Even though January 1 is in the middle of the winter season, it still signifies a new beginning, and I look forward to it with great anticipation. I will prepare for this new beginning by spending the last week in December reviewing the past year.  I will rejoice over the year, not because I have reached every goal, but that I have reached some of them, failed some of them, and learned many lessons in the process. Plus, I know that because God is in complete control He has ordered my steps according to His plan and not mine. And because I have asked forgiveness for my failures He has cleansed me. “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delighteth in his way.” Psalm 37:23
     To set my new goals I will pray first, then seek God for His perfect will in my life. I will write my new goals in my new year’s journal, considering my relationship with God first, my family second, other’s third, and then, myself last. By the first day of January I am prepared. “Too much trouble,” some of you may lament, but may I remind you that to fail to plan is to plan to fail. I do not wish to squander away the precious moments that God gives me, lest I stand before His throne empty handed. “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” Romans 14:12

I am the New Year. I am naked.
The soiled pages of last year’s tale
lie crumpled at my feet.
I have nothing before me but three-hundred
sixty-five alabaster days,
And an invitation to allow Jesus
to leave His footprints on every single one.

     So, dear friend, if you are looking at this past year and feeling like a failure, consider what I say. Use my suggestions to form a plan of your own, put it into practice, then have a wonderful, successful, happy new 2011. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

–Rebecca Somoskey