If you've been reading my blog for very long, then you know that each year for the last few years I've chosen a word that I want to be the theme for the coming year. I can't believe it's that time again! It seems like just yesterday I was writing about choosing the word "content." (You can read that post HERE.)
Boy, did the Lord teach me about being in content, regardless of circumstance, last year. If I am going to really be honest, I'd say I would have preferred not to learn that lesson. Or, at least to have learned it in some other way. An easier way. A faster way. A way with less tears, frustration, confusion, grief, and suffering. But, also being honest, without those things I don't think I would have learned the lesson at all.
As I look ahead to 2016 I am hesitant to even ask God what word I need to focus on for the year because I am not sure I can handle any more lessons and changes in my life. Yet, I still feel the pull to ask Him what my word is for 2016. As I have been praying and thinking about it, three words keep popping into my mind: brave, joy, present. I want all three of these things for my life. I want the bravery to follow Christ in all things at all times no matter the cost (and for this to be seen by my children and used to draw them to Christ.) I want the joy that only Christ can offer, regardless of the circumstance. I want to be more present at all times-with my husband, my children, my family, my friends. But, three words just seemed like too much. It was overwhelming to me. Then I read the book Just Show Up: The Dance of Walking Through Suffering Together. I loved this book and I now had a phrase that put my three words together: JUST SHOW UP.
So, my phrase for 2016 is JUST SHOW UP.
For my family: I want to spend more time laughing, playing, learning, read the Word, serving, serving alongside my husband and my children than I do checking Facebook and Instagram. This will require me setting aside my selfishness, my wants, my desires in order to spend more time with them. In order to love and serve them as Christ loves and serves me.
For my friends/church family: This is the part that take bravery for me. I was so convicted, yet also encouraged, by the part of the book that stated we can't do it all. We aren't all great cooks, fabulous letter writers, or natural encouragers. But, God has made all of us good at something. I'm not that great at making dinner, but I can pick up some one's favorite lunch, have their kids over for a play date, swing by the store and pick up what they need. I can do all of those things, yet I haven't been doing them. These are simple actions that take little time and cost me very little. There's no reason I can't show up and do them.
For me: I know this sounds selfish, and it was hard to type because it felt selfish, but this one is much needed in order for the other two to be accomplished. I want to be intentional about showing up every day for time in prayer and the Word. Not just a few thoughtless minutes here and there, but for true, deep time in each of those. At the beginning of the day. Before the worries and schedule and to do list take over my day. This allows me to focus on Him at the start of it all, hand it all over to Him, and go about my day with peace and trust in God alone.
Lord, lead and guide me as I head into 2016. Give me the courage and strength to see You first in all things. Lord, help me to JUST SHOW UP, for You, for others, for this amazing life You've given me.