Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014: A Word for the Year

I was inspired by this post to pray and see the Lord would have one word for me to really focus on this coming year. In the past, the Lord has definitely used themes in my life to speak truth to me, direct my steps, and kick my butt (to be completely honest), and so this isn't a new concept by any means.

But with SO much change in my life as of late (as in the past 12 months), my head has been far from objective and my thoughts far from organized & compiled. So, a focus would be a great thing these days.

And sure enough, as I started praying and thinking over the last few things I've really sensed the Lord speaking to me about, a theme appeared. A word that keeps coming back time and time again. (Thankfully this year's was not Africa like '99...that would be a little interesting considering my current season of life).

As I mentioned above, 2013 held more change jam-packed into a 12-month period that I ever remember experiencing. Please let me clarify, for those of you that may not know me personally, I am not really fond of change. We have never really gotten along. I don't get excited when change comes around, even if I know that it's good. I despise learning curve periods. I enjoy doing things I can do well, and change is not really one of them.

Here are some of the major changes we have faced, in no specific order:
  • I had my 2nd child, a sweet little boy named Peter, in March
  • We stepped out in faith, as a family, by me moving to a part-time status at work to be home with our two kidlets
  • My husband, Jordan, accepted a new offer (leaving a position he had held for 9+ years, the duration of our marriage so far)
  • I eventually made the leap to resign  from my position of 8 yrs to be a full-time SAHM
  • The Lord directing my husband, and therefore our family, to start visiting a new church (not a change we make lightly or that isn't without heartache)
Of all the changes listed above, I consider all of them to be good. Blessings. More than we could imagine or ever deserve, and Lord faithfully bringing about things that He has been directing us to for quite some time. Some answers to prayers we've been praying for years, others pleasant surprises.

But if you're like me, and change doesn't come too easily for you either, even 'good' change can leave your head spinning and your legs feeling a little shaky.

Of all the items listed, let's not forget the domino affect that any change in your life produces. Change doesn't happen in a vacuum, and doesn't just affect one part of your life (as much as men would like to believe with their tidy, compartmentalized brains). Each change has ramifications, and I think sometimes we forget that. Relationships. Time management. Physical Tolls. Emotions.

Anyways, needless to say, the Lord is calling me to EMBRACE change in my life. I am very fortunate that the big ones have been positive things. Positive doesn't always, or even often, equal easy, but I do recognize that there are struggles that people are facing every day that they would gladly exchange for my list above. But at the same time, comparison can only go so far, because we each carry our own load and have our own issues to work through. My list hits on more than one sensitive area in my own life that the Lord wishes to deal with, and so again, positive doesn't equal easy.

Now on with the interesting part of this post - what the Lord has shown me so far regarding EMBRACE for 2014.

I am SURE that there will be more, and maybe even needed edits to this post throughout the year, as the Lord clarifies and sharpens my focus on it. But so far, here is what I'm getting...(and again, in no specific order)

  1. Embrace - to be fully present, to start to recognize ways that I retreat or check out from hard moments or when things don't go as I had planned; to recognize when my planning mode starts to pull me away from what is right in front of me instead of enabling me to do more with what time I've been given.
  2. Embrace -embracing the real over the pursuit of the ideal; this was a phrase the Lord gave me the past couple of months as He has revealed how much I pursue ideals, missing the amazing gifts He has given me here and now.  In fact, 'ideal' has become a bad word around these parts. It has been added to Natalie's list of words we don't say, along with "freaking" and "butt."
  3. Embrace - boldness; quick obedience; no more delaying obedience by asking for continual confirmations; wholeheartedness - jumping in with both feet instead of erring on the side of caution; not allowing my fear of how others will interpret my actions keep me from what I believe the Lord is calling me to do
  4. Embrace - accepting myself and who God has made me to be, and striping away any 'add-ons' I've picked up over the years, trying to make a more 'acceptable' version of myself; and then extending that same acceptance to other people, right where they are as well, in process.
  5. Embrace - God's love for me; truly finding my security in the intimate knowledge of this truth; I think that only then can I really embrace the changes around me, knowing I am secure in the One that doesn't change.

That's quite a lot, huh? A little daunting in some ways, but I am excited to see where the Lord is leading this year, and to embrace the changes He desires to make in me

One small victory story so far in this process of embracing change:

We moved my little Peterman into his room & crib for the first time this past week. He had been sleeping in different arrangements in our room, most recently a pack 'n play, in order for us to conveniently feed him in the middle of the night, and we just enjoy having him close. But it was time to transition him. Normally I would be pretty sappy and nostalgic about this type of thing, as most developmental changes that my littles face. I tend to mourn them, seeing what they will not be anymore, whereas Jordan gets excited with each new stage and what it will hold. So, I decided to try to follow his lead on this one, as it seems congruent to the Lord's direction as well.

And this new change has brought about sweet times of rocking with my baby boy that I didn't have before. Not sure if it's the new locale, or just a change in his development, but he was never really interested in letting me rock him before. But now, I get about 3 times a day, holding that sweet baby as he falls asleep. I would say that is a pretty sweet substitute right there.

What a great reminder that so often when change may be taking something away, it may also offer something new and maybe even better on the other end. 

Whew - okay, thanks for taking that ride with me! 2014, bring it on! 

1 comment:

  1. The Lord led me to this verse this morning, so I guess there are some ideals worth pursuing - I just need to make sure that they are His, and not of my own making.

    "Not that I have now attained [this ideal], or have already been made perfect, but I press on to lay hold of (grasp) and make my own, that for which Christ Jesus (the Messiah) has laid hold of me and made me His own." - Philippians 3:12