For the past couple of years, like many women, I have chosen one special word to focus on for the year. Last year, my word was ENGAGE. The year before that, it was JOY. I try to discern where I am having the most trouble or need to change, and pick a word that will help me to remember that area.
This year, my word is RENEW. And not just the word, but a thought for each letter. I first saw the word RENEW on another blog, then I saw it several more times. It seems that God was telling me something very specific. I got the message, and it was just the message I needed.
I have already alluded to the fact that 2012 was an extremely difficult year for me in many ways. I will address some of that in future posts. But suffice it to say that RENEW is definitely something I need to do this year. Here is how it is going to play out for me.
R- For the letter "R", the thought is the word itself...RENEW. Romans 12:2 says, "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind..." Daily, even hourly...even minute by minute some days, I need to be renewing my mind. The difficulties of the past year really sapped a lot of the joy out of my life overall. I am typically a very positive person. I dislike negativity. The only way to remain joyful, and to guard against negativity, is to renew my mind daily. I will be focusing on verses like Proverbs 31:26; the book of Mark, especially chapters 1-10, which tell me exactly how to deal with lots of needy people all the time; Ephesians 4:20-32; the book of Philippians; Colossians chapter 3; 1 Thessalonians 1:7-12; 2 Thessalonians 3:10-13; Titus chapter 2; Hebrews chapter 12; the book of James; 1 Peter 3:3-12; 2 Peter 1: 1-16, but especially verses 3-11.
Now, go look up those verses and read them! They are such wonderful verses to help us stay on track, and to RENEW our vision for our home. During the difficulties of 2012, I really lost my vision for this home. I could barely keep up with the daily tasks because of other things that were happening. This year, I am asking God to renew my vision for my home and family. Without a vision, I will not move forward.
E- For the letter "E", I am focusing on the word ...EMBRACE. As I began to lose my vision over the past few months, I found that I was no longer embracing God's calling in my life. My dream from childhood was to be a wife and mother. All of a sudden, that was seeming too hard! I have been fighting for several months now the feeling of wanting to run away from home. Just the daily stuff- meals, laundry, dishes, schoolwork, bedtime, etc...it has all just seemed like too much. Throw in some bouts of depression, and it has been rough going for a while. I am ready to renew my mind and embrace the calling that God has placed on my life. He gave me a dream as a little girl of having lots of children, and a noisy, busy, boisterous home. Then, He made that dream come true. Hard times have made it seem more like a nightmare lately, but if I renew my mind with His Truth, I will once again be able to embrace this life.
N- The letter "N" stands for NEVER. Two things I want to say about NEVER.
1-Never complain about anything.
2-Never wish I was somewhere else.
Several years ago, my Sunday School leader passed out a refrigerator magnet to each lady in the class. These were the first two things on the list. That list has hung on my frig for all these years, and I read it all the time. And I am not a complainer at heart. But I have noticed a lot more complaining coming from my mouth over the last few months. I have definitely noticed myself wishing I was somewhere else...a lot.
God has given me a amazing life. I have a husband who loves me, ten children who bless me and want to learn from me, and a precious grandson who comes to me when I hold out my hands to him. He also gives me some terrific hugs! And yet I complain. The hard times I experienced last year have brought words of complaint and wanting to quit out of my mouth. That has to stop. I NEVER have a right to complain. The God of this universe loves me and cares for me...how can I complain? If my family was suddenly taken away from me, would I want them back? Of course!! So I need to appreciate them today and never complain about them and never wish to be somewhere else.
E- Another "E". This one stands for ENTHUSIASM. It is one thing to go through the motions every day. I can do that. But enthusiasm is what makes everything different. I can force myself to put a meal on the table every night, but enthusiasm makes the meal special. It makes everything worth doing. Playing a game with my little girl can be something I do with the laptop open beside me, or it can be something I throw myself into whole-heartedly. Life without enthusiasm is no life at all.
Whenever my grandbaby comes to visit, I get very excited! I want to hold him, play with him, rock him, change his diaper, feed him, sing to him, etc. But I only see him about every 10 days to 2 weeks. In between that, I have 8 kids still in this home who need an enthusiastic Mom. Is schoolwork drudgery? Then I must infuse it with enthusiasm. Do children complain about doing their chores? I can help them by being their cheerleader! Enthusiasm is contagious!! Spread some around today!!
W- The "W" is for WIFE. This is my primary focus right now. I will be sharing so much more about this in the upcoming marriage series that my friend and I are working on. Suffice it to say that I have not been the loving wife I need to be. My husband's love language is physical touch, and it is not uncommon for him to hug me several times every day. I have been known to walk right around him.( If you don't want honesty, better go read a different blog.) When your love language is NOT physical touch, it tends to get annoying, getting hugged all the time. But I have come to love, and even initiate hugs with him!! I am making progress!!
I am blessed in the fact that he compliments me often, and likes to look at me. Sometimes, though, it is embarrassing. Having him stare at me makes me squirm sometimes. So, this letter, "W", is a reminder to me that God has blessed me to be Andy's wife, and I need to shower this man with love. We will celebrate our 29th wedding anniversary in August of this year, and I am determined to make it our best year yet.
Well, there ya' go....my word for the year. It will be a real challenge to get my thinking all straightened out in just a few months. I am in no rush though. God's Word will not return void and will accomplish what He sends it to do. If I depend on Him, He will bring me through.
Do you think of a special word for the year, to focus on and bring you closer to where you should be? Would you be willing to share it with us in the comments?
If you haven't ever done this, what do you think about it? Do you think it would be helpful to you?
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