grow this year in love

when last year began, i chose to meditate on the word shalom, and as this new year dawns, the word that's stirring my heart is cultivate.

to tend, as a garden
to nurture
to refine
to actively pursue growth

while i always desire to grow in theory, in practice, i don't often want to put in the work. i'm not naturally inclined toward cultivation. left to my own laziness, i'll stagnate, and this year i want to allow God the room and space to work in my heart and my home. i need to be teaching my kids from a place where i myself am conforming to the likeness of Christ and stretching beyond where i am comfortable.

these are the ten areas i'm focusing on cultivating in 2010--areas of my life to deepen, refine, and invite God to work. i acknowledge, like Paul, that growth comes not from myself but from God (1 cor 3:6-7). i can't create results, but i can be faithful and obedient. and i can be forgiven for stumbling along the path.

in 2010, i want to cultivate:

love: "live a life worthy of the calling you have received. be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love" (eph 4:1-2). what better prayer than to grow this year in love, striving to live a life worthy of the great calling i've received in Christ?

spiritual discipline: get back into an intentional, consistent devotional practice, including daily scripture reading.

our marriage: pray daily with jim and get james to sleep in his own bed.

play: be the mom who says "yes" to creativity, spontaneity, pretend, books, and the outdoors.

learning: with dylan, i want to identify teaching moments in everyday experiences and resist the urge to rush through activities. for myself, i've only thought of the embarrassingly modest goal of continuing in penny's book circle and finishing each month's pick on time:)

health: bake more, buy less. get back to the gym. (they offer free childcare, for goodness sake!) can and freeze more from our garden and the farmers' market this summer.

hospitality--each month, welcome at least one person or family into our home for a meal.

friendship: each week, seek out good grown-up conversation, ideally in person, but at least on the phone. jim doesn't count! i'm not waiting anymore for others to reach out first, and i want to pray for eyes to see where others are in need of encouragement.

solitude: though being a stay-at-home mom to little ones can be lonely, it doesn't allow for much solitude, and i'd like to spend at least an hour a week by myself at the library or coffee shop (ideally not the grocery store;) alone with my thoughts and my God.

order: i function best without clutter, and so before bed and at other points in the day, i'd like to practice five-minute organizing blitzes to manage the chaos.

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. (John 15:5-8)

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." (Galatians 5:22-23)

Father, may my life bear much fruit this year, as i abide in you.

what new year's goals are you mulling over?

1 comment:

Penny said...

oh these are all so good. I'm still thinking about mine really. Was reading that bit about the vine the other day and was made conscious again of the need for continual connection through prayer and meditation. I still struggle with making the time for that - so tempting to sleep a little longer, read my novel a bit longer.. you know what I mean.
I've also been really grateful for God as a restorer and His patience to renew and invigorate the things that belong to Him. Having said that it would be great if I didn't presume on that mercy and made a better effort so instead of restoration there would be better growth.

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