Come to Me with with a teachable spirit, eager to be changed. A close walk with Me is a life of continual newness. Do not cling to old ways as you step into a new year. Instead, seek My face with an open mind, knowing that your journey with Me involves being transformed by the renewing of your mind.
- Jesus Calling, entry for January 1st
I like to think that the Lord God Almighty has a sense of humor, that He smiles down with affection on me as He sees me scurrying to and fro. I can almost imagine, in His infinite wisdom, that He whispers in my soul...
"Oh sweet daughter, slow down. Look around. See, truly see, the miracles I have created for you. This is the season to take it all in with the deepest sense of new appreciation, new ways of doing and being. You are surrounded by My love."
I know and understand you completely.
Those words, at the beginning of this post, are from Jesus Calling and they bring me to tears. He knows me through and through. He wants what is best for me.
I am overwhelmed by reading these words, by writing these words, by how much His deep and abiding Love changes everything for me. Absolutely.everything.
We just returned from three weeks in Hawaii. This was not one of those touristy trips where you go everywhere and do everything at mock ten speed. We've done that before when we have been there with our children and grandchildren. I can almost hear Jacob saying with his wonderful 13 year old smile, "What are we going to do next, Nana?"
DO is the operative word here. Not BE, just do.
Yet quite honestly my soul wants to slow down, to do less and be more for Jesus. When I recently read a quotation by Ann Voskamp, on my precious friend Vicky Westra's blog, it just took my breath away. I knew it was a message just for me.
Hurry always empties a soul...
Amen to that! So, so true. So when Bert and I were on Maui for three weeks, we...
and we were rewarded with such peace and joy.
We read books in the 80 degree warmth of the sun.
Ahhhhh...just writing that sentence slows down my heart rate and brings a smile to my face. I LOVE to read and I couldn't get enough of stories that touched my heart and detective tales that had me gasping as I turned every page. Ten books I read, and my third reading of Love Does by Bob Goff made me want to absorb life's adventures and be available to love life and others with my whole heart. I did that this year as I lived my life whole heartedly. After all, whole-hearted was my word for 2014!
As I again read Bob's wonderful book, I wondered and prayed for God to show me His plans for me in this new year, this new beginning.
Over breakfast at the Kihei cafe, Bert and I reminisced about the six, big extroverted and fun and challenging adventures we had embarked on in 2014. We wouldn't change any of them. They stretched us and grew us as we were "all in" with each memory-maker.
And through and over everything a glad awakening.
-Edna St. Vincent Millay
On the long plane ride back from Maui I could feel a sense of expectation and that glad awakening begin to happen. And as 2015 was born, thousands of miles up in God's gorgeous sky, I was reading Jesus Calling and the entry for January 1st and tears started to flow. Tears of gratitude and faith and believing and simplicity. And one of my favorite songs came to mind and I started to hum the words. It was a prayer for 2015.
Create in me a clean heart, Oh God.
And renew a right spirit in me.
Don't miss taking a moment to listen to this song. It is life-changing!
And there was my word for 2015....as clear as day. It fit like a glove.
a verb, an action word, meaning to revive and replenish,
to take up again. To make like new, to restore freshness and vigor. To replenish when things are dry. To revive and begin again, to come back to something with a clear and clean focus of what matters.
Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, Oh God.
And renew a right spirit in me.
Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.
And so as 2015 begins, I look forward with great anticipation to all the renewal and freshness and reclaiming that God is doing and will be doing in my life. I will not cling to old ways as I step into this new year. Instead, I will seek His face and find renewal in His plans for me. I can't wait to take in and share all the learnings.
Love you to the moon and back again!