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We’ve all heard the phrase “New year, New Me” about one thousand times. But here’s the deal, we don’t really need a new “us.” Why? Because we start things and don’t finish them. We make New Year’s resolutions and forget what they are by February. When the pressure is on us to fix us, we’re fail every time, right? What we’ve been doing isn’t working!
That’s why we don’t need a “new me,” we need a new strategy.
Here’s what I’ve been doing each new year and I’m tossing this plan in the trash. I’ve been adding things onto my life thinking these new additions will make my life more fulfilling, that I’ll even experience greater growth in my walk with Christ.
More healthy food and exercise…
More quiet time with God…
Achieve more goals…
Make more money…
More date nights with my husband…
Be more intentional with my kids…
Gosh, just thinking of “more” makes my chest start to tighten. Is it doing that to you too? Because I know I need “more” of these things but life already feels full to the brim. If I throw on “more” I’m going to explode. I can’t handle more. I need less.
And that is exactly how do we do more of what we know God is calling us into next year….
There are more days I wake up already feeling behind the ball than on top of it. It’s as if, no matter how fast I move, time won’t slow down enough to allow me to catch up to it.
You get it. We’re busy women! We have families and kids and jobs and homes and to-do’s and chores and food and then…. we toss in Christmas.
A season of light, laughter, families and memories that we’ll so easily rush through if….
Here’s the thought I keep having…
What if we're doing what God has made us to do in this season?
BUT, what if we're not doing it exactly the way He would want us to do it?
I think it's possible that we could be running in just the right lane for us and embracing the place God has us in, all the while not honoring the rest our body, mind and soul need. We're doing the right thing in the wrong way. Instead of overflowing, we're pouring out of an empty cup.
So, how do we recover rest? How do we "Sabbath" while we're running full force toward our calling into a busy season?
“No way, Mom. I found a shark's tooth!” My six year old’s sun kissed face was beaming as she held up to me with both palms her tiny treasure.
The day before, a kind couple had passed our family on our way off the beach. They were older and looked at our young girls (and us as parents with our arms overflowing with beach necessities) with a “we remember when” gaze. They knelt down and asked our kids if they’d like a shark's tooth to take home. They had found so many today. “Yea!” Our girls squealed, accepting in awe the small, inky blank, pointy objects. The couple then showed our girls what to look for at the water's edge to find more.
I had gone to this same beach for over 30 years and never, not even once, in all my seashell hunting had I found a shark's tooth. Here’s what Iearned from the sweet couple and my own kids. The shark’s teeth have always been there. I just hadn’t discovered any because I hadn't been looking for them.
What we seek we find. That’s exactly what looking for shark’s teeth and our view of the nearness of God have in common.
Can I give it to you point blank?
You cannot win your battle in someone else’s armor.
Have you heard the story of David and Goliath? David is a scrawny teenager who decides to slay a giant in a war he wasn’t old enough to fight in. The King at the time, Saul, tries to protect David by at least giving him some armor to wear.
I am going to be honest. The beginning of 2023 has been hard for me. I decided to
leave my full-time job at the end of 2022. For many different reasons, it was time for
me to step away from that role. One of those reasons is that I have decided to pursue
music in a fuller capacity. Honestly, it is scary but I feel like it has been something God
is prompting me to do. If you ask me what that looks like, I will give you the same
answer I have been telling everyone who asks…I don’t know yet.
I have some ideas and hopes for what it could look like. The main goal is to glorify God
with whatever I create and hope that whoever listens is reminded of who God is and
who they are in Him, but I have no concrete plans yet. I am still figuring it out…waiting,
planning, and dreaming.
It is very difficult for me to write and share this. Here's why...
Truth Moment: sisterhood can be messy! I had a little sister for 40 years. And boy, could we
fight. Like knock-down-drag-out, stop touching my stuff, no you can’t go with me to the mall -
FIGHT! But no one could wedge a fight between us. We were sisters! She was also the person that knew me better than a lot of other people. She knew my hopes and my dreams. She knew when I was hurting and when I was winning. She knew I was having twins before I did. And was there to support me when life got heavy. She was my sister.
My sister passed on December 23, 2022, and even though we lived across the country from each other, her departure has given a different weight to the term sisterhood.
So, what does sisterhood really mean...?
What if we've missed the true point and focus of boundaries?
As Christians, or even those of us who just want to be "a good, moral person", we like to put boundaries on everything, right? Don’t watch R-rated movies… Don’t log on to this website… Don’t hang out with those people… Your clothing needs to at least cover this much… we can only spend x amount of time on social media. We could keep going and going and going.
We love to ask, “What?” What’s the boundary? What’s the furthest I can I go? What’s the line between good and bad?
We’re really focused on WHAT IS THE LINE??! Typically we stop there. But, when a Biblical boundary line is drawn, God never gives a WHAT without a WHY.
Here's what I mean…
You are so blessed. Do you know that?
In case you don’t know quite how blessed you are, let me shoot you some statistics:
But, sometimes we forget, right? We’re surrounded by all this stuff all the time and we start to take it for granted. Or worse, we start to speak a word of ownership over all of these things that simply isn’t true. Do you know what that word is?
The New Year. A clean slate. A fresh start. I am always so inspired as I take down my Christmas decorations, clear out the clutter and get ready for a reset in my life. I like to open up a fresh new calendar with endless possibilities wondering what God will bring into this new year.
Walking into a new year can be equally exciting and terrifying.
What will you have to walk through? What will God use to teach you? What blessings will be coming? What hardships are awaiting me?
Kaley Rivera Thompson is an author, copywriter, Bible teacher, speaker, and worship leader. When she's not championing other women, cheering on the rising generation, writing or playing her guitar, Kaley loves to sip strong coffee, go on hikes, or take a day trip to the mountains with her family. She takes the most pride in being a mom to three little girls, Lina, Lili and Ceci. You can follow her on instagram at @kriverathompson or find out more on her website at kriverathompson.com.