It's that time of year again. A new year has arrived with the promise of new hopes, challenges and unknowns. Most of us mentally prepare a list of things we want to accomplish or change about ourselves in the new year. It's a time to start fresh, with a clean slate, and begin again.
My list has been pretty much the same every year: eat healthier, exercise more, read more, pray more, watch less TV, gossip less, complain less, cuss less, drive better.
This year, I even added a few new ones: savor my time with Marshall before Baby 2 comes, organize closets to prepare for Baby 2, get to know other moms in the neighborhood better, and develop a gentle and quiet spirit (along the lines of no cussing, gossipping or complaining).
When I shared these resolutions with my smart, entrepreneurial business owner of a husband, he reminded me that when setting goals, they need to be measureable. He said none of those I mentioned were measurable. How, for example, can you measure a gentle and quiet spirit at the end of the year? Dang it.
So I admit, I'm not the greatest goal setter, especially when it means quantifying things. It feels too restrictive, too cumbersome, too performance-based. I want the freedom to "eat healthier" but splurge every now and then, to "exercise more" but take a few days off. So I'm never sure how to set measurable goals without allowing for some freedom and grace. That's probably a blog post in itself.
But there is one goal that I DO want to make measurable this year: spend time EVERY DAY in God's word. Why? Because I believe it is our main source of power, hope, joy, and fulfillment. Without it, we begin to shrivel. We are less able to be the unique individual God created us to be.
What's exciting is the way I'm going to hold myself accountable to this goal: through a group of blogging friends that want to do the same thing! We are going to read through the Bible in a year. Not only that, we are going to use a book by Larry Crabb, called "66 Love Letters", to help us get a better overview of each book of the Bible. Using the blog website, we will share insights from what we are learning with each other, questions, comments, or frustrations. Basically, we are there to encourage each other and hold each other accountable to read God's word everyday and learn from it.
I've already read the prologue from Larry Crabb's book. It's getting me PUMPED about starting my very first measurable new year's resolution! He talks about how the Bible is God's story. That through each of the 66 books of the Bible, He weaves an amazing story of His pursuit, love, redemption and grace for mankind. Every single book is necessary, even the tedious, boring ones like Leviticus and Numbers. He provides an overview that helps you understand God's story in each book.
What I love, more than anything, is how he says that we often, as Christians, get caught up in our own story. Our own house, family, jobs, day to day lives, etc. While that's nice and all, there is a story that is SO much greater, SO much richer, more fulfilling and more full of joy. It's God's story for our lives. And the only way to understand that story is to read it, to spend time in God's word, to pray that God would give us the understanding and insight into His story for our lives. Instead of seeking ways to fit God into our own life, we should be seeking how our life fits into God's story. Isn't that exciting???
Here's a favorite quote of mine from his prologue: "The Bible is a love story that begins with a divorce. Everything from the third chapter of Genesis through the end of Revelation is the story of a betrayed lover wooing us back into His arms so we can enjoy the love of family forever."
I can't wait to get started! And I promise to share insights along the way.
My prayer for each of us today is that as we set New Year's resolutions and begin a new year, with a fresh slate and a new beginning, is that we would seek to understand how our life fits into God's story, rather than how God fits into our life. By spending time in God's word each and every day, I believe we can understand that greater story more fully. Won't you join me in setting a goal for this new year to spend every day, at least a few minutes, reading the true source of power, fulfillment and joy for our lives? Come join me!