Well, the pages of 2016 are closed! I have kind of cracked up at all of the posts about everyone being so excited that 2016 was over: like all of the messiness in our lives was some how connected to the calendar year. However, I do understand. I love the freshness and new possibilities that come with the new year.
For me personally, the mood swings of 2016 practically gave me whiplash. It was a year that we faced some of the hardest moments of our lives. I don’t think I have cried more tears in my life than I did in 2016. But, it was a year that had some of the best moments of our lives as well. Everything the enemy meant to destroy us, God used it to bring good to us and grow us. Some of the messiness that came our way made us make some changes in our lives. When everything gets a little wrecked, that doesn’t mean we have to be a wreck! This year, when bad things happen or things don’t go my way, I am going to try and stay open to what God is doing with us, rather than focus on how it is making me feel. 2016 had some tragic moments, but I don’t ever want to forget the good that God brought to me in 2016.
This past year, I stepped back and took some time to rest, renew and begin a journey of simplicity. It was hard, but much needed. Sometimes, in order to focus on what God has for you, you have to step back and just spend time with Him. I had a lot of voices in my head that were competing with the Voice of God. When we are stretched too thin, those other voices seem to get louder and louder. The voices that were distracting me from what God has called me to had gotten really loud. They were also very confusing and chaotic. Voices that cause division or make you want to isolate yourself are not from God. (Hindsight is always 20/20!) Yes, alone time with God is good, but there is a line between being pulled away to be with God and isolating yourself. I have learned a lot about that this past year! I am also working on recognizing those distracting voices so that I can shut them down before they get out of hand.
There were moments I wanted to pretend like it was my husband called to ministry and not me. I wanted out and away from the fish bowl of ministry. But, God gently whispered to my heart who I was and why He called me. He lovingly and graciously showed me some things in my life that needed to change and some issues that needed to be dealt with so that these attacks from the enemy wouldn’t wreck me. He restored my heart, my love for people and my love for the church. Only He could of done that. He showed me some things that I had deemed as important that were not. He showed me that I was carrying some burdens that were not mine to carry. He led me to being confident in who He is; not who I am or who people think I am. I am thankful for the lessons I have learned in 2016, but I hope not to have to repeat them again.
So, my goals for the new year:
- I will be starting each morning with coffee and the One Year Bible. ( No, not on my phone or computer but an actual one year Bible. You guys know I am old school.)
- I will be writing MANY more handwritten notes. I love stationary and will be sending more letters, notes and cards. Social media has become the lazy way out of saying we are thinking of someone. Though, it is a good tool, I want to go a little more out of my way.
- I will not be on social media, games on my phone, on my computer or anything else like that past 7pm.
- I will be more open and vulnerable with my husband when the voices of dissension start up in my head. He is my spiritual accountability, but sometimes I don’t go to him because of the huge burden I know he has leading a church. However, talking through issues and being there for one another is a part of marriage. I don’t like to be vulnerable, but I am working on it!
- I am going to celebrate everything!!!
- Read more, write more, and live more.
My “word” for 2017 is BE.
No striving, second guessing, doubting, backtracking, struggling, compromising, or withdrawing. Instead, I will just BE. I will BE who God made me to BE. I will BE me but hopefully a better version of me. I will just BE.