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I’m not much into making New Years resolutions but thinking about the start of a new year, I realized that there are a few areas in my life in which I desire to see growth. I’m thankful that God’s mercies are new every morning so even when I fail, I don’t have to wait until the start of a new year to make changes in my life. I thought it would be fun to share not only what I’m hoping to accomplish but how. Here are the five ways I’m hoping to grow this year, if you see me in person, please feel free to ask how I’m doing!
GROW IN MY LOVE FOR CHRIST
My plan for growing more in love with Christ is to read the entire Bible in chronological order using this plan. My conviction is that as believers, we need to know ALL of the Bible since, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17
I also plan to wake up before my daughter each day so I can spend time reading and praying. I am aiming to join the 5 O’clock Club or at least a version of it that will work for me in this season. Discipline in this area is a top priority for me. I did the same Bible reading plan in 2017 and was able to complete it but praying consistently was an area where I was lacking. This year, my plan is to take 7 3×5 cards and write down things I want to pray for on each card. Each card will correspond to a day of the week, for example: Monday – Family, Tuesday – Marriage, Wednesday – Friends, Thursday – Ministry, Friday – My Heart, Saturday – Parenting, Sunday – Church Leadership. Hopefully this will help me reestablish consistency in prayer. I also have a little key ring full of 3×5 cards that I take out while reading so I can write down any verses I want to memorize. Typically, these cards stay in my purse so I can pull them out when I have free time. I’m hoping to make these Scripture memorization my go to rather than checking my phone.
GROW IN MY LOVE FOR DEREK
2017 was a rough year for our little family as my husband lost his job twice. Once he finally obtained the job he has now, we learned that his hours look different day to day and we never know what hours he’s working until the day prior to each shift. This month, my husband will begin his shifts at midnight for 3 weeks in a row. Although he never complains about working crazy hours, I can tell that it takes a toll on him because his days and nights get mixed up. A few ideas I’m tossing around are scaling back on commitments, creating a (loose) cleaning schedule, investing in my health and simplifying our meal plan. Again, in this season of having a toddler, I often have many interruptions but I want to get creative about how to work around the constant chaos to hone in on the things that matter most to my husband. I know too that it’s important for me to not do so much to where I can’t sit down with my husband when he comes home from work and actually hear what he tells me about his day. So often, I make eye contact while he is talking and nod my head at the appropriate times yet my mind wanders. I’d really like to grow in my love for my husband by hearing him and demonstrating that I truly care about what he has to say. Essentially, I’d like to become an intentional listener.
GROW IN MY LOVE FOR ADDIE
As Addie will be two in March, and our relationship is very young right now, I’ve come up with two ways I’d like to grow in my love for her. The first is to ask the Lord to help me be a Spirit filled parent. Often, I find myself quickly growing impatient and angry when she doesn’t obey or when she’s not acting in a manner that is most beneficial to me at the moment. I quickly forget that God is so patient and gentle with me and by being kind, gentle and patient with her, hopefully He will use me to point to Him. The second way I’d like to grow in my love for Addie is by getting down on the floor and playing with her. I am easily overwhelmed by my priorities for the day and seek to be as productive as possible. In the midst of this, I forget how fleeting childhood is. I think there is definitely a balance that can and should happen when children enter the picture because they are valuable image bearers of God and little sinful souls in need of a Savior. I want Addie to know that I am able to love her because of the love I’ve been shown by God in Christ and one of the ways I can do that now is by considering her interests above my own.
DISCIPLINE MY BODY
While emphasizing the ultimate value of godly training, 1 Timothy 4:8 states that, “. . . bodily training is of some value.” Rather than aiming to lose a certain number of pounds or fit into a certain size of clothing, I’m pursing healthy living for the sake of bringing God glory in all areas of my life. Romans 12:1 states, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” Currently, I’m making sure I get enough macronutrients in my diet each day. Macronutrients, or macros, is a fancy way of saying protein, carbs and fat which is the fuel our bodies need to be healthy. I used an online calculator to determine the amount of macros I should consume each day and I’m using the MyFitnessPal app to track them. I followed Kacey Luvi’s Visual Tutorial to help me get started. As far as exercise, I’m still trying to figure out which program will be best for me. I’m considering Lindsey Brin’s Postnatal Slim Down, The Stoked Method, and a few HIIT workouts that are available for free on YouTube.
My process for working on this is simple really – get rid of stuff I don’t need or use and don’t buy anything other than what we need. I believe that employing my first resolution will help greatly with this because Jesus Himself is the only One worth treasuring, the only One who is able to satisfy my heart. I’ve also decided to participate in the #theunreadshelfproject2018 . There are so many different annual reading challenges but I like this one because it makes sense for me. The first assignment for this project was counting how many unread books you own. I used the Book Buddy app available in the iOS app store and my total came to 102 not including e-books. Some of the 102 unread books I have are gifts, some were purchased at discount stores and some are review copies that I received free of charge. Regardless, seeing the number of unread books I actually have has been a wake up call for me. I realized that I don’t need more, I need to be thankful for what I have and I need to steward it well. The two books pictured at the top of this post are both on contentment so I’m hopeful they will be great encouragements. I’m the girl that has more books than clothes and I like it that way. However, seeing how much I really have has convicted me that self control truly is the fruit of the Spirit. I believe that self control will also play into my cultivation of a healthy lifestyle and using my time wisely so I can care for others as God has called me to.