Sunday, 6 January 2013

Another year’s over…


Is it just me, or did 2012 seem to fly by?

And here we are… already a week into 2013. That’s the first time I’ve written that.

2012 was a good year for us. The year of Reuben. Our life changed again… Pete became the worker, I was back at home, and now with two kids instead of one! We moved house again. We became more involved in our church and cemented some really fantastic friendships in this town we live in. I feel happy with how 2012 has gone. We have grown and been stretched and overcome the difficult patches. I’m happy. We’re happy. We like where we live (despite the rough patch that got us here) and how we’re living, we love our friends and family, we adore our two kids and each other. Life is good.

I’ve been thinking about my goals for this year. My goals – our goals. It’s soooo clichéd to do New Year’s Resolutions, but I do like the beginning of a new year, and after all the hustle and bustle of the wind of of a year, it makes sense to reflect on how life has been and make some choices about how things could be different.

I think this year, I’m more going for some overall philosophies in my New Years ‘Resolutions’. Lifestyle changes… or even tweaks… that I hope will help send me and our family in the direction that we want to go.

I’ve noticed a growing trend for bloggers is to choose a ‘word’ for the year, that will be their focus… like maybe trust or choice or courage or expect. You know me though, I talk way too much and one word…. will it just wasn’t gonna cut it for me. I’ve decided to choose a scripture instead. You can’t get a more powerful word than one straight from the Word of God! So, my overall theme for 2013 is this:

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord {Colossians 3:23}

I think that just about covers it. I can apply this scripture to any and every area of my life. It’s not an easy one, that’s for sure. It’s going to require lots of attitude checking, I can already tell. If I was doing my housewifely duties for the Lord, I probably wouldn’t be calling my husband a nasty-so-and-so under my breath for forgetting to take out the garbage again and leaving the lids off the vegemite and butter for the eleventy-billionth time that week. If I was parenting for the Lord, I would be speaking with a heck of a lot of love and patience and grace in my tone. So this is my ‘Word’ for the year… whatever I do, I will do with all my heart – no half-heartedness here folks! – and with an attitude that would be pleasing to the Lord. Thankfully God has grace in abundance, because I know I’m going to fail at this daily, but hopefully I will learn something along the way!

I’ve also been reflecting on five key areas of my/our lives that I would like for us to work on.

1. Spiritual

Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord {Deuteronomy 8:3}

A pretty important little sentence there – especially when you consider that Jesus himself quotes it over in Matthew when Satan is taunting him in the wilderness.

This year I want to devote myself to spending more time with God. Whether it’s reading the Bible, listening to teaching podcasts, reading books that teach me more about Him… I want to rekindle the fire, and build my relationship with Him.

2. Marriage

We will celebrate our 8th wedding anniversary this year! I love my husband very much, and love parenting and doing life with him. Life however seems to develop a busyness that can leave relationships by the wayside. We have days where we realise we’ve spent maybe ten minutes actually talking to each other… between Pete’s working, parenting, running the household and having some down-time, the days seem so full that we’re scratching to find space for quality time together. We need to do that, SO much. I would love for us to go back to our ‘date nights’ that we did for the first few years of our marriage, where we would have a date on the 10th of every month (we were married on the 10th). Nothing fancy – we were super-poor uni students back then and sometimes a date was just a picnic on the lounge room floor –but it was scheduled, quality one-on-one us time, and just what we’re needing right now.

On this topic, and I guess to also tie in with my first point, I’m reminded of this scripture:

Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. {Ecclesiastes 4:12}

God is so much a part of our marriage. I don’t want to be at risk of leaving Him by the wayside either. Pete and I need to involve Him more in us.

3. Parenting

Of course this is a big one. My kids are my world. I see them as the ‘talents’ God has given me, and when it gets to the part where God looks at what I have done with what He has given me, I want to hear Him say, “Well done good and faithful servant!” When I think of parenting, the verse from Proverbs-

Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it {Proverbs 22:6}

is often in the forefront of my mind. I want to show my kids how to love, and be patient and kind and gentle, show grace, and to be in relationship with God. I need daily to remember that

a gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger
{Proverbs 15:1}

I need to remember that my children learn their cues and reactions from me. Scary though some days! I have so much to learn.

4. Health

I remember learning this scripture in my Sunday school days:

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you…. Therefore honour God with your bodies. {1 Corinthians 6:19-20}

I’ve made (probably half-hearted) resolutions before about losing weight and getting fitter…This year, I just want to commit to being healthy. I want to learn the right things to put into my body, and eliminate things that are hurting me. I want to exercise, and build my fitness to make my body stronger and healthier. I want to be able to run around and play with my kids. If I can stick to this, losing weight and gaining fitness will be a bonus, but I don’t want to make that my goal and turn this into a dieting thing, I just want my body to be healthy, and I want to feel good and know that I’m looking after it.

5. Stewardship

I guess this is the one that is overarching all my previous four. We live such a blessed life… we are blessed with each other, with a beautiful home to live in, health, family, relationships, jobs, finances, possessions… I want to be a good steward of what I have been given. Again like in the parable of the talents that I quoted above – I want to be good and faithful with what God has given me. All of it.

Like I said, not so much resolutions this year as I guess a new philosophy. Maybe not even new, but this year it’s intentional. I want to learn this year, and grow as a person. I’m so excited about what this year holds!

Are you getting all reflective this New Year too?

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