last year i choose a word for 2008, a word that would be a focal point, a goal, a theme of sorts and that word was listen. i must confess that half way through the year i was not thinking so much about my word. but now as i contemplate a new word, i have been thinking back, wondering if listen was in fact a good word to sum up the year. surprisingly, i see many ways that i have had to listen.
we, as a family, have faced some big changes and decisions and i have really needed to listen to the evolving needs of my kids. C has entered into his teen years and has begun to assert his independence in new ways. this can be a turbulent transition time, and we have seen our share of that, but i am learning to listen to C. i have tried to understand his feelings and needs so that i can adjust my parenting and help him to become the independent and responsible adult that he is learning to be. listening in this circumstance has indeed been a challenge for me when what i want to do is lecture and correct. ( moment of transparency. please be kind!)
S left our home school for the christian school for the first time this year. another big change. i have tried to listen to his needs so that i could offer encouragement as he faced his own challenges. leaving our home school with just one has meant a change for B and for me. this has enabled me to listen to B more than ever without the competition of her brothers around. it has been a very positive year for B to have me all to herself during school time for the first time ever. and a positive year for S as he confidently and successfully joined the 5th grade class.
mark and i listened to God's leading this past spring as we decided to leave a church for a new one. it was a decision that we have thought about for several years now. it was very difficult to leave the church we have been involved in for so many years but we have found confirmation in many ways at our new place of worship and fellowship.
so that leads me to my word for 2009. related to listen, it is quiet. as in quiet time. quiet heart. just quiet. in order to listen to God's voice and leading, to the needs of my family, and to the needs of others i need to quiet my heart and my mouth (*blush* another moment of transparency!) i am recommitting myself to spending time in God's Word each day. i need to quiet the fears and worries of my heart with trust and faith, i need to quiet my words and listen in my relationships. i want to quiet the noise around me and have a quiet spirit which blesses those around me.
i am pondering these verses which express my prayer and desire for spiritual growth in coming year...
a quiet inner beauty which will bless others:
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment,
such as braided hair and wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes.
Instead, it should be that of your inner self,
the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit,
which is of great worth in God's sight.
I Peter 3:3-4
.a quietness which listens for the voice of God:
Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
a quiet heart which trusts in God's love and protection:
The LORD your God is with you,
He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with his love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.
everyday gift: a fresh start