at the Water's Edge

Living life and learning all I can along the way!

Happy New Year!

I’m not usually one to make New Year’s resolutions.  I guess I just think I should make changes in my life whenever I realize that I need to make changes.  However, it is nice to take time each year to reflect and think about improvements you can make.  This year, I decided to set three goals for myself.  They’re pretty general, but I think these three things have the power to drastically change the way I live and hopefully my attitude and interaction with others.

Goal #1: To Pray More
Prayer is crucial.  It is how we communicate with God.  And, as with any relationship, we need to spend time together and communicate to stay connected.  The Bible tells us to pray at all times, or continuously (1 Thessalonians 5:17).  I think it’s important to be able to lift up prayers to God throughout the day, as you’re going about doing other things.  However, I also think it’s important to set time aside to focus on prayer and being alone with God.  Jesus would often seek out a solitary place where he could pray, and that is the example I need to follow.  I’m not as good as I used to be about carving out time specifically for this purpose.  My goal in 2011 is to make that more of a habit, and by doing so to be more connected with God, and to be more connected to others by praying for them on a regular basis.

Goal #2: To Love More
This is the most generic of my goals, but I will tell you what I mean by it.  To me, the first step to loving others is to look to their needs and try to meet them.  This may seem obvious, but it becomes difficult to do when we spend all of our time and energy focused on ourselves.  I want to be others-focused so that I can love them better.  I want to be less selfish, and to make conscious decisions to do things for and to encourage other people.  I’m in a women’s bible study with my church this year and a phrase keeps popping up in various forms and it has stuck with me: living intentionally.  We may make good decisions by default sometimes, but I want to deliberately make decisions that can build up other people and to not do or say things that don’t (Ephesians 4:29).  Intentionally choosing to love requires more effort and requires paying attention to the things you do and say.  I will never be where I want to be in this area, but I’m hoping to make some progress this year.

Goal #3: To Complain Less
I have a blessed life.  Really.  If I stop and think about it, God has given me so much and I have no reason to complain about anything.  But, I do.  We all do.  The problem with complaining is that it really doesn’t make us feel any better.  My mom was talking about how she was challenging herself and co-workers to go a day without complaining.  It’s hard—especially at work!  Try it.  But if you succeed (even partially), you find that your mood lightens, and I’ll bet other people find you more pleasant to be around.  I don’t want to be a complainer; nobody likes a complainer.  So, my goal for this year is to stop myself before I say anything and to do my best to look at the bright side of whatever situation I feel like whining or grumbling about.  This is kind of funny, but I just looked up “complain” in the Word thesaurus, and it gives “praise” as the antonym.  So that will be my goal: to turn my complaints to praise.  We are called to do everything without complaining or arguing (Philippians 2:14) and to give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18).  This will be a hard one.  Tell me when I’m complaining so I can stop!

So, that’s a tall order for 2011, and we’ll see how it goes!  How about you, did you make any resolutions for this year?

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Hi there! My name is Dana and I live in West Michigan with my husband, Tom and our dog Copernicus. I created this space as a place to share the things I learn along this journey I call life. I work in marketing and I'm a sort of Jane of All Trades, interested in all things nature, gardening, cooking, exploring and learning new things. This blog is a conglomeration of my interests, hobbies, life and life lessons. Thanks for stopping by!