Sunday, January 1, 2017

Hello 2017

I didn't watch the ball drop. I didn't see the disastrous performance everyone's talking about today. I didn't stay up and kiss my sweetheart (he was sound asleep an hour before me) and I didn't make any resolutions. The celebration of New Year's Eve has never been a big deal for me. I've usually spent it with family, maybe a few friends, there's a low-key dinner, sparkling cider, games, and it's been rare if we all stay together for the ball dropping. The only true NYE tradition I have is reflecting on the previous year and planning for the new one to come.

For me, New Year's isn't about a celebration of a date on a calendar. It takes on such different meaning when I ask myself what is it the Lord has for me this year. Did I accomplish what He wanted from me this past year? Have I lived my life fully for Him and His glory? What is His plan and will for me as I face a new year? 

2017 is no different. I've spent a lot of time the last two days reflecting and praying, seeking the Lord and asking for His guidance for me as I enter this new year. Call is tradition, but each year I seem to land on a verse or word that becomes my anchor. 2015 was hope, for which Violet has her middle name. 2016 was joy and as I wrote my reflection of the year yesterday, I can honestly say that was my anthem. Now as I press forward, I feel the Lord impressing upon my heart a few things.

The first is prayer. I love the image below because it encapsulates the heart of what I'm supposed to be praying about and for. My children and their hearts. My role as their mom. My priorities to my family. Making the most of everyday and every opportunity as I am reminded of my prayer to be a mother and the answer God gave me with these two precious lives. Lives given to me to shape, mold, mend, guide and direct. Lives I'm allowed to borrow for the sake of living out what He means in my own life. Prayer isn't something to take lightly. It's so often tossed around as a sentiment when we say we'll be praying for someone or something. I'm committing this year to not just say it but to pray it. We face BIG challenges but we have an even BIGGER God and the power of prayer is mine to claim on their behalf. 

The second word or phrase that I'm claiming for this year is "bless." You know it well from our Christmas card, from what I shared yesterday. Now it comes to take on a new meaning as I embrace the idea of bless, be a blessing, and live blessed. To live a life worthy of the calling for which Christ has given me. To give thanks in all things. To display sincere gratitude. To seek to bless those around me. To embrace the blessings God has so abundantly given and to live that out as a testament of His goodness and grace. I'm not overly filled with compassion naturally but I want to learn to bless and be a blessing. I admit this will require some soul searching. Maybe it will be through prayer that I can learn to bless. However the Lord leads me, I am committing to proclaim His blessings, to live as one blessed, and to seek to bless others.
This morning He led me to this passage in Psalm 19:7-9,

The law of the Lord is perfect,
    refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
    making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right,
    giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
    giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure,
    enduring forever.
The decrees of the Lord are firm,
    and all of them are righteous.


Perfect. Refreshing. Trustworthy. Right. Joy. Radiant. Enduring. Firm. Righteous. So many amazing thoughts as the Lord stirs my heart. Each one of them could be used to describe Who He is. There's so much to know of Him. I can't wait to see what this year holds and how He teaches me more about Himself.

He gave me one other verse today. Psalm 28:7,

The Lord is my strength and my shield;
    my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
    and with my song I praise him.

I can't deny how my heart has leapt for joy at His blessings, His insights, His promises. It is my joy and privilege to praise Him with my song - with this blog - with my life. My heart trusts Him. Not knowing anything about what this year will hold yet knowing He's got each day already planned. I love a new year, fresh perspective, new insight. And with that, I welcome 2017. 

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