Hey friends, Happy New Year I hope your new year is off to a great start! Did you make resolutions? What are your dreams for the new year? Have you made any plans yet? I am easing into the New Year showing myself some kindness and grace after a very hectic holiday season. My husband just went back to work, and I am still trying to get my house back together and get rid of the glitter. SO MUCH GLITTER.

I love the fullness Christmas adds to my home, but when I take everything down and put it away my house feels empty. For me, this is an excellent time to evaluate our possessions, purge the clutter in my home and the things I no longer love to make room for the new stuff we added over the holidays. The perfect time to refresh and rearrange my house for the upcoming season.

This is also a great time to dream, plan, pray and prepare for the new year. I am devoting time to do this over the next couple of weeks as our routine returns to normal to pray and plan for 2018. To purge things from my life and my soul that need to go, and to make room for the new things God wants to do in my life in 2018. Last year, I wrote about my one word for 2017 Contentment, and Do you have a Scripture of the Year?

As of right now, I don’t have any goals or resolutions written down, not one word, or even a scripture for the year, but what I do have is a desire to experience more of God’s presence in my life in 2018.

Last year our family experienced many wonderful milestones, but with it came a degree of difficulty and pain. In those difficult moments, it was a challenge to laugh at the future and be contentment. The one that remained true in 2017 was that God loves me, he hears my prayers, and is intimately acquainted with my sorrows.  Although he also delights to answer our prayers and sometimes in the most unexpected ways.

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. – Proverbs 16:9 ESV

I want the Lord to guide me and direct me to do the things that he wants me to do in 2018. My year did not start the way I thought or planned it would. Sometimes we make plans, but God has planned interruptions to get our attention or teach us something new.

My interruption came in the form of a winter storm that is blowing across the United States right now and that threatened a hard freeze where I live in Texas. My son and I went out at dark to brave the cold, and the sleet to pick as many oranges as we could from our orange tree, before we lost them all to frost.

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We ended up with an entire clothing basket full of oranges, and this is after we have already picked tons of oranges and shared them with others. God provided an abundance of oranges for us to harvest this year. And isn’t that just like to God to provide a bountiful harvest, but we do not see that harvest until a seed has been planted, watered, pruned, and fertilized.

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What a beautiful lesson for the new year. If I want to reap a harvest, first I have to sow a seed. Or maybe it is my job to come alongside someone else and water a seed that has already been planted.

“I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.” – 1 Corinthians 3:6 ESV

When we humble ourselves before God and take our meager offering of our lives to Him and we leave it at his feet, it is up to him to guide, direct, anoint and bless.  Our job is to faithfully seek him and plant seeds, but he is the one that causes growth.

When we humble ourselves before God and take our meager offering of our lives to Him and we leave it at his feet, it is up to him to guide, direct, anoint and bless.  Our job is to faithfully seek him and plant seeds, but he is the one that causes growth.

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I spent the day yesterday peeling oranges, juicing, and making jars filled with citrus vinegar to clean my home. You see we can be given a bounty, but will we be good stewards of that harvest? Once I picked the fruit I needed to do something with it, or it would rot. So I got busy giving away more fruit and finding other ways that I could utilize the bounty I’ve been given.

As believers, we have all been entrusted with the gospel. Are we going to keep it for ourselves or will we give it away? Our world is in need of hope. My challenge to you this year is to shine your light brighter in 2018 then you did in 2017. Seek the presence of God while he may be found. Plant lots of seeds and watch the LORD bring the harvest. I am praying for a bountiful harvest for you in 2018 and look forward to what the Lord has planned for us this year. If you need some inspiration, check this post on Choosing to be Thankful & Sowing A Pocketful of Seeds.

Leave a comment on your one word, or scripture for 2018. I would love to know what your goals and dreams for the new year or how you plan to sow seeds and share your light with the world.

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Posted by Misty Phillip

By His Grace: Seek Jesus, Study the Word, Grow in Grace Bible Study Author, Christian Lifestyle Blogger, & Speaker www.MistyPhillip.com

23 Comments

  1. My verse for the year is Hebrews 4:12! I believe this is the #yearoftheWord! His Word is alive and active. May it be in our hearts and on our lips. 🙂

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    1. Misty Phillip 01/04/2018 at 5:49 pm

      Hi! What a great verse. “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

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  2. I love your idea on citrus vinegar! I use vinegar to clean my home and I never thought of making a citrus vinegar, and I live in Florida! My scripture verse for 2018 is Psalm 68:11, “The Lord announces the word, and the women who proclaim it are a mighty throng.”

