How are YOU going to make 2016 be a BETTER year for YOU?
I always like to look ahead at what’s possible and be hopeful for positive outcomes and opportunities to learn and grow. In my last blog, I talked about the gift of second chances, and that’s what a New Year offers us. It is a GIFT ready to be opened and used. I’m excited for the possibilities that come along with each new day, but a year on the horizon especially holds promise and expectation for something even better.
A New Year means…
A Hopeful Future
Anticipation for What Lies Ahead
And the all-encompassing thing about the New Year is the NEW YOU that God can mold if only you ALLOW. But not just any old NEW YOU, but a bright, vibrant, creative and willing YOU! One that is ready to take one step (or maybe even two or three) outside of your comfort zone to achieve what God has placed in you that has become your soul’s desires. God’s word tells us that we are wired with desires:
Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.
When we TRUST, DELIGHT (or ‘keep company with’) and COMMIT our way to the LORD, he GIVES us the desires of what he’s wired us with. Is that not a shout out for a “HALLELUJAH” or a “THANK YOU FATHER” right now?! We have been blessed with:
And all of those things can lead us to the place God longs to take us. To a place filled with wonder at what’s possible if only we took ONE STEP toward God’s DESIRES that he’s placed within our hearts. Don’t think that this whole one-step idea will come easily or without risk. As any risk-taker knows, it’s scary out there where the practical people with common sense and safety zones stay. They are the bubble dwellers and, but for those God-planted creative and vibrant desires in your soul and mine, so are we.
Nevertheless, here we stand, at the BEGINNING of a NEW YEAR—and it is downright EXCITING, if not a bit INTIMIDATING because we have people to meet and places to go and plans to fulfill. And not ONE of those elements of life would happen, if we didn’t take a step toward meeting those people, going to those places and fulfilling those plans.
For those of you who are VIBRANT and CREATIVE and READY for God to use you, DECIDE what it is He’s putting in your path in 2016 and take one STEP—just ONE–toward that stirring in your soul that keeps returning.
So here’s the BIG CHALLENGE to take that ONE STEP toward accomplishing something new in 2016:
Choose a WORD of the year that will be your stepping stone.
This is something more and more people are doing. In the past, I’ve chosen a verse that is my theme verse, and I’ve also chosen a WORD of the year to define what I most want to accomplish. So for me, I chose a word that is this year’s stepping stone for achieving those desires and stirrings in my soul. The word is:
What does it mean to me?
It means that I want to CONTRIBUTE to LIVES.
In whose life or in what way can I make a positive and intentional CONTRIBUTION every day in 2016?
When I look back at all of the people who have made significant contributions in my life, all I can say is thank you. It is such a small sentiment for the absolute appreciation and thankfulness I feel toward the individuals who invested their time, energy, wisdom, knowledge and resources into my life. Now, in 2016, I want to ‘pay it forward’ to my family, friends, clients and followers.
I didn’t know that when I was reading the book of 2 Corinthians a few months ago, that God was impressing on my heart the importance of contributing regularly to the lives of those with whom I come in contact with. Yet, 2 Corinthians 9 has been ‘knocking at my mind’ ever since I studied this book back in September, and now I know why. So below is the passage that is my ‘theme Scripture’ for 2016:
2 Corinthians 9: 6-15
The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart,not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. As it is written,
“He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.”
He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God. By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your CONTRIBUTION for them and for all others, while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you. Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!
This passage has more meaning to me than I can even explain, but from it, I’m choosing to sow bountifully, to give cheerfully and generously CONTRIBUTE to the lives of others. Please share with me how can I contribute to your life; to the stirrings of your soul from our Father; to the achievement of your goals and desires? Share with me below what resonates with you and, if you have a word for 2016 or a Scripture verse, please share it with me!
Don’t forget the VIRTUAL BIBLE STUDY: Take 21: A Renewed Faith For What’s True starts on January 19, 2016. From the warmth and comfort of your own home, you can join our group. Find out all you need to know and be sure to REGISTER so you receive the download and participant information.
Until next time, take just ONE step toward your desires for 2016 and don’t forget to check out our ELITE Writers Accountability Club, which will be starting on January 27. Also, the ELITE Women Speakers Monthly Group meets the second Thursday of every month.