My Word for the New Year

The first day of the new school year, Rosh Hashanah, my birthday, New Years Day. All of these are new beginnings, fresh starts. I love fresh starts. I love a good excuse to evaluate and set new goals – makes me feel productive and refreshes my hope in the future.

This year, my RSS feed has been full of new years resolutions, goals, and focuses for this coming year.  I wanted to write something myself, but I was finding myself stuck. I had lots of ideas, but I didn’t know if they were from God, or from my own self.  So instead of blasting full-strength ahead, I’ve spent this week meditating on different things, and I believe now have some direction for 2014.

First of all, I wanted to have an anchor word for 2014.  Something to hold to when my world gets topsy-turvy and I’m losing my focus again.  My anchor word is Intentional.


It’s not all that unique or creative of a word, but it’s where I believe God wants me to focus this year.  In life, we have many seasons.  2013 was a year filled with pregnancy and caring for a newborn.  It was a year of gripping on tightly to the roller-coaster and trusting God to see me through.  And of course, He was faithful as He always is.  When barely holding on, counting the hours of sleep on one hand, it’s hard to live with much intention.  I’m okay with that, though.  I know that the wild ride is part of the season of newborns and new beginnings.  I enjoyed the ride and have so many sweet memories from those months!  I learned a lot about prioritizing my life and letting go of things that don’t truly matter.

Now we’ve begun 2014, and I am thankful for that year of prioritizing and letting go, and it has opened the door for me to live with more intention in this new year.

There are a few areas of my life in which I want to be more intentional.

1. My Walk with God – I desperately need to get back to my daily (pre-kids-waking) quiet time.  I did well on this until Micah was born, and since then it has slipped away.  Must get it back.  Must pursue my God with reckless abandon.   Must hide His Word in my heart. I’ve been a reader of Ann Voskamp’s blog for a few years now, and every year she puts out a Scripture memory challenge.  This year I’m going to do her challenge from 2012, which is to memorize the Sermon on the Mount.

2. My Relationship with Mark – When you introduce a new baby into a family (even if it’s baby #5!), it changes the dynamic of the marriage.  It’s hard to find time for each other when you are constantly caring for the needs of a baby completely dependent on you. Mark and I agreed early on that in those early months, establishing security and trust in our new baby was highest priority, so there have been many times that our own needs have gone on the back burner.  And that’s okay for a season – but it’s SO important to make up that deficit as soon as you can!  And that’s the season that we’re in now – time to make up the deficit.  I was inspired and challenged by Sarah Mae this week to be more intentional in my relationship with my beloved.  I am going to commit to praying for him daily, continuing our bi-weekly dates (and being more creative in planning some fun activities for us this year!), and pursuing him in the bedroom as well. 🙂

3. My Relationship with my Kids – Having 5 kids is hard work.  Hard.  It’s amazingly wonderful, and the blessings far outweigh the work – but it’s still SO hard.  The hardest thing for me is knowing how much I want to pour into each of my children individually, but feeling inadequate in doing so.  There is just only so much time in the day, and there are so many nights when I put my kids to bed and realize that we never really had a chance to connect during the day.  This year, I want to be more intentional about connecting with my kids. I want to listen better and laugh more. I am going to aim to spend one-on-one time with each of them every day (even if it’s just a few minutes).  I am also going to commit to praying for them daily (oh, how many days do I forget that?).

4. Everyday Life – Life gets so filled up with so many things.  Laundry, dishes, cooking, cleaning, errands, doctors appointments, the list goes on and on.  This past year I was able to purge my life of a few things that didn’t belong in it anymore, but it’s still so full.  Part of being intentional for me will be learning to be more efficient.  Also, I need to cut down my internet time in a big way.  I need to use the internet with intention – not just as a mindless way to disengage from the craziness.  Anyone else there with me?

2014.  Here’s to a year of intentional life!

– Judy

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