Why… hello friends, how are you doing today? Happy, Happy new year! Let us keep Jennifer at Tea with Jennifer in prayer as she and her family battle the fire in Australia.  Do pray, family, and pray specifically for her.  Well… how are you? How was your New Year? Do you have New Year’s celebrations? We have church service on New Year’s Eve; this year we included dinner and a movie.  We watched Overcomer with Priscilla Shirer.  It was very good.  

I love new year(s), in fact I do look forward to new (almost) everything.  I look forward to a new birthday year, I absolutely love (new to me) clothes and shoes and handbags. You know that each new day comes with new grace and mercy from the Lord.  And I especially can’t wait for a new year.  A new year and a new birthday year are especially special to me.  

These times remind me to reflect on the past year and take stock.  It allows me to review my goals for the year and ask myself a few questions.  ‘How am I doing? Who am I becoming? If I stay on this present track, will I accomplish my goals? I take a look at my relationships and analyze them. Am I an asset? Do I add to the lives around me? I take the time to evaluate my speech. Am I ‘swift to hear, slow to speak’? A new year allows me time to flash back and gives me an inkling of the changes I may need to make in the future. 

With all these questions and evaluations, one would think doing this twice a year, I would accomplish my goals, right? Believe me, I do take the time to analyze but sometimes I fail to make the necessary changes; I do not put into practice the plans that will ensure my goals are accomplished.  So here I am, back where I started because I didn’t plan to succeed.  I did not do anything different, I continued on the very same path. It’s easy to make plans, the hard part is always sticking to it. But stick to it we must, if we are to be successful. 

Here am I, starting again, but this time, it will be different, because this time, I intend to win. Here are five steps I intend to take in order to claim victory.  

Write down the goals.  Then place them (I’m going to assume that like me, you have at least five) in a very visible place.  We want to always have our goals at the forefront of our minds.  Let’s make them achievable; reachable.  But let’s also include a few miracles that only the Lord can do.  He will, if it’s best for us. 

Bring them all to the Lord in prayer. Let’s talk to the Lord about our desires; whatever they are, believe me, He already knows anyway.  Let’s surrender them to Him, allow Him to do the best for us. Right now, we only think we know the best course of action, but in reality, we can’t see around the corners in our lives.  But we know Someone who does; He is good and loving.  He is gentle and compassionate. He is mighty and powerful.  He will give us the best if we submit to His authority.  

Make a commitment to the goals before the Lord and to an accountability partner.  More than likely, keeping our goals to ourselves gives us a way out, if and when it becomes difficult. On the days, when we don’t feel like going on; when we want to give up, we want to be reminded of the reasons we chose these goals in the first place.  We want to be encouraged to keep reaching toward that prize.  

Work toward the goals.  At times, I want something, but I make no effort to actually achieve that goal. I sit and wait, without a plan; perhaps somehow, I expect it to fall into my lap, or somehow, I suppose change will occur through osmosis.  Goals need me in order to become a reality; it demands my input.  I am owed nothing. I have to work toward the achievement of these goals.  It may mean we have to break down the goals into smaller pieces. It may mean we need to write the steps toward making the goals achievable. 

Bring them to the Lord in prayer (did I say that already?).  Listen to the doors that are being closed, see the opened doors.  Seek wisdom from the Lord, desiring something does not necessarily mean its good for us.  Learn to ‘be still’ in as much as we work toward the goals.  Remember the Lord is never in a hurry (unfortunately for me). He makes all things beautiful in His time (Ecc. 3:11).  

What are a few of your goals for 2020? How was your New Year? Do you have New Year’s celebrations?

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