Well, I did it. I didn't always do it well. But I did it. I managed to blog a whole year of our lives. There were days when I really enjoyed it, and days when I was really mad at myself for setting that goal. There were days when I wanted to share, and there were days when I did not want to share. But through it all, I am glad that I did it, and hopefully in some small way (those of you who stuck with me through it all) I hope you were encouraged by our ups and downs. If so, it was worth it. And we have a whole year's worth of memories forever in print. Thank you to those of you who took the journey with us. I hope to blog a lot in the new year, but I don't think that I will try to blog every day. Maybe not even every week. But I will try to blog the blog-worthy stuff.
The last week or so, with 2016 ending, and the coming of a new year, I spent a lot of time thinking and praying. Last year, I chose the word glorify as my word of the year. I wanted to spend every day with the word glorify in my heart and mind. I wanted my life and the life of our family to glorify the Lord in some way, big or small, each and every day. There were days that I feel I/we did well. There were days that I feel I/we failed miserably. But I do hope that by keeping that word in my heart that it helped me do a better job of glorifying Him than ever before. I want to continue to claim that word as one of my words for 2017, because I fully believe that our primary purpose is to glorify God. So, I can not walk into a new year and leave it behind. This year, I will strive to glorify Him even more than last year.
With all of that said, I have been thinking and praying for a new word for 2017. But every time I thought that I had settled on a word, something would happen, that would make me not so sure. There was not one word that I could choose.
Yesterday morning, as I was getting ready for church, I was thinking about the uncertainties of a coming year. How that life can change in the blink of an eye and how every new year brings both good and bad. Happy and sad. Easy and hard. Life and death. Beginnings and endings.
The verse, "That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust." - Matthew 5:45, came to my mind.
Then we went to church, and My Prince preached about The Difference that Makes all the Difference. He used the parable of the wise man and the foolish man. There were two houses. There were two builders. There were two foundations. There were two different outcomes. The rain fell on both houses. Just like God had brought to my mind earlier that the rain falls on "the just and the unjust." We all face good and bad. So, what is the Difference that Makes all the Difference? Obedience. Obedience to God and His Word. Obedience is the foundation that we can build a strong life/home on. Obedience - "And the rain descended and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon the house: and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock." Matthew 7:25 (emphases mine) That rock, it's the solid rock of God's Word. Obey it, and when the rains fall, and the floods come, and the winds blow - WHEN - not IF, your house will stand firm.
The opposite is also true. "And every one that hearth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And when the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it." - Matthew 7: 26-27 If we do not obey God's word, when the rains fall, and the floods come, and the winds blow - WHEN - not IF, your house will fall, and not just fall, but "great will be the fall of it."
So, thinking about all of that, I don't want my house to fall. I want my house to stand firm. I want to obey God's Word. And although I have been a student of God's Word my whole life, I feel as though I have not even scratched the surface of everything it holds. And how can I obey what I don't know. There is still so much of God's Word that I need to learn, so that I can obey it. How blessed we are that we have God's Word to study. How blessed we are that we don't have to "guess" what God wants. He tells us straight up. It is our responsibility to learn and obey.
I got a new CD from my niece for Christmas. There is a song on that CD that really speaks to my heart. I have listened to it over and over again in the last few days. The message of the song is that sometimes we get worried or anxious, but God has got it all taken care of. Often we want to take matters into our own hands, and try to make things work out, but God just wants us to trust Him and be still. Be still. BE. STILL. That phrase simultaneously strikes fear - and brings peace to my heart. It calls to me. It calls me to let God be God in ALL areas of my life, not just the comfortable parts.
So, I share all of that to say that I did not pick just one word for 2017. I have picked several words, and I will use the acronym LOB to keep them fresh in my mind over the year. I know. It's not cute or necessarily "catchy" but it is what God has put on my heart, so I am going with it.
L - Learn - Learn, learn, learn all I can from God's Word. Soak it in.
O - Obey - Obey what I learn from God's Word. One of my favorite authors uses the phrase "imperfect progress". I know that this is what this will be. There will be no perfection here. So if you are looking for perfection, don't look in my direction. Progress is my goal. To learn and obey as much as I can. And sometimes, our best lessons are learned through mistakes. I am sure I will make mistakes, but when I do, my prayer is that I learn from them. Progress is the goal. To obey God more this year than ever before.
B - Be Still - I really feel like God is telling me to do what I know he wants me to do, and then just Be Still and let Him be God. To trust Him. To rest in Him. To know that He has it all under control and does not need my help at all. Psalm 46:10. I want to Be Still and watch God work it all out in His way and in His time.
So, until I blog again...glorify, and LOB