Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained.
When I began thinking about writing this post, I had so much reflection to do. This year has been a tough one, but one that God has taught me so much. Teaching has been incredibly busy during the school year. My grandmother passed away in April. I had the opportunity to speak at a conference this past Summer. School started in August being crazier than the year before. Two weeks after school started Dad had emergency surgery (statistically he should not be on this Earth at this time, but he is and for that we are so very thankful) and then just a month-ish later, he had another surgery to remove his kidney, and he is on the mend and awaiting a 3rd surgery. Financially, I have been working on getting out of debt, so that has been “fun”… Spiritually, there has been mountains and valleys. Physically, I am working on getting healthy inside out…
What I know, throughout 2015, no matter what avenue I look, God has been there and was not surprised by anything that happened. Yes, there were some regrets. Yes, there were some victories. Yes, there were some ordinary days. Yes, there were some defeats. He was there in every second, every moment, every breath. For that, I am thankful for the relationship with my Lord and my Savior… which I do not deserve and cannot earn.
So, what does the new year hold? There are 365 days to fill with words, action, memories, family time, friends, work, pleasure…
We are all given 24 hours in each of those days and making the most of each moment is important. My hope and desire is that God will use me this year to make a difference and show His love to those He places in my path. I have been setting goals and making plans, praying that He directs my steps along the way. The ultimate goal, however, is Christ’s command for us to Go and make Disciples (Matthew 28:19-20).
I hope each of you has a fantastic 2016! I hope that in each second, of each day, you find the Joy of Christ… Joy in the happiness and joy in the sad times. Even Joy in the ordinary days. Set your goals, make your plans, and pray that He orders your steps each and every day. And when you make a mistake, I pray you find joy in His grace…. as you are striving and pressing on to reach the prize. Happy New Year!