The house is so quiet.
Just like it is every January 1.
No TV. Nothing but the hum of the refrigerator.
Phone is off.
Feet are up.
And I’m taking a break from some reading to share a little with you that (I pray) just might be some encouragement for you.
It has to do with one word. A word that I have been hearing over and over again. And then the other morning, as Rip came into the kitchen for breakfast, he literally used this one word in saying, “When you get your book written, I know what the title needs to be.”
And he said it!
There it was again…that one word! That same word that has been engraving into my heart over and over and over again.
(Hold on…we’ll get there, I’ll tell you the one word, but first I need to share something else.)
Traditionally, this is the one day of the year – (actually one of my most favorite days of the year!), when I intentionally silence my world …. and be alone with Jesus. I do not leave the house. Well, I did for about an hour early this morning to get a workout in at the gym, but other than that, I’ve stayed right here alone with my heavenly Father. He and I have been spending the entire 1st of January together for years now and it’s such an intimate time to pray without being rushed, or feeling any need to make it short. I write the names of family and friends in a new prayer journal and just pray – listen mostly – to how He leads me to pray for them all by name. Writing a verse or two out beside their name. In the past, this time of prayer even jogged a memory that caused me to grab pen and paper and write a letter or two. But this special day is also a day to prayerfully plan … to “think in” the new year.
To give focused thought that is undistracted and literally lasers into the callings He has on my life. To be a wife. Mother. Servant. To the ministry, the businesses, the needs, and the mission He has right in front of me day after day. To literally begin into this new year with a new day-timer, calendar and plenty of planning sheets, so I can put a new, a brand new, order to my days and weeks. January 1st is a day to still my spirit and be alone with Him all day listening…organizing thoughts…and bringing His directions and order to key areas of my life.
January 1 is a day of solitude, solace and shalom time with my Lord – a day for us that He has always honored in so many ways.
But there is another reason why today my heart is brewing over! I’m so thankful! Speechless really, because I can’t find in the English language a word that truly embodies what I am feeling as He has me looking ahead into the new year!
You see, there is this lady who is a direct answer to prayer! I’d been praying about who to come alongside and disciple, mentor, literally walk through and do life with … biblically. To form such an intimate relationship with through studying and applying the principles and promises of God’s Word along our paths of life, together. To memorize His Word together. To learn more about Him and His will for our lives together. To inspire each other to be the woman God wants us to be.
Who could I link arms and hearts with as we (both) seek to simply – beautify – and organize our days and truly enjoy them God’s way, on God’s terms, while basking in the warm glow of His smile on our life?
Well, it was while in Kroger that His answer came. He told me who she was. He told what to buy her. And He told me how to share this desire with her. And to buy this book for her and one for myself, because I knew this much about her … she longs to be a godly Proverbs 31 woman!
She and I are now working through this 90-day journey together — it all got started today while seeking His heart for many other directions in my life.
So, as I sit here today loading up my day-timer, planning out the routines of my days and weeks, giving so much thought to so many “branches” of my life, the one most comforting truth that I am literally experiencing in the hush of this stilled house is this:
The promise God made in John 15:1-8:
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vineyard keeper. 2 Every branch in Me that does not produce fruit He removes, and He prunes every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in Me, and I in you. Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in Me.
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without Me. 6 If anyone does not remain in Me, he is thrown aside like a branch and he withers. They gather them, throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you. 8 My Father is glorified by this: that you produce much fruit and prove to be My disciples.”
The new is here! The new year … the new you … the new way of thinking … the new way to approach circumstances, situations, and yes, people. The new is here! The new ‘much fruit‘ you!! The new ‘glorifying the Father‘ you … the new way of caring for your body, your mind, your soul. The new way to begin into your day, the new directions in work, career, ministry and callings. The new perspectives and motivations. The new way of speaking, and the new way of being silent. The new is here!
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17
Read those last 4 words again.
The new is here!
THE new is here! The NEW is here! The new IS here! The new is HERE!
Put the emphasis on the word or words that will cause this truth to leap into your soul and permeate your entire sense of hope and rejuvenate your desires for “the new” life He has for you! And then … believe it. Receive it.
The new is here!
So, so far, here are a few of my own “the new is here” decisions I’ve made for 2018:
- Spend far less time on social medias – As I look ahead into 2018, I see more moments that are to be treasured and fully soaked & saturated in by ALL of me; and so many less moments being captured by my phone camera simply to posted on social medias. I’ve determined that it is His will for me to spend more time OFF social media technology and more time ON the mission He has for my life!
- His Word is to be the stronghold of my thoughts. A stronghold is simply something that has a “strong hold” on our minds or emotions. It is a way of thinking or a pattern of feeling that has such a hold on our minds and emotions that our actions and behaviors show just how strong the holds are! Tony Evans said,
If you are not experiencing the abundant life Christ freely gives, now is the time to overcome your emotional strongholds. Turn to Him and ask Him to reveal the areas where an emotional stronghold may have set in. He wants to show you how to see past your sorrow—how to view your life from His vantage point. – Tony Evans
There is no doubt in my heart that it is the will of my Father to have my thoughts and emotions arrested by the truth of His Word. By the promises He has made.
- Take deliberate and consistent efforts in taking care of this body – His temple. Through proper fitness workouts, eating habits, fasting, Scripture memory, and plenty of rest. Starke Fitness is in Gluckstadt, MS. JOIN ME!
- To read, mediate on and obey His Scripture brings immeasurable health to my body! Organizing my time, my days, all in His ways of order, while being open to His spontaneity! To express thanks and gratitude regularly is one sure discipline of a child of God (bringing health to our whole selves His way).
- Pray feverishly! Fervently! And with the Sword of the Spirit in my mouth. To use the Word of God in prayer. And to pray out loud. To pray believing His Spirit is leading me. To boldly approach His throne of grace. To pray and obey.
- To believe my Lord! And I do mean … believe Him over the opinions, the remarks, the rejections, the beliefs and the attitudes of others. To believe Him first and foremost with every faith-fiber of my being. To silence my critics through prayer. To love my enemies and do good to them who hurt me. To pray for those who mistreat me and to rejoice in His Word that gives freedom!! To not think a single promise of His no longer applies to me because of my sin, my shame, my regrets, my past, my heartaches, my shortcomings, my weaknesses, or my old stubborn ways! To believe that when I go to my Father in prayer, asking Him, “Does this promise still apply to me? Can I still trust in this verse to be true in my life? Do You still want me in Your service? Do You still….Can I still….is it still….???” To believe Him every. single. time. when He interrupts my questioning and doubting with one word! Just one word.
Yes, we are now back to that one word! That one powerful word that my Father has been saying to me over and over again as I’ve fallen before Him in prayer. As I’ve cried out to Him and have asked some of the most (obviously) absurd questions to Him. He always says this same word straight to my heart in such an immediate reply —
“Absolutely, My child. Absolutely! Every Word. Every promise. Every inspired verse from My heart is for yours.”
Is that not the most reassuring and comforting word? It feels at times as though it literally has arms. That one word gives a holy hug to my faith and hope like no other word these days!
It means this:
My next Interior Inspirations YouTube series is on this one word — Absolutely! and how it can have the most profound, the most powerful, and the most personal impact on our life has women.
Absolutely in Love with Him,