Happy New Year to you! I hope you had a lovely, Christ-honoring Christmas with your family!
A few weeks ago as I was reading through the little book of Haggai, three action statements jumped out at me, and the Lord used them to work a few changes in my life at the time, so I thought I would share them with you. I think they are especially applicable at the start of this new year when we are considering the months before us and laying out some plans.
The first command that God gives us in Haggai is found in the fifth verse of chapter one, and it is simply to “Consider your Ways.” As if to emphasize this point, He repeats it two verses later in verse seven. As a new year approaches, I get almost giddy with excitement…ready to be finished with the old year, and looking forward to starting fresh in the new one! By December, we are normally in a little bit of a homeschooling slump. Add to that the Christmas festivities, and we’re normally doing well if we’re sticking to the basics in December. Starting fresh in January is always exciting to me! But it’s important to look back and remember what has taken place in the past year. Considering your ways involves assessing where you are and how you are doing in certain areas. For mothers, it includes looking at the lives of our children and evaluating their areas of strengths and the areas in which they need some growth. Considering your ways might include measuring how you are spending your time, how your marriage is doing, looking at areas of improvement in the homekeeping department. It’s taking an honest look at how you are doing in each category. Sometimes this is the most painful step, isn’t it?
But it doesn’t just stop there, next the Lord commands, in chapter two, verse four, to “Be Strong.” After taking a good look at how we’re doing in certain areas, it’s easy to become discouraged or feel like a failure. I have the tendency to droop or wilt when faced with a monumental task or overwhelming obstacle. And motherhood certainly presents both on a regular basis, doesn’t it?! My husband affectionately refers to me as his “wilting flower” in these instances. Often our shortcomings and the changes that we need to make seem overwhelming and even impossible. But God wants us to take heart and be strong in the face of the work that He has for us! A positive mental outlook coupled with a firm reliance on the strength of the Lord to accomplish your tasks is part of “being strong.” Remember that the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31 had “strength and honour” as her clothing.
Lastly, we see the Lord calling us to “Work” in Haggai 2:4. He says, “…be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the LORD, and work: for I am with you, saith the LORD of hosts;” When we see areas that need to be changed, we need to tackle them! Sitting around and thinking about how nice it would be if our children were more mannerly and our house was a little cleaner isn’t going to get the job done. We need to put action to our goals and get out there and do them! At our church, we hear messages every year end about goal-setting and planning. I won’t belabor the point, but rather encourage you to take those messages to heart and make some Christ-honoring changes in your family this year!
It’s a hard job, dear mother, but I know that with the Lord’s strength, you can do it! Let’s make 2010 a year that will count in eternity in our own lives, and also in the lives of our husband and children!
“So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”