Here we are at the the tail end of 2015, and what a year it has been down on Lemon Lane! This past year we had a new baby, joined a new church, embarked on a new journey in homeschooling, and had many other experiences and events that made 2015 a full, busy and blessed time for our family. It was not a year without its stresses and struggles, of course, but I feel like the difficulties we have had are serving to shape and sharpen me and my husband into more of who God wants us to be.
Normally I do not do a whole lots of planning around the changing of the calendar in January. I find autumn, the start of the harvest and new school year to be more invigorating for change and fresh starts than the dark, bleak midwinter when I am just trying to recover from the busyness of the holiday season. This year, however, due to a lot of thinking and reading and listening I have been doing lately, I have felt led to take a small step or two toward creating a fresh outlook at the turn of the year.
Not being the sort of person to make New Year’s Resolutions, I instead decided to imitate the example of several popular bloggers I follow and choose some words to be a sort of focus or theme for me in 2016. Along with each word I chose a theme verse that embodies that word to guide me in the coming year.
My Words to Live By in 2016 are Seek, Thrive, and Rest. I could probably write a whole separate post for each of these words, but I will try to briefly explain what I hope to focus on as I contemplate these words in the coming year. Seek is my BIG one and the first priority in terms of application. This word focusses my attention on seeking God, knowing Him more through His word and asking for His guidance through prayer. I will seek to become more Christ-like in my attitudes and actions and likewise be an example to my children of how to live for Him. The theme verse I chose for Seek is a pretty obvious choice:
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. -Matthew 6:33
As I am seeking God more, I believe I will begin to Thrive more in all areas of my life. I do not want to just survive each day, barely making it through and crawling into bed at night only to wake up and begrudgingly do it all over again. I want to find ways to celebrate life, to choose joy and to make small moments matter. I want to model a life of praise and gratitude and joy for my children and to bless my husband by being a woman who thrives.
He will be like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and its leaf does not whither, and in whatever he does he prospers. -Psalm 1:3
Finally, I need to Rest in the coming year. This word not only points to actual physical rest, which is both a necessity and luxury as a mother of small children, but also spiritual rest. My hope in focussing on the word Rest is that I will continue growing in faith and trust in the Lord. Trusting in His power, His timing, His provision and His protection will allow me to fully rest in Him. This is not laziness or a lack of action on my part, but it is active surrender, daily giving every care over to the Lord, believing that He is working all things out for good.
Commit your way to the Lord, trust in Him and He will act. He will bring forth your righteousnessas the light and your justice as the noonday. -Psalm 37:5-6
In coming blog posts, I hope to expand on these ideas a little bit and to share what I am doing practically to apply the concepts of seeking, thriving and resting to my life.
How about you? Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? Have any goals for 2016? What words would you choose to contemplate and put into practice in the coming year? I would love to hear from you!