The last Sunday of 2012 our Pastor gave an amazing sermon on the importance of taking inventory. He talked about how the end of the year sales provided stores with an opportunity to take inventory of their stock and reassess their business goals and merchandise for the coming year, and said that as Christians we should assess our year, ask our selves if we met certain criteria and regroup, refocus for the coming year. He used Colossians chapter 3 as a tool for taking said inventory and then pounded us with some difficult questions.
Was your heart set on things above or earthly treasures?
Are you reading your Bible and praying daily?
Did you see spiritual growth this year?
Did you lead anybody to Christ?
Did you even share your faith or witness to anyone?
Can your children see your faith alive in your life?
Did they see you reading, praying, leaning on the Lord this last year?
Are you clothed with kindness, compassion, gentleness and patience?
Does the peace of Christ rule in your heart?
And finally, can you honestly say that whatever you do, whether in word or deed, you do it all in the name of the Lord with a heart and attitude of praise?
Some of these questions hit my husband and I at the core. We started out 2012 with a lot of goals/resolutions, big grand ideas of things we would do to draw our family closer to the Lord etc etc etc, but as each day came to a close, like waves of the tide beating a sandy shore, our resolve faded and time slipped away from us like sand into the ocean. Overall, the year was a wash.
In 2011 Owen knew memory verse after memory verse, in 2012 not only did we fail in teaching him any more, we failed in helping him recall the ones he already knew (let alone starting to work with Micah). I had intended to blog regularly, but had excuse after excuse not to. I'd vowed not to watch tv on weeknights in order to bring glory to God and focus more on my writing and within 10 days I failed. Were we effective in sharing our faith or bringing others to the Lord? There are people we've been praying for, but is that all we are called to do? Can we honestly say there weren't any missed opportunities? I think not.
There were moments and seasons in 2012 where we both saw growth, or were walking effectively, but overall 2012 was not our best year. And yet, despite our lazy sluggard ways, despite our failures or indifference, the Lord chose to keep us in a season of blessings. Showering gift after gift down on us. What a loving God we serve.
I know you might be reading this, thinking it sounds like a new years post, and wondering why I'm only now, two weeks too late, writing a new years post. This is why, because I wanted to make sure that the changes we were making would stick, that our year would in fact be more purposeful, and committed to Christ, and that when I shared these things with you, I wouldn't be premature in saying them.
"But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or any other oath, but let your "yes" be yes and your "no" be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation." James 5:12
I believe, that I failed that verse last year with my new years post and promises I made to the Lord and myself. This year, Brian and I have decided we needed to make small changes with the big impact and we have already seen much growth, and peace through these changes. The boys are on their third memory verse (which means mom and dad are also on their third memory verse), even Micah is grasping them, if not memorizing them word for word he is paraphrasing appropriately for his age.
Will each of the routines we have started stay exactly the same throughout all of 2013? I cannot and will not say, but it is my hope that they will, or at they will at least adapt accordingly as the needs of our family change. Our focus, is on the idea of being rooted in Christ, on verses we found in Colossians on New Years Day when we went back to read the whole book together and make a commitment together to be better this year, for each other, for our children, but most importantly for our Lord.
"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness" Collossians 2:6-7
That's it, our goal for 2013, to make small changes which will help us to dig deeper, being rooted and built up, strengthened in our faith and overflowing with thankfulness. It comes with a purpose to read and pray together regularly, help our kids with memorization and application of the Bible, and utilize the talents he has given to us in every capacity we can.
Which brings us to this place. My blog. My home as a writer. I'm excited to be back at blogging, to start building these amazing virtual relationships again and to really commit to exploring my writing. For the first time, I've solidified a writing schedule which I intend to stick to, emphasizing the three areas in my life that I consider (or want to be) my driving forces. My faith, my family, and writing.
Monday you can come here expecting to find a post On Faith, it might be spiritual reflections, life assessments, like I wrote about today, Bible verses that are impacting me, or a devotional.
Wednesday will be On Life, simple but enjoyable life updates, it may be a piece of parenting or marriage advice that has inspired me, or an update on my progressing belly growth and baby.
Friday I will focus On Writing, it will be about anything writing related, the act of writing or reading written works. This will be a space to explore myself as a writer/creator but also a reader/reviewer.
My amazing husband helped me create a blog header which brings me a great amount of joy and helps me to feel more professional, at peace, and like I've finally found an identity, in this space, as a writer. I'm excited to embrace these emotions and move forward with vigor.