"Be joyful always; pray continuously; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not put our the Spirit's fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid evil kind of evil." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-22
Life goals, right? Could be New Year's resolutions right there. The best news is that my salvation doesn't depend on it. In fact I can't do that on my own. God the Father is a good and great God who gives generously to all who ask, who seek Him. His Holy Spirit can and will help me do those things. Those are gifts I get in Christ- true deep, abiding, peaceful joy at anytime- even in the darkest times that joy can be there; the ability to give thanks in all circumstances- in the same darkest moments where joy and hope creep in, so can gratitude and it can change my entire mental state in an instant.
I've been learning a lot about limits the past 2 yrs. It has not been enjoyable or desirable, but very necessary. Learning to be joyful and give thanks in the midst of that has been a real testing- a real wake up call to just how much I still rely on myself and not God to produce those abilities in me. There has been a lot of "He must increase, I must decrease." John 3:30 I've been shown the need for breathing spaces- the necessity, the gift that a true Sabbath brings. Even being still in the midst of a long list of daily dos- the letting go and trusting that all will be well if I sit and be still with my Lord for 3 minutes here and there throughout the day. I just read a poem called "Fire" by Judy Brown talking about the need for breathing spaces. Sometimes those breathing spaces look like going outside and playing in the snow with my kids.