I would say 2018 was the Year of the Father: in commercials and print, events in community (yay Olympics!) and in songs, in all forms of media, there were underlying messages of a supportive father who cared for his children. I truly believe this was a direct display and attention-getter of our Heavenly Father- He is always cheering for us, engaged and uplifting us, offering strength and even correction, tenderness and mercy, love and compassion, instruction and support.
Looking back at my 2018, a big portion of my year included a lot of new changes: New home, new church, new schools, new stores, new community, new routines, new atmospheric biome, *insert deep breath here*, new drs, new neighbors, new team, new sports, new, new, new, new, new. As I sit back and reflect on the year as whole, I also see a couple months that were clouded by this hovering “funk” (hint for our new series!). Times and seasons where I would normally be full of joy, excitement, and energy, that seemed cloudy, hazy, and even difficult to navigate. Not because of discontentment, or discouragement, but just because of learning how to process all this this “new” in a whole new way apart from what was familiar.
Time after time, I saw God faithfully step into the role of that Father, who was supportive, encouraging, instructional, and tenderly merciful through each step. For me, it truly was the Year of the Father.
You see, sometimes I think we are very good at doing so much in life and being busy with checklists and appointments and stuff, that we don’t slow down to process all the new information. Much like a computer needs to shut down and restart in order to update with the latest software, I needed to slow down and shut down the lies of the enemy in order to restart afresh and efficiently process my new life with Christ.
You may have already guessed it, my push-word for the New Year is : Slow.
While everyone else’s push-word may be a little more declarative or flashy, like, “Dominate, Radiate, Inspire, etc,…mine is declarative to me. My word reminds me that I have to make time for myself and for the things in this life that are priorities to me. Almost all of which are not things, but people, places, and designated rhythms and times. Slowing down enables me to savor each moment, each morsel, and each meaningful conversation. Slowing down my mind allows me to refocus on what is good and true. Becoming slower in speech allows me to connect more with those speaking to me, and allows me to listen better as well.
Friends, I’ve been a little too silent these past few weeks as I have been planning and preparing for this year on the blog, but please know that I haven’t been far removed in my thoughts towards you. I’ve been asking God what this year looks like for us in our messages, and who we (you and me) need to hear from. You’ll be excited to see some familiar guests on the blog in this new year, and I know you’ll enjoy hearing from the new faces and friends coming our way:).
So as we close up today, I want to begin our new year by asking you all to share your push-words for the new year. Share them in the comments, ask your friends to hop on and share too- because this new year will be so much better when we realize we are not traveling this faith journey alone.
Let’s Pray: God, I thank You that through every year of our lives, You are faithful. You have been faithful in the years behind us and you will be faithful in the years ahead. Help us to hold fast to the truth that You will never leave us or forsake us, but promise to be with us to the end of the age. We know that You are with us in the highs and lows of each season- You are present at every lesson learned, every victory, and every time we feel like we are completely blowing it. Lord, we dedicate this next year of our lives to You- all 525,600 minutes of it are Yours. Help us to grow together this year in our relationship with You and with others, so that we can make this world a better place. Amen.
Go The Extra Mile: Check out this great song from one of my absolute favorite Switchfoot and be encouraged!