Happy New Year!! I love the New Year! There is something so powerful & exciting to me about a fresh start, a clean slate, a blank canvas. Recently I took a weekend trip to Indiana to visit some of my dearest friends & we took a painting class. You know the ones, they have become a popular Groupon destination for a girl’s night out & usually involve a patient instructor and a lot of laughter.
I have always wanted to try a paint class and was SO excited to finally do one, especially with these dear friends. As I sat in front of the blank canvas I remember bouncing around in my seat with nervous energy. It was powerful! The wonder & anticipation were brimming out of me as sat in front of that blank canvas. I was definitely expectant, I’m mean…come on…I was about to create a masterpiece! If I’m honest I was a tiny bit fearful, what if mine looks terrible, or what if I make a mistake and screw it up? I haven’t painted anything since high school…and let’s just say that was a LONG time ago. I didn’t want to embarrass myself in front of the whole class and feel like a failure. This experience echos my heart going into the new year. 2018 is a blank canvas! 2017 was a very difficult year for us and I don’t know about you but I was happy to see it in the rear view mirror. 2018 is a fresh start, a clean slate, a blank canvas. What will you fill it with? Will it be a masterpiece? What goals have been brimming in your heart that you are chasing after? Will you let fear paralyze your progress?I am headed into 2018 with some GOD sized goals & dreams y’all!! I am sitting on the edge of my seat with nervous energy determined to paint my canvas into something glorious. Who’s with me?? This week I have been studying the life of Daniel in the Old Testament and these 5 words continue to resonate in my heart. I see them in Daniel’s story and want them in my life.
HOPE: My prayer this year is that the Lord would renew my hope. I see in Daniel a man of God who’s hope in God never wavered. He maintained a confident expectation that God would provide & deliver him, and God did!
SURRENDER: My prayer this year is that God would give me the faith & strength to surrender to His will, even if I’m afraid, even if I don’t understand, even if I’m in unknown territory and am not in control. Daniel started out as a young man in exile who was brought to serve in the king’s court. This was a very vulnerable situation to find yourself in, yet he still lived a surrendered life to God and risked his life rather than disobey God’s commands. So inspiring!
TRANSFORMATION: My prayer for this year is that God would transform my life. Dramatically refine & transform my character to be more like Christ. In Daniel chapter 4 God radically transforms the life of wicked King Nebuchadnezzer, humbling him to the point of grazing on grass like cattle, until he ultimately blessed & worshiped God. That was a serious transformation!
CONSISTENCY: Ughhh this is a huge one for me, especially with this blog. My prayer is that God would teach me the disciple of consistency. I love in Daniel chapter 6 (the lions den chapter…one of the most famous stories about Daniel’s life) that the bad guys who were trying to trap him knew his schedule to the hour….why….because Daniel was consistent. He prayed 3x a day, and even though the enemy tried to use that against him, God’s great power & mercy protected him from the lions.
STAYING CONNECTED: My prayer for this year is that I would have a greater depth of connectedness to the community of family & friends that God has treasured my life with. Ministry, leadership, and life can often cause me to isolate and I believe there is healing and restoration in drawing upon family & friends, caring for & being cared for by each other. As we kick off 2018 my prayer is that hope, surrender, transformation, consistency, and connectedness fill my canvas. I am dreaming GOD sized dreams this year y’all!! What will fill YOUR canvas in 2018? What GOD sized dreams are you dreaming? How can I cheer you on in 2018? I’d love to hear from you, leave a comment or send me a message so that we can connect & support each other as build a beautiful masterpiece in 2018!