Twenty-fourteen: the year of the Lord


Last year, I was introduced to the "guiding word" idea, where you pick one word to describe your goals for the new year. Pull out your favorites - the words that make you go feel something and then think about what you've got coming up in the new year. Keep brainstorming until the two intersect and you'll end up with one word (or a few) that capture the spirit of what your dreams are for the next year. In 2013, I chose the word "Challenge" to guide my goals and priorities. 2013 was full of overcoming fears and starting new things - I graduated from college, began blogging more frequently, quit my jobs, started law school and moved out on my own for the first time. So, challenge was the perfect fit!

This year, I wanted something different though, so after a lot of thought and prayer, for me, 2014 is going to be the year of the Lord (Isaiah 61:1-3).

More Jesus Square

Lately, God has been talking to me A LOT about my priorities and the excess in my life - spiritual, mental and physical. As I worked through my goals for 2014, I realized how much of them are about me. My dreams. My schedule. My body. My career. All mine.

Every year, I made the same goals over and over again to fulfill my personal ambitions and selfish desires. In return, that's how I've lived my life - doing what I want to do every day, eating whatever my body craves, dressing the way I want to, all the while praying for the Lord to do His will in my life.

For example, as a Type A personality, I'm ruled by my schedule - I love punctuality and having everything in order. So when people randomly ask me for favors on a busy day or unexpected events muddle up my carefully planned day, I can easily slip into a not so charitable mood.

Then, I look at Jesus and how He lived. People followed Him everywhere He went, not just His disciples, but some days as many as thousands pushed and shoved to even get a glimpse of Him. Every single one of these people wanted something from Jesus - healing, blessings, salvation, food, a leader, comfort...and He gave all of this to them and even more - from early morning to late in the night, He gave it all.

Jesus didn't have a personal agenda or goals, because His sole purpose for living was to fulfill the will of His father.

"No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded." -John 10:18

Even as He faced a horrible death, Jesus prayed "...nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done." (Luke 22:42)

Some people say that today, there is no way we could live like Jesus did, but according to the Bible, "He who says he abides in Him, ought himself also to walk just as He walked." (1 John 2:6).

That's why this year, I want to see what the Lord can do. I want to let go of personal ambitions and clear out clutter in order to make room for God to move. I'm going to say yes more often to the things the Holy Spirit prompts me to do, even if sometimes they go against all human logic or personal convenience.

2014 is the year I give more of my time, resources, and finances to God. It's the year I'm going to cultivate an outward-focuse life and work on living out my faith. More of Jesus. Less of me.

This is the year I lose my life. (Luke 17:25). This is a 365 day love story between an ordinary girl and an extraordinary God.

"I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." -Galatians 2:20

Can you imagine a world if all of us were filled more with Him and God's unconditional love and less of our own selfish ambitions and fears?! Above all, I want this verse to be true in my life. I don't want to be ruled by human fears, selfish ambition, envy, or the desires of my flesh. Instead, I want to see what Jesus sees. I want to be His hands and speak His truth. So that no matter what may come my way, He always is and will be my everything. 

Each month, I'm going to set a challenge of some sort to focus on. I though about outlining those right now, but the whole point of this is to give control to God, so instead, we'll just go month to month. Each monthly challenge will serve as a building blog for the next.

JANUARY is the month to purge, un-clutter and unplug - mentally, spiritually and physically.

What's your word for 2014?


PS. Save the image above as a desktop screensaver, download the iPhone 5 wallpaper version here or download the print and frame it on your desk. This is the year of the Lord.