Thursday, January 22, 2015

Trust, Praise, Let go…Repeat


As I've started the year with Renew as my One Word, I've wavered between the feeling of comfort I first felt, and the feeling of needing something to do.

Let me explain. Three years ago, I spent the year learning to trust God. It felt like the word Trust was always in the air. When I struggled, it reminded me to trust Him. When I didn't understand why life was the way it was, trust was the action word I needed. Trust was something I could practice and improve on.

Praise was the same way. When things went well, I reminded myself to praise God. When life was far from going well, I made myself praise Him. Over the year, praise felt more natural. I learned not to wait for the big things or until the end of the day, but to praise Him in the small moments throughout the day.

Last year, I learned to let go of what I want and accept God's plan. To let go and know that He has everything under control, even when I don't—especially when I don't. When I let go, I stopped struggling against Him and rested with Him.

Renew feels different. Although it's a verb, I don't feel like it's something I'm supposed to do. At least not right now. When I knew Renew was my One Word, the comfort came in the possibilities of what God might renew in my life, not in something I was supposed to do.

So, I've been pondering how to live out Renew, and here's what I keep coming back to...

While I wait on God to see what He will renew, I'm not to sit idle, but rather, continue what I've learned.



Trust. Praise. Let go…Repeat.
Trust Him in everything. Praise Him continuously. Let go of what I'm clinging to so that I can embrace His plans for me.
And then repeat the process again.

Have you ever felt like it was time to put into practice what God had been teaching you?

In Christ,
Laura 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

My One Word 2015

This is my fourth year of choosing a One Word for the year. Or I should say, God choosing a word for me.

My first year was Trust and I readily accepted it. Next was Praise. I pushed back on praise because I didn't really get it. (Which is why I suppose God gave it to me, right?) But by the end of the year, I got it.

Last year was harder. He whispered Let Go...and it scared me. A lot. I asked Him to reconsider. Maybe I heard wrong. But no, 2014 was a year of letting go of so much of what was normal.

My One Word for this year?


Renew.

The word kept coming to mind around Christmas, and even though I had been asking God what my word would be, I didn't make the connection until He whispered it to me during worship one evening.

Renew. I was reminded that God can renew anything. And it felt comforting…especially after a year of letting go.

Maybe you could use the reminder too. God can renew anything—so much more than what we can even think to ask for.

God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us. Ephesians 3:20 The Message

What do you need God to renew in your life?

Your faith? He will.

Your health? He can.

Your marriage or family? He is able.

Renew...to bring back to life...to make new again.

In His time and in His way. Nothing is impossible for Him, no matter how impossible it looks to us.

Will you join me in waiting on God and watching for all the ways He will bring about renewal?

If you’ve chosen a One Word for 2015, consider sharing it with us in the comments. If you’re looking for more information on the One Word movement, go to #OneWord365.

In Christ,
Laura

Friday, January 2, 2015

New Beginnings…All Year Long

A new year makes me think of new beginnings. The move to a new calendar feels like a fresh start—a blank page with all sorts of possibilities. It’s easy to think now is when everything can change.

Then as January progresses into February, the newness wears of. The New Year’s resolutions are long forgotten and life feels the same as it was.

Or have we just stopped looking for the newness in our everyday?

New beginnings don’t depend on the change of the calendar year. God gives us a new start every day.
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions (mercies) never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV (parentheses NLT)
Because of His love, a bad day or a bad year won’t destroy us. We can start again. Over and over. He offers new beginnings—but if we don’t have eyes open to see them, we will miss them.

Please join me at 5 Minutes for Faith to continue reading, where I'm talking about God's timing, His way, and new beginnings.

Happy New Year!

In Christ,
Laura

Photo credit: K. Rath 2014


Linking up with Faith Filled Friday, Sharing His Beauty, Coffee for Your Heart

Monday, December 22, 2014

How Quickly Everything Changes

I walked into work this morning and found out we’re preparing for a funeral tomorrow. I work in a church, so this isn’t unusual, but what stunned me was whose funeral it is. He was not elderly and he had not been fighting a long battle with disease. And although I didn’t know him personally, there is a feeling of loss I can’t quite explain—maybe it’s shock.

Because I’m reminded of how quickly everything can change. With or without notice, life turns an unexpected corner.

Around that corner lies grief and sorrow—like a punch in the stomach—that leaves us gasping for air.

But we are not alone. What shocks us does not shock God. He knows. He stays. And while we may feel like we’re surrounded by darkness, there is always the Light.

The Light, who shines in the darkest hour, on the most difficult path…even when we struggle to see. It shines.

Life changes suddenly and we find ourselves unprepared. Maybe it’s financially or emotionally. But for some, it’s spiritually.

It’s not that they struggle to see the Light, it’s that they don’t know the Light is there. And they don’t know He came for them.

I get antsy and frustrated trying to understand God’s timing. Why does God’s will seem to take so long?

Because He wants everyone to know His Son. And in His grace, He gives us time to proclaim His name and time for His children to know Him.
Remember that while our Lord is waiting patiently to return, people are being saved. 2 Peter 3:15a NIRV
He doesn’t want anyone to be unprepared when life changes without warning.

It’s too easy to stay focused on the wrong thing—what I want, done my way, and miss all that God wants to show me.

I think that’s what He has been telling me this year. To notice where He’s put me, to pay attention to those who around me, and to focus on the work He’s given me.

So often I don’t understand, but I trust Him. And when I trust Him, I’m able to let go of the angst of wanting to understand.

But still, I need to be reminded of how quickly everything can change—for the good and for the bad. And to know God is there through both. Always.

In Christ,
Laura