Posted in: Devotion, Growth, Restoration
A Year of Gratitude
I love to choose a word of the year - I want to choose a focus and intention as each new year approaches. God is really the one who chooses the word for me, as I began to pray and ask: what do you want for me in this next year and season of life? In late October, I went to a dream planning workshop. A church in San Diego hosted it for those who love to utilize planners and hosted by Horacio Printing. The theme for the company is: “The Best is Yet to Come.” I think that theme rings true for life as we await heaven as believers, the best is yet to come. They led us through the SOAP method: Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer. It is my favorite way to read and learn through scripture.
The verse was Romans 12:1-2:
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, and develops well-formed maturity in you. (MSG)
To me: the word gratitude came to mind. Embracing what God does for you is the best you can do.
My 2022 word of the year was the Hebrew word: Hesed. It means sacrificial love or loving-kindness, often associated to the love we see in the book of Ruth. I have been the perpetual single, 35-year-old attempting the scary world of online dating. My heart was broken many times over ¾ of 2022. But right in the final stretch, I met someone. Right time, the right person with who I had spent years working to become. It feels like the love and God-honoring relationship I’ve been working towards and been praying for, for years.
At the conference, I shared the idea of the word Gratitude with my best friend and accountability partner, Callista. Offhand, it seems like a cliché word most people want to embody. But looking forward into 2023, my question has been: what if this is the year everything I’ve ever prayed for comes to fruition? With tears streaming down my face, I said- even if it didn’t I’d have a year of grateful moments to look back on see what God did and see who I continue to become. It’s not necessarily about the specific answered prayers like jobs, marriage, or success. It is about the process in between.
So now sitting in 2023, I’ve begun journaling through guided gratitude writing prompts in a journal I found. It’s been beautiful so far. It’s not as simple as a ‘what are three things you’re grateful for today?’ Which for some works. But it challenges me to think through the many ways and reasons I’m grateful for so much in life!
My challenge is that each day, we look for something in which we can have a grateful heart for.
What does this year hold and embody for you?
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