Sunday, January 1, 2017

It's All Grace

There is something about a fresh beginning that makes anything seem possible.  A clean slate to start over, an opportunity to forget what is behind and press on to what is ahead.  But if I've learned anything, sometimes you need to go back, at least a little, and deal with some stuff that hasn't been properly realigned to match God's Word if you want to move fully ahead.  That's definitely one of my goals for 2017.  Not to go back to bury it, but to go back, have God breathe some life and purpose into it, and carry it with me as a testimony of His grace.

As the New Year starts, I invested in something as a Christmas present to myself because I'm quite frankly tired of being and feeling just okay.  If you haven't heard of Lara Casey or her Powersheets and you stick around this year, you might learn a thing or two about them from me.  She doesn't promote resolutions, which most don't stick to, but rather goals based on progress not perfection.  This gives a perfectionist like me that quits all too often hope for what might come if I stick to something because I'm giving myself a little bit of grace to not do everything flawlessly.  We might come back to that concept a time or two this year.

My verse for the year ~ based on my word for the year ~ is Acts 20:24.

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete
the task the Lord Jesus has given me ~ the task of testifying to the good news of God's grace.

Grace, something that I can define, something I know I've experienced, but a concept I have yet to grasp and have make an impact on my beliefs and thoughts.  That said, there is a part of me that feels like I've just opened the proverbial can of worms and prayed for patience.  If you want to understand something you have to be trained to get it.  I just hope the opportunities I have to experience God's grace aren't things that leave a trail of disasters behind me.

So, as today puts me back on the starting block, I have books listed to read, verses listed to memorize, a new planner, goals that require action written out, and hope that He really does make ways in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.  Considering He's never let me down before, I am fully confident that my hope won't be putting me to shame anytime soon.

So here I am now before the throne of grace, with this as my prayer for 2017.  Maybe you need this as your prayer too.  Write it out, come back to read it again, adjust it to make it your hearts cry.  Whatever you do, believe with all your heart that He is capable of miracles and that His speciality has always been bringing what looks dead back to life.

Father, You've brought me to this place and welled up some pretty significant godly discontment with where I am.  I believe You must have some serious plans to have gone to such great lengths to get my attention the ways that You did.  The resources You have placed before me are nothing short of a testimony of Your grace to take a girl that has been on the hot mess express going nowhere fast (thank you Bianca Olthoff for that analogy) to a destination of Your choosing for a purpose of Your design.  I can't pray for strength because I know it will be Yours that sees me through whatever is coming, but I will pray that You continue to hold me up, that You redirect my eyes to You if they get distracted by shiny objects, and that You open up my heart to beat again filled with the life You have promised.  And Jesus, if I can have one very specific prayer answered for this year, help me to cry again.  Even if it's the most inconvenient place ever at the worst possible moment ever, let the tears come back because this dry season has gone on long enough.  Amen

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