I hesitate to make resolutions at the beginning of each new year.
I have the tendency to set expectations too high and I usually find myself discouraged by February. Yet, the fear of not making the best decisions, setting the reachable but challenging goals, and of believing that I actually can (and should) embrace them is a limitation that I alone put on myself. It most certainly is not from God. And I want to see that change in 2018.
I am guessing that most of us have mixed emotions with the whole New Year’s Resolution thing. But one habit I have learned to embrace is assigning a word to the coming year as a focus word, a prayer, or an encouragement.
Do you choose a word for the year?
The process of finding a word is often tenuous at best, it is a process of waiting and listening and looking at what the Lord is leading me to find in the coming year. It is rarely a word that I would have chosen, and most often it doesn’t make sense till the year has passed by. But through the practice of makings habit of seeking the Lord daily, I am learning to wait better, to listen closer, to look deeper than I have been prone to do before. I am constantly learning in this journey of grace He has taken me on. But the more I wait, the clearer His voice becomes and that makes listening a whole lot easier. Because in the deep spaces where my soul connects with His I am inspired to wonder and to praise and to pray the kind of prayers that bring heaven down to earth and see His glory manifest before me.
I want more of God in my every moment. That is my goal for today and tomorrow and always. Unchanging like Jesus, unfiltered like grace, unhindered like mercy, unforgettable like love.
Look to the LORD and His strength; seek His face always… 1 Chronicles 16:11
I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in His Word I put my hope… my soul does wait for the Lord.- Psalm 130:5
Deep calls unto deep at the noise of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me.- Psalm 42:7
To be honest, 2017 was a hard year for me. There were many wonderful #gracemoments that were collected, milestones worked for, achieved and counted…lessons learned, faith grown, prayers answered. Many good things, God-Things. And yet, there were some deep and painful, unexpected and unresolved moments that are still a little raw in my remembering.
And maybe you have a few of those moments, too. Because #reallife is unpredictable and #realfaith is the kind that believes regardless of what we see or don’t see. At the end of the year I was fueling myself with all the words that showed me His mercy and the ways that His coming to be close to us… the good news gospel anchoring us to the hope of heaven’s answer to our breaking.(Is 61:1)
It makes me think about how we jump into the new year with hearts longing for change because we’ve been spending time with the one who came to change us from the inside out. And it is a bonafide #gracemoment that gives us courage to always always look for more as we start something new. And maybe we are just wired to be fully expectant that God will show up, somehow, someway, somewhere. Even when we are broken or our plans became messy with living and our dreams feel fractured instead of achieved.
The Lord is near the brokenhearted, and he delivers those whose spirit has been crushed.- Psalm 34:18
The broken places are the sacred spaces He meets us. The hard and the heavy moments may break us but the promise of His closeness heals us. And I think that is the catalyst for hoping for good things… looking for God-things on this journey? Because if we are burning for more of the things of God, if we are ready to let the fractured mosaic of our lives be welded together by the power of His good news, then maybe the secret is about letting go and letting God lead us into the simple beauty of dwelling in the more He has.
But now, since you know God, or rather have become known by God, how can you turn back again…Galatians 4:9
I am still wrestling with that word that I have been waiting on, still unprepared to declare one or the other. Yet I am encouraged by the unfailing Word of God which is ever at my fingertips, leading, filling, building up the walls of my soul with the reminders of His faithfulness. Because He is faithful to us, He is patient with us, He pours out grace over and over until we get it.
And that is usually how I find that #oneword for my year. Right there in the inspired truth signed by love, I find the answers that tend to escape my understanding in the every day. Every.Single.Day. It’s not just about the #oneword365, but the living Word for 365 days of 2018 that I need to focus on fully. And I am challenging you to jump in there with me.
Do you want more of God this year?
I do! I want more of God in 2018. I want more of the things that reveal His grace in my spaces. I want to let myself decrease so He can increase. And though I don’t have a clue what that looks like, He is crushing those wonderings by inviting me to wander in His Word and prayer continually. I am declaring 2018 is #ayearofmore for me and for the people I call my own. And friends, this journeys in grace community… you are my people. I want more of God for you, too. More of the things that He is calling you to be and do.
Because you are brave, you are beautiful, you are enough, but more of God is always a good thing.
I’ll share more about how I am finding that word with His word next week, but I would love to hear about your word for 2018. And I have a small offering of grace for your souls in the form of an journal ebook:More of God for 2018. It’s free. It is for you.
Praying for more of God in your every moment today and every day of 2018.
I created this journal/ebook: More of God for 2018 for you to jot down ideas and thoughts and words and prayers for the new year. Join me as I look for More of God in 2018. I hope it can encourage you and equip you to step into the brave and bold places as you seek Him more, pray more, and give more grace in your world.
IT’S YOUR TURN TO BE A GRACE COUNTER! SHARE YOUR GRACE MOMENT IN THE COMMENTS BELOW AND THEN COUNT GRACE WITH A FRIEND WITH COMMENT ON A BLOG OR TWO.
If you are a blogger, link up here with a post about finding grace moments in your life or one of your favorite inspiring and encouraging posts from this week. Share your thoughts in the comment section telling me about the #Grace Moments you experienced this week. *(only 1 post per link please)*
Take time to visit your neighbor next to you, and if you want visit a few more friends on the journey. We all need a little encouragement and affirmation as we travel together.
If you don’t have a blog, you can connect with me via my Journeys in Grace FB page by sharing a photo or a comment. Or you can join the party by sharing your images on Instagram with #Gracemoments hashtag.
Each week I will try visit as many of your amazing posts as I can.This is a safe place to sit and dwell in grace together, friends. I can’t wait to pour a cup of friendship with you and take in the grace moments you have to share. Don’t forget to leave a comment below, I love to hear from you.