Merry Christmas! I hope you had a blessed season. As it always does, this time of year brings on thoughts of reflections over the past year, the dreams and plans for the upcoming year, and thoughts of what you want to change or do differently in the year to come.
I love when you have something mulling over in your spirit and God just comes right out and confirms the thoughts and feelings your having. It's an amazing blessing. That's what happened this morning to me, so I'd like to share some of the reflections and thoughts I'm feeling for this new year, 2017.
As I was working this morning and getting ready for my devotional time, I just had this feeling that 2017 would be a year of no for me. Not really no in a bad way but a good way. Did you know that "No" can be good? Sometimes God says no to us because He sees way more than we do. He says no because he's protecting us from what the Yes would mean. Only God knows what the yes and no could mean for us down the road and in His grace and mercy, those things are done for a reason.
Back to my no. If you know me at all, you know I'm a doer and a Yes girl. I say yes to help others out when I really don't have time or strength to do it. I say yes to things when I should really say, ummm I'm overloaded. I say yes to do a variety of things and make them work but at what cost am I doing those things?
Are the things I'm doing for God? Are they for me? Are they because I feel guilty and can't say no to others? Are they because I don't want to stop and Be Still?
This year has been an amazing time of growth and change for me. God has pushed me beyond my comfort zone and then some. I truly believe that big things are coming down the pipeline and this year was a year of preparation. That doesn't mean that my no will be a bad thing.
At the women's conference this year, it was a profound theme for me to Be Still and KNOW (emphasis on know) that I am God. That was as clear as day to me. And now as I prepare for the coming year, I'm hearing it even more.
The confirmation I mentioned earlier? It came this morning when I opened up my devotional book. The devotion says: " I am preparing you for what is on the road ahead, just around the bend. Take time to be still in My presence so that I can strengthen you. The busier you become, the more you need this time apart with Me." ( Jesus Calling Devotional)
It goes on to talk about others viewing you as lazy but how many others count you as a blessing. So, here are my reflections for this year. Here are things I want to focus on and pray that God keeps me centered and focused on them:
- Saying Yes to God more than ever before. When He comes asking me to do the hard things and things that push me even farther out of my comfort zone, I pray I hear His voice leading and say yes.
- Saying No to outside influences and the busyness of this world. Helping out is one thing. Overloading myself so that I'm no good to anyone is not.
- Saying Yes to my family. I want to give my best, first to God, and then to my family. I don't ever want it to be said that my family got the leftovers after the world was done with me.
- Learning that no is okay and that being still is most important.
- To learn to commit my ways to the Lord and trust in Him that he will do what He says He will do.
- To keep on the healthy path God's laid before me. This past year has brought about some major changes for my health, in a positive way. It has also been a year that God has dealt with some major issues as far as my thoughts towards myself and body image that only He could deal with.
- To learn that sometimes, just being still and staying quiet is the best and most absolute thing that one can do.
- To pray more earnestly and more whole heartedly than ever before. To keep my focus more intent on God and that will cause everything else around me to come in to line.
- Remembering that the stillness and quiet voice He uses is not to make it hard to hear Him. It's to make it so that I do hear Him in the bustle around me.
- To make a difference for the kingdom. I want everything that I do to make a difference mean something. Whether it's washing the dishes at home, cooking meals for my family, helping out a friend, or just driving to field trips, doctor's appts. and other things. I pray that wherever we go, we make a difference.
Yes, this is a sort of long post. If you've made it this far, I appreciate it dearly. I'm thankful for those who spend time reading and I pray that in some way it helps to lift you up. I pray that as you embark on this new year ahead that you are blessed and receive beyond your wildest imaginations. God bless you and your family and may you have a wonderfully exciting new year ahead!!