A New List

Before the ball drops on January 1st, people pull out a paper and pen and list all the things they’d like to change about themselves. They want to be thinner, smarter, more successful, or more spiritual.

Waterfall2I’m one of those people. Every year I list as many things as I can think of, and by the time the next year ticks by, I realize I didn’t accomplish any of them.

The thing about change is that it doesn’t happen because you write it down. It doesn’t happen because you blog about it, tweet about it, or post it on Facebook. It happens because you want it to. Because you need it to.

A little more than a year ago my mom was diagnosed with cancer, and that diagnosis made me look at life differently. It caused me to look at my list of resolutions and figure out what I really wanted and needed out of my life.

I don’t want to be thinner. I want to be kinder and more loving. I want to be the friend that people can count on, no matter what they’re going through. Strangers on the street should look at me and know I’m different. They shouldn’t see my dress size. They should see my heart and the One who lives inside.

My goal isn’t to be smarter. I want to be courageous. As a Christian college student on a secular campus I need all the courage I can get. Instead of stressing about my next presentation, I’m going to pray and ask God to guide me so I can be a leader. It’s great to be part of a national honors society, and God has given me that opportunity. He’s given me the ability to excel in academics, but for a long time that’s all I did. I was the smart one, and that’s not good enough anymore. I want people to see me and say, “Wow. She’s really using her gift.” I want the courage to tell people why I’m smart. I didn’t wake up one morning quoting Hemingway or Poe. I have a God who gave me a gift so I could serve Him.

Success is important, and I want my writing and media business to thrive. However, this year, I want to be purpose-minded. Every day I want to wake up and ask God what He wants for that day. What does He want for that week? For the year? If God stays first, success won’t be a question.

Photo credit: Jenni Beaver

Spiritual is such a strange word. It can mean you’re in tune with God’s love and plan for your life. It can also mean you can quote scripture left and right, but don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. This year, I want to be intentional. I want everything I say and do to reflect the King of all Kings. Every speech I make, every piece I write, and every video I produce should be a mirror that reflects His love and mercy. Every person I meet should know who is living inside of me.

It’s not too late to change those resolutions. Trade the temporary comforts for things that last forever. Allow God to transform you this year.

Be kind to those around you.

Be courageous in your faith.

Be purpose-minded with everything you do.

Be intentional with every breath you take.

Put God first this year, and everything else will surely follow.

Jenni Beaver

Jenni is a twenty-something storyteller from the Sunshine State. When she's not writing a novel or screenplay, she's editing a video or film for the business she co-owns with her mom. She loves animals and has SIX pets! Everyday she tries to stay positive, inspired, and caffeinated.

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