Listen to this blog post on my podcast Seeking God, Loving Others.

David said, “My son Solomon is young and inexperienced, and the house to be built for the Lord should be of great magnificence and fame and splendor in the sight of all the nations. Therefore I will make preparations for it.” So David made extensive preparations before his death. – 1 Chronicles 22:5

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. And yes, I sang that as I typed it! I really love Christmas time. For me, it’s the point in my year that signals it’s time to relax. I would say I go against the grain at this time of year that is usually spent bustling around to parties, stores and shows. A study in 2019 showed that 88% of respondents believed the holidays are the most stressful time of the year!

I have my yearly traditions of decorating, gift giving and fellowship just like most people, but I decided a long time go that I would not give into the belief that this time of year would be stressful. I’ve worked to be very intentional about centering our celebration on Jesus and his magnificent arrival into the world. That means saying no sometimes to the busyness that tries to creep in this time of year.

During this time of year, I usually spend some time reflecting on what has happened during the year. Goals I’ve completed and the ones that will carry over. Fun activities or trips with the family. I also spend some time starting to prepare for the next year. What do I want to see happen in my finances? My homeschool? My fitness? My faith?

One of my favorite quotes comes from Chris Voss in his book, Never Split the Difference. “When the pressure is on, you don’t rise to the occasion. You fall to the highest level of preparation.”

Every year, thousands of people write New Year’s Resolutions. I think what many people are writing is actually a wish list. By definition, when you make a resolution or resolve to do something, you are deciding firmly on a course of action. Resolutions should be more than just a cute list at the front of your planner. They should be accompanied by a plan of action. If you want to reach your goals, whatever they are, you have to prepare.

Every year, I prayerfully choose a word to guide my year. For 2021, my word was prepare. I wasn’t sure what this meant but knew from experience that God would show me throughout the year. This year, I committed to improving this blog, started a podcast and ran a marathon. I also have seen our homeschool blossom into a loving, calm, fulfilling environment that my kids are thriving in. But none of this happened accidentally. I began preparing for the change I wanted to see.

We are given a great example of this in the Bible. King David wanted to build a temple for the Lord but was told that his son, Solomon would be the one who would build the temple. Instead of being upset about what he couldn’t do, David began to pour himself into something he could do: make preparations for the building of the temple.

Over these last few weeks of 2021, I want to help you begin to think about where you’d like to see yourself this time next year by looking at the building of the temple in Jerusalem. The Bible tells us that our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). Let 2022 be the year that you prepare your temple inside and out for what God wants to do through you.

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