Happy New Year!
I love this time of year of NEW Beginnings! What do you do to celebrate? I treat myself to a new journal to write and doodle freely in each January. It comes fresh and new, with pristine pages full of possibility. It always makes me wonder what will fill them in the coming days. One thing for sure is it will include my word of the year.
But what if looking back on this year and looking ahead brings a sense of disappointment? Disappointment has been a key factor in my year of personal progress. On the other hand, relationally, this year has been one of the best years I’ve had, and in my heart that is what matters most. For that, I am truly grateful.
In 2016, I thought I would be farther along, accomplished more, and finished things still undone. The temptation is to guard myself and not get my hopes up by not dreaming and not putting my hopes into writing and visual form. After all, if I put it down in a permanent expression, in about 12 months I risk being shown how I’ve fallen short.
If this is where you are at, I am strongly telling both of us:
Don’t give up! Don’t hold back!
Dare to dream big! Step out in faith!
Trust God to finish the good work started in you!
The choice of how to look at this past year was brought to light as I looked over my 2016 journal. Seeing the 2016 word, “Flow,” with my new 2017 word, “Free,” I see how similar the word introduction pages are. Spending time reflecting on these pages has caused me to ask myself, “Did I move in a steady, smooth, continuous way, or with the ebb and flow of the Spirit like the tide of the ocean this past year?” Answering honestly, not really, but as the year grew older, I got better at it, and am still growing in that area.
I also noticed above the big “flow” I wrote “be free – go with the flow.” This new word “free” seems to be growing out of my 2016 word. I have the choice of how I’m going to look at that. Do I really want 2017 to be a continuation of 2016? Am I “going around the mountain again” because I didn’t learn what I was supposed to learn this past year? Or could it be, this is about acknowledging that my life is a process and the inner work is more important than what I accomplish? Ok, obviously it’s the latter. This life-long process of learning “to live in the unforced rhythms of grace” is still something I am in the process of learning. Baby steps…
This Free-Flowing may be a big part of being FREE for this coming year. I decided to look up the definition in the Cambridge online dictionary.
Free-flowing is an adjective that means:
- Able to move without anything stopping it (Ex. Free-flowing rivers, traffic)
- Happening or done in a continuous and natural way (Free-flowing discussion)
- Easily available in large amounts: (Ex. The water Jesus turned into wine :-))
This word study is making me feel better already. I hope you are too.
As the Apostle Paul said,
“being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you
will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
-Philippians 1:6 NIV
“I admit that I haven’t yet acquired the absolute fullness that I’m pursuing, but I run with passion into His abundance so that I may reach the destiny which Jesus Christ has called me to fulfill and wants me to discover. I don’t depend on my own strength to accomplish this; however I do have one compelling focus: I forget all of the past as I fasten my heart to the future instead.” – Philippians 3:12-13 TPT
as you close out 2016 and
step into the new beginning of 2017!
Onward and Forward with Hope!
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