My Goals 2018 | Let The Life Planning Begin

Goal Setting - Where Life Planning Begins

My Goals 2018

Let the life planning begin! 

It’s a new year, and I’ve been busy working on new goals and hoping for grand achievements this year.  Whether you have a plan of action going yet or not in your life, let’s talk.

Goal Setting - Where Life Planning Begins

Goal Setting – Where Life Planning Begins

With the first days of a 2018 now in the rear view mirror of your life and new days on your horizon, may I ask if you have been setting life goals for yourself?  If so, what are your personal goals in life?  

Have you been putting your goals in writing?  Do you have a goal setting planner, or even just a piece of paper, to help you stay on track with the goals and wishes you hope to make happen this year?  

Have you thought about what you want to tackle in your life right now?  What have you been doing well already?  What do you need to improve upon?  

Have you thought about these things, or are you taking in the scene still and thus still getting ideas?  
It’s OK no matter where you are here!  Those are only questions to get you going.    

I guess I’m asking because I’ve been busy myself with some goals and life planning recently, and I’m so excited, I would like to share them with you in hopes that you might be spurred on yourself some too, especially if you haven’t quite completed your thoughts on any New Years resolutions, goal setting, or new goals in life to begin (or continue) this year. 

If you’re ahead of the game, congratulations!  I’m wishing you and your family well! 

If you are somewhere else other than ahead of the game (or standing around still LOOKING at the game board, lol), I’m hoping that perhaps seeing a normal gal like me start a life planning process might help you get started too. 

Furthermore, I figured putting my goals in writing, out there for all to see, would make me just a little more accountable to moving my own game pieces forward on this game board of life.

After all, I want to succeed in my goals in life!  Why not tell the world what those goals are and either get going on what I need to do in my life or face the music if I don’t.  I know I would rather get going and make life better for myself and others I love than face the music if I don’t make the changes I know I need to make.

So here we go: 

My personal goals for 2018 include: 

1 Lose 60 pounds on a whole food, plant based diet

This includes 30 pounds before my husband and I take a trip to the Ohio Amish County with my in-laws in the early summer and then 30 pounds after that time period. 

2 Write 100 blog posts on The New American Home with Chris Stevens before December 31, 2018

3 Write and publish 4 ebooks this year.  

I’ve got the topics already chosen but will keep those close to my vest for right now if you don’t mind.  🙂 

4 Start 1 niche blog this year and prepare for a 2nd one to start early 2019

5 Join a small group at our church with my husband

6 Set up a $5.00 per week automatic transfer from our checking account to a new savings account, ending the year (at any point this year, even the end if I so choose) with a $10.00 per week automatic money saving transfer 

7 Place $200.00 per month into an IRA / Investment account

8 Complete John’s breakfast, lunch pack, and morning send off; my shower, grooming and breakfast; and worship and prayer before 8:00 AM M-F.

9 Office Work and Family Finance time between 8:00 AM to 10:30 AM, M-F

10 Prep for a new blog post 10:30 to 11:00 AM

11 Take one class in social media marketing, 

The specific class TBD, but I’m thinking about either Public Relations Fundamentals or Integrated Web Marketing and Google Analytics, either good towards the Social Media Marketing Certificate I began at University of Texas in Arlington a few years back.

12 Learn how to invest and trade

Here is one of the books I am currently studying on how to begin investing in the stock market.

13 Read and discuss two books, together with my husband, this year

14 Do a Bible / Christian book study with my Texas daughter and daughter-in-law 

15 Go Fluoride Free in our entire home

This includes purchasing a water filtration system, a filtering water pitcher, filtrating water bottles for on the go, and shower heads that filter fluoride as well as other heavy metals from the water. 

16 Experience four 4-day water fasts throughout the year (spring, summer, fall, winter)

17 Have a salt lamp in every room of the house

18 Incorporate one green juice drink per day into my husband’s and my daily eating routine

19 Take our oldest grandson Liam on an overnight trip

I’ve got him thinking about what kind of trip he would have fun doing.  However, his mama has already told me that, so long as there is an indoor pool, he will be as happy as a clam.

