Birthday: thinking about the year ahead

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Having a birthday at the beginning of January causes me to be very reflective. I’m thankful for the year that has been and I look forward to fulfilling my call in the year ahead. 
When I reflect, I divide the previous year into two categories: what worked and what didn’t work.

What didn’t work in 2018

 Doing things out of guilt - no explanation needed. The pain of doing things out of guilt is one I don’t care about having ever again.
Podcast - I had so much fun launching my own podcast. I learned a lot from the process. I only had two friends who supported the show financially. The lack of financial support and the number of downloads taught me that I need to invest my time elsewhere.
eBooks - I wrote two ebooks in 2018 and I sold only two copies. I even offered one of the eBooks for free to a group and only one person took me up on it. I’m abandoning my insistence in writing books. I am a writer and I will always write. What I know for sure is that if writing and being published is from God, He will make an opportunity evident.
misusing my time - this was quite the fight I had to win. Misusing my time is not helpful to me at all.
regret - I spent quite a bit of time entertaining regret. The lesson here is to dismiss the past and fully embrace God’s next season for me.

What worked in 2018

Having a clear goal in mind - mindlessness is death. Having a goal and working towards it by taking small steps is the way to go.
Changing jobs - God blessed me with a great job and it made a huge difference in my life. I feel blessed and I know for sure God opened those doors.
Cutting screen time down to a minimum - working with media can be tricky yet, I was able to cut my screen time way down. My peace and productivity really increased. You should give it a try.
 Investing in my health and fitness - It is easier to serve God and my family when my health and fitness are where they are supposed to be. This investment required me to do things differently, for example, I cut my running miles down. I also did not miss out on celebrating holidays and eating “fun” foods. I practiced self-control and thank God for this gift.
Doing what I can with what I have - this might be one of the greatest lessons of 2018. I need to do what I can with what I have. I applied this to many areas of my life. For example, my kids needed tutoring and I found a tutor but I couldn’t afford it (we’re on the road to living debt-free). I allowed myself to freak out for a few moments. After that was over, I decided to pray with faith and wait for an answer. The answer was, “do what you can with what you have.” God is so good. The kids are doing well and it turned out we didn’t need a tutor we couldn’t afford. I apply the “do what you can with what you have” principle in other areas of life and it really works.

The cool thing about moving on to another year of life is that I can measure the result of my efforts. If something didn’t work, I’ll let go of it. If something did work or I need to do more if it, we’re taking it with us to this new year.

I’ve been holding the following Bible verse close to my heart when it comes to the upcoming year:

Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 
2 Corinthians 2:9 (NKJV)

I have complete trust that God has amazing things planned for me. It’s up to me to be a good steward of the life He has given me.

Thank God for another year of abundant life.