A Word for 2012
Life gets so busy, so crowded, so loud that many times the clamor forces us to turn our brains and hearts off:
—so much to do
—so much to do perfectly
—so I don't disappoint
—so I don't exasperate
—so I don't (I don't want to even say it) FAIL
—then (hopefully) others won't know what I'm really like.
Why we want it all to go so smoothly, so perfectly, so heaven-like here on earth, is a problem. A problem because we get our eyes on HERE rather than "waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ." Titus 2:13 ESV. Then it will be perfect and heavenly.
The only true hope now is found in Jesus, our Savior, our Redeemer, our Righteousness, our Friend, and YES, the only ONE from whom I can't hide.
—He knows me intimately. After all, He formed me in my mother's womb; he made me the way I am because that is just how He could use me for His glory. He is the only one who can and does love me just the way I am because I was given to Him by His Father and He (Jesus) will never let me go.
And so I come to a point where I am going to give 2012 a word (well maybe two)
....words to take me through the year with an emphasis
...words on which to focus my mind so "neutral" isn't an option
....words that Jesus can use for His glory.
Why these words? A little explanation might help.
Last spring, I shared with some women at a one-day retreat about the word they gave me—contentment. The learning didn't stop with that one day because contentment is not a one time lesson learned and then mastered.
The lesson learned? Contentment is a noun not a verb. It is a state of being. It isn't something I can pursue, dream of, pay for or earn. Contentment happens quietly, without any fanfare.
How does a state of contentment happen?
By practicing the presence of God.
By having my mind focused on Him and His work.
Easy? No, because my mind was programmed (by years of experience) to plan, to fix, to think, to manipulate, not to rest in His presence.
The phrase, "Let go and let God....." comes to mind.
Easy? No, because I was used to "You can do it. You are smart, strong, capable. You can do anything you set your mind to." These words never ring true because of "failures" that surround me [days with no devotions, prayer time, or good deeds. Then there is messy house, too much sugar-chocolate-fat, no exercises with Larry, a messy garage, and a yard that always needs more done. There are books that haven't been read, people I need to call and projects to finish].
Finally I gave up and just prayed. After all we tend to pray only when we've tried everything else. I asked God
.....to help me practice His presence,
.....to make me more aware of Him each day,
.....to remind me to ask for direction and wisdom when there was a decision to be made,
.....and to help me see His work in my life to make me more like Jesus.
Then I learned from Ann in One Thousand Gifts, in her words that spoke to my heart right where I was at about eucharisteo (Thanksgiving). I soon began listing one gift at a time. And so it has continued.....a slow start.....but a start.
I want the awareness to continue so the words for this year:
One day at a time.....one hour at a time.....one minute at a time. Actually.....one grace from my Father at a time.
Thank you Father for:
#189. One more day
#190. The reminder to see others as You sees them and then to share with them howYou see them
—loved, forgiven, perfect children of His
#191. A baby's smile to end 2011 with
#192. Fireworks on Pikes Peak to welcome 2012
#193. Other people's grandchildren to love and pray for
#194. Neighbors to love
#195. Rodrigo, a boy in ES to pray for, love and help
#196. Scones and lemon curd
#197. The Rose Parade with marching bands to bring out glimpses of the "before" Larry (his comment about one 380 member band, "It would take a lot of assistants to direct a band that large.")
#198. The beauty, sheer beauty of flowers on floats
#199. Warm tea on a cold day
#200. For encouraging us when we hear about others being encouraged through the story you have given us
#201. Mexican food and Scrabble
#202. Seed catalogs that provide dreams in winter
#203. Montagues and friends to enjoy it with
#204. Windows to keep warm in—cold out, while framing pictures summer can't equal
#205. A friends thoughtfulness of a miniature gift....because she loves afternoon tea with me
Be sure to go to A Holy Experience and read about Ann's word for her year. Once again her words spoke to me.