I love January. I love the feeling of starting fresh, setting goals, and getting my priorities back in order. The New Year always motivates to me to start purging excess junk, work out a bit more regularly and stop stuffing myself with the junk that seems to find its way into my house!
While I did have a cleaning surge right after Christmas, thinking upon my New Year’s resolutions and setting goals did not necessarily pan out the way I had anticipated.
We were on vacation over the New Year, taking time to rejuvenate. I wasn’t about to stop eating chocolate or indulging a bit here and there while my husband and I had a late anniversary getaway. So needless to say, I am still eating those cookies we baked while snowed in over the weekend, and my resolutions are still sort of floating around as vague ideas in my head.
There was one thing that I did accomplish while on vacation, however. I chose my Word of the Year. This was a new concept for me a few years back. It seemed to be a new fad I was once again behind on hearing about. I didn’t think I would be participating in this trendy idea, and thought I’d leave it for the more scholarly and sophisticated types.
The Lord had other plans. Last year, I came across a short quiz to determine your “Word of the Year”. I decided to give in to the trend and ask what the Lord would like me to focus on. Could there be just one word He’d want me to carry around and contemplate for an entire year? Would this word be something that would ignite my goals and allow me to strive for what He desires?
As I thought and prayed about this, and took the quiz, the word that came about was COURAGE. It was exactly what I needed. There were so many moments I needed to take courage, and do what God was asking me to do. Either a conversation I needed to have or steps towards God’s call when I would be bombarded with discouragement and required courage. I realized that courage was the opposite of discourage. Courage was the word that came to my mind each time I wanted to take the easy way out. I was amazed that this one little word could really ignite the passions that I wanted to pursue, but would often become stuck in fear. Thank you Lord for the word “courage” you gave me last year.
A new year, a new word. Lord, what is it that you want me to focus on this year? I didn’t take the quiz. I’m not even sure where I found that. I just took time to pray and read God’s Word. As I was studying one morning, a passage in Hebrews stuck out to me. Particularly this verse,
“Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity….” Hebrews 6:1
The writer of Hebrews explains the difference between the mature and those that were still not understanding the basic truths. He said they were no longer even trying to understand! (Hebrews 5:11-14) Later on in 5:7-8, the writer uses the illustration of a field. One field drinks in the rain and produces a crop useful to the farmer and receives the blessing of God. The other field produces thorns and thistles that is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. Later it states, “We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.” Hebrews 6:12 NIV
After reading this passage, and then thinking also about a verse that had hit me a few year back in Colossians I decided my word would be MATURE.
“He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.” Colossians 1:28-29
It is my desire and passion to first of all mature in my faith. I do not want to become lazy, but to take the steps each day to grow in my faith. This is not a way to earn God’s favor, but to live the abundant life He promises. I want to produce a bountiful crop of fruit!
It also rekindled my passion to help my kids grow and mature in their faith. As I think about my priorities and what we do together, I can think about this word “mature”. Is this helping them mature in their faith? What can I do today to help my son or daughter mature? Where am I allowing them to become lazy rather than spurring them on to grow and mature? My children are in my home for such a short time. I do not want to lose focus on what my calling is as a mom in their lives.
The third way I thought of mature, is to come alongside other women to help them grow and mature in their Christian walk. It solidified my calling in writing this blog. I am inviting others on this adventure with me. We can learn together what it looks like to live a life worthy of the calling we have received! Ephesians 4:1
“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds” Hebrews 10:24 NIV
Here are a few more verses with the word “mature”:
“Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:4 NIV
“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is Christ.” Ephesians 4:15
If you are wondering what your Word of the Year might be, I encourage you to pray. Read, ponder and reflect on God’s Word. Is there a verse that pops out to you? Have you felt God nudging you in some way? Is there something you want to focus on this year? I also came across this post that may be of help to you.
I don’t think the word mature is probably a very popular word of the year. But, that’s okay, it’s what God has placed on my heart.
Let me close with a short prayer for you.
Lord, I thank you for anyone who has read this post. I pray that it has spurred inside them a desire to not only mature in their own faith, but to pray about what you may be calling them to this year. Is there a particular word you want them to focus on? Bring them to the scripture you desire them to read, and may your voice be clear as they seek your guidance. May this not be a trendy fad, but a genuine way to stay focused on your calling throughout the year. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Thanks for visiting friend. Happy New Year!