Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A Double Focus for the New Year

A new year seems like a blank slate. Unmarked, unwritten, and wrapped like a gift to open as the old year rings out. One more year of life that will pass much faster than seems possible. I know December will be here before I turn around and I want to do something with this year. Offer this gift back to God with each day. 

photo courtesy of idea go/

I've been considering my focus for the new year for several weeks now. What is worth my energy? Who would God have me be? In 2013 I read a lot by Marlene Evans.  She talks consistently about her burden for there to be "different Christian women." Even different from regular Christian ladies. Because how many of us really apply ourselves to be like Jesus? Not being "odd" or "weird,"- although others might think that- but being different in our dress, our speech, our attitude. I think I've settled on two subjects that will help me strive toward being a different Christian lady.  I want to be that lady that is "in the sight of God of great price."

1. A woman of the Word. 
I must be growing with Jesus. It is the catalyst for transformation in my life.  If I want to grow as a wife, as a mother, as anything, I must grow as a Christian.

-I've followed a reading program for years. But in November I changed how I do my reading. I've always read a certain number of chapters a day but now I'm reading for a certain amount of time a day. I can stop on one verse or thought and explore it and pray for a while and then go on instead of hurrying through to get my chapters done. It's been a great change for me.  

-I've also been trying to dig into the Gospels. I've read them all multiple multiple times but I don't know any one of them well. So I've started with Mark and I'm reading and rereading and taking notes and marking things and outlining. 

-Also I'm reading through the Bible chronologically for the first time. I'm over a hundred days into it and it's very interesting. 

2. A woman of my work. 
So many people do their best to avoid work. Or do the least to get by. Or do it halfheartedly. Or do it grumbling.  Instead I want to grab hold of the work God has given me and do it willingly, sacrificially, enthusiastically, purposefully. I want to do my work as a wife, mom, homemaker, soulwinner, church worker, pianist, and everything else I do with all the energy I have. Maybe nobody sees it. Maybe nobody notices. But God does. And I want to pursue excellence in this life He has given me. 
Excellence is doing a common thing in an uncommon way. Booker T. Washington
There are many people raising babies and taking care of their home. There are many people loving a man and playing the piano. But if I do it God's way it will be an uncommon way. Our marriage raises eyebrows. So does the way we raise our kids. And that's ok. It's a common thing and people expect it to be common. But it doesn't have to be. 

I know I've talked about these issues before. But the more I study and read the more I see that this might be the sole focus of my entire life. 

So this year won't you join me? Won't you join me in focusing on God's Word? Spending time in it. Learning Jesus. And then be about the work God has given you. 

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