Happy New Year! The ball dropped and the new calendar is in place – which means 2024 is here! We talk a lot about New Year’s resolutions, but there is a step that we might want to consider before we set those resolutions: taking a moment to look at the previous year’s special moments, successes, and perceived failures. Just as a marathon runner looks back at the race and takes note of moments of strength, fatigue, trials, and momentum, we, too, may want to review the events of our lives throughout 2023.

As I look back on the previous year, there were moments of incredible joy, as well as crushing heartache. There were times when I was at my best, and times when it felt like I was failing at an alarming rate. And just like the runner may look at training, nutrition, strategy, and even shoes, we can look at the circumstances around the highs and lows in our previous year and perhaps notice patterns. I have found that when I am “All Prayed Up” (song by Vince Gill) I do a better job of handling what life throws at me – both the day-to-day stuff as well as the things that feel like a gut punch. When I skip my time with God, I am more easily irritated, angered, defeated, and depressed. 

Do you remember the V8 commercials that showed people walking sideways because they didn’t have a balanced diet? And then someone would offer them a V8, allowing them to be upright again, and the tagline was “Thanks for putting me straight!” When I neglect my relationship with God, I am out of whack, not at my best, and certainly not prepared for what this life may have in store for me. Our bodies need food and rest and exercise, our minds need to be exercised as well, through reading, learning, and interaction with others – and our souls are no different. Spending intentional time with God each day is one of the best gifts we can give ourselves. God is always there, waiting for us to reach out, to connect. In this new year, let’s take care of ourselves – mind, body, AND soul. I believe it was Joyce Meyer who said, “Spending time with God is the key to our strength and our success in all areas of life. Be sure that you never try to work God into your schedule, but always work your schedule around God.” That sounds like a great New Year’s Resolution to me!

Peace in Christ,
Pastor Julie