My Word

In fact, it’s been 2017 for 16 days, and I’m just now writing about it. I didn’t want to set another writing resolution just to let it slip between my fingers and fade away on the list of failures. I set one resolution and I’m plugging along and planning for how to make it last for a year. Enough about that.

At church, we are encouraged to pick one word to focus on through the year. Just one word, to develop and strengthen our relationship with Christ and our character. I couldn’t decide on a word. Every word that came to mind, I was picking for someone else and for something I’d like to see someone else develop. (Yes, I know…I need to worry about my own plank and not my brother’s splinter.)

I finally got out of the way and God gave me steadfast.

I didn’t think I heard right, at first. Then a series of confirmations said, yes, steadfast is the right word. Steadfast, to remain steady, faithful.

God knew though. He knew I’d be asked to give up things that I worked my tail off for and cherished deeply. He knew I’d have to let go of something I’d always wanted. He knew the first part of the new year would come with challenges where I prayed for smooth sailing. He gave me a vision of a warrior in battle armor, standing on a hill, unwavering in the face of the enemy. He reminded me of when David faced Goliath. This isn’t just passively staying somewhere because it’s my duty.

This is battle gear on, fighting for what God gave me, and remembering that the people God gives us are worth fighting for, no matter what obstacles we face, no matter how deeply we’ve been hurt. Sometimes we have to bind up the wound while it’s still painful and go back to war.

I wish I understood why the enemy of God is strongly opposed to families and rips as them by whatever means necessary. Then again, I don’t truly wish to understand his evil schemes. I am God’s daughter. A daughter of the King of Kings. I’ve been called to a unique time and place in life and I have a role in this battle. I can’t lose heart now.

This is all so much easier to write than to live. I am working on a prayer plan (if you haven’t seen War Room, the movie, you must!) and as I write, I am deeply convicted and always reminded of how God is moving in my life. So, here is to 2017. A year that I desperately thought I needed to start and continue smoothly, that has already held heartache and goodbyes that I didn’t want to face. A year still full of promise. A year barely started. A year that I will go boldly forth as a daughter of the King, prepared to battle, steadfast.

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New Year’s Thoughts

Seems that I have the same recurring thought every year for New Year’s Day, and resolutions, and fresh starts.

We all love a fresh start, a clean slate, a point to move forward and improve from. There is so much hope that hangs around starting a new year. I love seeing the hope, the inspiration, the motivation to do better.

But what if we started each day with the recognition that God gives us a clean slate for that day? What if we went to bed every night with a repentant heart, and asked God for His forgiveness, and we started each day new? New for us? For our families? Our coworkers and friends?

Instead of waking up, still hurting, angry, or disappointed by yesterday, we woke up renewed and ready to make the best of that day. I know that living this way is not a sure fire way to having 100% perfect days, but if I didn’t wake up mad about yesterday’s messes, how much better could I cope with today?

And if I asked God to forgive me every night for the specific mistakes I made that day, and woke up without shame, or guilt, but covered by His grace, how much more grace could I give to those around me? How much brighter could I shine the light of Christ to the world?

God gives us a brand new start every day…we don’t have to wait for a new year to start fresh. How much different could this whole year, and possibly the rest of our lives be if we lived in the peace, comfort and grace of a daily fresh start?