Have you chosen a scripture verse to guide you through the new year? Many people in the Christian blogosphere choose a word or a scripture to guide them through the year, rather than making New Year’s resolutions. This year I decided to incorporate both a word and a scripture. My word for 2017 the year is Contentment.
Last year when I attended She Speaks I visited the prayer room. For those of you who don’t know about She Speaks, it is a conference hosted by Proverbs 31 Ministries that equips women in their calling to write and speak for Jesus. The prayer room at She Speaks is indeed a special place. In the middle of this candlelight room, there is a table with a basket that contains hundreds of tiny little scrolls, each containing a scripture verse. Every woman that visits the prayer room has an opportunity to chose a scroll. Each woman in attendance of the conference has been prayed for, and the basket of scripture verses has also been prayed over.
Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.-Proverbs 31:25
The scripture I choose is Proverbs 31:25, and this is the same verse that I choose to share with the women in a small group I was leading for an event at my church a few years earlier. Then in December when I began planning for the New Year ahead, I decided to attend the She Laughs Conference. Do you see a theme here? Me too, and that is how I choose my scripture for 2017.
I love what the Matthew Henry Commentary says about the Proverbs 31 woman regarding verses 31:10-31, and I want to share a section with you here.
She is discreet and obliging; every word she says, shows she governs herself by the rules of wisdom. She not only takes prudent measures herself, but gives prudent advice to others. The law of love and kindness is written in the heart, and shows itself in the tongue. Her heart is full of another world, even when her hands are most busy about this world.
Michael Hyatt in chapter 4 of his book Living Forward says that as a part of the Life Plan you create, you must think about your legacy, how you want to be remembered and create your own eulogy.
Oh, how I long to be known as a wise woman full of love and compassion. Lord, help me to live my life by wisdom and give prudent advice to others. I don’t know what lies ahead in 2017, but what I do know is that I can look to future and laugh because I am clothed with strength and dignity.
I look forward to sharing my update with you all when I return from She Laughs next week, along with another scripture that I plan on using to define my year. Until then, I would love to know if you have chosen a scripture to meditate on in 2017. Leave a comment below with your word or verse for the year!
Happy New Year! The new year is a time of new beginnings—a do over so-to-speak. The new year is a time to make changes and improvements. As I reflect on 2016 and contemplate 2017, I think of all the things, both good and bad, that marked my life in 2016. One of the things that continues to swirl around in my mind is my attitude this year at Christmas.
This year as Christmas approached I was content. Things were not perfect, no it was far from it, and I didn’t accomplish everything on my to-do list, or buy everyone the perfect gift. What was really hard this Christmas for our family was that this was the first year that our family wouldn’t all be together. Now that our eldest son is engaged, we have to share the holidays with another family. I understood this going into the holidays, and I had no expectations. I made plans, but because I had no expectations, I wasn’t disappointed.
You see I was content.
In Philippians 4 the Apostle Paul talks about God’s provision in verses 12-13.
12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me. – ESV
Just before Paul says, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” He talks about contentment. Being content regardless of his circumstances. Whether he was rich or poor, whether he was high or low. That is because he knew the source of his contentment, it was not his circumstances, it was Christ.
This is the place where I want to start this year. In a place of contentment. A place where I can do all things through Christ, because He is the one that strengthens me to do his will for my life. I joyfully anticipate the New year, and whether I experience Mountain tops or Valleys I want to be content, with no expectations.
Looking back, 2016 was an incredible year, and some amazing things happened in my life! God called me to write and speak, and the rest is history. Early in 2016, I signed up for She Speaks 2016 and the next few months were a whirlwind of conference preparation. In February, I set up my blog, and began writing a Bible Study. When I first started, I had no idea of what I was doing, but thankfully I survived the first year! Here are the top 10 blog posts of 2016:
10. Finding Fulfillment this Holiday Season – First of all, fulfillment does not come from being married, having children, or having a career. True fulfillment comes from knowing Jesus Christ and living for Him. But here is the rub: we will never be truly fulfilled here on earth, because this is not our home. We have a God-shaped hole in our heart that only He can fill.
9. Our Home – A Sanctuary -A wise woman is careful to build her home. Making our homes a place of beauty that reflects our personal taste is one of the greatest joys as a homemaker.
8. She Speaks Conference 2016 – The Lord has been faithful to walk me through each step of the way, and I am learning so much in the process.
7. She said “Yes!” – An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.- Proverbs 31:10
6. Declutter My Heart – How many times in life do we miss out on God’s best because we clench things so tightly with our fists that we don’t let go and make room for God to bless us?
5. Called to be His Helper – I don’t know about you, but I don’t just want a marriage that can survive, instead I want an abundant marriage that thrives the way God intended. When we follow God’s plan for our lives and for our marriage, we unlock the secrets to true happiness.
4. Learning to Let Go – No one warned me how difficult and painful it would be on me when my boys started to pull away. A boy has to detach himself from his Mother in order for him to grow into the man God calls him to be. This is the way it is and has always been. It is good and natural, but that doesn’t make it any easier.
3. Little baby Liam – We began telling others that Liam was a gift from God, and that God would determine his future. We knew that the Lord had a purpose and a plan for his life, no matter how long he lived.
2. Connor’s Smile – Don’t give up, don’t lose hope! Continue to pray for those situations in your life that look hopeless, because in Jesus there is hope! He is faithful. 1 Corinthians 1:9 says, “God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” Turn your eyes to Jesus and cry out for wisdom. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” James 1:5.
And the number 1 post from 2016 is…..
1. Prayer Update for Connor – The most heartbreaking part of all of this is that he had been living with all of this for 15 years! He did not get diagnosed until the age of 16. After years of going to doctor after doctor, Connor was misdiagnosed with PDD-NOS, an Autism spectrum disorder. We are so thankful for the brilliant doctor who finally correctly diagnosed Connor, and we began treatment shortly after that.
Wow, 2016 was quite a year! These were the top 10 blog posts out of the 67 that was published last year. Also, my partnership with Blog About and the Blythe Daniels Agency I was able to host some great giveaways. Listen, Love, Repeat!, Bible Basics: Book Review & Giveaway!, God Loves You!, Journal the Word, and Give Your Child The World.
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Goodbye to 2016. I look forward to all that God has in store for 2017! Blessings to you in the new year!