2012 is here….and?

What are you going to do about it?

For some reason 2011 flew by like a flash (not that I’m complaining), and when I woke up on Sunday a new year had dawned (as a side note, I really like starting the new year on a Sunday. It just seems right somehow). The year didn’t go exactly as I had planned, but then again, nothing ever does.

I’m not really big on goals or resolutions. I never seem able to keep them, and at the end of the year just end up frustrated or uncommitted to what I originally said. Andy Stanley preached a great sermon on Sunday that I totally agree with. The gist of it is that what we do is not nearly as important as who we are. What we do comes out of who we are. So, if we don’t first change the “who”, than the “what” isn’t going to get very far, no matter how hard we try.

At the beginning of each year, I make 3 lists. One is of ways I grew in the past year, two is the way I hope to grow in the new year, and three is the ways God showed up as my Jehovah-Jireh in the past year. I’ve been doing this for the past 5 years or so, and I love looking back and seeing all that the Lord did, as well as looking forward to what He will do in the new year.

In 2011, I had 8 things on my “hope to grow in 2011” list:

  • Mercy/Justice ministry – developing a heart for the poor and needy, and learning to love them
  • Ministry strengths – learning new ways to use my gifts and grow in ministry capacity
  • Expectation management – that I will expect great things from God, and learn from Him how to manage well the things of my heart (something I am very, very bad at)
  • Financial stewardship – to use well the money I have been given
  • Communication – keeping up more with friends, talk more, put people first
  • Bible study – deepen my knowledge of God through His word
  • Prayer – learning to cultivate Adoration and Thanksgiving, not just supplication
  • Self-discipline – exercising more, eating healthy, contentment with what the Lord has given me

The past 2 years have held an amazing amount of change, pain and altered plans, and I am thankful that in the midst of it all the Lord did indeed grow me in each of these areas in 2011 in some way – some in bigger ways than others, some I completely forgot I had on there, others were constant sources of my attention. What a great reminder that even when I forget what I ask for, He remembers.

As 2012 begins, I want to change my list to “what I want to be true of me at the end of the year”. I really want all those same areas of growth to be true again. But I realized that 8 things is a whole lot, so I think I will narrow it down to the top four, with one of them being new.

Here we goooooooo! By the end of 2012, I hope to be a person of…..

  • Expectation management – This one still needs a LOT of work. Sigh. Trusting the Lord in 2012 to help me surrender all of my wealth of expectations and just go with the flow.
  • Communication – We definitely made progress last year, but this year I want to continue to grow in communicating well, especially with friends and family who live far away (which is pretty much the majority of them)
  • Prayer – Learning more about God’s heart for prayer, how to pray, what to pray for, and how to listen (always hard considering how much I love to talk and how easily I get distracted)
  • Trust – This is a constant growth area, but this year, especially in light of my post from yesterday, I hope to grow in actually trusting His plan and His sovereignty and not trying to manipulate my own way, or even try to figure out the what or why’s of what He is doing in my life. I don’t need to know until He tells me.

Who do you want to be in 2012?

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