January 14, 2016

How I hope to S.T.R.E.T.C.H. in 2016 - Ruth L. Snyder

The beginning of a new year is a logical time to set goals. I recently shared my key word and some of my goals for 2016 on my own blog. Naturally speaking, I'm the type of person who likes the stability and security of routine. God has been pushing me into more and more areas where I'm not totally comfortable. This year I want to continue to S.T.R.E.T.C.H. with God:


My life verses are Philippians 3:10-14 (NIV):
I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."


After my second year of Bible School as my best friend and I parted ways for the summer, we claimed Proverbs 18:10 (The name of the LORD is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.), agreeing to pray for each other when we felt afraid. This verse still comforts me when I am afraid. I'm thankful we serve a trustworthy God!


Lately I've been reminded of the importance of celebrating even small steps in the right direction. It is all too easy to get discouraged. Whether I exercise when I don't feel like it or have a successful book launch, I will choose to celebrate this year. When I take time to celebrate and thank God for working in and through me, I bring Him glory. Psalm 145:3-7 (NIV):
"Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise: his greatness no one can fathom. One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts. They speak of the glorious splendour of your majesty - and I will mediate on your wonderful works. They tell of the power of your awesome works - and I will proclaim your great deeds. They celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness."


Life is like the first drafts I write - messy, confusing, and a process. I usually don't get it right the first time I try something. Some people refuse to set goals because they don't want to "fail" by not achieving the goals. I see goals as flexible. I try to set realistic goals, but many times I don't achieve what I set out to do. That's where evaluation comes in. What progress did I make? Was the goal realistic? Did I need more time? Can I readjust the goal so that I will be able to achieve it, or should I just scrap it? 

At our 2015 Fall Conference, Jeff Goins talked about pivot points:
"A pivot is powerful because it takes away all of your excuses. It puts you back in control of the game you're playing. Pivoting isn't plan B; it's part of the process. Unexpected things will happen; setbacks do occur. Whether or not you're prepared to pivot will affect how well you weather those storms and find a way to survive...we all face times of irrelevance; of falling on our faces and thinking we have no business doing any of this. But pain is the great teacher and failure a faithful mentor. You can use all of this to your benefit if you are willing... The message of the pivot is that what looks like failure now is preparation for what's to come, as long as you don't give up." (from The Art of Work)


If I remember I don't have to get it right the first time and I give myself permission to "fail," I will be more likely to try new things. Psalm 40:2-4 (NIV):
"He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in him."


One new thing I'm trying this year is offering coaching to other writers. If you're looking for help in your personal life, writing, marketing, technology, branding, or with accountability, contact me for more details.


Only God knows what lies ahead this year. My job is to be faithful and trust the results to HIM. I'm looking forward to what God will do in and through me this year.

What about you? How are you going to allow God to stretch you in 2016?


  1. I already feel stretched, Ruth, and its not always comfortable! I like these types of acrostics and you really came up with some important goals for the year, along with very relevant scripture to go with them. thanks

    1. I agree, Tracy. Being stretched is rarely comfortable. However, I know that when I feel like I have everything under control and feel comfortable, I don't rely on God the way I should. When I'm feeling stretched and uncomfortable I have to rely on God. And that's just where He wants me.

  2. What an excellent acronym for the year--not just because it reminds us of the points but also because of the word, "stretch." Thanks for the "pivot points" reminder. I think I need to go back and review that book. Thanks for your leadership.

    1. Thanks, Connie
      Those pivot points are a challenge for me. I don't like to fail, but that's often where we learn the most. Thanks for your support, encouragement, and prayers!

  3. We've had a few discouraging events of late too, Ruth, but this is a really encouraging and inspiring post. Thanks. What a powerful message you are giving us in this acrostic, and what a positive example you are to all of us. May God bless you and all of our InScribers this year as we S-T-R-E-T-C-H ourselves in faith.

    1. Sharon,
      Although we don't like those discouraging events, they often force us to rely on God, which is a good thing. Praying that God will continue to encourage you. May we all S-T-R-E-T-C-H- with God's help this year!


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