Written By: Clarissa Mangaran

It’s the beginning of a new year, and many people are thinking about their goals for the year. I am a huge advocate for creating a vision for yourself, your marriage, your family, etc., and aligning goals to bring that vision to fruition. In fact, my husband and I intentionally make time quarterly to check in with one another to see how we’re doing individually with our walk with the Lord, how our marriage is doing, and how our children are doing. We re-evaluate how we’re utilizing our resources, time, and energy to ensure we’re on track with our short and long-term goals, and ultimately, in line with our vision. We think about our relationships, health, finances, and lifestyle choices. We invest a lot of energy in living with intention and purpose.

As we’ve made our way into 2022, something’s changed for me.

My vision (and our family vision), at least the main focus, has shifted. While living with intention, health and finances are still a high priority; my focus has begun to narrow.

My husband and I have determined that our “Why” for all we do is to live a life that honors God. From there, we set goals like doing bible studies and devotions with friends, healthy eating habits, dates with each other and with each of the kids on a regular basis, routines in the house, and so on. We filter decisions we make as a family through our “Why.” Will it bring honor to God? Will it help our relationship, or will it hurt it? Is it a good use of our time, or will it take away from something more important? This may sound exhausting, but it really has brought such richness into our family, such clarity in decision making, and provided many great learning experiences for our children.

We’ve been waiting on God for what’s next for our family. Will we remain in our current living situation, or will we move? If we move, where??? We have no idea where we’ll be in three to six months. The wait has been challenging for me. I LOVE to plan and think ahead. Not knowing where we’ll be beyond the next few months has forced me to stop and wait on God.

As the days crawl by at what feels like a snail’s pace, I’ve really had to check myself and press into God. What if God’s answer to my prayers is “no” or “you’ll have to wait even longer”? What if my husband and I don’t see eye to eye on what to do next? My desire to move seems to make sense, but are my reasons really just selfish desires? If my husband wants something different, will I resent him? If God’s answer is “No,” will I trust His plan for us?

The beginning of this year, while waiting on the Lord, has really forced me to look at my heart and what is driving my decisions. In humility, I have pressed the Lord to show me where my heart is at and if there is any misalignment of my heart with His to help me. I have urged Him to help me desire what He desires for our lives and help my will line up with His.

“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.” (Jeremiah 17:9-10)

What is so incredible about our God is that He is so faithful and patient, and kind. In my earnest pursuit of Truth and intimacy with our Lord, He has brought me so much peace and comfort, which I do not have on my own!

It really got me thinking about my vision and goals for this year. At a time when I literally can’t make plans for the springtime, much less the rest of the year, what does that leave me with?

“But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)

Like I said, my vision has really narrowed to a laser focus this year. All I can plan for; the only goal I can make is to serve the Lord. Whether we stay where we are, or we end up moving somewhere we’ve never been….we’ll serve the Lord.

All the health goals, relationship goals, financial goals, etc…..they’ll all fall into place as decisions are filtered through the question: “Does it honor God?” “Can I/we serve the Lord through this?”

The simplicity of it is…….freeing.

Written By: Clarissa Mangaran