I’m Back! And I’m 40!

#40

Hey friend:), first things first: It has been a loooooooooong minute since I have taken the time to put together a post, and for that, I am truly sorry. Finding my new rhythm in my new location, with a few new seasons had me really digging deep to find the words. Words which are usually easy for me to pour out into a note or onto a rough draft on my phone suddenly became hard for me to publish.

However, there was always hope:).

Hope never left my heart, I just let it sink down further than normal. But after some months trying to wrap my brain around life and new seasons up ahead, hope gently floated to the surface reminding me that there is still a voice within me with stories to tell and messages to shared right here, with you. So thank you! Thank you for sticking with me in this writing journey and most of all, for sticking with me just to share life no matter how near or far we are in miles!

Last year, some big milestones happened:

– I was published 2 times in an awesome online magazine! (Yay Dearly!)

-I embraced being brave and auditioned to sing for the local GJ Rockies and was asked to sing the National Anthem at a game! (Yay to being brave! Go GJ Rockies!)

-I was invited to speak at a local women’s conference (Yay Flourish!)

-I was able to visit with family & friends under the best of circumstances and under the toughest of times (Seriously, let’s give it up for life-giving community!!!)

This year, something super awesome happened:

-I turned 40 …TODAY! (Yay Life! L’Chaim! Insert confetti here!)

Yes…I am now able to check the box that says “40 and Over” on all kinds of paperwork (Yay Getting Older! Haha!)

Birthday tradition of coffee with the fam:), plus an honorary daughter:)

In the lives of many people, this is usually the time where one questions their life and purpose and wonders what they have accomplished thus far. If I’m honest, I’ve been doing that for a few years now; looking back at all that God has entrusted me with, all the dreams and goals He’s placed in my heart and mind, all the messages He’s planted in my heart, and all the people He’s entrusted me to love and serve. I’ve also been thinking about how faithful I’ve been with the life He’s invited me to pursue; writing, speaking, listening, and encouraging, leading, remembering…all of it. And I come back to this one phrase:

Be Faithful.

In this new year of life, how can I be a more faithful steward of all that’s been given to me? Where can I be more faithful in the assignments I have been entrusted with? In what ways can I demonstrate more faithfulness to those under my roof & under my care? Where is God asking for a renewed commitment of faithfulness in my diligence in seeking Him and His ways?

Faithful is actually my word for 2020:)

Not just because of the questions I am processing though, but it’s the word that most reminds me of Him. Over and over I read and I know God to be more than faithful. He’s faithful to show up, faithful to come onto the seen, faithful to visit with me, faithful to recognize my cry and need. He’s faithful to provide for every need. He’s faithful to complete the good work that He started in me. He’s faithful to help me when I am weak, and He’s faithful to provide the community I need and crave every single day. He’s faithful to bring alongside friends and warriors who have gone before me that have wisdom to share. He’s faithful to provide mentors near and far from whom I can glean wisdom. He’s faithful to help me pause and soak in the moments that are passing faster than I would like. He’s faithful to remind me of the joy it is to cheer on friends making big strides in their own lives. He’s faithful to me, and I know He’s been faithful to you too.

He is faithful! Because of His Faithfulness, my first response will be praise to Him.

Friend, my bit of advice from my 40 years of life: Look for His faithfulness.

I invite you to pause and reflect on your life (just like I’m doing today), and look all around for examples of His faithful and strong love in this life. Let’s take a moment to soak it in; the enormity of His great love, and the beauty of His sacrifice for us. I’m not going to take this new year of life for granted, because it has been gifted to me by Him, the Creator and Sustainer of Life.

Will you do me the honor of leading us in prayer today? Let’s pray:

Dear Heavenly Father, we take time today to just thank You for Your faithfulness… You display Your commitment to relationship with us in so many beautiful ways- through faithful sunrises and sunsets and rainbows; through the strength and mercy that is new each morning, through family bonds and friendships that endure and grow…Lord, we thank You for all of it. Today, we choose not just to look for Your faithfulness, but to praise You for being faithful. We choose to look at the life within us and around us and say, “Thank You”, with grateful hearts. We choose to look at the dreams and goals and assignments that You’ve entrusted to us and embrace them fully – knowing that You provide the inspiration and hope and strength to accomplish each step because they have been given to us by You. God, as we hold onto Your faithfulness, help us to become living examples of Your faithful love to everyone we come in contact with. Everyone is our neighbor, everyone is deserving of love, and because Your love is enduring, ours should reflect the same intensity and longevity. Lord, embolden us to share of Your amazing faithfulness in all we say and in all we do. Amen.

Go The Extra Mile: It wouldn’t be a blog post without a song, so enjoy this current favorite of mine with a slice of chocolate cake in honor of my big day! This song by Sarah Reeves & The Belonging Co is on repeat in my personal playlist and it’s my prayer in this new season of life- ” to pour out my affection” as sweet incense to my faithful God. Enjoy and celebrate friends! #40yearsofLiz

peace-liz

New & New

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.

“mercies”

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.

peace-Liz

Go The Extra Mile: Check out this great song from one of my absolute favorite Switchfoot and be encouraged!