Happy New Year! Welcome to 2017!
Every year I see my newsfeed flooded with resolutions of all kinds. And that’s a great thing. People see the new year as a clean slate- a chance to make a change for the better. I personally have never been a big resolution person. However, this year, I was listening to the radio on my way to work and WAY FM was discussing a question- If you could describe yourself in one word for 2017, what would that be?
That question struck a chord in me and I didn’t realize it until three days later and it was still resonating in my mind. I could feel it whispering while I was working, “What is your word?” I heard it while cooking or grocery shopping, driving Sadie to school or in the shower- “What is your word?” I finally realized that it was not my voice asking the question, but God’s. I responded, “I don’t know. You tell me.” And He did. But instead of one, he gave me three: Intentional, Faithful, & Delighted.
“Be present and focused on whatever you are doing. Be deliberate in nutrition and exercise. Be attentive when you are with Sadie. Be focused on Jordan when you have time with him. And be present and purposeful in time with Me.”
Time is a gift. I am not the best multi-tasker. Cooking different dishes for dinner is about as successful as I get at this. I also have a problem with letting my mind wander. I might be here with you physically, but there is a very real chance I am at home tackling that big pile of laundry that never goes away, or thinking about work and what is coming up there, or more likely, lost in the thought process of how to get my hands on those super cute boots I saw online. Often when I am with my husband and on my phone reading an article, he says something and I do not realize that he is even speaking to me. I catch a lot of flak for that one. But that is something I want and need to change. The first step is admitting you have a problem, right?
I am going to take to heart Colossians 3:23, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord.” Focus on whatever I am doing with all my heart- whether that is talking with Jordan or playing a game with Sadie, creating an arrangement for someone, or cleaning our home. It is all going to be done with my attention and focus. And mostly, I just want to be in the moment. I no longer want to be worrying about the future or replaying that last conversation and trying to come up with a better come back (because I do that way too much 😉 ). Now, I will put my phone away. Give 100% on my workouts. Actively listen. And intentionally worship my Papa.
“Trust Me. See how I care for you, My Beloved. Things will come together because I make all things work together for your good. I will not fail you. Have faith in Me.”
The time has come for us to aggressively prepare for our home study. We recently purchased our home that my great-grandfather built in 1918. Very few updates have been made to it since the 70s or 80s. As you can imagine, while it is full of character, it is also almost 100 years old and needs a lot of help. We started replacing the siding and windows in September and still have not finished. The project is coming along but not as quickly as we would like. And now, the hold we requested on our contract with the agency is coming to an end. It is time to start the next step- even if we are not quite ready.
Looking at the whole, I have been getting very overwhelmed recently. I feel my breath catch and my stomach twists at the prospect of getting everything perfect for the study. I think of a million things that need done and a million scenarios where things go wrong- not to mention the financial pressure and the enormity of setting up fundraisers. I share this with Jordan and he reminds me that I need to stop looking at the big picture. Let God take care of that. Focus on taking things one small step at a time, one day at a time. I still have anxiety about it, but I can feel God saying, “Trust Me, have faith.” So I will remember every time I see my tattoo representing Matthew 6:26. Be Faithful. “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”
“Look at all you have and take joy in those around you. Delight in My blessings to you. Delight in your daughter, in your husband, in this journey you are on to get your child. Delight in Me. Life is beautiful- do not focus on all the things that fall apart or bring you down. Do not give the enemy the satisfaction that he has stolen your joy for even a moment. Find the good and beauty, and delight in it.”
Just like there is always something to be thankful for, there is always something to delight in. Much to my disbelief, God finds delight in me. Me?! This may be the most difficult of the words He has given me. I have tendency to be a pessimist while Jordan is my optimist. But how much more will I enjoy life if I can just see the good and not focus on the bad? I think that is what God wants me to do. I get overwhelmed by our “checklist” and doubt that He will come through for us. So this is His way of reminding me of all He has done for us and how that bears a promise of good things to come. And when there are struggles, delight in seeing Him help us through. “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:10
Not only does He want me to delight in all of this, He also wants me to find what about me delights Him. Can you imagine? In this world where we are taught that my worth depends on how clean my house is, how healthy my child’s meals are, how big my bank account or small my waistline – there is more than that. I am delightful to Jesus just as I am. He wants good things for me, He wants me to take care of my body, to raise Sadie in a godly manner, to be a good wife and hard worker. But even when I fail at any of those, He is still delighted in me. I need to discover what it is He loves about me. Because in doing that, I will be delving deeper into His heart. I will fall more in love with Him. I am so excited to do just that.
I hope that these words inspire you to seek your own. Talk to Him or journal on what you see this coming year. Ask to see how He wants to mold you this year. And write your word(s) somewhere you will see them every day. And most important, remember to give yourself grace. I can already tell you that even as I write this I am failing. But if you mess up, just start over right then and there. Because this is a process- being shaped into who He sees. And there is always grace.
Share with us… What is your word for 2017?