Rather than rolling out the usual infographic with various stats that don’t really mean much, I will look at my goals for 2013, see how well they went and then review the theme of the year followed by setting up this year.
In 2013 I planned to:
- A/ Read through the whole bible
- B/ Run the Royal Parks Half Marathon in under 2 hours with no shoes
- C/ Regular dates with Jen and each of the kids
- D/ Reach Technician Membership of the Institute of Structural Engineers
- E/ Return to Centre Parcs on holiday.
After having a look around Youversion I found a reading plan that covered the bible in 90 days, so off I went and stuck into about 16 chapters of reading per day. It was very intense and offered little time for deep pondering over single verses, but it was an excellent way to get an overview of the story of God.
I created a running schedule. I stretched. I got very busy and flu. I did not run. I was totally gutted not about not being able to enter, but there is this year and my friend is running the London marathon do I will train with her on the long runs.
I didn’t spend anything like the time I wanted to with Jen and the kids one-to-one, but I’m up on 2012, so that’s an improvement. I’ve already been on a date with the Little Miss, so off to a promising start –
Again, work derailed this goal, but I do feel that I’m in a stronger place this year to hit the target, and I have a work colleague to do it with, and he’s keen as mustard, so it’s game on!
This goal was really a nice idea with little chance of happening, but we did have a lovely week in Sherborne staying with a friend taking in many activities, such as fossil hunting, pub lunching and a trip to a tropical gardens. I’d love to go this year, but fear that finances are against me. We’ll see.
The theme for 2013 was ‘Establish’. At the start of the year I had no idea how it would come about, but as before, I prayed it back to God and left it to him to roll out.
There are no promotions or instalments when you are a husband and dad, but your own family gives feedback and I’m happy that I’m a better husband and dad in January 2014 than I was this time last year. And I’m only happy with that conclusion as I’m being told so.
Early on in the year I was formally promoted to the role of CAD Manager, which bought with it an immediate increase in the number of extra groups of influence I was asked to join.
My leadership role has continued to deepen and mature over the year with me having a team around me employed entirely by me that didn’t exist in January.
I lead the team that deals with communications, soft and hard (or online and offline if you’re old school) and for me this has always been a voluntary role that supports the church and it’s mission. The guys in the team are all incredibly talented and have loads of energy for it.
After the summer break I, along with the other team leaders, was asked to give a short talk on what the team does to the church. What I didn’t expect was to be formally prayed in as a ministry leader!
The team is a few years old now and is firmly established with a strong core and a set pattern for doing things. I’m going to grow it this year by offering our services to the churches together group we are a part of.
Jesus has been so gracious to me this year by causing me to slow down. In the early autumn I spent half a day alone with God for the first time ever (a date I want to keep again) and he lovingly slowed me down by taking me for walks and literally telling me to walk slower. Over the course of several hours he told me to look and see & listen and hear.
Since that day Jesus has showed me the source of my relational leadership woes and how to lead well. Basically I had become passive in leading my family due to pressure and a lack of support from key people at a vital time in my marriage. I have prayed, forgiven, repented and moved on. And now, the change! It’s like I am seeing, hearing and feeling properly for the first time, many things that my ever patient wife had been trying to communicate for years. It is revolutionising my marriage and the whole family!
I have also become more familiar with the quiet and gentle voice of Jesus, which is a joy and privilege. I am convinced that a conversational intimacy with Christ is vital to living the Christian life well. It also comes with more practical benefits, such as which floor to go to for a shower at work. Ahh, Jesus does love to break a convention.
Another turn last year was the growth of a page on Facebook that I run. I basically post the Youversion verse of the day with a short note, and from nowhere complete strangers have joined and are interacting, even posting swathes of teaching! This is not something I planned to do, but rather started randomly one day and has since become part of my daily life.
I think much of the above explains my blogging absence, which has been tough but also amazing.
Moving swiftly on: 2014
This year I have 2 goals:
- Blog at least once a week
- Be able to do the plank for 5 minutes
I felt really promoted to focus more on the blog this year and to trim off the dead bits, so I’ll be removing parts of the blog that were nice ideas but never took off due to time constraints, and I plan to blog at least once a week on a topic that has my attention. For some variety, I’ll try to stick to the weekly photo challenge too so I can keep flexing my camera finger.
The plank. The purpose of this goal is to ultimately strengthen my core, which is a good thing as it will help with my cycling and running, but also my posture when sitting at work. I’ve already made a start and I have dragged Jen in too. The plan was taken from a website dedicated to 30 day fitness challenges that are incremented in bite-sized chunks that always push, but not so hard it can’t be done.
The theme for this year is Adventure. In previous years I prayed for a theme for myself, and it’s worked out fine, but this year it is definitely for the family.
Thus far we have no idea what it’ll look like (as usual) but we know that with Jesus there is no risk, just adventure, so we’re up for some fun and look forward to what plans he has up his sleeves.