Thursday, December 28, 2017

Thinking Back For Thinking Forward

I hope this post isn't going to be cliched, but it is that time of year again. People take stock of the year that has been and make resolutions and goals for the year to come. I, for one, am not one of those people. I do take stock - but not to make resolutions or goals. Maybe it is my personality (or the fact that I know my flaws quite well), but I know I won't keep any goals or resolutions. So, I don't make any.

But, that isn't to say that I don't do something about the thinking I do. Rather than goals per se, I try and have a focus for the year ahead. (This is actually going to be a post in itself, so stay tuned.) The focus I prayerfully choose is usually based on the struggles and growth I have seen in myself and life from the year that has just been.

For example, this past year, my focus has been faithfulness. Some might have said that was my "word" for the year, though I don't think I had it in mind like that. Rather, at the beginning of this year, when I was looking back on 2016, I knew that God had been calling me to be more faithful in my daily life. I have struggled in the past (and still do!) with inconsistency. That seemed a major thing that God kept bringing up last year.

Though it hasn't always been on my mind, over this year, I can definitely see how I have grown in faithfulness. I am not where I would love to be, but I can see so much growth this year, and I know that growth has come because my heart has been prayerful and aware over it. I am so thankful!

For the year ahead, I have been thinking over all that God has been doing in me - the struggles and growth - and have decided that my focus is going to have three parts: a word, a scripture, a quote. I am still working on this, which is what I will share on soon. But perhaps this might help you as you think over this year in your life? 

Talk to the Lord about your focus. Be honest with your weaknesses and struggles this past year. Let God's Word speak on those heart and behavioural issues. Let the Holy Spirit guide you as you seek to have an intentional focus for your days coming in 2018. Only God knows what is ahead and I have met with many people before who have chosen a focus or word and have been awed how God used it (or led them to it), often in a way they never expected.

So we know that we can trust God with the year coming, just as He has kept us this past year. Whether 2017 was the worst year of your life or one of the best, let our hearts consider the works God has done and prayerfully look to 2018.

"Let us number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom." Psalm 90:12

In my next post, I will go into more detail about my three-part focus for 2018. And I hope to share a printable with you, too.


  1. This was wonderful! I do not really know a lot about the focus word thing. Jessica @ Overwhelmed to Fulfilled and I were talking about it the other day and I told her that if I were to choose one for the past year it would be "loved". I have learned so much about His love over the last year. And really grasped my husbands love for me this past year as well. This has changed so much in my life over the last year. I think this will be my focus in my next Facebook live. I love that you are choosing the way you are and can not wait to see your next post!

    Thanks for linking up at Live Life Well!!



    1. I love how much God has been impressing love upon you this past year - how wonderful and gracious He is to us! And thanks so much for a great link-up to join up to, such a blessing! Happy New Year!

  2. I love that you review your previous year, not just for accomplishments or need for imporovement, but for what God has been working on and whispering. I think we get too wrapped up in our goals and what we did and didn't do and don't give God's handiwork in our everday life enough attention. I personally love goal setting, but we are so much more than that. This year I looked back on 2017 with two spiritual based questions. Where did I see God move in my life? What area was God stirring up in me that I didn't obey? I was in such awe of Him after I wrote the long list of His hand moving in my life. Can't wait to see you focus for 2018. Thanks for linking up with us at Live Life Well. :)

    1. Thank you so much Jessica, I love your heart for God and all that He is doing in your life!

  3. God has been using focus words to draw me near to Him the past two years. I have had a year of “Commit,” which was such a blessing and one that I still struggle with. Last year was a year of “Seek.” Seek to know more of God and seek to learn more. This year God has placed on my heart “Reflect.” Reflect on how God has worked in my life, where I have come from, and where I am at. I completely agree that we can trust God with the year ahead, just as He has kept us this past year. My hope is that this year will help me recognize His hand at work more and more. I hope that this year is full of joy and blessings for you!

    1. This is so beautiful, Frankie. What a heritage of God's hand so personally on your life. Thank you so much for commenting and sharing your encouraging thoughts and experience!