20 Bless each one of our childrens’ families (Carrie’s family, Amy’s family, and Scott’s family) with a special fun event or trip this year, lodging, food, activity/ activities, etc courtesy of my husband John and me

21 Prepare for and enjoy a trip with my mother-in-law Jo and her husband Vince to the Ohio Amish Country, that trip to include a much longed-for trip to see my brother and his family in West Virginia and a special aunt I have in Ohio 

My husband and I are still trying to determine if we want to incorporate meat into our meals there, want to just be vegetarian, or stay plant strong, vegan (vegetarian, no eggs, no dairy, ie “vegan) while in the Amish Country.  That is very possible.  After all, as my husband remarked upon one of our discussions about this so far, there should be lots of great vegetables and grains to eat, courtesy of the Amish farmers!   

22 Help my husband John get an updated teacher’s certification for the State of Texas

23 Help set up a website, marketing plan, and social media accounts for my husband and son’s duo music group

24 Work on a VA Disability appeal with my husband

25 Buy most of our produce at Town Talk, organic when possible but will not insist on organic as a means of saving money on groceries

Town Talk is a discount salvage grocery store in the area where we live.  Salvage grocery stores are all over the country.  If you don’t know about them, do an internet search on “salvage grocery stores”, get the information you need to get to one, and you can save money on food… like big time!  

26 Begin buying more online, especially nicely-priced food items from my Amazon Prime account (Amazon Prime and Amazon Prime Pantry); well-priced home goods from Amazon; and home, personal, beauty, essential oils, and natural grooming items from Amazon Prime and Thrive, and office supplies from Amazon

Experience all the benefits of Amazon Prime.  

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27 Pay off 4 credit card bills this year (all early)

28 Complete last payments of one unsecured loan and put that money towards investing in peer-to-peer lending as a lender ourselves

29 Trade in our small car for a little bit larger, nicer car

This will keep a car loan going for us, but hey, we are at least used to having a car loan, and we both feel this is the best option we have right now given all considerations in our life

My van will be on next year’s list, I’m sure, and THAT will be paid for in cash. 

30 Put a new tin roof on our back patio

31 Paint and tile John’s office

32 Lay an extended concrete patio from our back porch patio to our garbage can area

33 Plan and attend two festivals with my husband

These do NOT include the festivals I attend with him where his band plays. These are OUR trips! 

34 Visit our daughter Carrie and her family in Tennessee two times this year, once this summer and again early December or thereabouts  (time based on everyone’s schedule)

I hope that will be more next year, Carrie!  

35 Mail something special to my mother-in-law sometime this year… just because. 

36 Mail a birthday gift basket to our two granddaughters in Tennessee this year

37 Purchase a used but nice wooden playground for our grandchildren

38 Take each one of our grandsons (three, 3+ years old and older) on a date two times this year

39 Go on a romantic weekend getaway with my husband sometime this fall

40 Meet my husband AT THE DOOR every evening when he comes home from work.

Yea.  Yea.  Call me old fashioned.  I love being old fashioned, and I love my husband enough to make sure he feels loved. 

41 Write a daily to-do list on my beloved clip board at least 5 days a week

42 Develop my own process of personal organization, life planning, an organized housework schedule (daily, weekly, monthly, etc), and an organized home and garden timeline, the development and testing of such to be work on throughout and then completed sometime this year but then ready to perfect, write, and publish sometime next year 2019. 

OK.. Whew, that’s a lot!  So how do I get to my goals? 

First of all, I believe I’ve taken one first big step.  To make a list of goals is a great start!  (Yes, I’m patting myself on the back!)   

Although setting an overall life vision and yearly vision first helps many with setting up a life plan and then yearly life plan, I wasn’t organized enough in my thoughts yet to quite be there.  I’m planning on working on those areas better now though! 

However….setting goals, for ME anyway… was a great help in envisioning the life vision I had, at least for this year.  It was the beginning of this year’s life planning for me. 

My next step is coming.  I’m going to buy a life planner like this one. 

I chose one that has a daily life planner as well as a monthly life planner.  The goals as I have them above will require a lot of daily organization.  Lord help me.  I sure need some personal organization skills.  I need personal organization help!  

OK, so my goal setting now public, I stand fully accountable for working on goals and working towards a more organized life to be more successful in my areas of focus this year. 

Whether you are already great at goal setting or struggling with your own life planning tools and skills, I hope my own challenges and my transparency here help you all in some way. 

I need to go for now.  (Other work.. and fun activities…. await,)  We’ll talk again though soon.  


