I am sitting here on the eve of my 37th birthday, reading Love Lives Here, listening to my Spotify playlist with 28 of my favorite worship songs, reflecting on the last  year, and dreaming about the next.

I can currently hear Dubs in the backyard talking in the only volume that he knows how and Molly in her in crib alternating from talking gibberish to pounding her bottle on the wall. Between Spotify and 2/3 of the kids, I thought that it would make a good soundtrack for a post 🙂

I’m feeling somber. I’m feeling blessed. I’m feeling excited. I’m feeling reflective.

September 23, 2016 changed my life forever. You can read about it here. So,  just under 6 months ago I encountered God in a way that has altered the course of my life. Because of that encounter, there is excitement for the next year. Don’t get me wrong, I am NOT excited about the whole turning another year older aspect, especially since it now puts me in the “late 30’s” category. With my slow metabolism, unwanted grey hairs, and weird placed wrinkles I have never felt more alive.

In this next year, I want to love like I’ve never loved before. I want to be more gentle and kind with with my words to those around me. I want to be more present in the lives of Jason and the kids. I want to focus more on their eyes and less on my phone screen. I want to value the cuddles, laughs, and play time more than the completed “to do” list.  I want to be more aware of the needs around me with an open wallet,  ready ear, hand, smile, or hug. I want to be a contributing tribe member.  The circle of women that the Lord has given me are gifts that I don’t want to ever take for granted.  I don’t want them to ever feel alone or neglected. I want to be ready to babysit for them, bring them a coffee or a meal, pray over them, speak truth over them, encourage them, and point them to Jesus.

For the year 2017,  Jesus gave me the word “joy”. This is my quarterly check in and I can honestly say that I have seen time and time again in the last 3 months, the power choosing joy in any and every circumstance. It isn’t easy. It can sometimes be the hardest response on the planet. But EVERY single time, WORTH IT!  Perspective shifts, awareness of God’s presence is enlightened, gratitude spills out, and most importantly, God is glorified. So, I will continue the year wholeheartedly choosing joy!

I think time of reflections and dreaming are important . It shouldn’t just be on January 1st of the new year or our birthdays. It needs to be ongoing. It needs to be on the forefront of our minds. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to become stagnant. I want to be a world changer and history maker for God!  In my mind, making an impact for Jesus while I am here on earth is such an exciting and life-giving purpose!

I believe the only way to do this is by being intentional. Choosing to guard my eyes, heart, and mind. Picking up the Bible and asking God for passion for His word. Making it a priority to actively invest in my church. Being in a small group. Surrounding myself with people of the like mind. Refusing to settle and always looking for ways to jump out of the boat towards Jesus, no matter the cost.

It’s not always comfortable. It’s not always easy. Sometimes it’s stupid scary. But I know that it is preparation for what is to come. It is being ready for when God asks me to do something freakishly scary and saying “yes!”without hesitation.

What does it look like to you? Is it, staying in and fighting for a marriage that feels loveless. Having integrity at your job. Standing up for what is right when you are surrounded by the loud disapproving voices of your peers. Choosing to be your child’s parent instead of their friend.  Getting out of a relationship that is toxic, be it plutonic or romantic.  Let’s put down the bottles, burgers, and/or  Benjamins and pick up the only lasting and fulfilling option: Jesus!

He will always be enough. He is faithful to always be your hope, strength, and peace.


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