Hello All! Happy New Year to you! January always brings this sense of anticipation, doesn’t it? Like the clean, blank pages of the coming months are full of potential! You don’t want to mess things up. The days are fresh and waiting to be filled with great stories! What amazing things lie ahead?
Of course we put great pressure on ourselves. And the inevitable lack of perfection usually greets us bluntly before January is over. Still, there is grace, and the Lord continues to lead and love us, especially as we’re reminded of that imperfection.
I’ve seen several women posting a word for the upcoming year, a theme to set the stage for the months ahead. I’ve never really chosen a word or verse like that, but as the new year began, I started praying about what the Lord might be calling me to in 2017. One idea continues to be brought to the forefront:
At the end of all my years, I hope to hear the words, “My good and faithful servant.” But I’m learning that faithfulness is in the small, usually unseen moments that, over time, shape the sum. Like small strokes or impressions, intentionally and continuously made. Stepping back reveals the reward. In the up close, everyday life, these small choices to do and give and serve may have seemed mundane, tedious, unimportant. But a life of faithfulness stands as a great testament. And beyond the doing and the serving, I’m learning two things – Faithfulness requires faith, and faithfulness is to Jesus.
The boys were studying the life of Noah the other day, learning that God’s commission to build the ark + zoo cost him over a hundred years! Can you imagine what faith was required to continuously gather the supplies, to shape and craft this vessel, to endure curiosity and ridicule, to believe that at the end of it all, rain would come and flood the world? But faith brought forth a life of faithfulness – not to the task, not to the boat, but to God Himself. Noah believed God, and loved Him day in and day out.
And what will be said of my own life? That I did good things? Or was gifted in some way? That I spent my days giving and serving? Or will it be that I loved Jesus with all that I am and was spent completely for His good pleasure?
The year ahead really is full, of potential and of grace. For each day ahead, I pray the Lord finds me faithful.
I wanted to share too, many of you heard us talk about a girl named Liana as we were preparing to come to Ireland. When we first visited in 2015, her parents shared how she was the only Christian in her school, among hundreds of kids. At her young age (5 at the time) she’d already faced instances of ridicule for her beliefs. God is doing an amazing work here. For the first time in a long while, more children in Ireland are growing up in Christian homes. The culture is changing, but these young believers are part of the 1% of Evangelicals in this country. They are learning to live out their faith in a place that can be very difficult on Christians.
Since our arrival in October, we’ve gotten to hang out with Liana and her family several times. She holds her own with our boys and I’m grateful for her sweet girly influence in their lives. We were Facetiming with someone in the States the other night and they asked the boys if they were making friends here. Silas told them about a few kids and then talked about Liana and how much they enjoy hanging out with her. I’m so thankful for the community God is giving us here.
So much is at stake as we say Yes to the Lord, as we choose daily to follow Him where He leads. May we steward well the days He sets before us and be found faithful.