Friday, December 30, 2011

My New Year's Resolutions

This is my last post for 2011 and the end of my first full year of doing this blog.  Many people like to make New Year's Resolutions and so in today's short message, I will give mine.  I do so with the hopes of all of your prayers as my wife and I hope that, should the Lord tarry, 2012 is a year of change and growth for us.  I also post this with the hope that my friends and family who read this will hold me accountable to the resolutions I make.  I also want to mention that all of these resolutions come with prayer and seeking after God's direction.  I want my resolutions to truly be what God is calling me to do.  So my first resolution is to seek after God's will for my wife and myself in the coming year. The verse that is on my heart for the coming year, is one we all know well. 
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.  Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV
This promise is not one-sided as many of the glorious promises of God are.  In this case, God will direct my paths if I seek after God.  I am convicted to seek God in all that I do and I have the faith that when I do, that God will provide the means of doing so.  It is in that mind that I give these resolutions. 

First of all, my wife and I need to tend to our health.  We both could lose a lot of weight, eat better, and exercise more.  It has affected my health in that I am a diabetic.  If I lose weight, eat better, and exercise more, that condition will improve greatly.  I have neglected my health for too long and have abused this machine the Lord has created to house my soul while on earth way too much.  Part of the problem is time in that with my terribly long commute, it is hard to make time for exercise.  The other problem is that I am a foodie.  I love good food and trying new and exciting things.  I do realize I can do this in greater moderation, and that is something I need to work on.  I also need to work on not snacking so much and not eating until I am stuffed to the hilt whenever I am around good food. 

I also resolve to finish paying off our debt.  I am not talking about mortgage or other large and long-term debts, but the smaller debts that nag our monthly budget and prevent us from doing other things.  God has blessed me so much over the past couple of months as I have shared before, but there is still work to do.  My wife has some debt we still need to take care of and I also have some other long-term issues that may not affect my credit, but they do affect our budget.  My goal this year is to be done with all of that, and this will require much prayer because only God can provide the means for that to happen. 

My wife and I also desire to start a family.  This has been a test of patience up to this point and we are relying on God to make a child a reality for us in the near future.  Of course, all in God's timing, but Jesus does tell us to cast all our cares upon Him and one of our cares is that yearning to have a child and grow our family.  I see my wife with other children and I see just how amazing a mother she will be someday.   I simply can not wait to see her hold our child for the first time, it is a day I long for and I pray it is a day that comes soon. 

I also want to find a new job in the coming year.  Please do not think me ungrateful for the job I have because I am.  There are so many out of work and struggling and the Lord has provided both of us with jobs in these trying times.  The fact is though my commute is affecting my health and putting a huge drain on our budget.  Furthermore, I just have no joy there anymore.  If I am supposed to be there, please pray that the Lord show me how to find that joy.  If this restlessness is of the Lord in that I am not supposed to be there, than please pray that the Lord shows me and directs me to where the job is that He has for me.  I have never been one to just hate going to work and I do not want to be that person now.  That is not my work ethic and that is not in line with God's call for us to rejoice in all circumstances.  Something has to change, whether it be my heart or my job only God knows and my prayer is that God shows me. 

My wife and I also aspire to move this coming year.  We have been looking for quite some time and our condo has been on the market for just as long.  We have not yet found a buyer or a seller.  If we do start a family, a new home will become necessary.  I am also in a dilemma as to where to live.  Our church home is north by where my job is, but we have a life we have built in south New Jersey.  South New Jersey is also where my wife works and as of yet we have not found any job for her up north.  That is where her family who has always been a daily part of her life lives and it is also an area that is nicer and cheaper to live in.  I have grown to love the slower pace of South New Jersey and living by the shore.  Once again, only God knows the solution and only God can find us a buyer and a seller and to coordinate that with work. 

Compared to the rest, this may seem like a minor thing, but I also want to replace both of our cars in the coming year.  They are both getting old and mine needs a lot of money just to fix the air conditioning for the coming summer.  This, of course, will be an added expense that we will have to budget for.  This will also affect how much of a mortgage we can apply for, but if my wife's debt is paid than that will not be an issue.  Whether or not and if so then when to purchase are questions we need direction on.  Please pray for that direction. 

All in all, this year I resolve to continue to grow more and more like Jesus and to continue to find new things to love Him for.  We all have much room to grow, myself included, and I want to always continue to grow in this life until I am perfected in the next.  Part of that is putting faith in Him to meet these needs and requests I have and part of that is to truly seek Him in all that I do.  I need to live more righteously, not to earn His favor, but as an expression of my love for Him.  It is easy to say that I love Jesus, I want to show it in my life private and public. 

Writing this I see how all of my resolutions and requests are related and how one needs to work with another.  When I look back on all that I just wrote, I see an interrelated mess of one thing needing to happen for another to work.  I know I can not meet these requests in my own wisdom or efforts.  I know that for this list to be my praise list come December it is going to take God to do amazing things.  What looks daunting to me, is nothing for God.  Knowing how dependent I am upon the Lord for the coming year is a great place to be.  If I can not understand how all these things will work together for good, than I must lean on His wisdom.  If I know that I need God for all of what I ask, then I have no choice but to acknowledge Him in all my ways.  What I seek may seem impossible to me, but we all know what God says about impossible.  Have a happy New Year everyone.  God bless you all! 
But Jesus looked at them and said, "With men [it is] impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible."  Mark 10:27 NKJV

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