When a new season rolls around (like a new year), Mr. Old School (the hubs) and I start waxing philosophic. We’re deep and reflective like that. But only sometimes.
You see, we’re in a “season of being still” and we’re getting a little antsy. We have these dreams, visions, goals, ideas, passions… and we’re only partially pursuing some of them. Some of them, we’re not pursuing at all — in some instances by design and other instances by chance and/or laziness.
I think we see why we are here: we have small children and these are the years God has given us to focus on them. From the day Michael and I got together, we agreed that we would fail as parents and people of God if we won the whole world to Christ, but not our kids. I see God’s loving hand closing doors to us so we would have to settle in and focus on our home instead of pouring ourselves out to our latest passion project. They will not be the center of our world forever and there will be time for passion projects. But right now, our children must be our passion. And these moments are priceless and irreplaceable.
Also, our financial situation is changing; improving. It’s been hard work and we absolutely do not love Michael’s job. But how freeing it is to pay bills on time and not have to shuffle things around and worry that the power or water could be cut at any moment. We’ve even been saving money for the first time in our marriage! We’re not “financially free” yet, but we are definitely on our way. Praise God!
So this year…
While we are still in this season of of “being still”, my “word for the year” is “GRATITUDE“. While I’m not fully satisfied with where I am, I am finding contentment in my “silver lining”, as some would call it.
Furthermore, over the last few years, God’s really driven home the point (in me) that “speaking one’s mind” and “speaking Truth” are two very different things. That voicing one’s observation without any semblance of the Fruits of the Spirit bears no godliness and only hurts people.
That’s been a really tough one for me. I’m a strong, out-spoken, opinionated, educated, experienced, called-of-God woman. I have been given a mouth with which to speak and God has given me ability and insight, therefore, I should speak!
Only not so much.
The more I look back at my past words, I see my attitudes. I was so lacking in Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, & Self-Control. Even when my observations/assessments/solutions were 100% correct, I find my heart was lacking. God help me, I was so lacking!!
I recognize that part of my walk in gratitude is to be careful in how I voice my criticisms and how much criticism I voice. I’m also striving to recognize those individuals who are safe to receive my confidence and venting and those who are not.
In my choice to hold an attitude of gratitude as my first and instinctive reaction to life and circumstances, I believe that I will see my other behavioral instincts continue to turn away from selfishness, pride, & often anger, and toward those Fruits of the Spirit I mentioned before. This can only happen as I choose to walk closer and closer with God and allow His thoughts to become my thoughts and His ways, my ways.
My prayer is that this sense of gratitude wears off onto those near me; that as I choose to reflect on how much God has blessed me, I will more easily recognize the things/moments that matter most in eternity and be even more ready and available to display generosity to those in any need around me.
I pray that I continue to seek Him first and thank Him every moment of every day; for without Him, I am and have nothing.
So, I’m striving to be full of gratitude FIRST; above all else.
My word for the year is GRATITUDE.