Fearlessly Faithful

Bobby and I have been having a lot of conversations lately about our family goals for the year and as those conversations continued to deepen, the words fearless and faithful came to mind which we are making as the theme for us for this year.

Fearlessly Faithful.

I hesitated in my mind as I started to type out the word plan as I began this post because I know myself and I know that I can hold real tightly to those so-called plans; not allowing myself to be flexible to changes that come and holding to my (usually unrealistic) expectations which eventually lets me down.  Maybe you can relate.  I can be really flexible (i.e. lazy) in other areas of my life, but when it comes to life planning I have the tendency to go overboard trying to control every detail which not only ends up producing mounds of stress for me, it more importantly always affects my relationship with God in a negative way.  In going along with our Fearlessly Faithful theme, I am eliminating the "p" word from my vocabulary and instead looking ahead with hopes, desires and prayers so that in doing so I may let go of the control freak inside, listen to the desires God is laying on my heart, and cling to the many promises we have in Him.

That said, here are my top 3 hopes, desires and prayers for this year {in no particular order}:

To be real, genuine and authentic. There is so much that goes on in my heart and our life I don't share on here.  It's not that everything on here up until this point has been fake, I've just been very conservative with the depth of what I share which, frankly, has been out of fear and insecurity. Scared of being too transparent out here in the blogosphere..  God has been revealing to me a lot lately about the importance of sharing my heart with others and that is a really hard thing for me to do, even with my husband sometimes! From this, a desire has been stirring inside of me for more of my true heart and faith to pour out into my life and this blog.  No, I won't stop sharing what we've been up to, places we visited, or crafts that I've attempted and never finished. Those things are all part of life too and I enjoy looking back at those times like I did this past year and reliving all the fun things God allowed us to do as a family. My hope however, is that through faithfully following Him and learning how to lay down my fears and insecurities, I can be more comfortable being myself and a lot more real on the blog in my relationships.

Daily quiet time with Lord.  It took me a really long time to realize that daily time spent in the Word and in prayer looks different for everyone and definitely looks different throughout the seasons of life.  I have always heard that the best time for quiet time is first thing in the morning which totally makes sense. How wonderful it is for our hearts to start our day falling in love with our Savior all over again, right?  It's been such a struggle for me to do this day in a day out and I always end up feeling defeated after falling off track but I know that it isn't the timing of our quiet time that is important, it is the quality.  It is not something to just be checked off the list.  What is more important is that I am intentionally carving out time to spend with the Lord each and every day.  The more of Him I have in my day (even if it is not first thing in the morning), the easier it is to let go of myself (my selfish desires, etc).  With a 5am wake up call right now, the morning is just not ideal, and I am OK with that. What has been ideal for me right now is setting aside that time before I go to bed.  One of the things I do to start off and to stay consistent in getting into the Word are daily devotionals.  I feel like they help give me a little direction and once I'm submerged in the Word with those devotionals, it makes it so much easier to stay there and just be.  Currently I am reading through a devotional called Soul Detox (found on You Version).  It's amazing and God has moved mountains in my heart through it.  This devotional is about learning to identify what fears and toxic thoughts or influences are getting in the way of becoming the person God has created us to be and learning through scripture what God's says about how to let go of these toxicities.  One of the biggest things I've learned to be very careful with what I'm allowing into my heart.  Things like the type of radio I listen to (like clock work I turn on The Bert Show in the mornings driving to work), TV shows (Bravo... E!... you know what I'm talking about.. trash TV.), websites and apps (Facebook, twitter, etc.).  No, I am not against anything secular, but if I am being honest with myself I know that too much of some of those things can be really bad for my heart. So I know that I need to be cautious and on guard when it comes to those kind of things.

Continuing our Financial Peace Journey.  At the end of December, we paid off the last of our debt (so freeing!), but, it doesn't stop there.  Through the program we have learned how to put a name to each dollar in our bank and have a designated spot for each and every one in our budget.  We are now at a point where we can look months and years ahead to set our family's financial goals instead of focusing on just the current month.  God has done a lot of work in us through this process, and it has been hard...and it hasn't been fun...but we are so thankful for it!

Peru.  This is a topic that has been discussed constantly over the last year.  Bobby has a family he lived with for a few months in Peru years ago that is still near and dear to his heart and we have always talked about going back together and do whatever we can to share the Good News while we are there. Now that we are out of debt we are praying for this to become a reality this year.   Now I just need to learn Spanish...

The most important hope and prayer I have, above everything else listed thus far is that as we pursue the desires God is placing on our hearts, that is mark of the Holy Spirit is evident every step of the way.   I hope that through our fearless faith in Him, the light of Lord would shine so brightly through us that it will be all you can see.  I know this isn't going to be easy, and this isn't to say we'll never be afraid, but when we are, and in those trying times, it is my hope that we turn right back to our Father, putting our trust in Him.

But when I am afraid,
I will put my trust in  you.
I praise God for what he has promised.
I trust in God, so why should 
I be afraid?
Psalms 56: 3-4

The same day I started writing out this post, a fellow Young Life leader posted on Instagram a page from "Dangerous Wonder" and these lines seemed to jump off the screen at me:

"Following [Jesus], it turns out, is not a one time, spectacular act of faith, but a one-day-at-a-time, ordinary, unspectacular following act of fearlessness that takes us through the most frightening and rugged terrain to a place of peace, joy, and abandon."

Amen to that! And amen to God reaching out to us in the neatest and sometimes smallest of ways. I love that about Him.

I hope to look back at the end of 2013 and see the fruit of the Spirit pouring out of us.  I pray to see His name, His word and His truth proclaimed through everything we do.

So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, 
do it all for the 
of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31

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