FOCUS & REFOCUS in 2017

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Every year, like so many of you, a word is laid on my 💗 I used to be skeptical of this concept. And why would anyone care to know? But now, I'm simply floored at how a few letters nestled together can carry such incredible significance over the course of a calendar year & I can't help but share. {2016 here. 2015 here.}


Last year, it was "meditate." Prayer & study first before seeking earthly advice. The funny thing is, when this word was laid upon my soul, I already knew it was going to be an exciting, but extraordinarily challenging year. After being asked to speak at a conference on being brave in Him, I knew God was going to have a field day with my melancholy spirit😎 We had an unexpected best selling book. Book promotions around the country. A devastating baby loss. New careers for both my husband and myself. A new state. A new home. And now a baby due in March. But for some reason I went into it all with open arms. Living life for the experience & ridding our lives of the "stuff." I had an overwhelming peace through prayer that God already knew what was ahead and He had already equipped us to work through these trials ahead, heartbreak and all. 2016 broke me, repaired me, and blew me away through freedom in Christ.

 


2017's word was not made clear until a few nights ago. I woke at 3am, and was overwhelmed by a few words. Two of which were not only "focus" but "refocus" as well. God can be so clear with His intention when we seek Him guys. He knows How quickly I can get lost in my thoughts. With work, a toddler, a traveling husband and a new baby, not only do I need to intentionally (consistently) remind myself to stay focused on the task ahead. But to also "refocus" my attention so that my thoughts are consistently being redirected to Him, my man, my babies, others around me. And not focused on my own silly need to be relevant. I so believe focusing less on ourselves being "someone" makes us the MOST relevant. Amen?

God only knows our days ahead. Numbered, they are. So, my prayer in 2017 is to "focus" first. To make the most of these short hours, days and years. But to also constantly be "refocusing" my {at times clouded lens} & keep Him in the center of my frame.

M E D I T A T E

"I have hidden your word away in my heart." {Psalm 119:11}

"But they delight in the law of the LORD, meditating on it day and night." {Psalm 1:2}

For months now my heart and soul keeps whispering the word "mediate" into the depths of my innermost being. And all I can think about is studying His word, hiding it away in my heart and in so doing, prayerfully hoping to "speak more life" into my every day. Not just prayer here and there, but legit study and meditation. More time listening, less distraction and leaning into Gods glorious workbook. I don't want to fear the darkness. I want to have courage in a world that is not my home. I want to celebrate my El Elyon, The MOST High. And I have never been more excited for the word laid on my heart for 2016. 

My girl Elin {pictured with our Millie} visited yesterday, before she and her family head back to Africa to continue to their mission of biblical translation. Sitting with her for hours confirmed my passion and desire to chase after this word. Our meeting was bittersweet in every sense of its meaning. SWEET was our time together, were the words of wisdom she spoke. But the {not so sweet part} to my selfish soul is that I cannot get more of this one-on-one time with her. More importantly, the beauty is that the women in her village are blessed daily by the breath of God's truth on her lips. And I Praise GOD for that! 

We spoke about life, faith, fear, conviction, the intense darkness in the world. The glorious LIGHT that is always and will always reign, and I just loved this TRUTH she spoke.  "I don't fear, because nothing can touch me that doesn't pass through the hand of God first." I mean... Amen. And then {if you know her sass} she said, "And don't forget to put on the belt of God through prayer and study. Because if your belt isn't secure, your pants fall down and everything falls apart."

But we cannot fight darkness. We are powerless against it, unless we know it more deeply than from a few memory verses or a casual prayer. We can only flourish in light if we are deeply rooted and have hidden it away in our hearts and minds.

So because the word "Meditation" keeps flying a one way ticket into my ever-so-conscious psyche, this is my word for 2016. I still carry torches for my previous words from previous years {Like this one here}, but just because the year has passed does not mean I have been "healed" from them. What I love about choosing a word for the year is it is never too late and you can continually keep it as a work in progress. True meditation is something I will work on my entire life, but I cannot wait to immerse myself more and adorn His suit of armor.

I don't plan on perfection from my blemished self. Nor do I profess that I am going to gracefully rise every morning before my husband and child {with birds chirping and rays of sunshine streaming upon my face} to read His word or witness every moment with profound clarity.

But I DO plan on daily ruminating over TRUTH. And I DO plan on His perfect Word changing me, wrecking me, breaking me and building me in ways I crave so much so that I'm eating that anticipation up with a spoon. 

Here's to my ugly unpolished inner self becoming a shade cleaner {or at least more knowledgable} and in love with my Savior in 2016. Let's meditate in HIS word so we are ready to take on the darkness. Let's build each other up & encourage!

If I can be praying for you in any way, let's do this together. I'd be honored to walk this with you. {"Encourage each other daily... As long as it is called, 'Today.'" Hebrews 3:13} Let's speak LIFE and TRUTH in 2016.