2017, you’re here! Welcome!
2016 was a year of crazy for me. At the beginning of 2016, my focus word for the year was Joy. I was striving to find joy even in the hard and when I didn’t “feel happy”. I told my husband that I’m not sure I succeeded at making this my focus all year; however, by choosing it right off the bat, I was constantly reminded of it and made an effort to make it my heart’s desire.
Last year was full of health battles, overwhelming schedules, focusing on family with more intent, church growth and struggles, more reading, more forced rest, and homeschooling for the first time, and I have long been debating what my focus word will be for 2017. What is the most important element that will relieve the stresses that are weighing on me and channel my focus to who I am in Christ?
Maggie has been speaking to me about January’s focus being centered around ‘control’…what control looks like for different women and how we’re battling that and giving it up. With that thought in mind, I am excited to share the focus that God has been laying on my heart for 2017.
This year I want to live with less doubt in myself and who I am in Christ. Likewise, I want to live with less doubt of who I am as a wife, mother, church planter, daughter, and very specifically, friend. I often doubt if I am enough for all of the people in my life, specifically women, that count on me. Do I “do” enough to show them I love them? Am I there enough? Should I have said this or that? What more can I do?
These are the doubts that flood my mind on a regular basis and, when it comes down to it, this is all due to my desire to “control” my own life in this area rather than turn it completely over to God.
So with the plan to have less doubt and, ultimately, less control comes the desire to have more of something to fill this place. More believing, more expectation, more…
More belief that I am God’s daughter no matter what anyone else thinks or says. I can have confidence that, while I’m human with flaws and errors, He loves me just the way I am. He is in control of what happens in my life. More expectation that He will do what He says He will, specifically related to our church plant. The expectation that God will grow His church and my shoulders do not bear the weight of this great task. 2017 will be our year for seeing Him move mountains like we’ve never experienced before.
And finally, this year, the power of certainty will arise. Oh, how much I question myself most moments of most days. This comes out in phrases like, “Are you sure?” “Is this ok?” to my husband over and over again until his nerves are shot. This also comes out in complaining about the situation I am in, thinking it will never end. The word ‘certainty’ means God’s promises are fulfilled and that He is in control of every situation, despite how hard I may work to put myself in that place.
Dear much loved woman, may you choose a focus for this year and be renewed in your spirit. May you analyze and recognize the areas of your life and give up just a little of the control you hold over a specific place or two. Oh, what a beautiful freeing experience it is to know that you can welcome grace and peace and certainty. Here’s to 2017 and making it our year!
Find me on Instagram @arielsmontanalittles