Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Finding Christmas: Setting a Goal

I've been in a writing accountability group for most of this year. At the first of every month, we set a word-count goal. My goal has ranged from 10,000 words when I was editing a manuscript to 50,000 when I was writing a new story. Once the goal is set, we report in daily with the number of words we've written that day. Every day.

I can't begin to describe how much I hate reporting a zero, especially when my fellow writers are reporting thousands of words written. I hate reporting zeros so much that, even on a day when I have other responsibilities, I write a little while to avoid the zero.

In November, the word count wasn't an essential part of my efforts because I was doing rewrites. My main goal was to get through the entire manuscript, and I accomplished that, but I didn't do as well with keeping a tally of my new words written. Before I knew it, I was so behind in my tally, I had no idea where I was in my goal. I don't know if I made goal or not, because I stopped counting. 

It's easy to treat goals as optional, isn't it? Last month, I accomplished the goal that mattered to me, but not the goal for which I was also accountable. 

I'll do better this month.

Today, I'll set a new word count goal and begin my efforts again.

There's a kind of grace in my writing group. Unmerited favor. We start again and make a better effort every month.

There's the same kind of grace in finding Christmas. We may have done a terrible job of focusing on Christ in the past, but we can make a new goal this year. We can begin again. 

This year, I'm setting a goal of lighting my Advent candles during my dinner meal and reading an Advent devotional every day. 

I'm setting a goal of focusing more on Christ and His ways than on the commercialization of Christmas. 

Of giving more love and less stuff, because who cares about stuff if there's no love? 

Of spending more time and less money, because money is never a good substitute for time.

Of living like Mary, who said, "My soul exalts the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior."  (Luke 1:46 nasb)

Why not join me in setting a Christmas goal for the month of December? Don't set a goal of presents bought and packages wrapped. Instead, set of goal of finding Christ in Christmas, honoring Him, every day this month. In ways large and small, seek Him. 

"And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:13 nasb
In case you missed any of the past week's posts, here are the links: Grateful Heart: The Beginning of StoriesGrateful Heart: Blessing of PositionGrateful Heart: Wonder PickleGrateful Heart: FamilyBeginning the Advent JourneyFinding Christmas: The Best Advent of All, and Finding Christmas: Something Better than Stuff.

The most read post of the last week: Grateful Heart: Family.

If you're looking for an Advent devotional, you can find The Road to Bethlehem on Amazon here.
#Advent #FindingChristinChristmas #JesusChrist #Christmas #goals