How are you feeling as this new year of your life is beginning ? What did you experience on your journey through the holy days & into the new year ?
Care to join me for a cup of coffee ? I'm navigating right now with an uplifting & tasty cup of coffee - well, actually I treated myself to a Starbucks nonfat latte. What's your beverage of choice ?
I'm always curious to learn more about you - and what you're enjoying & not enjoying in your life. It's so important to share your joy with others, but it's also important to share your struggles. What challenges are you facing as this year begins ? Maybe you're thinking, "Toni, I'm grateful to God & I don't want to get stuck focusing on my 'circumstances'...but since you're asking, wanna know what I'm struggling with ? " Yes, I do.
So today, as we launch into a new year, I want to zoom in on how you can get some life support through listening - support that decreases your suffering and increases your experience of clarity, courage and progress on your journey.
Here are Four Simple Steps :
1) Set aside 20-30 minutes to spend prayerfully with God. Find a quiet place to sit & breathe. Pour out your heart to Him. Ask Him to reveal a verse of scripture or some words of guidance that speak directly to where you're struggling as you embark on this new season of life. Then .... listen.
2) Be open to hearing and willing to be inspired. Not straining or stressing out, but trusting that God will let you know what you need to know. In the form that He chooses. Maybe right there & then...or in the hours or days to follow.
3) Write it down. Writing out your prayers & journaling can help tune your attention in to godly guidance. Keep a few index cards with you so that you're ready to make notes wherever you are. And check any guidance you get to see how it lines up with God's Word.
4) Give thanks. Thankfulness grows by practice. Whether gratitude comes naturally or feels counter-intuitive, whether you need to weep & rail first or whatever your circumstances, remember that when you surrender your heart & all your "stuff" to your Savior, He is mighty to save ! Praise & enjoy Him.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear
but of power & of love and of a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1: 7
As I intentionally tune in & speak its truth aloud each day, I'm learning where & how I'm letting my mind, the world or the enemy draw me into fear & anxiety rather than receiving God's incredible gifts to me: POWER, LOVE & A SOUND MIND. God wants me to use these gifts here and now. His amazing grace is available on earth as it is in heaven.
Can you find or can you set aside a time & space, an environment that supports you in receiving, reflecting upon and advancing in the guidance & gifts that our generous Lord wants to give you? He wants you to take refuge in Him & experience more of his empowerment . What will help you do that this year ?
Whatever the obstacles, injuries or fears, you kept going. You kept moving forward in faith and you were willing to call on the Lord & on your God-given gifts of courage, endurance & determination. Congratulations & welcome to 2017 !
As this new year begins, I pray for a renewal of life for you - recharged energy, restored goodness, remarkable hope & healing - from our Savior who makes all things new. And from my heart to yours, I encourage you to trust that God can & will magnify His light in you & your life this year as you bring it all to Him.
Wherever you are on this earth, from Kansas to Kenya, if you need an ally & fellow traveler along the way, I'm here for you. May God's blessings be a lamp unto your feet & a light unto your path !