Stepping into a New Year and Free Devotional

by Phyllis Sather on January 2, 2013

I like new – New days, new weeks, and new beginnings – especially my new beginning with the Lord, when he washed me clean and set my feet on solid ground and let me begin again.

So here I am at the start of a new year. It’s time to set aside the old and move on to the new, but somehow this year that seems like an enormous step. It isn’t that I don’t want to move on; it’s just that I’m not sure which direction to head out in.

For some reason I’m feeling its OK for me to relax and enjoy what I’m doing, rather than rushing headlong into something – anything.

I think this attitude adjustment began in early December when I decided to stop trying to meet a January deadline and just enjoy Christmas with my family. I had been feeling like a Push Me Pull Me from Dr. Dolittle. When I was working on the project I felt guilty because I wanted to be with my family. When I was with my family I felt guilty because I wasn’t working on the project. I finally just said, enough, and since I couldn’t very well set my family aside, I set the project aside.
It’s been very nice to not be so busy for a season and to really take time to spend with my family – although we still were busy.

Today I’ve spent some time visiting some of my favorite websites to see what others are doing. Some are online with a fully developed plan to start the New Year. Others like me, have set some time aside to regroup, or for a season while their attention is needed elsewhere.
There are a couple of things I am working on.

First, I decided yesterday to start reading A Life of Gratitude by Shelley Hitz. I was blessed to be able to contribute one story of gratitude that was included in this book. After looking it over I decided it would be a good way to start 2013 – 21 days of gratitude certainly couldn’t hurt.
Free Devotional: By this time I’ve usually chosen a devotional to use for the year but this year I haven’t so this is a good option for me while I decide on something for the year. I’m open to suggestions so if you have a favorite please leave me a comment. If I choose your book I’ll send you a free copy of one of my favorites.

Second, I’m looking forward to and preparing for our annual planning time. We are taking a full week – January 16-23, and have a lot to pray about, talk about, and make decisions on. We will use the material from our book Purposeful Planning as the basis for our time like we have since 1995. This is always an exciting time for us as we seek the Lord for His plans for us and a family and as individuals. If anyone is willing to pray for us during that week let me know either in the comments or via email at

Finding Joy in the Journey,

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Phyllis Sather
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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Phyllis January 17, 2013 at 9:03 AM

That is also one of my favorites.

patsy January 16, 2013 at 3:42 PM

I have to suggest my all time favorite Streams in the Desert. It has so often spoken to me, my mom and sisters at the right time! patsy

Phyllis January 11, 2013 at 2:18 PM

Hi Patti, I’ve used Streams in the Desert before and loved it. I’m glad you’re intrigued by our planning book. There are several articles on my site about what we do.
Why Would You Want to Have a Planning Weekend? and Planning Weekend January 2012
Here is the link to our planning materials

Let me know if you have any questions.

Phyllis January 11, 2013 at 2:14 PM

Chelle, I’m glad you were reminded to slow down. Now will you remind me once in awhile? I guess that is something I will always need to work at. It certainly is fun to make a wise decision once in awhile. 🙂

Chelle January 10, 2013 at 1:30 PM

besides being my neighbor at Our Simple Country Life, I am so glad I ran across your blog today. You’ve blessed me with the reminder to slow down, set aside time for family, and to rest in Him.
I will.
Peace and God’s good to you.

Patti January 10, 2013 at 1:23 PM

I laughed at your Push Me Pull You analogy. 🙂 What a blessing that you are feeling free to rest and linger. It’s so much easier to hear His still small voice when we aren’t overly distracted. I am intrigued by your planning book! Streams in the Desert is a devotional that blessed me. It is especially valuable for a season of trial.

Phyllis January 10, 2013 at 11:19 AM

Thank you for the encouragement.

momstheword January 10, 2013 at 1:25 AM

Good for you for setting aside those projects and making time for your family. You were wise! Otherwise you may have continued to try to do both and stressed yourself out so much that you couldn’t enjoy your family or the holidays!

New years are a great time to sit back and reflect on the old one and look at what you want to do in the new one! Thanks so much for linking up to Making Your Home Sing Monday!

Phyllis January 4, 2013 at 9:05 AM

You guys are giving me some great ideas.

Miranda January 4, 2013 at 4:53 AM

I love brand new years, too! My very favorite devotional is Morning and Evening (original, unabridged version) by Charles H. Spurgeon. So meaty and eloquently written.

Phyllis January 3, 2013 at 8:04 AM

Experiencing God Day by Day, by the Blackaby brothers – Henry T. Backaby & Richard Blackaby. Just a thought if you haven’t tried it :). – Renee Skeate – sent separately

Phyllis January 2, 2013 at 4:49 PM

Jesus Calling – I’ll have to look through my books. Sounds familiar but…

I’m sorry about your son. Our son Eric had leukemia and during the 3 1/2 years of chemo we often had to release him to the Lord, not knowing if we were going to get to keep him. Those are difficult times. I will pray for you and your family.

Shannon Wallace January 2, 2013 at 3:25 PM

Happy New Year!

I really like Jesus Calling. Right now, as a family we are reading through the kid’s version. I received my (adult version) book as a gift shortly after our oldest son passed away in 2010. When I was unable to read my Bible and comprehend anything, I could digest this, and also Jesus Lives. Both are amazing devotionals by Sarah Young.

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