1. Read every word of the Bible in a year.
2. Write on my blog at least once a week.
3. Leave the Nashville area at least four times.
So, how did I do? Well, I accomplished two of the three, and if you read my blog regularly, you know at which one I failed. :-)
I did read every word of the Bible in a year, and I left Nashville four times. (We went to Dallas twice, I went to Townsend, TN for a women's retreat in the spring, and we went to Bryson City, NC for our anniversary over the summer.) I did not manage to blog once every week, but I did become a little more consistent about blogging than I had once been, so it is at least a step in the right direction.
Here are a few specific thoughts on reaching my goals:
Reading the Bible
Reading the whole Bible last year was amazing. I wasn't always consistent about reading every single day, but I did promise myself I'd get done in a year, and I did. Reading God's word from Genesis to Revelation was enlightening and powerful and it at least doubled or tripled the size of the box I put God in. I have been a Christian for almost twenty-six years, and I had never once read the entire Old Testament. I feared it, and now I have to admit I really enjoyed it! If it's possible, salvation means even more when you read the whole story. What an amazing, thorough, perfect, incomprehensible plan God has for us! Why on earth I hadn't taken the time to read God's whole love story to us is beyond me!
I have two friends already who have told me they have made reading the Bible a goal for 2012. I am so encouraged that others want to take this magnificent journey, too. I have been asked now several times what reading plan Jim and I used, so in case you are interested, here are the details:
- We used a chronological reading plan. Personally, I have never understood how all of the pieces of Bible history fit together. Before, if you had talked to me about "before or after Babylonian captivity" I would have given you a blank stare. Reading the Bible in chronological order helped me to connect the dots I already had as well as put some in place that I didn't even know I was missing.
- The website we used is http://www.youversion.com/. I like youversion because it can sync up with your phone (I finished some readings in car line, at the airport, or at the chiropractor), and it gives you a check box after you've finished a chapter. This doesn't sound like a big deal, but for someone like me who doesn't always keep up with reading (or who may get interrupted by needy little people), it is very helpful to know where you left off. I'm not saying that youversion is what everyone should use, but it met my needs better than anything else I found.
- I read a translation that was comfortable for me so I could apply it to my life. It wasn't King James and it wasn't The Message, but it was somewhere in between. :-)
I really am a happier person when I see new things and have adventures to look forward to. This past year was a difficult year for us financially and emotionally as we had a lot of unexpected things come our way. I really think that one of the reasons our marriage stayed so strong is because we had three trips out of town together without the kids. This is a lot (!), and I know it isn't realistic to think we will have a luxury like that every year. However, I believe that God knew what we needed and when we needed it, and He provided perfectly.
Having a "successful" blog isn't as important to me as keeping a record of our daily lives and milestones and having a forum I can use to connect with other women like me. It does make me a little sad when I pour my heart and soul into a post and no one comments here on the blog, but I've decided that if the blog isn't for me and my family, it isn't worth having. So for now I'm okay with posting when I am able and letting go of the rest.
I am still trying to figure out what my personal goals are for 2012. (I do have some house goals, and I'll share those in the next few days!) I really liked having goals this past year, and I feel a little lost and directionless without them right now (which is so weird, since I have never set any like this before). However, I know that this year is going to be very different with a newborn, and I don't want to get in over my head. So, I'm praying and waiting, and I guess we'll see what God lays on my heart.
How about you? Did you set goals last year? How did you do? Do you have goals for 2012?