage you to sit down this evening, or even on New Year's day, and write out two lists of your own. I promise, they are more of a help than you can imagine, and when you look back on them in 2015, you can see what has been accomplished.

Make one list of goals, realistic ones, for 2014. And the second list, a list of things to pray about (not necessarily for, but about).

List one....



Normally, when you think of goals for the new year, the first thing that automatically comes to your mind is....

gym.membership.

Unfortunately, I have a weight bench and treadmill in my basement that I rarely use. And every single year the "getting into shape" goal weighs down my other goals. This year, I'm happy with myself. And certainly, getting healthier is on the list of things to do, but it's not at the top anymore.

Some of the goals I've put on my list this year are....

1. Pray more.
2. Read the word more (more like every day, but I'm not going to kick myself if I miss)
3. Love selflessly. In my marriage, in motherhood, in life.
4. Be a better wife -- I can always be more.
5. Be a Godly  mother -- because raising him just isn't "enough". I don't want to just be "enough".
6. Keep a clean house, every.single.day. And while I know this might be completely impossible, I have a new outlook on keeping a clean house. I'll share more in 2014.
7. Lose 30lbs by September. Yep, there it is. You knew it was coming. However, I would encourage you to read my "Dear Wife Who's Struggling With Her Body Image" post over on A Godly Marriage in an Ungodly World about body image and losing weight....it's not what you might expect ;)
8. Spend less time on facebook. This should be on everyone's New Year Resolution's list!!
9. Spend more time worshiping. Even if that means my child looks at me like I'm crazy as I raise my hands to my sweet Jesus while listening to Hillsong on Pandora. I forget how much He loves to be near to me, more so than I love being near Him.
10. Be a blessing to random people. No more jumping in on the Debbie Downer band wagon. No more 'going with the flow' of gossip and rudeness.
11. Play my guitar more. Enough said.
12. Write 2 new songs. Again, worship is my love language to my Jesus.
13. Organize + Simplify
14. Plant and maintain a larger garden = lots of canning!!

I'll spare you the agony of the other, more personal, goals that I've set for 2014.

While my goal list might look overwhelming, it's really not. In all honestly, they're things I should have been doing already. But writing it down on paper really helps keep that overwhelming feeling at bay.

No stressful thinking. No feeling guilty. No bashing myself in the shin.

Write it down. It will make you feel much better. And what a wonderful  beginning to a new year.

On to my second list....



Making goals like I do every year just wasn't enough for me. If one of my "resolutions" for 2014 is to pray more, then I better get started.

There are so.many.things. that I've been wanting to pray for, but for some reason, I've just never gotten around to it.

Isn't it weird? How we often remember to pray for other people, but rarely for ourselves? Of course, it's understandable when you have situations that you're dealing with, but I mean on a regular, daily basis. I suppose there could be those people who only pray for themselves, in which case, they need more help than I can offer...

Love...remember...love. Argh. Not checking that off my list yet.

I decided to make a list of things to pray about, not of things to pray "for". I have found out, so many times, that sometimes the things that we are praying for aren't even lining up with the will of God. So I've committed myself to pray "about" these things, and if God leads me somewhere regarding them, so be it.

Here are just a few of the prayers I have listed for 2014.

Family -- My husband, my child, our home. Our parents + grandparents, and our siblings. Salvation, intervention, healing, love.

Self -- That I might yearn for His presence, His love. Strength. Patience. Understanding.

Adoption -- Does it have a place in our life + family? Is it truly the will of God for us? Where would we even begin? Changing our hearts and minds, giving us both understanding as to what His will is, not ours. Is it all in my head, or has He really laid it on my heart?

Friends -- enough said :)

Church -- Our pastor and his family. Growth (as a church, not regarding people), direction, blessing, community outreach.

Missions -- Doing things from home to help children across the world.

Marriage -- my marriage, marriages in the entire world. The sanctity of marriage.

Homeschool -- patience, knowledge, direction, blessing.

Household Chores/Godly Wife

Finances -- I am extremely excited that we will be debt free by the end of 2014, if not sooner. But we must remain wise about our finances and money making decisions. My current job status is also changing, which is a very big deal for us since there will be less of a monthly income. But we know that our God provides.

Government + Our President and those surrounding him....whether we like them/him or not.(1 Timothy 2:1-4)

When I stop and look at this list (though there are many more things listed than I have shared), my heart jumps with joy a bit. When I think about making time to sit and really pray about these things, to really truly seek God's majestic face about these things in our lives, it excites me, because I just know that He will answer.

He.will.answer.

"You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:13


I hope that you'll take some time today or tomorrow, at some point in the beginning of this New Year, to really seek God's face about detailed things in your life.

Sit down and make those goals, goals that actually MATTER in life. Goals that will actually make a difference in your life...not ones that simply focus on your appearance.

I also hope that you'll sit down and make that list of prayers. I know that God has laid something on your heart that you haven't yet sought after Him for. Or maybe you need to continue praying for something, in which case, pray for wisdom, understanding, knowledge.

Pray about it, instead of for it. You might be surprised at what's waiting on the other side for you...

Goodbye 2013...

Hello, New Year.



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