I don’t know about you, but the New Year breeds new hope.I consider this a time to start fresh with a clean slate before me.
Take the month of January to assess your life, marriage, and ministry. Pull out your Bible and journal and spend some quiet time with the Lord. Below are some statements to ponder. They are certainly not all-inclusive. You may add to the list as you think of areas specific to your life.
Put a check mark beside each statement that you regularly do. Then write down what you can do to take your growth a step further in this new year.
1) I spend some time each day alone with God reading His Word and talking/listening to Him _____________.
2) I ask God to show me His divine appointments for my day _____________.
3) I ask questions to determine where God is working, then I join Him in the effort to win people into the Kingdom_________.
4) I am sensitive to the needs of those God has placed in my sphere of influence_______________.
5) I apply what I have read in God's Word to my everyday life ______________.
6) I pray about everything, no matter how small it may seem ______________.
7) I choose words that will build up my spouse and children _____________.
8) I pray with and for my spouse and children every day _____________.
9) I manage problems the day they occur______________.
10) I date my spouse once a week______________.
11) I am a student of my spouse, learning what pleases him/her, encouraging his/her interests, supporting his/her dreams _______________.
12) I communicate with my spouse to work toward a resolution _______________.
13) I give God my hurts, choose to forgive, and move on _______________.
14) I live a balanced life of relationships, work, and relaxation _______________.
15) I allow the Holy Spirit to reveal His fruit through my life (love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, faithfulness, self-control, kindness, gentleness)_______________.
16) I eat a well-balanced diet_____________.
17) I exercise at least three times a week______________.
18) I have at least one same-sex friend whom I trust to serve as an accountability partner to encourage and challenge me in my Christian walk______________.
19) I offer my finances to God for His good purposes________.
20) I am available, sensible, and flexible so that God can use me whenever, however, and wherever He desires__________.
How'd ya do? Don't despair! We are each in process. The goal of this exercise is to get you thinking! To reevaluate some areas you may have shoved in a corner of your mind and forgotten about.
Determine before God to SET SOME GOALS that are in keeping with His will for your life. The above statements are general affirmations that each of us need to assess in order to live a happy, well-ordered, God-honoring life. Perhaps they will provoke you to take your reflection to the next level--determining and setting goals that relate to your specific personality, interests, and giftedness. Now that's exciting!
No need to rush the process. Keep spending time with God. Keep journaling. Then ACT on what He tells you to do in the quietness of your heart. Remember, He will never ask you to do anything that is not in accordance with His Word, the Bible. Always test your impressions against the Scripture and bounce ideas off two or three godly, respected believers who may be able to sharpen your focus. Then watch to see how God may be lining up circumstances in a particular direction.
It all begins with a CALL TO REFLECTION. Will you accept the challenge in this new year to come away with Him? To hear His voice above the noise?
"Be still, and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10).
Eileen Rife, author of Second Chance, speaks to women on a variety of topics. When not writing and speaking, she enjoys visiting with her grown daughters, playing with her six grandchildren, and dancing with her husband. www.eileenrife.com, www.eileen-rife.blogspot.com