New Year – New Word – New Surprises

PerseveranceI Love my Abba!  I love that He stands by– even when I’m disconnected (see last post)– ready to jump in with new teaching and direction!  I love that He has plans for me for the New Year and beyond! (Jer 29:11)

In the last few years, instead of making New Year’s resolutions based on my own agenda, I’ve asked for God’s overall theme or Word for me to help focus my year.  Those of you who have been reading awhile will know that much of my learning/sharing in 2013 circled around the idea of “Abundance”.   A couple of weeks ago I had a very strong impression that my new Word would be “Perseverance”.  UGGHH. To be honest, this was not something I wanted to hear; wouldn’t that mean I would be in for a year of struggles and trials? Maybe, this was just my own thinking– influenced by my lingering cough and fatigue, right?  Nope.  Several confirmations later showed me this was indeed God’s design for the next stage of my spiritual growth.  But here’s the thing: with Abba at the center, there was no need for me to be concerned… (funny how our imaginations can run wild 🙂 )

On Dec. 30th, as I began an early exploration of scripture that related to “Perseverance”,  God gave me a second Word for the year– “Hope”.  Of course!  In the same way I came to understand the unmistakable link between “Freedom” and “Peace” a few years back, this next year will provide a much deeper understanding of the intermarriage of “Perseverance” and “Hope”.  In fact, it may sound silly, but my hopes  have been raised already.  I learned so many unexpected spiritual and practical lessons having to do with “Abundance”, and I can already see the same will be no less true for this new focus.

On the first day of 2014, I turned to God in my quiet time, expecting to dig in to scripture and begin a Word study, but He had a different lesson.  While I visualized the three persons of the trinity, the Holy Spirit showed me a picture of the true state of my heart, and a couple of areas in which I had hidden and harbored old unhealthy feelings, even from myself.  With time in prayer and repentance I was reminded of a very important element of all of the training to come:  We can’t truly persevere, or move forward in our development, until we deal with old hurts.  Wow…

I started working on these areas and then two nights ago, I was given an elaborate dream that the Lord knew I would instantly recognize.  In it, I was blessed beyond measure with not only a huge, estate home, but the previous owner left us expensive art work, a pantry full of food, and the latest high-end appliances!  I was teary-eyed with gratitude and then almost as suddenly, anxious about how much there was to manage.  Here was a new realization I didn’t see coming: Perseverance, for me, could be linked to trials of abundance, of being overwhelmed by too much– not just by the more anticipated negative circumstances.  It was like when I learned I could limit God’s abundance by my own predisposition towards lack!!  If I could be overwhelmed by God’s blessing, then I’m not trusting Him enough!  Double wow…

This is going to be quite a year! One thing I know for sure, after a time of exploring the deeper things of God’s “Perseverance” and “Hope”, I’ll never be the same. 🙂 Do you have a Word for 2014?

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AWAKE for the New Year!

alarm clockI recently read something that struck me– it had to do with the evils of boredom and implied that only through staying busy would we find happiness; so I couldn’t help wondering– is this the best people hope for? To just get through life without a dull, semi-conscious state of pointless repetition or sleep-inducing monotony?  What about following your life’s purpose? Finding your passion?  Living a life of joy and peace?  What about knowing in your innermost core that your Creator absolutely TREASURES you, and that He will never turn His back on you, or leave you out in the cold?

Honestly, I haven’t been bored in years!  (frustrated, heartsick, exhilarated, and awed, sure– but never bored.) Since walking with the Lord I experience more of life than I knew existed!  Much of it may seem like small stuff to others who are always on the search for something bigger, better, more… but to be able to sit quietly, and REALLY NOTICE the world outside my window, or to find wonder and motivating challenges in tasks that used to leave me feeling depleted and yes, bored– this is finally being awake.

One thing that has always been great about New Year’s Eve is that it reminds us of time’s passing.  Many are encouraged to accomplish long held dreams–perhaps working on their “bucket list”, aware that our time on earth is limited. Others make goals and resolutions to become healthier, hoping to expand the number of years remaining.  However, did you ever notice how many of these aspirations and resolutions fall by the wayside, and often before January’s end?  We make a plan, attempt self-discipline, and some of us even find accountability partners.  However, when we rely simply on human effort, after awhile we lose our resolve, and we are once more lulled into our old habits. 

So what if, instead of saying, “I’m going to lose weight, or get a better job, or meet my future life partner in the New Year,” we asked God to reveal His plans for us for 2013?  What if, during the year, we stopped focusing on how our goals weren’t panning out, and instead watched how God uses everything to bring His plans to fruition? (Two cautions: 1) Don’t expect the details.  If you truly seek God, He will reveal a theme for you for your year–but there will be multiple layers of learning and surprises all along the way!  2) Be sure that you’re hearing from God.  If a word or theme doesn’t line up with scripture, reject it.)

I have prayerfully been doing this for the past couple of years and I cannot tell you how grateful I am for this kind of wakeful awareness!!  The year I learned about true FREEDOM was nothing short of life-changing!  This year, God will be teaching me about His ABUNDANCE, and I am eagerly anticipating a thrilling ride. “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”-John 10:10

Happy New Year, Everyone!