Friday, December 28, 2012


I'm FINALLY back.  My break from blogging to reevaluate some priorities, seek some direction, make some changes, and create some "space" for awhile was a great break.  More about some of that to come in the weeks ahead!  Many changes, new directions, and a heart set back on fire! Some great things ahead this year! 

Jumping in with both feet...

For the last several years, we've chosen a focus word for the year.  We display it predominantly so that we see it often.  Specifically, we keep it written on our large dry-erase board that is in our entry way.  We see it when we are coming in and out of the garage.  A reminder during all of our "going outs" and "coming ins".

Some years it has been difficult to decide on  a meaningful word that truly fits what we are wanting for our family.  Last year it was the end of February before I finally made a decision. 

You can read all about that and a recap of the previous years in this post

Quick recap:

2010 Simplify
2011 Purpose
2012 Courageous and a special focus on "Stronger. Together" as a family and marriage theme.

This year I'm way ahead of the game.  The decision was easy. 

We were actually in the middle of worship last week and as we were singing, some of the words rolled all over my heart in a new way.  The Holy Spirit was definitely at work. 

Refiner's Fire (Brian Doerksen) and Jesus at the Center (Hillsong) both brought me into a place of worship that I had been craving for so very long. 

(Refiner's Fire Lyrics)
Purify my heart
Let me be as gold and precious silver
Purify my heart
Let me be as gold, pure gold
Refiner's fire
My heart's one desire
Is to be holy
Set apart for You, Lord
I choose to be holy
Set apart for You, my Master
Ready to do Your will
Purify my heart
Cleanse me from within
And make me holy
Purify my heart
Cleanse me from my sin
Deep within
(portions of Jesus at the Center)

Jesus be the center of my life
 Jesus be the center of my life
From beginning to the end
It will always be, it's always been You Jesus

Nothing else matters, nothing in this world will do
Jesus You're the center, everything revolves around You
Jesus You
These two songs have CONSTANTLY been on repeat loop in my heart since we began attending a new church several weeks ago (more about that in coming weeks).  When we sang these in worship last Sunday, I immediately felt a stirring that THIS is what I want my year to be.  The word of the year hadn't even crossed my radar yet.  As a matter of fact, the new year has completely jumped up on me.  It's as if so many dates this last year have surprised me even though I've planned for them.  I planned and planned for Christmas and stayed on track, but it honestly still surprised me when it actually arrives, despite the countdown in front of my face. 
Those two words have been in my spirit from the moment I wake up until I go to sleep. 
2013:  Choose
So many things in life are about making a choice. Otherwise we let life just happen to us.
  • I CHOOSE to be holy.
  • I CHOOSE to live set apart.
  • I CHOOSE to do your will.
  • I CHOOSE to fix my thoughts on YOU.
  • I CHOOSE to be obedient (hopefully the FIRST time---not after multiple requests---yikes, not been so great about that lately!).
  • I CHOOSE to make choices that put Jesus at the Center.
  • I CHOOSE to let go of the perfection infection (MUCH more about that to come!).
  • I CHOOSE to make my marriage a priority above everything; second only to God.
  • I CHOOSE to be real.  Show vulnerability and weaknesses.
  • I CHOOSE to seek His will and WALK in it, even out of my comfort zone. I CHOOSE to be ready to do that will.
  • I CHOOSE to say no to things that don't line up with His Word, regardless, of how many others are saying yes. (This one has been a BIG one for us!)
  • I CHOOSE to accept Grace when I fail, which I WILL and OFTEN!  However, I will CHOOSE to not use grace as an excuse to do what I want.  I CHOOSE not to cheapen His sacrifice.
  • I CHOOSE to say no to things that pull us away from our financial goals.
  • I CHOOSE to say no to things that cause my priorities to be out of line or wear me too thin.
  • I CHOOSE to work on letting go of anger, bitterness, jealousy, and all of those other ugly emotions that create walls.
  • I CHOOSE to spend time with Him in order to be able to hear His voice more clearly.
  • I CHOOSE to spend time with those that bring me closer to Him. I CHOOSE to surround myself with other women that are "in the trenches" and that provide encouragement AND accountability.
  • I CHOOSE to build up others with words, not tear them down.
  • I CHOOSE to make our home an inviting place to be.
  • I CHOOSE to be the best teacher I can for our children.  Allow Him to fill in any gaps.  Seek assistance in areas that we are struggling. Trust my instincts.  Make goals and work towards them. 
  • I CHOOSE to live in a attitude of TRUE gratitude. 
  • I CHOOSE to live life more fully and abundantly.
  • I CHOOSE laughter. 
  •  I CHOOSE joy.
  • I CHOOSE to forgive: others and myself. 
  • I CHOOSE to focus on my own gifts and talents and avoid being jealous of others.
  • I CHOOSE to accept that His will may not match up with mine and that I will be faithful and trust when it doesn't. 
  • I CHOOSE to teach my children by action AND words (not just words) what it means to believe in and serve Christ.
  • I CHOOSE to control my emotions and not let them control me (LOVING "Unglued" by Lysa Terkeurst)
  • I CHOOSE to ....
That list can go on indefinitely. These are ones that just flew from the fingertips without much deep introspection.  It's not a check off list that I'm going to get right.  It's one that just keeps my heart focused on Him in all aspects, drawing me closer to Him in the way He has designed.
It's about choosing.  It doesn't just happen.  It won't just happen. 
I'm choosing to make this year different.  I'm choosing to see how much more I can give God of myself.  I'm choosing to see where a life more fully committed to Him will lead.  Less of me, more of Him.  Falling down and getting back up.  Reaching up when answers feel so far away.  Trusting in the most difficult circumstances.  Choosing Him. 

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