Well it’s February 1st, and it’s my first blog post of the year. January was a great month of writing, kid’s activities, and getting reorganized for a new year. For me, it’s also a time to reflect on the previous year and spend time asking God what areas need work in 2018.
So I set goals to start some new rhythms in my life. Some of them are little things and others will require some sacrifice and change. My goal sheet for 2018 includes –
- Spend more time in focussed prayer.
- Scroll around on social media less.
- Check my email fewer times each day.
- Send more handwritten notes through the mail.
- Really dedicate time, energy, and prayer to honor the Lord in my marriage.
- Memorize more verses each week for the renewing of my mind.
I set some measurable action steps related to these goals. (Thanks great mentors and coaches along the way!) However, not long after setting my sites on these new pursuits, I quickly found myself failing in many of these areas. It can be so discouraging to miss the mark… that is why many of us give up on setting goals or seeking to make life improvements. If we aim for nothing, we can hit it every time.
I wonder if you have some habits or practices in your life that you would like to lessen? Perhaps like me you have some new ideas to implement to be the woman you know God wants you to grow into. Have you wanted to give up soon after starting a new plan in this new year yet? I’ll admit I have gotten discouraged and felt like I’ll never find victory over a few compulsive patterns in my life.
God brought me some amazing encouragement this week as I was working on some memory verses. (Don’t think I’m so great, I was meeting with my accountability partner yesterday and because of my pride I didn’t want to show up with no memory work like I had the three previous weeks. I knew she would have hers done!) So I crammed in the hours before our meeting and worked on the first seven verses of Psalm 37. There is some good stuff there that is so healing to the mind. I chose that particular Psalm because I love verse 4:
“Take delight in the Lord,
and He will give you your heart’s desires.”
In the 24 hours since working on that passage, it has been verse five that the Holy Spirit has been using to encourage me like crazy! Here it is:
“Commit everything you do to the Lord.
Trust him, and He will help you.”
Did you catch that? He will help you. The Holy Spirit has whispered this in my ear all day yesterday and today. All of these things I’m trying to do… I need to stop striving and failing and striving and failing. Instead, I need to put my focus on committing all of it to the Lord and trusting Him. Then He will help me. I can count on His strength and energy and self-control through the power of His Spirit inside me.
It reminds me of when my son was stressed out his senior year in high school. He got sticker shock at the price of renting a tux for prom. He wasn’t sure how he was going to pay for it since he couldn’t work a lot of hours due to his heavy academic load and sports schedule. I listened to him and questioned him as to why he hadn’t just asked us to pay for the tux.
This was a reasonable request. He said he didn’t think we would and hadn’t really thought of it. He forgot about a great resource in his life – his parents. It reminded me that I get stressed out and worried about things that God is longing to help me with. He will help me, and He will help you when we commit ourselves to Him wholeheartedly.
I pray this verse encourages you as much as it has me. So when you feel the weight of life on you today, remember that there is someone who wants to help you. He asks you to commit everything to Him and trust Him so that He can give you the desires of your heart.
One more verse from Psalm 37 to put some practical feet on how we do this committing and trusting thing:
“Be still in the presence of the Lord,
and wait patiently for him to act.” (verse 7)
I hope you find some moments today to get still in His presence. Wait for Him, listen to Him, and find the help and strength you need for today.