I first read about the idea of naming a new year at a blog I’ve followed for a few years now.
Last year my words for the year were BOLD and CONFIDENT. And it was quite a year living in this new state of boldness and confidence. People really noticed – this new side of Anna – more sure of herself.
In 2011 I asked God for a clear vision of what He wanted from my life, what He wanted to fill the spaces that were left when my sons spent their days in school. He reminded me that first comes Him, He longs for time with me, spending all these days He’s given me with Him, sharing everything – the tiny details, the big dreams and everything in between. After that must always come husband and sons. They are enough. If all I ever did was provide a warm and welcoming home for these men of mine, a place for solace and entering into God’s presence – that would be enough. Always. And God brought me back to those basics and allowed me time to get used to the idea of it, of living such a simple, focused life. It was refreshing, so needed, a breath of sweet clarity.
Then I asked if there was more – what about the writing, where does it fit in? What about the desire to teach the children, not just my own, to pour into the next generation? What about the longing to finish up my schooling? What about missions? I hammered him with questions that needed answers once and for all. I needed to put so much to rest. One by one He helped me let go of the things that were not from Him, that had no place in my life, at least not for now. And there are so many things He kept in my life – there is always more than enough to do.
First and foremost, always, is teaching my children – more of Him, more of life, more of service, more of character – all these things I must learn first for myself – not easy, but so necessary – before I can pass them along to my children. So we learn – together. I look into schools and courses and online learning and how long would it take, what will they transfer in from the 5 post-secondary schools I’ve already attended (a symptom of never being quite sure of what I was doing!). All the while, feeling this growing sense of confidence that YES, there is great peace boiling over in me about finishing my university degree! And YES there is still a longing to go on to Teacher’s College – but the details I leave with God, for the closest school that offers that one year of training I’d need beyond my Bachelor’s is an hour and a half drive – one way – away from my home and my family.
Confidence grows in wanting to pay for as much of the schooling as I can as I go, so no huge debt at the end. So I ask God for a job that fits with our family. He provides a bookstore job – perfect for me – with wonderful people to work for. A part-time job that I love.
Boldness comes as I learn to express what I need to be the person God is leading me to become. Trying to never be demanding, just asking, letting others bless me – not easy because I love to be the one to do the blessing – God gives me many opportunities to keep on doing just that. Letting others in – starting with husband and children – giving over control, sharing the load, recognizing it should have been this way all along, equipping boys to be men as they learn more chores, trying their unique ideas for solutions to problems, becoming more of a family in that instead of one woman trying to do it all and getting VERY tired in the midst of it.
First missions trip happened in 2011 – a dream since I was little. And I went with my hubby – AMAZING. I am changed, and thankfully so, and boldness and confidence comes from staring to know my place in the global family. Hopefully many more missions coming, hopefully taking sons, hopefully finding our place around the world in whatever ways God asks us to serve.
And the writing will stay, can’t help but stay – not really a question of it staying or leaving, just the amount of time I can give to it. It will be less for a while, but it will never leave. I am confident and sure of that. I ask God to use the words as He will because there will be less of them for a time while school takes the forefront.
I registered for 5 classes, started yesterday, and I’m feeling great about it.
Sons are now awake, the day begins before I’m ready, but I wanted to share my word for this year…. it’s been brewing in me and I know it’s the one….
Free to be all I’m meant, all we’re meant, free from fear, free from lack, free from… so much that I can’t even name yet.
We are all free in Christ – even when life is hard and twisted and painful – we are still free. Easier to feel it when all is right and good and lovely, but freedom exists in any circumstance. And I’m so excited to learn that this year – 2012.
May it be your best one yet.