It’s that time of year when many of us are making resolutions, setting goals, or (as is the case with me) choosing a word to guide us in the coming year.
I’ve been choosing a word for the year for a long time now (before there was a book about it or it was the “trendy” thing to do). Some of my past words include restore, joy, focus, love, create, and contentment.
I began asking God to direct my focus for 2015, but honestly, He had already been revealing things to me slowly over the past few months.
I wrote a little bit about where He was leading in this post about homeschooling and working from home. In it I say,
It’s not easy being a work-at-home-homeschooling-mom. Even when you only have one child. Especially if you desire to it all as unto the Lord. Which I do. On both accounts. This summer, God has been gracious to whisper some things on my heart that I believe will help me balance life and home and work. These are the things I want to share with you today.
The first thing I mention is “keep the first things first” and then later, “striving for balance.” I’m sure you know what I mean by first things — God, your family, homeschooling. And you are able to do that by achieving balance.
It would be easy to assume that God was leading me toward the word “balance” after reading that, and I thought that was where I was headed, but over the past few weeks He has refined that vision for me. He keeps giving me this verse:
And it came to pass . . . that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. (1 Samuel 18:1)
I even wrote a word study for “knit” last summer based on that Scripture, and talked about how I used a knitted afghan as an object lesson for Ben, demonstrating how God knits people’s hearts together — how he knitted our hearts together though our adoption of him.
As I kept going back to this verse and to that word study, it was impressed upon my heart that while our hearts cannot be unknitted once God knits them together, if we’re not very careful, stitches can be pulled apart — connections can be lost.
I am realizing more and more, as Ben is growing up, that maintaining a close connection with him is becoming more challenging. Teenagers can be quite busy. He is also forming opinions and coming to conclusions for himself as he develops his own worldview and decides what is Truth. This is important and what we want as parents, but goodness, it is scary. Gone are the days when I can just tell him what to believe and he just does. Because of this, now is not the time in his life when I can lose out on opportunities to continue influencing him. This is not the time to allow the stitches of our afghan to begin pulling apart. The fact is, he is going to be influenced by someone. I would like for that to continue being his parents as much as possible.
In addition to being ever so cognizant of maintaining my connection with Ben, I am also finding that doing the same with other key people in my life, and more than anyone else, Jesus, can also be challenging in the hustle and bustle of life as a homeschooling, work-at-home mom. God is good to remind us that the greatest commandments are to love Him and love each other.
Love = connection.
You may have guessed by now that my word for 2015 is CONNECT. My prayer is that I will use this word to remind myself that while homeschooling and work are important and very much a part of my everyday life, what really must be paramount in my life are the relationships.
. . . that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together [connected] in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ. (Colossians 2:2)
In the coming weeks and months, I’ll be sharing more about the changes I’m making to help that happen.
Have you chosen a word for 2015? I’d love for you to share with me how you came to choose it.