Chris Stevens

Editor and Publisher, The New American Home

New Year – New Beginnings | How To Have A Happy New Year

New Year New Beginnings

Have you said “Happy New Year” to anyone lately?  That’s OK if you did or did not.  It is not necessarily what is in your past that counts.  It is your present and future that count now. 

So what do you plan for your future today?

It’s a new year.  Tell us!!!!  

New Year New Beginnings

You now have a new year, a new day, a new chance.  Until you pass away from this earth, you will always have other choices and other chances. 

You will always have new beginnings.  

So what you said (or did) yesterday…  just leave it there at yesterday and keep going with the knowledge and understanding that yesterday is not today nor is it tomorrow. 

Yesterday is yesterday.  Today is upon us.  Tomorrow is coming, and there is reason to be looking ahead.  There are things a happening in life, dear friend!  

The bad news is that you can’t stop the fact that life is full of changes. 

The good news is that you can’t stop the fact that life is full of changes.

However… the best news is that Jesus is the same no matter what, no matter what day, year, century, or time it is.  

You are in good hand…  “Good Hands”.  

My advice?  

Hey, I don’t usually give advice, but since you asked…  

(OK, since I wrote the question there)…  

Take your lot….  

…Then thank the Good Lord Above (a lot) for another new year, another new chance, maybe another chance for another, better choice next time in one of your new days or new chances, and be thankful for a new year given you as a reminder that changes don’t have to mean the end of good things or good days nor the loss of new days or chances after a bad year, bad times or bad choices.  

Life keeps going through changes, and there are always changes that can keep us going better through life.  

You now have a new year. 

You’ve been given a change, new beginnings.  (And you’ll CONTINUE to get those every single day, every single moment in life, in fact).

Now if you want to have a happy new year, embrace it all and step onward. 

You’re on your way regardless of what you do, so embrace it all, and make those changes you need to make to make this new day a better one than the last —  every day. 

With that in mind, The New American Home with Chris Stevens, and me personally, meaning Chris Stevens, me, myself, and I, will be on the path here this new year as well.  

I look forward to stepping forward with all of you in a new year, a new day, a new chance. 

I wish you well in your new beginning.

I hope you’ll like my new beginning here too. 

There are changes in life. 

Happy New Whatever, and blessings to you in this upcoming year and beyond.

New Year New Beginnings



He who is seated on the throne said “I am making everything new!”  -Revelation 21:5 (NIV)



Don’t Be Too Busy For This

Never get too busy making a living that you forget to make a life.

Are life choices sometimes hard to make?  When your heart is in the right place, right choices are easier but not always perfect.  What then, should we do? 

How do we even make choices in life that reflect who we are?  

What should our priorities be? 

What happens when life needs offset our heart’s desires?  

How can we not fall short? 

I just posted the following post on the Facebook page that goes with this blog:  


The entire post goes like this:

Just as I was about to write a post about hummingbirds, I got a call which required a little bit more of “me” there (somewhere else) than here (writing a blog). I’m back, and you’ll be seeing that hummingbird post soon! In the meantime… I agree…. “Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a ‘life’.” Consider those words as you balance the different areas of THINGS you have in your life with THOSE who share life with you here on this earth. Some decisions do not always have cut and dry answers, and lines of priorities sometimes blur out of necessity beyond your control. However, if your heart is in the right place in advance, you’ll most likely have the rest of “you” where it most needs to be. Best wishes for ALL of you in ALL of your lives. Now… on to writing that article I’m so looking forward to writing! See you here again soon!

Chris Stevens,
The New American Home With Chris Stevens @

I had originally planned on just popping this blog open thinking I would be then ready to write a blog article on hummingbirds as referenced on my Facebook page post.

I was geared to go, people!  

However, as the window opened, and I looked upon my blog site, I realized I needed to stop a moment to make sure I shared my thoughts HERE as well and not just on that Facebook page. 

Making a living is VERY important, folk.  I know that.  

There are actually lots of other important things in life too, some things that don’t always have anything to do with what we WISH we were doing at any given moment.  

My thoughts today are not about making a living, jobs, daily necessities, or priorities, nor do they have anything really to do with time management, home and work conflicts, parenting questions, mothering choices, work at home desires (if that’s the situation) or outside-of-the-home careers (if THAT’S the situation).  

My thoughts here are ONLY about keeping life in perspective and feeling good about decisions you make when you make the best decision you can.  

