Draw Near

Happy (belated) New Year, blog family! – I have been wrapped up in launching the new blog, working out the wrinkles in said new blog, taking down my Christmas decorations and organizing the house, so I am a little late to the party, but here you go! My Happy New Year post! 😊

First off, I think that resolutions are great. I LOVE New Year’s – I love the idea of a date on the calendar for a collective fresh start. I love examining the changes I need to make in my life, and refreshing my resolves to be healthier, happier and better in all areas of my life. For the past few years because of health issues, I have maintained most of my healthy habits, but I like to renew and freshen things up at the new year and remember why I do the things I do, and recommit myself to the path to success and good health.

I hope you took the time to make some resolutions, or to refresh your perspective on yourself, your life and your space as well — I think that taking down the holiday decorations, cleaning, and spending some time decluttering and organizing are great ways to start your 2019. Spending dedicated time thinking of the goals that you have for the year is also awesome, and if you’re married or in a relationship, discussing those together is a crucial step  – you can’t work towards what you don’t dream about or commit to, and being unified in that dream or goal is powerful!

BUT. (did you sense that a “but” was coming?)

THE MOST important thing that you can do for your 2019 is to get closer to God. You can make goals until you’re blue in the face, and try as hard as you can to meet them, but if you don’t get close to God, and invite Him into those areas of your life and give Him control, all of it is for nothing, and you can’t expect to be blessed or for those areas to prosper without God in them. In and of yourself you don’t have the power to make lasting character change no matter what self-help books tell you. You can establish healthy habits, but only Jesus can change a heart, which leads to a changed life. We can’t expect God to bless us or to help us in our difficulties or our messes when we never invited Him into those areas to begin with, or asked for His help and guidance as we committed to doing it His way.

Can I give you a little piece of my story? Rewind a few years back, and I was in a life rut. Going through the motions. No passion, no service, no “big” purpose. Life was kind of just gray. I went to work, I watched TV at night, I made dinner, did the dishes, went to bed and did it all again the next day. I read my daily devotional because I was supposed to, and said dutiful prayers at night, but I didn’t really talk to God about much and definitely didn’t feel like I needed Him in my life in an active way because I was “doing everything right” and had it handled. But as time went on and we went through lots of issues in our life, including losing two babies who we dearly hoped for, I drew near to God in a way that I had never done before. It was during this time that God stretched me, stretched our marriage, drew us close to Him, stripped away all of the things we were holding onto until we held onto Him as our only hope, our provider, our light, and our good Father. It was during this time, as I started to be more diligent about seeking God, that I started to get a whisper in my soul that I was made for more….that I could be doing more…that there was something bigger JUST beyond the horizon for me. I didn’t have the faintest idea what it was, I didn’t have a plan or an idea, just a nudging in my soul that I was on the edge of the next part of my purpose. Now, that feeling continued for years as I kept seeking God, spending time with Him, and getting to know who He is in my life. And then when God said it was time, He gave me a beautiful baby girl to love, raise and take care of. When God said it was time, He gave me this blog to share stories, recipes and encouragement from my life. When God said it was time, He gave me a group of women to join together with for my first Bible study.  None of these things came about because I willed them to happen, because I worked really hard for them, or because I set them as goals in my life. God brought them all to pass in His time, and through His ways.

And you guessed it – life isn’t gray anymore! Life is full to bursting with color, with purpose, and with a supreme thankfulness that God is in every corner of my life, bringing it all together in His timing, for His purposes. We now talk on the regular, and I ask Him to take every bit of my life, from the budget to my workouts, and do great things there and bring glory to His name. I know that it has nothing to do with me anymore, it is all through the power of God!

So, as you refresh and renew this January — start here. Refresh your view of God. Renew the spirit of thanksgiving within your soul. Renew your vision as you watch for God to work. Refresh your hearing and wait for the whisper that comes to tell you what the next part of your purpose is. Declutter yourself a nice little space in your home where you can sit, undistracted, and spend time with God – praying, reading, listening to sermons, writing, talking to Him. This will NEVER be time wasted. You will NEVER look back on those moments and find that they harmed your life. Spend time with God and see what He has to say about your 2019 – ask Him what you should be doing, then get to work! He will do great things in your life!

Commit your way to the Lord;
    trust in him and he will do this:
 He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn
.
Psalm 37:5-6

For the pagans strive after all these things, and your Heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.
Matthew 6:32-33

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
6in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight
.
Proverbs 3:5-6

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