Jan 4, 2014

Strength for the New Year

I've been gone.  Gone, gone, gone.  I didn't write a post about how I needed to spend more time on my home, my kids, my husband... I just went and did that.  I'll admit I didn't miss blogging as much as I thought I would.  (I did miss it though).  It is so easy for me to get wrapped up in the numbers of blogging and start focusing on the wrong reasons for why I write.

I write because God gave me a story to tell. Not for the numbers on my Stats page. 

I write because I love to put pen to paper {er... fingers to keyboard} and let loose all that is inside my heart and mind, because I have something to share.  

I have a resolution {sort of}.  I will get back into the habit of writing, and I hope some of you will start reading my blather again,  I will write 1-2 times a week and will make those posts count!

Like last year, I started thinking about a word for the year a few days before New Year's Eve.  I played with a number of different words and started praying about it.

And then I waited.

Yesterday I was driving and found my word!  It came swirling into my mind with all my human connotations and I listened as God redirected my thoughts and made it about HIM.

Before I share this year's word, I have to first say that I went back and read a few posts about last year's word.  The word was "Abide" and I was amazed how important that word ended up being in my life, especially where I said part of Abiding was making room for mistakes.  I think that is an important lesson... that even when we sin, as long as we ask for forgiveness and continue to Abide in Him, we are always welcomed by Him.  Praise God for His infinite wisdom when He directed me to that word and the meditations I had around it.

This year's word is Strength.

When the word first came into my head, I immediately thought of all the ways I want to gain new strength.  I am going back to school to get my teaching credential and will need strength of mind to do that well!  I want to get back in shape (like every year), and want to increase the strength of my body.  I had a bad year last year and need to strengthen my character this year.  On and on I went and thought it seemed like the perfect word.  Strength as a mom, strength as a wife, strength as a student, strength as a person... but then a quiet small voice pulled me back with this verse...

I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
It IS the perfect word... but not because I can make myself strong.  My strength comes from God. 

The LORD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him. Exodus 15:2
Meditating on the Biblical concept of strength won't be hard to do.  There are literally dozens of verses that discuss strength and weakness.  I have chosen my "theme" verse for the year.
Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.  For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9, 10b
I love the way The Message paraphrases this full passage: "7-10 Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me, "My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness." Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become."

My favorite part is where it says "Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees." Because that is the truth in all of this.  My strength is found in the amount of praying I do.  When God allows natural consequences to humble us and we respond by prayerfully repenting, that is where God's strength takes over!  When we stop trying to be superman (mom) and instead lean into His unlimited and glorious strength, we will find the answers we are looking for!  When I am overwhelmed by this new adventure of school and a new direction, I can prayerfully regain perspective by getting on my knees.

I leave you with this quote by one of my favorite Presidents:

Do you have a word for the year?  Please leave a link to your word in the comments!
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  1. I can so relate with you. I had to set blogging aside for a time because my focus became blogging rather than family, responsibilities, etc. I can also relate to the word "strength". I have really needed that lately. Thank you for writing about it and sharing your heart. :)

  2. Thank you for stopping and commenting! Strength is a good word for many of us!! :)

  3. Earlier this year, I got the very strong sense that this year is going to be my and hubby's year. That we will break free from our financial constraints, and all else that holds us back. And as I read your post, I was thinking about what my word for this year would be. And the word "abundance" came to me. I may be wrong, or I may just be desperate to be done with our financial woes, but that just correlates so strongly in my spirit. Abundance - after the seven years of famine, perhaps now we'll have seven years of plenty. Not just financially, but also spiritually, romantically, sexually, in friendship, laughter and in many other ways. Even as I'm typing this, I just start getting excited because abundance is our word - mine and hubbys...

  4. BEAUTIFUL! I love to hear the enthusiasm behind this comment! So glad you found your word!


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