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promise-of-something-new

A new year.

I love standing on this side of the doorway – looking back briefly to see gifts and graces that fell from the hand who gives all.

Then looking forward to all things new, wondering what awaits, knowing it won’t all be good things, but that it will all be God things that will ultimately be for my good.

Like a fresh blanket of snow just waiting for me to walk in leaving footprints, some days will be easier to embrace the adventure and blaze my own trail, and other days hesitation will hold me back without a sure path to follow.

Uncertainty can be a bit like a wilderness – not knowing, not seeing any further than this present moment, confused by all the possible paths.

But maybe this present moment is all I need to focus on when the unknown overwhelms. This moment, this present moment is where I am, where God is present. And it is gift to be here.

And what about those days when it seems we are wandering in brush and brambles or drifting in uncharted waters? Unsure of what to do, we do nothing but attempt the motions of normalcy – whatever that looks like. It’s on days like these that we are challenged to trust what is hidden, what eyes cannot see.

What if we look at the wilderness like this:

‘When nothing is sure, then everything is possible’ – Margaret Drabble

and then this promise:

‘For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness.’ Isaiah 43:19

Isaiah speaks sweet promises. A pathway through the wilderness. No need to hesitate or be fearful, just trust the way maker who goes before us.

And then the promise of something new. He’s already begun it. The seed has already been planted. God’s plan is already in motion. With open eyes, boldly trust and blaze your trail into the possibilities.

Happy New Year.

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i still remember my grandmother asking me one New Year’s Eve

what my resolutions were for the new year.

i was in high school

and already then i had a list in my head of ways i wanted to improve

new things i wanted to try

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i still make a list every year

but no longer resolutions –

now i set intentions which seem less doomed to failure.

intentions i can easily begin again

when i get sidetracked or completely fall off the wagon

intentions are a more positive approach to making change

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here are some tips for setting intentions:

set aside some quiet time, with pen & paper, and a cup of coffee or tea

ask yourself these questions:

what do i want my life to be like this year?

how do i want my life to be different?

which areas of me do i want to improve?

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then consider this:

what are my gifts and talents that God has given specifically to me?

am i using them?

am i living out my calling?

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now list intentions for specific areas

here are some examples:

physical (how can i take better care of myself?)

emotional (do i need to work on my outlook or attitude? or how i react to challenges?)

spiritual (what can i do to improve my spiritual life?)

relationships (is there a relationship that needs extra time, attention, prayers)

creative (yes, we all are creative – that’s another blog post 🙂  am i setting aside time for what gives me joy and a way to express myself?)

professional (how can i improve at work? am i happy doing what i do? if not, what can i do about it? do i need better balance between work and personal life?) 

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another helpful thing is to choose one word to focus on through the year.

some word ideas include . . .

shine, dwell, thrive, become

grow, be, give, content

choose joy, breathe, live boldly

be thankful, be brave, be still, be the good

simplify, embrace, conquer, cultivate

courage, savor, cherish, enjoy

need help choosing a word?

click here

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after working through these questions,

you will have the beginnings of a plan for change

but the best of plans can fail if done without God’s help.

‘Commit your actions to the Lordand your plans will succeed. – Proverbs 16:3

pray!

ask God to bless your word, your intentions, and the year ahead

as the psalmist says:

‘May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.’ –Psalm 20:4

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 here is a simple form to help set your intentions

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finally, make your word visible

keep it in front of you

wear it!

i’d love to help you live with your word and make a change

by customizing a cuff with your word on it.

i’ve been wearing my word the last four years

and believe me it helps me stay focused on my intentions

by wrapping it around my wrist every day.

if interested, you can learn more about it here.

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blessings on your new year!

Tracy

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one little word text

these days between Christmas and New Years

are some of my favorite of the year –

Christmas still fresh in the heart

and on the brink of a new year

it’s here in the in-between

i spend time reflecting

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its a time to look inward

at how we’ve grown over the past year,

how we’ve been made stronger

how we’ve been blessed.

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it’s a time to evaluate –

am i living to the fullest?

how am i using my time?

 am i using my gifts?

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it’s a time to look back at where the path has brought us

what has happened,

what has been accomplished,

opportunities missed or taken

and when the path took an unexpected turn –

how we have been blessed despite that

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it’s a time to look ahead

to a new year full of possibility and potential

a time to dream big

a time to plan – to pray and persist in that plan

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the last four Januarys

i have set my intentions

(seems better than resolutions)

and chosen one word that captures those intentions

one word to focus on

to live with for the year

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it has been a tremendous tool for me

helping me grow in a specific area

usually the word is simple but has many facets:

one year, my word was ‘dwell

i chose it because i wanted to

dwell in the moment instead of rushing on to the next one,

dwell in the Word

dwell in my home (aka – spend less time at work)

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another year i chose the word ‘thrive

and used each letter to represent a certain intention that would help me thrive:

t‘ was using my time wisely

h‘ was to stay hydrated since i have an aversion to drinking water

r‘ was to set aside time to rest and relax

all those intentions were to help me not just survive each day, but thrive!

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i’ll admit that it’s easy to forget that one word

but have found it helpful to always have that word in front of me

on the windowsill above the kitchen sink

on the frig

as a desktop background

but the best way i have found to be reminded of my intention for the year

is to wear it

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once i began wearing my one little word

it became a way for me to live with it every day if i so chose

a constant reminder

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i still benefit from monthly prompts from

the one little word project

and i encourage you to check out Ali Edward’s site

if you are serious about making a change in 2016.

but just wrapping it around my wrist every day has helped me just as much

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i hope you’ll consider choosing one or two words that

sum up your intentions for 2016

 i would be honored to help you wear it

just click here to learn more about that

(need help choosing your one little word and setting your intentions? click here for simple questions to ask yourself)

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may the new year hold many blessings and possibilities for you

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blessings,

Tracy

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