I gave up making resolutions awhile ago. I did this for a few reasons. First, I usually made too many and by the end of January I had already abandoned them. Second, I made the resolutions but not the steps to achieve them. Instead of eating the elephant in bite sized pieces, I tried to eat it all at once! Too overwhelming. Third, they were too superficial. Lose 15 pounds, organize my garage, read one book each month. These are fine and noble endeavors; but they aren’t resolutions that will impact all areas of my life this next year.
Instead, I asked God what He wants me to focus on this year, what area He wants me to grow in. I know that putting Him first in my New Year will make a difference in all areas of my life. I still strive for the other stuff….. losing weight, decluttering my home, etc. I call those goals and I try to work on those a little each month, tackling bite sized pieces of my elephant.
For awhile I’ve had this word rattling around in my brain……DWELL. I knew what God was telling me to focus on; I just wasn’t sure the word dwell was the right word to describe it.
The truth that I need to rest in God completely, to seek Him in my decision making, to find my joy and contentment in Him no matter what my circumstances, to leave worry at His feet, to love Him and know Him more – these were the desires and needs tugging at my heart.
So, I looked up the definition of dwell.
Yup, this is it. This is my word. This is my heart’s desire.
Dwelling is where you live; it’s where you make your home; it’s your anchor; it’s where you find rest. At His feet is where I want to remain and where I need to keep my attention directed.
When I first began to blog, it really was just a way to document my life and my family’s life. As I continue to write, the reasons for writing in this space have changed a bit. I still want to document this life of mine; but I also want to encourage others. I want to encourage others to live their lives, whatever the circumstance, with purpose and joy. This means writing honestly and being vulnerable.
If you read Monday’s post Our Year in Review, you’d think my year just came up roses. It wasn’t like that, though. I did have many, many bright days in my year. But this year I probably cried the most than I ever have. Besides the summer Henry was born (And for any new readers out there, I’ll be sure to share that story sometime soon.), this has been one of my hardest years.
Besides some very challenging parenting moments (Not gonna lie here!) that have brought me to tears, our little family of 4 has been fine. There have been some real hardships in my extended family, though. There has been hurt, deep wounds, and some unexpected issues that have been hard to accept. Most of these stories are not mine to tell, yet. So I’ll leave it there.
I’ve had dear friends face great suffering. Sometimes, I’ve been able to be there for them. Sometimes, I just felt helpless.
There were days I just felt overwhelmed with sadness because everything seemed so broken.
This life is one minute happy, the next sad. One minute delightful, the next devastating. It’s shifting sand. Where do I anchor myself when things make no sense and when your heart hurts? On the flipside, who do I give thanks to when I’m feeling blessed and so full of happiness I’m overflowing?
I anchor myself to the One Who Never Changes. That’s why my word is DWELL. God is my anchor, the constant to my unsteady, the One who knows the road before I even take a step. He can be my joy and peace on the brightest of days and my darkest of nights.
I love this verse:
2 Corinthians 12:9 …..”My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power my rest upon me.
Life is not meant to be done alone.
Here are some things I’m resolving to do in 2016 to practice my word DWELL. Some of them are things I already do on a regular basis and some are areas I can be better in.
1. Try my darndest to spend time in God’s Word every day.
2. Read other things that point me to a heart of gratitude. I’ll be reading and continuing to read 1,000 Gifts by Anne Voskamp and The Valley of Vision.
3. Surround myself with people who will encourage me. (I have a wonderful church family for this.)
4. Be an encourager to other people.
5. Memorize Scripture.
I’d love to hear your word for 2016 or maybe what your top resolution is. Leave a comment. I’d love to read it!