Here we are, with fresh and empty calendars in hand, and a new number claiming hold of the year.
The beginning of a new year almost excites me as much as Christmas morning. It’s like staring at that fresh word document just before starting a new story. The possibilities are endless, and though I know I’ll struggle along the way, it’ll end in an adventure I’ll never regret taking. Right now I can only wonder what journey God will lead me on for 2015, but every journey takes the first step and an effort along the way.
I want this to be a good year, one to grow, to learn, to strive to be who God wants me to be. But that can’t happen unless *I* take the initiative and make that first step. Just dreaming won’t lead me anywhere. Dreams are beautiful things, but they only end in an empty longing unless you take the initiative to turn them into realities.
This year I don’t want to just dream, I want to DO.
Today, with pencil and notebook in hand, and prayers in my heart, I listed the dreams I want to turn into realities for 2015. The goals to reach for. The things that will stretch and test me into the vessel God created me to be.
Four words leapt from my messy pencil scratches to my heart. Four words I want to strive for, to grown in, to live by.
Brave. Productive. Balanced. Encourage.
This is something God has laid on my heart for the past couple of years, and it’s something I forget to embrace. Too often I get comfortable, unwilling to step out and try new things due to fear of failure. But God calls His people to bravery every day. He equips us with just what we need, whether we think so or not. With Him, there should be no fear. After all, through Him all things are possible. So this year I want to take His hand, draw courage from His touch, and walk boldly wherever He leads. To be brave.
Productive but Balanced
There’s a fine line between productivity and being balanced, a line I make crooked and indiscernible in my life. I tend to either be too productive or far too lazy, there never seems to be an in between. God wants us to be productive, certainly, but if all our work is interfering with family time or stressing us, there’s probably something wrong. I’m constantly spending so much time emailing or writing or cleaning and such that I forget my family is far more important, and those emails or that scene in a book can wait. But then I’ll turn around and spend an entire day marathoning a TV show when I have a thousand and one things I should be doing. I think a good mix of productivity and rest is a healthy lifestyle, but I’ve yet to find that balance. And that’s something I want to really search for. I don’t want to waste a minute of this year. I want to stay busy but know when to stop and sniff the roses. To remember that watching a movie with my family can be just as meaningful as getting that certain email answered. I want to straighten out my line of productivity and balance and stand right in the middle.
I’m one of those people that never lives by that oh so important “think before you speak” rule. If something pops in my head, I spout it out, and more than half the time it’s something that should never have left my tongue. Words are one of the most powerful things on this earth, and as a writer, I know their power, I live off them. Words of Affirmation is my own Love Language. Encouragement of words is what I thrive on. So shouldn’t I do the same for others? Shouldn’t my words lift up those around me, not tear them down? I want to THINK before I speak. I want the words from my mouth to shine God’s light and refresh His people. I want my very life to be an encouragement. My words, my actions, my being. I want to reflect the Greatest Encourager.
This year I want to beam with God’s light. To face life bravely, to not waste a day of this short life but always be balanced, to encourage all those I come in contact with. I want to smile a lot and laugh more and LIVE.
But, most importantly, I want to remember that it’s all for the glory of God and I should be THANKFUL and JOYFUL whether 2015’s adventure is a smooth trail through the forest or a messy climb up a mountain.
This life is short. I feel as though time is a sleek rope slipping far too fast through my fingers. And so I want to be joyful every moment I have here, and use it all for HIM.
I pray every step of your journey this year blooms with light and love and life.