Welcome to 2019! Looking back at 2018 I see a lot of change. To be honest 2018 brought me to a place that was a best pretty gloomy and sad. At the start of the year I found myself in a position to find a new job. God was right there and provided. It meant a huge pay cut, but God is faithful and has provided. 2018 was a year of adjusting and was filled with way more tears then I was prepared for. The year brought the reality of what our new “normal” was hit home with full force. Nothing will ever change the sadness / grief that we now live with, but I took a deep breath and began to prepare to head into 2019.
It wasn’t until near the end of 2018 that God began to show me what I needed to strive for in 2019. In the past I have chosen a word to live by for the year and I was really having a hard time trying to pick one for 2019.
I am not one who makes resolutions because over the years I have found that I never make it to a point of fulfilling them. However, during the day on New Year’s Eve I saw a sign that said, “It means more to have daily devotions than yearly resolutions” and that played right into what I felt God was laying on my heart for 2019.
The ladies at our church did an Advent study called “Because of Bethlehem” (Max Lucado) and it really opened my eyes. My heart should be treated like the manger and I need to be sure there is always room for Jesus. Above all else God showed me that in order to do that I have to be very intentional about my time with Him and in His word and I intend to do that. I also need to be intentional about all my time and what I am doing with that time.
Far too much time is wasted on doing things that have no meaning and last year I filled that just to keep my mind busy with things. Things that make no difference in the kingdom. God has a plan for my life and the lives of my family and even though it has been filled with much pain since 2017 He has been good and faithful to all of us.
Being intentional for the kingdom does indeed mean that we need to be intentional about our time in the Word. For me, this year, it means that I am going to do things very differently when it comes to my time in the Word. First of all, I am writing the Word in more detail and with more intention this year. I began on January 1st by writing a Psalm a day and will continue each day until I have written out the entire book. (Psalm 119 will be broken into several days) From there I plan to move on to Proverbs and I am not sure what book I will head into after that, but I will be praying about it. I am also working through two devotional books and I am about to begin a bible study with some ladies from our church.
That being said, being intentional for the kingdom doesn’t mean I have to be in the Word 24/7, but I am also going to be very intentional in my prayer life. I saw a meme that challenged people to pick a person and pray for their happiness for 30 days straight. I have accepted this challenge and plan to do it for several people each month for the entire year.
Also, being intentional for the kingdom also means being intentional with my personal time. I am preaching to the choir when I say that far too much time is spent/wasted with a cell phone in our hands. We might be scrolling mindlessly through Facebook or playing a game or watching videos. Now none of these things are necessarily bad, but the amount of time that we put into it is. I know from personal experience that a quick glance at Facebook or a quick round of a game can turn into much time wasted. As parents, grandparents and friends it really bothers how much time we waste when we could be spending quality time with those we love. It might be binge watching a tv show, a favorite video game or anything that diverts you from actual one on one time with those around you. Life and ministry don’t happen when your head is buried in something that takes your focus off people. Trust me when I say that time is far to priceless to waste on “other” things than those you love. As I am reminded of almost daily, we are not promised tomorrow, and you never know when you will run out of time with someone or them with you.
I want to challenge all of you to be intentional this year with all that you do and with all the people that you love. I would love to hear from you all on this and get your thoughts and maybe even your plans.
Go forward this year with intention my friends. Look for God/Jesus in all areas of your life. Ask God to show where you are not being intentional and how you can improve. Pray about what might need to be removed from your life in order for you to be intentional.
Love Intentional, serve intentionally and grow intentionally. Those are my goals this year.
Happy New Year!