My Word For The Year Is Devoted
I want to soar higher and go further than I've ever been before.
(Click the links in pink to find out more)
For Christmas I was given this beautiful gift. The company The Crowning Jewels offer 'prophetic jewellery'. Their team prays for you, knowing only your name, and asks God what He wants to say to encourage you. They write it down and pick symbols to represent the words they feel He's said. The bracelet I received was representing victory, refined like silver, truth, breakthrough, hearing from heaven, grace, and their brand tag: hope. And the one that stood out to me the most was the word soar.
I want all of this for my year, I want to see victory and breakthrough, and I definitely want to soar on his wings. But before all that, I know I need to be more --> devoted in 2018. It wasn't on the bracelet but God has been whispering it to me since I made the Advent Calendar, and organised the Instagram advent series in December.
I want intimacy, and devotion first, before the success in the soar. I can't chase after the heights if I haven't paved the depths and foundations.
In all areas of my life I recognise there is a desire, or a pull, for me to give 100%. Maybe it's my Type 2 Enneagram personality of being a Helper, with a type 3 High Achiever stress mode, wanting to go all in, do it all, give it all, get it right, be the best I can be. Or maybe it's my closely followed in hot pursuit enthusiastic extroverted Type 7 personality (I fluctuate between the two). That part of me that is envisioned with passion and possibilities for a bright creative future *shakes sparkly jazz hands*- notoriously a great starter of projects but not one to really finish them as they over extend themselves and are undisciplined. Yep.
Maybe it's all of it, because as I said, I'm an-all-in kinda gal.
But it's not my current reality.
I want to give 100% to my family, my husband, my kids. Not distracted by housework, blog work, even prep for homeschooling. BUT I want to give 100% to those things too - 100% to my website and blog work, 100% to homeschooling, and to housework (Ok admittedly maybe I can let that one slide). AND I want a life full of friends and making new ones!
But reality is different! How do people do it?
How can I do it ? All of it?!
How can I give 100% in ALL areas?
I know that's the answer.
I know that there are seasons, growing capacities, dips and dives, ebbs and flows to these things. Add in adjusting to an international move and getting over sickness and there's a lot going on. I must do little, baby steps, for my sanity. But while I'm trying to figure it all out there is one thing I want to remain consistent in and go all in. One thing, I want to devote myself to, all the time, throughout the year, within all the projects and all the plans, and all the trial and errors.
And that thing is a Person.
I want to devote myself to the Lord, the Person of Jesus.
What does that look like?
It will look different to each of us. But for me being devoted to the Lord looks like putting Him first.
I want to re-introduce 3 things in to my life, to devote myself more to Him this year.
1) Start my morning with God.
Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart - Colossians 4:2
I want to wake up and think of my beautiful Saviour and how I'm wrapped in his grace... But HELLO!! The reality is I wake up thinking about my latest Instagram post, or if I pressed print on that homeschool project prep last night, or why I'm still wearing last night's clothes, OR the morning monster surfaces - WHY is there someone sitting on my head at 5.45am wanting cereal?! In the latter case, my first thoughts may be a little more uncensored than I'd like. I am not a morning person...
I may not be able to control my first thoughts when I wake, (and I try REALLY hard to control my mood) but I can control my actions.
Whatever I first THINK of, I am going to REACH for the #wordbeforeworld as the gorgeous Well Watered Women community are declaring. I am going to put my devotion to God first. Reading my Bible, journal and talk to Him before I begin my day.
Once I've got the bear cubs off my face...
2) Worship in the day.
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Acts 2:42
What do you listen to all day? Are you a music lover? A radio listener? A nursery rhyme enthusiast? I want to devote myself to worship, through music or teaching.
"But I've got all these things ...!" I hear myself say. But I know I can hear a tune hummed for a second and instantly I get that damn wheels on the bus track stuck in my head all. day. long... (I dare ya to click the link and prove me wrong!!) So why not use the power of music's influence to encourage my heart and fix my mind on Jesus.
Taking 5-10 minutes in my day to stop and worship God, with the kids, or while they're having free time (or napping for you lucky mamas), will be the best 10 minutes of my day if spent with God. So Will I by Hillsong United, and Reckless Love by Cory Asbury, are still my favourite songs to play on repeat! If I get 20 minutes then I could listen to a podcast, try Jo Saxton's Leadership and Life or Risen Motherhood, and fill my mind with teaching while I'm getting ready in the morning (benefit of slow homeschool mornings) or as I'm making dinner. Rarely do I go a day without music on, but I don't feel I've actually worshipped in a long while and devoted myself to teaching. I don't want it to just be background noise, I want it to be fuel for my soul. I want to devote my day to God. Keep him present in my mind. What about you, what do you fill your head with?
3) Fix it before I Netflix it.
No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. Luke 16:13
It's SO easy to sit and Netflix my way into a Jane-The-Virgin Coma. (Oh my goodness though I LOVE that show!) But whether it's Netflix, homeschool prep or even blogging, it can be all too easy a distraction. I don't want Netflix or 'my jobs' to become my master. When it comes to work we will always have 101 reasons why it must get done now, but why not do it with God? We thrive off connection, affirmation and success. These can often be the drivers behind our choices. But we need connection with God first and foremost. This is where my Cultivate What Matters #powersheets come in handy, I can set clear daily/weekly goals and help organise my time ahead of myself. Plan in work, play and rest. I know that when I'm exhausted I don't go to God first to rest in His presence because I've bought in to the Netflix belief that Jane-The-Virgin, and her friends, can serve my tired heart better. I've bought into the lie that Instagram will affirm me more. That writing blogs, prepping the BEST activities for tomorrow will ensure I am a 'success'. I don't want to be devoted to these things, and make them master in my life. I want to use my time well, be devoted to Jesus and find my affirmation, connection and success in God.
So here I am reminding myself and saying it out loud, declaring my words for the year.
This year will be a year of victory that comes from being devoted.
A year of refining that comes through being devoted.
A year of soaring higher that is rooted in being devoted.
Devoted to the One who makes me fly.
What's your word for the year and how is your day-to-day going to change to pursue it?