5 Things You Must Do When You Start Your New Year in a Deficit

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New Year’s Eve started off so well. I had a lunch date with my hubby and we went to the jewelry store to pick out a new setting for my wedding ring. Earlier last year I lost my band and he’d been wanting to re-do my 20 year old setting and now the time was here. I was SO excited. What women isn’t excited in a jewelry store when she’s buying and not looking, right? We had so much fun.

But when we got in the car, something wasn’t right. It was as if somewhere between the door of the store and the car door my body became a walking ache. Apparently my utter glee and rapture of looking at rings all afternoon had masked a very real and ugga-mugga feeling that was invading my whole body. Suddenly my throat hurt, my sinuses became stuffy and by the time we got home, I knew I was coming down with the same beast that held my husband prisoner over Christmas.

By the time the ball dropped in Times Square, I realized I was going to be starting my New Year with an unfortunate set of fireworks of my own.

Whether its physical, emotional, financial or spiritual, when I start my New Year in a deficit, I am thankful for a God Who is my Surplus.

I woke up on New Years Day, lamenting that just two measly days before, this New Year had within it so much promise. Like Marianne in Sense and Sensibility, my romantic notions had been bubbling inside of me. The to-do lists and the visions of organized closets, meal plans, goals and books written, had been dancing like sugarplums in my head for weeks. This was going to be the week I wrote it all down: the absolutely, impossible to-do list of 2014. Not resolutions, just goals; goals that had me giddy at the thought of it all being accomplished.

Alas, I was left to ponder the upcoming year with a head stuffed with way more than goals and ideas. I realized my glorious plans of planning were about to be laid aside until the fog in my head cleared.

The New Year, supposedly fresh and waiting, often comes in like a Lion, ripping and tearing all our best laid plans, doesn’t it? While organizational bloggers and great Pinterest to-doers have had their 2014 goals down on paper since last July, the rest of us are just trying to get the horse out of the gate by February 1st.

So how do I start my New Year off right, when I can’t even get started?

1- I take the focus off me and put it onto God. What are HIS plans, for me, for this New Year?

“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”- Proverbs 19:21

2- And this one is huge: I thank God. Then I make peace with the imperfect journey that is life, the imperfect journey that I am on.

“Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will].”- 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Even when you start your year off in a deficit of some kind, you can still be in His will. He knew before He formed you, that in 2014, you would start your year this way. He wants you to learn something, to see Him, to depend upon Him. No matter the circumstances you are in, no matter the deficit you feel, be thankful. Give thanks because He chose this for you and He intends, if you are willing, to show you that HE alone is the Surplus to meet the needs you have. He is ready to reveal to you things you need on this year’s journey.

3- Relax, He is the Mediator of these circumstances. The “Universe” is not in charge, other people pressing in on you are not in charge, heck, even you and I are not in charge. He is. And you can trust Him.

4- Fill in the gaps of your day with praise and thanks. Thank Him for anything and everything. Count the gifts as author, Ann Voskamp has encouraged us to do in her must-read book, One Thousand Gifts.

5- Keep a thanks journal and journal your prayers.. My journal includes thanks for everything from an amazing cup of tea at just the right time, to God revealing Himself to me in ways I don’t deserve. From a husband who puts felt pads on my squeaky dining room table chairs, to the unexpected but oh-so-appreciated hug of a teenage son. Every good and perfect gift is from God and all these are His gifts to me. I also journal my prayers and anything God reveals to me during my times of quiet and solitude with Him.

When we stop and give thanks no matter what situation or circumstance or state of mind we find ourselves in, we disarm the Enemy and we put our eyes on Jesus.

God chose for me to start this year in a deficit. It’s humbling, I won’t lie. But once again, I am reminded that many are the plans in my heart, but it is the Lord who directs my steps (Proverbs 19:21). This deficit has also highlighted many lessons I know He is teaching me lately.

Lessons like embracing life’s imperfections, trusting Him more, embracing grace and learning to live a life of thankfulness. My devotional entry for yesterday in Streams in the Desert, said it best:

“They who are God’s without reserve, are in every state content, for they will only what He wills, and desire to do for Him whatever He desires them to do; they strip themselves of everything and in this nakedness find all things restored a hundred-fold.”

May it be so for each of us for the remainder of this year. We have all year to rely on God’s Surplus of grace and gifts, may we seek Him continually no matter what circumstances in which we find ourselves.

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”- Philipians 4:12-13

How about you? Have you ever started a brand-spanking-New Year in a deficit of some kind? How did that affect your attitude about the rest of the year ahead? Where do you find your Hope?

Comments

  1. Amy Brady thank you once again for blessing this momma. I could have written this down to the illness and starting the new year out in deficit. With so many goals, and aspirations, set out for this new year – I felt I crashed and burned before I could even get off the runway. Yet again your words have blessed me so much because I can wade in my deficit or find JOY in His Surplus that will always be there for me. My well thought out plans mean nothing if He is not filling my mind, my thoughts and my heart with them. Thank you? This will bless so many more people I know.

    • Sharon, you know even though we’ve never met except on FB, we seem to share some similarities, not the least of which is our heart for adoption and our love for Jesus. So glad to shine some Sonshine into your sweet life. And thanks for the generous words.

  2. Sandra Caudill :

    Thank you for this entry. My life feels like it’s crumbling, but your blog has given me hope. Thank you!

    • Sandra, I am sorry to hear that things are dark right now, but try to remember that Jesus IS the Light. I’ve been praying this prayer the past few months over myself, and situations, “God, please shine YOUR Light into MY Darkness (or into the darkness of this situation, or this person…” He is doing that. I am glad to know that He used this simple blog post to love on you a bit today. He’s with you and He’s crazy about you.

  3. Love what you’re doing. Love your site!

    • Jen, thanks so much! Checked out your site too and I love your story. Letting God write the stories of our lives, even when its hard, is what makes the journey more than what we could’ve ever imagined.

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