Welcome to a new year, folks! How have you been spending New Years Day? After almost rushing to the ER this morning with a rambunctious boy that seemed to have a possible broken arm, it’s been an otherwise usual Thursday. No time off around here. I’ve been begrudgingly taking down Christmas from around the house, while listening to more Christmas music. That’s ok, right??
Meanwhile my little ones have been doing this sort of stuff:
It was a late and exhausting night for my husband and I both last night and there was No. WAY. we were staying up till midnight voluntarily. I mean, when you have a newborn… WHO DOES THAT?! Who volunteers for less sleep? Not us.
We tucked the kids in bed at usual bedtime, made chocolate chip cookies, snuggled by the fire and watched “Life Below Zero,” our latest hulu addiction. I awoke startled to a ruckus at 12:03 am, realized it was fireworks, rolled over and said “Happy New Year, babe” to Brandon, and back to sleep I went. So that was that.
I fully intend to spend a chunk of time, when I have one (a girl can dream, right?) journaling about this past year and looking forward to what I sense God is up to in 2015. Some goal setting will happen then. I have already had quite a few goals rumbling around in my heart but I need to sift through and see what is reasonable to pursue this year, and what is just going to make me feel like a big fat failure.
For the past number of years I have asked God to give me a word for the year, a focus for He and I. Last year (2014.. last year? that feels weird to say already) was the “feast of grace” year. I feel like for the past year or two God has been taking me back to the very basics of our faith.. the Gospel. Grace. And as I’ve been trying to listen to the Lord in the busy work of this season, bustling around, asking Him for a word for this year, all I can think is: JESUS. I just want Jesus. I want to know Him better. I want to adore Him more. I want to see His glory every day. I want Him in the worst way. Desperate for Him.
Motherhood has a way of paring you down, paring life down to the essentials. The basics. The absolute necessities.
Motherhood has a way of making you desperate for Jesus. Maybe I’m the only one.
I don’t know if that’s my “word” yet, I’m still sitting on it and laying it before the Lord. But I can tell you that I will be placing myself deeply in the Word with renewed efforts this year. The first number of weeks with a newborn interrupt our routines in the best of ways, but my soul has been starving for deep and prolonged time in God’s Word. I’ve been carving time out for that this past week and already the soul-numbness and apathy that creeps in when I neglect time in God’s Word is being replaced with sweet hunger.
A friend wrote me today asking about some ideas/ways to stay in God’s Word right now, and it made me think. I want to share these simple ideas + tools with any one else out there like me who is hungry for more of Jesus in 2015.
1. Timothy Willard recently published a book called Longing for More (which I am actually reviewing on the blog sometime this week hopefully).
This would be a wonderful tool, with daily readings for the entire year, organized around the seasons and rhythms of daily life. More on this book to come in the next few days, but for now, I recommend it to you as a devotional-type read with scriptures, prayers and meditations.
2. I’ve recently begun following along with the lovely “She Reads Truth” community during the Advent season. They are starting a study of the Gospel of John as of today and you can follow along for free on their blog here or through their app!
If you’re looking for an online community of women who want to be in the Word and are looking for kinship and accountability in it, this is a great resource! I plan to follow along as I can. If you want to dig deeper into John, they also offer an optional/additional study pack here.
3. The best years are the years when I’m committed to a year of Scripture memory. Anyone else? It’s hard to commit at the outset of the year, but those are the years when I have drawn the closest to the Lord and seen the greatest fruit. I’m nervous, as usual, to commit this year with all that I’m juggling, but if I don’t have time to meditate on God’s Word, some other things are going to have to be eliminated.
I have journeyed with Beth Moore’s blog community (called “Siesta Scripture Memory Team”) every year since she began it (she usually offers it every other year). It is a very doable amount of memorization, two verses a month, on the 1st and 15th of the month. Beth posts the verse she is memorizing on the 1st and 15th of each month, and you go and post your own or borrow hers if you need inspiration. She shares a whole lot more about it on her blog, and the very first post is up today!
Of course, there are a lot of lovely bible studies available out there as well!
What are you doing to keep in the Word this 2015? I’d love to hear what you’re studying or what resources you may have to share! Let’s encourage one another in this great and beautiful pursuit of Jesus.