Wednesday, December 26, 2012

New things for a New Year

Made it through Christmas!  5 days left of 2012!  I am not sorry to see it go.  This year has been filled with lots of challenges.  We go through hard times because they bring us growth and good times afterward.  2012 was the year of hard times, 2013 is going to be the year of good times afterward.  They year where we put to use all the lessons we have learned.  At least that is the plan.

I have been contemplating a few options for my word/phrase of the year.  Last fall I wanted to take on the word, "Discipline".  Self discipline, self control.  I was going to create a schedule and stick to it.  One for me, one for Isabelle.  And I was going to mentor Jake and John to do the same and we were all going to turn into godly men and women who achieved and accomplished all they planned in any give day.  We would be the super family.

Not sure I made it even through a day with that plan.  John and Jake just looked at me like I was crazy and I was too tired to ever start a plan for Isabelle.  I still think this could be the word of the year for 2013.  Last fall we were just full of so much stress.  "Discipline and "survival mode" do not really go together.  Maybe they should but they don't at our house.

I still like that word.

But as I have struggled through the fall with my desire for control--oh my ever present control issues--God gave me a phrase this fall, "Get out of my way!"  Because God shouts at me sometimes.  Because I am a little slow at times.  Because sometimes I forget that even when I am not present He is.  That even when my plan is not the one being followed, His plan is always the one that ends up triumphing.  And at the end of the day that is the plan I really want too.  So if I could just get out of his way, stop tripping other people when he is trying to lead them down a path, stop tripping myself, then maybe he could get some work done.

So, I am thinking about the Phrase, "get out of the way" as my phrase of the year.

As you may recall I am reading through Isaiah.  I am getting a lot out of it but at the same time there are sections that don't really feel relevant to my life.  So I had sort of been avoiding it for a few days.  I really needed something from God but didn't feel it was in Isaiah and so refused to pick up the bible and was basically brooding for a few days.  Then I woke up one morning and had a strong sense of God saying today is the day there is something in there for you.  He was right, of course, there in Is 43 were the familiar verses with the exact words I needed on the exact perfect day they needed to be said.  "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland."

I think I should start indexing the verses I mention here because I am pretty sure I have covered this one before but can't remember.  Forgive me if I am repeating myself here but, I love how there is an explanation point after "see, I am doing a new thing!"  Like God is super excited about the new thing he is doing.  And this thing is so cool and exciting he can't believe you can't see it, "Do you not perceive it?"  And then he can't stand it anymore so he just tells you what is going on, "I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland."

I am not going to lie to you, I could really stand to have someone really excited about what is happening in my life, excited about what they are doing in my life.  And if God is doing a new thing in my life and is all excited about it, then I am pretty excited about it too.  Cause I definitely feel like I have been lost in the dessert for a while and a nice refreshing stream sounds like just thing thing for me.  I can totally see myself sitting on the edge with my feet in the water and scooping up a refreshing drink.  I love a good mouthful of cold fresh water. So now I am really excited that there is going to be a new thing in my life, in relationships that have been hard this year, in work, in family, in me.  Woo Hoo, Go God, make new things happen!

I flip the page in my bible and God goes on to say, "...I provide water in the desert and streams in the wasteland (I know he said something like that already but he likes to repeat himself), to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise."  He is doing something so great it will cause me to praise Him.  Sing his praises.  I love to do that.  (Secret:  I love to sing God's praises and at home I am a loud worship leader with hands in the air and everything.  At church I am a good conservative Scandinavian Baptist.  I am a Pentecostal at home.)  God is doing the work and we just have to praise Him.  Awesome.  I can do that.

So now I am thinking this is probably going to be my scripture for the year.  Maybe the problem with this year is there was no scripture for the year.  But really the fact that there was no scripture for this year is sort of indicative of how it started and where it went and here we are and what can I tell you?  It is what it is. 2011 we had the verse: "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." Matt 6:33  That was a perfect verse for that year.  Just what we needed to focus on that year.

OK So let's summarize where we are at with my 2013 word/phrase/verse options:  discipline, get out of the way, "I am doing a new thing".  Hmmm.  I think I know how I am going to bring these together but I am going to pray about it a little before my big announcement.

How about you?  What is your word of the year?