Each new year I begin with creating goals and aspirations for the upcoming year. I also reflect on what short-term goals I achieved the previous year as well as what I still need to work on. In order to help me do this clearly, I also begin my year with a fast. I have been fasting for the past four years and I cannot begin to explain to you the benefits of this in every area.
At the beginning of 2015 I wrote in my journal a list of short-term goals as follows:
- Strive to be like the Proverbs 31 woman
- Make my own bread
- Grow my own salad greens
- Natural/organic foods and snacks for kids lunches
- Raise my own chickens
- Continued prayer for unity within my family
- Huge garden
- Positively impact my step children by prayer, being an example, and taking them to church regularly
- Start a small group
- Visit my grandmas more
- Send older kids to (Christian) summer camp
- Positive changes in health (warm lemon water each morning, oil pulling)
- Self educate
- Invest more time in relationships with close friends and family
- Start a blog
It’s usually very surprising to me when I reflect on what I had written since I tend to write the goals down and then forget about them. But it never fails, I usually meet and exceed whatever what written. I’m convinced that the act of writing it, fasting, and corresponding prayer helps it all come to pass. See my blog on journaling for more info on this. ( Click here.) Sure enough, last year I made progress in every goal area as well. I actually didn’t even remember writing down “raise my own chickens” but when I opened my journal up just now to copy the goals for this post I was able to cross that off as well! My mom, grandma, and I raised our own last year. We even butchered them ourselves. I still have several in the freezer. Now that’s something I never thought I’d do in a million years! I will say it was absolutely disgusting and I will never do it again though.
Additionally, last year, my oldest son faced a very scary situation in which we were told he quite possibly had a brain tumor. He is fully healthy now and I completely credit God for his healing. I do believe God honored my fast and protected my son in this situation. God also answered one specific prayer I have been praying fervously about for ten years. He has brought Malachi’s father back into his life. Not only brought him back, but he is a Christian and a much changed man now. I also fasted last year for a little boy that I know facing many health issues. I know god has a purpose in everything and I see Him using the boy’s mother to grow the kingdom through her experience and strength. Another huge thing that happened is my personal growth through starting a blog. It was a gigantic step and took a lot of courage to be so open and honest about certain areas of my past. A lot of people are very angry at me but so many more are extremely supportive and have told me how much my words have encouraged them and helped them to strive towards truth and healing. I am most thankful for a relationship that is growing very deep and meaningful with one of my cousins. She has been an inspiration and I am so happy to have gotten to know her better.
As the new year passed I started my fast as I have before. I immediately claimed a few specific things. Some in which I will not write about as of now. One major thing was for God’s protection and wisdom and the relationship grows between Chi and his father. I also asked God to heal wounds and relationships with my ex husband and his mom. God was ever present and clearly a part of Malachi’s first visit with his dad. What looked like it could turn out very bad and devastating for my son turned out to be the perfect day and a huge step toward healing for all involved. On day 2 of my fast, my sons and I ran into my ex mother-n-law in the mall. It had been somewhere around 4 years since we had seen her. Tears were shed, a lot of truth exposed, and hugs exchanged. Yet again, God was clearly involved. He has also brought many people from the paternal side of my kid’s families into our lives. So far, all are Christians and extremely loving and accepting. I am so full of gratitude and excited for my children to know where they come from. Also, to hopefully not grow up without their fathers. I’m still waiting on my ex husband to do what he needs to do but I have faith that God is working on him as well.
We are only into the 2nd month of the year but I feel the peace of God in my life. I feel that He is opening doors and also closing certain doors. He is certainly leading me toward his plan for my life. God also granted me a much needed vacation. I just returned from a short cruise in the Bahamas. This was another aspiration listed on my list from two years ago. I had an amazing time with one of my best friends that was filled with joy and laughter. I am so grateful. I am so looking forward to the wonderful things yet to come.