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All over the wide world of the web, there are posts about choosing one word for the new year instead of doing a New Year’s Resolution. I’ve never done one word for a year, and most new year’s resolutions (at least my own) rarely last past January 2nd.
I like the idea of one word for a year… it is simple ~ but with focus ~ with consistency ~ and I believe I was given my one word as I was reviewing my 2013 journals and notes from spiritual dimensions trips.
My word for 2014 is…
Closer as in moving closer ~ moving closer to God. This idea came from James 4:8 ~ “Come close to God, and God will come close to you.” (NLT) Other translations say “draw near“. Both ways get to the same point, drawing near ~ getting closer ~ to God with the benefit of Him coming closer to me.
Out there on the web, I recently saw a post about not shining so people see me, but shining so people see God in me. This is similar to what my desire is ~ to draw closer to God, so close those around me cannot tell where I stop and He begins. I’ve often pictured holding God by the hand, standing so close to the back and side of Him that my nose is pressed into His shoulder blade, and I’m clinging with my other hand to His arm. From the front, a person would see all of God, and just a little bit of me off to His side.
I would not be able to breathe without breathing in His scent ~ I would not be able to move without His going with me, leading me ~ I would not be able to
This one word ~ closer ~ would give me focus.
I would not do things ~ buy things ~ participate in things ~ pray about things ~ dwell on things ~ that did not bring me closer to God. At least, I would try not to. And this closer to God… it would impact other things. I would be able to be closer to my husband, my kids, my friends, my family.
read 1,000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp, I highly recommend it and her as a writer.
Currently, she and her Farmer husband are serving on a Compassion team in Ecuador. You can follow the team here.
She wrote a post about her daughter Hope knitting a scarf for a child she wants to sponsor in Ecuador. Here are Ann’s words:
And thanksgiving only becomes thanksliving when joy in the blessings given from above — overflows into the blessings given all around.
Thanksgiving only becomes thanksliving when the thanks for His vertical, coming-down grace — is expressed as a horizontal, reaching-out grace.
Thanksgiving only becomes thanksliving — when thanksgiving to God overflows into a joy of giving.
The joy of giving thanks – is ultimately expressed in the joy of giving.
Thanks LIVING – that’s what I want. As our holiday of Thanksgiving gets ever closer, I challenge you to learn how you can begin thanksliving.
What do you do with dreams that are broken? unfulfilled? maybe even ‘wrong’ dreams?
What do you do when you come face-to-face with the reality that your dreams are not God’s dreams?
1 Corinthians 13:11a When I was a child, I spoke like a child, thought like a child, and reasoned like a child. (GWT)
I wanted to be a doctor. I wanted to be rich ~ all doctors are. I wanted to be important and respected and honored ~ doctors get all that. I wanted a big house with lots of horses and a garden and a ton of adopted children ~ and as a doctor I would be able to have all that.
1 Corinthians 13:11b When I became an adult, I no longer used childish ways. (GWT)
I spent 3 years of college pretending I was going to be a doctor. I had my first child, worked a year as a Certified Nurse Aide, and taught a vacation bible school for 5th graders. I decided being a doctor wasn’t me. I didn’t do well in Chemistry (a lack of effort, not ability – but a good excuse to quit).
I didn’t want the life of a doctor (on call, weekends, holidays); and I didn’t want to work so hard to clean a huge house, manage horses and children, and grow a garden (I have a brown thumb anyway).
These were all childish dreams – dreams I gave up as an adult ~ to be an English teacher.
I spent another 3 years of college getting a degree in English education. I was not excited about English – I often felt out of place because I didn’t eat, sleep, and breathe literature. There are many, many ‘staples’ of English literature that I have not read and have no desire to read.
But I wanted to teach.
I loved preparing lesson plans (I’m an obsessive planner) ~ I wanted to influence teens like my best teachers had influenced me ~ I was good at English (and math and science and history) ~ I wanted the life of ease teachers have (weekends, summers, and holidays OFF). I thought I could be a better mother as a teacher than as a doctor because I’d have more time with my kids.
1 Corinthians 13:12 a & c Now we see a blurred image in a mirror … Now my knowledge is incomplete.
I am jobless at the moment. I’m questioning all I’ve ever wanted ~ thought ~ dreamed …
I don’t want a blurred image in a mirror.
I don’t want to drag myself off to a job that is not what I like to do,
or am passionate about doing,
or am sure that it is what God wants me to be doing.
I want to ‘see very clearly’ (12 b). I want to clearly see His image reflected in the mirror when I look at myself.
When someone looks into my eyes, I want them to see Jesus. To see Who He is to me: love, peace, mercy, grace. To see what He can be to them.
I want to ‘have complete knowledge [of God] as God has complete knowledge of me.’
I want to know His dreams for me (at least the next step) ~ I want to know His heart for others (what of Him do I need to reflect to them?) ~ I want Jesus.
1 Corinthians 13:13 So these three things remain: faith, hope, and love.
Faith ~ He’ll show me the next step; He’ll walk it with me; He’ll provide for me as I go;
Hope ~ He’ll use even me; I do have a purpose here – an impact to make; I can reflect Jesus clearly;
Love ~ love God, love others.
But the best one of these is LOVE.
Why is love the best? I think because it is the only one we’ll need ~ experience ~ have ~ use in heaven.