Will you always make the best decision, make the best choices in life?  Maybe sometimes.  Maybe sometimes you won’t even really HAVE a choice, or have an option even you like.

Just remember this through it all though: 

Your decisions may reflect your situation and thought processes, but who you ARE is embedded in your heart.

What is in your heart right now?  

To be sure, your decisions may not always represent in public what is inside your heart.  Life is full of plenty of choices to make, and you can’t always make some decisions strictly by the heart.  

But that doesn’t mean your heart has no part of you.  

What’s more, your heart is where you will find the best of this world, the most important parts of your life.  Your heart is where you will find the people who make life… well… make life the best life that life can be.  

It’s OK to make wise decisions, and it is necessary to engage the brain when thinking things through.  (Never trust a heart to think through details, lol)  

But never be just too busy for others in your life.   

There are people who need you.  You need them too.   

That kind of arrangement was by God Almighty’s design.    

However, grace is by God’s design too.  

Life’s rewards are not always based on perfect situations.

Good decisions do not result in a perfect life anyway.

However, making time to show the people in your life that you care for THEM will most certainly be one of the best decisions you could ever make in this life. 

Taking time for others will bless them… and you.  

Taking the time to think about others in your life when making decisions will most certainly yield the best decisions you can make.


Dear Lord,

You are with me all the time.  You must be busy!  You have the world on your shoulders, and this world is full of things for you to do.  Yet… you are with me.  

I might call your constant presence and help in my life the most pronounced multi-taking this world has ever seen.  You know what though… that description is far too small to describe your presence.

I think a better description of what you do for me is that you love me.  You LOVE me.

Everything you have done, are doing, and WILL do for me flows from that love.  You do not look down on me.  You intend great things for me.  You exult me.  You are rejoicing in my very being, no matter how small I may feel at any given time.   

You want the best for me.  You are willing to help me, and in YOUR perfectness, you can make all things happen for Good.  

Thank you for being there for me in such love.

Now as I go through life, please help me to love those others you have placed in my life – those always there in my life and those you bring forth for just a while as in seasons in time.  

Help me see when I’m too busy or absent.  Help me to see when those in my life need me.  Give me guidance in how to show my love for those around me. 

Then please cover them… and me… in grace… when I have failed others in some way. 

After all, I realize I am not perfect, but I know you are perfect in all ways.  Your perfection is far above anything I can offer.  

I praise your very being, and I thank you for mine and for those whom you have placed in my life.  

May I NEVER take those “beings” for granted in my life.   May I always make my love for them more important than my love of things in this world.  

Then may I always be ever mindful of Your presence and grace in ALL of our lives when life “things” mess with even the best intentions.  YOU, Heavenly Father, is what makes “it all” work in life.

Thank you for the cover.  I need it.  

Amen and Amen. 


Friends, go and love. 

Bless, and be blessed.  

That, as I mentioned, is God’s design.

But remember, grace… God’s grace… thankfully… is by God’s design too. 

We win. 



*Please like my Facebook page at to stay updated and to be reminded of the little things in life that make life a little better each day.  

Thank you.  Chris Stevens at The New American Home with Chris Stevens

How Chris Cuomo of CNN Just Spoke to THIS Woman

Cup of coffee

What should good Christian men and women do when they are mocked for having an opinion that differs from someone with power or authority? Is there even any good answer to that? Consider this.

What SHOULD a Christian do when they are belittled or defiled by the world? 

I watched CNN this morning as Alisyn Camerota and Chris Cuomo hosted a morning news show called “New Morning”.  

I wasn’t watching for anything in particular this morning.  I had just turned CNN on to catch the daily “drift” of current events and watch any political “sensations of the day”.  

As I sat there as a relaxed morning couch potato just sipping my coffee and munching a flax seed muffin I had just whipped up, I saw Dr. Ben Carson… shall we say enter stage.  

Dr. Carson was there to be interviewed by the male host of the show “New Morning”, Mr. Chris Cuomo.

While the first questions Mr. Cuomo had for Dr. Carson were about Donald Trump, the 2016 Republican presumptive nominee for President of The United States and a New York Times story that had been refuted earlier in the morning by one of those quoted in the article, Mr. Cuomo seemed to gear off message before even 5 minutes were up.  

