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Spiritual New Year Resolutions



The beginning of 2023 ushered in unseasonably warm weather in the Midwest, and I was more than willing to take full advantage of the blessing. My family spent our New Year's Day worshiping at morning church service, laughing together while enjoying yummy brunch at a local eatery, and heading back home to spend the rest of our Sabbath as a family.


As the afternoon moved along, we thought a quiet hike in our woods would perfectly complement the warm weather and sunshine. Our family has deep love and appreciation for the outdoors; it speaks to and fills our hearts powerfully. In the comfort of our backyard, it is a short walk to escape into the woods on our property. This particular day, I found myself with a bird's eye view of the stillness of the world around me as I watched my son excitedly dig into the dirt. It almost seemed nature couldn't quite figure out if it was supposed to wake up from the chill, one we all felt just weeks before underneath layers of snowy ice and harsh winter winds. As I sat soaking in that burst of sunshine, I closed my eyes and began to sink into prayer.


The New Year has long been a time in many of our lives when we start toying with our resolutions, goals we may have for ourselves or things we want to commit to doing more or less of. It's become an opportunity to reflect on where we have been and, looking forward, where we want to go. Admittedly, I've had my fair share of "New Year Resolutions" that included a lot of what I desired for myself, soaking up the opportunity for change and newness –and omitted the consistency of God in MY plans. If we are pursuing God's plans versus our own, we must seek God's will and then take ACTION to glorify Him in all that we do; what a beautiful way to honor God with our spiritual resolutions.



Spiritual Resolutions


While sitting in our woods, I began praising God for the beauty of the day unfolding. I let my heart tumble into a call to action for myself to be accountable to what God desired in this new year, that I would be open to His will and for peace in callings that might be uncomfortable or outside the scope of my understanding. As I finished my quiet time in the sunshine of those woods, I relished the moment my son was watching quietly, each move I was making, each prayer I was whispering, and each praise I was lifting. It opened up a beautiful opportunity for my husband, son, and me to join together and share our "spiritual resolutions" for ourselves. I watched God move in our "resolutions," knowing we had just created a solid tradition to start each new year.


What might a spiritual resolution be in your life in this new year?

  • Commit to getting in God's word daily

  • Pray. Start a daily prayer or gratitude journal

  • Volunteer at your church or within a local ministry organization

  • Be a reflection of God and His love — within your home, your workplace, your friend group, in your daily interactions, and sharing your faith. "But above all these, put on love! Love is the perfect tie to bind these together. Let your hearts fall under the rule of the Anointed's peace (the peace you were called to as one body) and be thankful." — Colossians 3:14-15


As you are moving through the start of this new year, I hope you start a new tradition, carry on a long-standing one, or get back into making spiritual resolutions a cornerstone. I've collected scriptures that speak directly towards our desire for resolutions – make a firm decision to commit to God's desires for your life and heart. You will find no greater resolution to commit to than the ones found chasing after the calling, provision, and eternity God has promised.


With love,


 

BONUS: Shaunna's Top 5 Scriptures to help guide Spiritual Resolutions

No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Let all who are spiritually mature agree on these things. If you disagree on some point, I believe God will make it plain to you. — Philippians 3:13-15


"But forget all that—it is nothing compared to what I am going to do.

For I am about to do something new.

See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?

I will make a pathway through the wilderness.

I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. — Isaiah 43:18-19


"Create in me a clean heart, O God;

restore within me a sense of being brand new.

Do not throw me far away from Your presence,

and do not remove Your Holy Spirit from me." — Psalm 51:10-11


The faithful love of the LORD never ends!

His mercies never cease.

23 Great is his faithfulness;

his mercies begin afresh each morning. — Lamentations 3:22-23


Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly. — Psalm 5:3

 

FREE RESOURCE ALERT!


Hey Fearless Friend! We hope you enjoyed this encouraging message from Shaunna. If you're like all the rest of us, we start strong when pursuing new resolutions, then bam, life hits. We love Shaunna's perspective on making spiritual resolutions a cornerstone, but we also understand what may be running through your mind; how do I hold onto them when life gets in the way?


Christy's literary friend, Jillian Benfield, just released her book The Gift of the Unexpected- Discovering Who You Were Meant To Be When Life Goes Off Plan.


She wants to equip you with this fantastic resource she is releasing alongside her book. 30 Days of Walking Through the Unexpected – Practical Resources to Help You on the Journey is available to you when purchasing. This is a month-long guide to help you undergo the unexpected, to unlearn and learn ideas about your identity, the world, and the Divine who holds it all.

This 30-day resource, full of podcasts, sermons, and short videos from the author, is meant to be a readily accessible companion as you walk through the unexpected in your daily life.

Grab her book here to help you continue to pursue your resolutions when life gets in the way. Then, follow up on your book purchase with the free 30-day resource guide here.

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