Now that 2002 has officially ended, and 2003 has begun, do you find yourself wondering what you have to show for yet another year? What you should have done, what you wanted to do and what you actually did?

At the beginning of 2002, the Lord impressed me to write down seven goals for the year. Not personal resolutions, but goals that only could be done with the assistance, guidance, and direction of my Heavenly Father. Needless to say, I'd never done this before, and found it a bit out of my comfort zone. I think resolutions are kinda silly, probably because it's so easy to erase them during the year or to simply forget about them. There isn't any real accountability with yourself, therefore I never bothered with them.

I opened my journal and tried to think. I have to admit I quickly drew a blank. I'm not particularly good at preparing goals...but God urged me on. He whispered, "Don't think so much! Quit worrying about what to write. Follow your heart. Challenge me. Ask of me something HARD [something that you and I both know you have some doubt about]...and then all you have to do is pray & believe. Oh, and one more thing, take notes, because I want to show you something."

I picked up an ink-pen, because I didn't want these items to get erased during the year [I might want to give God an easy out if I didn't see anything happening in what I thought was ample time]. I wanted to make sure He and I were on the same page so I prayed, thought, pondered, and then began to write. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. & 8. #8 was a personal goal that I had struggled with for a long time, but He did tell me to challenge him!

Throughout 2002, as I visited my Father each morning, afternoon or evening, those 8 items were right there, within reach. After I took my notes from my daily reading and/or prayer time, I would flip to them. I had left a blank page facing the goals I'd written, so that I could take notes. [He was the one who encouraged the bean-counting]. It wasn't long before I began jotting on it. Within just a few weeks I began to see items coming to fruition. Maybe not in full, but I was able to see the seed being planted in some cases, and some water added to it...sometimes fertilizer was needed, and now as 2003 becomes a reality, I can honestly say that each and every 'goal' that we had written has been visited, some several times over.

My facing page for notes turned into 2 and 3 pages full of notes, dates, and praise. These were things that God impressed me to write. They dealt with each and every aspect of my life: my relationship with him, my family, church, community, and #8-self (and in that order).

I'm now beginning a few pages for 2003 and encourage you to do the same before the month gets away. It was/is a wonderful way to realize and actually see God working in your life...and to follow Him through each and every aspect of it. It's easy to tell someone you will pray for them, it's easy to even ask for prayer...but it is also easy sometimes to forget once those prayers are answered. Stop what you are doing the next day or so, ask God what He wants to do in your life...He'll guide your pen, let Him. But, be forewarned, He likes a good challenge, so don't let Him off easy. These are items that you KNOW can't be done without His intervention in one way or another. Keep your list with you, somewhere that you can see it daily (in your Bible, etc.) and pray over each item, daily, and then HOLD-ON, you are in for a great time with God. Enjoy it!

In retrospect, I wish I had written more than 8!

Shanna Hoskison (c) January 1, 2003

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