This Intention Setting practice is perfect for a new year or a new season to reconnect with the heart of God and cast vision over this newness. This practice is designed to help cultivate gratitude and attentiveness to the presence of God.
We'll be using the #Lookatyou2017 worksheet as a guide for this reflection time so you can follow this link to print it out or just copy it over to your journal.
First Journaling Break: Remember Where You've Been and What God Has Done
The theme for this practice comes from Psalm 37:4, "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart."
What the Holy Spirit says to us through this Psalm is not, "Delight in me and I'll give you what you want," but, "As you delight in me I will shape the desires of your heart so you can go after them knowing fully that they are coming from Me." Isn't this beautiful? We don't need to be afraid of our desires, but can bring them into His presence right now.
The #Lookatyou2017 worksheet was birthed a couple years ago right around the New Year when the Holy Spirit was saying to me, "Caroline, look at you! Look at all you've done this year and who you've become!" In response, all I could say to God was, "Father, look at you! Look at all You have done this year!" This space is where we are going to cultivate our gratitude and delight in the character of God and His Kingdom.
Psalm 100:4 (ESV)
"Enter His gates with Thanksgiving."
As you reflect on the last year, think of the growth you experienced. Like a tree, INWARD growth is the roots underneath the soil. You never see the roots, but they contribute greatly to the strength of the tree. This is all the hearth growth, the wrestling, the fervent prayers, the change of attitudes or beliefs. UPWARD growth is any traditional milestone, so take this time to celebrate a new job you may have obtained this last year or celebrate you moving to a new city, etc. OUTWARD growth is like the leaves and branches of a tree that provide shade and covering for the people around you. How has your life expanded and how have lived outside of yourself this last year (money/time/talent given away, new relationships built, etc.)?
Second Journaling Break: God, What Do You Desire for Me This Season/Year?
We turn back to the worksheet to dream ahead to the next year or season and all the growth we desire.
In conversation with the Holy Spirit, write down the INWARD growth you desire this coming year, the UPWARD growth you desire, and the OUTWARD growth you desire to see this next season. Don't get caught up in the overwhelming thoughts about what you can or can't do in response, but instead partner with God in this moment, in His desires for you.
Acts 5:38-39 (ESV)
"So in the present case I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or this undertaking is of man, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God!”
1 John 5:4 (ESV)
"For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world."
Here are some additional questions to journal through during or after this practice:
What do I need to say yes to?
What do I need to say no to?
How will I attend to this personally?
How will I steward this with my family? My community?
How will I steward this in the work I'm doing?
How will I steward this with my time and energy?