Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Look Back and Looking Ahead

I am amazed at how fast time flies. When I look at my children it just floors me how quickly they grow up.  This year we began a new phase of life, raising a teenager.  I can hear you chuckling, stop it. 2012 brings us to yet another teenager, (you are laughing again, I can hear you!), a preteen and it will be the last year we have a child in the single digits.  Goodness, where did the time go!?  2012 is days away!

Last year I did a week long series on preparing for 2011.  This week I looked back over the series.  (This is one of the many things I love about blogging, it is like a journal that I can go back over.)  We talked about:


I am not one for setting New Year's resolutions.  They seem made just to be broken.  But I do think this time of year is a great time to evaluate your life and see where you can improve.

How can we prepare ourselves for 2012?

Look back over your relationship with Christ over the past year.  We all have room for improvement.  We will never "arrive" in this area this side of Heaven. So what can you do to become closer to God in the new year?  Have your quiet times with God been consistent?  Are your prayers one sided, are you listening to Him as much as talking to Him?  Spend time praying and thinking about this area and how you can improve.

Think about your marriage in 2011.  Did you and your spouse date each other?  Did you spend time in prayer together, did you pray for your spouse each day? Do you need to work on listening to your spouse more?  Have you done little random acts to show your love, such as love notes, or a spontaneous text saying how great he/she is?  Think about how you can work more on your marriage in the new year.

Look at your parenting and relationship with your children from the past year.  Did you speak kindly to your kids and give them eye contact?  Did you pray for them, read the Bible with them or encourage them to read?  Did you spend real quality time with them?  Pray and talk to your spouse about this area, if you're brave (smiles), ask for their constructive criticism on how you can improve.

One area my husband and I have felt like we have been lacking in is service.  How did you serve others in 2011?  Like us, do you need to improve in this area?  We talked with our pastor recently about serving others when finances do not always allow.  His suggestion was this, start small.  Take five dollars a week out of a paycheck (or $2 or $3, whatever you can).  That is a small amount that your will likely not notice missing.  You can use that five dollars to bless someone small that week, such as coffee, a hamburger, or gallon of milk.  Or you can save the money each week and after a month or two you will have enough to buy gas or groceries for someone.  Service does not always have to be monetary.  Do little random acts of kindness such as raking leaves, mowing a lawn, or babysitting for no charge.  How was your service in 2011?  How can you improve?

Friends, I greatly encourage you to spend some time this week alone and/or with your spouse and evaluate these areas and any others God brings to your mind.  Where can you improve?  We all have room for improvement!

"See, I am doing a new thing!
   Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? 
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland."
Isaiah 43:19

God is doing something new.  Something fresh.  I can feel it friends!  I know He has big plans for us in this coming year.  Are you ready?  Are you really ready?  Get excited!  I know I am!  This week I am evaluating my life in preparation for the new year and God's plans.  I am looking forward to seeing what He has in store.

After you have evaluated your year and make plans for the new year, if you would like prayer, please feel free to email me.  I would love to lift you in prayer. 


I want to share with you all some exciting things going on in 2012.  

I was approached a couple of months ago by the Gabby Moms.  The Gabby Moms are a group of blogging women who review products for Eternal Encouragement magazine, formally Teach Magazine.  So each month look for a review of some great Christian products.  

I read a blog once that mentioned the Bible in 90 Days program.  Ever since then I have, for several reasons, wanted to do it.  It is a big challenge, but I am so excited to read the Bible in only 90 days.  I have asked my accountability girls to really help me and pray for me in this. I started this reading plan this past Monday and I have already been greatly blessed.  If you are looking for a big challenge in Bible reading, check it out!

Woman to Woman Ministries has some exciting things coming up in 2012.  I won't give away more than that yet, so stay tuned!  

I pray that each of you have a safe, happy and blessed New Year.  I cannot begin to tell you how blessed I am to have "meet" each of you via the bloggy world.

Sweet Blessings~


  1. Great encouragement, Jenifer. It should be our goal to grow closer to God each and every day. I'm excited about the new things God has in store for all of us.

  2. As always, you have a great post. I have already in my mind started evaluating the past year, if I write things down I am sure there will be lots to make improvements on.

    Have a great and wonderful New Year and blessings to you.

  3. Hi Jenifer,
    I was just reading today about the "90 Day Bible" on one of my favorite blogs. I am thinking about it, she gave the link to a place where I can download and print it. I have been reading my Bible through for many years now, I can't even remember when I started it was so long ago, or maybe my memory is just getting worse with each passing year!
    Lovely post, though, my dear.
    Hugs, Cindy

  4. Hi Jenifer - great encouragement to assess where you stand and refocus. See, I knew I found that verse from a good source :) I also saw the 90 days thing and definitely want to do that this year too. Looking forward to all your new posts.
    God bless

  5. We share a kindred heart for intentionality. I so appreciate your questions and thoughtfulness. It is much the way I approach the end of each year and beginning of the next!


  6. Jenifer:

    I am also not one for making resolutions as they are easily broken. However, I do like your idea of evaluating ourselves. I like to spend time in prayer, seeking God on what He would have me do (either new or differently).

    Many blessings for a wonderful new year.


  7. Great encouragement, Jenifer. I do try to set goals for the new year and, like you, I evaluate where I am at this point. But, I just don't want to be too hard on myself if I don't reach my goals. Goals need grace. :)

  8. This was wonderful encouragement Jenifer, and lots of great ideas for things we can strive on in the new year.

    Have a Blessed Day!


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