December 22, 2015

2016 Word of the Year: Be on the Alert!

Resolutions have always appealed to me, because I am a planner and like goal setting.  While I rarely achieve perfection with resolutions, I have found the quote, "shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you land among the stars," to be true.  If I commit to reading a book a month or something, I may not do it every month, but I'll likely read more books that year than I did the previous.  You get the idea.

Last year, however, I felt the draw away from specifics to the more general idea or theme for 2015.  You may recall that I invited you to join me in choosing a theme word for the year.  Did any of you do that?  If so, I'd love to hear how God used that word to guide and transform you!  The word the Lord had impressed upon my heart was OPEN.  The concept, or practice, of being OPEN to the Lord kept coming up so much, I could not ignore it.  To hold myself accountable, I wrote regularly (at least till September) about how I saw God nudging me to be open.

With only a cursory review of the year, I can see how that one word, hanging above the garbage can in my kitchen, was used by the Lord to grow and stretch me in ways I never expected.  He provided opportunities for me to be OPEN, with my life, our home, my time, and my stuff, over and over again.  I'm sure those chances would have come with our without  a 2015 theme word, but it is fun to look back and testify to God's work from providing the word, OPEN, to providing opportunities to grow in Him by being OPEN.

This year was far from perfect.  Many were the times I was not generously open to God or with those around me!  But I would not count having a theme word as a waste, because I saw God work in and around me.  Without opening the year with that theme word, I would not have the same testimony to God's goodness, patience, mercy, and love.  This year He showed me there was space for playgroup, leading a Mom Heart group, and gave me two speaking engagements (which came right on top of each other and really stretched my trust in His provision, and wisdom)!  He filled me with joy as I saw dreams I had for our home coming true: space being used for both gathering people together and making and deepening relationships.  I guess God has primarily used being OPEN in 2015 to solidify the ministry calling He has on my life right now.  I am humbled, because my failures and shortcomings could not hold Him back.

And, can I tell you a secret?  Lean in.  Though sometimes it has been hard, mostly it has been a lot of fun!

That brings to mind these verses from Psalm 37:3-5,

Trust in the Lord, and do good;
dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will act.

Trust in HIM, and HE will act.  He knows the desires of your heart better than you do.  He is also utterly trustworthy, (Christmas and Easter testify to that).  So again for 2016, I invite you to seek the Lord, keeping your eyes peeled and your ears open, for whether he has a theme word or verse for your walk with Him.  I've had the word surrender coming up a lot lately.  That one scares me.  A lot!  I hold on so tightly to so many things that are not Christ, but more about that later....

I wish you a very Merry Christmas, one that is full of gifts from above as you worship the King of kings and Lord of lords!  And keep your heart open for a word from the Lord.  I am confident that He who began a good work in you will carry it to completion!  Let Him amaze you.

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