Happy New Year everybody.
2016 really came and went. I say all the time that the years seem to get shorter every year but 2016 truly flew. I have no idea where it went. If I’m totally honest, 2016 didn’t go as planned for me.
I started out 2016 with big plans. It was going to be my year. My business was finally going to take off, my kids were going to be perfect, obedient children, we would get out of debt, and life would be awesome. Life didn’t exactly work out that way. I struggled through trying to figure out how to make my business succeed. Once again, I didn’t achieve the goals that I set out for myself. My spiritual life suffered. I spent a lot of time frustrated and trying to figure out what the Lord wanted me to do. I thought I was following His lead. I thought I was doing everything I was supposed to. But I just wasn’t getting anywhere. Or at least, I didn’t think I was. It’s hard to see the progress when you’re in the thick of it. God has the 3 mile in the sky view that we don’t have. Sometimes we don’t see what the Lord is doing in us while it is happening. He may be working on our character, or simply setting things up that we can’t see yet. The problem is that I spent so much time trying to do it in my own strength that I wasn’t spending as much time reading my Bible and praying as I should have been. It was probably this fact that made me feel like I wasn’t hearing from the Holy Spirit anymore.
Finally, in December, when we were on our way to our family vacation, the Holy Spirit spoke. It wasn’t audible, but I heard it. He said I could have whatever I wanted but I had to work hard at ALL of it. That’s when it hit me, the one thing that I was doing that I hadn’t realized all year. I was essentially putting out fires. I never made much progress because I would focus on my business until my family felt neglected, then I would run over and work on my family relationship and realize that my church responsibilities were being neglected, so I would run to that until I needed to go back to the business. I realized that in 2017, I had to work hard at all of it. Sure it’s going to be difficult, but I have to do it if I want to accomplish the things I believe the Lord wants me to accomplish. I can’t do it in bits an pieces. The problem is that in being so fragmented, I was working really hard and not making as much progress as I wanted to.
If any of this resonates with you, then you’re who I’m writing this blog post to. I don’t suddenly have it all figured out and my life is perfect. The whole point of my blog is that I’m walking this journey with all of you and sharing what I learn along the way and hoping it helps you take the next step toward freedom. My encouragement to you all for 2017 is don’t make new year resolutions. Set some good goals for yourself.
My goals for 2017 include building relationships, spending more time with my family, getting out of debt, raising money for our missionary in Mexico to finally build his house, get fit, and be able to read Biblical Hebrew. Reach high. But don’t set goals for yourself that you are never going to accomplish. They should be faith building but realistic. And then work. Whatever your goals are they are going to take work to accomplish. Most of all, don’t let your work distract you from your relationship with the Lord. Don’t forget that He is the one that provides all of it. If your relationship with Him fails, the rest of it will follow suit. I learned that the hard way in 2016. Truly, the instant I learned these lessons in the last couple of weeks, business opportunities started popping up out of nowhere.
I hope you all have a very blessed 2017. Another one of my goals is to do at least 3 blog posts a week, one written, one video, and one podcast. However, I’m not doing this because I’m an egotistical narcissist that desperately needs people to listen to what he says. I want to be of service to you. If you have any questions, or even prayer requests that you want me to pray for, if any of my skill sets can help you find your freedom in 2017, please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Here’s to a great 2017. May you find freedom this year.