Monday, December 30, 2013

New Year thoughts (on the fly :P )

You know, I'm not superstitious by any means, but I think there truly is significance (psychologically, spiritually, etc) in the passing of one year into the next. For me personally it is always a time of reflection and looking forward. Reflection at the incredible, unexpected ways God has gotten me through the last 365 (give or take ;) ) days; reflection at how different it turned out than I expected, but at how perfectly He worked things out. And looking forward to what He may have in store; to what I know He is calling me toward; to those things that I think will happen one way but deep down I know it will probably be nothing like I planned.
This morning I was crunching some numbers, just on the visible side of things. My mind was absolutely blown at some of the things God has done! Things I never would have thought possible through my highly-finite little self; yet there were the cold, hard facts, right in front of my face. And I know there are probably just as many things I can't see yet or may never see.
This past week I've been thinking about the things that happened through the year. There have been some major events (like becoming an aunt, gaining another sister-in-law, and getting to see lots of family) and some events that seemed major at the time, but not so much with the haze of the passing months. There are some things I didn't get to do that I would have liked (like taking a fun trip somewhere cool to visit awesome people... fly on an airplane and all...), and a few disappointments and rough times throughout the year. But despite it all as I look back over 2013 I realize that God knew what He was doing. I realize that He has been preparing me for things He's been cooking up. And despite all the things I would have liked to include in my year, I know it contained exactly what I needed. I had to do some more painful growing in some areas I really didn't want to work, but I survived and I do believe I'm better off because of it.
Now looking ahead to 2014. First of all, in case anyone missed it, I GET TO GO FOR AUNTIE ROUND 2! New nephew or niece on the way, July 1ish!
As for the rest of the year: I know it's going to require some big sacrifices, big steps, and big growth spurts. It holds no promise of being easy. But it does hold promise of more, bigger, exciting things that God is going to take me through. In some areas of my life it will be a bit of a "Sabbath" year, and in other areas 2015 will hold some "Sabbath" symbolism for me. And by Sabbath I certainly don't mean I'm gonna be doing much of any kicking back. I just mean, there are things where God has had me waiting or working where He has promised me "rest" soon.
As some of you already know, I've been accepted to Charis Bible College in Colorado for fall 2014, so one of my big steps will be heading to the beautiful Rockies for.... well, I don't know how long. But it could be something of a "long haul", I suppose. There are a lot of big, big things that have to fall into place for this, and a lot of pressures from various sources with which I will be saddled (some of them I'm already packing). I know that things will feel restricted for a while and it will require giving up some comforts to which I've become accustomed. But I think the struggles will give way to an incredible new dimension of God's grace as I trudge down the path where He is leading me. And to that I am very much looking forward! :)
So here's to the big '1-4, a year of great growth and change--for the best! And it will be the best year ever! :D

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Reflecting on 2012 and looking forward to 2013

I was actually going to write this a few days ago, but got busy with end-of-year things, so here it is now. Still the beginning of the year, so it's not too late to join the crowd and reflect on the old and look forward to the new :)
I do not make New Year's resolutions, because I do not have within me the power to effect the changes for which I resolve. Instead, I make effort to receive revelation for the new year (at the risk of sounding mystical or spirtual-er-than-thou ;) ) and set daily resolutions to do God's bidding, whatever the cost.
I make the distinction because rather than focusing on me and what I need or want to do as a person, I focus instead on what God may have for me in the coming 12 months. I find that if I make a resolution to do [task], it is me setting a goal for me, which goal I ultimately fail because I lack resolve. Alternately, if I seek for a revelation of what God has for me, I find infinite motivation in the knowledge that God is working in me to acheive HIS goals for me, and I have peace in knowing that even when I screw up and fail miserably in my daily resolutions He is still working on me and perfecting me. I still have the daily responsibility to focus on Him and the tasks He gives, but the bigger picture is in the hand of the One who is painting it.

Reflecting on 2012.....
At the end of 2011 and into the beginning of 2012, God revealed to me some incredible promises that, from my perspective were absolutely out of reach. However, I felt an indescribable confidence that He would bring it about. So I chose to trust Him and to take some risks that would require a lot of stretching and growing on my part. Of course, as the year wore on I realized that those "risks" were in fact, not truly risks from a spiritual standpoint. Because God had given me a promise, I knew that those steps of faith toward His promise would be sure steps, and the risks would be secure. I admit, a lot of times it felt like I was stepping out onto nothing and would fall on my face. God caught me every time. I learned that you have to be willing to fall on your face if you want God to catch you. He can't catch you if you don't fall on Him.
2012 involved a whole lot of being outside my comfort zone. I had to learn a lot about who I am apart from my family and friends and how to depend on God alone, rather than on people. I've never felt freer from the ties of earth and so ready to do any crazy thing God asks of me. I also discovered what God can do through me when I lay aside my fears and am willing to risk everything to do what I feel He calls. Putting the fear of God above the fear of man is by far the most effective way to get things done!
In the end, the things God had for me in 2012 were far above and beyond the amazing things He revealed at the beginning of the year. If He had shown me everything He had planned, I might have passed out from exhaustion at the thought of it all. He always exceeds my expectations, of course. It made me feel sort of silly for wondering how it would all pan out in the end. But that's what happens when the finite mind tries to comprehend infinite things. Mind. Blown.
Now here I am, looking toward 2013, faced with a lot of the same uncertainties and awe-inspiring promises with which I am faced every new year. But just as in years passed, I feel I have a deeper sense of revelation of God's amazing faithfulness & power than the year before. I am once again caught up in the wonder of the things He is cooking up to serve me this year, and am excited by the knowledge that more than likely He will far exceed these amazing "impossible" things He has been laying on my heart lately. Every mountain I climb, every challenge and hardship I face will be like mere dust to Him who sees the whole picture. I know He will help me through it and in the end I will be amazed once again at what God can do when I yield all control to Him.
2013 is going to be the best year yet!