How to Start Your New Year Right

How to Start Your New Year Right

A new year is truly a new season that God brings us. And what we do with that new season is just as important. So, let’s look at how to start your new year right and enter this new season.

To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven… Ecclesiastes 3:1 NKJV

God knows infinitely more than we do; He is Creator and without Him there would be nothing.

He knows the end from the beginning. So to get the heart and mind of God for our lives in the season we’re in, is significant so that we can continue living purposeful, intentional, power-filled, full lives.

Scroll down to get your FREE 30-Day Renewing Your Mind Challenge!

The Lord Has Good Plans For You

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV

Here are some promises you can be certain of from God:

  • The Lord makes all things work together for good. (Romans 8:28)
  • What the enemy intends for evil in your life, God meant for good. (Genesis 50:20)
  • We cannot do anything without the power of the Holy Spirit working in us and through us. (John 15:5)
  • For all the promises of God are yes and amen! (2 Corinthians 1:20)
  • Every good gift and every perfect gift is from God. (James 1:17)
  • We are to fill the earth with His glory by living our lives fully for the Lord, hearing what He says and doing it. (John 17:20-23) 
How To Start The New Year Right + 30-Day Renewing My Mind Bible Scripture Challenge

** Get your FREE printable at the end of this post **

Embrace The Season

With the confidence in the Lord concerning His promises, we know that whatever season we’re in, it’s is not meant to last.

Seasons in our lives change constantly. 

Not every season is easy, and not every season is hard. Just as sure as we can be that winter turns to spring, spring to summer, summer to autumn and autumn to winter, what we’re facing is always temporary and meant to change.

And the season you’re in right now is not only about you; it’s about what God wants to do in you, so that He can reach others through you.

God sees so much more than you do about your life and how you’re to impact others through the season you’re going through. So, moving forward in your season, whether it’s easy or not is for your growth, for the glory of God to be seen, and your testimony as a witness of God’s goodness.

Consider embracing the season you’re in. 

By recognizing the season, you choose to change or at the very least know that things are going to change. You choose to move forward in your life by embracing the season.

And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Galatians 6:9 NKJV

It’s Time For Transformation

We become like what and whom we surround ourselves with.

Everything around us, including social media, friendships, relationships, media, government, education and those you follow, are all forms of influence.

Whatever or whomever you allow to speak into your life is feeding your mind. So it’s crucial to protect yourself from being influenced, and instead be an influencer for Christ.

So what we need to do is change the way we think.

God’s ways are so much higher than our ways. By having a relationship with Him, it’s about becoming conformed to the image of Christ and our the renewal of our minds is where it starts!

How we do renew our minds?

By digesting, meditating and speaking the Word of God!

Romans 12:2 TPT says,

Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes.

How to Start Your New Year Right

IDENTIFY, ACKNOWLODGE, CHANGE

A new year brings about a desire to change things in our lives and resolve to create goals and achieve them.

Let’s go through a process of self-examination through identifying what in our lives needs to change, acknowledging that change is needed, and finally, making and seeing the change.

ACTION STEP #1 – IDENTIFY

Examine your life in the areas below and identify how you’re doing. By doing this, you’re empowering yourself to start the new year right!

  • How do you spend your time?
  • Whom do you spend your time with?
  • How are you doing in your health in these areas:
    • Mentally
    • Emotionally
    • Physically
    • Relationally
    • Financially
  • Am I being fully present and engaging mindfully in all that I do?
  • How am I moving from information and inspiration to application and transformation?
  • What new goals do I desire to see in my life?

ACTION STEP #2 – ACKNOWLEDGE

So now that you’ve identified how you’re doing in the areas above, acknowledge what you need to change and that you need to change.

Acknowledgement is important. Without recognizing that these areas need your work and attention, you’re denying yourself God’s empowerment to change these areas.

God’s grace is sufficient for change. But, if we don’t want to change and see that it’s necessary, the enemy would love nothing more than for you to stay the same.

Be honest with yourself this area; it’s important!

ACTION STEP #3 – CHANGE

With the areas you’ve looked at above, fill in these statements.

  • I need to stop spending my time ________________ and start spending my time ________________ .
  • The people that I need to spend less time with are ________________ . The people that I need to be spending more time with are ________________ .
  • For the sake of my:
    • mental health, I need to stop ________________ and start ________________ .
    • emotional health, I need to stop ________________ and start ________________ .
    • physical health, I need to stop ________________ and start ________________ .
    • relational health, I need to stop ________________ and start ________________ .
    • financial health, I need to stop ________________ and start ________________ .
  • In order to be fully present and engaging mindfully, I need to stop ________________ and start ________________ .
  • I’ve taken in a lot of information and inspiration in these areas ________________ and now I will apply what I’ve learned so that I experience transformation in these areas ________________ .
  • I desire to see these new goals in my life ________________ .

