Trading Goals & Resolutions for a Calling

New year. New goals. New focus. New energy. Right now everything feels new and shiny.

Those of us over the ripe ole age of about 12 know that shiny wears off. 

We take off with gusto. We might say this year I’m going to spend more time reading my Bible. First thing every morning I’m going to read the amount I’ve pre-determined before I do anything else. And we do. Until the first day we’re running late, or the baby is up sick all night, or our alarm doesn’t go off, or any other excuse pops up that disrupts the routine for the first time usually around the 7th or 8th of January.

Once we miss that first time, we don’t seem to notice the second miss. Before we know what’s happened, we’ve skipped a week’s worth of Bible reading. Now if feels like your so far behind you’ll never catch up. So, instead of picking up where you left off and just continuing on, you quit. Straight up, give up, and do no more.

It isn’t just Bible reading, is it?

Getting healthy? Eating? Exercising? Writing a book? Decluttering? Chasing a dream? Going back to school? Looking for a new job? Improving your relationships? Quitting smoking? Starting a non-profit? The list could go on and on.

But let me ask a tough question.

How many of the goals we set are spur of the moment ‘I need something to work on this year and have been thinking about…’ ideas versus God given callings?

Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted. Unless the Lord protects a city, guarding it with sentries will do no good. It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones. Psalms 127:1-2

Sure, quitting smoking is a GREAT idea. It is best for your health. It can give you a great testimony. It will set a positive example for others. But if you’re chasing that demon on your own without the leading of the Holy Spirit, well, maybe your time would be better spent trying to catch Bigfoot.

Would God actually call us to do some of the things we would put on that list? Like decluttering? Does God call people to do that? 

Yes. Declutter people. Declutter activities. Declutter thoughts. Declutter stuff. God calls people to do all kinds of things. Not just be a preacher. We’ve got to move past that kind of thinking.

God is calling each of us to do something. It may be something that we think is basic like decluttering, or it could be something as big as stepping out and starting a new ministry speaking and teaching large scale audiences about the love of God and how to live the life they have been called to live.

Regardless the size of the calling, God is calling you to do something very specific right now. It might not, probably isn’t actually, be the same thing He was calling you to do in 2014. It might not be the same thing He was calling you to do yesterday. His call today is the one you are supposed to answering.

We need to let go of the things we never got around to and find out what we’re supposed to be doing right now. Tweet: We need to let go of things we never got around to & find out what we’re supposed to be doing right now.  @CarrieAnnTripp #dailymusings

God has been speaking one word to me for the past couple months. One obnoxious, uncomfortable, not completely defined word. 


I’ve already blogged about my conversations with Him about that word. You can read about that here. So I won’t go into it again.

I know what I’m supposed to do. It makes me uncomfortable because it isn’t defined. I don’t know what it’s supposed to look like in the end. 

So take this seriously. The lord has chosen you to build a Temple as his sanctuary. Be strong, and do the work.” 1 Chronicles 28:10

Obviously I’m not Solomon and I haven’t been chosen to build a temple, but I have been called (chosen) to write. By God Himself. 

Whether I have the blueprint laid out in front of me or not, I need to take this calling seriously. I need to be strong and do the work. 

Do the work. Notice it doesn’t say sit around and plan it out for years upon years. Notice it doesn’t say hire others to get it done. Notice it doesn’t say make a pro con list. It just says to buck up and get it done.

Unless the Lord builds the house the laborers are wasting their time.

But who am I, and who are my people, that we could give anything to you? Everything we have has come from you, and we give you only what you first gave us! 1 Chronicles 29:14

I am His laborer. He has given me a job to do and I am expected to take it seriously and get it done. 

No more excuses. No need for fear–this is His house from His plans and He is in control! 

Do you have a goal or a resolution that you need to trade in for a God-given calling? You don’t have to wait until January 1st, 2016 to try again. Do it now. Hand over the off the cuff idea to the one who holds all the answers.

Let me know what your calling is so I can pray for you. If you aren’t sure, let me know that so I can pray that God will reveal His will for you in a mighty way that no one could mistake.

Let’s do this together!

Until tomorrow friends. 

photo credit: Lester Public Library via photopin cc


  • Thank-you for this post!! It really blessed me. 🙂

    I saw the link for this post on the Facebook Ultimate Blogging Challenge group.

    • Michelle,

      Thank you so much for stopping by to chat. I appreciate you taking the time to leave me some feedback, and I am glad that you found something here that touched you.

      Please come to visit and chat any time. Blessings to you and yours.


  • I think that became clear for me this year, when I sat down to write out “resolutions” and ended up writing “The Non-Negotiable, 100% Committed, Do or Die Trying Goal for 2011” and listing down several other goals under the heading, “The Smorgasbord of Aspirational Inclinations.” There really only was ONE that was critical enough to commit 100% to. And you’re right – there comes a point when you just have to put one foot in front of the other and DO the work.

    What is it that you feel called to write?

    • Holly,

      I am so glad you took time to comment! I realized when I read your last line that I hadn’t linked the other post about “Write”. I have gone back and fixed that.

      I like to think and dream about it and then complain when it doesn’t come to fruition. This year my one word is COMPLETE. So, while I don’t expect to make it to the big times this year, I do need to complete the work if I want anything to happen.

      What do I feel called to write? That is the uncomfortable question I keep asking. I keep hearing an answer: WRITE.

      I’ve always wanted to write a book. Fiction. I’ve so far mostly written blog posts. Non-fiction. I’ve also written many lessons for youth groups, young adult groups, and women’s groups. I’ve penned words and music to a very few songs. Written a couple Christmas plays for church congregations I’ve belonged to. I’ve served on a panel of women for a women’s conference.

