New Year, New Appreciation for The Word

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The New Year is a fresh start, but it can come with a bit of pressure, right?
What are your New Year's Resolutions?! Did you take adequate time to really reflect on the past year? You probably should or you're not going to change as much as you should in the future. Are your resolutions doable or too unrealistic? I mean, they should be a little out of reach so you can really go for it, right?

It seems like people either lean to the side of having a lot of goals and resolutions, or not doing any because it's just so overwhelming and unrealistic and you can't be bothered (I tend to lean more toward this end).

It’s a couple weeks into the New Year now, so let’s do a little check-in. Do you still have your "New Year, New Me" mindset? Are you keeping up with those goals? Have any died off? Resolutions can be great things, so I’m not saying that it’s pointless to make some goals to better yourself. I even decided to jump on the bandwagon this year with some things I’ll share in a bit.

A question that probably influences your resolutions (or intentions - a friend used this word instead and I quite like it) is “what’s really important?” If you see your physical health as being really important and something that you want to see as a priority this year, you’ll probably execute a new or better eating plan, hit the gym a little more, or drink more water. If you see your mental health as one of your most important things, incorporating more self-care might be a priority for you.

Another thing that influences these decisions is the end result. What’s the goal? Lose weight? Feel better about yourself? Grow in your creativity? Learn a new skill? Get out of your comfort zone? Talk to any self-help pro and they’ll tell you that finding your ‘Why?’ is one of the most important things.

By the end of 2019, what would you like to say you’ve done? More importantly, who do you want to be by the end of the year? What do you want to be true of you?

May I propose some things?

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What if you loved Jesus more this year? What if you lived, really lived, in light of the truth and promises He offers? What if you came to know God’s Word unlike ever before? What if you were enabled to make bigger and bolder decisions and commitments in light of the abundant life Jesus promises when you say “yes” to Him? What if you discovered more of who God created & intended you to be? What if you came out from under the yoke of unrealistic expectations of perfection, trying harder, or doing your best to just get it right. What if you experienced true grace? What if you saw freedom from habitual sin? What if you experienced more of the Gospel working itself out in your life as you look to Jesus as the only One Who could and did get it right so that you could experience the freedom that results from death being defeated?

Okay. That was a lot. I got fired up. But what if?!

I truly believe - I know - that God’s Word offers all of these things. His Word is the primary means by which we get to know Him. And all of those other great benefits listed above are just extra. Now that’s a great ‘why?’.

I’m in this too. I got a little off track last year with my reading plan so I’m picking it back up - that’s okay! Want to join me in this endeavor?!
Let’s know the Lord more this year.

Here’s a great plan that I know multiple people are using. If you didn’t start on the 1st, that’s okay! Start today. Tick them off as you go!

Here’s the Reading Plan app I’m using. You can pick your start date as today (or whenever you start) and even choose from different plans, whether thematic, chronologically, book by book, etc. I’m doing the chronological plan to get a better grasp of the bigger story in light of the order that the books were written.

who’s with me?

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For the sake of it, here are some of my other New Year’s Intentions, which are far more realistic & doable than years past, so I’m hoping they’ll stick! :

  • I want to wisely use my social media platforms, like this one, to post more encouraging and raw things about how God is working in my life. Social media is used for so many negative things. Let’s get in there and redeem it, shall we?

  • Similar to that, I want to have at least semi-regular blog posts. I journal my personal thoughts more than I post here, but I want to get into a routine of sharing some of those thoughts with the world. If all we post are the highlight reels and pretty filters, what good is that? And if you’d like to help me with this, feel free to share if there’s any content you’d like to see on the blog!

  • READ MORE. In addition to the Bible, I’d love to start and finish more books this year. I’m doing pretty well so far! I’ve been trying to have my downtime by 10:30pm and read a book before going to bed. Which leads into my next thing.

  • Utilizing the Screen Time feature on my phone has honestly been so great. It’s become a competition with myself to get my weekly percentage down. And the time limits on the individual apps have helped my discipline so much in saying “okay, I’m done.” You guys, we have more self control than we think we do.

  • I’d like to be better at picking up the phone to call friends (& answer when they call), and being off when I’m in their presence.

  • In addition to staying in the Word, I want to memorize more Scripture. I want to get it down deep into my heart. If you grew up in the church, you know that Scripture memory was a regular thing in Sunday school. At what point did we lose that, and why? There’s a real battle going on out there and we can guard ourselves from it as much as we can, but we also need to sharpen our knowledge of our primary offensive weapon, am I right?

  • I want to pace myself - focusing on the essentials and doing a few things really well, giving them each the time and dedication they deserve.

feel free to share yours with me!
you can drop any thoughts below :)

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Jocelyn Hepler