2016:Enjoy

My word for 2016 is…ENJOY.

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Now if one is not familiar with God’s Word, then you might ask, “How can a Christian enjoy life?”
Life brings trials and sacrifices, but these are opportunities to realize that we are not in control of our lives. We have to align ourselves up with the Word and rest fully in Christ and His promises. After you realize that we can rest in God and have confidence in His path for us, we can breathe a little easier and enjoy life.
We can be free from the bondage of worrying and trying to control each next step for fear of something not going according to plan.
Worrying does the exact opposite of what we intend it to do. Instead of preparing us for whatever life may bring us, it cripples and blinds us.  I want to be able to trust God and all that He has planned for me. I don’t want to miss out on any opportunity that He may use me for His Glory or to bring others to Christ. When God works through the impossible, everything is possible. Worry is a result of our small human brain trying to calculate only what we think might happen in a trying situation. Why should we trust ourselves to come up with a solution to a problem when the solution is greater than our puny minds can comprehend? We shouldn’t ! God is omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient. Only He knows what’s best for us. So sit back, read the Word, listen intently for direction and relax! The pressure is off of you to fix the problem. That’s God’s job.
Enjoy life by being content with what you have/where you are in life. Don’t fret about those next steps. Consider the lilies (see Luke 12:27)
A couple of weeks ago I had a dream where I was trying to go up a set of stairs. Everyone else climbed up with ease. I had difficulty because the steps were steep and narrow with wide gaps and there were 4 or 5 steps missing. I was frustrated that I couldn’t walk up the steps and afraid that I might fall through the gaps.
Currently, I think a lot about the future. I love being a stay-at-home mom, but I feel as though I’m sitting on a skill set that God wants me to use (see Parable of the Talents, Matt 25:14-30). In 2016, I will be applying to go back to school to get my MPH. I’ll be 27 next month, and even though I have a 7 month old, I’m already thinking about when I should have the next one (or more if the Lord sees fit). My mortal limitations make it hard for me to see how I’m going to do both of these things without going crazy. Thinking about the future too much takes my eyes away from all the blessings I already have. I have a wonderful, healthy son who brings me so much joy. He has an amazing father, my husband. A health scare early on in our marriage made me realize how impermanent life is. We should be present in every moment, taking in all the senses that cameras and video clips can’t capture (how do you feel?, what does it smell like?, what do you taste?, how does the sweater feel against your skin?). I also want people to know that I appreciate them while they are living. I don’t want to hesitate telling someone how proud of them I am, or that I love them. I have shelter, food, and am healthier than most. I should be content with what I have now, instead of worrying about what I will get next. Whenever “next” is isn’t promised to us.

Be a peacemaker.
The love and enjoyment of life should not be kept to ourselves. We have to share it. Peace is a key component of enjoyment. (see Proverbs 14:30 about peace)
I want to be able to bring peace to someone’s life, so that they can rest in the promises of God and enjoy life too.  If that means praying with them, sharing my testimony, or bringing them to church, I pray that God gives me the right words when talking with them. It may also mean random acts of kindness to a stranger or reconciling a damaged relationship. (see 1 Peter 3:10) Prayer will help reveal who needs peace, and God can equip you with all the tools necessary to make you a peacemaker.

Overall, I just want to look back at the end of 2016 and smile. I want to say, “Look at what God accomplished! Praise Jesus for the ability to enjoy life and rest in Him. Thank you Holy Spirit for growth, wisdom, and peace that surpasses all understanding! Thank you for blessing me and my family above and beyond what we need in order to help others enjoy life. Thank You for keeping us healthy and protecting us from dangers seen and unseen. Thank You for choosing us! Thank You for not allowing us to be the same. Glory be to God!”

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