Patient Endurance

It’s the time of year when many people become reflective. We look back at all we have accomplished, and we look forward to all that is ahead. 

I am one of those people. I have my words and my verses. This particular year started off with a family vacation to Florida which provided time for reflection. It was also filled with expectations, and the lessons when these expectations were not met. 

It was as though God was reminding me…you may have your agenda, but I have a greater purpose.

Sometimes, we are humbled.

Vacation provided multiple such moments…

* Since the rental car was in my name, I had to do all the driving and endure my children’s backseat driving. Usually, Dad does the driving. My husband and I switched our usual roles of driver and navigator.

* Legoland was definitely geared towards younger children, but we shared  laughter over my husband and son being stuck on a ride. We all enjoyed the ski show and a peaceful walk through Cypress Gardens. 

* The hood of our rental car was full of paint scratches after Legoland. I am grateful that we purchased the damage protection plan.

* The kindness of strangers was revealed during our airport experience.

 * Craving pizza, our GPS led us to a gas station where the windows were barred.  Needless to say, we traveled back to the hotel and ordered pizza.

Vacation is like that…the anticipation and the expectations sometimes don’t match the actual experiences. 

Nevertheless, we had a great time on vacation. I was reminded so many times to let go of my expectations and to be present and open to the moment. Joy is a choice.

Life is like this especially in the dawn of a new year. I look forward with expectancy to the year ahead but I will be careful to not let my own expectations and agenda get in the way of God’s greater purpose.

Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that He has promised. Hebrews 10:36 NLT

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Another Year

What does a new year mean to you? Are you into making resolutions for the year?

This year, instead of focusing on all the ways I fell short last year, I will reflect on all the ways God has worked in my life. I will look forward to the year with expectation not perfection.

Yes, I will still make my goals for the year. I will reflect on my hopes and dreams. I will pray over them and trust God on my journey this year but I will do so with hope and expectation rather than with fear and anxiety.

Here are some of my favorite quotes and verses for the new year. 

What are your thoughts for the year ahead?

Beautifully Broken

A new year stirs up all sorts of ambitions, resolutions, goals… Whatever you want to call them. Personally, for me, a new year finds my thoughts very reflective 

What went well last year? How have I grown professionally? Personally? Spirituality? Where are areas I still desire to grow? What are my dreams?

Delight yourself in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

This year, I want to delight more in the Lord. I desire to grow deeper in my relationship with Him. I want to continue to learn to trust more when in the past, the anxiety would consume me. I desire His peace.

God listens to our voice. When we cry out to Him, He listens. As I walked through a valley recently, I cried out to God. He did not remove me from the situation, but rather, He revealed to me His faithfulness. Instead of calming the storm right away, He walked with me through the storm and comforted me with His peace.

At my chiropractor appointment the other day as I waited for my receipt of payment, my gaze lingered on the desk calendar. It read… Sometimes, God allows something to happen in our lives that only He can fix so we get to see Him fix it.

What’s “broken” in your life right now? A relationship? Your current job situation? Your finances? Maybe you feel like you are a complete mess and are broken beyond repair. 

God loves us as we are. He takes our brokenness and can make something beautiful out of the mess we are in. 

Maybe, this year instead of planning all these resolutions to lose weight, get organized, eat better…We need to simply cry out more to God, listen to His voice, and trust that He can and will do something beautiful with our brokenness this year.

In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple, He heard my voice; my cry came before Him, into His ears. Psalm 18:6

#inspirational

A Word for the Year

The New Year is an opportunity many take advantage of to start fresh with New Year’s resolutions and goals for the year. Many people resolve to lose weight, eat healthier, exercise more, organize….among a variety of other common themes. K-Love posted the popular resolutions from the 1940s…improve my character, spend more time with my family, and attend church more.

I have made resolutions in the past, but the past few years, I have decided to focus on a word instead of a laundry list of resolutions. This year, my word is serve. I am asking God to reveal to me opportunities to serve others. I also need to reflect upon how I spend my time…it reveals what I serve.

I was very humbled when I left my previous job just a few weeks ago. I was humbled by the reactions and kind words of others who were genuinely sad to see me leaving. I try to embody servant leadership. I believe opportunities to serve exist not only at work but all around me…at home, at church, even on a simple trip to the grocery store.

One of the family members from my previous job thanked me for helping with the transition of her mother’s admission to the facility where I worked. She thanked me for embodying JOY…placing Jesus, others, and yourself in that order. That was very humbling to hear. It has given me a wonderful reminder to accompany the word SERVE…I will serve Jesus, others, and myself in that order.

I will spend time with God and be open to His leading in my life. I will pray for opportunities to serve others and help, even in simple, everyday things….even when I don’t always feel like it. I will be kinder to myself and extend grace and forgiveness to myself when I miss the mark and don’t live up to my expectations for myself.

Serve. My word for 2016. What about you? Do you make resolutions or choose to focus on one word? If so, what is your word for the year?

My year of 2015 can be summed up in the word SURRENDER. And, as I look forward to the promises of another year…I will seek to SERVE.

Wishing you the very best for 2016!

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Facing 2015 with Confidence & Determination

2015..

I love a new year….a time to reflect on the good and not-so-good from the year behind and a time to look ahead to the new year. To dream. To plan. To hope. To believe that anything is possible.

Last year, 2014, was a year of new beginnings…I started a new job, and I graduated with my MBA. It was also filled with some times of uncertainty, hardship, and just emotionally trying times. I have grown professionally and personally this year. I’d like to think I am growing spiritually as well. Last week, our pastor challenged us to look at the new year with confidence, faith, hope, and anticipation. The week of Christmas, I watched the Nativity Story with my son. As I watched the movie, I imagined how Mary must have felt….did she look forward to the birth of her son, the Savior of the World, with confidence, faith, hope, and anticipation? I think she did.

As I take this first day of the new year to enjoy having nothing pressing to do, I am going to enjoy time with my family, taking down Christmas decorations, and enjoying sipping on tea. I have claimed two words for the new year: Confidence and Determination. Those are my words for my life as I face this new year with confidence, faith, hope, and anticipation.

According to Merriam-Webster online, confidence is defined as a feeling or belief that you can do something well and succeed at it and believing with certainty that something will happen. Determination is defined as a quality that continues to make you try at something despite it being difficult.

These are the words I am choosing to embrace this year. Confidence and determination to live my life as God desires for me. Happy New Year to everyone!