For the past four years I have chosen one word to focus on in the New Year in lieu of a list of resolutions. This past year my word was faith, and did God ever teach me what faith looks like through all sorts of mountains and valleys. I held on to Him in faith through some of the darkest places I’ve ever had to walk. It has been a year of growth and deeper understanding of my own heart, but more importantly I have grown in my knowledge and understanding of God and His Word.
Many of us don’t pay much attention to the passing of time.
Days pass into weeks that become months and in no time another year is here. It wasn’t until we had children that I realized how fast time passes. We must be intentional in order to connect the dots of God’s faithfulness in our lives and marriage. If we aren’t we miss so much.
I mentioned in our last post how Tom and I went on the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive (#LAWD) on Christmas morning. While driving 10 mph for over 2 hours could be boring to many people, I have found that when I intentionally take in all that is around me, I see what I didn’t see before; The sights, the sounds and the scents of nature. At first glance I may notice only marsh grass and gravel roads, but when the camera lens zooms in it takes my breath away. I am aware of the detail I could have easily missed. (What do you see in the picture below at first glance? Take another look.)
God impressed on me that it is the same in my relationship with Him. I could miss so much of His character on display all around me, e.g. His faithfulness, His kindness, His provision, His miracles, His comfort and His sovereignty. He is everywhere all the time, yet He gives thought to me…to you. And when we notice His hand at work it builds our faith.
“Be still and know that I am God,” has a new application for me having driven the #LAWD
We’ve compiled a list of questions to help you evaluate the past and prepare for the future. Plan some undistracted time–no screens, no kids, no chores, no TV–and answer these all important questions. We pray it gives you clarity, like 20/20 vision, in the process.
As you look back on 2019 ask yourself and your spouse the following:
- What are the major highlights of the year?
- What are your biggest victories? Your biggest disappointments?
- What would you do differently if you had the chance?
- How has your marriage grown?
- What was your favorite date? Favorite dining experience? Favorite movie?
- How have you grown in your relationship with the Lord?
- What do you wish you could have done, but didn’t?
- What are the three most encouraging words someone else said to you?
- What are the three most encouraging words I said to you?
- What did I do this year that makes you smile every time you think of it?
Now, looking forward to 2020, ask yourself and your spouse the following:
- What do you want to continue doing this year that you were doing last year?
- What do you want to stop doing this year?
- What one word, if any, do you plan to focus on for growth? How can I help you?
- What devotional are you planning to do? (We highly recommend choosing from the hundreds available on the YouVersion app)
- What is one area you would like to see me improve in this year?
- Is there something I have been putting off around the house that you would love to see completed?
- What 3 couples can we pursue this year in an effort to encourage them or glean wisdom from them?
- What would be the best way to make this happen?
- How important are date nights to you? How can we make these a regular part of our year?
- What trips would you like to plan for just us or for the family?
May God help you connect the dots of His faithfulness to you and your marriage in 2019. And wherever there is great disappointment, may He fill your heart with faith to believe, to change and grow in 2020.
We pray you have a safe and Happy New Year.
My dear, I wish that we could talk,
but our roads are now divirging.
You must find your future walk;
and I know this is unnerving.
You must find a life that’s not
a monument to dying me,
for if there’s any good I brought,
it’s the will to set you free
of the heavy chains that bind
to a lost, beloved past;
and in the far beyond you’ll find
the golden clouds where memories last.
The day is coming when I’m gone,
but know, dear heart, my love goes on.
Ah, well, if you don’t mind, here’s Celine…
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Superb! Great post for both reflection and goal setting!
Thank you! We’re looking forward to going through these ourselves. Happy New Year! 🎄
Love the alligators photo and your post!!
Thank you Markus. That photo is what inspired this post. Happy New Year!