Last year I prayed and asked the Lord to give me a word or phrase that could help bring my mind and heart into focus. And He responded. Embrace was very significant in the way the Lord was moving last year, and honestly I think it will continue. He has already been showing more of how to step into the idea of embracing and being ‘in’ my life more and more, and I am so thankful for that.
And in an amazing way, the word that I have sensed the Lord speaking for 2015 has everything to do with bringing to fruition what He has started and is continuing in my life.
1. to carry out, or bring to realization, as a prophecy or promise.
2. to perform or do, as duty; obey or follow, as commands.
3. to satisfy (requirements, obligations, etc.): a book that fulfills a long-felt need.
4. to bring to an end; finish or complete, as a period of time: He felt that life was over when one had fulfilled his threescore years and ten.
5. to develop the full potential of (usually used reflexively)
I have felt that this term, for as much as I believe the Lord has shown me so far, has two parts, His and mine. I guess as with anything, there is a sense of partnership and response that is called for on my end, but more than anything, I am reminded that the Lord IS the One that does the thing. He just does.
I found a timely quote a couple of days ago that really summed it up for me:
“God initiates EVERYTHING. He creates from nothing. He pursues man. He calls. He chooses. He saves. He enlarges hearts. He opens eyes. He brings dead things to life. He speaks things that aren’t as if they were.” -Shane Barnard
He is the Author and Perfecter.
So, here is what I’m sensing the Lord showing me so far.
God’s Part: That He is going to do what He has planned to do in my life, and more specifically, that He will bring to completion the plans He has for this season of my life. (Not that this is any new revelation of information, but I just can sense an invitation to peer more closely, to ask for eyes to see and ears to hear Him, that I won’t miss what He is wanting to do this year.) I believe that this calls for a greater sense of expectancy, faith, trust, and confidence in His promises on my part. All of which are still pretty much His work and what He puts in my heart as I surrender to Him.
My Part: That I will obey, step into the things that the Lord has directed my hands, my mind, and my heart to, that I would not back away in fear or procrastinate due to perfectionism, and that I will take action. The word initiative has been resonating with me for a while now, and so I am asking that the Lord would produce a trust in me for what He has spoken, that this faith would produce initiative, and that I would step out and into the things He reveals, knowing He will direct my steps and connect me to the people and places as He orchestrates.
A couple practical steps so far:
(1) We are starting what we are affectionately calling our “soft run” at homeschooling this spring. January 5th was our first Monday morning of 4K with the Sweetness. The main goals for this ‘semester’ are to step into a more structured schedule (look at me, don’t I sound so teacher-y already), allowing that to become more routine and practiced. I also have had a lot of hesitations in implementing pretty much anything because of a lot of unknowns – like what to do with the almost 2 yr old crazy busy boy while we’re trying to focus on school. But the Lord has more than confirmed that I just need to ‘get in it’ and wrestle with it, and we’ll figure it out as we go along. I am reminded of His sweet whisper to me as I first sensed Him stirring my heart towards homeschooling, that He would equip me along the journey, not before.
(1b) So you may be thinking, big deal. “What’s the issue, dear?” (Insert female troll voice from Frozen) Well, the issue is that this requires that I drastically change my sleeping schedule. Dun Dun Dunnnn. Sayonara, night owl nature that loves late night, non-interrupted-by-littles-tv shows with food I don’t have to share.
Really, I kid. It’s been fine. The Lord has been so faithful to give me an increasing desire to do the things that He has laid before me, and His goodness really has been so tangible. It’s definitely still a transition process, and not one I can come close to bragging about, but we’re moving in the right direction.
(2) The hubs and I have also sensed the Lord stirring in us a calling for our community more than ever. It started last fall, when the Lord chose to speak through Jen Hatmaker’s Interrupted. I knew while I was reading it that I was now being called to make a very practical response, that I was now accountable to the knowledge I was receiving . (If I haven’t already scared you off, it’s a great read! I highly recommend -funny and moving.) We’ve been praying and asking the Lord for His guidance, and we have witnessed Him changing our hearts and our responses to things and events in ways that are not natural to us. It is Him, and we are thankful to see Him in this capacity.
So we are excited to get more involved in the Hampton Village and see more of what the Lord desires to do in and around us. (Villages are what our church, Momentum, calls the people that live in the same zip-code who are ‘Christ-followers establishing roots in their community and intentionally living out the Gospel in compelling ways.’) And so we’re going to start taking the initiative and get our hands messy, and see where the Spirit leads.
As if this wasn’t enough to honestly occupy me for the whole year, I’m almost positive that there will be more. There will be ways that I need to step more into my greatest ministry role I will ever play, being a wife to one incredible man. There are amazing promises that God desires to fulfill in my marriage, and I want to fully receive whatever He has for me in that, and in any area of my life. Amen? Don’t you?
Because although I feel that this was my personal word for this year, it’s not like His promises are just for me. There are a-mazing things He wants to do in your life as well. Will you be open to receive them?
Which leads me to the last practical step, which concerns my heart.
(3) Fulfillment requires a level of acceptance on my part. Openness. Receptivity.
Acceptance, as in contentment.
Acceptance of correction and discipline.
Acceptance of the new, the unexplained, the whys the Lord chooses not to reveal.
And sometimes to be filled to the full may require moving some things around or even out in order to fill me with something new. Better.
So I have lots of chew on. But I’m excited! The Lord has been so evident.
What about you? Has the Lord given you a word or phrase this year in which He wants to frame His work? A peephole into what He’s up to around you, and in you? I’d love to hear it!
Thanks for letting me share!
“Your Promises” Elevation Worship