New Year | Fresh Word

 New Years is my favorite. It really is. The fresh, clean newness is so full of grace and joy. I'm a pretty intense, it's-obviously-black-or-white kind of gal, and I tend to gravitate to judgment before mercy and impossible standards instead of realistic expectancy. Both for others and myself. But at the beginning of the year, I can look at all my failings and shortcomings and mistakes without getting discouraged and bogged down by them. And from that place I am able to make hopefully, expectant plans and dreams for who I will be in twelve months time.

But this New Years Day came in with a crash, and I feel a little bit worse off than I did last year; a little more beat up and a little farther behind. Between several job changes, a two-year-old, difficult life decisions, pregnancy hormones, and adding a whole new (screaming) person to our family, we found ourselves functioning, but just so. The possibility of the season buried by the heaviness of our circumstances, choices, and missteps in 2014. 

Our human condition requires that we greet a new year head on, whether we are ready or not. And this January found us really not ready. But as we gingerly stepped into the new year, the joy of newness, unstained by hardship and sadness, began to take hold.

As we became ready to plan and dream for 2015, we both found that we couldn't. The desire, or maybe the ability, to make plans and resolutions and #oneworld2015 wasn't there. After several weeks of frustration, I decided to spend some time in prayer asking specific questions about what 2015 was supposed to be about (which, hellooo...probably should have done that to begin with). And because my big Dad God loves me, He answered my questions.

Kind of.

The answer to every single inquiry and worry about 2015 was "Seek Me First". 

For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
— Jesus

This scripture in Matthew 6 is speaking specifically of food and clothes, but
the Holy Spirit whispered that it was about so much more for me. The world strives after health and wealth and comfort and the fulfillment of needs (most New Year Resolutions end up in one of these categories). All good and worthy things, but problematic when they become the finish line. 

God knows what I need. More than that, He knows what I want. And perhaps most starting of all is that He cares about those things. If I believe Him to be Good, to know what I need, and to care about what I want, why wouldn't I trust Him for those things? I won't have any of them without Him anyway. 

So I'm putting my stake down firmly in the Word of Jesus; surrendering the dreams and the plans and the dear wishes I've hardly dared let myself wish, and trusting Him to add all of them to me.

My only aim, my one dream for 2015, is to seek God's will and gaze Jesus' face, to obey what I hear Him saying and to do what I see Him doing.

And to let Him work out the rest. 

If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.

Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.

If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving.

People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.
— Matthew 6:25-34 (MSG)