Wednesday, January 1, 2014
A time for resolutions, promises and commitments.
All of which, usually, get broken.
But it doesn't HAVE to be that way. Does it?
Today I started a new devotional, a new prayer journal and a new Bible reading plan.
The devotional is Whispers of Hope by Beth Moore. A 10 week devotional on prayer.
In the intro to the book, Beth gives a 5 point formula for prayer - P.R.A.I.S.E. (Praise, Repentance, Acknowledgment, Intercession, Supplication (for self), Equipping). Let me tell you ... I adore it. I REALLY feel like, in my FOCUSED prayer time (which, sadly, has been seriously lackluster as of late), this will be of great benefit to me. So, in a fresh new prayer journal, with a fresh new set of pens, I began using this formula on this, the first day of the fresh new year.
In my prayer time this morning, when I was working on the Supplication for Self and again on the Equipping parts, I felt God whispering to me to "Begin Again". And, in my prayers for the last week or so, in praying and seeking a One Word for 2014, the words I kept hearing were "Beginning" and "Sacrifice". I felt led to choose Sacrifice for my One Word and Romans 12:1 - "Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God" - this is your true and proper worship - for my verse of the year. But I still kept hearing "Begin Again".
As I started my new Bible plan, I did not feel ease in it and still heard "Begin Again". So, I put everything aside and just sat and listened, because I felt like I needed to hear His Voice. As I listened, I realized that there is so much in my life that I gave up on last year. Things that I had gotten further in than ever before, but still gave up on anyway.
I began a physical fitness plan and saw more success with it than anything I have every tried before. I FELT good, I had lost weight, and I felt stronger than I had in years. I was succeeding ... and then, suddenly, I wasn't. I had just sort of stopped.
I began a Read Through The Bible plan and got further than I ever have before. I made it past the laws and sacrifices and all the stuff I get "bored" with so easily. I made it all the way into September before I kids sort of stopped.
I began an organization plan for the house and for my chores and jobs and keeping house in a sane way ... ya know, instead of stuffing everything into a corner when someone is coming over. I had the kitchen clean and organized, as well as the closets and dresser drawers and toy boxes. And then, you guessed it, I just sort of stopped.
So, I as I listened to His voice, it suddenly became very clear what He was saying to me. Begin ... again. All the things you gave up on. Begin again. Don't make NEW promises ... follow through on the old ones. Don't find NEW things to try. Finish the old ones. And, don't just pick up where you started off, begin again.
Back to square one.
So, for starters, I threw out the new Bible plan and dug out the old one. To begin again.
I walked into my closet ... well, in as far as I could. And I started pulling everything out. To begin again.
And I pulled out all the written on pages of my Physical fitness notebook. To begin again.
It's a brand new year and a brand new journey. Sure, some of the steps will be familiar. After all, I have taken many steps on this journey before. But this is a new beginning. And, this time, I will offer every single step as a sacrifice to the One who leads the way.
This is, after all, my true and proper worship