This is my first post of 2017 and I am excited for the year ahead. Excitement usually justifies the use of an exclamation mark! Let me tell you a bit more…
Two words that have been on my heart as I enter this year are:
I want to live simply and live in a way that allows me to hear God’s voice. Each day I want to have greater clarity in what I do, rather than be overtaken by all the distractions, clutter and mess that can fill my heart, mind, time and home (to name just a few spaces!).
I want to pause and appreciate what I have more than what I don’t have. Living in a culture that always wants to achieve, move upwards, keep going, never slowing… it’s exhausting.
It doesn’t need to be this way. I can slow down, take a step back and be content right where I am. I can spend time with those I love and care about without rushing to do the next thing. I can stop filling up my days and prayerfully consider how I use my time and resources.
That doesn’t mean I have to ignore the busyness, but I can choose how I address it. For too long I have addressed with stress. This has often resulted in headaches, tiredness, illness and feeling completely overwhelmed. This is on top of me being a people-pleaser when I can! I want to engage with the idea of simplicity now so it can prepare me for times in my life where I am bound to have seasons of busyness.
I want to embrace moments of simplicity to be with my Saviour, rather than living a life of befuddled behaviour.
I want to live expectantly. This can be defined as ‘an excited feeling that something is about to happen, especially something good.’ I LOVE that.
This year I want to live each day with expectancy and hope. After all, I believe that real, lasting hope is built upon knowing a risen Saviour, Jesus Christ. I live expectant because one day, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords will return in glory, and all of the downright scary stuff that we read about which kind of makes us recoil and worry, will be no more.
Living expectantly in 2017, I look forward to seeing what exciting things will happen. They may not seem exciting to others, but with the added word of simplicity, I can slow down enough to really look in wonder at the year ahead. I don’t want to miss the beauty of today because I am thinking about tomorrow or dwelling on yesterday.
For 2017, the verses that I am focusing upon at the moment are:
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:18-19
“The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, “The Lord is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.” Psalm 92:12-15
He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD. Psalm 40:3
These are verses that I feel God is speaking over me at the moment as I step into a new year.
He has given me a new song to sing and is making a way in the desert places of my heart; oh, how I long to be like that righteous palm tree, planted firmly in His Word and making a way for others to come to know Him through my own life.
I am really excited about this coming year because it is another year to trust in God’s faithfulness and provision. It’s another year to praise and worship a God who loves me and pours out daily, joyful blessings. It’s another year to rest in the arms of the Lord who has a plan for my life so I need not worry.
Another year. A new song.