A Year to Renew

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Its that time of year again, time for new goals and resolutions. BLAH, BLAH, BLAH. I pretty much HATE resolutions. Without fail, I will FAIL at achieving resolutions. Goals make me stressed and teary, just ask the trainer at my gym. Life happens and I get off track, never getting back on. Resolutions just don’t work for me. Ever.

A few years ago, I wanted to choose a word to focus on for the year. That year, the word was “Grace” because I realized that forgiveness is one thing, but grace is completely different. I needed to dive into the word “Grace” and how it played a factor into my life at the time. The Lord had done some work on me regarding forgiveness that year, but grace was where I struggled.

I jumped into a word study on “Grace”. I researched the meaning. I studied the every verse in the Bible that referred to grace. I also read several books on the theme of grace. That year of studying was unforgettable and I grew in my faith as I learned how impactful God’s grace is on my life, having grace for myself, as well as having grace for others.

Therefore, I am jumping into this whole “word of the year” thing again. The last couple of years have been HARD. Moving twice and a year dealing with a fibromyalgia diagnosis has left me drained spiritually, mentally, and physically. I need a year of renewal. I need to “renew” my spirit, my mind, and my body.

To be spiritually renewed, I want to focus more on prayer at the beginning of my day. Even just a few minutes talking to God about the day and laying it at his feet for direction. I need a more intentional prayer time that focuses on my family, friends, and personal struggles.

For mental renewal, I have wanted to read the Bible through for a long time. I debated reading through chronologically because the Bible isn’t set up that way. Then I heard someone talking about the reading plan in my new “She Reads Truth Bible”. The plan takes you through 4 different books at the Bible, one chapter at a time. The chapters appear to be random, but after reading for two days, I love the connections and parallels I am seeing between the books.

Physical renewal is the most challenging for me so, I have joined a gym. Its not the fanciest facility, but it is convenient and easy. One motivation to join came from my daughter who desperately needs time at the gym to help with her chronic pain. While going to the gym is not my favorite, I’m hoping it will become a major stress reliever.

Some years, resolutions, goals, or even words to live by were not possible. If I had any word, it would have been “no” or better yet “survive”. If that’s where you find yourself in 2019, you’re not alone. The circumstances of life sometimes have us taking our days “moment by moment”. Those were the years I forced myself to count what small blessings I could find. The little gifts are there. The air that fills your lungs and the blood that runs through your veins could simply give you the word “live”. Live with meaning, with purpose. If your best day involves a shower, making it to work, or feeding your little ones…do that. Live in those moments.

Perhaps your resolutions could be come more or less like experiments, as one of my favorite podcasters, Annie F. Downs, shares. What would your life look like if you ate more vegetables for a year? Or drank less alcohol? Or spent less time on social media? Choosing an experiment makes the act of making and failing at resolutions less, well, resolute.

However you choose to begin 2019, hold your head up. You weren’t the same as you were a year ago, nor will you be the same in 2020. What if you simply chose to be better? Strive to be kinder than the person you were yesterday. Don’t overthink it. Talk to God about what you could do to be a little better than you were yesterday. You might find He has plenty of ideas in mind.

Happy New Year!

Published by Leah Lively

Born and raised in Virginia, Leah’s faith journey began in a loving family and a small church in a small town. As writer, blogger, and an aspiring speaker, Leah also enjoys reading, watching movies, and creating memories with her family. Leah is motivated by 2 Corinthians 13:11 where Paul encourages the church in Corinth to “become mature and be encouraged, be of the same mind, be at peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you.” She wants believers to grow in their faith and discover a hunger for God’s word. Leah’s genuine and authentic style of presenting the gospel lays a foundation for readers to learn more of God’s Truths. Through the challenges of life, Leah's greatest desire is to let you know you are not alone and there is a God who walks with you through the wilderness.

4 thoughts on “A Year to Renew

  1. When I hear the word “resolution” I am saddened. I feel that the resolution hype for a new year is so popular because the stigma of failure and don’t we just love to hear about someone’s failure. What a simple and profound solution you proffer. Yes, they are goals, but goals that are easily attainable and the rewards are huge. May your blessing for 2019 be too numerous to count. Your favorite fan with love.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So, I have felt this year my word is Grace. I have been struggling for confirmation. I think this is my confirmation and I need to follow God’s lead.

    “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭15:10‬ ‭KJV‬‬


    1. I HIGHLY recommend “What’s So Amazing About Grace” by Phillip Yancey and “The Case for Grace” by Lee Strobel. Definitely the Yancey book first. Be moved by grace, Judy!


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