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    1. Misty Phillip 01/04/2018 at 5:46 pm

      Hi! I use vinegar to clean my home too. Love the way it cleans, but don’t like the smell. I have also added a few drops of essential oil to my vinegar which is lovely too!! Thanks for sharing I love that verse! Blessings to you this year as you pursue Jesus in 2018! ❤️ Misty

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  3. My verse for this year is Proverbs 31:30. That’s the standard I want my life to be characterized.. how do you make citrus vinegar?

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    1. Misty Phillip 01/04/2018 at 6:52 pm

      What a great verse! I too want to be known as a woman who fears the Lord!!

      The citrus vinegar was easy to make. Take orange peels and put them in a mason jar then fill with vinegar. Date the jar and let it sit for a month. The orange peels will break down and infuse the vinegar. Easy peasy. Blessings, Misty

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  4. My word for 2018 is humility, and I am focusing on humble obedience. I am in the process of memorizing Philippians 2:3-11, and this may turn out to be all of Philippians 2!

    Beautiful post! I pray God will speak directly to your heart in the coming weeks as you turn your focus to the upcoming year. 💕

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    1. Misty Phillip 01/04/2018 at 7:40 pm

      Thank you friend, I appreciate your kind thoughts and sweet words! Humble obedience and care for others, what a great way to focus your new year! Many blessings ❤️

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  5. LOVE! What are doing with what we’ve been given??? Those beautiful oranges made my face smile this morning! SHINE is my 2018 word!!! And yes…all the glitter! Blessings to you as you follow where God leads this year!

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    1. Misty Phillip 01/05/2018 at 8:13 am

      Hey Liz, Happy New Year!! What a great word for the New Year!! Blessings to you and your ministry as you SHINE in 2018! ❤️

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  6. Oh, friend. I adore this challenge. And, I’ll take it on. This post makes me smile. Thank you for this sweet vision for the new year. — And, citrus vinegar…who knew? I love that. Thank you for sharing. I’ve been using essential oils for many things, and the oils are in the peel, so that’s perfect. (We eat a lot of oranges…) — I believe God’s given me a word for 2018, but I’m still praying over it. — I need a verse. I love the idea of a verse. Will pray over that as well. — Happy New Year, Misty! xoxo

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    1. Misty Phillip 01/05/2018 at 12:07 pm

      Brenda, I love my oils too and actually put a few drops of thrives in with my vinegar! Coming alongside in prayer with you as you confirm your word and seek a scripture! May God continue to use you and your writing to minister to many others in 2018! ❤️ Happy New Year!!

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  7. mmm oranges. who does not love the fresh, sweet taste and smell of oranges?

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  8. So good! The thought of being faithful but God ultimately causing the growth is one that I’ve been meditating a lot on in the last couple of weeks! Beautiful post!

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    1. Misty Phillip 01/10/2018 at 11:49 am

      Hi! Karissa, It is a good place to be when we do our part to the best of our ability and trust his timing for the increase. Thanks for stopping by today! Blessings to you and your ministry in 2018! 💕 Misty

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  9. Misty I absolutely loved this! You are so right when God gives us a harvest what will we do next? I loved how you found many uses for the oranges that displayed good stewardship and I have no doubt that God will reward you for that. Not to mention the example you have set before your kids. Great post. Pinned and sharing on Facebook with our Living Our Priorities community.

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    1. Misty Phillip 01/10/2018 at 11:52 am

      Timberley, Thanks so much for your thoughtful and encouraging words and for sharing this post with your community! Abundant blessings to you and your ministry as you faithfully sow seeds in love! ❤️ Misty

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  10. My scripture for the year is Hebrews 10:24 ““And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works.” I feel as though 2028 is going to be the year where we all truly come together for the sake of the mission.

    This was a really great post! I hope I get to see what seeds you’ll be planting this year.

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    1. Hey Tatyana, Yes!! That is a great scripture…especially as we see the time of Jesus return approaching. Thank you for your encouragement! I pray 2018 is a year of abundant blessings for you!

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  11. Your post gave me much food for thought Misty! God gives the blessing but we are responsible for how we steward it. I’ve always known that but I am thinking and will continue to think of this post over the next little while as God has truly stirred up something inside of me, challenging me. Thank you for blessing me today. May God bless you too.

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    1. Misty Phillip 01/10/2018 at 7:59 pm

      Oh dear sweet Lureta, I am so thankful that God used me to stir your heart and cause you to ponder. I pray that He gives you fresh revelation for this new year. Thank you for for encouraging me today with your comments!! Blessings to you ❤️ misty

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