Thursday, January 01, 2015

better than the one before: 6 goals for 2015 (+ lock screen)

my dad gave me a nugget of wisdom when we went to visit them in november. we were walking slow on a trail through the Christmas-light lit park talking about life and generations and parenting when he declared this to be true: "we made mistakes. you won't make the same mistakes as we did. you will learn from our mistakes and do better. but you will make your own mistakes. and then your kids will learn from your mistakes and they will do better."  with each generation, he said, we have the chance to do better than the one before. i've been letting that sink in.

6 goals for the new year & beyond @mamahall

as we usher in a new year, i think that wisdom stands true - not just in regards to parenting - but for life in general. with each passing year, we have the opportunity to do better than the one before. we have the chance to reevaluate, learn from our mistakes, pursue growth, and commit to personal improvement. even though we'll probably make a new set of different mistakes, it'll still be worth it to try. by setting these goals and facing the new year purposefully, i hope my life is in rhythm with, not in response to, all God has for me.

here are 6 of my goals to make the new year better than the one before:  

one // say less 
"those who listen to instruction will prosper; those who trust the Lord will be joyful." -proverbs 16:20 
we all have opinions and thoughts and ideas. some are worth saying and sharing, some are not. i believe saying less and listening more could be very powerful and lead to stronger relationships, better understanding, and peace. when we speak out loud every little thing that crosses our mind, we risk putting our foot in our mouth, hurting feelings, and offending someone. if it isn't going to add value to the conversation, why add to the noise? instead of tweeting every opinion, sharing every fleeting thought, or commenting with my two cents, instead of trying to be heard or understood, i will listen, be open to learning, and seeking to understand.

two // give more
"decide in your heart how much to give. don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. God loves a person who gives cheerfully." -2 corinthians 9:7 
there is always someone with a need i can fill. maybe it's coffee for the car behind me in the drive thru lane, maybe it's a smile, maybe it's a compliment or word of encouragement, maybe it's a donation to a kickstarter fund. i can give. and it's not an's a blessing. i won't wait for the giving opportunities to come to me. i'm ready, hand open, to give what i can when a need arises. because needs will arise. and what an honor to be able to bless someone with whatever i have. i'll pray for creative ways to give, trusting God with my little handout, to multiply the blessings, and be glorified. i will be intentionally and cheerfully generous with my time, money, and gifts. 

three // grow more
"be joyful. grow to maturity. encourage each other. live in harmony and peace. then the God of love and peace will be with you." -2 corinthians 13:11
i hope to never get to a point in my life where i stop growing. i want to grow more spiritually, knowing God more and growing closer to Him, maturing in my faith. i want to grow more intellectually, i want to learn and grow in wisdom and knowledge, studying and researching. and i want to grow more physically, making smart choices for my health and well-being, and challenging my body to grow stronger. and 'more' is only more than myself- not more than the next person. no comparing my more to her more or my growth to her growth.

four // be small
"He must become greater and greater, and i must become less and less. He has come from above and is greater than anyone else. we are of the earth, and we speak of earthly things, but He has come from heaven and is greater than anyone else." -john 3:30-31
it's okay to be small in this world. i've come to realize being the light doesn't mean being in the spotlight. how many likes i have on instagram means nothing in God's Kingdom. small and humble can do big things for God. there's no need to take myself so seriously. just be me. stay in my lane. even if it's against the current and the gate is narrow. i want to push myself out of the way and make God a big deal. i want to truly live this: less of me, more of Him.

five // think big
"i want Your will to be done, not mine." -matthew 26:39
this is about keeping an eternal perspective. think big picture. in all situations and all circumstances, asking myself what does it mean to God? is it pleasing to Him? is it in obedience? is it in line with His Word? what is success, really? is this worth worrying about or stressing over or getting angry? am i trusting God in this or am i trying to do it my way? what would Jesus do? as Beth Moore put it: "all that will matter in eternity is the glory that came to God as a result of my life. i will be most blessed when God is most glorified." yes and amen.

six // do work
"faith by itself isn’t enough. unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless." -james 2:17
i'm ready to work and serve and go and do for the Lord. i'm willing to try. even if it's out of my comfort zone. even if i might fail. i'm willing to pursue whatever God asks of me and do the work He calls me to do. trust God. be brave. say yes and say no. i'll get my hands dirty and stay up late nights if that's what it takes. i'll stay home and do the laundry and sing worship songs to my kids if that's where He has me. i'll take meals to the hurting and the healing, i'll decorate church hallways, i'll lend a helping hand, i'll interrupt my day to nurture a friendship. i'll work with enthusiasm because i'm working for the Lord and not for people. i want to be a hard worker, proverbs 31:17-style.

my personal prayer for 2015:

"let your roots grow down into him, 
and let your lives be built on him. 
then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, 
and you will overflow with thankfulness." 
-colossians 2:7

here are the goals and scripture you can download and save as your phone lock screen or wallpaper as a reminder:   

2015 goals lock screen
click to download lock screen 1
2015 scripture lock screen
click to download lock screen 2
    (how? i downloaded the image on my laptop, emailed it to myself, opened the email from my phone, saved the image, then set to wallpaper for the lock screen.)   

happy new year!