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"a new year is unfolding - like a blossom with petals curled tightly, concealing the beauty within."

i am walking into 2024 with lots of ideas + hopes + dreams, but what i'm feeling the most is gratitude for the grace + hope of Jesus in my life. abundant life is in Him + Him alone. i want to live a beautiful + creative life of worship that points back to the One who created me. 

i have prayerfully pondered over my goals for this year, and here is what i have come up with for now:

  2 0 2 4  G O A L S  

•  seek the Lord.  this is not necessarily a goal to attain, but a continued lifestyle of faith. after the last two years, i am walking into 2024 with gratefulness. last year saw such intense spiritual warfare in our home that i cannot help but praise the Lord for bringing us through the other side. this year, i want to continue to focus on daily prayer + scripture study. i bought phy's revelation study, and that is my first study of the new year.  

what worked in 2023:
-  having a topic or book of the bible to study
-  making a list of prayer requests
-  committing to study 5 days a week

what didn't work in 2023:
-  scrolling on my phone 
-  scrolling on my phone 
-  scrolling on my phone 

•  lose weight. i have a specific number, but that is not meant for the internet to know. i gained - what i consider - a bit too much weight over the past couple of years. i am by no means overweight, but i just don't feel my best + i do not like how my clothes fit. i know the body positivity movement would tell me to just buy bigger clothes, but respectfully -- no. we bought a treadmill + have committed to walking five times a week. other habits include:

-  examine my diet to see what is beneficial + what has to go
-  find a pilates workout or two that i like
-  find healthy snacks

what worked in 2023:
-  neighborhood walks
-  adding fruit to my mid-morning snack
-  allowing myself a small sweet treat 

what didn't work in 2023:
-  crumbl cookie  

•  find my style.  i used to love fashion. i lost interest in my style after i had jackson. my body felt different + i had no idea what to wear as a new mom. fast forward six years + i still have no idea what to wear. so late last year, i made a decision to rediscover my pizzazz -- but for current amber. i am determined to find my style + be confident in those choices -- even if it's not popular or on trend. (i do love some fashion trends -- clogs! -- but i need to be realistic about what works + what doesn't.) 

what worked in 2023:
-  following influencers with my body type
-  wearing what i liked

what didn't work in 2023:
-  wearing allllll the trends
-  trying to dress for others

•  break free from people pleasing.  i was not created to be chronically indebted to others' opinions. a hard truth is that people pleasing is just fear of man. the Lord has recently revealed to me just how bad this issue is in my heart + in my mind. it's hard process, but a necessary one. glory to the Lord, for not leaving me where i was! (there is no what worked + what didn't work for this goal. the only thing that will help break this is prayer + grace + sanctification from the Lord.)

•  read 30 books.  this is an attainable goal, but i am hoping it ends up being closer to 40. some books i'm excited to read:

•  be involved with our community.  one of the biggest blessings + answered prayers from the last year was new friends. i want to continue to build on these friendships in the new year. (most of our friends are from our church, so this is an umbrella goal that also includes continuing to be involved with our church + its activities.) this looks like:

-  coffee dates with friends
-  game nights
-  praying for them
-  be a friend 
-  making an effort (aka: stop assuming i'm bothering them all the time)

other random goals + to-dos:
-  celebrate leap day with a donut + an iced coffee (my leap day tradition)
-  publish a month-in-review for each month of 2024
-  three weeks of social media fasts for our church consecration weeks 
-  journal each day in my hobonichi


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