Saturday, December 29, 2012

Looking Forward to 2013

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365 unused days to look forward to ... God knows what they will look like, but I don't.

After 44 years ... I know for sure that there is nothing I can plan ahead to prevent or prepare for the inevitable - I could store food and supplies and have them wiped out by fire or tornado or government raids.  I could feed us the healthiest food and still loose one of us to sickness or an accident.  God knows.  But I don't.   On one hand, I have to learn to trust God for my daily provisions - like the Israelites wandering in the wilderness.  God wants us to rely on him.  Yet, once God had given the Israelites their land, he expected them to work and store up and plan ahead.  He also wanted them to be generous and trust God to provide for them if they gave everything to others who were in need.

Generosity or Compassion will be my One Word Theme for this year.

We have too much ... yet we are poor and have so little.  Depends on whether I'm looking to the left at those who have less than I do ... or to the right and see those who have more.   But God doesn't want me looking left and right, he wants me looking ahead - keeping my eyes on HIM and not on the world around me.  I need to trust God more to provide what our family needs - and be generous with what God has given to me.

I don't know about you ... but I really like being comfortable.  I don't like being too cold or too hot, or wear pinchy shoes or scratchy clothes.  But what if God wants me to give away what makes me comfortable to help someone else?   Tough idea for me - it is hard to give up our comforts to others if it means being uncomfortable ourselves.  But Jesus didn't hesitate to leave his throne in glory to suffer as a man and be beaten and die on a cross.   I know eternity will make up for anything I suffer for a few years hear on earth - just like the pain of child birth fades as the babe is placed into my arms - so will the pain of life fade when God leads me to heaven.

Still, it is so easy to clutch with both hands our comforts.  To only share the left overs, the stuff we don't want.  Giving isn't something that comes easy for me.   Nor is writing stuff like this and letting it go out to the world.  I'm not very bold.

But I think it is good to have concrete goals in mind - if you don't know how you want to plant your fields, the rows won't be straight, the crops will not be planted at the right time, hundreds of things could go wrong and rob you of your harvest.

Personal Goals -

More devotional time
More discipline over my time
Loose at least 50lbs
Complain less
Be thankful more
Be open to meeting the needs of others even if it means my own personal discomfort.
Be more aware of relationships and spending time with those I love.

Home Goals.

Declutter my home - learn to let go of what is cluttering up my life and my home.
Organizing - find a home for things or let it go - but avoid hoarding just because I don't know what to do with it.
Cleaning - be more diligent with the cleaning schedule.  It is hard to clean when the house is cluttered and disorganized.

School Goals

Declutter and Organize the school room
Schedule school and be more diligent at sticking to it
Be more "on top" of school and getting things done
Be less worried about "marking goals" and more involved with spiritual growth and learning to think and reason rightly.
Encourage more, criticize less
Be more aware of life passing.

Family and Relationship Goals

Remember birthdays
Call more often
Keep up with my personal blog
Take more pictures
Invite over for fun

Other Goals

More gardening
Put up food for the winter
Use up craft supplies for Christmas and Birthday gifts
Help at church more
Paint the kitchen and bathroom
Floor in the bathroom
Paint Bible verses on the walls
More Bible memory for the family

I'm not sure what God has in mind for us this year.  I know when birthday's are on our calendars, and when all of the holidays will be.

But I want to be more available to others and to God.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Alphabet Advent: Z is for Zion

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Z is for Zion
and Zeal

We should celebrate our faith with 
at Christmas and other holidays
in remembrance of all that God has done for us.

Zion ... the name for God's Kingdom
and for Jerusalem.

Now we can all take a nice nap

Books to Read


Songs to Sing

Activities to Do

Pages to Color
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