Saturday, January 25, 2014

A New Year

I've finally been able to embrace something about myself. I'm more of a small picture person. What's happening today and this week? Beyond that, it's hard for my brain to plan too far ahead. I need to be here, now, doing the now, or I get overwhelmed, frustrated, and even anxious and fearful. Those who know me well know that I often work best under pressure. In the moment, I'll figure it out, create, and make something beautiful (hopefully) in the process. Does that mean I always fly by the seat of my britches? No. I do plan. But what it does mean is that I love to embrace the moments I am in, whether that is cooking, cutting hair, or forgoing my exercise to stop at a friends house for a cup of coffee. But on the downside, it means I don't always remember to dream and look up from the present moment.

This is the beauty of a new year. It is a fresh breath of air into my body, my being, that is God ordained. He knew I needed a new year every 365 days in order to regroup and refocus.

At the beginning of each year, I ask God what His word is for me this year. Sometimes it's a scary request. Especially the year I heard the word "Surrender". After I made it through that year, my Dad prayed over us and prayed we'd learn "more surrender". He had no idea I had just spent the last year learning the difficult task of opening my hands. I about had a melt down. Really? More surrender? But to my surprise more surrender wasn't excruciating. It was beautiful. It even meant baby #5. Our Malakai -'God's Messenger". 

With that said, I was looking forward to another new beginning after the last 6 months stateside. This season has been so life-giving for us.  Health and life have filled our beings, and we are very encouraged.  I do not feel the bone-weary sensations that come from ministry wounds or pressure that I had grown accustom to feeling, or the frustrations that come with culture and community.  I have new breath in my chest, and new joy in my heart.

So, I asked again. And this little word is mine for 2014. 

 As I've dug around a bit into the meaning of shalom, my heart grows excited about this year.  Here's a simple definition: Shalom (שָׁלוֹם) is a Hebrew word meaning peacecompletenessprosperity, and welfare and can be used idiomatically to mean both hello and goodbye.  

I love how Strong's Concordance brings in 'absence of discord' into the definition. Boy, this missionary mama could use that this year!  The presence of peace and completeness are longings of my heart, but they are only satisfied by His shalom. Jesus is shalom, and only He, through His Spirit, can grant it to a person.

The year is before me, so I choose to lift my eyes up off of the present and gaze at the cross. The place of perfect peace.