Happy New Year!

Rural signboard - Forward - Backward
In December of 2013, I asked God what my word, or focus, for the new year should be, and, while I would have chosen “rich” or “famous” or “six-pack-while-still-consuming-sugar”, the Lover of My Soul answered, “Growth.”
Okay, so I wouldn’t be getting rich or discovered, but I like growing deeper and getting smarter, so I eagerly rubbed my palms together, pulled my boots up, and gruffly thought, “Bring it on 2014! Teach me!”
Twenty-fourteen came and it turned out to be a good year. But the year was busy. Especially the fall; at points it was crazy even according to my standards. I served in ministries at church. I signed up to hold babies in the nursery on Saturday nights. I volunteered to teach a class at our homeschool academy. Oh yeah, and I homeschool! This year there were three students in my little kitchen classroom – all different grade levels, two of which can’t read, one which requires patience and understanding on my part as his skill with the all things reading and writing are an awkward challenge.
I can’t say, in all this busyness, I learned much about the Bible or grew in my
knowledge about the Lord. Sometimes it feels like the only thing that grew this year was my to-do list and the laundry pile.
I entered the Christmas season with caution and slight dread, and it was then, a month before 2014 passed us by, that He gave me understanding on how the word “growth” had applied: God had graciously revealed two important things about my character in the latter part of the year.
One is that I am a people-pleaser. Believe it or not, we all are people-pleaser to some extent, but I didn’t realize that a lot of my deep-seeded yearnings were based on acquiring people’s stamp of approval and admiration. (So there you have it, the ugly truth about Janna, but if God can handle it with grace, so can you.)
Second was that my ambition level, summed up in the quote, “I came, I saw, I attempted to conquer,” is sometimes a force to be pitied rather than admired, especially when the root is anchored in that stamp of approval a fore mentioned.
The entire year I have been looking to grow and flourish in knowledge of the Word. And yet, here I was, finally realizing I couldn’t grow until God had ripped out a few wicked weeds flourishing near my roots. My ambition to achieve and please is written into my DNA, but it was time. It was time to grow without them.
As soon as He pulled the veil of confusion from my eyes He gave me the word for 2015. Desperate. Yes, I am desperate for God and God alone. Come on 2015, I’m ready!
What’s your word of the year?

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