Well, you know… I’m not in TV journalism land, and I was just sitting there as a mature (over 50) woman with a cup of coffee and a flax seed muffin in hand, but it kind of appeared to me that when Dr. Carson equated what he determined as misquotes in the NY Times article with the struggles he had with saying one thing and seeing it reported “out of context” (as Dr. Carson fairly much described it generally speaking), Mr. Cuomo seemily seized upon an opportune moment without hesitation and perhaps without even wisdom or control.   

Dr. Carson:  

(Referring to times he has felt his words have been misquoted) 

“… and they take a portion of it and make it into a headline when it’s completely the opposite of what you’re intending.  … And they (journalists) do this purposefully.  That’s what’s so bad.  

I appeal to people in the press and particularly the younger generation to reject that.  It may be tempting because maybe you’ll get a promotion and maybe you’ll be the big man on campus, but we’ve gotta start thinking about our nation. 

Chris Cuomo:

“… You should be judged for what you DO because we are not a part of a big gang; I promise you there is no communication, ah, ‘inter-mural-ly’ between different journalists to collude on stories, but often, the reason that you get taken, a way you don’t like, as a politician, is because what you said doesn’t come out the way you WANTED it, Dr. Carson, and you’ve had that experience as well, Dr. Carson.  It’s not always the reporter when you get caught out there saying something you shouldn’t have or didn’t want to say.  Right?” 

Ben Carson:  

“Ah, I wouldn’t say always, but there are clearly people who have an agenda, and they will CLEARLY take things and distort them, or over blow them.  

I mean, I could give you MULTIPLE examples (chuckles), and it’s just, it’s absurd, and people know that, and that’s one of the reasons the American people don’t trust the press as much as they used to.  

It used to be…. 

You know… I remember when I was growing up, and you would turn the TV on, and you would see Walter Cronkite or somebody like that, and you know, you could really trust them.  Even though Cronkite was a left wing radical, you would never know that.” 

Mr. Cuomo responded in defense of Walter Cronkite whom he called his “mentor” and said he believed he (Walter Cronkite) did the job the right way upon which Ben Carson said:

“He did a very good job.  We can agree on that”.  

You can see that and the entire interview here. 

You can also see the full interview here:  



Disturbed by the above words which felt to me as as either an opportunistic slam on Dr. Carson’s communication skills or perhaps a stress vent which resulted in a still-perceived mocking of Dr. Carson’s communication skills, I tweeted the following comment and tagged Mr. Cuomo in it.  


I received this reply from Chris Cuomo shortly after that tweet:  


And I responded, but let me be honest about my feelings first.  

I felt like I had just been shamed!  I was upset Mr. Carson was treated as he was.  I said something, and I felt as if I had just been shamed.  I was angry.     

Oh, I’ll admit, while not a horrible response, my response was not AS controlled as some might feel it should have been.  Let’s remember though, I’m not the one who is supposedly the professional journalist here either.

I DO profess Jesus Christ as my Savior though.   I have that label of “Christian” which I carry.

Consequently, while I am not bound to any professional journalist’s take of me, and being spoken to abusively should NEVER be tolerated, I AM bound to the Heavenly Father who is always shaping and molding me in a direction of retrospection and growth. I can at least now be retrospect as to how I could have best handled the undignified description this man gave me as a response to my complaint.    

Here was the conversation after I received a message from Mr. Cuomo saying I was no more savvy than my Twitter handle “@Padoozles”.


And as one more jab to make my point, I sent a follow-up tweet to CNN:



And this (just for the record so I’m not accused of not telling you I said this too):


But alas, all my re-examination, rehashing, and recapitulation was for naught.  

I was not spoken badly to…..  I guess…. 



I should be able to take a joke… I guess…. 



At this point, I had at least begun the process of determining how to quiet a man who had NOT supposedly made me a victim of shaming and who had “just — made  —  a —- joke”, so I responded:  

@ChrisCuomo Will it make you feel better if we can what you said a joke? 🙂 @CNN

OK, so now I realize I misspelled the word “call” and incorrectly typed it as “can” in the tweet above.  You see, Mr. Cuomo, when you tell a women she isn’t any more savvy than the word “padoozles”, you really DO make them self-conscious.  And I am, but at least I lighted it up enough that you felt you won, and I figured you might at least then leave me alone.  

I received this finalized statement from the winner, or perceived winner.  

To which I informed him, in the tweet below, I indeed WOULD explain.


@ChrisCuomo I WILL explain, and you’ll get a copy. Oh yea, it was BEFORE Dr. Carson mentioned Walter Cronkite, just for the record you know.


