2016 is just around the corner, just one day away! It is so funny to think because I remember when I was in grade school we talked about 2016 as if it were the future, as if we were all going to be driving around in mini airplanes and we would be commanding robots to do our dishes, clean our rooms and make our breakfast. I think that we thought we would all be living like The Jetsons and I guess in some ways we are. We have computers in the palm of our hand that can do everything aside from our dishes...app coming for that in 2016 I am sure. Our teens are getting hovercrafts for Christmas, alongside fire extinguishers so they don’t blow up, but even still hovercrafts they are getting. Our kids are plugged in, our adults have more knowledge at our fingertips and yet we are all still searching right? Searching for our purpose, searching for what our stamp on this world can be, searching for and the gifts and talents He impressed on us.
As we come into the new year reflection automatically follows right? What all has happened in the previous year, what we need to change or what we can do to have a better year next year. So what guides that for you? How do you make that call? I promise you this, I have seen and read about 500 different ways to become better in the new year, to make a resolution that you won’t break, how to lose 20lbs and keep it off- it is everywhere and sadly we have all tried it most of it. For a month or so anyway.
So as I awake here in Kenya-before the rooster and the screaming birds, I am in a state of reflection. Rather than what can I do this year differently or how can I be awesome in 2016...or set unrealistic goal and set myself up for failure…. What does He want my life to reflect? Being that I wear several different hats in this season of life I can’t do the whole pick one word for the year thing. It doesn’t suit me- I have too many aspects to consider so instead I sat quietly and allowed God to impress upon me some things that He would like to work through in my life. What were these things I am sure you are wondering, sitting on the edge of your seat, dying to know, ha- yeah right... but nonetheless I thought I would open my soul and share with you what I feel God will teach me in 2016.
True, authentic worship. Yes through music and song because of course one of my pathways to God is music worship, but more so what does worship look like in my life. As I was researching each word that God brought to me I looked up worship in my handy study bible and next to it were these words: to praise and serve God. Hum, worship is yes to praise God but also to serve God. How am I serving God all day everyday, with my family, with BFR/The Rev, with those I am discipling? How can my service to God be my worship? How can I do it in such a way that I can lay that at Christ’s feet?.......reflection.
Those that know me know there would have to be some bit in here that links to getting things done well and timely. Well here it is- straight from the Lord. He wired me this way so I take it up with Him. How can I be more effective in my life this year? In all realms of my life, as a leader, as a missionary, as a wife, as a mom, as a teacher, as a discipler, as a follower of Christ? How can I work smarter not necessarily harder in this coming year? So back to my study bible and I came to 2 Samuel 5:10-12 where God gives David the power to become stronger and stronger because the Lord God ALL-POWERFUL was with him. Many messengers were sent to David, along with cedar logs, carpenters and stonecutters. Because David allowed God to work in and through him, the Lord gave him the strength, the supplies and the help needed to accomplish the task God laid before him. Wow- that gives me so much encouragement. That God asks great things and great sacrifices from us, BUT he partners that with GREAT power. Man, that spoke to me, that helped me see that in my weakness, God’s power is there and in full force…..reflection and thanksgiving.
Yeah I know I tried to ignore this one. I tried to stuff it down and pretend God wasn’t impressing this upon me but let’s get real- I have tried that before and God gets his way and just admitting it and obeying the first time, I have found, is way easier, and more effective….LOOK at me, already being on point in 2016. ha. So back to this beast, I mean awesome thing, God has shown me. God calls us to forgive. Point, blank. So what do I do in these situations? Well I pray, I pray that God will guide my steps through this process, that God will fight my battles. I look toward Genesis 45:10-15 and get a bit of perspective. If Joseph can give forgiveness to his brothers that did so much wrong to him, who am I not to extend forgiveness to those in my life? Does it mean that it hurts less, no. Does it mean that I jump right back into relationship or trust with him or her, no. But it does mean that God and I have wrestled through it, He has taken on the burden and I have promised to give it to Him time and time again that it rears it’s ugly head…..reflection, conviction, repentance, forgiveness.
Of course this is on my list God. I am a fireball and come from a spicy family- gentleness really isn’t on the top of our to do list. BUT God calls us to be gentle as Christ is gentle. With two kids and a husband this is something I am reminding myself of constantly. Gentleness with my words mostly but gentleness with my touch and my time even. So as I was thinking on this I came to Proverbs 15:1, ‘A gentle answer will calm a person’s anger but an unkind answer will cause more anger.’ Boy do I know this to be true with a 5 ½ year old teenager in my house. I promise you, if her teenage years are a reflection of her preschool/grade school years- y’all start praying for me NOW. I swear the way I postion “get your shoes on and get in the car” is a make or break in our house. If I am calm and gentle, nine times out of ten we are on our way. If I am frantic and pushy, nine times out of ten we are all a hot mess, late to wherever we are going and I am white knuckling the steering wheel asking the Lord why he lets kids be so crazy!?!?! So for me, in 2016, I want to focus in on gentleness. I was reading through a little devotional within my bible and something struck a chord with me, it said the Bible doesn’t say that it’s wrong to be angry just how we respond to that anger that counts. Bam. There it is. Just as my mentor Karin Conlee says, our response is our responsibility. ….reflection, begging for God’s intervention.
So how can we take the things that God is teaching us in the new year, this turning of a page, this new dawn (sorry the Kenyan roosters are making me crazy) to make an impact for Him, to bring glory to Jesus? How are you going to align yourself to receive the all mighty power of God?
Will it be easy? Absolutely not. Will it always be fun? No way. Will people hurt us along the way? No doubt. BUT...BUT our reward is far greater than that. Our reward is within Christ and the resurrection and life eternal. Our reward is in heaven. So take it in friends, allow some quiet and allow God to speak into you, then act on it. Make an effort to hear and write what He is saying and then move on it. Give yourself grace because it won’t be perfect but the closer we draw toward him the better off we are. Happy New Year.
Comments will be approved before showing up.