Today I am no different than many other Americans. What I mean by this is that I am sitting here in front of my laptop contemplating what has happened over the past 364 days. Will I make any new resolutions that I haven’t already in the past? I seriously doubt it. The other day I found my list of goals for 2012, and as it turns out, I didn’t come anywhere near achieving any of them. They were the normal ones, you know….lose weight, get more organized, save some money, yada yada yada. I wouldn’t say I was a failure, because I did make some progress, however I did not progress as far as I would have liked. I also remember making a decision that I would try to be more cognizant of my blessings I receive throughout the year, and making a better effort of thanking God more publically than I have in the past.
I did lose some weight. Actually, from the first week of May until the end of September, I was able to lose 27 pounds, however since then, I have gained around half of that back.
My effort to lose weight lead me to start doing some running. As a result of this, I completed my first 5k race since I was a teenager. I didn’t run the entire thing, but considering the fact that I couldn’t even run 90 seconds at one time when I started in May, I was happy with my progress. I actually made it to the point where I could run an entire mile without stopping.
I was able to become more organized than I have in the past. I’m still not where I need to be, but I am on the right track.
On the employment front, I certainly did make some progress. The month of March started out by me starting my own business where I mentor and counsel youth who are in danger of being placed in residential treatment facilities do to their behaviors. I help them in areas such as anger management and how to function more effectively in social settings. I also provide respite care for them and their families in order to lessen some of the stressors at home. This was not on my list at the end of last year, but because the agency I was working for before (doing the same work) decided it wasn’t a priority to pay me for my time, I decided to venture out on my own. I managed to pick up six clients in the first year, which I am happy with. Some I have worked with since I started, some only lasted a short time, but that is very typical with these kids.
I also was lucky enough to find a position that I am really enjoying a great deal. I actually went back to the original school I started working at when I decided to get into education. I am a behavior specialist at this alternative school. It is very trying at times, but I love it there. I feel very blessed to have been presented the opportunity.
Now that I look at what I have just written, I realize that I have been more successful than I originally thought. I have made progress in each area. Although I didn’t quite reach the bar I was striving for initially, I did get closer to getting over it. Actually, as I look at the past year, I can see that I have a great deal to be thankful for. I have been presented several opportunities for growth in different areas, and I have grown in each of them. This year has taken me to where I would have liked to have been seven or eight years ago. I have prayed all of that time for God to present me with opportunities to use my gifts on a daily basis. It took me longer to get here than I would have liked, but I was persistent, both in working towards my goals, and being faithful in praying for such things.
It reminds me of one of my favorite scriptures which goes like this…
“And we know that God causes everything to work togetherfor the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:28 (NLT)
He presented me with a vision several years ago, and I was anxious to get started in getting there, however I wasn’t quite ready. Looking back now, I know that I had the desire, but I did not quite have the skills that were necessary to do it on a daily basis. I learned a great deal about these types of children, and I also learned more about myself along the way. I have been reminded several times this year that we are living on God’s time, not our own. He knows what is best for us, despite the fact that we think we know ourselves best. But how could we know ourselves any better than the one that created us, bestowed us with our gifts, and placed us where we needed to be in order to play our part in His plan?
I have been delivered to the doorstep of this vision and the door has now been propped open for me to enter. I haven’t gotten all the way in yet, but at least my foot is now in the door, so to speak. For this, I am very thankful.
I would be remiss if I also didn’t count some of my other blessings. He has also blessed me with a loving and health family who support me, even though this vision takes me away from them more than any of us prefer.
Now that I have now taken a glance back over the year of 2012, I feel very good about how it played out. I am very thankful for everything, whether it was good or bad because every second of every day is helping me to get closer to man that God ultimately wants me to be.
This year only has a little less than twelve hours left (at the time of this writing), and as I put the last words on this page, I have decided that I will in fact make a resolution for the coming year. I do still want to make progress on all of the goals that I listed earlier, but I have decided to only focus on one, because if I can do that, the rest of the goals will fall into place. So, here it goes….
I am going to make a greater effort to be more thankful and public with my praise for my blessings that I receive. After all, I truly believe that what I have now, have ever had, and what I will have in the future has all come from one place. I believe that God gives me what I need when I need it. Not before it is time, not after I’m supposed to get it, not more or less than what I need. I can really see that this is very true, especially over the past couple years, as I have tried to be more appreciative towards Him, and I can see it in his word, particularly in Romans 8:28!
I would like to wish all of you a blessing filled new year, and thank God for a wonderful 2012!
Happy New Year!