Today our Pastor talked about something that has been on my mind. He asked, how are you going run the race? He was referring to the race that is the new year, He asked if we were going to just finish, if we were running to win, or if we wanted to not only win but take home the reward.
If you have been reading my blog, you know that it is not likely that I am going to run anywhere. However, it does have me considering my life and how I am living it and what I want my goals for the new year to be.
I had a pretty amazing second half of last year. I found myself training to be a facilitator for a women's ministry. A place I never imagined I would ever be. I also found myself in a classroom full of Kindergarteners, learning about love.
Last year I wrote a blog about new year resolutions and what I thought about them, and what mine were. I went back and looked at that post. I said my resolution was to be in service some where to God. I had no idea where that was going to take me, That is what I prayed. I prayed God would use me, of course when I imagined being used by God it was on a stage for Women of Faith. I realized that my idea of serving God was often more about me, then about God, I found myself thinking that if I was not serving in this HUGE capacity that it was somehow not serving.
God has worked on my heart. He opened the door for me to be part of Beauty for Ashes. A ministry for abused women. It has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, and the funny thing is that it has nothing to do with me. Beauty For Ashes works because God is the center and focus, I have never been in a place where Gods presence is more apparent. It has been service done in obedience to his calling. It is no place I would have ever taken myself. There were days I thought I don't have time for this, or I am so tired, BUT God was faithful. I left every meeting more energized to serve and secure in my calling.
God also gave me a second job last year. In addition to working with my mother-in-law, I now also work with kids. If you go back and read my post last year about service, it specifically says, I didn't think my calling was KINDERGARTEN. I am now the before and after school Kindergarten teacher at my daughters school. I think it is pretty funny how God works. I have never been happier, than I am with those kids. I love listening to their conversations. I love hearing them learn, I love watching them grow. I believe God wanted to show me love, and he gave me a class room full of kids that give great hugs. They amaze me everyday. They are the perfect place to see God, to teach God, to be an example of God, and how much He loves them, and each of us.
So as I think about how I want my new year to go. I think my prayer is going to change. I want this year to be about obedience to God's will. I want to live like God has called me to, even if it means I am completely out of my comfort zone. I want to pray and live like this prayer in Ephesians:
14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
To answer the question of my pastor, do I want to just finish, win, or take home the prize. For those of you who know me, its easy, I want to take home the prize! I want this new year, to be the first of many years where my service is in obedience, my will is more God less me, and my life is filled with the "wide, long, high, and deep" love of Christ, filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
I can't wait to come back and read this next year, and see what kind of adventures the Lord takes me on for 2013. I am sure that it will be a road I wasn't planning on traveling. May God give each of you great adventures wrapped in love this year.
This is my mindset, now let me hear yours!