Even before it was the trendy thing to do, I have been choosing one word at the beginning of the new year to guide me throughout the year. I begin praying for God to give me a word and a Word starting around November. Today, I want to share my word and Word for 2014.
To say I’ve had a challenging year is an understatement. I have shared a lot about some of my struggles — health, marriage, parenting, homeschooling — it’s all felt so hard lately. Actually, not just lately. For a long time.
Coupled with the busyness of being a work-at-home-mom, it’s easy for the spirit to feel crushed and for joy to to be lost.
Last year, my word for the year was create. And my Word was from Psalm 51:10-11 —
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
I was immediately struck by the very next verse — a request:
Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.
And then a couple of days later, I read these words from the book of Joel 2:25– a promise:
I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent among you.
I can’t tell you the huge sigh of relief I exhaled at the moment I read those words. While I find myself pleading with my Father to restore to me joy and to uphold my crushed spirit, he offers me even more than I can fathom. He offers me the gift of the restoration of seemingly lost opportunity.
You see, I have been lamenting what feels like a very few short years left with Ben, and many wasted days (years?) focused on those things that don’t really matter so much. To know that the God of the universe, despite the swarming locust of misplaced priorities, desires to restore both my joy and time lost overwhelms me.
He loves me. Oh, how He loves me.
I was chatting with a dear friend about this the other day. She said something to me that I will not soon forget:
Life and opportunities can roll over us and sweep us away. Especially when we feel affirmed in one area, and feel like we are faltering in another.
You see, it is my sincere desire to be a blessing and to use my time and talents for His work. And I have done so. But you know what? His work is all around me, right here in my home, too. And that is where I have missed the mark. My first ministry. My main priority.
It is time for me to make the main thing, the main thing.
I’m not sure yet exactly what that means for 2014. I do know that I will work less, parent more. Blog less, read aloud more. Tweet less, cook more.
The rest . . . well, I will pray and listen and wait . . . with great anticipation . . . for the restoration of joy, a willing spirit, and most important of all . . . time.
My friends on the Schoolhouse Review Crew are also sharing their Words for 2014. What about you? Do you have a word or a Word for 2014. Share in the comments. I’d love to come alongside you as you follow Him in the new year.