Isaiah 52:12 For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the LORD will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rereward.
I love the beginning of a new year much as I love Mondays. Fresh starts. New days. Hope.
In setting goals for the day or week or month or year…it is good to remember that we need not go forth in haste, nor in fear. The Lord will go, He has gone, before us, laying down foundations and putting things in order for the times to come. Some of those things will be good. Some will be trial. But all will be for our edification and sanctification and will strengthen us by His hand.
I tend to want my goals done yesterday. I tend to want to hurry the learning process or complete things in great haste, lest enthusiasm withers or disasters strike all because I was not ready or diligent or thoughtful or persistent. It does my heart good to know the Lord is already ahead of me, and I can rest in the seemingly insignificant mileage I put forth today.
My word of the year is CHOOSE. I want to choose the narrow way, the road less traveled, the things that seem small and unimportant and commonplace. I want to remember that in this country that remains (relatively) free, I still have many choices to serve the Lord and my family, and I want to CHOOSE wisely.
Do you have goals written out for the year? I wrote mine in the front of my desk calendar, selecting areas I desired to give attention to.
One of my goals has been to translate my daily journal writing into other forms, and to practice drawing and lettering. Taking Gina’s class at last year’s Art and Soul Retreat was wonderful; she taught me how to use a year-long planner to practice art journaling in little bites. I’m a little bites kind of gal; I sort of pick at projects here and there, little by little. In my book I practice with watercolors, colored pencils, collage, washi tape, and ephemera.
This is the week I’m currently on; it’s half-finished. I know how easy it is to be wowed by finished art pictures (or home and garden pictures for that matter). What you usually don’t see is the pain of hours of pulling wire or the time of relaxed pencil coloring or how many appliances were stashed under the beds before the pictures were taken. Whatever your goals are, it’s here a little, there a little.
I’m a journaler at heart, so of course I began *another* journal. I think I have five going now. This one–another date book–I’m using for keeping track of my goals, that is, what did I do today to further them? I think looking back on those notes will help me when I feel like I’m *never* going to meet my goals (do you ever feel that way?)
And I’m also using it for my Bible studies, drawing or copying scripture from the readings I’m doing that day and week. Currently I’m reading Isaiah (I read cover to cover and then begin again). It is a perfect fit for me to try to translate what I’m reading into pictures and letter work; it helps me to not only meditate on the Word, but to remember it. These pages are only half done.
In other news, the homestead’s awfully quiet without our dairy goats, but it’s been a good rest. Sometimes you just need to clear the deck to rethink and re-vision what it is you want your family to be about doing. As for us, and I’m sure for many of you, the economy hasn’t been the most kind and we’re once again considering selling our home. My husband and I have dubbed 2014 the “year of decision” as what happens during this time with his business will make those sorts of decisions absolutely decisive and less of a choice. It’s one reason my podcast has been quiet lately….we’re not sure what to say other than, “Gee, things are really tough right now…..” It is one of the beauties of being in the Word, though, because I know I have a sure foundation no matter what happens.
In the meantime, I’m reading like crazy. I have three piles of books in my bedroom alone, mostly nonfiction. And because my outside chores have–mostly–gone away, I have extra time to cultivate other interests, such as playing with wool and other fibers. Good thing, too, because eight weeks of getting slapped down with sciatic pain has really slowed me down (including my metabolism but that’s another story).
Do you have goals for the new year? Do you have a way of picking at them, and of recording the little steps you do take, to fight that disappointment later that whispers of quitting? You can do it. You really can. The Lord has gone before you. Keep your eyes on Him and let Him lead.