Friday, January 1, 2016

Not Exactly What I Asked For

As you may have noticed, I didn't exactly finish my Advent writing.  No shocker, as Christmastime took over and busy invaded and I struggled to feel it this year.  Writing doesn't exactly happen when I am rushed, and rushed I was.  When the kids were finally on Christmas break I didn't want to spend our time on the computer so...I didn't.

So here we are, January 1, 2016.  Another beginning.  For the third year in a row, I asked God for a word, a focus for this year.  I didn't give Him suggestions, per se, but I certainly had expectations!  Happiness, Joy, Faith...yeah, those are all words I would gratefully receive!  So imagine my surprise about a week ago when the word invaded my consciousness with the clarity of a diamond in a wedding ring!


Wait, what?  Hard?  Hard?  What the heck am I supposed to do with that?  Hard?  Surely I heard wrong.  But, no.  It was crystal clear that God wanted me to meditate on hard.

Was He telling me this year is going to be hard?  Because, really, last year was plenty difficult.  Character building, even.  Refining from almost every direction.  Do I want to know in advance that hard is coming, or isn't ignorance bliss?

But the clarity continued.  Hard.  As in, do the hard things.  Stop making excuses.  Stop expecting easy.  Stop looking for ways out of hard.  Do the hard of getting up early, of taking care of the only body that I will ever have on this earth.  Do the hard of saying no to the worthless and unhealthy and get rid of the clutter, the fluff, the distractions.  Expect hard, because He never promised easy.  Be ready for hard because, whether I like it or not and no matter how many ways I invent to avoid it hard is just part of the journey.

So I sort of accepted it and moved on with the Christmas vacay.  We went to the beach and enjoyed ourselves immensely.  I even came home with a little bitty December!  We relaxed and enjoyed the sparse decor of our rental.  Then we drove home in the midst of tornado warnings all over Alabama.  That was fun.  (sarcasm)

We arrived home and I looked around my beautiful house and felt completely dissatisfied.  After being in a near empty condo for a week I thought, "Why do we have all this STUFF?"  We don't need or use most of this.  I am being suffocated by books and magazines and clutter.

And there was that word again.  Hard.  Get rid of it.  Clean it out.  Stop the disorganization, both internal and external...because the fact is, the external is a sign of what is going on internally.  Oh yes, I have been living a cluttered inner life.  And it shows.  Dang it.

I really would have been happy with a nicer word.

But God, He is so good, so loving.  He does not always give me what I want, but He certainly gives me what I need...which apparently was a swift kick.

So happy 2016, sort of.  Maybe I should say Hard 2016?  The toddler in me is kicking and screaming but I have two choices...obedience or disobedience.  I have lived long enough to know that obedience will always be worth it in the end.  So, hard it is.

But not in my strength, Lord.  In yours alone can I do the hard things.  Without you I will fail miserably.  Show me your will, give me direction, lead me each step of the way.  I am yours.  My family is yours.  
hard things, word of the year, New Year, 2016
I will need to remember this.