      That’s where my lack of focus is and why I tend to procrastinate. I’ve been clearly hearing Him say write, though. So for now, I’m just going to be obedient and write.

      Thank you so much for stopping in to chat. What is your one goal that you are working towards this year?

      Please feel free to stop by again! I should be posting something new everyday this month and would love to keep connecting!



  • P.S. I missed the “Notify me” button on my comment – sorry – I’m posting this one because I do want to know the answer. 🙂

  • Carrie, I’m visiting from the Ultimate Blog Challenge. Wow! What a powerful article you have posted. Absolutely, God calls many of us to declutter. I’m working on that call. He wants us to streamline our environments so we have the time and energy for the kinds of calls people usually think of. How can you start a new discussion group in your living room, weekly, if your place is a mess? (Also, that doesn’t represent Him well.) Thanks for a really great post! May I use your quote poster?

    • Kebba,

      Welcome! These comments today are making me smile, smile, smile. Thank you so much for taking time to join the conversation. Decluttering is absolutely something I need to FINISH (my one word for this year) this year. Even one room would be a start.

      Please do use my quote image! If you would give me credit for it by posting a link to the original location (here) at the bottom of where ever you use it that would be perfect. I would also love it if you would send me the link of where you use it so I can like and share!



  • Real interesting, makes a person think about the idea of God calling. Hmm

    • Gail,

      Thank you so much for taking time to read and comment. I’m glad you found something to think about–some food for thought. I would love to discuss this with you if you have any questions.



  • Carrie, it’s not by accident that I am supposed to read today’s blog article and comment on it. Over the past three days into the UBC, I’ve read three articles, yours tonight, on God and what plans He has for our lives. Thank you SO much for reminding me that I’ve got a calling and that is to minister and mentor teenage girls, leading them to salvation. Please pray for me in that ministry as I want to see it really take off and flourish this year. Oh, and I’m really good about starting something and not finishing it. My one word for 2015 is consistency. I want, for once, to be consistent in starting and completing something in my life. Thanks for sharing your ministry. I’ll also pray that your articles are read and someone has been touched by them.

    • Aletha,

      I would be honored to pray that God would work through you to bring healing and restoration to not only teenage girls, but everyone He brings to you. Thank you so much for adding my calling to your prayer list. I am humbled by it.

      Consistency and finish do seem to go hand and hand. What is your blog address? I would like to see how you are progressing throughout the year. Please feel free to check in on me and remind me to get finished if you see me slacking!



  • Carrie,
    I love how you can find a song that matches your ideas so well. I agree with you about seeking God’s calling, aligning our goals with His. I think because it takes discernment and prayer, it is always more difficult to do the second. Looking forward to discovering along with you, what you are to write.

  • Excellent post. Carrie. Entering a new season in my life, I will be considering Gods calling and seeking his direction. Thanks.

  • Thanks so much for this great post. Very thought-provoking. De-cluttering…that is on my list for this new year, because to me it represents a breakdown in discipline and also a stronghold that has been part of my life for way too long!

  • The only calling I know of for certainty is being a mother. Everything else, I don’t know. I’ve been blogging for years and started vlogging consistently last year (so weird saying that now). I am supposed to be looking for “paid work” but haven’t found the employer yet. I feel I am where I am supposed to be.

  • I feel I’m at exactly the right place now and am filling the role implemented for me. I give love the best way I can, without allowing my age to hold me back. Thank you for making me think about what I should be doing.

  • Now these are wise words to remember when making a list of to-do and not-to-do for the coming days of this year. I always believe that if our goals or dreams are aligned to God’s plans/calling in our lives, we can achieve it no matter what the facts tell us. This is motivational, dear. Keep ’em coming. 🙂

  • Carrie, I just love this line: “God is calling each of us to do something.” It’s just up to us to listen and tune-in. 🙂

  • We all could use a little decluttering in our lives, and not just in the physical sense. Great inspiration in your post – thanks!

  • Such important words spoken here, Carrie. A calling is so much more significant than resolutions written quickly because we think we “should” have them every year. Thanks for some delectable food for thought! (oh, and I RTed your post from the blogboost hashtag!)

  • Interesting that you chose the analogy of quitting smoking. I’ve never smoked, but my husband did… for years. His older siblings started him smoking when he was 7 because they thought it was funny. Quitting, in his thirties, was torture… until the day he accepted Christ. That was three years ago and he hasn’t craved a cigarette since. Many blessings to you and yours!

  • Thank you for this thoughtful post. Resolutions have never worked well for me, but focusing on my calling in the form of a word for the year seems to be more meaningful. This year I feel called to make a shift in some of my attitudes and actions, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the year brings!

  • I agree with the quote. I am discovering I need to let go of things I never got around to and blog.
    Janice #ultrablog

  • I spent a lot of time thinking about your post after reading it, because I feel that I am being called to something that is related to cancer, but what that “something” is, I don’t know – yet, except I also feel it is going to be related to writing in some way. I feel I am going to find out exactly what soon. Alana

  • Thank you for your post. It helped to clarify some “growing pains” I am having. I believe that God has called me to speak and write, leading women into his word and into his love. But there seem to be so many obstacles that sometimes I wonder if I’ve got it right. Your post reminded me that I need to recommit to spending time with Him if I want to get it right.

  • Carrie, I enjoyed your post. I am in no way a religious person, but I am able to understand your call to write in a very real way. While each of us who feels that need or pull to express ourselves with the written word may give their inspiration a different name, I loved reading how you used Biblical verse to express yourself. Those were verses that spoke to me. Thank you for giving them to me.