In these last few days before we jump headlong into 2014, I'm considering my goals for the year. I know, those good ol' resolutions often fall by the wayside before the month of January even winds down. But, before putting pen to paper to list a few goals I will try to keep, I first take a little review.
For the last couple of years I have done this and find it to be a blessing to count my blessings. I take a little stroll back through the past year to see what God has done in and through me. With pad and pen in hand, I sit down and actually list things I'm thankful for. I am always surprised as I start this process to find that I can fill more than one page.
Let me encourage you to do this little activity. Take a moment alone with the Lord. Ask Him to help you to recall your blessings from this year. Write each one down. Then, reread the list.
You can do this in different areas of your life - personal, occupational, spiritual.
When I made my list for my writing ministry this year, I was floored by what God had done through me. Here's just a sampling:
Co-authored a book and made some lifelong friends
Saw Be The Blessing release
Saw Brave New Century contracted
Brave New Century released and making Amazon's Top 100 Bestsellers in religious historical fiction
Saw Legacy and Love contracted
Invited to join the faculty at Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference
Came on board with Prism Book Group as an acquisitions editor
And, that's just the first half of the first page.
This exercise forces me to stop and recall all of the blessings. After listing them, I write a prayer to God, thanking Him for blessing me. Only then do I proceed to ask Him what goals He would want for me for the coming year. After writing those down, I write another prayer, asking God to help me to do what He would have me to do. I rededicate that area to Him and His guidance.
So, you see, it's not your normal resolution-writing session. The looking back lets me know just what I can do when I let God work through me and lead me. That encourages a different sort of goal-setting.
Remember Proverbs 16:1-3
"Mortals make elaborate plans, but God has the last word. Humans are satisfied with whatever looks good; God probes for what is good. Put God in charge of your work, then what you've planned will take place."
I pray God will do some wonderful things through us this year. Take time to thank Him for what He has done, and then put Him in charge.