So it is that time of the year again that we all sit down and create New Year’s Resolutions. The gyms double their memberships and the people who always work out dread the gym because it becomes too busy. Luckily for them, in just a month (or less) it will go back to normal. How do I know this? Because I have made that resolution in the past. haha. I wanted to bulk up and become a beast! All 5’11 and 128 pounds of me. A beast I tell you. We can just chalk that resolution as a failure.
A few years, I stopped calling them resolutions because it just was something I didn’t care if I stopped. However, I always look at the new year and create goals for myself. Many times they still seem like resolutions but I use these goals as a tool to measure myself by. These are the goals that I determine if I am doing what I am called to do. Am I fulfilling the dreams that God has placed in my life?
Here is the thing… I meet some of them each year and fail at some of them. Then there are some that I accomplish about 50-75% of them, and they carry over to the next year. I have a problem where I sometimes dream too big and I don’t know where to start. Then I find myself overwhelmed and start to fail at everything. So, I purposely sit down and create short term and long term goals. I also create goals that I feel are unattainable. However, it is those goals that help me push through and at least get things rolling.
So for 2017… I am calling it the year of greatness. For the last 3 years I feel that I have not been living into my calling that God has placed in my life. There are numerous reasons why, but I feel that fear is one of the biggest. My dreams scare me. I don’t know how to do half the stuff that God has called me too. It means becoming vulnerable and admitting my mistakes like never before. It means facing judgment from others. It means my comfy little life could become rocky. I just spent the last 3 years doing all I can to recover from the hardest and most difficult time of my life. I finally feel normal. So you could say that fear is something that has driven me the last few years. However, in 2017, I plan to kick fears ugly rearing head. Like judo chop it into submission.
So to tackle my fear – I made goals for myself and for Continue the Story. I want to share with you some of the goals that I have made for myself and for Continue the Story. FYI, these are in no particular order.
- Fully get up and running in Marysville Women’s Correctional and start our Bedtime Stories where women inmates are video recorded reading a bedtime story for their children.
- Send 75 bedtime story DVDs along with the book and a stuffed animal to children impacted by the prison system.
- By end of 2017 partner with an additional prison (for men) to allow men to read bedtime stories for their children.
- Partner with local school districts to help the teachers and children impacted by the prison system and create programming and resources.
- School Kits, Tutoring, Training for teachers on effective ways to work with children who have a parent in prison.
- Speak/Preach at 15-18 churches and share my story, share the vision of Continue the Story, and build partnerships. (I have 6 booked so far – this terrifies me – but I am so excited at the same time.)
- Continue building a relationship/partner with State of Ohio Public Defenders and help those on death row to build stronger family bonds as well. To give them hope.
- Outline and begin writing a book that is all about “Our Stories” and how to start to rewrite our story.
- Write or journal every day of the year. I had a friend who did a photo a day challenge. I want to do the same thing but for writing.
So this is a just a handful of what I plan for 2017. Some of these for specifically for Continue the Story and some of these are for me personally. I want my life to reflect my calling in 2017. I want to dive in and never look back.
Here is the exciting part. You and I are not alone in our goals. We have people who are in our corner fighting alongside of us. We also have a God who never breaks his promises. I am encouraged by two scripture verses when it comes to my 2017 goals.
“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 3:14 (NIV)
“May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.” – Psalm 20:4 (NIV)
I really have no idea what 2017 holds for me. What I do know is that God is with me. His plans are greater than I will ever know. The last 6 months have been a whirlwind around Continue the Story. I have learned so much and I cannot wait to see what God continues to do with it all. I just pray that this ministry is never limited to my ability but rather the ability of God. He has been sending me people into my life that I needed at the exact moment. People who are invested in the same dreams and passions as me. I have always been the type of guy who wants to do everything, but when it comes to prison ministry, I keep finding myself stopped by red lights. However, God then sends people into my life who are not red lighted like me. It has drastically changed how I thought “I” would be serving, but I just want to see families rebuilt. I want to see families grow and become stronger despite being impacted by prison.
So what are your dreams and goals for 2017? Make goals that are easy. Make goals that are hard and ALWAYS know that God is with you.
Make 2017, the year of greatness for you too!
Mic Mohler | President