The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

By Lauri R B Beach
Sidney First United Methodist Church 

Preparing the way… for the new year, the new you, and to include God


We all have those lists - you know, resolutions, what I want to accomplish in the new year: lose weight, keep on track, community involvement, volunteer more, take a vacation, spiritual growth - you get the idea.

This is a time for personal reflection and spiritual preparation for the new year. It offers a structured opportunity to examine what is holding us back from being who we really want to be. If we use the new year to take concrete steps towards becoming advocates for change, together we can make a difference!

- Begin with prayer: Going inward and re-centering can be the perfect way to begin a new one! Pray to the Lord for wisdom (James 1:5) in regards to what resolutions and goals, if any, he would have you make. Pray for wisdom as to how to fulfill the goals God gives you.

- Begin one of your goals at a time: Maybe you had set intentions in the beginning of the last year, which you didn’t quite get to meeting. It’s not too late to start on them and try again, feeling more confident about completing your list, and creating new intentions. Rely on God’s strength to help you. Find an accountability partner who will help you and encourage you. Don’t become discouraged with occasional failures; instead, allow them to motivate you further. Don’t become proud or vain, but give God the glory. Psalm 37:5-6 says, “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: he will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.”

- Enjoy your own company: This may not be the most popular way to ring in the new year, but it can be the most calming. Don’t feel bad about spending this time on your own, rather embrace this opportunity to do something relaxing and uplifting. Dedicate this time to yourself, whether it’s to get organized or have a solo dance party. This should be all about taking care of your needs and wellbeing.

- Give back: Choosing to help others during the year can be a humbling experience. Giving back to our local and global communities helps remind us of our values and purpose, allowing us to a gain a larger perspective and greater self-awareness. Places to lend a hand - youth and children’s groups are always looking for mentors/leaders contact your education directors or school guidance office; food pantries/community meals looking for folks to help cook and serve food, rideshare organizations seeking volunteers to provide safe rides, and nonprofits looking for people to help with local celebrations and activities. If you aren’t sure where or how to give back, write an email to an organization asking for more information or reach out to a friend who already works with an agency to find out to get involved.

However you chose to spend your time, I hope you had a safe and peaceful new year!

Lord, thank you for your faithfulness and for helping us through this past year. Guide and empower us to fulfill our purpose in the new year.

Lauri R B Beach

Parish Worker/CLM

Sidney First United Methodist Church


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