i’m goin’ gangsta in this post– and, straight up stealin’ a great idea from an amazing mother/ wife/ photographer i have the pleasure of knowing. the idea is simple– she picks a word that helps clarify her goals, hopes, aspirations for the coming year.
i think this is simply brilliant. a word will stick with you. it can become a simple prayer. and, believe me– i NEED a simple prayer. i get intimidated by prayer sometimes. i try to sound “grown-up” or REALLY holy– and, just come off sounding like greg focker in meet the parents :
Oh, dear God, thank you, you are such a good God to us. A kind and gentle and accommodating God, and we thank You oh sweet, sweet Lord of hosts for the smörgåsbord You have so aptly laid at our table this day, and each day, by day, day by day, by day oh dear Lord three things we pray to love Thee more dearly, to see Thee more clearly, to follow Thee more nearly, day, by day, by day. Amen.
i soooooo wish i could pray “pretty”. thankfully, the bible says the Holy Spirit intervenes and groans for us when we don’t have the words to pray.
but maybe, just maybe, if i take a moment and reflect on my life– where i’ve been the past year in my marriage, with my kids, in my friendships, with my God– and, if i can narrow my hopes into one word, God will honor this simple prayer and use it to draw me closer to Him.
so. first, i must be honest and reflect on the state of my life.
my marriage is strong. my hubby loves me despite my selfishness and encourages me to be the best me i can. but, i have to admit– i still struggle with being completely available to him. i have a wall of self-protection that is unattractive and hurtful to our marriage. i value feeling strong and independent– yet i want to feel taken care of and protected– what is that all about??? i confess, i really want to just tear the wall down and put my total trust in my God.
i want to say to my husband, “thank you, for loving me… hang in there… i promise i’ll get better at loving you.”
my children are growing. and, i’m making mistakes. i pray they know how MUCH i love them and how MUCH i hate the anxiety i experience when things get loud and bouncy– and, with kids that’s practically 24/7. i pretty much stay anxious inside a majority of my day. i can go back to my upbringing… my relationship with my parents– or, confess unrealistic expectations i place on both the boys and myself– but, it all comes down to control. i want it, and i don’t have it. this is a HUGE area of concern for me, and i pray the Lord will GENTLY work this out of me.
i want to say to my boys, “i love you. hold on, and trust God. remember… momma’s not perfect, but she’ll always say she’s sorry.”
my friendships… ahhhhhhhhhhhhh… my friendships. i lean on these. i remember who i AM through these. the women i am blessed enough to call “friend” have lifted me up this year, literally carried me on their back, bought me cupcakes, shared their fears, their struggles, their hearts. i love each and every one. they are BETTER than a box of chocolate– because when i need them, i know EXACTLY what i’m gonna get. i wish for more time together, more LIFE together.
to my friends i want to say, “you are my light. you remind me i don’t HAVE to be anything other than what i am. i love each of you, and i thank God for you.”
there’s one special friendship i will never ignore. i want to thank God for making my best friend my sister. this past year put our relationship in a new place. i want to thank God for rescuing my sister, matthew, and amanda out of the wreckage. i want to thank God for giving me the time to share His love with her.
to boobah i want to say, “i promise to always be here. i promise to encourage, love, and lift you up. i miss you. can’t wait until you’re home, and we can rock. it.out.”
and, of course, my God. i must look at how and IF my life reflected God’s gift for me. i confess i watched too much television (i blame tyra banks and that crazy model marathon), i judged, i held on to anger, i fought pride, i did not trust. and, through ALL that (and MORE) He never left me. He used me in my sister’s life, He provided for me, He was at the center of our home and marriage. He shared His word. He lifted me up. He loved me.
to my Lord i want to say, “i love YOU. You are my compass. Your ways are right. Please continue to use me– despite my damage. thank you for your Son.”
to focus my prayers for the coming year.
that will cover all my selfish desires and keep my eyes and heart on Christ.
i pray for freedom from the wall blocking my heart.
i pray for freedom from anxiety and the desire for control.
i pray for freedom to laugh, dance, run, share and eat cupcakes with my homeskillets.
i pray to live in the FREEDOM of the Cross.