[simplify]

I have been praying over what word God would speak over me for 2018. Or if He would give me a word at all. Is it that important to focus so much on a word? Nevertheless there were three words that came to me…trust, forgive and unplug.

I dissected each word and why it would be important for my life in 2018. Trust is something I struggle with and it has affected my relationships over the years, especially with other women. I find it hard to open up and share the sacred pieces of my heart. But God has put a few women in my life over the last year that He has entrusted to me. Not all of them have blossomed the way I envisioned but one has and I am very grateful for His favor.

Forgiveness has been hard. My husband and I have been hurt over the last few years by someone in a leadership position in our church. Oh don’t get me wrong…we share in some of the blame but the relationship is superficially reconciled, but not what it used to be. I’m not sure it ever will be. It has affected our ministry but I’m tired of the bitterness in my heart and am ready to trust God with that person.

Unplug refers to how much time I spend on social media. And while much of who I follow and much of what I read is on spiritual things, it is still a distraction from my relationship with Jesus, my family and friends.

I came across this quiz by Dayspring to help determine your one word for the new year. You answer a few questions about what you want in 2018 and it spits out a word. I took the quiz hoping it would confirm one of the three words above. But it didn’t. It brought back “simplify.”

I pondered on that word most of yesterday. It wasn’t what I was thinking of at all. But then it started to make some sense. My life has been complicated by unforgiveness, bitterness, social media and a fear of going deeper in my relationships. Simplifying, decluttering my life, could help with all three areas.

Opening up my home more often and inviting others in, not only for dinner or dessert, but for meaningful conversation and building life long friendships. Of course this means decluttering my house to be able to invite others in so they have a place to sit down.

Simplifying my heart or uncluttering it will be more difficult. It will take effort and a lot of prayer for God to “create a clean heart for me and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalms 51:10 CSB). I will be reading through the Bible this year. I’ve read through the Bible before but this will be the first time reading it in chronological order. Focusing on the Word, I know my heart will be softened and I will be able to hear from Him more clearly. Simplifying social media (or reducing it significantly) will help to make more time for more important things.

So my one word for 2018 will be simplify. Happy New Year!

[end of summer]

I’m not one to start the next season before it actually begins.  I’ve tried to live in the moment and enjoy the season I’m in.  While Fall is my favorite season of the year, it will come like it always does the third week of September.  I refuse to order a Pumpkin Spice Latte before Fall actually arrives.

It seems like once July 4th comes and goes I start to see posts and tweets longing for sweatshirt weather and football.  The first day of school definitely ends the summer social season.  But I am holding on to this season because of the many wonderful things (and not so wonderful) that happened over this summer.

For a long time now, God has been calling me to disciple other women.  I’ve led a ladies Bible study for years and while I love these ladies with all of my heart there hasn’t been anyone that I’ve created a one-on-one relationship with outside of our weekly meetings.  I had been praying that He would send me someone local that I could pour into and who would pour into me.  He did just that in June and every Tuesday night we meet at Starbucks and talk about life, struggles we are going through and what our hopes for the future are.  It has taken me out of my comfort zone but it has encouraged me to reach out to other women as well.  For this introvert, it can be difficult to take the first step.  It’s even more difficult to open up and really trust someone with your heart.

The summer has had its challenges. He has taught me through a relationship at work that isn’t going as I’d like, how to communicate, to be bold and have hard conversations even if the relationship can’t be restored.  I read a post by Dr. Tony Evans this week that when a broken relationship cannot be healed, we need to seek healing from that broken relationship because it could harm future relationships.  It breaks my heart when relationships cannot be restored but God can renew our hearts and move us to a place of healing.

He has renewed my heart and awakened in me a joy and expectancy that I wasn’t sure would return.  He has been faithful and has even sent us three families that have become near and dear to our hearts.  He has given us new ministry opportunities and ways to serve that I didn’t even dream of.

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I am thankful for the opportunities He has provided and the struggles that I have had to navigate.  I am thankful for a renewed joy and expectancy He has given me.  I am soaking up these last couple of weeks of summer and I will NOT order a Pumpkin Spice Latte until after September 22nd.

[diving in]

I took a bold leap of faith yesterday and created my own domain and setup a website using Bluehost.  I had previously been using a free blog site but if I am going to get serious about writing then it’s time to do it right.  The 31 days of writing has really given me a chance to pray and seek God’s wisdom and direction about blogging more regularly.  I am still seeking what it is He wants me to write about specifically but I know He will.  Bear with me as I get the site set up.  Your grace is appreciated.

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photo credit domain.me

 

[365 days]

Today I turn 48. I don’t feel 48 and my kids says I don’t look 48 (I love my kids). I still feel like I’m in my 30’s, not 2 years away from 50!  We did finish the 10K last month and I will confess I didn’t feel like I was in my 30’s that afternoon but I digress…

This little guy came to visit us today and it reminded me of God’s beautiful creation and how He has a purpose for every creature.
We had friends over last night to watch “Mom’s Night Out” and one of my favorite parts is when they are talking about the momma eagle taking care of her babies and how peaceful she is just doing what God created her to do.  That’s what He calls us to do too.  So many times we drive ourselves crazy doing things He never called us to do.
So beginning today I will spend the next 365 days pursuing Him, asking Him to lead me to what He wants me to do, to lead me to be a better wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend and child of the one true King.  I know He has many changes in store for me this year. He has given me a glimpse of some of them and I am praying for His direction and clear guidance.
I can’t wait to see Him move!