Sunday, January 13, 2013

Rest for Today

It's been an amazing year so far.

The past 12 days of 2013 have been full, stretching and exhilarating.
Friendships have grown.  Ministry has been developing.  Fellowship has blossomed.   Relationships have been poured into.  Work has been stimulating.  Marriage has been engaging and blessed.

But today?
I need some rest. 

But what does rest look like?  I think that depends on what part of your person-hood needs the rest.  Is it physical rest you need? Or is it emotional?  Spiritual?

For me, I often hit the point where I need rest in all three areas at once.  Usually when I've depleted one area, I rely on another area to sustain me - depleting that area as well.  Then, when I've exhausted all three, I admit to myself that it's time for some rest.
Some intentional, introverted, all-by-myself rest. 

So for me, today, rest looks like sleeping in until 10:00 am and laying in bed until the need for caffeine takes over.  Pouring myself a cup of coffee, sitting back in bed and surrounding myself with the items that help me process and rest spiritually and emotionally.

Sitting in bed surrounded by my new, super comfortable 50% off pillows, with the heater up and the window cracked open to let in fresh light and cool air.  (physical rest)

Journal and pen nearby.  Computer laying ahead of me.  Sometimes writing, sometimes just knowing it's near if I want to write to process more thoughts.  (emotional rest)

Bible lying next to me, open to one of the 4 books I am studying right now.  Lying available for me to read or to set back down as needed.  (spiritual rest)

This is what rest looks like for me today.

I'll get out of my pink pajamas and boot slippers eventually.  At some point the laundry will get put away and the vacuuming will be done.

But until I am physically, emotionally and spiritually filled again - I will rest. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

One Word 365 - Faith

I love how God always seems to choose my yearly "OneWord" for me.

On New Year's Even in 2010, I had already chosen a word to focus on for 2011 and a few hours before midnight, I could sense that God was changing it to something I never would of thought of.  "Warrior." 
That was an amazing year of getting over fears and gaining courage and strength in the Lord.

In 2012, I focused on the word "Joy."
Initially I didn't really want that word, but I knew that God was calling me to it.  How glad I am now!  I learned so much this year about the true meaning of the word Joy and where it's source is!  I already knew this intellectually as a Christian, but this year I have come to know inwardly that our Joy is truly not dependent on circumstances.  When we find our delight in the Lord, our Joy is unshakable because He is unchangeable.

This year, 2013, I feel God calling me to the word, "Faith."

It was a few days before the end of the year and I had been asking God what my word should be. As I was driving to do an errand, I was listening to the book of Hebrews.  When it got to chapter 11, "The Hall of Faith" my spirit quickened -  "That's it!"  
Then I remembered back to a couple months ago when a word of knowledge had been given to me at a Bible Study one night...
Just a simple word that God wanted to increase my faith.

2013 is a really good year for some faith building.  My husband and I are involved in a church plant in Orange County right now and every step is building and stretching our faith.  It is most likely the most exciting time of my life thus far and as I am seeing God move within His body I am being so stretched and called to more faith in who He is, in His power, and to who we are called to be in Him.
I also have personal dreams and desires that I have been seeking God about and I want to learn to have my faith in Jesus and in His perfect will rather than in my desire for my own dreams to be fulfilled.

I am excited to watch as God does His work in me this year.  For two years now, I have seen the Holy Spirit be so faithful as He has called me to a certain focus and then has done all the work in my heart.

My job this year is to obey.

I must use the skills I learned when I focused on being a "Warrior" and not let fear hold me back from anything Jesus calls me to in 2013.
I must remember the formation of Joy - that no matter what happens this year, my Joy is not dependent on what is seen circumstantially but on what I know to be true of Jesus Christ and the loving and holy character of God.

I am ready to grow.

I am ready to be stretched.

I am ready to Jump out in Faith.

Also - I'm putting together a "Faith 2013" playlist to be listening to this year - any suggestions for good songs on faith - please put them in the comments!

Here's one song I'm loving everyday: