Happy New Year’s Eve! We are on the cusp of something great–a new beginning. A new year, a fresh start, a time to take one glance back and then turn our heads forward, peering into the blank canvas of a new year.
This past year may have been harder than others, with unexpected disappointments that still sting. Or maybe for you it was the climbing out of the valley, a mountain-top year full of ease and peace.
Either way, hopefully we have grown a little, learned from our mistakes and difficulties, found wells of gratitude to dip from, found rest in the joyful, and can now walk through 2015 with whatever it brings, stronger, wiser, and more confident in God’s purpose for our days.
When we walk through life with God, open to his calling of our time and our talents, we can live to our fullest, our happiest. We can weather the trials because we know God has much to teach us through them. They are a pruning for a flourishing that would never exist without the cutting back.
Where will we flourish this year?
How will we use our time and talents for God?
Lisa Terkeurst expresses beautifully a framework to enter this year:
“In God’s plan you have a part to play. If you know it and believe it, you’ll live it. You’ll live your life making decisions with the Best Yes as your best filter. You’ll be a grand display of God’s Word lived out. Your undistracted love will make your faith ring true. Your wisdom will help you make decisions that will still be good tomorrow. And you’ll be alive and present for all of it.” (The Best Yes, p. 6)
To be present in our life–what a great gift for ourselves and those around us–letting go of the past, not fearing the future. Just living for today, in the moment with all God has for us! Today we say goodbye to 2014, and hello to a new year~let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Jon and I have been having many discussions about our future this summer. We have had decisions to make, about his business, about my work life, and about where we want to be with our time, family, and finances. After much thinking and talking we think we have things “figured out for now.” Yet, throughout all, our prayer to God has been, “Please direct us in YOUR path. Give us wisdom. Show us the doors you want us to walk through and close the ones you don’t.”
I want more than anything to have wisdom from God. For with wisdom comes the ability to choose the best (not necessarily the easiest) path for my life, the path that stretches forward before me with just the right amount of shade and light. One that I can walk with confidence knowing that God has plans for me along the way, and things to teach me. To be honest, I don’t know if the decisions Jon and I made will lead us on the right path. Our best laid plans may not really be the best, or possibly they are. But we will continue to pray and stay tuned to that gentle whisper or nudge that we have come to recognize as God’s voice in our lives, and as we journey, we will ask for courage to turn our heels in the dirt and head a different direction if led.
This is a devotional from Stormie O’Martian that speaks into my journey, and maybe yours:
Moving Into Your Future
“Lord, I ask You to be in charge of my future. I don’t want to dream dreams if you are not in them. I don’t want to make plans that you will not bless. I don’t want to work hard trying to harvest something that will never bear fruit because I did not receive the seed from you. Help me not to waste valuable time getting off the path and having to come back to the same place again. I do not want to get to the end of my life and regret the time I spent not living for you.” The Book of Prayer, p.241
Written By Amy
As we know, life has seasons. For many years, my husband, Jonathan, and I were in a season of raising young children. So much of our daily thought and energy revolved around their needs. Our kids are older now, and more independent, and while I would put one label of “Soccer Mom and Dad” on Jon and myself, a more deeply threaded season of “work” seems to permeate our thoughts and energy right now. I have mentioned before in this blog the instability of my husband’s airline career, and that I began working a couple of jobs about a year and a half ago to help supplement income. Since then Jonathan has started another side business, venturing into the healthy vending world, and the past six months have been filled with perseverance, hard work and commitment on his part to walk the path of starting a new business. My working world has evolved in several areas…working as a mom and spouse to care for my family, an Orthopedic office job (which I love and was truly God’s blessing and perfect timing in my life), tutoring (also love!), and another business venture I am pursuing. My plate is full.
My tendency is to run through life, giving God a quick wave as I rush into the next thing. Of course I pray and ask God for his will, but I am a hard charger into whatever is before me and I often don’t wait for his clear answer. As of late, I am challenging myself with the question, “Do I really want to know the answer if it looks different from my own ideas?” I have been truly praying, “God, is this work I am doing in your favor? Is the path I am on in life in your plan for me?” While I believe that right now I am fulfilling God’s plan in the areas of work in my life, I have committed to listening for a different answer if there is one.
The verse above speaks loudly to me. The Lord’s favor is a priceless treasure, and if you look closely at the verse it says “establish the work of our hands for us…” It does not say we should establish our work and then ask for God’s favor. He will bring us work opportunities, ideas, visions…and if we pursue them in his name we will hear his encouragement and feel peace. It is when there is no peace, unrest, or discontent with our work or our choices that we need to bend our ear to God’s soft voice, and listen.
Whatever it is that you do, whether it be changing diapers and having a continual shoulder full of spit-up, or schooling your children, or providing for your family with a career or side-job, pray that it is in the Lord’s favor, and ask God to establish the work of your hands for you, that it may be the very best plan He has for your life.