December 31, 2015…when I turn the calendar page at the end of today, the calendar will be outdated. Twelve page turns over the last year has brought me, once again, to the end of another calendar. That doesn’t seem like many, does it? Just twelve pages to get through an entire year? It seems each year, the page turns happen faster. The number of days in each month stay the same, the number of months in the year doesn’t change, not do the number of hours in a day, yet the pace of turning the pages seems to pick up as the years of my age go up. I remember my cousin saying something at my grandma’s funeral in 1986. He was in his early thirties at the time and my dad, his father’s brother, was in his late fifties. My cousin was telling my dad that the older he got, the faster time passed, and he could only imagine how fast it must go when one is as old as my dad. Don’t ask me why I remember that conversation, but it has stuck with me all these years. And, like my cousin, I find it to be quite true.
At the end of each year, I tend to reflect on the previous twelve pages of the calendar. What momentous events took place in my life during those twelve pages? What dreams were fulfilled? What dreams was I forced to let go of? What lessons did I learn that could positively impact my upcoming twelve calendar pages? What losses came into my life? Did I grow at all in the past twelve calendar pages? And, perhaps most importantly, what does God want me from me in the new year?
Like many people, I used to make resolutions that would go into effect January 1st. As a kid, those resolutions usually involved trying harder at school or helping more around the house. As adulthood replaced childhood, my resolutions changed to things such as being a better wife, being a better mom, being a better homeschool teacher, getting organized, losing weight, etc… The last two years, I decided that instead of resolutions, I would ask God to give me one word that He would want me to focus on in the upcoming year. The word would be one that would hopefully shape my thoughts and behavior. This year, I believe God is giving me the word Intentional for my focus.
As the calendar page gets turned, and a whole new year begins, I want to be intentional about areas in my life that need attention. I could make a list of resolutions–get organized, lose weight, pray more, read my Bible more. All of these are much needed in my life and are good things on which to focus. However, if I remember the word God gave me, intentional, all of these areas, and more, will be covered. For example, if I am intentional about watching what I eat and drink, most likely I will be healthier and lose weight. I have been wanting to pray more–to learn to pray more effectively and purposefully. I have an entire Pinterest board designated to making a prayer journal and have even bought the supplies needed to make one. I haven’t done it, though. But, if I follow the word I believe God has laid on my heart, and be intentional about praying and setting a regular time to do so, my prayer life will change for the positive and spiritual growth will happen.
Dictionary.com defines the word intentional as: “done on purpose; deliberate”.
I have sat around too long, hoping that spiritual growth and other changes will somehow happen in my life. This year is the year God wants me to be intentional about allowing Him to do a work in my life, in my heart, and in my mind. I have no idea what joys and challenges 2016 holds for me. God knows, though, and He wants me to be faithful through whatever comes my way this new year.
Adios 2015…your days held a mix of joy and tears, laughter and pain, blessings and not-so-wanted events. Your days held wonderful memories and times I want to forget. Tomorrow begins a brand new year–a blank page to start filling in with whatever happens to come into my life. Woven into the events I have no control over will be intentionality that I pray God uses to make me more like Him.