A New Year's Exercise You Might want to Try

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Many women go about their New Year planning by making a list of what they think will make them happy and then set goals to pursue happiness.

I have found it can be difficult for the midlife or empty nest woman to know what goals to set. From experience, I know that putting pressure on myself to set a direction for the New Year can bring on a feeling of despair. As a believer, I always want to follow the path God has laid out for me, not a path of my own design. I have found it more peaceful to take the approach of letting God lead. James 4:15 says this:

Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that.

Relying on God to grant vision and direction can be exciting. The path he lays out is a surer path.

In the last few days, God granted me a vision. I'd like to offer it to you here as a personal challenge for yourself:


Imagine the days of 2018 being one long cruise aboard God's love boat. Will you be willing to step aboard?

Will you be willing to keep an ear to the ground to hear what he says?

Will you be open to letting God decide the ports of call the cruise ship will stop at?

Will you be willing to step off and tour the port--or complete the assignment God gives you at the port?

Can you resist the need to know where you're headed?

What name will you give your ship?  My husband says I should call mine the LOVE BOAT. I'll bear that in mind, but I've already called mine CRUISE SHIP WILLINGNESS.

If you are truly willing to be used by God, let him know you're ready to step aboard. He may ask you to do things you wouldn't choose for yourself. You might be called to help someone else in an unusual way. You might be called to have a medical procedure you'd rather avoid. You may be asked to lead a group. You might be asked to take a long drive to get somewhere he wants you to go. Will you say yes to what you sense he wants you to do?

I watched a Joyce Meyer video clip recently where she tried on various clothing that didn't fit. She suggested to find our path, we might need to be willing to try on things that, in the end, don't fit us. The key words here are OBEDIENCE and WILLINGNESS. Are you willing to try new things?

I'd like to suggest that you'll fulfill a deep need within you when your gifts and abilities are used by God to meet a need in the world. 

Don't measure your willingness based on earthly payment you might receive. God will give you treasure in heaven and life experience goes a long way.


In between the 'ports of call' where you step off to complete God-given assignments, you will have quiet periods of hopefully smooth sailing. Continue to develop your passions and take care of what God has already assigned you to. Then choose eight or so character traits to develop. 

When nothing new is happening, work on one of the character traits by researching it in the Bible, online and putting it into practice. Here are some sample traits: 

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I suggest you buy a new journal and record where God sends you. Also record your study notes. It could be fun!

Please leave feedback in the comments section. Let me know the name of your cruise ship. Or join me on my Facebook page  Self-Coaching Tools for Women.  

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