Count 'Em - How to "Plan" for 2024
Let's Count 'Em - the Ways We've Seen God in 2023 - and Remember Forward into 2024
The influencers say you should do this for the New Year...
Set those big scary goals
Plan your months, quarters, the whole year
And do whatever it takes to achieve the plan and goals
But what if that's not what God is calling you to now?
What if right now you're meant to
Live right now
What if you're meant to wait and listen for whispers to you of what would be pleasing to Him on this day? While trusting that when it’s time to run more with Him, God will let you know?
If you feel that, I wonder if a different "plan" may fit well for your 2024.
My Savor Life regulars know that Psalm 34:8 is one of my life verses right now. Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him. Psalm 34:8
So I’m combining that with a thought that’s been on my mind since a song by Brandon Lake called Count ‘Em came out this year.
It’s so energizing as it reminds us of the Lord’s power and that we can’t truly count all the wonders He’s done, right?
But let’s try to count' em and plan for 2024 using the faith building they inspire (along with God's word and promises).
At our Christmas service in church last week, I heard the phrase “remembering forward,” and it seems to fit this well.
So, let’s look back and count the times and places you saw God in 2023. Maybe you didn't realize it then but looking back, do you see Him now? List em out and then remember forward!
This sort of plan will build our faith and help carry us forward as we grow and encounter what’s ahead.
It pairs well with something new we started in 2023 which I hope to be more consistent in over the New Year. We have a family journal that my little sister made for us, and I love the little family she put on the cover for us!
My thought was to record times we saw God, answers to prayer, or times of thankfulness for us to look back and remember. I started well but then dwindled, so this is a good reminder for me to keep it up. Because it was helpful to me as I looked back at 2023 to times we saw God so I can count 'em and remember forward.
Here are some of the top ways we’ve seen God in 2023
January 2, 2023 - Rena was worried that one of their favorite hens, Sunny, was missing. We prayed that Sunny would turn up after looking everywhere. An hour later, we looked out and there she was! We all saw God!
2. January 23, 2023 - A specialist determined that a possibly cancerous spot in my mouth did not need biopsied as it appeared fairly routine to him. Through the time of waiting to find this out (some weeks), a verse and story in 2 Chronicles 20 that says the Battle Belongs to the Lord was a comfort and actually a help in many areas of life. I saw God through this struggle.
3. February 10, 2023 - LIttle Vada (not yet three) was practicing letters in a Bible given to us with encouragement from friends. I saw God in this sweet moment watching her use what we’ve learned together with Lenna in God’s word.
4. February 2023 - God saw me through a horrific crash going 70 mph or maybe a little more knowing me on the highway. Thankfully I was alone in Scott’s truck, which had full coverage and new enough that the insurance paid for the substantial damage. And even better, I walked away with no injuries. Two things stick out to me from that morning: I’m glad I heard the spirit urge me to pray for safety as I drove away. And, while my trip was not uneventful, I’m thankful that God was with me with the last thought I remember as I spun out on the wet highway being “help me God.” And he did. I saw God as he heard me and brought me home uninjured.
5. March 3, 2023 - Thanking God for a free Meijer pick up order for some reason that was not apparent. We saw God as he provided for us.
6. March 4, 2023 - Scott started working on the old second kitchen in our home so that I could have it licensed to become the Savor Life Wellness kitchen. This was years in the making. We saw God in Scott’s work and then when we got our license later that year.
7. Late March, 2023 - We saw our baby chick rise again and renamed her Lazarus. We really saw God that day!
8. May 2023 - It took many weeks to get Scott’s truck back after that accident. Then we had another vehicle setback as my suburban’s engine died. This was a huge unexpected expense but God saw us through that and the time of juggling vehicles to get our family around. I even got to drive Scott’s truck some and that helped us get the needed supplies to build a goat shelter for the goats the girls were buying. I saw God in that challenge and the blessings that came from it.
8. May 3, 2023 - Road workers began doing work on the culverts near our house. We asked if we could have the topsoil they dug out to use in our yard, and they said yes! We saw God as he provided again for us a free gift.
9. June 27, 2023 - None of the lights would work on the west side of our OLD farm house. Scott came home as he was worried about past electrical issues we’ve had. He couldn’t find the problem. I started to pray, and he soon found the problem and called it a miracle. The kids and I said, “thank you God” as we saw Him through that problem.
10. December 15, 2023 - In the shower one day, I heard little Lenna say she had a question. I’ve learned to slow when she says this as often it ends up being a lesson for me. That day, she asked several in a row as we talked. Will the Earth always be like it is now? Why not? Will heaven really be better than Earth? How can I tell people about Jesus? I saw God in her questions and growing faith.
11. December 17, 2023 - Again in a quiet time with Lenna, she said: “You mean rest is a good thing?” And I shared that, yes, rest is a gift from God. This is a lesson I’ve been learning especially over this last year as a doer. I’ve never rested well but am learning to be thankful for the Sabbath and other times of rest. I saw God in her innocent question that reinforced His lessons to me this year.
So, count ‘em with me, would you?
Make your own list and then let’s remember them forward into 2024. That's the plan to make for 2024.
Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him. Psalm 34:8