Shifts in 2011
just a little something
to begin your week.
I’m not a big fan of making New Year’s resolutions. Mostly because in January, we muster up the strength to make some huge changes in our lives and by March, we’ve lost our stamina to continue the change.
Although I don’t like promising big change, I do feel it’s important to pause and reflect at the beginning of each new year. I enjoy thinking through the past year and how God has met me, as well as recognize the areas in which God wants me to continue to grow through the new year.
One insight that came to my mind this year as I reflected on the topic of new year’s resolutions was from my friend, Beth. She spoke about these subjects of change and growth at my parents’ church last October. She explained that for a growth cycle to occur, once we have an experience, we must reflect on the experience, then “shift” our mindset, and move to action. I liked her use of the word “shift” instead of change because it proposes an incremental move in one direction rather than radical change. And with God’s help, a shift is something we can tackle and maintain through the entire year.
With that in mind, I asked the Lord what shifts He wants me to make in 2011. He brought to mind 3 S’s. (I didn’t even realize they began with the same letter until I looked back over my journal entry.)
I’ve been sensing that God wants me to slow my schedule down. I am a born go-getter, and yet God has been teaching me to take the needed time to grow in my intimacy with Him. Instead of filling my schedule with good opportunities, I plan to ask God for wisdom about how He wants me to use my time. I also have learned after recovering from cancer how crucial it is take care of myself—body, soul, and spirit. I am understanding at an entirely new level why God instructs us to take time each week to rest.
“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
Through major and minor events in 2010, God has been teaching me to find my security in Him rather than the many distractions seeking my attention. Specifically in 2011, I sense that God wants me to make a shift away from placing my security on others’ opinions and my health, and more toward Him. Comparing myself to others and hyper-focusing on health and nutrition guidelines do not give me more security; only placing my trust in the Lord will give me the security I need.
“I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure.” Psalm 16:8,9
In walking through cancer in 2010, God has deepened my walk with Him. He is teaching me that He will not withhold good from me as I surrender my plans, desires, and disappointments to Him (Psalm 84:11). As I wait and watch God work with respect to some of my deepest dreams (remaining cancer-free and becoming a mom), I am learning to keep my hands open to what He provides, regardless of whether or not such circumstances align with how I envision my life unfolding. I want to embrace the gifts He offers me in 2011, trusting that His heart toward me is for my good and His glory. As Elisabeth Elliot says, I desire to “accept and thank God for what is given, not allowing the not-given to spoil it.”
“Take delight in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart…Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for Him.” Psalm 37:4,7
May we sense the shifts God desires for us in 2011, and may He give us the grace and strength to carry them through completion throughout the year.
“…being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6