I can’t believe that it’s already April! This year has flown by so quick and I’m wondering where the time has gone as I’m 4 months late in posting our goals for this year (oops!). At the beginning of this year, Carlos and I wrote down a list of goals for 2017 inspired by the book The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson. This is a powerful book and I encourage you to read it!
Mark defines goals as “well-defined dreams that are measurable” or in other words, “dreams with deadlines.” I’ve always been a dreamer and ready for the next step of my life, but I’ve never set goals. The book reenforces how important goals are by saying, “Scripture says that without a vision, people perish. The opposite is true as well. With a vision, people prosper.” This gives me great hope and encouragement.
Mark gives 10 steps to goal setting and I want to share them with you before I share our list of goals. He says, “Goals are as unique as we are. They should reflect our unique personality and passions. These ten steps to goal setting can guide us as we circle our life goals” in prayer:
- Start with Prayer: If you set goals in the context of prayer, there is a much higher likelihood that your goals will glorify God, and if they don’t glorify God, then they aren’t worth setting in the first place. So start with prayer.
- Check Your Motives: If you set selfish goals, you would be better off spiritually if you didn’t accomplish them.
- Think in Categories: This Carlos and I didn’t do as a couple, but I have applied it to my own personal list of goals. Mark gives 5 categories that he used for his list of goals: family, influential, experiental, physical, and travel.
- Be Specific: Just like our prayers, our goals need to be specific. If a goal isn’t measurable, we have no way of knowing whether we’ve accomplished it or not.
- Write it Down: When you write a goal down, it holds you accountable. It’s an act of faith.
- Include Others: Nothing cements a relationship like a shared goal. When you go after a goal with another person, it doubles your joy.
- Celebrate along the Way: We should celebrate with the same intensity with which we pray.
- Dream Big: Make sure you have some God-sized goals that qualify as crazy. Here’s why: big goals turn us into big people.
- Think Long: If we want to dream big, we need to think long. If you want to dream until the day you die, you need to set goals that take a lifetime to achieve. And it’s never too late to start.
- Pray Hard: Goal setting begins and ends with prayer. God-ordained goals are conceived in the context of prayer, and prayer is what brings them to full term. You need to keep circling your goals in prayer, like the Israelites circled Jericho. As you circle your goals, it not only creates God-ordained opportunities; it also helps us recognize God-ordained opportunities by sanctifying our reticular activating system.
Although these steps are for a life-goal list, Carlos and I applied them to our year-goal list. (Our life-goal list is still in the process.) So, as encouraged by the book, the first step that we took in setting our goals was prayer. Out of prayer, came our list of dreams and goals for this year. The reason why I wanted to share them with you is because I already see God working in some of them and it’s exciting to me. Our list is short for now, but thankfully God allows us to add to it. I can’t wait for the day we can check one off and celebrate!
GOALS FOR 2017
At the top of our list I wrote, “You need to circle the goals God wants you to go after, the promises God wants you to claim, and the dreams God wants you to pursue. Circle in prayer. Keep circling until the walls come tumbling down.”
- Buy a homeless man a meal and tell him about Jesus.
- Visit an unknown country.
- Have an emergency fund of $1,000.
- Get Carlos his medical interpretation certification.
- Memorize at least 30 new verses/passages of scripture.
- Make a life long friend.
- Find a church to serve in.
- Have trust, open communication, kindness & God in every aspect of our marriage. Be focused, in love, and in tune with God.
Although our list is small, each one is big for us and we are making new ones along the way. God has already given us a church that we are making our home in, we see Him working in our marriage everyday, and we are in prayer about a possible opportunity to serve in another country this summer. Each goal we have set opens opportunities for us to become the people that God wants us to be and we couldn’t be more excited as we sit in expectation for how God is going to play out each one of our goals.
There is nothing God loves more than keeping promises, answering prayers, performing miracles, and fulfulling dreams. That is who He is. That is what He does. And the bigger the circle we draw, the better, because God gets more glory. –The Circle Maker, Mark Batterson
Life Update: Carlos and I have been working hard to keep our life up and running, trusting God more and more everyday with His provision. The Communications Coordinator at the Nehemiah Center leaves May 1, leaving me in charge of the Communications Department for 5 months while she is doing her homestay in Canada. This position is completely voluntary, as it has been a struggle for me to find work without my residency here in Nicaragua. I have been doing side jobs to help pay the bills and God provides every month, even though these side jobs are not steady. If you would like to support us financially, please go to the “Join Me” tab at the top or here to see how you can make a donation. Also, stay tuned because Carlos and I will be sharing more about our opportunity to serve in another country soon.
Prayer Requests: Obviously financials is one. Another one is that it is getting SUPER hot in Managua! By 7:00 AM it’s already 80 degrees. It’s making it difficult for us to sleep at night and also very difficult for me during the day as I am home all day long without air conditioning. If you could pray for our decision about serving in another country this summer and that all of the details would fall in place, that would be appreciated as well. This is something that we are very excited about and want to experience as a couple. One last prayer request would be that we are planning on traveling a couple of times in the next couple of months. This Saturday we want to take the girls to the crater lake to relax and have fun as a couple. Since money has been tight it’s a big sacrifice, but the girls and us need some recreation time. The second time we are traveling will be for our 1 year wedding anniversary in May. We will be taking a weekend trip since we did not have the opportunity to take a honeymoon after the wedding. Thank you for your continual support, prayers, and friendships.