Happy New Year!!

 

It’s time to say goodbye to 2010. It’s gone fast and what a year for us!  A lot has changed.  My husband and I completed our planning for 2011 the other night.  We will probably finalize everything this weekend and get started on our new plans.  I’m excited.

I love the New Year.  A fresh start.  A clean slate.  New beginnings.

Just like Jesus has given all of us by dying on the cross.  A new beginning. We can start fresh and leave our old lives behind to start a  new life.  All you have to do is except that Jesus died for you commit to living the new life!

There Is No Such Thing as “Self-Help”

I heard something the other day that has really stuck with me.  “Self control is not about self controlling self.”   Self cannot help self.  Only the Holy Spirit can help self.  We MUST rely on the Holy Spirit to help guide us to self-control.  We cannot do this alone.

I don’t know about you, but that is a relief to me.  I know the problem is that I’ve relied on mySELF to control self and I continue to fail over and over again.  I canNOT do this alone.  I must allow the Holy Spirit to live through me to gain self-control.

Just as the Bible says in Galations, that self-control is a fruit of the spirit.  It’s not anything I can gain myself, it’s only gained through my life being led by the Holy Spirit.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control”  Galatians 5:22-23

Planning for 2011

Tonight my husband and I are going to have a “meeting”.  We are going to talk about our plans and our goals for 2011.  This was my husband’s idea and I love it!  He told me my homework for today was to write down my 10 personal goals for this year and 10 goals I have for our family.  The family goals could include family together time goals, financial goals, spiritual goals for all of us, etc.  I’m excited.  I’ll be working on this today.

I love lists, so this is right up my ally.  But more importantly, I LOVE planning with my husband.  I love when we  get on the same page about the big stuff.  We have a feeling this year is going to be great!   It’s been very interesting the past few years and we have learned so much from God.  We know that He has more in store for us and there are more lessons to be learned.  We’re excited.

To be clear, these are not resolutions necessarily, this is just us putting together our goals, deciding what we, as a married couple, want to focus on this year, and then making a plan to do just that.  I can’t wait.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

I Am Second – Part II

I know I’ve already posted about this site, but I just visited it recently to see the new people that have added their videos.  I love to visit this site because it is so inspiring.  When you hear these people talk about their lives, you realize they struggle just like you and me.  Maybe with different struggles, but they struggle nonetheless. 

I love this one below, especially because he speaks about living differently and how people notice.  Your friends notice.  You are not participating in the same things and they take notice and you may lose some friends.  Sometimes it can be uncomfortable, but when you are only living  for God’s approval you are on the right track!

I also love his phrase “God can take your mess and turn it into a message”. Brilliant.

I Am Second – Bradie James

Celebrating Christmas

Yesterday at church, one of our pastors spoke about lifting our eyes.  Lifting our eyes and not being concerned with ourselves, but being more concerned with those around us and what we can do to help them.  To love them.

I think especially during this time of year we can all get a  little too caught up in our list of “to-do”s and easily miss out on so many simple opportunities to help others, to serve, and to just love.  To spend quality time with our kids and talk about what this time of year is really all about.   Gathering friends together to help feed the homeless.  Baking cookies to bring to an elderly neighbor.  Giving money to those who need it more than we do. 

I’ve really been re-thinking how I view Christmas this year.  I want it to be so much less about buying and more about giving.  Giving of my time, my heart, my hands and my love.  I want it to be about sharing my life with others.  I want it to be about getting to know people better, reaching out more.  I want it to be more about my incredible Savior.  I want to celebrate His life through my actions.  I don’t want to make the malls and stores and bazillionaires more money while throwing away mine.  I want to pour into those who need my help, who need my encouragement, my care and my understanding.

God has been speaking loudly to me lately.  He is wanting me to get uncomfortable again.   He wants me to get out there and HELP people.  Casting out all fears and just washing some feet for a while.  

Isn’t that what Christmas should be about?  Shouldn’t we be celebrating the life we all should follow?  Imitating the perfect role model. 

I mean really, can you see Jesus at the mall buying gifts and fretting over what he should buy his neighbor or his boss?  No, he would be helping, serving, loving and teaching.  So simple and so much more important than anything we could ever buy.

When I was looking for a graphic to put at the top of this post, I came across this blog post from last year at this time.  I love it, so I wanted to share it. 

Letter from Jesus