Before I knew of the one word challenge, I knew for sure that God had placed specific focal points in each year for me.
2008 – Silence
2009 – Prayer
2010 – Faith
2011 – Detangle
2012 – Obey
2013 – Simplify
2014 – REST
As I look back over the years since I began this 1 word challenge in 2012 and beyond, I realize that each word, each focal point for the year, summed up each year really well. God truly knows us and what we need better than we know ourselves. A dear sister and friend shared this challenge with me several years ago, and I now share it with you. It has changed my life and the way I think, my year and the way I make decisions.
Towards the end of the year I begin to ask God for my word; my focal point for the year. Each year He gives me a scripture to tie to that word. This year’s word –
But how, God? I submit my “How do I rest?” list with a toddler tantrum:
- As a wife of a police officer?
- With 5 children and an overactive dog?
- As a homeschool mom and family?
- With health issues that arise?
- Concerns for family members?
- This chaotic world and society?
For this, then is the challenge. Remember. Laurie. God is not trying to keep you comfortable, but to grow you in His image.
“Be STILL and KNOW that I am God.” ~Psalm 46:10
Be still. Rest. In this day and age these two terms are at war with our very nature and society, and most definitely; with me!
Last year was simplicity, simplifying the many branches of my life and pruning the excess to bring about a healthier Laurie for myself and my family. I confess it is easy for me to get caught up in the “doing” of life that I can and had lost sight of the blessing of life and the lives around me. Even still, to rest seems impossible in the face of the partial list above I shared. But, that’s just it.
“But, with God ALL things are possible.” ~Matthew 19:26
Knowing this truth, I sat in my quiet place several days ago and penned the following words in the first page of my 2014 journal as He led me:
- Rest in My love for you
- Rest in My peace
- Rest in My promises and Word
- Rest in My will
- Rest in your faith in Me
- Rest in your mind and spirit for I am your rest
So how do I apply this practically in my life?
I began the year with the challenge and the daily war from the enemy to steal the rest God wants to give me. I fell asleep with a running list in my head of things to do. In the cluttered highways of thought in my head came my word bursting through the heavens like a tornado that takes us by surprise and demands attention and respect – REST!
My body needed it, and the thoughts were at war with God’s will for me. God knew I needed the REST. I had to choose to take it and be willing to learn to still myself before Him knowing that He is already present in tomorrow.
I. can. rest. in. that. truth.
Tomorrow is another day. Tomorrow I will awake and ask Him to lead and trust His leading. The enemy is so clever because he projects our fears from the past into tomorrow, our future, so that he can steal the rest, peace and joy God has for us today.
I will not try and tell you that this challenge will be easy. It is much easier typed and shared than done.
So, how does this apply to everyday life?
I am reminded to rest in Him, what He has called me to, where I am in the moment , in what He reveals – knowing full well that He works out all things for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
More importantly, when I am not in rest about something, it will be my cue that I need to wait on Him, and/or walk away and take my peace. Therefore, REST – it’s my focal point for every branching area of my life. I know it will be a challenge, but I also know that God wouldn’t give me a word if He wasn’t going to show me how to do it, walk it with me, and be my rest in the process. I have often shared a truth once shared with me,
“If God brings you to it, He is faithful to bring you through it.”
With that I challenge each of you to a one word focal point for the year to freely flow in every branching area of your life. Our journey in life is a pilgrimage, not conforming to the world around us, but bettering ourselves in this journey called life.
♦ 1 Challenge
♦ 1 Word
♦ 1 Focal Point
♦ 1 Person better than the year before
What’s your word? Feel free to share it and encourage others in the process.
Because of Him,