I pray you all had a wonderful Christmas with family and friends. If you are one that has lost a loved one recently, I pray that you have found comfort with those who share that loss with you during this Season. It’s always hard, I know. Sometimes, it’s a matter of letting the tears flow; they are healing for us also. It’s been a hard year for me too in many ways, and I have had many losses this year too. I am thankful God knows and comforts me.
As some of you know, my process each year is to look over my previous year in an honest way to give me clarity as to how I want to live out the coming year. One of the ways I have mentioned before to those who have been visiting here for a while, is to make goals for my new year. I start that process usually on my birthday in November. Let me share a few with you in hopes it may encourage you to do some of the same. Being at a crossroad can be a bit fearful, but I always like a challenge and this year God is giving that challenge to me again.
- A. The top one is one that I share so that those who follow me on Facebook are also aware of one of my decisions. You will see a less active account there in terms of what you have seen. I can still be reached that way, but God has been dealing with me in terms of the time spent doing that activity. It’s too easy to miss out on important things in life and I don’t want to do that in my life. I will be changing my online presence and less on Facebook. I have to ask myself some important questions such as who does it benefit, how important is it in the grand scheme of things, where is my time best spent, and why? I enjoy staying in touch with those who want to stay in touch, and I will. But you might see less activity from me both on my posting and also in response to some likes or comments. It doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy them, however, I want to use my time working toward specific goals and that requires time and effort. I do have an online study that I do with women and I will keep that up at least for a while as God leads. But I am streamlining where I put my time online. So don’t be surprised regarding changes I make. I also love sharing my photos and hoping others see what I see, and it moves them toward something in their own life; even if that just means a moment in time where they think about the meaning of the photo. But once again, it isn’t about me.
- B. Family time…maybe a get away property for us all to be able to go to for time off the grid. Spend time with the family and encourage them to unplug while they are visiting. DO something instead. Enjoy nature more. Camp, trips, BBQs. If I desire change, I need to be part of the change.
- C. I am also working on the organization of my household after our move. I have come to realize that a lot of my energy is used dealing with finding things I need to use. I’m pretty organized but I have a hidden person living in my house that moves things all over and then they can’t be found. It is very frustrating for someone who likes organization. So that is a priority for me within a couple of months of the new year.
- D. I know that I am to devote more time to my studies. I still feel strongly that God is calling Christians to be equipped. That means to know the Word for themselves; not only to help themselves, but to be aware of how they can help others by knowing the Word of God. I can’t help others if I’m not living it for myself. God has made it clear to me that I have to dig in more this year and with His help, get to know Him more personally than my previous years. I find myself really excited about that, and what He has to teach me.
- E. Time to invest in my music. It is, and always has been, a big part of my life. But I have found that I have had less and less time for it in recent years. So this year I am making more time for the things I love. Music, instruments, and singing. It has always been the thing that speaks so deeply to me.
- F. Time for photography. Drives for photo shoots. Maybe even teaching a basic photography class. I love helping others see the world a bit differently and photography does that. But even to capture moments with family and friends and see results that they are happy with gives me pleasure.
- G. In the last 10 years or so, I have found doing things different doesn’t mean I am doing something wrong. Thinking differently than others doesn’t make me wrong. So even though it may be a different life I choose to live, I can live it out confidently, not boastfully but satisfied that I have listened to what is right for me, and did it. It’s a legacy I leave.
I’m sure that by the time I am done, I will have upwards of 40 goals for my new year. I won’t reach each one, I rarely do, but I love having them to remind myself of where God is taking me, and to look back in a year and see what God has done in me. I am not sure of my path here on the blog either. All the time it takes in writing is something I am talking to the Lord about. Is it about me, or Him? I am praying about how God wants me to move forward in terms of my blog, and other areas of my life; or if He DOES want me present here and to be used most for Him. What I DO know is, He will guide me if I listen.
I watch how phones have taken over our lives and lives of my family. It is something that concerns me, and it is something God keeps poking me about. I only have one chance to live out my days, and I want them to be used mightily in the lives of those closest to me. It isn’t about me, or how I seem to live my life, or how good or not good my photos are, or making or not making money on my photos. What I do in my life brings me joy. If it brings joy to others here and there, then wonderful. But I don’t live for that. God has placed many people in my life to walk along side me and I love each and every one. But it has never been about what they think of me, it’s who I am and who God created me to be. I don’t need to project a certain life through my online presence. I just live the way that brings me joy and contentment. I hope in some small way, it has done that for others.
So I want to wish you all a very Happy New Year and it is my wish that you will review where you want to go in the new year, and then do the hard steps that are required for you to make that happen. None of the few goals that I have shared above are easy. I have to change how I look at my life and make the hard decisions not to pick up my phone just to communicate what others may not even care about. However, when I do communicate something, it is because it encourages others to maybe live out their day with a little more moxie and fun than normal. Encourage one and THEN, I have done something great. This process will be ongoing, so expect change! By the way, that is also my word for the year… Change.
Until next time…