Mind Over Matter: Starting off the New Year Right!

Happy New Year! Another year has gone, and another new year is upon us, friends. It’s likely been a tough few years for us ALL, and we wonder if you’re struggling to be hopeful, excited and encouraged as you step into 2023? We understand, and we invite you to learn how to give this new year the very best that you have to offer!

It’s a new year! Cue the confetti! 

Wait! What’s that? Feeling a little shy to enter the new year? 

I SO hear that! 

The past couple of years, I have struggled immensely as I have battled COVID-19 and cancer each twice, along with other exciting challenges. But in the midst of what should have been showstoppers, you know what happened? 

Perseverance. Hope. Life’s “matters” did not leave me in tatters because I learned a secret.

Mind over matter.

My circumstances did not get the final word. My God did. The very things I would have preferred to avoid became a place of worship as I set my mind on God’s ability, not mine.

Sometimes it seems like everything is against us making progress toward the calling of writing in our lives. It can feel futile to even keep trying. Sometimes, y’all, it is just plain ridiculous the onslaught of attacks we can encounter. But when we learn how to press on and press into our calling in Christ’s strength, we let go of our expectations and just choose to be faithful.

I have a secret. I got my secret from Paul. 

“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:11–13, NIV)

You are probably familiar with these verses. I was too. But read them again and apply them to your present circumstances. 

Let’s look at Paul’s strategy and apply it to our lives as we set our sights on this new year.

Know your true need. You don’t need followers. You just need to be a follower of Jesus. Set goals based on Christ’s plan for you, and let go of the pressure that tries to get you to perform or meet other people’s goals. Paul’s significant trials had taught him that even as he wrote from prison, he was doing God’s will through Christ’s strength. Our writing environment might not look like what we hope for, but our true need is time with God so we are inspired to write His words, not ours.

Contentment is priceless. Paul’s experiences taught him to be content no matter what the outcome was. This contentment was learned and earned by life’s trials that shaped him. True contentment does not come from getting rid of problems. It comes from being delivered through those problems. True contentment does not come from our idea of success but from faithfulness. Surrender to God in the hard places, and make those moments matter. 

Knowledge is power. Not just any knowledge matters. Knowledge of Truth that defuses the darts of the enemy. Paul repeated what he knew. It wasn’t the problems that mattered. It was how he navigated through those problems. It was knowing Christ and accessing His strength. 

So let’s give this year the best we have — all for God’s glory. 

Keep showing up and asking Christ for the strength each day to move one step closer to what God has called us to. I’m rooting for you!

All for Jesus,


When it is difficult to keep going, friend, set your mind over the matters in your life and set your mind on things above.


Biblical-mindset coach, author, speaker, worship leader, podcaster, with an M.A. in biblical exposition, Denise is the author of Make Up Your Mind, Shame Off You, 31 Days of Hope Reinvented, and other discipleship books. She serves on the writing team for Proverbs 31 Ministries’ First 5 app and COMPEL and has a daily broadcast/podcast through her Bible Tribe® reading plan. Denise home-schooled her five children; four recently graduated from college, and her youngest adoptive son is a senior in high school. She is the Family Ministries and Worship Arts Director at her church. Denise and her husband live near Fredericksburg, VA.

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  1. Thank you for this encouraging post; I genuinely appreciate it. Having contentment is so very important in every area of our lives. Applying this principle to my writing life is one that I will be sure to remember.
    God bless you.