I sit down at the end of what feels like a long day. My desktop, my real one-not the virtual one, is piled high with papers and books waiting to be put in their proper place. A huge mound of clean clothes covers my bed. My washer and dryer are running.  There are many things I didn’t accomplish today, but for once, that does not upset me.

I didn’t start off with a huge list of things I wanted to get done today. I did make a list, but I titled it To Do This Week. See, the pressure was off. It’s only Monday and I have a whole week to accomplish these things. I did 4 of the 14 things today. There were a lot of things I did that weren’t on the list. There were also a lot of things I didn’t do that I usually do when I get frustrated. All in all, I am pretty pleased with my day.

I’ve been contemplating what my word for the year will be. At first I was thinking words like determination, courage, focus—all things I need to work on. None of them seemed to fit very well. Then in church I was making a diagram of words in my journal—just writing down whatever came to mind. One word kept popping out: renew. That’s it. A time to Renew. I don’t completely understand what it means or will mean in the year to come. Last year I chose the word Valor. (I wrote about that here.) I don’t know that I’ve become a Woman of Valor. I also wouldn’t say that I’m moving away from that vision. Perhaps I just have a clear idea of the kind of woman I want to be one day.

I sat the kids down before dinner and had a talk with them. I told them about this word and how I didn’t think it is meant for just me, but for us as a family. I explained that the kids would be taking a one month break from all outside activities such as ballet and gymnastics. I need this month to focus, plan, and figure out our daily routine. I talked about how Satan wants to tear us down. He wants to prevent us from glorifying God and that we must not allow that to happen. Change needs to happen. We are not loving eachother, we are not being kind, we are tearing each other down. This is not how we are supposed to be living. Things are going to change. We prayed and we read:

Romans 12:1-2, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

Psalm 119:9-16,

How can a young man cleanse his way?

By taking heed according to Your word.

With my whole heart I have sought You;

Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!

Your word I have hidden in my heart,

That I might not sin against You.

Blessed are You, O LORD!

Teach me Your statutes.

With my lips I have declared

All the judgments of Your mouth.

I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies,

As much as in all riches.

I will meditate on Your precepts,

And contemplate Your ways.

I will delight myself in Your statutes;

I will not forget Your word.”

Philippians 4:8,

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

Ephesians 6:10-20, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;  above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.”

Draw near to God. That’s what I want us to be doing right now. Personally, I want to be saturated in His word that I can’t help but to meditate on it. I want to know the truth and walk in it with my family. I want to serve those around me and strengthen the community I live in. Who would’ve ever thought I’d love this town, eh?

New Year’s Eve was my last night at work. God is providing for me through something else. I wasn’t fully on board with that idea for a few months, though. I was afraid, but I don’t want to walk in fear anymore. I will trust Him in everything. I will walk in obedience even when it doesn’t make sense.

My heart swells with excitement at the things to come this year. I haven’t a clue what the year holds and I don’t know that I’d want to know.