Well, that was a wild ride! 2021 had enormous wildfires, tornados, drought, and other record-breaking weather. COVID was/is still a thing. Personally, the first half of the year my family celebrated birthdays small and large (big clan celebration for my mother-in-law's 90th), and our oldest grandson graduating high school. The last half of 2021 we experienced major life changes with the loss of family members and critical health problems with my dad. But God was in it all, and He will be in this new year and every year after this. The One who was, and is, and is to come will not forsake us.
Welcoming in each New Year Day (thank you Lord for new beginnings!) I write into my new planner and journal a "word" to focus on. A single word and a Bible verse to remember and guide me throughout the year. In 2021, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 was focused on each day—rejoice, pray, give thanks—reminding me how I should handle the good as well as the bad. This year, my one word is "hear/listen." I want to hear with a listening ear the Word of God and be ready to obey willingly. As Mary said to the angel in Luke 1:38..."Behold, the servant of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word."
I also want to better hear what others are saying. No, I'm not referring to my ears, but listening skills. I want to listen intently and understand deep down what the other person is saying. I want to hear who they are at that moment and not think about what I might say next (even if it's to reassure). I do not want to assume I understand, but I truly want to know what they are thinking. I want to be intentional in my listening.
This coming year, listen to what God has for you. And remember what the angel told Mary right before she replied… (vs. 37) "For nothing will be impossible with God."
What's your "word" for this new year?
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