Posted in my kitchen is card that my husband gave me for our anniversary one year. It reads, “I may be just an ordinary guy.” (open card) “But I’m married to one extraordinary woman. Beautiful, amazing you.” Wow. If that doesn’t make a girl feel good! I guess that’s why I keep it handy. But it’s also a challenge for me. Extraordinary? Amazing? I guess I do have some moments when everything is clicking, and it seems that way. But that’s not exactly how I see myself. The dictionary defines extraordinary as “exceptional in character, amount, extent, degree, etc.; noteworthy; remarkable.” Quite honestly, the first part of that definition is what hits the hardest, my character. But God has been working on that, bringing resources to my attention that have challenged and helped me ~ whether it’s been my own Bible time, a message I heard preached, or books that God has brought along.
I don’t know if this is just a trendy thing or if I have truly been on the backside of the desert, but as this new year begins, I keep hearing about having a word or phrase for the new year. Each time I hear it mentioned, I ponder. What should be my focus this year? There are so many words that are good, things that God is working on, but what really encapsulates what I want from this new year? Last year, God burdened my heart about being holy as He is holy. In fact, that was part of my tag line for this blog. Calling women to pursue holiness by God’s grace. But if you will notice, I changed that this year to excellence rather than holiness.
Yes, being holy is a commandment. “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:16) But I have been learning more about goals in the past few months. Or maybe re-learning is a better way to put it. Goals need to be SMART — Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-bound. How could you measure holiness? Is it attainable? How about time-bound? You can’t measure holiness. Only God is truly holy. We can’t even begin to fathom that. We certainly cannot attain holiness in the way that God is holy. Striving after holiness is a life-long pursuit that we will never reach this side of glory. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t strive to be holy, to pursue it with all our hearts. God commands us to do that. But that is too vast for us to comprehend, really.
In the practical working out of holiness in our lives, we need something that we can wrap our minds around. So this year, I’m going to pursue excellence. Proverbs 31 describes the virtuous (or excellent) woman. Even that description of her seems to be too broad for us to grasp. “I could never be like her!” is our heart’s cry. But you know what? God has given us His power to do what He has called us to do. 2 Peter 1:3 “seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.” This year with God’s help, I want to become an excellent woman–with myself, my marriage, my home, my family, and whatever ministry God places in my path. These are areas in which I will be setting goals, and with the Lord’s help, seeing them accomplished.
So have you considered setting some goals for this new year? What are they? I’ll be sharing mine soon!