New Year-Same Jesus

As I look back on 2013, I am most struck by the feeling of contentment that washes over me. This is a feeling that has been fairly elusive in the past as a year comes to an end. Our family certainly experienced our share of loss and sadness. We experienced trials and triumphs. We made lots of memories and loved a lot. So what was different about 2013? Why the contentment and not a huge rush to move on to 2014 as in years past? The word God continues to place on my heart is priorities. I finally put my priorities in order. Not quite faith, family, and ducks as our Duck Dynasty friends prioritize…but God, family, friends. He is first. He is center. Oh what peace I missed out on not giving Him front and center years ago.

Two things continue to stir in my heart as we approach a new year. Last year I started choosing a word to focus on for the entire year. For 2013, my word was obedience. My goal was to open my servant’s heart and continually ask Him to empty me and use me for His service. Being obedient is something I crave and something that will be a continual process. This year I will choose a word and will choose verses for different areas of my life and I encourage you to do the same. More on this tomorrow!

Secondly, as we approach the new year and set goals, determining motive is extremely important. Why are we choosing to make this a goal? If our motives are to glorify God, draw closer to Him, and improve ourselves for His use and our well-being…rock on! If we are setting goals to prove something to someone else or as a result of being stuck in the comparison trap, it is time to reevaluate. Motivation is important. Grace is necessary. Extend yourselves grace. We are going to fall…mess up… need a do-over. Do not beat yourself up. Lamentations 3:23 tells us the Lord’s mercies are new every morning. Praise God! While a new year is a great place to start, do not be defeated when you stumble. His. Mercies. Are. New. Every. Morning.

#Enough…

When I think about writing how God is enough in my life…my eyes immediately fill with tears, my heart sinks a little, and I become slightly overwhelmed.  The fact is…God IS enough and I am humbled to be able to experience this in so many ways.

When I am burdened by choices I have made in the past…God is enough.

When I am wrestling to prioritize and get it all done…God is enough.

When I lack patience and have a short fuse with my loved ones…God is enough.

When I attempt to fill a void with so many ’empty’ things…God is enough.

When my head is filled with clutter and I just need peace…God is enough.

When I am suffocated by the longing for a loved one I have lost…God is enough.

When I desperately want to know which path to take…God is enough.

When I strive for things that are just out of my reach…God is enough.

When I am faced with feelings of doubt or insecurity…God is enough.

When I am challenged beyond my own strength…God is enough.

When I am struggling with forgiving myself or others…God is enough.

This topic of “enough” brings me to my knees in complete and humble adoration for the God I love…for the God I want to wholeheartedly serve…for the God who has blessed me so immensely that I have trouble comprehending…for the God who deserves the utmost praise…for the God who pursued me when I was running away…for the God who is enough to satisfy every hunger and thirst.  I am eternally grateful.  

Is He enough for you? 

 

A Setting for Two…

My ‘white space’ was recently invaded with shades of red, green, gold, and silver and a smell that makes memories swirl in my head and stir in my heart.  The usual smell of coffee has been replaced by a powerful smell of Fraser fir.  This space is generally referred to as a “formal” living room, however; there is nothing formal about our home or our family.  What once was a room that never seemed to be of any real value, is now my place for a daily spiritual retreat.

Lit by a lamp and a small light from a curio cabinet filled with Willow Tree angels, this is where I begin every morning.  I sit in a plump leather chair facing a large picture window where I seem to be captivated every day.  The morning begins in darkness and then slowly turns to light.  The sunrise is not always what captures my attention…sometimes it is the shape of a cloud…sometimes it is the rain which I find most heavenly…but it is always the majesty of the sky.  While this time is precious, I recently realized that it was lacking and had trouble putting my finger on what was missing.  Then the word ‘prayer’ was glaring me in the face.  I was not asking Jesus to open my heart to receive his word each morning and to clear all of the distractions from my mind.  Was I really attempting a ‘setting for two’ without asking Jesus to join me?  Sure, I was in the Word and felt His presence…but I was failing to invite Him in.  Gasp.  With this realization and restructuring…the ‘setting for two’ now feels complete.

I am surrounded by books, highlighters, sticky notes and pens in my space.  Distraction was deafening when the dinging of my phone was allowed in the room.   I am choosing obedience in this matter and in order to truly keep this a ‘setting for two’, the phone is no longer welcome.  I begin with a daily devotional from whichever book I may be reading at the time.  I spend time in my Bible next and am currently experiencing this truth through a chronological version.  Lastly comes time in the current OBS study book.  This is time I use to study, reflect and pray for the sisters in Christ that He has so abundantly blessed me with through this ministry.

Peace fills this time…peace that I can choose to hold on to throughout my day or I can allow someone/something to steal from me.  I choose to hold on…

Welcome to my white space…grab a cup of coffee and a Bible and join me!  We would gladly welcome you and make this a setting of three.

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