- Pray without ceasing. I can come to Him in prayer, whenever, and be heard. Psalm 4:1 says, “Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!” Our prayers are heard dear friends. God can handle them all- the minute, tiniest of prayers — to our biggest, loftiest prayers. If you don’t know what to pray about, ask your friends or family how you can pray for them. Let’s be on each other’s teams and lift one another up to Him.
- For a girl who loves to plan her life out to the very last detail, it is A-OKAY to be in a period of waiting (the in-between). Waiting = trusting. Am I trusting God with my life? Am I thinking He has His highest and best in store for me? In what ways must I lay down my life before Him and allow Him to work and move, behind the scenes? The book of Ruth exemplifies a gal who trusts God in the waiting and unknown.
- Love your people. Love your people. Love your people. Your people are not only your friends and family. They are your coworkers. They are the grocery store checkers, the coffee baristas, the fellow gym goer. Be kind; have patience. Smile. Say hello and thank you. Gratitude goes a LONG way. Kindness matters. Matthew 22:37-39 says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
- Seek wise counsel. Feeling a little lost? Debating on which path to take? Need help with refining your relationships? Proverbs 3:13 shares, “Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding.” Do not fear asking for help. I am no longer a novice at navigating life, but I’m by no means an expert. I’m more than willing to cast aside my pride and learn from those who have trail-blazed ahead.
- Look for glimpses of hope. Hope is my #oneword365. My eyes are wide open and expectant for this word in 2018. I am asking God to show me why this word, as well as asking Him to give me more hope. Hope for family, hope for friends, hope for my own life. Hope propels us forward. “But I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more,” Psalm 71:4. Hope leads to praising God for all He’s done, all He’s doing, and all He’s yet to do.
What is God teaching you right now? I’d love to hear!
At the beginning of the year, my dear friend Chara challenged a group of our gal pals to pray over a word for the year. I prayed, and God put on my heart “YES.” What the heck, God? That word freaked me out just a little. What was He going to ask of me this year, 2016? I’m going to bullet point what I’ve learned this year because everyone loves a good list, right?
- Yes to doing hard things. One of my best friends Jenn asked me to join the gym with her in February. I had been a weekly runner, but the gym- I could live without it. Slowly, but surely, I eased my way back into routine. Fast forward 10 months later, and I now use the gym 4 days a week and run outside on Saturdays. I’ve rediscovered my love for cycling and yoga, and my body has thanked me for the exercise. I’m healthier, I have tons more energy, my skin is clearer. I have an addiction to group classes and I’m so glad I joined. I have put in a LOT of sweat equity, and at times, it has been hard. I don’t always want to go, but by blocking out time and putting it into my schedule, I said YES to sweating it out and my body loves it all. I truly want to honor the body that God has given me, not only physically, but in all aspects of my life including mental health, and spiritual health as well.
- Yes to coming before God and being REALLY honest. This summer, I felt like God quieted my life, and made me pray through some things I had suppressed for quite some time. I wrote a blog post about the threshing floor over on Anchored Voices. I did not hide from God, and I allowed myself to come to Him repeatedly with all of my emotions and desires, and I questioned Him. I can’t remember the last time I really questioned God, and it was scary. But God is so good and faithful, and He showed up every time, proving His love for me. See Psalm 57.
- Yes to studying God’s word and praying more. I love the She Reads Truth app, and again I read through the Bible in one year. I spend roughly 12 minutes or so at night, before bed, reading through Scripture. Studying Truth has been the single most fulfilling part of my year. God has so much to teach me, to reveal to me through His word. I am looking forward to studying the Bible more next year as well. I also cannot emphasize enough the impact prayer has upon my life. It is my lifeblood and connection to God.
- Yes to strengthening the gifts God gave me. I write monthly for Anchored Voices, and I delight in the challenge it brings every time. God requires me to listen and pray over each blog entry, and I love working on my gifting of edification and encouragement. I have been given time and the ability to use these gifts, and know that God is ultimately glorified through them. I am also trying to be more cognizant of the people placed in my life who need encouragement and edification. I listen to God’s promptings and try to share with others words of wisdom, a gentle rebuke, or hope.
2016 has been memorable for me. In August, after a summer of God working on my heart something fierce, I read Shauna Niequist’s book Present Over Perfect. My year of YES had felt fairly confusing up until this point, and then clarity came. She wrote so poignantly.
This was the instance when God and I had an aha moment. These words have carried me through the remainder of the year.
God wants me to say YES to possibility, and to jump in anyway. To be bold, and fearless in the pursuit of glorifying Him. To be okay with messy, and scary, if it means following Him. To allow myself to be seen in the ugly times with transparency, so that those around me can lift me up in prayer, and in turn, to being there for those around me when they need it most.
2016 has been my year of YES, and I now understand why.
I am looking forward to 2017, and praying over my next year’s word. Will you join me in establishing a word for your upcoming year?
The other day, my wise, dear friend Chara challenged a group of women I share life with to participate in a #oneword365 activity. She said, “Think and pray over one word you feel like God is leading you toward for 2016.” Activities like these always seem to scare me a little. Last year, God laid on my heart the word LEAD. It was fun to see how God used me in varying leadership roles. As 2015 wrapped up, I spent the week prior to New Years praying. I really tried to avoid this word, but it kept coming up again and again. So here it is …
Why God led me to this word, I have yet to discover. But that’s my word. YES! I am truly curious to know why, and I intend on spending the next 365 days (this year is a leap year) finding out.
Original blog post dated 01/01/16