Friday, January 1, 2016

2016: A Year of Purpose

Ah... the New Year.
A blank page.
A new beginning.
A new year.
Hope.
Promise.

Even though on January 1st I wake up the same person that I was when my head hit the pillow, it's different.

There's always the mindset that it could be different. That life could look different. That I could be different.

Except maybe that's not always a good thing. Right now, I'm pretty much content. I have a good life. A good husband and the best kid. A good job. A house and a car and material blessings.

Most of all, though, I've learned WHO I am. 

The daughter of the most high. Chosen. Loved. Created for a purpose.

So, as I ring in 2016, I'm not just focusing on the opportunities it offers, although I plan to seize each and every one. I've reflected back on where I've come from, thought about what I want, and am going to live each day for what it is.

Deeply breathing in that moment.

But... since it's a new year, I can't help but set some goals... because that's what girls who love to do lists do.
My 16 for 2016:
1. Live with Purpose- intentionally. Looking for what God's will for me is every minute of my life... or most minutes, anyway. Some people choose words instead of doing resolutions, and the word that will frame my year is purpose. If I choose to live with His purpose for me in mind, it will guide every other action of my year.  I often say I'm not sure what my purpose is... so I'm open for Him to show me. I do know it centers on love... loving Him and loving others. I also believe it is about bringing Him glory in all I do. Proclaiming His name and demonstrating His power. And making every single moment count.

2. Exercise- At least five days a week, 30 minutes a day, and at least 10,000 steps 26/30 days or 27/31 days of each month (24/28 days in February). (Because nobody is perfect).

3. 1,000 Gifts- Gratitude Journal
I started trying to write down three things every day a couple of years ago, and while I've failed often, I have managed to make up for them on other days. If you have a heart full of gratitude, it just makes life better.

4. Scripture- http://www.swtblessings.com/p/faith-signs.html#.VmcOQU3bKid
In November and December of 2015, I stumbled along scripture writing plans at the above website. These take about 15 minutes a day, but you write the Word out in a notebook or journal. Just another way of thinking on His Word. I'm not sure I'll follow this plan every month (in fact, I found one that focuses on verses related to prayer for January at another site that I'm planning to use), but I do love the idea of writing His Word every day.

5. 365 Day Challenges- One picture a day and writing at least 10 minutes each day. One of my facebook friends developed a challenge and we even have our own hashtag- #write365. Y'all that follow my blog know how difficult this may be for me... but I'm willing to give it a try.



6. Reading Challenge- http://www.challies.com/resources/the-2016-reading-challenge
This calls for you to read as many as 104 books, but my goal, as it was last year, is 125 books. I do plan to use this as a guide to get me reading something that maybe I wouldn't have otherwise. I've been browsing on amazon trying to find books that meet the first 13 books. I also hope to complete four in-depth Bible studies- Breathe, Jeremiah, Open Your Bible, Armor of God (even though I started this one Dec. 28th it'll count for this year).

7. I am going to read through the Chronological Bible. I am going to. No ands, if, buts, about it. Before I lay my head on my pillow each night, I plan to read using the plan provided in the back of my Bible.


8. Look up one word a day from an online dictionary site. Because everybody needs to know a random word.

9. Random/Unrandom Acts of Kindness- including writing notes to others.  I wrote down random and unrandom acts of kindness, because while it's nice to surprise a stranger with something random, I often do things that I choose to do for people that I love. The important thing here is to live selflessly (as much as possible) and to try to make somebody's life a little better.

10. Presence- spend time with those I love, intentionally. Caleb. Wallace. My grandparents. My sisters. My in-laws. My niece and nephew.


11. Cross something off of my bucket list.
I'm not sure what. I'm leaning toward learning Spanish. I plan to finish that DNP this summer. Maybe I'll even run a 5K.

12. Be more organized. Procrastinate less. Fold the laundry as I get it out of the dryer and actually put it away =)
(I have a looonng way to go on this one... but that's why we have all year, right?)

13. Laugh. Everyday.  Hard.
Because laughter is truly good for the soul.

14. Keep a Sabbath day of rest.
Sundays are for napping and football and reading and God's Word. I need to create this margin in my life. If I'm going to make myself be more disciplined in other areas, I need this time to allow my soul to breathe.

15. Make new friends. Make time for old ones.
I'm an introvert. I don't make friends easily. I've allowed myself to not cherish those that I do have, so this year I'm committing to being open to new friendships by showing myself friendly, and trying to rekindle some of those past friendships... because everybody needs a friend.

16. Continue to love. Love Jesus. Love myself. Love others.
Living out my values: Be Yourself. Laugh Often. Live well. Love long. Just breathe. Work it out. Finish Strong. Hope always. Give grace. Positive Thinking. Jeremiah 29:11. Romans 8

And remembering that it's Him that writes my story. He's the author and finisher of my faith, and His plan is perfect. Lord, help me surrender this blank space to You. You're great at making masterpieces out of messes. May 2016 be made a masterpiece for You.

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