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Monday, January 2, 2017

What Is To Be Done With 2017?'s here. A new year. Another 12 months. Another 365 days gifted to us to use...what will we choose to do? 
I find this time of year quite thought-provoking because it gets me reflecting on the passing year and asking myself questions about the year up ahead. I often think about whether or not I spent the previous 12 months well. Did I take advantage of the little moments well? Did I cut down on the wasted hours? Did I choose faith in greater measure? Did I gain some victory (however small) over some fear in my weak heart? 
Although only God knows fully whether or not I made the best choices in this one year gifted to me, I can often count up many times where I gained in some small measure. I can also recollect a few occasions where fear got the better of me, where pride maybe reigned large and humility took a back seat, where I wasn't intentional with another person...and I missed a chance to be the hands and feet of my Savior to them. Whatever the situation, I nearly always walk into a New Year, pleading God's forgiveness for risks not taken, for directions not obeyed, for faith not exercised, etc. and striving to get it better in the year to come. 
This New Year is now upon us. Laying in our hands is another gift from God to us. What will we do in this New Year? What will we do with 2017? 
This year will be filled with great successes and, most likely, great disappointments. It will be mixed with happiness and sorrow as is the case in any life. But we can choose how we're going to live each day that we're given...because only He knows if this could be our last year on this earth. Will we live this one life - one day at a time - well?! 
As for me, I intend to strive for the following this coming year: I want to be more intentional with the people closest to me - to passionately pursue my relationships with an ever-growing love that stems from the grace shown to me by my Savior. I hope to pray deeper - to not merely use prayer as a means to get God's attention about things that matter to me like healing for sick ones, safety in travels, etc. but to learn how to align myself with His will in all seek His face above all else. I choose to dare more - harkening back to the #365dare that I issued around Thanksgiving, I'm making the decision to stop playing my faith get out of my comfort zone and to start living life large for God. Because He isn't confined to some little box that I've set up for Him, why should I continue to live life as if that's the case for me as His follower?! I want to conquer even more fears in my life than I did in 2016. I've grown a lot the last year in the area of belief and faith, of trusting God even when circumstances tell you "it's impossible." I want to take that growth to greater heights in the months to come. 
These are just a few of the things that I hope to accomplish, with God's grace, in 2017. I know you have dreams and hopes of your own for this coming year. Whatever our goals and aspirations are, let's all determine together that we will use this one year well. 
Every day, may we wake up and open our hearts and hands saying, "Here, Lord, use my one life today. A broken offering I may be, but I'm willing, and that is all You need."