Monday, January 11, 2016

on cultivating...

"Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness…" 
- Psalm 37:3

Themes are a relatively new idea for my walk with the Lord. Before then, I made all the resolutions about all the things (weight, relationships, organization, etc.). In 2014, I focused on the idea of discipline, coming from Hebrews 12:11 and in this past year, I focused on being still, coming from Psalm 46:10. These past two years have been hard and good, growing my understanding of God and myself like WOAH.

Looking ahead to 2016, I have a slew of goals and things to be excited for (like a trip to Ecuador, my second year working at CBU, a bunch of weddings, new and old ministries, and some BIG personal projects!), but I want to be focused on the idea of growth… cultivate.

Cultivate: to prepare; to use for the raising of crops; to loosen or break up soil; to foster the growth of; to improve by labor, care, or study

Lately, I feel like the Lord has been loosening a lot of the soil in my heart; and honestly, some of the things that have come from that process have been pretty surprising. The more I experience that, the more I want of that; as those spaces loosen and break up, I find that there is more desire and room for Him, which is everything. The past year I learned what it meant to rest in the Lord, to be still (which is an active state of obedience and choice), and I am praying that God is using this past year as a springboard into this one. 

This year, I want to cultivate; to cultivate something requires work, intention, focus, and that is what I think the Lord has been pressing on my heart. I want this year to be one of growth, of study, of prayer, of action, of labor; I want 2016 to be the year that I decided to put my work pants on and really dive into all that we have access to as a child of God. I don't know about you, but I know that I haven't even been close to tapping into the fullness of the Holy Spirit, of the Word, of my community. I want this to be a year of full journals, empty coffee cups, and highlighted books; a year full of tables, coffee dates, and good, hard conversations; a year of adventure, of faith triumphing over fear, of new things and old things. 

One of my favorite bloggers (who has a book coming out soon and I can't wait to get my hands on it!), Jess Connolly, just wrote a beautiful post titled "This Is Not A Flower Year" and it resonated deep. Jess stated that "this year is not a year of flowers, this is a year of deep roots and growing trees." And you guys, I really love that. Her post is all about being intentional and being aware of the working God is doing (cultivating!) in your life. SO DANG GOOD. 

My prayer is that the Holy Spirit would stir within me, that I would be open to His tilling and sifting. I pray that I would truly learn to dwell in His land and cultivate faithfulness during this year, whatever that may look like. 

What are you focusing on this year?

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