2011: The Year of Faith

"Keep your eyes open, hold tight to your convictions, give it all you've got, be resolute, and love without stopping." 1 Cor. 16:13-14 (MSG)

2010 was a year of renewal. It was a time of returning to God after losing myself in motherhood (don't all moms do that for a time?). It was full of conviction, a desire for intentionality, a longing for a life lived well. 2010 made me the mother of a 2-year-old, with so much laughter, so many smiles shared between the hubs and I, and so many frustrating "I don't know how to do this" moments too.

It was a year of getting to know my son as he began to string words and sentences together. Yes, it was a year of words. I fell in love again with words, with The Word who was made flesh. Words are powerful and strong and important, because The Word is. So I tried to talk less, listen more, and use my words well. I wrote... oh did I write... emails, articles, FAQs, status updates, tweets, texts, prayers, lists, plans, poems, and blog posts. Lord, let the words of truth and beauty stand.

And so (because words have power) I've decided to give 2011 a name: The Year of Faith. I've been living with a lot of fears... of inadequacy, imperfection, failure, rejection (oh, the list goes on)... and I'm realizing that it's when I step through those fears and have Faith - it's then that I truly live and truly love. And for me, Faith isn't some soft cusion to fall back on; it's a rock-solid, death-defying, mountain-moving reliance on my Maker.

One summer at Bible camp, my two best friends and I bunked with a girl who was mentally challenged (what's the right word for that these days anyway?). I started the week with a resistance toward her (fear of what I didn't understand); I ended the week wiping vomit off her sweater after she got carsick. Truly loving means moving through fear, stepping out in faith, forgetting about my desires, and letting God take over.

So my prayer for this year isn't for health, success, or wealth... it's that I would recognize those moments of fear and step through them to rely upon my Savior. Oh, that I would lose myself in Him so that He can shine through me!

"God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we're free of worry on Judgment Day—our standing in the world is identical with Christ's. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love." 1 John 4:17-18 (MSG)

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