Dear Ones,
Hope you are having a wonderful weekend. Soon we will be entering a new year and may we prepare our hearts for all that God has for us. I plan to go to Aldi’s and clean the apartment and also write down some goals for the New Year.
Devotions from Judy’s heart
A New Year is just on the horizon, and we have likely read authors who share the importance of setting goals so that we can better get our focus on the Lord and His plan for our lives. I personally like to end the year by reflecting on what God has been working in me this past year and praying for what He has for me in the New Year and setting goals. Jennifer Slattery shares that it’s important to pray before even writing down goals so that we seek the Lord’s will and not our own. Sometimes our circumstances have radically changed since our goals were set last year, like a move or a new job or a baby, and we need to reset them.

Our goals should be doable and not so big that we will get discouraged when we don’t meet them. Instead of writing down that we will have devotions every morning for 1 hour, write that we will take ½ hour twice this week to devote; if successful, after that we can increase it. Or instead of setting the goal to go to the gym every day, simply programing that we will exercise by taking a brisk walk a couple times a week.

It may be helpful to write down some negative habits we have that want we want to replace with good ones, like eating healthily, more sleep, a set time with the Lord etc. We might even put in some rewards if we reach our goal. We need to seek the Lord as we make all our decisions for what is right for others may not be right for us at this time. As we ring in 2024 let us remember II Cor. 5:17 for we are in the transformational process: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come; the old has gone the new is here!” May we release the old and welcome the new!

Join me in the prayer by Hope Bolinger: “Lord, I want to dedicate this year to you. I know it hasn’t begun yet, but I want it to have a wonderful start. Let your will be done, not mine. I would be lying if I said I haven’t already paved some plans for myself this next year. But if they do not align with your will, I ask that you do not allow them to happen. You know what is best for me. You know me far better than I know even myself. I ask that this be your year. I surrender myself as an empty vessel. Fill me with your joy and love, so that I may outpour it onto others. Amen.”

Challenge for today: Take some time to reflect on your life in 2023 and then surrender to what the Lord has for you in 2024.
Blessings on your weekend and prayers and love, Judy