John 10:10 says, "The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy; I came that you may have life, and have it abundantly."
So for the year 2010, I am going to memorize this verse and it's reference because I'm going to discuss 10 goals for the year 2010 with the frame of mind that Jesus came for me to have life...and have it abundantly. I will call this my 10:10 challenge.
1. You've already read several blogs last year about my efforts to lose weight. I know that I must pray for the fruit of the spirit of self-control. I will have to pray for this daily (umm...probably more like hourly). But I know He does not like how I'm indulging in unhealthy habits (poor food choices, lack of physical activity) so my goal this year is to lose 40 pounds AND run the 5K Susan G Komen Race for the Cure this year...hopefully with a certain friend who said she would train with me!
2. To be a genuine follower of Christ, I must spend more time in His word. I fall short with this so badly. And even if I read a passage that I have studied in the past, it's always amazing to me when He reveals something completely different the second, third, etc time that I've read it. To live abundantly, according to His word, means I have to be IN the word. My goal is to read the bible daily, more than likely in the morning before everyone is up - unless I'm training for the 5K at that time, then I'll need to read at night when everyone is in bed! :o) I would like one of those Joy FM "Read the bible in a year" cards...
3. While Josh and I really love the principals that Dave Ramsey teaches, and while it has really changed how we go about doing things, I am still not a perfect FPU student! My goal is to be debt free (with the exception of our mortgage) by August. This means that every "big" check that we receive from now until then MUST be put towards our AES payment (student loans). So when I see that big deposit in my account from our tax return (there is one financial plus to having many small children...ha!) or when Josh is paid in March for coaching basketball, or when he makes extra money this summer (either teaching summer school or working at UPS) I cannot let myself get off track. I also must stick with our debt snowball and continue making extra payments towards AES, even though we owe far less each month. Living abundantly means being free from the bondage of debt. What a freeing feeling this will be.
4. One of the topics I did not mention was "off limits" back in my why I blog entry has to do with me and Josh. I will not discuss our specific struggles, even though I've read "famous" bloggers and their confessions of trying times. Like when MckMama shared that she and her husband had a fight so bad that the cops had to be called. No, that has not happened to us! As if that would be kept secret anyway in a small town! ;o) But I just can't see myself telling my readers that type of thing. Mostly because - for me - it's a respect issue. But I will share that this past year has been very difficult for us, and in 2010 my goal is to make Josh - our marriage - a top priority. I feel as though I have let "us" fall by the wayside. I want to speak kindly in all circumstances. I want to encourage him daily. And I want to commit to being more consistent with physical intimacy...yeah, that's sort of blunt, and perhaps TMI, but I realize that a marriage needs intimacy in that way.
5. Proverbs 31:28 says "Her children arise and call her blessed." I keep thinking...when my children are old enough to understand, would they arise and call me blessed? If they are asked, "Who influenced you the most in your spiritual walk?" would they say me? I want to be a better mother, really. I want to keep my cool when they disobey, and I want to pray for my children and with my children every day. My goal is to become a more Godly mother, and while I realize this is a hard one to quantify, I know that the Lord will bless me in my efforts and show me in the days to come how I can be more like Him to my children. I know that living abundantly means raising my children in the way God has asked me.
6. While we're speaking of Proverbs 31, in verse 27 it says, "She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness." My goal is to be a better homemaker, and while that title usually doesn't set well with me, right here in this verse it clearly says that I am to be a homemaker! Even working moms are homemakers. We are to watch over the affairs of our household. And I know that this means being on top of the house work - laundry, dishes, bedrooms, etc - and it also means not to be idle. Sometimes it's easy to just sit and watch a show with the kids, and I'm not saying that I won't ever do that. But I needed to realize that playing is a part of my day just as much as keeping up with the house.
7. Another goal is to seek ways to further His kingdom with the gifts He's given me. I know that He has equipped each of us with specific talents and abilities, and this year I've been really having a hard time knowing what I'm supposed to be doing with those abilities. I like to write. Should I be using it in some way other than my blog? I like to sing. What do I do with that? So this one will be a daily journey for me, I'm still trying to figure it out. But I want to be more consistent with seeking His direction for me.
8. Over the course of the last eight months or so, I must confess that prayer has been difficult for me. But...my goal is to have consistent communication with God. To pray...even if I don't understand.
9. This next one isn't really all that spiritual in some ways, yet I suppose some would argue that it is. I want to encourage far less TV time within my family. I'm not sure what the balance should be, but I'm thinking two shows in the mornings (for the kids) and then perhaps two shows in the evenings for all of us - like Wheel of Fortune! It just seems like we're spending too much time watching TV. And while we're on the subject of wasting time, I need to limit myself on the computer...drastically. If I'm spending the mornings and evenings reading God's word or training for a 5K and the rest of the time I spend with my kids, that means facebook and blogging would be put on the back burner. But I really love to write, so I'd like to fit it in somewhere! Any suggestions?
10. Ah, the final goal. I want so badly to have a more compassionate spirit towards others. I want to be less critical when someone does something that seems so wrong in my mind. Sometimes we can use scripture to discern when something is right or wrong, but sometimes we just need to show compassion even if someone isn't living according to His word. This is hard for me, and I don't want it to be. I will be praying that God will give me the compassion that I long for.
What are your goals for 2010? What can you change to live your life more abundantly?
I was really sick while writing most of these, so please excuse any typos.
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