Goals and Dreams
Lamentations 3:23- Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.
I’m all about having a fresh start. I like re-do’s, 2nd chances, and do-overs. I, like many of you, had a list (whether a mental list or perhaps something more concrete, like a written list). And at the end of 2013 we began to rev up our engines with anticipation of what 2014 might look like. We imagined more weight loss, less distractions, more living with intention, perhaps people before projects. And it came. And it went. Like a flash in the night, 2014 is all but about done. And many of us reached those goals and took steps closer to our dreams. And there was beauty in the discipline. And some of us look in the mirror and aren’t comfortable with what’s reflected back. We’re hard on ourselves as to where we should be by now. And some of us look into the reflection of our hearts and realize that many (most or all) of our spiritual goals never got met. We look at our blank journal, our pile of books we wanted to read, and the guilt of unfinished business haunts us. “I should’ve done more,” we say. “I should’ve worked harder” or done this or done that or said this or said that. And we actually are repulsed by the three words ‘New Years Resolution.” We hear the critical voice creeping in saying ‘I don’t care.’
I had some goals and dreams this year. And I had some come to pass and it felt incredible. And then I had some other things I had hoped to accomplish that I was just not able to do in 2014.
Guess what happens on January 1st, 2015? We get a re-do. We get a do-over; a fresh start. Instead of the carrying the regrets over from 2014 into 2015, let’s make peace with that fact that we are human and not perfect! I love goals and dreams because they give us something to look forward to and to work towards. Some people are afraid to dream because when you step out and dream you risk the chance of getting hurt. It’s true, you might have unmet expectations or something that happens on the way to your dream that might be hurtful. And I assure you, there will be many great things that happen on your way too. We have become a society that is so focused on self-preservation and protecting ourselves and not getting hurt that at the same time we think we’ve protected ourselves from pain, we’ve also protected ourselves from the feeling of intense joy and satisfaction through hard work and perseverance. It is my hope that we can leave 2014 with not only some good memories in our heart, but that we can echo the song from Frozen and let it go. We can’t change the things we wished we had said or done. We have held ourselves captive long enough on our guilt trip. And it is a long and lonely road. Like Taylor Swift says, it’s time to shake it off. Forgive others and forgive yourself and begin to dream again for 2015.
So as I was praying almost 2 weeks ago the Lord gave me this and has since confirmed it. My words are ‘Digging In and Dreaming in 2015’. Digging in- I used to study (dig) the Word all the time. I have my concordance, my Bible study tools, systematic theology, and a few other study favorites. I could sit for hours and chew on just a few scriptures at a time. And as I reflect on this past year, I realize that I haven’t made that a habit. And the Lord is calling me back to that place of not just reading His word, but making time each week to study for myself the Bible (digging in). Dreaming- I have dreams, I do. And I use to shy away from saying that because I thought it sounded boastful or proud. It almost felt selfish. But I am convinced more than ever that these things in my heart are not from me, they’re from Him. And that these gifts are not just for me, but God will use them to bless the body of Christ. We each have a part to play. He has given each of us gifts, talents, and abilities to bless and further the kingdom of God. And who gets the glory when we commit something to Him and it comes to pass? To God be all the glory. I know that all that is good within me is from Him and without Him I can do nothing. The enemy would love for you to remain stagnant and comfortable, remember that. I spoke at a retreat in October and talked about dreams. It’s amazing to me how many women are just waiting to hear that it’s okay to dream. YES, it’s okay to dream and have goals and take baby steps towards that thing that God has placed in your heart. And we will fall, we will misstep, and we will make mistakes. He can handle our mistakes, dust us off and help us get back up. And we are never too lost for Him to help us find our way back.
Thank you for taking this journey with me. I am so blessed by everyone who reads and follows my blog. I surrender it all to Him- to God be all the glory!! He’s doing a new thing in 2015. Make time to quiet your heart before Him. See what He’s stirring in you or preparing you for. (And please, from one journal gal to another, write it down!!)
My New Years prayer for you:
Lord, I pray for each person reading this. Praying that they would forgive quickly and often. That You would give them a fresh start, a re-do and a do-over. I ask Lord that as they take some time to seek You, that you would give them a word (or words) for the New Year. Release the heavy burdens that they’ve been carrying from 2014 and remind them that whatever happens in 2015, that You are with them and that they are never alone. Above all, may their time with you be sweet. Refresh and renew in 2015. We surrender 2014 to you. Not our will but Your will be done.
Isaiah 43:19- For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
Here’s to digging and dreaming in 2015!!