Hello ladies, and may 2020 be your best, most fulfilling year yet!
With the Christmas tree well and truly packed down, our children settling back into the school rhythm, and January almost at its end, I find myself being able to, at last, think meaningfully about 2020 and in fact, this fresh decade that lies ahead.
There’s something invigorating about a new beginning, not so? Like turning the page to the next chapter, or opening an unused notebook to start filling its blank pages with words. Or a brand new year, full of possibility!
Our monthly theme here at Women of Reverence, is, fittingly, RESOLVE. Being the word-lover that I am, I started my thought process for this post around the meaning, the essence of this interesting word. Clearly ‘resolve’ and the infamous January buzzword, ‘resolution’ have the same root and speak of intentions, decisions and agreements we have made with both ourselves, and possibly others. In fact, ‘resolve’ in its verb form simply means ‘to firmly decide on a course of action’. Similarly, the noun form of the word means a ‘firm determination to do something’.
What then, have you determined for your year? What will you leave behind, and what will you carry forward into the new year? What decisions regarding your future have you already settled?
God’s word tells us to give careful thought to the path of our feet (Proverbs 4:26). How you are living, ‘your ways’ (to use biblical language) matter to God. He is interested in your decisions and choices, at both macro and micro level.
Personally, I’m not a fan of New Year’s Resolutions. We all know the depressing statistics regarding these ( A recent article I read stated that research shows that most resolutions are abandoned by the 12th of January!) I am, however, a huge advocate of intentional living! I like living every moment with purpose and feel my best when my pursuits align well with the values I hold dear.
Some years ago, as I journeyed through a struggle with my health, I learned the importance of being. For many years, I had lived believing my worth was based on my doing. Through my trial, God kindly and graciously helped me to see the enormous power in being. In being kind, in loving others, in simply being present and being uniquely me! It was a time of re-evaluating everything in my life and learning important lessons about boundaries, rest and leading myself well. I grappled with much in those months, and learned enormous amounts about myself, God’s blueprint for holistic well-being and the power of Faith-filled community.
Since that time, I find that rather than setting out to achieve certain things each year, I prefer to consider who I am becoming, what my King is saying to, and about me, and how He wants me to live.
The other night, my daughter was reading to me from her ‘New International Reader’s Version’. We had chosen Psalm 84, a personal favourite. I was struck by verse 5 which reads as follows:
‘Blessed are those whose strength comes from you. They have firmly decided to travel to your temple.’
Resolve, firmly deciding on something! There it was again! In other versions the Psalmist speaks of ‘setting his heart’ on pilgrimage. I love this! I love the intentionality and firmness of decision to pursue more of God. To travel the ways that deepen your walk and connection with Him. This is not a performance thing, but is rather a heart-posture of desire for Him and a longing to truly know Him more. It is the setting of our hearts on relationship with Him. He is there, waiting to speak, waiting to share His thoughts, waiting to hold you. In fact, if you’ve opened your life to Him, He is right there, within you and is closer than the air you breathe! I am, once again, firmly deciding, resolving, to journey with Him in 2020. He is my strength, I cannot be without Him!
Mary, the sister of Martha (Luke 10:39-42) is a beautiful example to us of a woman who had very obviously set her heart on knowing Jesus. She had chosen ‘the one thing’ that truly mattered. I am, like Mary, choosing at the start of the new year, this one simple thing again. Being with Him. Listening for His voice. It’s from this place that all of life flows! Receiving from Him, allowing His flawless, perfect, unconditional love to touch every dry and lifeless place in me, enables me to live the life He has intended for me to live.
He wants to make your ordinary extra-ordinary. He wants all you are and all you do to carry Heaven’s touch. Whether you are cooking a meal for your family, opening your home to others or chatting to your child, He offers you the supernatural!
A few points to bear in mind as you make decisions:
· keep it as simple as possible (Kingdom life should not be complicated, but rather adorned with the beauty of simplicity. Life in the 21st century is complex, complicated and noisy, to say the least. Jesus wants us living differently. His yoke is ‘wholesome, useful, good, not harsh, hard, sharp or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant’ (Matthew 11:30 Amp)
· Allow Peace to be the umpire in all your decisions (Colossians 3:15). A lack of peace may be an indicator that you’re out of alignment with His plans.
· Focus on being rather than doing, but ‘put your heart and soul into every activity you do, as though you are doing it for the Lord himself’ (Colossians 3:23 TPT). Live wholeheartedly, remembering that you work from His favour, not for His favour! You are favoured, dear daughter of the King. Live in this knowledge every day and watch your life thrive!
May you find the quiet space you need to carefully consider your life. May you be graced to set the course, and the rhythm and the pace that He intends for you.