Everything is permissible for me, but not all things are beneficial. Everything is permissible for me, but I will not be enslaved by anything [and brought under its power, allowing it to control me]. (1 Corinthians 6:12, AMP)
Happy New Year! It always feels so great to start a brand new year. I don’t know about you but I love starting with a clean slate, new goals, and fresh opportunities to see God work. The last few years I have tried to make themes for my years instead of a list of goals. I still have goals every year but I have an overarching theme that I keep my mind on. This year my theme word is Essential and I will be asking myself daily “Is it Essential?” Is what I’m doing essential to my marriage, my boys, my writing, my books, my website, my ministry, my family, and my life in Christ.
It seems so easy to get caught up in the non-essentials of life. My calendar can become so full of things that really don’t matter and don’t impact eternity. This year, I’m going to step back and focus in on what’s essential for my life. Webster’s dictionary defines essential as this, “extremely important and necessary”. Is what I’m doing extremely important and necessary? I need to evaluate that every day as I come in contact with all kinds of things that really aren’t necessary.
One synonym I really like for essential is Vital. Is this vital? There are many things that aren’t vital. In fact, if you were to come to my house you would pretty quickly notice what’s vital for me. It’s not always vital to have the house spick and span. There are toys in pretty much every room. The dust has settled in and made itself at home among my shelves. Some things and some rooms are a little unorganized. My life before kids was a little more neat and tidy. I had a place for everything and everything in it’s place. I’ve learned to relax a little bit. The toys remind me that kids live here. They are my greatest blessing and I don’t need a clean house right now. I guess you could say I live in an organized mess. I clean one room to find another in disarray. It’s great, I love it because I love my boys and I love what God has given me in this season of life.
My free minutes are spent here writing instead of dusting off every shelf. My time is better spent advancing the Kingdom. I don’t want to miss an opportunity to talk about Jesus and the work of God in my life. I want to make the Lord known in every possible way. God has been so very good to me and I want to celebrate that daily through writing.
I have a flood of ideas in my mind and visions of what I could potentially do with books and the website. But I daily ask God to help me see what is essential. Lord, what’s essential for the ministry you have for me. I don’t want to go a thousand different directions and do a mediocre job. I want to go with a few things and do them to the best of my ability. Being a wife comes first, then a mommy, after that I can spend time writing. I try to keep this all in perspective because the greatest impact I can have on eternity is through a marriage centered on Christ and children raised to follow Jesus.
My goal is to get out a newsletter every week. I would love to see it go out on Mondays, but that doesn’t always work with the reality I live in and I choose not to stress about it. I’ll write devotionals as time allows. I’ll continue to write books as God places them on my heart and gives me the time to write them. I’ll make what’s important my priority this year. I will choose to keep in mind, “Is it Essential?”
My theme verse for the year is…
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9)
As I evaluate what’s essential for the year, I want to remember that everything I do is for the glory of God. I may not visibly see the harvest but that doesn’t mean I stop planting the seeds. I will continue with what the Lord has on my heart to do and trust Him for the harvest. Will you trust God for the harvest in your life? Will you do good even when the harvest isn’t readily available? I pray that we will keep our eyes fixed on Jesus this year and be more concerned about eternity than anything else. May we live to the glory of our King and may our lives only serve to make Jesus known!
Dear Father God, I pray that 2016 will be my best year yet. Lord, please help me to daily evaluate what is essential. May my eyes be fixed on Jesus the author and perfecter of my faith. May I be sensitive to your Holy Spirit’s leading and may your Word be the lamp unto my feet. Lord, I pray I can make an eternal difference this year. Please help me to make an impact for your Kingdom alone!
Going after the Essentials,