January 1 has come and gone. The hype of the New Year’s Eve celebrations are now lost in the catching up on sleep and scrambling around to organize everything before beginning school again tomorrow. So much has happened in just the last few days of 2011 and the beginning of 2012 – God is good and gracious, loving and kind! He has brought me low once again and shown me my need for humility and more grace.
My 3 kids and hubby have been sick the whole Christmas break. I had grand plans and schemes for purging, cleaning, organizing, scheduling, writing and a couple family trips here and there. All dashed to the ground as Christmas Day hit and The Boy was sick – then it was all downhill from there (in my mind). When Wednesday came around and my husband was sick too, I was so angry and frustrated, I am ashamed now to think of it. And it only got worse. I had plans and things I needed to do! I had diligently set aside this time (for once!) to plan out our school year, work on some blog posts I have due, and in general, try to get our home in order for the new year. And everyone was messing with it!
My anger at my husband I KNEW was really anger at God – he controls everything, he could have prevented everyone from getting sick. But he didn’t. And I knew I was on thin ice if I continued on the path I was headed. Finally, after struggling for days with a bad attitude, anger at my husband (God) for being sick, grumbling and complaining, I finally started to listen to the still, small voice.
Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will act.
He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
and your justice as the noonday.
In all my grand plans and schemes of what I had “diligently” planned to do, I had forgotten the one main, most important thing – to commit my plans to the Lord. I hadn’t asked for his provision of the time, his blessing of the time, or even what his plan for me this week would have been. Instead, I had charged full steam ahead and been completely derailed.
Thankfully, God is a gracious and loving God, always forgiving and growing us in righteousness. It took me a couple of days even from this point to come to confess and to ask my husband his forgiveness. I am grateful for how the Lord has been using his word and his truth in my life to wake me up to my problems, my weaknesses, and my absolute NEED to put EVERYTHING before him.
For 2012, I am not making resolutions. I would like to have some goals, but I need to pray about them first. I had my “one word” all picked out for 2012, but I hadn’t really approached this in prayer. There is a great new community of women that has been started up on a new blog called Must Love God. This morning’s posts is about the One Word Revolution. Finding that one word to focus your year on – but it means nothing if you haven’t brought it before God in prayer. So instead of posting what I had thought my one word was going to be, I am going back to the drawing board. I have seen some friends picking “one words” for themselves, their kids their spouse – and I think that God may have a bigger picture for me here than I thought.
God has allowed me to be in a place of influence with this blog, and I am still in awe and wonder, and want to do it right for him. He has given me opportunities to write not only here, but also with a lot of other women with whom I am greatly blessed to be working. He has given me this family to care for and surrounded me with people who are hurting and in need. And I actually want to help, where before my heart would be hardened.
I would challenge you to be still and listen to that still small voice of the Lord – when things get too busy, when your attitude gets snotty, when discouragement and frustration sets in as everything you had planned seems to fall apart – stop, look and listen. God will remove his blessings from us to get our attention. If we feel overwhelmed and discouraged, we realize that we have lost our focus on him. When we feel far away from him and lost, it is his discipline and love that brings us back to a right place. David wrote about this many times, not the least of which is in Psalm 80:3 – “Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved!”.
Start the new year off right with not a list of resolutions, but one resolve – to seek God before you do anything or plan anything, and to listen to his voice.
Welcome to a new year!