Thoughts for the New Year

Choosing a Theme for the New Year

Around this time of year I start reflecting on the previous year and begin preparing myself for the year ahead. This year I decided to reflect on verses in God's Word that will give me peace and direction for the year ahead.

At the recommendation of a respected "mentor mom" from church, I've decided to try to have a theme this year. Since I've been re-reading Ann Voskamp's book, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You AreI thought thankfulness would be an appropriate choice. If you have not read this book, I strongly urge you to do so. It has impacted me in a way like no other book, with the exception of God's Word.

Also, at Ann Voskamp's suggestion, I will be keeping a journal to write down things that I'm thankful for. I generally already do this in my head, but I think it will be great to look over the past year and see what I've written down because I know I won't remember them all.

Here's a trailer about the book if you'd like to check it out:

The Year Ahead

I don't know about you, but sometimes thinking about the year ahead can be daunting. We might wonder what the new year will hold for us. Will there be trials? Will there be blessings? Will there be illness? Most likely, yes, yes and yes. And yet, through it all we have the ever faithful hand of our God guiding us.

And in the midst of everything that comes our way, I'm so thankful that that the Lord hears and answers our prayers because He bends down and listens [to us]. (Psalm 116:1-2) Even in difficulty, we can rest in Him. I love the lyrics to a song that say something like, "He may not calm the storm around me, but He can calm the one within."

God has gifted people like Keith and Kristyn Getty with such a ministry of music that when the trials do come, it often helps to listen to music that is uplifting. Through a very difficult trial that our church family has gone through at the loss of one of our church family's sons, this song has become very special to me. It was sung at their son's funeral.

The psalmist who penned the following words obviously just came through a difficult time yet proclaimed: "Now I can rest again, for the LORD has been so good to me. He has saved me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling. And so I walk in the LORD's presence as I live here on earth!" Psalm 116:7-9.

As I look to 2012, here are the verses the Lord has brought to my attention:
  • Psalm 112:7 "They {the godly} do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the LORD to care for them. They are confident and fearless and can face their foes triumphantly. They give generously to those in need. Their good deeds will never be forgotten. They will have influence and honor."
  • Psalm 94:19 "In the multitude of my thoughts wihtin me, Thy comforts delight my soul."
  • Isaiah 46:4 "I will be your God throughout your lifetime--until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you."
  • Isaiah 49:4 "But my work all seems so useless! I have spent my strength for nothing and to no purpose at all. Yet I leave it all in the LORD's hand; I will trust God for my reward."
  • Isaiah 50:4b "Morning by morning he wakens me and opens my understanding to his will."
  • Isaiah 55:8-9 "'My thoughts are completely different from yours,"' says the LORD. "And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts."
  • Isaiah 8:13-14, 17 "Do not fear anything except the LORD Almighty. He alone is the Holy One. If you fear Him, you need fear nothing else. He will keep you safe. My only hope is in Him."
  • Isaiah 26:3-4 "You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the LORD always, for the LORD GOD is the eternal Rock."
  • Isaiah 33:2 "Be our strength each day and our salvation in times of trouble."
  • Isaiah 40:27-31 "O Jacob, how can you say the Lord does not see your troubles?
    O Israel, how can you say God ignores your rights? Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint."
Additionally, my husband and I sat down to write out our goals for the year ahead. We did this last year, but um...neglected to look at them throughout the year! Thankfully some of the goals were still accomplished. This year, however, I have reminders on my Outlook Calendar to review the goals every 3 months. Hopefully more will get accomplished this way! (fingers crossed!)

No matter what comes our way or what goals we have this year, may we be faithful to our God and to the task He has called us each to.

What verses has God shown you as you prepare for the year ahead? Do you write goals? How do you help get them accomplished? Please leave a comment and share your verses or tips with us!

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Sarah Haney, M.A. said...

I really like the idea of having a theme for the year. I decided to try focusing on a new goal each month rather than a year so that hopefully I can stay on track better. said...

That's a good idea too. I'll check out your blog post. Thanks! :)

Dana said...

Good thoughts, Becky! I'm hoping to do the same...pick a theme, that is. Possibly "intentional", but haven't decided yet. Any chance you have your book back from Kelsey? I need to read it! :) said...

That sounds like a good one, Dana. Neat how the Lord lays different things on our hearts. Excited to see what resources He brings our way. Um, yes...:) Sorry, I started reading it AGAIN! Will get it to you soon!!! :)

Jennifer said...

That is beautiful. Last year we focused on pleasant words. Happy New Year!

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