 

How To Start The New Year Right + 30-Day Renewing My Mind Bible Scripture Challenge

Be Doers, Not Hearers Only

To see the results of the change you are hungry for in your life means you’re acknowledging that you need to change, identifying the steps to change it, and putting in the work which is the most challenging part.

We often lack consistency, dedication, self-discipline and self-control when it comes to putting in the work.

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. James 1:22 NKJV

We deceive ourselves and deny ourselves change when we don’t follow through with it. And we have a habit of making ourselves feel bad, wrong and guilty for it.

But God is so much greater than our insufficiencies.

He is faithful when we bring our challenges before Him. He knows that our pursuit is His pursuit, especially when we’re living set apart for Him, and the changes we want to see are positive for our lives and others.

I encourage you to spend devoted time in prayer, fasting and journaling this new year.

God will speak to your heart as you hunger and thirst after Him. And then rest in who God is by trusting in Him.

You can’t control the outcomes, but you can do what you know to do and God does the rest. His grace fills the gaps, because God can do things that you can’t.

Respond to the Word of Truth, allow it to change and transform you, and see what God will do. This is truly how you start the new year right.

Take the 30-Day “Renewing My Mind” Bible Scripture Challenge below. Refresh yourself concerning the very nature and character of God!

Renewing My Mind 30-Day Bible Scripture Challenge

How To Start The New Year Right + 30-Day Renewing My Mind Bible Scripture Challenge

How are you starting the new year right? Let me know in the comments below.

Anchored in Jesus,
Melanie

Cultivating a Heart of Thankfulness + 30-Day Thankfulness Scripture Challenge Printable
Trust in the Lord + 30 Day Bible Scripture Trust Challenge FREE Printable
11 Ways to Surrender to God + 30-Day Surrender Challenge FREE Printable
5 Ways to Find Hope + FREE 30-Day Hope Challenge Printable

REVIEW: Evan-Moor Daily Phonics Grade 1 E-book

REVIEW: Evan-Moor Daily Phonics Grade 1 E-book

I was looking for a resource that would supplement and provide extra support in helping my child with phonics and reading. I found that Evan-Moor has a Daily Phonics Grade 1 E-book, and thought it might be a good fit and I was pleasantly surprised!

I had the pleasure of reviewing Evan-Moor’s Daily Phonics Grade 1 E-book in exchange for my honest review.

The Struggle With Reading

My daughter has found reading to be a challenge. Although she can easily tell me individual letter sounds, it’s reading blends and sight words that have been a bit of a struggle.

She’s been so disheartened at times.

I see her lack of self-confidence and the disappointment in herself for just having to work so hard to get what she feels like she should already know.

So to avoid any resentment towards reading, we have slowed right down and chosen to be intentional in what we do to help her read.

With that, I’ve decided to add in reinforcements and supplements to my daughter’s grade 2 curriculum helping her see quick wins and build confidence. This has proved to be a great decision using Evan-Moor’s Daily Phonics Grade 1 E-Book!

Evan-Moor Daily Phonics Grade 1 Curriculum Review E-book

How We’re Using Evan-Moor’s Daily Phonics Grade 1 E-Book

Our approach and goal in using this curriculum is to:

  • reinforce the phonics that have already been learned
  • help build my daughter’s memory work
  • develop confidence
  • see quick-wins
  • move at our own pace

Because this is our approach, the e-book works best for us. (The HP Instant Ink subscription has been a life-saver!) I just print out the sheets we need as we go along.

How We're Using Evan-Moor's Daily Phonics Grade 1 Our approach and goal in using this curriculum is to reinforce what's already been learned and to help build my daughter's memory work. Because this is our approach, the e-book works best for us. (The HP Instant Ink subscription has been a life-saver!)  Based on what we're working on during our reading lessons, or the review we're doing, I print out the sheets we need. We don't go in order of the book, although, that can work, too if it's being used as a complete curriculum.
How We're Using Evan-Moor's Daily Phonics Grade 1 Our approach and goal in using this curriculum is to reinforce what's already been learned and to help build my daughter's memory work. Because this is our approach, the e-book works best for us. (The HP Instant Ink subscription has been a life-saver!)  Based on what we're working on during our reading lessons, or the review we're doing, I print out the sheets we need. We don't go in order of the book, although, that can work, too if it's being used as a complete curriculum.