So there you go, Mr. Cuomo.  That was a lot of your time wasted (and mine as well) on some little morning couch potato with a cup of coffee, a flax seed muffin, and an opened mouth watching in disbelief and disgust of what I perceived as outright mocking of Dr. Ben Carson.  

That was simply a lot of wasted time.

However, since you seem so dedicated to following up on one woman’s complaint over how you spoke to Mr. Carson, your response to my complaint so eerily similar to what I perceived as your response to Dr. Carson’s this morning, I took the time to “explain”.  

Mr. Cuomo, I STILL don’t like the way you spoke with Dr. Carson.  I felt like you used his ‘complaint’ as an opportunity to mock him.  

Furthermore Mr. Cuomo, you DID mock me.  Calling me as “savvy” as my Twitter name @Padoozles DOES make me a victim, not a victim in the sense of a rape victim, but a victim in the sense of feeling mocked… and yea….  feeling like someone was trying to “shame me” so that I would “shut up”. 

When you shame a woman, when you shame ANYONE, that is wrong.  

And just so you know, Mr. Cuomo, my name is Chris Stevens @padoozles, and padoozles is THIS website where I write to women every day about being the best kind of women God has created them to be… even in a tough world, with hard decisions, through mistakes, or with people who want to silence the woman’s voice when it’s convenient for them to do so.  

Wishing you well now, Mr. Cuomo.  I pray you will see where you might be at this time of your life and that you may come to understand something you had not realized before.  

If you can do that, I will consider this time worthwhile on my part.  

With that said….

What should good Christian men and women do when they are mocked for having an opinion that differs from someone with power or authority? 

I’m not sure I know the right answer.  I have been honest here with how I first responded in anger to degrading words but then how I went on to try to control my own actions through the anger.  

More importantly, I at least took responsibility for my part in what I could do to keep the situation from escalating once I realized I would not win, if for no other reason than another seemed intent on never letting me leave unscathed in some way. 

Most importantly however, I remember now that I am a precious child of God and that God exults in me no matter what mean or silly things someone might say to me or call me.

In other words:

  1.  I made my point, a valid one. 
  2. When I perceived a degradation, a non-winning situation, I chose to use whatever actions were available to me to de-escalate that bad situation.
  3. I moved on, ever encourage by my faith.

Hopefully I’ll be able to encourage others along the way even more now too because of what I’ve learned from this event.

You’re right, Mr. Cuomo… I am NO victim.  I am a strong woman, and my Lord God loves me.  I am NO victim.

And I’m going to hold Christ Jesus in my heart and remember that love no matter what ANYONE says or does to me.

Maybe for this time anyway, that’s the best thing I could be doing.   

If you have been shamed or just feel badly about yourself in some way, please read the article I JUST WROTE this morning, long before I knew anyone like Mr. Chris Cuomo would make their way into my life today.  

The Lord Will Exult Me? | A Look At Zephaniah 3:17

Yep.  The Lord has great timing, doesn’t He? 

The Lord Will Exult Me? | A Look At Zephaniah 3:17

I’ve always expected God to love me, but would He exult me?  That seems a little far fetched, but hey, I’m open to it.  Are you?  Check this out. 

Zephaniah 3:17 goes like this:

Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

There’s the Scripture for you today to ponder with me, a daily devotional reading of sorts.

Now for those who like visuals, I found this beautiful meme with the thoughts of this Scripture embedded right there for you to see with your own eyes.  The words are slightly different, but the meaning and sentiment are still the same.  


Zephaniah 3:17 The Lord Your God Will Exalt You

The Scripture has five major components to it.  That basic premise is pretty easy to see.

They are all promises too, and here are those promises:  


1.  The Lord God is with you.

Whether you “feel” Him there at the time or not, He IS with you.  Jesus Christ assured us God would be with us always through His Spirit.


2.  Through Him, you are saved.

It’s a good thing we aren’t saved through our own actions, but Christ has the right stuff to do so! 


3.  God is so happy when you are happy.  He rejoices in that!

Isn’t it just down right cool to think about the happiness our Heavenly Father has when He sees His children are happy! 


4.  During those not-so-happy times, we are covered with God’s love. 

We haven’t even begun to experience the depth of God’s love yet.  When we face those tough times here on this earth though, His love will be available to us so that we can find peace in it all. 


