3 things to ask yourself before the New Year

I often bite off more than I can chew. I underestimate how long it takes to do something. I overestimate my ability to complete things without help from others. I chalk it up to my optimism. My husband would say it is my denial of reality. Ha! This often leaves me disappointing myself and others. I’m learning to track my time, break projects down into manageable bite-sized pieces, and give myself deadlines along the way when doing large projects. Even still, each New Year’s Eve and birthday can be bittersweet. Sweet thinking ahead to the new year and all of the promise it holds and bitter in thinking of all that I had hoped to accomplish by this date but am leaving unfinished.

Last night as I was doing laundry, thoughts started to creep in my mind of all that I had wanted to accomplish this year that didn’t happen. Some small things, some big things. Then I thought of what I could accomplish with the last day that remained in the year and I heard that still small voice say one word: love. “By this all men will know you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Yes, it is good to have goals. It is good to accomplish things and create things and finish things but God reminded me that more than all of that, He is concerned with how I love both others and myself.

So the three questions for reflection today are: How have you loved others? How have you loved yourself? How have you expressed your love for God?

Spend some time today reflecting on your loved ones and how you have shown that love. Do you need to make a phone call, write a letter, send an email? Do you need to forgive someone? Do you need to forgive yourself for something you did or did not do? Do you need to make a list of all of the reasons you love and worship your Creator?

Do you need to show yourself some love? The enemy will give you an overall feeling of failure and remind you of your past mistakes in bulk. God won’t do that. The moment you ask for forgiveness, it is as far as the east is from the west. “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us” Psalm 103:12 . God will not remind you of your past failures but instead will point you toward your future and fill you with hope. (Jeremiah 29:11) He will help you to work on one thing at a time, in manageable bit-sized chunks. If you are feeling defeated and beaten down because of a tough year, allow yourself time to confess your mistakes and then forget them just as Jesus does. Share your disappointment and hurt for what did or did not happen this year with God and then trust that He is in control and His timing is perfect.

God still has just enough time in your life to fulfill His unique purpose for your life. Move forward into the new year full of hope and free from any guilt that’s trying to follow into the new year. You may not have time to deep clean your whole house, learn to speak another language, or earn the money necessary to pay off your debt, but you still have time to love. And in the end, isn’t that what really matters anyway?

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