Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Four Things in 2014

This year, as I have been praying and meditating upon the coming year, I have come up with  four things.

1. My Word of the Year.  I saw this idea here on Cari Donaldson's blog AFTER it had already been pressed upon my heart. Since, I have seen this over a dozen times on other blogs--and I don't recall ever seeing it before. That is called "confirmation" in my book. My word for the year is:


This is me, loving on my  husband.

Last year my word, unofficially, was "forgiveness." Where I discovered I was not always good at it, and that bothered me, because also last year, I had a desire to be like Christ in this area, who forgives all who believe, who don't even deserve it and did nothing to earn it. And when looking back over the year and pondering at my forgiveness "fail," I realized the missing ingredient was "love."  It is "love" that keeps no record of wrongs. Not my determination or resolution.

So this year, focusing on filling  in the holes--love is my focus. My meditation. My prayer.  My goal is to show love every day in as many ways as possible to those God has placed in my life.  My husband--including a goal to tell him every day that I love him (yes, a no-brainer for many of you, I'm sure, but not for me). My children, including the love of a listening ear and compassionate heart, patience, and loving affirmation. I want my words of love to surpass my words of correction or frustration by a 10 to 1 ratio. My family, my neighbors, my friends. Whomever God puts into my life, I want them to feel loved.

I really want to show some more love to this girl... who will be 15 soon! This is one of my favorite pictures of her, taken when she was 11.  I find it easy to love and smooch  and  cuddle on the  little ones, but more of a challenge figuring out  how to pour love upon my teen daughter. LOVE.
I plan to teach my children love.  This year I will be praying and planning with them about how to live a loving life of charitable works, focusing on finding ways to give of our time, our service, our things. Perhaps culminating in giving away to those in need things we have made or bought with our own earned money--perhaps culminating with an official celebration to honor Saint Nicholas next December. I will be praying and letting  God lead. My older two children (19 and almost 15) are good, wise, loving children. But there is still that selfish grain down deep that I failed to weed out when young--because I spoiled them and fostered pride. I did not focus enough on the greatest of these: Love.

I love how the  photographer caught this moment of my kids all loving on  each other. Back when there were just five of them. See that babe? He's four now, and has a 2yo baby brother, and a new sister due in April! But this picture represents the  LOVE I want my  children to show for each  other  and to others.

The first and greatest commandment. Greater than faith and hope.

LOVE is the word for me to live by, and the theme for my year. The theme in my schoolroom every day.  This is the year of Love.

God is Love, by the way.

2.  FAITH. I see this as a year of faith for me, because God is really answering prayers and leading  me in this direction.  I am working on building my faith this year. Increasing in prayer and devotion. Increasing in a fervent seeking of His face. He is leading  me, and I long to "go."  I plan to "study to show myself approved," and give myself over even more, heart and soul, to My Shepherd.  My prayer is for a full and big measure of faith, finding faith, founding faith, living faith, saving faith. A life characterized by fullness of faith.

3.  REST. Rest in the Lord. This is a small goal I hope to accomplish:  When I welcome our new daughter into the world in late April, I hope my heart is prepared to rest in the Lord.  Part of me wants to be afraid--this 44-year-old tired body of mine, that just barely came through a year of nearly terminal and debilitating illness--how will I ever live through another newborn--my seventh child, and my fifth baby in nine years, to the date (and, if you caught it, that means my fifth baby past the age of 35)?  I am mentally preparing to stop, enter into each moment, enter into His rest, and accept with both arms, literally, what He has given me--which will never be more than I can carry.  I visualize a season of not fretting over lack of sleep, but enjoying the hours of cuddling and sweetness, remembering that often my stress comes from the pressures I put on myself.  I CAN do this--through Christ. I have received lots of encouragement in this area from Sarah's blog, Amongst Lovely Things, where, I just discovered, as I clicked over to link you to her great posts on "Rest," that she has chosen "Rest" as her word of the year!  

Photo: What a perfect day!  Xoxo 
This photo was a turning point last year... taken in August, one month after I was fully walking and finally driving again after recovering from over a year of difficult illness, I met  with my cousin and her boys at the park for a fun-filled day of play, rejoicing in the health   to do so, and also to tell her the news that I had just discovered I was pregnant!

4.  Yoda Speak.  Teach grammar, I will, by having the boys sometimes like Yoda talk.  "Penmanship, you will start." "Shoes, you must put away."  "Kind, you will be."  Re-order his grammar sentences, my 4th grader can, after parts of speech identifying. Paragraphs, he can rewrite, to Yoda, sound like.

Can't be serious all the time--not with my crew.

What's up for your New Year? What is God pressing on your heart? Where is He leading? I'd love to hear, so leave me your link!

Blessings on your New Year.


  1. Oh u just love that picture if you with your honey!

    Love. Sigh. Yes, such a good word. It IS hard to love well on our kids as they get older, isn't it? I'm struggling with that here.

    I will keep praying that baby all the way into your arms! This year had so much on store for you!