On being Strong in 2013

Happy New Year, friends! I hope you all had a fantastic and meaningful Christmas. I took a little break from writing in December, and am truly happy to be back here to share my focus word for 2013. Have you heard about oneword365? I love this concept of choosing one word that describes who I want to be, and focusing on it for a whole year; my big-picture personality would much rather have a "focus" than a specific goal.

I chose a word in 2012, and needed it desperately -- Faith. Last year was probably the hardest one of my life, between learning to parent two active boys, dealing with chronic sinus infections, and struggling with stress. I was forced to lean on God each day because I felt like I had so little to give. Faith gave me eyes to see that the Lord was using my stress and pain to grow me and show His strength in my weakness. Faith led to taking some risks. In faith, I wrote about the hard things, trusting that God could use my story instead of worrying about what people would think of me. In faith, I applied to be an (in)courager for working moms, and was so blessed by the understanding and fellowship in our little group. Faith in God in the little things is changing me.

I struggled to find the right word for 2013. Freedom and passion came to my mind first, because I do want to cultivate those ideas in my life . But then I began to think and pray about what I really want for myself, what I'm really struggling with, and what I think God wants to grow in me. I thought of how weak I've felt, how beaten down my spirit has become, and decided to focus on being Strong in 2013.

"'My {God's} grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness.' Once I {Paul} heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become." - 2 Cor. 12, MSG

Strong makes me slightly uncomfortable. It feels prideful, and not very feminine. But I'm not talking about being strong on my own. Like Paul, I need God to be strong in my weakness, appreciating the gift of God's grace. This strength is not about bulldozing people or being strongwilled. This strength is about acting in faith when God pulls my heart -- not backing down, not being afraid, not giving up. 

For me, Strong is going to be both spiritual and physical. My body is worn down and needs to recover from childbirth, stress, and illness. I want to feel strong and confident in my body, to be a good steward of the health God has given me. And honestly -- I want my abs back. ;)

Do you have a focus for 2013?

{Many thanks to Melanie of Only a Breath for designing my Strong button! What a blessing she is! I'll be linking up at her blog regularly for accountability throughout the year.}

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