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This week we’ve been talking about new beginnings for the year.

I talked about having a different attitude about communication, both in terms of having difficult conversations but also letting your husband help. I talked about having a new start with finances, and even making goals for the year.

But there’s one other thing that I’d like to discuss today. On Fridays I like to just leave you with one thought to chew on over the weekend, and today I want to turn more to the spiritual side. What are the most important changes that God wants us to make this year?

Sheila’s Friday Musings: What Does God Want from You this Year?

What does God want from us this year? Maybe Christian New Year's Resolutions should be about character, not just about goals.

The one thing I pray to God for, over and over again, is fruitfulness. I want to make a difference. I want to be part of God doing something on this earth.

That sounds very noble, but is it really? Because recently it’s hit me that by concentrating on fruitfulness, what I was really saying is:

“God, in your economy I want to feel important.”

And that’s not really what God wants from me. What God wants is right character–He wants holiness, righteousness, faithfulness. All that fruitfulness that I long for is just a by-product of faithfulness anyway. Remember John 15:5, when Jesus says “if you remain in me and I in you you will bear much fruit”? We abide in Him, and He bears the fruit. We don’t bear it; He does.

So it really is righteousness I should aim after.

I have to admit, though, that I have a bit of a problem with that. I didn’t grow up seeing things in black and white, right and wrong, and I got used to doing the expedient thing at times. I’m not saying I did huge things wrong, but I have always struggled with white lies, or envy, or sitting on the fence if it was possible.

My daughters seem to have much deeper consciences than I do, for which I am eternally grateful. But God has been making my conscience much more picky over the last decade, which is not a comfortable feeling. I know that I am not the same person I was a decade ago. I can’t watch the same movies. I can’t take any extra change at the grocery store if someone adds the bill up wrong. But it’s the big things, especially, that matter to me–whether I cause dissension in the extended family; whether I show love to those who are difficult; whether I am jealous or envious of others.

But it is a struggle, isn’t it?  We want to do great things for God on the outside, and get all our doctrinal ducks in a row, but we don’t always take the time to really look at our hearts.  We’re missing something important, because God is always trying to change us; if we think that we don’t need it, and that our main aim now should be to be fruitful, then we’ve missed the boat. We’ve put ourselves in the driver’s seat, instead of Him.

In the 1940s and 1950s, the church talked about sin perhaps too much–or at least they talked about it in a dysfunctional way. My mother remembers, as a child, being read passages from Revelation on how liars went to hell, which hardly made her want to do her devotions. The Bible became a source of punishment, rather than peace.

But today we have thrown out the idea of sin and replaced it with this transformational gospel–that our main job is to make the world into something better for Him. And we’ve forgotten that we can’t do that without an honest look at our hearts.

I was talking with a friend this week who is walking through a difficult marriage. We didn’t talk about whether she should try to fix it. We didn’t talk about strategies for getting him to talk or see things her way. We only talked about one thing: her job everyday, first and foremost, is to seek after God, listen to God, and then try to look more and more like Jesus everyday. When we do that, the rest will fall into place.

I do think New Year’s goals are important to help us solidify our values and our direction, especially with our marriage. But ultimately the best thing we can do is to start following in Jesus’ steps. And I just thought that needed to be said.

 

 

Friday Roundup on To Love, Honor and Vacuum

What’s #1 at To Love, Honor and Vacuum?

Happy New Year everyone!  I hope you all had a wonderful celebration ringing in 2017!  Here are the top posts from this week.  Let’s start 2017 with a bang and tackle the problems we face in our marriages!

When your husband refuses to talk about important marriage issues: How to have difficult conversations when you feel distant from your husband.#1 Post on the Blog: My Husband Refuses To Talk About Our Issues
#1 on the Blog Overall: 20 Two Player Games To Play With Your Husband 

#3 from Facebook: When Your Husband Won’t Change Part 2: Is This The Last Straw?
#1 from Pinterest: Top 10 Tips For Initiating Sex With Your Husband

Some BIG Things Happening at To Love, Honor and Vacuum

So there is so much going on behind the scenes right now! We’ve been working on a new theme which I hope against hope to launch late next week. The blog is going to look so much better! I’m really excited about it.

And we’re working on setting up a free resource marriage library for those who sign up for my newsletter. Right now I have a whole bunch of freebies you can get all scattered in different posts, so people sign up and they get ONE freebie. But I’m going to put them all in a central place–all the printables, ebooks, downloads, and free email courses–so that those on my list can just go get whatever they want, when they want!

I’ve also been putting the finishing touches on my Boost Your Libido video course, which will launch in early February, right in time for Valentine’s Day! It’s got 10 modules, with 10 videos, but also lessons, extra reading materials, worksheets, and so much more. It’s been a ton of fun to put together!

AND on top of all of that I’m changing my newsletter that goes out every Friday. Right now it just does a roundup of the week, but I’m going to do it more so it includes exclusive content, like pictures behind the scenes, roundups on what I’ve been reading this month, some video content, and more.

All of that’s to say, if you’re not signed up for my newsletters yet, now’s the best time to do it, so you don’t miss anything! And I’m excited about the changes that are coming!

We’re Heading to Arizona/California/Texas on Sunday!

Keith and I are heading to the airport this weekend to pick up our RV, which is in storage in Phoenix. Then we’ll be driving over to Anaheim where I’ll be giving a Girl Talk, before heading back to Arizona and Texas. The best way to find out when I’ll be speaking near you is with my newsletters. If you sign up, the newsletter system keeps track of where you are by GPS when you sign up (I know that’s slightly creepy, but it helps a ton!). Then, if I’m ever within 150 miles of you, you’ll get an email!

Oh, and I’ll be heading back to Texas in March and again in May, so if your church may want to host a Girl Talk, let me know!

Have a great weekend, everyone! I’ll see you again when I’m in Arizona!

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