I’ve spent the last two days reviewing the goals I set in 2013 and strategizing for 2014. To seed my thinking each year, I ask myself several questions:
From those lists, I formulated my final list:
“What do I want to do in the next year?”
As I started my list last night, it just felt incomplete. Something was missing.
And I was overwhelmed. How did I get so obligated in so many areas? It didn’t seem right to add anything new to my list – all my obligations kept me plenty busy. In fact, that’s part of my frustration – the have tos keep me from doing the want tos.
Something else seemed wrong. Oh yes, I completed a lot of things on that list. Not everything and not because I didn’t try. There were a couple of goals that God definitely put the brakes on. That’s okay. I can accept that. And God brought some other wonderful events into my life – like a trip to Branson with three women from our church and the privilege of hosting international students in our home.
I couldn’t put my finger on the source of my discontent.
Over the past year, I started a Women’s Bible study, organized our Women’s Fellowship monthly meetings, worked in our children’s after school program, wrote a novel, and entertained international students – to name just a few things. So much busy-ness. So what.
I want more.
I don’t want my life to be filled with card castles. Tweet this. I don’t want to be a dead man walking. I want to do what I do with intentionality, sincerity and purpose. I don’t want to go through the motions anymore. I want to ask myself what I want to see happen within each goal.
I want to go deeper.
More quality and less quantity. More emphasis on who I am in Christ than how much I get done on my to-do list. I want my life not be so much about what I do but how I do it. I want to pour the presence, power and persistent love of Jesus into every thing I do and every connection I make.
That’s why I love the verse from 1 Corinthians 15:58 that my mother-in-love cross stitched and framed for me:
“Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
Here’s another one:
“Whatever you do in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” – Colossians 3:17
My goals for 2014 can be summed up in one sentence: to give myself fully to whatever God leads me to do, having the confidence that it won’t be an empty endeavor.
So the next step in my planning for 2014 is this: I want to take each activity, obligation or task on my yearly to-do list and ask myself, “In Jesus’ name what do I want to accomplish?”
- As I write a new novel this year, how do I plan to portray Christ?
- As I serve as the American Christian Fiction Writer’s area coordinator for the state of Illinois, how will I use that position to encourage other writers in their faith?
- As I work with the children on Tuesday afternoons, how will I intentionally reflect the love of Christ to them?
- As I encounter obstacles or deal with the unexpected trials we all inevitably face, how will I intentionally stand firm, refusing to yield in my faith and commitment to Christ?