The Pros of the Daily Phonics Grade 1 E-book

  • Lessons are short. This made the curriculum approachable for both my daughter and I. With shorter lessons, it also brought quick wins, which is exactly what I was looking for.
  • You set the speed. Although we could follow the lesson plan (which is daily for 32 weeks and simple to follow), we found that we could also do what worked for us. So we sometimes combined 2 days into 1 or skipped some days if my daughter had the concept mastered.
  • Lessons are simple to understand. There’s no confusion as to what was being asked of each lesson.
  • Language Arts fundamentals are included. I’m fond of the multi-sensory approach involving listening, reading, writing, speaking and spelling.
  • Print what you need. If extra review was needed, I could print out extra copies easily.
  • Scripted Teacher’s Manual. I like a scripted format when it comes to a teacher’s manual, and this curriculum has it and it’s easy to follow.
  • Answer Key. Found at the back of the book. It’s a great inclusion if needed.
How We're Using Evan-Moor's Daily Phonics Grade 1 Our approach and goal in using this curriculum is to reinforce what's already been learned and to help build my daughter's memory work. Because this is our approach, the e-book works best for us. (The HP Instant Ink subscription has been a life-saver!)  Based on what we're working on during our reading lessons, or the review we're doing, I print out the sheets we need. We don't go in order of the book, although, that can work, too if it's being used as a complete curriculum.
How We're Using Evan-Moor's Daily Phonics Grade 1 Our approach and goal in using this curriculum is to reinforce what's already been learned and to help build my daughter's memory work. Because this is our approach, the e-book works best for us. (The HP Instant Ink subscription has been a life-saver!)  Based on what we're working on during our reading lessons, or the review we're doing, I print out the sheets we need. We don't go in order of the book, although, that can work, too if it's being used as a complete curriculum.

The Cons of the Daily Phonics Grade 1 E-book

  • Nothing. We didn’t find anything that both my daughter and I didn’t like, although a colour option would be a great alternative.
Daily Phonics, Grade 1 - Teacher's Edition, E-book

For your copy of the Evan-Moor Daily Phonics Grade 1 E-book, get it here.

What products have you used to help your child with phonics?

Have you used Evan-Moor’s Daily Phonics Grade 1 E-book? How did it work in your homeschool? Let me know in the comments below.

Anchored in Jesus,
Melanie

Nativity Bible Study for Kids

Nativity Bible Study for Kids

Christmas is really such a special time of family, friends, food and gifts. But the true meaning of Christmas is found in teaching our children about the birth of Jesus.

Nativity Bible Study for Kids

Light some candles, bring out a snack and come together as a family to listen to the story of Jesus’ birth.

It all began with the prophecies of Jesus’ birth then Mary having a powerful encounter with the angel, Gabriel. Then Joseph had a dream where an angel spoke to him about the Christ-child, and finally Jesus’ birth and all those who went to see him.

The Nativity Bible Study for Kids is more than just a story about a baby being born. It’s about helping your kids to see how God uses unlikely people and situations, the power of the Holy Spirit, and what Jesus’ birth represents for us today – Immanuel, “God with Us”. 

Printable Nativity Bible Study for Kids for ages 5-11 in11

What the printable Nativity Bible Study for Kids includes:

  • Recommended ages: 5-11
  • BIG idea to focus on the main point of the Bible story / topic studied
    Bible story study
  • Discussion questions as it applies to the Bible story
  • Definition copywork
  • Discussion prompts applying the Bible story to everyday life.
  • Scripture memory work
  • Crossword
  • Colouring page

If you’re looking for more items related to Christmas or Bible studies for kids, check these out:

How are you being intentional in sharing the story of Jesus’ birth with your kids and what it means in our lives today? Share with me below.

Anchored in Jesus,
Melanie

Scriptures for Encouragement + FREE 30-Day Scripture Challenge Pack

Scriptures for Encouragement + FREE 30-Day Scripture Challenge Pack

We all experience challenges in our life and the Bible is the perfect resources as our scriptures for encouragement.

Fill our hearts, renewing our minds and speaking the Word of God stirs with us faith, the promises of God, strength by the power of the Holy Spirit and so much more!

In fact, this is what Hebrews 4:12 says,

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Scriptures for encouragement + FREE 30-day scripture challenge pack

Filling Our Hearts

Our hearts are a very sensitive place where we hide God’s Word.

Out of our hearts also flows everything we are whether good or evil. It’s essential then that we protect our hearts.

How do we protect our hearts?

We protect our hearts by being mindful of what we choose to allow our eyes to see and our ears to hear.

