New year, new goals...

What I really want to know is, how did 2011 get here so fast? It's true what they say...the older you get, the faster time moves. Maybe we just imagine it. Maybe we're more attuned to our own mortality? Or maybe we just have faultier memories! When our kids were still young, the pastor of our church at the time talked about the goals for the gospel reaching the whole world. He predicted we would have reached that evangelistic goal by 2012-2015. I remember at the time thinking how far away that seemed. He claimed that Jesus wouldn't return until all the world had heard, (theology I don't necessarily agree with - because I believe His return has always been imminent) but at the time, I thought, "So long? That's SO far away!"

And here we are already at 2011...and my kids are grown with goals of their own and the good news about Jesus is more easily spread through the Internet, which had not even been invented then. (How old that makes me feel!) :)

But alas, there is no turning time back, so we must look forward to what God has in mind for us this year. I heard on the news of a coach who still coaches at 84 years old. My mom is older than he is. I told her it was time she write a book. Or take up painting. As long as we have breath, God still has a plan for our lives.

With that plan in mind, I should probably set some of my own goals for this year. I'm not really a resolution maker, but I did decide I wanted to do three things:

Be more thankful, less anxious, and trust God for things that only He can do.

To begin this practice, one night before the new year, I wrote in my prayer journal an entire page of thank yous. Some requests were contained in those thank yous, to be sure, but it's amazing what gratitude does for my attitude and my anxiety. Perhaps all three of my goals can be answered in one act of gratefulness. God has given me so much already - it is good to acknowledge that on a regular basis.

But I've also got a number of big needs on my heart for family and friends, needs only God can meet, things too big for me or anyone else to handle. God knows what they are. So I've started to thank Him for what He's going to do to meet them. His Word contains many promises to those who love him, and sometimes I hesitate to pray with them in mind. But, He says we have not because we ask not. The answer may be no or wait, but it won't be yes if I don't even ask! Well...maybe it would because He knows all things and can read my heart, but He wants me to ask Him. So I do.

It's not a lengthy list, but these are my goals. Specifics will come day to day.

On another note...yesterday, as Randy and I took down the Christmas decorations, I was reminded of the 1/11/11 date. I realized that exactly two months from that date, Bathsheba will release! A new book for a new year. :) I truly hope Bathsheba's story will be all that it can be, and that readers will be encouraged by this fascinating woman of Scripture. (Not that my interpretation is fascinating, but that this woman is one who has always fascinated me.) :)

If you live in the Detroit area, I will be doing a booksigning for the book probably late February. Stay tuned for more information.

In the meantime, it's back to work tomorrow. Time to dig in to researching and plotting the 2nd book in my next series while finishing a marketing worksheet for the first book in that series, which I turned in to Revell in late November. Of course, there are always other projects...cleaning, baking, reading...

A blessed, joyous new year to all~

PersonalJill Eileen Smith