New Year, New Goals, Same Jesus

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See you later Christmas! Hello 2018!

First blog entry of the new year!!! Woohoo!

Welcome 2018!!!

Today is January 12, and I haven’t broken any of my New Year’s Resolutions! This year I wanted to concentrate on doing four things and eliminating one thing from my life. Here they are:

📝Read through the Bible in 90 Days
📝Take a photo a day – Look for wonder
📝Read all the books I got for Christmas this year and last year 😬
📝Memorize at least one verse a month.
📝I want to leave behind fear, anxiety, and doubt in 2017. Let go of perfection. It doesn’t exist outside of Christ.

Why did I make these my goals/resolutions?

I’m 30 years old, and have loved Jesus since the zero was in front of the three and not behind it, and have never read through the entire Bible. I say that with a bit of shame and guilt because that is totally my fault. I have started most of my adult years attempting (aka half trying), and would give up almost every year when I hit Leviticus. The 90 day plan seemed like a great idea because I wouldn’t get stuck in one book for too long, so I could keep momentum. Then after reading The Bible in its entirety, I can return to certain places for a deeper study. Guess what?! I made it past Leviticus. I’m now in Deuteronomy! I like to use both my Bible (the one with physical pages you flip) and the YouVersion Bible app to listen as I read. It helps to keep me focused. However, being totally honest, during Levitus and Numbers, I would usually just play it. Reading along with it got to be a little much and I didn’t want to get stuck yet again.

Last year I was really focused on what was missing from my life or what I was missing out on, especially as a result of my illness. The word that came to me for 2018 was “plenty.” In scripture after a famine, God would usually promise His people a time of abundance or plenty. I’m praying 2018 is my “year of plenty.” Both in physical and mental healing, but also me appreciating what God has already blessed me with on an individual level and as a follower of Christ. Taking a photo a day reminds me to appreciate the moment; to step back and look at something in a whole new light. I almost forgot one day, but remembered five minutes before midnight. Still a win! Also, my Instagram username is mrsjjmiller if you want to see more of what I’ve posted so far this year!

In 2017 I only read five books, so basically it was a non-reading year. However, just because it wasn’t a reading year, didn’t stop me from buying books or requesting books for my birthday and Christmas. This goal might seem super easy, it’s not. It is probably the most amount of books I have ever had to read in a year (blessedly, I love children’s literature, so some will be fast reads haha). Currently, I’m reading In the Middle of the Mess: Strength for This Beautiful, Broken Life by Sheila Walsh and Goliath Must Fall: Winning the Battles Against Your Giants by Louie Giglio.

Ever since participating in the Beth Moore challenge, I know how important it is to make scripture memory part of my year. When I did her memory challenge, it was two verses a month. I would usually fall behind, so this year I am focusing on one verse a month. I am trying to say it to myself at least 3 times a day. It’s become like a mantra. My first verse is Joel 2:25 (NLT version). I really love ESV for studying God’s Word, but I really love the way the NLT translation words things. It feels like it is written how I would say it.

Leaving behind fear, anxiety, and doubt as well as it’s first cousin, perfection, is really a daily challenge for me. The only way I will leave those behind is by replacing them with joy, hope, and faith. The only way I can add those three things to my life is by changing my vision from me to Jesus. Reading my Bible everyday and memorizing my monthly memory verse has helped a lot, but I didn’t adapt to my negative way of thinking overnight, so it won’t disappear or change to something life-giving after one day.

Also, a big part of that is learning to let go of control. God has to become bigger and I have to recognize that I’m not invincible, that He is smarter and wiser than me, that He knows way more than this know-it-all every could.

What resolutions did you set for 2018? Do you like having a word to focus on throughout the year? How do you motivate yourself to keep pressing forward with them as New Year’s Day fades in the rearview mirror?

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