Everything around us can affect us, so guarding and protecting your heart from what could penetrate it is of highest priority.

In Proverbs 4:23 in The Passion Translation it says,

So above all, guard the affections of your heart, for they affect all that you are. Pay attention to the welfare of your innermost being, for from there flows the wellspring of life.

The Word is also something we can hide in our heart.

Our loving Father allows us the choice of what we fill our hearts with and we can either choose to pursue the Lord and His ways or the ways of this world.

For your heart will always pursue what you value as your treasure. Matthew 6:21 TPT

 

A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. Luke 6:45 NKJV

Transforming Your Mind

Renewing our minds is a process of setting or fixing our mind and thinking on things that are from God. As we do this, we start to become who God says we can be.

We are to also be the salt and the light of the world by thinking differently, acting differently and speaking different. By having scriptures for encouragement, we can constantly examine if we’re staying true to the Word.

If we’re no different than the world then we’ve conformed and lost our flavour.

The environments around us can change us if we’re not perceptive and watchful of what’s going on around us. What we allow in our minds can conform us to this world and the way it operates.

Transformation is a continual process and not something that happens overnight.

Romans 12:2 TPT says,

Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes.

Scriptures for encouragement + FREE 30-day scripture challenge pack

Speaking the Word

We need to intentionally meditate on the Word so that that is what comes out of our mouth.

Joshua 1:8 NKJV says,

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

To meditate means to: moan, growl, utter, muse, mutter, meditate, devise, plot and speak (source).

We are to literally utter, mutter and speak the Word of God.

It’s not to just speak words either for the sake of saying them. It’s that we’re to say these words to hear them, and when we hear them it’s affecting our heart and the way we think.

Just as food is fuel and nourishment to our bodies, the Word of God fuels our spirit and the way we think allowing our words to change.

Download your FREE 30-Day Bible Scripture Challenge Pack

Scriptures for encouragement + FREE 30-day scripture challenge pack

What are some scriptures for encouragement that are your go-to?

Let me know in the comments below!

Anchored in Jesus,
Melanie

Teach your kids obedience with this 60+ page family Bible study!

Christmas Bible Story + FREE 30-Day Scripture Printable

Christmas Bible Story + FREE 30-Day Scripture Printable

There’s nothing like coming together as a family every night, lighting a few candles, grabbing a hot chocolate or tea and reading a passage that leads up to the birth of Jesus.

Take a journey over 30 days with a Christmas Bible story scripture challenge, from the prophecies of Jesus, to Mary and Joseph’s encounter with the angel, and then finally Jesus’ birth.

Christmas Bible Story + 30-Day Bible Scripture Challenge FREE Printable

Read the Christmas Bible Story in 30 Days

The story of Jesus is significant.

Why? Because without Him we would not have been redeemed and restored living in a new covenant of grace.

Our loving God in His great mercy, having given His created image (people) the ability to make their own choices, made a plan of redemption from the beginning.

Jesus was already prophesied about in Genesis 3:15, which says,

And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.”

As you continue to look in scripture, Jesus is prophesied about and foreshadowed in the Old Testament. God was set on redeeming His people, and there was an appointed time for Jesus to come.

Christmas Bible Story + 30-Day Bible Scripture Challenge FREE Printable

The Unlikely…Mary, Jesus’ Mother

I love a good story about an underdog.

I think about how Mary must have felt being visited by an angel to say she will carry the One whom God will send to redeem His people AND have a child without being intimate with a man.

To think that God would plan something so unlikely, having a woman become pregnant miraculously, by the power of the Holy Spirit overshadowing her, is beyond my understanding.

Can you relate with Mary in trying to figure this all out? Our mind just can’t fathom this kind of thing.

The angel, Gabriel, actually encourages Mary about God’s miraculous nature by reminding her that Elizabeth was pregnant in her older age.

Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.” Luke 1:36-37

And immediately, following Gabriel’s reminder, Mary says the most powerful words of faith.

“Let it be to me according to your word.” Luke 1:38

Get your FREE 30-Day Christmas Bible Story Printable

Christmas Bible Story + 30-Day Bible Scripture Challenge FaREE Printable

How do you celebrate Jesus in this season of Christmas? I’d love to hear what your family does. Feel free to share in the comments below!

Anchored in Jesus,
Melanie

Cultivating a Heart of Thankfulness + 30-Day Thankfulness Scripture Challenge Printable
Trust in the Lord + 30 Day Bible Scripture Trust Challenge FREE Printable
11 Ways to Surrender to God + 30-Day Surrender Challenge FREE Printable
5 Ways to Find Hope + FREE 30-Day Hope Challenge Printable