Goals · New Year

Why I Can Be Thankful for 2020

In early January 2020, my husband and I went away for a day and a night to plan for the year. Tucked away in a secluded place, we scheduled each month’s activities, ministries and leisure times. I even had the audacity to write them in my planner in INK! I knew that the Lord would allow what He desired to come to pass…but I am pretty sure I was expecting most of what I planned to happen the way I penned it. Of course, it looked much different than we had carefully mapped out.

Am I bummed about that? In no way.

Were there disappointments? You bet! Here are some of them…

65th anniversary party
Beach vacation
Attending the Ladies Prayer Advance
Speaking at The Wilds for Ladies’ retreat
Easter services/events
Going to Dollywood Amusemen
t Park in Pigeon Forge
Thanksgiving with my parents

Christmas services/events

Like you, that’s just a sampling of cancellations, but when I look back on 2020, I learned so much that I don’t want to forget, and I experienced things I want to praise the Lord for. Here are some of those things…

  • Greater times in the Word and prayer. He taught me so much about trusting Him, not worrying and relinquishing my plans to His perfect will as I spent time with Him.
  • Having a real life visual of James 4:13-17 and seeing the folly of making plans and holding them too tightly.
    Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— 14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.
  • A greater appreciation for gathering each Sunday at church. Once the doors opened again, my heart was overwhelmed at the blessing of being WITH my brothers and sisters in Christ. Zoom was nice, but it felt so wonderful to be together as a church family.
  • Creative opportunities to serve others. Delivering loaves of bread and cinnamon rolls, making “curbside visits”, sending cards, and having Zoom cooking classes were a few ways the Lord gave me the chance to serve others.
  • The Lord taught me that His plans and His ways are greater and higher than mine. He brought other times of rest than we had planned. He gave different kinds of fellowship and encouragement.
  • A reminder that we are living in the last days. The last days began right after Jesus’ resurrection, and we’ve all been looking for Him to come in each of our lifetimes. Does that mean He isn’t coming? Hardly. It means we’re another year closer to standing before Him face to face. If He doesn’t come while we’re alive, we are each one year closer to the time of our own death. That means we need to be ready. The pandemic has reminded me of the evil that will prevail during the tribulation and how gullible people will be when the anti-Christ comes swooping in to “rescue” them in their desperate situations.
The trip to the beach was not really cancelled; it was delayed, but it came at a perfect time…because God knew when we would really need it!

 Psalm 85:8I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly.

I didn’t enjoy some of the hardships of 2020, but it would be foolish of me to be derogatory and curse the year when the Lord taught me so much. Will I dare to return back to the folly of my “old ways?” I don’t want to be the same when this whole trial is over. Do you?

Whether 2021 is full of blessing or trial, I know this…God will be faithful…and we’re one day closer to seeing Him. Are you ready?

Happy 2021!

Biblical Womanhood · Christian growth · Goals · Uncategorized

A New Year’s Perspective

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Newly fallen snow is a lovely reminder to me of  January 1st.
Everything is fresh.
No footprints have been stomped out before us yet.
All is still with only fresh paths before us.
Each day we trod forward, one day at a time, and make our way through the year until we come to December 31.  It’s a blessing to turn around and look over our shoulder and see the path that the Lord has cleared for us and just exactly where He’s brought us.

I’m not really one to make resolutions, but I do love to look behind me and see what needs improvement and then look before me with a prayer that the Lord will help me make necessary changes by His grace.

Here are some things I’m considering that might inspire you as you step into the snowbank of 2020.

  1. What hindered my spiritual growth last year?  What moved it forward?
  2. What did God teach me last year?
  3. What did I see God do in answer to my prayers last year?
  4. To whom did I give my life the most?  Does this need to change?
  5. What activities did I participate in that I need to repeat this year?  Which activities should I consider removing from my schedule?
  6. What did I read least year?
  7. Did I spend too much time on social media, television or videos (You Tube, Netflix)? Do I need to set limits for myself?
  8. What creative outlets did I enjoy? 
  9. Did I get enough exercise?  What could help motivate me to do more?
  10. What area of my life brought the most joy?  The most frustration?

These would be some great questions to pray about and later to ask your spouse or a close friend.  Some good discussion and accountability could follow!  

Enjoy the snow (the fresh New Year) before you.  It has some wonderful opportunities to witness what God can and will do through you!

Refresh the way you approach the new year.

Happy New Year Friends!

denise a