My First 2016 Blog! (And Focuses For the Year)
So around this time of year you get a lot of people who say, “I don’t really do resolutions”. And I don’t know if I do them in the traditional sense; I don’t often make specific goals of exercising per week or certain pounds to lose; I don’t keep track of how many books I read or movies I watch or have fixed skills I’m going to learn or habits I’m going to stop.
But I’ve always liked the idea of looking at the year that’s just passed, and starting January 1st with a vision of things I want to focus on in the coming year. I feel like I’m starting with a clean slate; it’s like going to bed and sleeping in order to recharge for a busy day tomorrow.
“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” 2016 is my blank notebook, full of opportunity and yet beautiful before I even write in it. Who knows what kinds of adventures await me? So, in preparation for this year, here are my focuses for 2016:
1. RECONNECT WITH GOD
All throughout 2015, I felt emotionally distant from God. I had disconnection in my worship time, got defeated reading Scripture because it felt pointless, and my prayer time seemed like a rant without any resolution. And since the few times I set aside to try and get some spiritual rejuvenation in my life seemed to fall flat, I kind of pushed it to the back burner. Oh, I didn’t mean to, but the busyness of life just crept up on me and before I knew it, I had gone weeks without really talking to God about anything or pursuing Him in everyday life. And the weeks turned to more weeks, and months, and… you get the idea.
I know that my salvation doesn’t depend on my consistency of having a quiet time, and I know that I’m not supposed to be run by emotion. Sometimes I do all the right things and I still don’t “feel” God. But there is goodness and power in continuing to do the right things even when it feels like it’s going no where, because it’s still doing something. I just may not be able to see it.
I don’t really have a structure to “how many Bible verses I’m going to read per day” or “how long I’m going to spend in prayer each week”… but I do know that I want to refocus my heart on Jesus once again. Whether the emotions follow or not, I will do my part to seek God wholeheartedly and draw close to Him this year.
2. FIND CONTENTMENT IN THIS SEASON OF LIFE
Even though I’ve had a job all year that I’m extremely grateful to have, it’s been really hard for me the past 6-months to accept where things are in my life. All I’ve ever really desired has been to get married, have kids and raise a family as a stay-at-home mom. I’ve never wanted a career, or to go to college, or to work all the time. Of course, I knew if I wanted to live on my own (which I’ve always wanted to do) I’d have to support myself. And now I have this great job where I can DO that.
I don’t know if this discontentment stems from laziness at not wanting to work, or if it’s from waiting on a dream that hasn’t happened yet… but this year, I’m determined to fight it.
Years ago, before my first relationship, I told God I wanted to figure out how to be content being single before I got involved with someone. And I was content, and then I dated someone, and now that it’s over I find myself having to go through the same hoops again. I’m not feeling committed to this season of my life… and that’s something I want to change, because why would God bring me into the next season if I can’t find my place in this one?
So one of my focuses this year is to learn to be content where I am: as a single, working, almost-26-year-old who is hopefully going to be moved out by the end of the year. I want to focus on my friends… on my blogging… on my ministry… on working hard and being excellent at my job… in fighting through the boring monotony of every day. I don’t have to worry about anybody else. Just me and God and what He wants me to do. I want to embrace my singledom so that, when the next guy come along, I have the wisdom to know whether it’s right or wrong instead of jumping into it due to desperation.
3. BE FINANCIALLY RESPONSIBLE
So I want to move out with my sister and be on my own, but that requires money and being semi-stable. So I’ve been working this year on saving up money. And I think I did a pretty good job, but suddenly I’m going to be turning 26 this year and I need to get my own insurance, and it feels like everything in my savings disappears before my next paycheck, and rent and food and utilities… I’m slightly overwhelmed with what living on my own and being responsible is going to entail.
So I want to focus on being more financially responsible this year. This does not mean that I can’t have fun and go on trips and buy things for people and splurge every once in a while… but it does mean that I need to work on my self-control for silly things that I don’t need. I’m going to try to cut out fast food for the first two months and really work on saving, and keeping the money that I’m saving. I need to be able to say no to buying things on impulse that are unnecessary. I need to be able to make a budget for myself and stick to it. Whatever it takes to be a good steward of my money, I want to learn to be that. I know I’m going to fail a lot, but my hope is that I’m also going to learn more restraint and discipline and budgeting and hopefully be better at all this by the end of the year. Because great plans of living on my own… come with great responsibility. Or something like that.
So those are basically my main focuses. Of course I want to blog more and read more and give more and eat more healthily and exercise more and be more grateful and dance in the rain and live laugh love and all that mumbo jumbo… but if I focus on everything, then I’m really focusing on nothing! (Was that deep? That was deep! And now it’s in bold because it’s so deep!) So good luck with all your resolutions and goals and focuses this 2016! Happy New Year!