I always look forward to the beginning of a new calendar year. It's a time for new beginnings if one so chooses; or it is a time to get reoriented after the change of routine during the Christmas season.
Personally, I did not make specific resolutions for the new year, but because I have the priesthood journey as part of my experiences in 2017, I am making sure that there are essentials in my day-to-day existence. (I don't believe that these essentials are unique to my calling to the priesthood, by the way, so feel free to use these as a checklist for yourself, too!)
- Each day I am trying to begin with prayer as I wake. Often times, I am not out of bed and my eyes might be closed, but I am definitely conscious and talking with God, pouring out my heart and mind as God leads the conversation.
- I am listening to or reading scripture. Often it is the BCP daily lectionary readings plus other books/chapters I am reading for other studies.
- I am tending to the relationships in my home. This means taking the time to be present to them and loving them as they need and perceive.
- I am tending to my own personal needs of health and well-being which usually involves getting outside for time to jog or walk my dog.
- I am reading and listening to texts other than the Bible that help me to be a more thoughtful Christian and person.
- I am always returning to prayer as a continual dialogue with God throughout the day to frame my work and understand the best way to encourage others in their walk with God.
I am at peace with God when I do these "basics" and I am realizing more and more how much I don't need what the world is trying to offer to bring joy and happiness and peace; all I truly need is God's love and care for me and to spend my days with Him.
I hope you feel the presence of God's love and care for you this year. May you feel embraced by His grace as you trust in Him.