There is a particular excitement that only arises around January. The warm nostalgia of Christmas fades and is replaced by the bubbling joy of a fresh start – a new year.
The desire to begin anew and pursue self-improvement becomes contagious, appearing in the form of New Year’s resolutions. Yet, as much as goals, plans, and aspirations spark to life in my own mind, I’ve felt the need to pause. To be still. To worship.
The busy-body tendency is so quickly kindled, and I have to make sure I don’t let it spread into a wildfire of outwardly impressive but spiritually dead works. I’m eager to become a prudent homemaker, caring wife, and dutiful mother, but in these good longings is the potential for false idols and empty accomplishments.
In the attempt to be the Proverbs 31 woman it’s easy to forsake the two crucial aspects of her character – a strong fear of the Lord and a lack of fear of the future.
She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. Proverbs 31:25
Mrs. P31 was not an abnormal superwoman, but a hard-working servant of the Most High. She depended on His grace and instruction. She was not said to be constantly anxious, like we can be if don’t fix our eyes upon Christ.
As I became aware of my ambitious and covetous heart this New Year’s, I realized the word of focus I needed for 2017 could not be based on productivity, the temporary, or people pleasing. It needed to be about having the Lord as my firm foundation, and the spring of life from which all my actions flow.
Jesus: Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. John 15:4
The Holy Spirit and His Word were urging me to worship. To satisfy my every longing in Him, in the everyday. I then remembered the encouragement I received both at my bridal shower and baby shower. To ABIDE in Christ. And so the word for 2017 was chosen.
Abide means to dwell, to wait and to endure; to remain within. And Who else but Jesus should we rest in and be rooted in? Everything I set out to do should first come from abiding in His love. I made this acronym to remind as the next 12 months pass by.
A – Adore His majesty in prayer.
B – Bless Him in service.
I – Incline my heart toward His Word.
D – Dwell deep in His love.
E – Exalt Him with joy.
This year I’ll be writing an ABIDE Bible Study, looking at Scriptures that speak to each of these letters and remind us to sit at His feet. To join me, sign up here!
At the end of 2017, the best blessings won’t have come from my perfectly cleaned home or amazing cooking skills, but rather the moments spent on my knees, or with a pen to paper, or kissing Amariah’s chubby baby cheeks, or laughing with the love of my life. I want to dwell in the Lord’s embrace, praising Him as the seasons pass with blessings and trials. I want to abide in the goodness of my Savior. You abide in whatever you trust. And I pray to trust Him wholeheartedly.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Psalm 91:1-2
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