5.  God will exult you. 

The translation in the visual states this as God rejoicing over you.


I don’t know about you, but that last part kind of tripped me up!  

Oh yea, we’ve been taught all the other things throughout life, and they come naturally to our belief systems.

1  God’s Spirit is among us.  Check.

2  Christ came to die, rise again, and we are saved.  Check.

3  God is there is good times.  Check.

4  God is there in bad times.  Check. 

5  I am exulted.  Huh????


Those first four promises rely on the goodness and grace of God Almighty, something we can easily justify since God Almighty IS so good and great and gracious. 

But He will exalt US? 

That doesn’t seem to be just speaking highly of HIM.

Isn’t that saying something about US?  

See, here’s my confusion with this.  

That #5 promise above is STILL a promise. We can see that as a promise.  It’s just the exultation over me that has me asking “But why?”   

God will (WILL) exult.  He says that.  



Does God NEED a reason to exult us?

Maybe that’s the key. 

OK, I really need to get hold of this because it just doesn’t fit so easily for me into those other four promises, mostly because this one seems to have something to do with you and me, not just God. 

…he will exult over you with loud singing.

So perhaps we should investigate what “exult” means?

Merriam Webster defines “exult” as “to leap for joy” or to “to be extremely joyful”. defines “exult” as to show or feel lively or triumph joy. says “exult” is to feel great happiness or joy. 

And finally, the the thesaurus gives these synonyms for the word “exult”:

Be delighted

Be elated

Be overjoyed




I’m not sure you are seeing it yet, but I’ve finally come to see something I had not realized at the beginning when I first saw this Bible verse, and that is:  

He gives no reason there as to WHY He exults us.

God does not NEED a reason to exult us.  

Zephaniah 3:17 simply says He exults us, no qualification listed. 

You know, you (and I) must be pretty special as God’s creation, and His creation alone, for Him to rejoice in our being, celebrate our being, cheer our being, be overjoyed in our being, be elated in our being, be delighted in our being.

While God is all those wonderful things, even without any qualification or standards at all, we are precious in God’s sight, so precious He sings in mighty joy that we exist. 


Well, I guess I did stumble upon ONE qualification.  We EXIST.  

However, that’s not such a high standard to live up to though, is it?  … to “exist”… to “have been created”…  

The point is, you may have human standards you try, don’t try, live, or don’t live up to. 

You may be a success.  You may feel like a failure.  You may BE a failure by earthly standards.

The Heavenly Father above may rejoice in your accomplishments here for sure.

But He exults over your existence no matter what – simply because you are HIS accomplishment, and you are His child.  

And THAT is not saying anything about what you have done or not done.

It’s just saying God made you, and He delights in you, HIS creation, the child He loves. 

So the next time you feel as if you fall short of the glory of God, just remember that you ARE the glory that God exults.

It’s that simple.  

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for creating me.  

I was not just some twinkle in my parents’ eyes.  I am a direct creation of design by YOUR HANDS.  You made me; You wanted me to exist, and you made me just the way You WANTED to make me.  

You knew who I was, knew what I would be, knew what I would do and knew what I would mess up along the way long before I was aware of any of that myself.  Yet You still made me, and you exult over me, your creation. 

I’m so lucky, so fortunate, so blessed, so appreciative, so thankful, so grateful right now, Lord.  I sure haven’t done much to deserve the joy You are telling me that You have for me.  I sure haven’t done what I would think would be worthy of Your exultation. 

And yet, You exult over me.  You have said so in Your Word!  

Your character is above mine, and Your knowledge and understanding are beyond mine.  You are excited in the simple idea that I have come to “be”.  Wow, how blessed I am!  

Praise be to You that You are so gracious and so good. 

I still want to honor you though, Heavenly Father.  I want to be more, Lord.  I want to do more.  Please help me become more of that person You created, using my time, my life, my ME you created to do more and to live up to all that is possible in my life.

In the meantime and also no matter what…  it’s nice to know I’m that important to you, even if… especially SINCE… everything is completely dependent on Your goodness and grace… and not me… nor my works… and certainly not my successes of which I usually mess up pretty much most of the time. 

PS, It’s pretty cool thinking about the idea of You jumping for joy and singing loudly for me up there in Heaven.  That actually gives me hope.  

Thank you, Father.

Thank you.

In Christ’s name I pray for myself and for all reading this, 


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