When your “worlds” seem to collide from various angles and all paths point toward one clear theme, can you deny that message in your life? I think the Lord has been laughing at me as I have continued to process a vision for direction in this new season, which has started for various reasons right along with 2018. My first journal entry of the year claimed that while I didn’t like to set “resolutions”, my recent season of change was a good restart for hopes and goals. I didn’t set tangible “goals”, but I’m still determined to see these hopes as guiding check-points to help focus my actions and decisions. If it matches up with these, then I should consider it; if it doesn’t, then I shouldn’t let it have a place in my life this season. While it may be hard to live these hopes out every day, they can still serve as a list to continually guide me with my time on the margins; a space that I can easily allow other things to sneak in. If you missed my descriptions you can read them here, but here’s my list in short:
- Practice Contentment.
- Soak up and pour out Joy and Grace.
- Keep Perspective, especially before allowing emotional response.
- Fill my time with that which is currently “life-giving” and BE more “life-giving” in turn as I pour out.
- Plan out my week to try to maintain BALANCE with my responsibilities and therefore create margin in my schedule.
These are all things that I’ve always HOPED for, desired to LIVE BY, and knew were GOOD. As a Christian I could point toward truth scattered all through the word that make these things seem elementary to my faith. But as I dig into HOW to keep these focal points at the forefront and aim for them daily, the Lord has been clearly emphasizing this one word:
There is Freedom from whether I lived up to these expectations in the past. There is Freedom from how I will fail to live this out perfectly in the present. There is Freedom in how God will shift and change my hopes and guiding goals in the future. Freedom from looking for affirmation from others that these hopes are good. FREEDOM. That I shouldn’t question whether I’m hearing the Lord perfectly in this vision, or missing any detail of how they should be defined. FREEDOM. Or even that I’m perfectly and eloquently sharing them for accountability or encouragement for others. FREEDOM.
I believe reaching for these goals will allow me to experience more freedom more often: freedom from the world’s expectations, from the pressures of social media or cultural ‘norms’, from the heartache of the world, etc, etc…but if I look at what God wants me to seek, it’s Truth. And Truth leads to Freedom!
About six months ago, as I was planning and preparing for a yearly Women’s retreat I get to help coordinate as part of my job, the Lord put this word on my heart. We were about to host the second year of what He told me would be a three-part series on “Embracing” in your life. I was anxious about the retreat coming up; most would say that the last-minute details should be my only focus. However I had peace that everything would fall into place, and that I was to start living in the FREEDOM we would talk about even more the following year. It was amazing to step into that presence and watch God start to orchestrate the details of our 2018 event. I’ve been continually affirmed as we step into the planning of that event, and as my personal life collides with the theme, it’s also clear that this message is for me even if no one else is impacted next October.
I’m going to continue breaking these lessons down on the blog. If your spirit resonates with the message to “Embrace Your Freedom” and you’re looking for reasons to claim that freedom, please join me! I would love any encouragement others are finding in how to do this, and welcome friends to step alongside me in this journey. Here’s to 2018. And the hope we can be more Free!
What’s your favorite freedom quote, verse, or image? Will you share it with me in the comments? I’d love help collecting as I dive in this year! Thank you. xoxo.