Happy New Year, friends! Time to engage our discontentment, complaining and comparrisons!
I know that's not what most blogs are sending to your inbox on January 1st. I know that's not what most posts are proclaiming on this first day of 2022, but I want to come at you with a different perspective. I want you to consider Proverbs 19:21:
“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”
Four days ago, my husband surprised me with a quick get away trip to the beach. Our new baby has my wheels spinning out of control, as I try to juggle three children, a home, a husband, friendships, work and managing my books. I'll be totally honest, I so often feel like I'm failing in every category, so the time away was a golden opportunity for me to rest. I thought getting away would help me reset my priorities and give me space to re-organize my to-do list, but God used that time to show me that my season(s) are a part of His plans for me and to stop wishing I was in a place that He has not currently purposed for me to be in.
It's so easy to get on the train tracks of doing more, changing your scenery, working harder, setting bigger goals, re-creating your reality, reshaping your body, or accumulating more ... but is that what the New Year is supposed to be about? Is this what New LIFE is supposed to be about?
Please hear me out, there is nothing wrong with desiring good things and then utilizing healthy habits, responsibility and intentionality in efforts to grow, learn and become. But I want to lovingly urge us all not to fall into the pit of keeping up with appearances for the sake of other's opinions or approval or even in the effort of making ourselves feel more worthy.
Seasons do change, but consider the fact that 2021 was only 6 hours ago. Give yourself some grace! There is no rule that says a date change requires a life change. No, the change we seek needs to come from a heart that desires more of God and His will for our lives; not the will that society decrees or demands us to pursue. Discontentment might push us to more earthly things, but it won't aid us in or pursuits of spiritual things. Though "contentment" is not a word used in the "American Dream", the Bible teaches us that being content with where God has placed us and with what He has blessed us with is great gain (1 Timothy 6: 6-7).
Does this mean that we shouldn't pursue more or that we should settle for less? Not at all. What it does mean is that the anxiety of consumption (whether material items or position or power) does not bring about the abundant life that Christ offers us so freely. Remember, we can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps and His plans for you will look completely different than anyone else's because our God is personal and His love is in the details!
Maybe there's never been a more important year for us to reset
our rhythms of appreciation for the seasons we are currently in!
We all struggle daily and mess up constantly, but I pray we learn to trust the Lord's seasons for us (no matter how messy, loud or overwhelming it might seem). Instead of wishing it away, I am learning to surrender my current situation to the Lord. It's not always easy, but this is something that has been bubbling in my heart recently and I hope it will bless you and encourage you as you enter into this beautiful new year!
God has ordered your steps and He will continue to do so! Not to keep you popular, not to keep money in your pocket, not so that you can gain recognition or to beat your competition. God is ordering your steps to bring you closer to Himself! He is ordering your steps towards sanctification, obedience, purity and purpose for His glory! And He will accomplish His work in you (Philippians 1:6)!
Rest + Remember that your current season is purposed!
Your life matters very much to God! He has beautiful plans in store for those who love Him and He will be with you every step of the way!
So here's to a Happy New Year, friends!
Thank you to everyone who has supported my writing - either my books or my Bible App Devotionals! I'm so grateful and look forward to encouraging and connecting more with you in 2022!