A New Year...to Grow

I am terrible at New Year’s resolutions.

Just terrible.

By mid-March, I have always stopped what I started, or started what I wanted to stop. So last year I finally decided not to make resolutions because having one more thing to do just wasn’t what I needed. Micah was really sick. He had just had surgery to have the GJ tube, that we prayed he wouldn’t need. I was literally trying to survive. So adding more expectations on myself seemed exhausting.

I was reading through my journals a few days ago, as I do at the end of every year. My only goal for 2016 was to know Father more. I asked Him to take me to deeper places with Him. I only wish you could sit down on my couch with a hot cup of coffee and I could tell you all of the ways He has.

My journal was filled with hundreds of prayers asking Him to make a way for me to stay at home with my children. He did that. Although it was much different than we thought, I am home with them, and He pays our bills every month. We have watched Him over and over supply our every need. And we are living in His abundance, watching Him provide for us.

Many of those pages were filled with prayers for my children. Especially Micah’s health. In March, we received a Cerebral Palsy diagnosis, that was devastating. But looking at Micah now, watching him run and play, you would never know unless you look close. He is a walking miracle. God has healed him. He is still solely tube fed, but his interest in food grows more and more each day. And for that, we are over the moon thankful.

There were many pages of prayers in my journal about you. Asking Father to show me what to write, to show me what you need, what would encourage you. My friend, Rachel, completely built my new website and in this blog world, that’s pretty exciting. I’ve prayed for this space on the internet to become one of community, and I think it is, becoming. I know I don’t know many of you, I hope to know you more, but please know I pray for every pair of eyes that read these words. You mean so much to me. I appreciate you reading and following along in this journey. I'm dreaming big dreams and asking Father in big ways how I can serve you more. You take up pages in my journals, too.

But at the bottom of every page in my journal, you will find, “I barely know You. Take me deeper.” This year, for the first time, I’ve truly understood what it looks like to walk in intimacy with Father. I’ve tasted deep friendship with Him. I’ve been absolutely captivated with what life can look like walking in the Spirit and what it means to have His Kingdom here on earth. It’s as if my eyes have been unveiled and I am seeing the world in color for the first time. It’s like finding the perfect shampoo or the best diaper bag and I have to tell EVERYONE about it, so they can have it too! I can’t stop talking about it. How can it be that my hunger for Him is insatiable, yet so satisfying at the same time? I just know I can’t get enough of Him. I can’t get Him off my mind. This life with Him, this knowing Him deeper is just so good.

As we turn the calendar page to one of fresh new beginnings, I was asking Him last week what He wanted for me this year. I was writing mid-sentence and heard Him whisper, “grow.” I struggled so long with striving. Striving for Father's love and affection. I tried to follow all of the rules in attempts to attain the law. Thankfully, Jesus made me right with the Father. I don't have to strive any longer, I can rest in the work Jesus did on the cross. However, growing takes effort, from me. It's different from striving. It's chasing after Father, pressing into Him, reading His Word, and spending time with Him. I want every day of this year to be spent in hot pursuit of Him. He says when we seek Him, we'll find Him.

Paul encourages the church in 2 Thessalonians 1:3, that their faith is growing and their love is increasing. When we lean into Father, when we press in to know Him more, the by-product is change. We grow, naturally out of our knowing Him. I’m praying that over our year. That’ll we’ll grow in faith and increase in love.

I followed Selah around the kitchen yesterday in her princess dress and roller skates. She was skating to “the ball,” and I was etching her sweet innocence in my brain forever. For just a second, she turned around to smile at me, and I saw her little baby face. Although I wish so badly some days I could go back in time and squish her baby cheeks once more, watching her grow, is so much fun. The little girl she is becoming is beautiful, strong, and tender. And it brings me so much joy watching her grow.

It made me think, what delight it must bring Father to watch us grow?

He must be so proud of us when we stumble forward, falling sometimes, but eager to get back up, only to press in more to Him. His heart must burst with joy, when He watches us learn new things and step out in faith to trust Him, even when it’s hard. He must adore watching us as we choose to walk in our identity as His daughter, as we choose to wear our princess gown each day.

I’m praying as we bring in the New Year, that this year will be one filled with growth. Forget working hard to keep goals or resolutions, let's just fall more in love. Let's press into Him, keep pursuing Him, and growing in our identity as His daughters.

Happy New Year, friends!