[hello 2017]

New beginnings, a blank slate, a fresh new journal to document a life to be lived…

I’ve never been a resolution girl because unfortunately after about day 3 I’m done. This year I want to focus on making habits. Not a check off list of things to do each day, but habits that will develop me spiritually, physically, and emotionally. 

This is the year I turn 50. I know it’s hard to believe.  I can’t believe it. I have never dreaded a Birthday before, but this one…this one has me really thinking about my life and how I want to spend the next decade, Lord willing. 

I have been praying this last week over what my word for 2017 would be. God has been laying two words on my heart but He really solidified it during Church this morning. Not because of the sermon but because of the faithfulness of one family who has lived the worst nightmare that could ever happen to a parent…the loss of a child. She was in a devastating car accident on Christmas Day and her parents made the decision Friday to donate her organs.  She passed into the arms of Jesus yesterday. 

The faith that sustained them this week as her life hung in the balance and the decision to let her go was beyond amazing. Through it all they glorified God and surrendered to Him whatever the outcome. The father was in church this morning and I cried as we sang every song because I can’t imagine the pain and how their lives are changed forever. They impacted a community to unite in prayer for God’s will to be done and a heartfelt plea to put our faith in Jesus Christ. It was beautiful to watch. 

So God impressed upon my heart the word prayer.  To be more intentional in my prayer life, to keep a journal to record prayer requests and answered prayer. To pray harder for my husband, my children and unsaved family members. To spend more time getting to know my Savior and listening more to what He has to say to me.  

Life will be chaotic as I complete my Master’s degree, we help to build a new ministry, Basketball Church 23860, as well as building a ministry to internationals in our community. Throw in a trip to Africa for me and a trip to Pennsylvania for my husband and two of our kids to minister to inner city kids through basketball. 

Our lives are full and we are so blessed and grateful for the opportunities He has given us. 

 Blessings. 

[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.

[resolutions…or not]

I have decided not to set any New Years resolutions for 2016. There is so much pressure and let’s be honest 2 or 3 weeks into the year it’s a bust anyway. I am choosing to look at life differently this year. For the last couple of years I have participated in the oneword365 project. God has laid the word available on my heart for 2016. Available to whatever He has in store for me. Available to Him, my family, ministry, relationships…whatever He wants. For so many years I have focused on my goals which may or may not have included His plans.

It’s time to leave the past in the past and focus on the future. It may be fun or it may not. It might not be pretty all the time and it may be hard but we were never promised an easy road (I’m hoping for more fun though 😉).  My prayer is that in all things I will praise my God.

What’s your one word for 2016?