State of Your Union: How to Make this Your Best Year Yet!
This January, we were honored to receive the news that we were selected as the cover couple for Leading Hearts magazine! Inside are many inspiring, equipping and educational articles from many of today’s Christian leaders—our article is about God Writing Our Love Story, (We hope you will take a moment to read the article and others that might bless and build you and your family)
Each January, several things happen: New Year’s resolutions, breaking them, hearing the State of the Union address from capitol hill, and for us, taking inventory of our last year, then setting goals for the new year. (Download your STATE of OUR UNION marriage inventory)
This year we did our goal-setting driving home from seeing our kids and grandkids, and stopping to see Bill’s folks and checking up on their health and happiness. Being the sandwich generation, setting our goals in this setting caused us to ponder how we can live our legacy now to leave a legacy one day. Here are the goal setting YOUR BEST YEAR YET worksheets we use each year to put our best foot forward.
Looking back, one of the choices we are so glad we have made is to select a WORD OF THE YEAR, verse of the year, and theme of the year to provide focus. (Download Your Word of Year Worksheet) Last year my word was Adventure and Bill’s was Intrepid. The year was a challenge with the up and down sale of our home, and the extra responsibility of commuting to care for Bill’s folks along with our ministry. Having an attitude of adventure carried me through with a more positive and hopeful attitude, and Bill showed the strength of the aircraft carrier Intrepid, shouldering heavy responsibilities amid a spiritual war zone.
We are looking forward to a new year with new hope and new enthusiasm. So, we have new words for the year!
Pam: BLESSING (I want to be a blessing, count my blessings and receive God’s blessings)
Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers. (Ps 1:1-3)
Bill: RESTORE! (Restore, in this verse below, captures the picture of God replenishing and setting a stable foundation to be used greatly in the future!)
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. (1 Peter 5:10)
On our social media, many asked how we select our Word of the Year, so here is a 3-step process that summarizes a simple method to select YOUR Word, verse and motto of the year!
STOP: Take time to pause. Some churches call it a “Seek Week”, for us, Pam attends a wellness Week sponsored by First Place 4 Health, and Bill spends a quieter week at home and both of us spend extended quality time in God’s Word. Often, just in our normal study, God will bring a verse or a theme across our path. That was the case with Bill’s verse this year, which was gift-wrapped in a sermon, and we both agreed it was the perfect verse for capturing all we hoped to see God do in 2017.
LOOK: Usually from Thanksgiving on, we begin to look at our lives and take an inventory of what worked and what didn’t. We pray God will show each of us areas that might need improvement, focus, or a deeper, richer understanding.
LISTEN: Many years, we hear repeating comments, from people and sermons, in Bible studies. For example, all last year when we explained why we were selling our home so we could move our life and ministry to be headquartered nearer Bill’s parents to be a more active piece of their care team, often others would respond, “Oh, God will bless you for that” I (Pam) heard it enough that I began to pray about all the areas we did (do) need God to bless us, and how cultivating an attitude of gratitude is a positive force for good, and I knew I needed to become good at daily choosing to be a blessing in this newer caregiving role that would accompany our normal ministry life. It felt like God handed me my word of the year on a silver platter.
So what will your word, verse and motto be? We’d love for you to post yours on our Pam and Bill Farrel Facebook page—so we can pray for you and all God has on his heart for you in 2017.
We have some fun news too—the expanded, updated anniversary edition of Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti has just been released. (Grab your autographed copy today) To celebrate, we will be gathering recipes for waffles and toppings and spaghetti sauces and pasta recipes for a free downloadable cookbook to release later this spring. If you have some yummy recipes, please email them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org (waffle/spaghetti cookbook in the subject line).
And as we travel this year, we will film waffle breakfasts, and spaghetti dinners at local restaurants (hopefully also eating with friends and supporters in that community as we dine.) If you have a great restaurant (local mom and pop ones) to nominate in your city, we’d love to hear about it. (You can also email your nomination to email@example.com – please place "w/s dining tour" in the subject line)
Perhaps we will see you “on the road”! (See our travel schedule or email us for details of how to bring us to your church or community!)
God bless you! s
Bill and Pam Farrel
PS, use the code WAFFLES by Jan 31 for 20% off new Waffles and Spaghetti book